Cannabis plant with flower buds

Cannabinoid legality is changing, and part of that change has led to a rise in Delta-8 products. Delta-8 THC is a hemp-derived cannabinoid with psychoactive properties, making it similar to CBD and Delta-9 THC, but Delta-8 effects differ from both. The similarities and differences lie in the minor changes in each cannabinoid structure.

Cannabinoids are the chemical compound structures found in the cannabis plant, and research shows there are between 80 and 100 cannabinoids. There are two main categories of cannabinoids, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). In general, THC cannabinoids have the psychoactive effects many people associate with cannabis. CBD cannabinoids have a more calming, anti-inflammatory effect. Delta-8 effects fall somewhere between these main categories. 

What is Delta-8 Made From?

Technically, Delta-8 is an organic cannabinoid since it occurs naturally in the hemp plant. However, it occurs in very small amounts, making it challenging to harvest enough for use in products and to get full Delta-8 effects. There are some products out there made entirely from naturally occurring Delta-8, but the majority are crafted in a lab.

Delta-8 is usually made from hemp-derived CBD or Delta-9 THC using catalysts like heat or pH changes to break compounds apart and form new ones. Since most Delta-8 is created through these processes, validating lab reports from any Delta-8 supplier is important. While these processes are standard, they should be done in a clean, accredited environment. 

How is Delta-8 Different from CBD and Delta-9 THC?

As we said, Delta-8 effects are similar to both CBD and Delta-9 THC effects. These similarities largely stem from the closeness of their chemical formulas. Overall, Delta-8 is less sensitive than Delta-9 THC, gives more psychoactive effects than CBD, and works slower than Delta-9 THC. While Delta-8 has more in common with Delta-9 THC, it still possesses many CBD effects, too. 

Delta-9 THC

The difference between Delta-8 effects and Delta-9 THC is due to the bond that the THC molecule binds to in each. Delta-8 and Delta-9 have their double bond on a different part of their respective carbon chains, and it is, in fact, how they got their name. Delta-8’s bond is on its 8th chain while Delta-9’s is on its 9th. This subtle change is also the origin of the different reactions each produces. 

Both Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC bind to the CB1 reactor in the endocannabinoid system, but Delta-9 THC has a much stronger bond, up to three times stronger than Delta-8. This strong reaction means Delta-9 THC works faster and has a more substantial psychoactive effect than Delta-8. 

Another difference is that Delta-9 THC only bonds to the CB1 receptor in the endocannabinoid system, while Delta-8 bonds to both the CB1 and CB2 receptors. The CB1 report is responsible for cannabis’s psychoactive effects, while CB2 is associated with its anti-inflammatory and calming effects. Since it bonds to both receptors, psychoactive and calming are both Delta-8 effects


Known as a calming cannabinoid without psychoactive effects, CBD has a very weak bond with the endocannabinoid system’s receptors. Since Delta-8 has a stronger bond to the receptors, it has more potent effects. Yet, since it is also hemp-derived and shares a similar chemical structure, it maintains CBD’s anti-inflammatory and calming sensations.

Woman picking up edible gummy from tin

How and What is Delta-8 Used For?

Like any other cannabinoid product, Delta-8 can be consumed as edibles, in vapes, and smoked as a leaf or bud. However, when smoked as a leaf or bud, it is usually a hemp leaf or bud with Delta-8 added since the compound is naturally found in such small amounts. Some common Delta-8 effects include:

  • Sense of calm
  • Feelings of euphoria
  • Anti-inflammatory effects
  • Relief
  • Relaxation

For many, Delta-8 is used as a legal alternative to other cannabinoids that may have their recreational use restricted. Others that may have an adverse reaction to Delta-9 THC could see Delta-8 as a milder alternative that they may be able to tolerate better. 

So, is Delta-8 Legal?

Yes and no. The short answer is that Delta-8 is legal in some states under some circumstances. The long answer is that in 2020 the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) made an addendum to the 2018 Farm Bill stating that hemp-derived products with less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC could be legal for recreational use. Delta-8 fits those qualifications, making it eligible for legality. BUT (and this is the important part), states needed to decide on their own whether or not they would allow Delta-8 to be sold and used. A number of states have permitted Delta-8 sale and use, but not all. Also, some states allow for medical use only or have restrictions on its use in other ways. You can get the full details on what’s going on in your state here

Can I Buy Delta-8 Products from Zaza

The answer is…maybe. If your state allows for the sale and use of Delta-8 products, shop away! If not, we can’t sell to you yet. Remember that laws change all the time, so watch for any updates in your state.

If you live in a state that legalized Delta-8, we’ve got an array of flavorful, unique edibles, vapes, and carts to choose from. You can check out our High Noon, Live Resin, and Heavy Hitter collections, as well as our indica, sativa, and hybrid strains. Each brings its own taste and sensitivity to the table, letting you get the full range of Delta-8 effects

Visit Delta-8 our products today to get the right Delta-8 for you. Remember to smile and enjoy.