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Is Delta 8 Synthetic?

Is Delta-8 Synthetic?

Delta 8 is the latest rage - and for a good reason. Users report that it’s like “mild weed,” giving you many of the benefits of traditional weed, like marijuana, without the unpleasant side effects like paranoia and anxiety.

Unlike Cannabidiol CBD, which has been more established, Delta 8 (delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol) is still a bit of the wild west regarding regulation and extraction methods. For that reason, one of the first things most of you want to know is:

“Is my Delta 8 synthetic or natural?”

This post will cover all you need to know about Delta 8, including its extraction process, legality, and whether or not it’s considered a “natural” cannabinoid. We’ll also look at how it compares to other compounds, such as K2, which many may confuse Delta-8 products with.

Is Delta 8 a Cannabinoid?

Delta 8 is, in fact, a cannabinoid. The cannabis plant, known as cannabis Sativa, has over 100 active cannabinoids. The two most responsible for its effects on the user are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD, both derived from hemp. 

An analog of Delta 9, Delta 8 is considered the light version of THC. From a scientific view, Delta 8 has a double bond on the eighth carbon chain, while Delta 9 has one on the ninth carbon.

Scientist working in laboratory to extract delta 8Is Delta 8 Natural or Synthetic?

Based on what you've heard, you may be asking; is delta 8 synthetic weed? Technically, Delta 8 is a naturally occurring cannabinoid. But there is no such thing as a delta 8 plant.  It’s found in hemp in such tiny amounts that most of what you see on the market is derived synthetically. Until a few years ago, the only way to extract Delta 8 was by using huge amounts of marijuana. Additionally, it wasn’t a viable option because Delta 8 was illegal.

Thanks to the Farm Bill Act of 2018, Delta 8 is now considered legal - as long as the final product contains less than 0.3% THC. Because of its legality, scientists started looking at Delta 8 as viable product consumers may have great interest in - partly due to its reputation as “lite” weed.

How Does Delta 8 Work in Your Body?

Like all cannabinoids, Delta 8 works by interacting with your Endocannabinoid System (ECS). A complex and vital system, the ECS acts as a bridge between the mind and body and is responsible for virtually all of our functions, including the following:

  • Immune system function
  • Organs 
  • The brain
  • Connective tissues
  • Immune cells
  • Glands

Benefits: Delta 8

Delta 8 THC has many potential benefits. THC-based drugs, for example, have been used for years to help increase appetite for patients dealing with nausea from chemotherapy treatment. Other potential benefits include:

  • Mild euphoria
  • Sense of well-being
  • Reduce Stress
  • Reduce anxiety

A recent study published in the Journal of Cannabis Research found Delta 8 may provide many similar effects to Delta 9 THC, without adverse side effects such as anxiety and paranoia.

Man in headband blowing large amounts of smoke after hitting delta vapeSide Effects: Delta 8

Despite its reputation as “mild” or “lite” weed, there may be some side effects from using Delta 8 THC. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urges caution when using and has reported instances where people experienced anxiety after using Delta 8 THC products.

In addition, the industry is not fully regulated, meaning your Delta 8 product might contain much more than the legal limit of 0.3% THC. Side effects look for include the following:

  • Lethargy
  • Dizzy spells
  • Cottonmouth 
  • Overeating
  • Red eyes

Traditional THC vs. Delta 8

Traditional THC, known as Delta 9, is thought to produce a much more intoxicating effect than Delta 8. While Delta 9 is abundant in cannabis, Delta 8 is minuscule by comparison. Delta 9 is much cheaper to extract, as well. Because Delta 8 is a minor cannabinoid, much more effort is needed to extract it from the cannabis plant.

Fortunately, producers can now produce Delta 8 synthetically through hemp-based CBD. Most manufacturers use solvents, and it can be an expensive process. But the final product can deliver a big punch with only 0.3% THC content.

As discussed, many consumers report feeling high without many of the annoying side effects of Delta 9, such as anxiety. That being said, Delta 8 production is unregulated, and you may wind up with a product containing far more than the legal limit of 0.3% THC.

Silhouette of head formed by various types of drugsIs Delta 8 Like K2? Is Delta 8 Spice?

One of the biggest concerns over Delta 8 being derived synthetically is its relationship to K2, which is another synthetic compound. Is delta 8 k2? Is delta 8 the same as spice? Both Spice and K2 are synthetic cannabinoids that, rightly so, have a reputation for inducing strong psychoactive reactions.

The most significant difference between Delta 8 and K2 is that Delta 8 is a natural cannabinoid (even though it can be produced artificially), while K2 and spice are purely artificial. Think of Delta 8 as a vegetable grown in a lab and K2 being a completely made-up food additive.

You’re much less likely to have a bad reaction from a non-organic carrot than from a completely artificial food enhancement. Additionally, Delta 8 is legal in most states and federally, while Spice and K2 are illegal throughout the states.

K2 vs Delta 8 Side Effects

Synthetic cannabinoids like K2 and Spice are created by spraying cannabis with unregulated compounds to alter the plant’s structure. In some cases, these blends can be lethal - making the use of K2 and Spice precarious, at best.

Additionally, these chemicals can lead to addiction and have an unpleasant reaction on your Endocannabinoid System. Users may experience severe reactions after using K2, including the following side effects:

  • Unwanted and intense psychoactive reaction
  • Manic euphoria
  • Violent reactions
  • Suicidal behavior
  • Stroke
  • Panic attack
  • Irritability
  • Dizzy
  • Delusions
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Muscle damage
  • Potentially lethal

You’re much less likely to experience such severe side effects with Delta 8. It’s generally viewed as a safer and less intense high than Delta 9, but the FDA urges caution when using it. 

Young woman vaping and blowing smokeFinal Word

While a naturally occurring cannabinoid, Delta 8 is most often used through products where it’s been derived synthetically from hemp-based CBD. Most report a pleasant high, but always use caution whenbuying your Delta 8.

Federally speaking, Delta 8 is also legal, and most states allow its sale and usage. There are fewer side effects than other synthetic cannabinoids, like K2 and Spice, although more research is needed.

Hopefully now you can confidently answer the question; is delta 8 thc synthetic? If you do have any further questions, reach out to us at and we'd love to help you out!


*These statements have not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any illness. Any medical advice should be taken from a medical professional.

All of the articles on this site are written by 3rd party content providers, expert bloggers, or doctors not directly affiliated with EHDelta.

Individuals should learn the risks and side effects prior to taking any Delta products. Make sure to always check with a medical professional before starting any new Delta treatment or medication that is not FDA-approved.