Edit: Hemp-derived Delta 8 THC was legal until 8/21/20 thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill

Update: 8/21/20 – The DEA made most delta-8 THC illegal today subject to a 60 day comment period.  Here is a good summary of what has happened.


Original Article from 6/2020:

The fuss about THC has always been about Δ9 (delta 9) THC.  It’s responsible for the high in marijuana.   Δ8 (delta 8) THC is a very similar molecule that is present only in small quantities in most cannabis.

Resourceful chemists have recently found a way to create Δ8 THC from hemp.

If you Google “delta 8 THC” you will find references to it being legal, and other equally reliable articles stating that is Federally illegal.  Older articles always refer to it being illegal because it was considered an isomer of delta 8 THC.  The DEA considers isomers of illegal drugs to also be illegal.  The 2018 Farm Bill defined hemp in such a way that isomers created from hemp are legal.  As long as Δ8 THC is derived from hemp it is now considered to be legal.  States can still make it illegal, so check with your state laws to be certain.

The term `hemp’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. 
 and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all 
 derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and 
 salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 
 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on 
 a dry weight basis.

shutterstock_626109497A new subreddit covers issues related to Δ8 THC.  Most users report that it is sedating and calming, with a more intense “body high” than CBD has.  Others describe it as making you “stoned without being high.”  It does seem to be psychoactive, but it doesn’t seem to cause the changes in thinking that occur with Δ9 THC – no paranoia; but also no positive mood and mental changes that some seek from marijuana.

There is also evidence that Δ8 THC will show up as THC on a urine drug screen.  You should avoid it of you are drug-tested (even though it is probably legal and hemp-derived).  Some have also reported that it does not work in edibles.  To get effects you may need to dose sublingually with Δ8 THC oil or vaporize Δ8 THC distillate .

Δ8 THC is known to be neurprotective.  It has been shown to reduce nausea in children receiving chemotherapy for cancer.  It is believed to act on both the CB1 receptor and the CB2 receptor, but in a different way than Δ9 THC .

You should avoid driving while taking any new cannabinoid. Δ8 THC is stronger than CBD and is more likely to impair motor skills.

For more information check out:

Decarboxylation of CBG flower – How long to Decarb at what temperature?

There is a lot of information online about how to decarb THC flower (marijuana). There is less information about decarbing CBD hemp flower.  There is almost no information about decarbing CBG hemp flower.  If you want to add CBG to your edibles or topicals you will need to decarb it first.  This heat converts CBGA to CBG. CBGA may have its own health benefits, but like most raw cannabinoids it has not been studied a much as its activated molecule.

We do have some hints about decarb temps for CBG. A 2016 study looked at different decarb temperatures for different cannabinoids. Hidden deep within the study is a very interesting table that compares THC, CBD, and CBG when heated to different temperatures. The researchers found that 20 minutes at 130 degrees Celsius (260 degrees F) were sufficient to convert almost all of the CBGA to CBG. 40 minutes at 110 degrees C (230 degrees F) did almost as well, producing slightly less CBG from the material.

It would be reasonable to assume that 30 to 40 minutes at 240 to 260 degrees F would convert CBG hemp flower into active CBG to be used in edibles and topicals. Interestingly, this is the same temperature that some people are using when they decarb in a mason jar inside an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker.

Why would you want to decarb CBG flower? CBG has health benefits and it seems to intensify the effects of CBD when the two are taken together. Edibles are a way to take cannabinoids as medication and avoid any possible damage to the lungs. The effects also last longer when the medication is taken orally.




What is CBG Hemp Flower?

Beginning with the 2019 Fall harvest the online market has seen a new type of Cannabis for sale. CBG (Cannabigerol) hemp flower refers to the female flowers of hemp plants that are bred to produce primarily CBG rather than CBD.  The flowers actually contain CBGA – the acid form of CBG (just as THC flowers contain mostly THCA and CBD flowers contain mostly CBDA). Heat is needed to convert these acid forms of the cannabinoids to their bioavailable forms (without the A).  Most people know about marijuana flower, often called bud. CBD hemp flower is also becoming popular since the 2018 farm bill legalized it. The difference between these plants has to do with the dominant cannabinoid that they produce. Marijuana flower is highest in THC, while CBD hemp flower is highest in CBD.  The new flower is highest in CBG.

Young Hemp FlowerCBG is sometimes referred to as the “stem cell” cannabinoid.  Cannabis plants produce CBGA relatively early in their lifespan and much of it is converted to THCA and CBDA as the plant matures. Plant scientists have bred new strains of cannabis where this conversion has been blocked. Flowers from these plants are high in CBG once the plant material has been heated (decarbed).

When using cannabis medically the goal is to consume enough to get symptom relief without becoming intoxicated or impaired. THC flowers (marijuana), when consumed in enough quantity, make you high (intoxicated). CBD flowers relax you without making you high. CBG hemp flowers are drier than the more traditional CBD flowers and they produce different effects, which are difficult to describe.  If THC gives you a “head high” and CBD gives you a “body buzz,”  then CBG might be said to give you a “mind-body buzz”.  Some users report that CBG flowers enhance the effects of CBD when both are consumed together.  These CBG flowers are so new (as of this post in November 2019) that there is no real consensus as to their effects. Some early users of CBG flower report a clear-headed sense of relaxation without the sedation that accompanies some CBD flowers, but others do report sedation. As with all cannabis, the terpene profiles may also influence the effects. CBG itself is known to fight some forms of cancer, to reduce intraocular pressure, and to fight some infections.

I believe we are still in the early days of understanding these natural healing substances. Hemp that is high in other cannabinoids may be right around the corner.  Innovative companies like PotLuckExpo and Kanabia are already offering hemp-based products featuring exotic natural cannabinoids such as CBG, CBN, and THC-V.  I have updated the shopping section to include note of places to buy GBG Flower Online.

We also have information on how to decarb CBD hemp flower.

What is THCA?

THCA is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in high levels in the marijuana form of the cannabis plant. Smaller quantities are often also found in the hemp form of cannabis. In the U.S. hemp is defined as any cannabis containing over 0.3% delta-9 THC. The THCA content doesn’t count (according to most interpretations of the 2018 Farm Bill). In the E.U. hemp must have 0.2% delta 9 THC or less.

Approximately 85% of THCA converts into delta 9 THC when it is vaped or smoked. Juicing raw cannabis or using it as a tea are ways of taking THCA. You just have to keep it below 220 degrees F. to prevent it from converting to THC.

Like some other cannabinoids THCA appears to be neuroprotective and it has been used to treat seizures. It has been found to have some anti-cancer activity, but it has not been studied as much as CBD and THC for this. It is an anti-inflammatory and may help arthritis pain.

THCA is federally legal in the U.S. and internationally; but it usually co-occurs with THC which is often illegal.

THCA can be used medically at quite low doses, according to Project CBD.