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Who in the World Is Smoking Delta-8 THC?

delta-8 THC legality world
Written by Sarah Friedman

One of the biggest new THC trends in the US, isn’t necessarily a global fad just yet, but that doesn’t mean it’s not on its way there. The US has been the starter for many cannabis-smoking trends over the years, and this happens to be the newest one. So, let’s take a look at who in the world is smoking delta-8 THC.

Delta-8 THC is becoming a very big deal in America, but who in the world is smoking delta-8 THC outside of the States? Well, a lot of people, but it’s still just spreading. And it’s definitely a trend worth checking out now. We can help you do that with some of the best delta-8 THC deals anywhere in the world!

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What is delta-8 THC?

The main question, is what is this delta-8 THC, and why is it anything to get excited about anyway? Delta-8 THC is a naturally occurring derivative of delta-9 THC, the standard THC associated with cannabis. Delta-9 THC doesn’t occur in large amounts in fresh flowers – a common misconception about cannabis. Instead, it’s precursor THCA, a non-psychoactive compound, is actually what is found in live plants. THCA decarboxylates into THC on its own by way of time and sunlight, but the process can be substantially speeded up by applying heat. In the process of decarboxylation, a C02 molecule is removed, creating the psychoactive delta-9.

Of course, we’re not talking about delta-9, we’re talking about delta-8 THC. When delta-9 THC comes into contact with oxygen, very small amounts of it oxidize to form delta-8 THC, making delta-8 THC a naturally occurring compound. The oxidation process involves electrons being removed, which actually ends up making delta-8 THC a far more stable compound than delta-9. This can be useful in terms of maintaining the composition of the molecule over longer periods of time.

Afghan Delta 8 Hash
Afghan Delta 8 Hash

Chemically, delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC are nearly identical. They both have the exact same chemical makeup of: C21H30O2, and the only actual difference is a double carbon bond, which is located in different places for the different compounds. For delta-9, it’s on the 9th carbon atom, and for delta-8, it’s on the 8th. Want to guess where it is for the synthetically made delta-10 THC? If you guessed the 10th atom on the chain, you’d be correct.

This minor difference doesn’t go unnoticed, although in many ways the compounds are more similar than different. Both delta-8 and delta-9 have been shown to help with nausea and vomiting, particularly associated with cancer and AIDS treatments, as well as appetite stimulation. Both have anti-inflammatory properties, have shown usefulness with neurodegenerative diseases and spastic disorders, and can benefit anxiety and insomnia issues.

In fact, it is here that delta-8 really shines, being associated with less anxiety and paranoia than standard delta-9, which makes it a better option for those who have issues with delta-9 anxiety. Delta-8 also supposedly produces a more clear-headed high than its counterpart, making it better for athletic activities. Another benefit for some, is that delta-8 THC comes with less psychoactive effect, which is beneficial for people looking for medical treatments, who don’t want to be out of their heads.

Is delta-8 THC illegal like delta-9?

This is a tricky question, and realistically, no matter how much its discussed and debated, there isn’t an official answer. There are a few things to consider though. And the first is that this debate wasn’t a debate at all, until the application of the 2018 US Farm Bill.

world delta-8 THC

Up until that bill, hemp production and manufacturing was illegal in the US, having been the product of large-scale smear campaigns, which, while actually focusing the attention of the population on the smokable aspect of cannabis, were really targeting the industrial hemp industry which threatened other large-scale enterprises, like paper industries (Hearst), plastic/chemical industries (Dupont), and as always, pharmaceutical industries, which are still fighting large-scale cannabis legalization today.

The 2018 US Farm Bill essentially reinstated an industry that had not only previously existed in the States, but which had been so important to the economy, that actual grow laws had been instituted back in colonial times, and by the time cannabis was illegalized, it was found in tons of medications on pharmacy shelves. The Farm Bill didn’t actually fully reinstate these things, but it did open the door for industrial hemp to be grown again, and for hemp products to be produced.

And that’s where delta-8 comes in. Delta-8 is a product of delta-9 THC, and can be sourced from any delta-9 THC, whether its in high-THC marijuana plants (.3%+), or low-THC hemp plants (.3%-). By using the THC in hemp plants, delta-8 THC can be synthesized within a legal loophole.

Hemp is defined as “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.” As a point of clarification – which also becomes important in this debate – this is referring only to naturally occurring derivatives, as it should be noticed that synthetic cannabinoids are not covered by this definition.

Synthetic cannabinoids never made it into the definition of hemp, and therefore remain under the definition of ‘tetrahydrocannabinols’, which can be found in DEA Controlled Substance Code Number 7370. As such, all synthetic cannabinoids, regardless of where in the plant they come from, what species of cannabis plant they come from, or in what quantities they exist, remain schedule 1 controlled substances.

In terms of delta-8, it is not technically synthetic, which makes it fall under the definition of ‘hemp’. On the other hand, it is naturally-occurring in such small amounts, that it must be synthesized with human processing help, which opens the door to it being considered a synthetic, which would illegalize it. As neither the DEA Interim Final Rule, or more recent USDA final rule, make any clarification on the definition of ‘synthetic’, delta-8 THC remains in legal gray area.

Delta 8 Moon Rocks
Delta 8 Moon Rocks

Who in the world smokes delta-8 THC?

Since it wasn’t a product to worry about before the last few years, not many countries have laws that specifically target delta-8, and many places, like the UK, also have contradictory laws that leave delta-8 in gray area, or mention it without giving any actual legality. As such, the question of who around the world smokes delta-8 THC is a strange question. A quick internet search will turn up plenty of online vendors for the product all over the world, but much like the early days of cannabis vaporizers, and edibles, the idea that something might be available, doesn’t mean it actually caught on.

Delta-8 THC is technically available in many places – at least as far as these online searches indicate. But there isn’t much evidence that the idea has taken off anywhere outside of the US. Or at least, not yet. There are questions being asked on reddit, which is always a good sign, and there are a few sparce articles from writers like myself in other locations – this too is an implication that its growing in the industry. After all, what we’re looking for, is it to be mentioned.

I got my first marijuana vaporizer back in the early 2000’s, and it was years before anyone else in the world cared about that. Just like, while it was more commonplace to deal with edibles early on in America, the idea only spread globally recently. In this way, the lack of global popularity of delta-8 THC is probably just about a lack of information about it, and the sheer fact that it hasn’t yet become the ‘next big thing’.

This doesn’t have anything to do with legalization either. Even in Canada, where cannabis is legal recreationally, delta-8 is not nearly as popular as America, and it can be seen in internet postings that there is still much confusion over what it is exactly, and where to get it. In fact, the main point of interest nearly anywhere in the world where a thread can be found on it, is about legality in that location. So in answer to the question ‘who in the world is smoking delta-8 THC’, the answer for now, is mostly Americans. With the growing mentions online in other countries indicating the buildup to a worldwide spread.


It can take time for some things to catch on. Especially when its legal standing is questionable, and it can’t be as easily self-made. However, the global illegal cannabis industry reminds us that regardless of illegality, things can definitely becomes popular worldwide. It will be interesting to see what happens with delta-8 in the future, if it becomes more popular, where that will be, and who in the world will be smoking delta-8 THC in a few years. For now, it’s mainly an American trend. However, America is quite the trend starter, and those trends tend to become pretty big everywhere in the world.


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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a medical professional, I have no formal legal education, and I’ve never been to business school. All information in my articles is sourced from other places which are always mentioned, and all opinions stated are mine, and are made clear to be mine. I am not giving anyone advise of any kind, in any capacity. I am more than happy to discuss topics, but should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a professional in the relevant field for more information.

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About the author

Sarah Friedman

I look stuff up and and write stuff down, in order to make sense of the world around. And I travel a lot too.