via Chris Cohen at GQ.com
The hot cannabinoid of the moment is Delta-8 THC. It’s a psychoactive compound—as in, it gets you high—that’s legal in most states. Or, if not legal, then at least widely available. It’s in a bit of a gray area.
Understanding why starts with the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp (or cannabis—it’s the same plant) as long as levels of THC remained below a certain very low threshold. This law accelerated the already-booming market in CBD and created a market opening for novelties like weed that doesn’t get you high.
The structure of the law—everything hemp is legal except THC—created what’s seen by many producers as a loophole that allows the production and sale of Delta-8 THC, because it’s ever-so-slightly chemically distinct from the banned Delta-9 THC. As the owner of a Texas CBD company put it to the New York Times: “You have a drug that essentially gets you high, but is fully legal,” he said. “The whole thing is comical.”
“Fully” is probably an overstatement. It’s not legal everywhere in the U.S., and might not stay legal forever. A few states have opted to ban the drug—including, this week, North Dakota—and the feds are apparently still considering their options. But at the moment, Delta 8 is easy to get delivered in the mail or at a head shop in most states.
It’s usually described as particularly mellow high—all of the bodily good feelings, none of the paranoia. But that’s what always stoners are always telling you, right? As someone who occasionally enjoys weed but is prone to racing thoughts from even the mellowest indica, the idea was appealing enough to check out.
The delta-8 market is still rough around the edges, and there are reports of all kinds of shady stuff: vape cartridges filled with things you really don’t want in your lungs, flower that’s been sprayed with weird chemicals, moldy gummies. But I perused the relevant subreddits and picked a company, Lifted Made, whose Urb gummies sounded legit enough.
On the one hand, consuming a drug identified by a chemical compound made me feel like I was doing edgy Erowid research chemicals. On the other, we’re talking about an edible that I had read about in the New York Times and gotten dropped off by the Postal Service. So I popped one 25 milligram piece on an evening with no commitments and went for a run. (Serving sizes are different than Delta-9—that would be enough normal THC to put me in a a psych ward, but it was about the right amount of Delta 8.)
Hearing about another person’s drug experience is as boring as hearing about their dreams, of course, so I’ll keep this to the point: The stuff works. The end of the run was bouncy and spacey, the episode of the paranoid spy thriller was extra paranoid, and I was up for hours thinking rather than sleeping. It wasn’t unpleasant—It was just a pretty normal weed gummy. A weed gummy that, at least for now, you can get delivered to a mailbox in most states. Do what you will with that information!