Where Does Delta 8 THC Come From?

Delta 8 THC is a cannabinoid that occurs naturally in the cannabis plant, but there’s a good chance that you had never heard of it until fairly recently. That’s because Delta 8 isn’t nearly as plentiful in cannabis as the better known Delta 9 THC. Delta 9 is so well known, in fact, that most people have simply referred to it generically as “THC” until recently despite the fact that THC actually comes in multiple forms. 

Today, though, things are different. It’s now possible to purchase and use Delta 8 THC on its own, and this cannabinoid is finally getting its day in the sun. 

Are you new to Delta 8 THC? Before you venture too far into this article, you may want to read a quick primer on Delta 8 THC and get yourself up to speed. 

Delta 8 THC Products Come From CBD

The reason why you’ve never heard of Delta 8 before now is because, although it does occur naturally in cannabis, it occurs in such low concentrations that there’s no practical way to extract and isolate it directly from the plant. The only way to get a useful quantity of Delta 8 is by converting it from another cannabinoid, and CBD is the perfect cannabinoid for the job.

Converting one cannabinoid to another is actually simpler in many cases than it might sound because many cannabinoids – particularly CBD and the various forms of THC – are isomers of one another. The molecules consist of the same atoms, and the only difference between them is that each one has a double bond in a different section of its carbon chain. If you move the double bond, you’ll have a different molecule. That’s exactly what happens in the process of converting CBD to THC.

To Produce Delta 8, You Need CBD Isolate

Since producing Delta 8 requires the conversion of one cannabinoid into another, the first step in the process is obtaining the cannabinoid that you want to convert. For the conversion to be as complete as it can be, it’s important to start with the purest CBD possible. Fortunately, our process for obtaining CBD isolate is an incredibly efficient one; it results in an isolated form of CBD that’s over 99 percent pure.

Like all other hemp products, our Delta 8 begins its life in the form of organic hemp flowers grown and processed in the United States. We extract the essential oils from the hemp flower using a green extraction process that produces an excellent yield and minimizes any potential loss of the plant’s natural cannabinoids and terpenes. The resulting product is a full spectrum hemp distillate containing all of the components of the original plant.

After obtaining the raw hemp distillate, the next step is to isolate the CBD from the other cannabinoids. Although detailing the full refinement process is a bit outside the scope of this article, the process begins with filtration to remove unwanted plant solids and other contaminants. 

Cannabinoids vaporize at varying temperature ranges, so the next step in producing Delta 8 is fractional distillation. The hemp distillate is gently heated so that the CBD vaporizes for separate collection. Finally, the concentrated CBD is combined with a solvent that causes the CBD to crystalize. The crystals are CBD isolate, and they consist almost entirely of pure CBD. 

How the Delta 8 Conversion Process Works

CBD isolate is useful for a wide variety of products, and it’s also the starting cannabinoid in producing Delta 8 THC. We begin by turning the CBD back into a liquid by dissolving it into a solvent. In an acidic environment, CBD undergoes isomerization – the double bond moves to a different part of the carbon chain, and the CBD converts to Delta 8 THC. To achieve the conversion, we combine the CBD with an acid and heat the mixture for several hours until the chemical reaction is complete. Converting CBD into Delta 8 is a process that must be done in a carefully controlled environment, and we maintain a flawless safety record by working with the best hemp processors in the United States.

After Conversion, the Solution Is Cleaned of Impurities

After the conversion process, the resulting solution consists of Delta 8 THC with a purity of almost 90 percent. The solution still contains the solvent used to dissolve the CBD and the acid used to trigger isomerization, though, and those unwanted compounds must be removed before the Delta 8 can be made into finished products. We begin by washing the compound with an alkaline compound that neutralizes the acid. Finally, the Delta 8 is evaporated out of the solution using a distillation process similar to the process used to isolate CBD from raw hemp distillate. 

After the Delta 8 THC is distilled out of the solution and collected separately, it still isn’t time to start making Delta 8 products. Before we can do that, we need to make sure that the conversion process went as expected and that the product is safe to use.

Testing Is the Final Step Before Delta 8 Becomes a Finished Product

As you’ve learned from reading this article, the process of obtaining CBD from hemp and converting the CBD to Delta 8 THC is a fairly complicated one that involves the use of chemicals such as solvents, acids and bases. Before we can begin using the Delta 8 isolate to make products, we need to confirm that the solution has the expected potency and that it’s free of any residual contaminants. We also need to confirm that, if any Delta 9 THC was inadvertently created during the conversion process, the concentration of Delta 9 is lower than the 0.3 percent maximum for federal legality. To confirm those things, we send the solution to a third party laboratory for testing. The lab tests confirm that the Delta 8 is potent, legal, free of impurities and ready to use.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this overview of how products like Delta 8 THC oil are made. As you’ve learned, getting from raw hemp to Delta 8 is a fairly lengthy process that requires a controlled laboratory environment and plenty of expertise. We take our role in the hemp industry very seriously, though, and we think you’ll agree that our Delta 8 products are the best on the market.

 

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