In states where it’s not yet legal or easy to purchase or grow marijuana, there’s a new marketing gimmick called Delta-8 THC. The full name is Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol.

Delta-8 is a chemical cousin of the cannabinoid we all know and love: Delta-9 THC. For you chemistry nerds, I’ve included a nifty Delta-9 illustration with this article. But Delta-8 is a weak cousin. And that’s why the Delta-8 craze is so scammy and frustrating.

Online and at brick and mortar smoke shops, you see advertisements for “legal marijuana,” “legal THC” and “legal highs.” They mean Delta-8 THC.

Some sellers tell you Delta-8 has all the same medical and psychoactive properties as Delta-9. It doesn’t. Not even close.

Delta-8 THC occurs naturally in cannabis plants at extremely low percentages. Delta-8 THC vape oil and other Delta-8 extracts aren’t sourced naturally. Instead they’re derived using bulk solvent processing, usually from hemp or CBD marijuana plants.

Solvent processing is a harsh lab procedure and causes health problems for consumers if solvents aren’t absolutely, 100%, totally purged from the end product, which is very difficult to do.

As with health problems caused by poorly-manufactured, contaminated, tainted or otherwise sickening vape oil cartridge products, Delta-8 THC vape oils and other Delta-8 materials have similarly caused medical problems.

Beyond the health issue is the high issue. Delta-8 THC does NOT produce a high that’s worth having, especially compared to the high produced by Delta-9 THC, other cannabinoids, and terpenoids in potent whole marijuana.

I procured several Delta-8 THC products and used them. What a waste of money. And one of them made me sick.

I then called one of the Delta-8 THC sellers and told her the product is useless. She admitted Delta-8 THC is mostly for people who are scared of getting “too high” or who can’t afford, grow or find real marijuana. “It’s for desperate people who can’t get real cannabis,” she acknowledged.

Reading off a script prepared by the Delta-8 THC product manufacturer, she claimed Delta-8 has many of the same medical benefits as Delta-9 THC, and binds to the same cannabinoid receptors.

“Delta-8 marijuana gets you high without the paranoia you get from regular marijuana,” she asserted. I advised her to read our article on marijuana paranoia, and also pointed out there are no legit clinical studies documenting any benefits from Delta-8 THC.

She failed to mention that Delta-8 cannabinoid receptor binding ability is less than half that of Delta-9 THC, it interferes with Delta-9 THC effects, and doesn’t produce the euphoria, creativity, sex-bomb aphrodisiac effects, relaxation, and other psychoactive benefits of authentic whole marijuana.

And she forgot that administering a cannabinoid by itself automatically robs you of the entourage effect you get using whole cannabis, which contains several cannabinoids and other unique compounds, as well as dozens of terpenoids.

Together, whole-cannabis compounds create the cannabis high. But taken by itself, even Delta-9 THC has a funky high. I’ve used Marinol, which is a solo cannabinoid synthetic Delta-9 THC pharmaceutical. The high is disgusting, annoying, incomplete, boring, stupid–but not as pathetic as what you get from Delta-8.

Indeed, after consuming Delta-8 gummies, vape oil, and crumble, all I can say is: Hey, if you want to risk failing a cannabis drug test in return for effects that include sleepiness, lack of motivation and energy, and a clouded, depressed, uninspired mind, you will love Delta-8.

So why is Delta-8 THC getting so much buzz? One reason is the CBD industry found itself glutted with CBD plants and discovered that processing bulkweed into Delta-8 THC is a way to make a lot of money from unwanted CBD excess.

Another reason is very clever, misleading, aggressive marketing. The marijuana industry is a fertile field for smooth-talking scammers. They sell junk marijuana seeds, they sell Delta-8, they sell shitty grow lights and nutrients, they sell other crap.

There’s no effective regulation, so they get away with it. You have to work hard to avoid the thousands of profit-driven scammers seeking to prey on those of us who want to grow and/or consume cannabis.

The blatant lies and exaggerations I’ve seen from Delta-8 sellers are outrageous and easily debunked. But there’s a sucker born every minute–someone sees a “legal marijuana” sign outside a smoke shop, and immediately swerves into the parking lot ready to fork over their cash, unaware that Delta-8 is NOT marijuana.

Another problem is that Delta-8 is a loophole substance that may or may not be legal under federal cannabis law. While there are often strict regulations governing processing that produces CBD extracts, Delta-8 is in a gray area with no health and safety regulations.

This means processors use untested, unmonitored methods to create Delta-8 products; these methods produce harmful residuals that add to the harmful solvents used to make the products.

If you’re amused by the Delta-8 craze, be prepared for the potential for a Delta-10 craze that’s lurking on the horizon. It appears there’s no limit to what people will do to make money supplying fake highs to people who would enjoy and get way more verifiable medical benefits from a full-on marijuana high.

My final word on Delta-8 THC echoes the first article we ever published in this magazine: grow your own marijuana.

No matter if you have a green thumb or not, you can grow marijuana legally or illegally and have zero problems doing it as long as you read Growing Marijuana Perfectly and implement our cultivation and grow op security guidance.

You don’t have to create a massive indoor marijuana growing set-up. You don’t have to spend a lot on grow supplies. Using bonsai and other trimming and training techniques, you can grow one marijuana plant that produces many ounces of high-THC buds using a small grow tent and one light.

If you have the privacy, you can grow one, huge marijuana plant outdoors that produces a pound or more of potent bud. I’ve seen plants grown by backyard amateur marijuana growers that yield nearly a kilo each of sticky, sun-grown buds!

For the amount of money you’d spend on Delta-8 THC, Spice and other fake marijuana products, you easily set up your own grow op, grow premium marijuana seeds, and enjoy a steady supply of killer weed that gives you a real high.

And if you just can’t bring yourself to grow your own potent marijuana, which is a wonderful hobby, I guarantee you that somewhere near you, somebody you already know is growing marijuana, and you can get it from them if you’re lucky.

Do yourself a favor—don’t be so desperate for marijuana that you fall for the Delta-8 scam. Every serious, intelligent grower and stoner I’ve talked to about this says the same thing: “I’d rather be stone-cold sober than waste my money trying to get stoned on Delta-8 THC!”