The market for the hemp-derived cannabinoid known as delta-8 THC continues to grow, generating $2 billion in sales over the past two years and now accounting for 50% of the hemp-derived cannabinoid market, according to analysis from the Brightfield Group.
“This fledgling market — which includes delta-8, delta-10, HHC, and many more — continues
to draw increased ire from regulatory bodies, but the category shows no signs of slowing down,” states Brightfields’ 2022 By the Numbers report.
Delta-8 THC is a psychoactive isomer of the more common delta-9 THC, the molecule most often associated with the high in cannabis products. While delta-8 THC does occur naturally in very small doses in the plant, the common form found in products today is created from hemp-derived CBD. There have been questions around its legality and several states have included the molecule as part of their cannabis regulations, but delta-8 products have proliferated at dispensaries, head shops, smoke shops and even gas stations around the country.
The product is illegal in 11 states and regulated in another 11 states. However, it is unregulated in the remaining 23, many of which do not have legal, adult-use markets.
According to the report, the market for delta-8 vapes and gummies are by far the largest at $1 billion and $630 million respectively, the fastest growing product types mimic the traditional CBD market in the products consumers prefer. According to data from Brightfield Group’s market sizing insights, delta-8 topicals and beauty products are experiencing rapid growth with a year-over-year growth rate exceeding 160%. Delta-8 drinks are also seeing rapid market expansion with a growth rate of 152%.
“States that most heavily restrict cannabis are seeing the most active delta-8 markets, particularly in the South,” states Brightfield’s white paper titled “How Big of a Threat is Delta-8?”
Additionally, Brightfield reports that in legal THC states alone, 23% of cannabis users say they are likely to buy delta-8 products in the future.
— Brian Beckley