The compound in weed that gets you high is delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol. A lot of U.S. states have legalized it for medicinal and recreational use. But it's still a schedule 1 drug according to federal law and some U.S. states still aggressively go after people (most often minorities) with small amounts of pot. A recent example: "7 Texas Officers Are Fired in Death of Black Man Restrained in Jail" – imprisoned for 2 ounces!
But a psychoactive compound called delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol isn't federally illegal, and only one state, Iadho, has made it illegal. A Lifehacker writer bought some delta-8 gummies by mail and reported on their effects:
I ate two, because I am not inexperienced with partaking of legal cannabis and the consensus on Reddit seemed to be that delta-8 THC is about half as potent/effective. Within 45 minutes, I knew I'd gotten my money's worth. As promised, I felt some familiar weed-adjacent effects—lightness in the body, heightened focus, increased appetite, increased hilarity of Spongebob Squarepants—if with less intensity and none of the confusion or brain fog that can result from getting hit with a heavy lid, so to speak.
Is delta-8 THC going to replace the other stuff as your substance of choice? If you have access to both in your state and your primary goal is gettingstoned, buddy, probably not. If you are looking for an intoxicant with subtler effects, though, you might actually prefer it—and, like I said, it's cheaper, too. And if you live in a state where cannabis is either still illegal or not yet commercially available? It could be just what you've been searching for.