Is Delta-8 Psychoactive?
There is a lot of talk about delta-8-THC in the health and wellness industry. Most people know that it is related to delta-9-THC, the primary psychoactive cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. But like delta-9, does delta-8 make you high?
Increased interest in natural plant-based solutions has resulted in many consumers becoming aware of the various cannabinoids, especially after the legalization of industrial hemp in the United States. The 2018 Farm Bill paved the way for more research into the compounds in cannabis and their benefits.
As a result, we are now aware of the therapeutic potential and medical benefits of some cannabinoids. First, it was CBD – the first legal cannabinoid to blow up in the health and wellness space. But we are now seeing other cannabinoids, including CBN, CBG, and delta-8-THC, coming up in the market.
In this article, we take a more in-depth look at ∆-8-THC effects to answer all the questions that you might have on the cannabinoid. So, does delta-8 make you high?
Does Delta-8 Make You High?
There are several ways to look at it. Short answer, Yes. Delta-8 will make you high. Not many producers advertise that the cannabinoid, like its precursor- delta-9-THC, is psychoactive.
However, the cannabinoid is only as half as potent as the infamous delta-9-THC. So, its high is not characterized by intense intoxication and overbearing effects such as confusion and anxiety.
To understand how ∆-8-THC makes you feel, we first have to look at what it is.
What Is Delta-8-THC
The cannabis plant contains more than 500 compounds; many are cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. The cannabinoids alone are more than 100 in number and can be categorized into two; major cannabinoids and minor cannabinoids.
Major cannabinoids include the ones you are probably familiar with, such as CBD and delta-9-THC. Minor cannabinoids occur in much less amounts. They include lesser-known cannabinoids such as delta-8-THC, CBC, among others.
Delta-8-THC occurs in minuscule amounts in the cannabis and hemp plants, making it a rare and hard to extract cannabinoid. So what exactly is ∆-8-THC, and where does it come from in the hemp plant?
Delta-8-THC is a cannabinoid that forms as a result of delta-9-THC oxidation. This could explain why it occurs in such low amounts.
All the cannabinoids in the cannabis plant are somehow connected. They are all synthesized from cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), also called “the mother of all cannabinoids. From CBGA, enzymes in the plant synthesize THCA, CBDA, CBG, and CBCA.
In this article, we are more interested in THCA.
Delta-9-THC also occurs in an acidic form in the raw plants known as THCA. This is a non-psychoactive form of the cannabinoid and must undergo decarboxylation to convert to the usable form.
This may occur naturally through aging and drying, or it can be accelerated by heat, like when you smoke dry bud.
When decarboxylation takes place, the THCA loses a carboxyl group to become ∆-9-THC. However, a small amount of the delta-9-THC will be converted to delta-8-THC.
As such, delta-8 is considered as one of the analogs of ∆-9-THC. Both are pretty similar in chemical composition and effects.
The only difference between the two is the location of the double bond. For the uninitiated, “delta” in both compounds refers to the double bond. The 8* and 9* parts of the names point to where the delta is located in the chain.
Delta-9-THC has a double bond on the ninth carbon, and ∆-8’s occurs on the eighth. This slight difference in their structures may not seem like much but could cause varying potencies and effects.
Delta-8-THC Effects – Does It Make You High?
As stated before, ∆-8-THC is psychoactive and will make you “high.”
For years, people were only familiar with delta-9-THC as the only psychoactive cannabinoid in the cannabis plant.
This is because delta-8-THC is only found in very low concentrations, not much was known about it until the hemp was legalized in 2018.
Unlike CBD, which rose to popularity because of its lack of psychoactive effects, delta-8-THC is the opposite. It is mainly used for its therapeutic benefits, but it also causes a slight high in some consumers.
Its high has been described by some as “very clear-headed” and does not affect concentration or induce anxiety or fogginess. Instead, it is said to heighten the user’s visual and other senses enabling them to concentrate better.
Users also describe ∆-8-THC’s effects as less impairing than those caused by ∆-9-THC. Some have also reported the high as “energizing and motivating.”
However, like all cannabinoids, ∆-8-THC affects people differently. Some have reported ∆-8-THC effects as sedating when taken in higher doses.
Research studies also seem to confirm that delta-8 is not as potent as delta-9-THC. In this study, delta-8-THC was estimated to be half as potent as delta-9-THC.
Studies have also found its side effects to be manageable. This 1995 study found that delta-8 prevented vomiting and nausea in children under cancer treatment with negligible side effects.
Other ∆-8-THC effects backed by studies include improving appetite and reducing pain and inflammation. The cannabinoid could also work when applied to the skin. People also report using delta-8 to enhance mood, stimulate appetite, and get high.
How Delta-9-THC Works In The Body
Delta-8 acts in the same way as delta-9 and CBD when consumed. It interacts with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which is the complex system responsible for maintaining homeostasis in the body. That includes regulating the immune function, appetite, pain and inflammation response, memory, etc.
Like ∆-9, ∆-8 binds to CB1 receptors to cause its effects. But because of the slight difference in chemical structure, it has less affinity for CB1 receptors, probably why it is less potent.
How To Use Δ8-THC?
Delta-8-THC occurs in very low amounts in cannabis and hemp.
Therefore, it has to be extracted and processed into concentrates for you to enjoy its benefits. These concentrates are available from the most reputable producers in the form of vape cartridges and tinctures.
The delivery methods for delta-8-THC are similar to those used to take CBD; you can vape it, or use it sublingually. Edibles designed to be swallowed are not the best to deliver Δ8-THC because it is converted to delta-11-THC during the digestion process.
When it comes to Δ8-THC dosage, the same CBD dosage rules apply.
The best way is to start small and increase gradually until you attain all the benefits you are looking for.
Delta-8-THC is psychoactive, and it’s not known whether it is possible to overdose.
Best ∆-8-THC Products
Looking for an authentic cannabis experience? This high-quality vape cartridge combines pure ∆-8-THC’s effects with the flavor of all-natural cannabis-derived terpenes.
When it comes to hardware, this is as high quality as it gets. Rogue River Labs use genuine Jupiter CCELL cartridges to deliver the smoothest vape experience possible.
The cart is available in Blue City Diesel, Sour Diesel, Watermelon Zkittles, and Sour Banana Sherbet Flavors.
Pick this cartridge at the Great CBD Shop website for $24.99 only.
These delicious gummies provide the most convenient way to add ∆-8-THC to your routine. They are potent, infused with terpenes, and, more importantly, flavored.
They are available in 500mg jars, each containing 20 gummies. Each gummy delivers a predetermined 25mg delta-8 dosage, making it easy to dose on the go.
Flavor options available include lime, watermelon, Blue raspberry, mango, and strawberry.
Benefits Of Delta-8
The research on the effects and benefits of delta-8-THC is still in its infancy, and more research studies are still required to prove its benefits, how it works in the body and its potential side effects.
However, early research studies suggest that it may have the following benefits:
1. Combat Nausea & Vomiting
In its definition of Δ8THC, the National Cancer Institute states that it’s a THC analog with antiemetic properties, among other benefits.
One of the earliest studies on the cannabinoid noted that it eliminated vomiting in children under treatment for cancer.
Like delta-9-THC, using Δ8-THC will give you the munchies.
A 2004 study observed that Δ8-THC increased food consumption more than delta-9-THC did in mice. Meaning Δ8-THC may be more effective than delta-9-THC as an appetite stimulant.
3. Pain Relief
A 2018 study testing both Δ8-THC and CBD’s effectiveness in reducing corneal pain and inflammation concluded that both cannabinoids were effective in reducing ocular pain and inflammation in mice.
This shows cannabinoid’s potential in managing pain and inflammation.
Verdict – Does ∆-8-THC Get You High?
Delta-8-THC is psychoactive, so yes, it will get you high. But not in the way you think.
If anecdotal reports are anything to go by, ∆-8-THC high is only as half as potent as delta-9’s. It is more clear-headed, energizing, motivating, and will not affect your concentration. Although it’s way less psychoactive than delta-9, the high effects are still noticeable.
Remember that cannabinoids affect people differently, so use ∆-8 with care. Do not operate heavy machinery or drive after consuming delta-8-THC.