The cannabis plant consists of over 100 different chemical compounds that together shape its properties and effects. These include cannabinoids and terpenes that work together to create the unique character of the marijuana plant. Most of the cannabis research and marketing initiatives revolve around two most commonly known cannabinoids – cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
While both cannabinoids are highly effective and potent with varying effects on body and mind, the cannabis universe contains many more compounds that need to be explored.
Delta- 8 THC is a relatively little-known cannabis compound that started getting popular, and many people question what it is? How it is different from delta-9 THC? And how it can be used effectively?
If you are among those people who looking to seek answers to the above questions, please continue reading this article.
First things first, let us start with what delta-8 THC is.
What is delta-8 THC?
The first thing to take note is, delta-8 THC is not THC that is very often referenced in the cannabis world. When people refer to THC, they usually mean delta-9 THC which is a highly potent and psychoactive compound. The majority of the psychoactive effects cannabis enthusiasts experience while they smoke or vape cannabis are caused by delta-9 THC.
The comparison of delta-8 with delta-9 THC shows both possess similar chemical structures while they differ by a few atomic bonds. This chemical difference in the composition of delta-8 THC shapes its distinctive soothing properties.
Composition of delta-8 THC
As mentioned earlier, it possesses a chemical structure similar to the delta-9 THC. The only difference between the two naturally occurring cannabinoids is in the position of a double bond. In delta-8 the double bound is found at the eighth carbon item in the chain while in case of delta-9 it is present at atom 9. This molecular similarity with a minor difference from delta-9 enables this scarce compound to exhibit remarkable therapeutic effects with substantially low psychoactive potency.
Effects of delta-8 THC
The unique soothing and psychoactive effects that it causes, many researchers believe are milder than its analogue delta-9. The research suggests delta-8 THC has two-thirds of the potency of delta-9, this low potency is believed to offer a clear-minded experience with less anxiety to cannabis lovers.
Unlike its analogue delta-9 which is found in abundance in cannabis, it is found in traces and usually makes up 0.01% of the plant. When this scarce compound is extracted in a pure form, it offers some very exciting medicinal effects.
The ability of this low-profile cannabis compound to bind to CB1 receptors in the central nervous system provides an array of medicinal effects such as relief from nausea, pain, anxiety as well as neuroprotection. In addition, this cannabinoid can effectively bind to CB2 receptors to create a number of distinctive effects on the body and mind.
Delta-8 THC & nausea and appetite
With a strong anti-emetic and appetite stimulant characters, the compound is widely used to help patients undergoing cancer treatment who experience severe nausea. The well-established anti-emetic effects of the cannabinoid have already resulted in several U.S. patents.
The research shows that it is safe for children to consume delta-8 THC. A study involving children of ages 3-13 who were going through cancer treatments found delta-8 THC effectively stopped vomiting without leaving any psychoactive effects.
Delta-8 THC consumption is associated with appetite improvement as well. A scientific study using animal models concluded that the administration of the compound increased appetite in mice. Comparing the results, the study also found that delta-8 THC serves as a more effective appetite stimulant than delta-9 THC.
Delta-8 THC & Cancer treatment
The scientific studies also explored the potential of delta-8 THC against cancer. A study involving mice infected with lung cancer found that administration of the compound for 20 days resulted in the reduction of tumor size. The researchers associated with the study found that cancer treatment of mice with delta-8 THC improved their survival time.
After the promising results of this preliminary research back in 1975, unfortunately, little follow-up research is carried out to show how delta-8 THC can effectively be used to treat in the fight against cancer. Clearly, more research is required to unravel the therapeutic potential of delta-8 and determine effective dose sizes.
Delta-8 THC’s effects on memory
With its ability to usefully interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the central nervous system, this cannabinoid act as an effective neuroprotectant. This characteristic of delta-8 THC may prove an exciting advancement for people battling against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
The scientific research revealed that the administration of delta-8 THC to mice has increased the level of acetylcholine in their brains. The acetylcholine is an important neurotransmitter that plays a key role in learning and memory. Since the reduction in the acetylcholine level in the brain is associated with Alzheimer’s disease, the delta-8 THC is looked upon as an effective treatment with the potential to prevent or even reverse the condition.
Further research is required to further explore such possibilities and develop treatment protocols. Many people believe that delta-8 THC can prove an effective treatment to address symptoms caused by dementia.
Is delta-8 THC legal?
Many people wonder if delta-8 is legal. Being an analogue of delta-9 THC creates confusion about the legal status of delta-8 THC. Since delta-8 is extracted from hemp with frictional distillation process that limits the delta-9 content to a maximum level of 0.3%. According to Farm Bill 2018, cannabis products made from industrial hemp containing less than 0.3% of delta-9 THC are legal. Therefore, it is perfectly fine to purchase, carry, and consume delta-8 THC in all states of the USA.
How to use delta-8 THC
Going through the health benefits of the delta-8 THC if you are convinced of its therapeutic potential and want to give it a try. You first need to note, the cannabinoid occurs in just traces naturally in the cannabis plant. It means you cannot simply get a delta-8 THC strain that can give you noticeable effects of the cannabinoid.
The cannabis enthusiasts can get their hands on the cannabinoid by purchasing products with delta-8 extracts. If you are using this little-known cannabinoid for medical reasons, it is always advised to consult your physician before making any consumption decision. Particularly, when you are already on medication your doctor can best advise you considering possible interaction of the compound with other drugs.
What to expect using delta-8 THC as vape cartridge
Like any other cannabis product, you can consume this little found compound in a number of ways such as you can smoke it, or you can go for oral consumption or alternatively you can give try to sublingual administration.
Whatever consumption method you chose to consume this compound, keeping in view the effects associated with each way of consumption can help you make the best consumption decision and maximize the benefits you can get from the compound.
For example, using its extracts with a vaporizer allows the compound to enter your bloodstream without going through the digestive tract. It would not only ensure you experience its effects very quickly but also get the maximum of it.
The effects that result from smoking its extracts may vary from person to person. Some people using delta-8 THC cartridge have experienced a semi-sedative physical sensation with little mental stimulation. With the body experience calming effects of the distillate creating a classic ‘stoned’ contentment. It stimulates appetite but never manifest as hunger.
It means the consumption of this scarce compound allows users to stay focused and go on about their jobs while having the same soothing experience that one can expect from delta-9 THC.
What to expect using delta-8 as tincture/edible
In case you prefer oral administration of this naturally occurring compound, it is pertinent to note you may risk losing the distinctive benefits of this little-found compound. The tinctures and edibles need to pass through the digestive tract before flooding into the bloodstream. The delta-8 is converted into the delta-11 THC during the processing in the digestive tract. Since its analogue delta-9 is also converted into delta-9 THC, therefore users may not experience distinctive benefits of delta-8 THC with oral consumption.
The delta-8 THC is a little-known cannabinoid that occurs naturally in the plant but in traces. Despite its similarity to its analogue cannabinoid – delta-9 THC, it possesses distinctive effects. Given its therapeutic effects and the low psychoactive potential, it can greatly assist those who looking to reap medical benefits without getting high.
Since it is found in traces naturally, therefore, cannabis enthusiasts have to purchase it in the form of products containing its extract. To get maximum therapeutic and other effects, it is better to smoke it using a vape cartridge.