Delta 8, What’s All the Buzz?
Whether you’re a veteran cannabis consumer or enthusiastic newcomer, you’re probably wise to the fact that THC and CBD aren’t the only therapeutic or psychoactive cannabinoids on the block. THCV, CBN, CBG and CBC are all compounds native to the cannabis plant which have been found to exhibit either medicinal or intoxicating effects that warrant further excavation.
You may not have heard of it, but delta-8 THC is a double-bond isomer of the more common delta-9 THC. While it may not be as strong as delta-9, delta-8 THC is still more than capable of giving an individual a mild psychoactive effect—along with a host of potential therapeutic benefits.
Delta-8-THC occurs in small amounts on hemp plants naturally, but commercial extractors are using selective breeding and molecular isolation to extract concentrates that are abundant in delta-8-THC and other rare cannabinoids.
High-concentration delta-8-THC products such as edibles, capsules and delta-8 extracts have been creeping onto the legal market for several years now. Delta-8-THC is reported to offer a calmer intoxicating effect than marijuana-derived delta-9.
Thanks to the federal government’s Schedule I classification of cannabis, though, clinical studies of the medical benefits of the plant are limited, and research into rare compounds found inside the plant are even more restricted.
What are the potential therapeutic benefits of delta-8-THC?
Delta-8 is capable of connecting to the same CB1 receptor as delta-9 THC would, as well as the CB2 receptor. The National Cancer Institute defines delta-8 THC as “an analogue of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic and neuroprotective properties.”
Antiemetic means it can treat nausea and vomiting, which explains why the participants in the study based in Jerusalem stopped throwing up after taking delta-8 THC. The United States government has a patent on the antiemetic uses of delta-8.
Most cannabinoids share at least one or two of the same potential therapeutic benefits, with their own distinct efficacies in treating specific ailments. Delta-9-THC and CBD both have pain-relieving properties, for example, but where THC alleviates neuropathic pain, CBD has greater efficacy for treating inflammatory pain.
Delta-8 offers many of the same medicinal applications as delta-9, but with varying degrees of effectiveness, depending on the ailment in question. While research into the benefits of delta-8 is limited thus far, the cannabinoid has shown potential in treating cancer, nausea, anxiety, pain and neuroprotection.
How Does Delta-8-THC Make You Feel?
Delta-9-THC is the primary intoxicating component of cannabis, but that doesn’t mean it’s peerless. Though not present enough in most strains of flower to have a more noticeable effect than delta-9, delta-8-THC is also reportedly capable of eliciting psychotropic effects when taken in higher concentrations.
Simply put, delta-8 reportedly offers a milder cannabis psychoactive effect, still potent but with a curbed intensity, at least compared to the effects of the more common delta-9. It may specifically be less likely to elicit the THC effects that make people feel uneasy or uncomfortable.
As with any other new compound that hasn’t been extensively studied, regard delta-8 THC products with caution. And as with any other cannabinoid product, ask careful questions about sourcing, certifications and other quality measures.
We feel delta-8 has a great deal of healing potential but should be handled carefully. As with any new cannabinoid, always start low on your first experience and gauge the effects. Everybody is different, and this particular cannabinoid should be consumed with caution. We advise that consumers should be at least 18 years of age and careful when trying delta-8. A little can go a long way.