Holistic health care and medicine are ever on the rise throughout the United States and over the past decade, cannabis research and reform have both progressed along with this wellness movement. The cannabis and hemp industries have reached new milestones, with consumers becoming more aware and well-versed with various cannabinoids that can be found in cannabis and hemp plants. From CBD to THC and even to the rarer cannabinoids like CBN, CBG and THCV, consumers are learning more about cannabinoids and how to utilize them for their potentially therapeutic benefits. Cannabinoids can help you reduce stress, manage pain, stimulate appetite, and more.
If you consider yourself a cannabinoid aficionado, you probably know the proper name for THC, the cannabinoid most known for the “high” feeling, is delta-9 THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. But did you know delta-9 is not the only form of THC that can be found in cannabis and hemp plants? There is a new cannabinoid on the rise in the cannabis and hemp industry. Say hello to delta-8 THC.
So, What Is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 THC is one of many naturally occurring cannabinoids found in hemp and cannabis plants. Delta-8 THC occurs in all cannabis and hemp plants in very small concentrations, with most of the delta-8 THC products available being manufactured from hemp plants. Delta-8 THC is a minor cannabinoid in hemp and cannabis plants, meaning it is found less abundantly than major cannabinoids like CBD or delta-9 THC. Delta-8 THC is a relative of delta-9 THC, with a similar molecular structure, but with a few key differences. The two share similar properties, like potentially stimulating appetite, reducing pain or aiding in sleep, but delta-8 THC reportedly exhibits a lower psychoactive impact than delta-9 THC.
How Is Delta-8 Different From Delta-9?
Delta-9 THC is the cannabinoid most associated with cannabis and marijuana. It does contain psychoactive properties through its interaction with the ECS but has also been thought to host a range of potentially therapeutic properties for some users. Nonetheless, with its therapeutic properties being used more widely and legally, delta-9 THC is most known for its ability to get people “high” or intoxicated, and there can be some unwanted side effects.
Some cannabis users have no adverse side effects, but some have reported an increase in anxiety or even paranoia after using. Delta-9 may not be right for you, but delta-8 could offer a solution to those unwanted side effects with its decreased psychoactive capabilities. This key difference in how these cannabinoids can make you feel is based off their slight difference in chemical structure. Delta-8 THC contains the bond on the 8thcarbon chain while delta-9 THC has it on the 9th carbon chain. Though this is a small difference in chemical structure, there is an evident difference in how each impacts the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Delta-8 THC can bind to CB1 receptors within the ECS, but less is known about the bonding with CB2 receptors.
The CB1 receptors in the ECS are thought to regulate the psychoactive effects of THC, so the difference in molecular bond found in delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC is highly relevant for consumers. Users of delta-8 THC have reported similar effects that like of traditional THC, but less amplified. In other words, delta-8 THC could create a desirable middle ground between CBD and traditional THC.
Benefits of Delta-8 THC
The main benefits surrounding delta-8 THC are similar to that of other cannabinoids, possibly aiding in pain relief, as a sleep aid, appetite stimulant and more. The other main draw is the decreased psychoactive aspect of the cannabinoid. The slight variation in chemical structure leads to the dimmed “high” effect, which could be great for those who experienced side effects from using traditional THC. If you are in the market for a product that can still get you feeling good, offer some therapeutic aspect, but without the worry of anxious side effects, delta-8 THC could be for you.