Delta-8 THC: What is it and why do I want it?
What exactly is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 THC is an isomer of CBD, which is a derivative of hemp and CBD, a cannabinoid found in hemp, and is found in products with less than 0.3% Delta-9-THC. In other words, Delta 8 THC is sort of a middle ground between hemp, CBD and THC-Delta-9.
We’ve all heard of Delta-9 THC (or marijuana). This is the specific cannabinoid that results in heavy psychoactive effects; in layman’s terms, it gets you “high”.
You can extract Delta-9 from marijuana and hemp. But, what not many people know is that Delta-8 can be extracted from the hemp plant.
According to The National Cancer Institute, Delta-8 THC is defined as “an analogue of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties.” They also stated that “this agent exhibits a lower psychotropic potency than Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-9-THC), the primary form of THC found in cannabis.”
Delta-8 has been scientifically researched since 1974. Scientists used 3 different cannabinoids on mice (Delta-9, Delta-8 and CBD). The test was conducted by the National Cancer Institute and the discovery opened up many doors to further research into cannabinoids effect on the human body. The researchers, under the impression that any marijuana plant derivative was supposed to harm the immune system, learned that the results were just the opposite. There was an inkling in the resulting data that Delta-8 had cancer-killing properties.
Over the years of research, it’s been shown that Delta-9 and Delta-8 have very prominent cancer tumor shrinking properties. Specifically, a combination of Delta-9 THC and Delta-8 THC retarded growth in tumors of mice. CBD had no effect.
How will Delta-8 THC affect me?
The effects of Delta-8 THC vary from person to person, but the average experience could best be explained by imagining combining the best parts of CBD and Delta 9 THC. It is relaxing, mood-boosting, pleasantly euphoric yet clear headed and not overwhelmingly intoxicating. In lower doses, Delta-8 is motivating/energizing to some, and in higher doses Delta-8 is extreme body relaxation and sleep-inducing to others.
With appropriate dosing, users report feeling far more functional and active on Delta-8 THC versus Delta-9 THC. D8 THC also appears to be more medicinal than both CBD and Delta 9 THC.
If inhaled through a vape cartridge the effects of Delta 8 THC appear within seconds to a few minutes. The effective duration can last as long as 5 hours with peak effects typically starting to decrease after 30 minutes to 2.5 hours depending on the individual. The higher the purity of Delta-8 THC oil and the fewer cannabinoids like CBD and CBG, the quicker the onset and higher the intensity of effects.
If consumed orally (gummies or tincture), Delta-8 THC can take anywhere between 45 minutes and 4 hours to peak, with effects lasting as long as 12 hours. This is much longer than typically observed with Delta-9 THC and has the potential to be exceptional and convenient as a cannabis treatment with the possibility of as little as 2 doses being necessary for a full daylong treatment.
In small doses Delta-8 does not have the “mental haziness” of Delta-9 THC. But, in larger doses, there is a significant chance of becoming “high”. But, it’s a different uplift. Many users have reported still being able to function better under a Delta-8 high compared to a Delta-9 high.
Negative effects can include drowsiness, upset stomach, dry mouth, red eyes, and headache. These effects can be limited or eliminated based on your body’s reaction to Delta-8. You will have to do some trial and error sessions to find your sweet spot.
Will I fail a drug test using Delta-8?
In a word, ABSOLUTELY. Since Delta-8, molecularly, is so close to it’s cousin Delta-9, you will definitely test positive for THC. If you’re in a career or job that requires you to take random drug tests, we highly suggest you avoid Delta-8 or Delta-9.
Any medicinal properties of Delta-8?
Since cannabis isn’t federally legal (just various states), there hasn’t been any federally sanctioned research and testing of cannabis and hemp on the human body. Most of what we know today are from small university sanctioned research. But, this isn’t to say that there isn’t anecdotal and positive feedback from the populous.
These are some of the findings that Delta-8 can help with physical ailments.
D8 shows anti-anxiety properties to D9 (US National Library of Medicine). Due to the lack of clinical research on it’s anti-anxiety properties, plenty of anecdotal reports show a result of a very calm, focused high that is not associated with anxiety.
The nausea fighting potential of Delta-8-THC was reported in a 1995 study published in “Life Sciences.” The study followed eight pediatric cancer patients over two years and found that no vomiting occurred when patients ingested delta-8-THC before and for 24 hours after cancer treatment. The study reported very few side effects.
Research has shown that mice who were administered D8 over the course of a 50-day period, exhibited food intake up 22% than normal. Since D8 is so closely linked to D9, is it a wonder why they “got the munchies”?
Pain and Inflammation
A preclinical study in 2018, showed that D8 helped to reduce pain and inflammation of corneal injury in mice. The research also showed that topically applied D8 assisted in pain reduction and reduced inflammation through the body’s CB1 receptors.
Is Delta-8 legal?
Delta-8 THC was made legal by H.R. 2: The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, commonly referred to as the 2018 Farm Bill. It was specifically made legal when hemp allowed for all derivatives, isomers, and cannabinoids of hemp that were not Delta 9 THC.
Up to that point, Delta-8 THC had been illegal and was specifically named in the Controlled Substances Act. However, in addition to making all hemp cannabinoids, isomers, and derivatives legal, H.R. 2 specifically includes text to remove all confusion between laws by amending the Controlled Substances Act to exclude Delta 8 THC from hemp.
Delta 8-THC is federally legal and legal in most states, but it is not legal in all states. D8 THC is legal in most states that have hemp laws mirroring H.R. 2, however not all states do this. Some states specifically exclude D8 THC or have laws that do not specifically make all cannabinoids, isomers, and derivatives of hemp legal, creating a grey area for the compound.
What Delta-8 products are available?
These are the staples of the marijuana industry and continue in the hemp industry.
As with CBD, given enough time, there will be many more D8 products on the market including topicals, drinkables, and possibly for pets.
There are plenty of people out there that have tried and have been disappointed by the promise of relief from CBD. This isn’t to say that CBD doesn’t work for anyone. Due to the booming trend of CBD sales and it appearing almost everywhere, there is some evidence that CBD does have its medicinal properties for some.
D8 is for the people who
- Don’t have access to D9 (because of state regulations)
- Aren’t benefiting from the effects of CBD
- Want to be relaxed and calm without the associated anxiety that D9 sometimes results
- Need relief from the above mentioned medicinal properties