Delta 8 THC is a cannabinoid produced naturally in the body when it metabolizes Delta 9 THC. Delta 8 THC is more potent than Delta 9 THC but less psychoactive. In other words, it's not as likely to make you feel high as Delta 9 THC does. However, because of this difference in potency and effects on the user, many medical professionals believe that it may be an effective treatment for conditions such as severe pain or nausea without having to worry about feeling "high."
Read on to learn more about Delta 9's little brother: Delta 8!
What is the difference between Delta 8 and Delta 9?
Delta 8 THC is a cannabinoid that occurs naturally as an intermediate in the metabolism of Delta 9 (Δ9) -THC, another infamous compound known for being found in marijuana. While it has nearly identical structural properties to Δ9-THC, it is capable of producing different physiological effects.
Research shows that Delta 8 THC comprises only a tiny fraction (less than 5%) of the total cannabinoids found in cannabis. In other words, Delta 8 is another cannabinoid, but one that is rarer than Δ9-THC. Still, this does not make it any less important for the marijuana plant and its effects on those who consume it.
What are the Medical Uses of Delta 8 THC?
Delta 8 THC is a cannabinoid that is similar (but not identical) to Δ9-THC in terms of its potency and effects on the user. Because of these similarities, many medical professionals believe that Delta 8 THC could have some uses associated with reducing nausea and pain. Research has shown that Delta 8 could be helpful in patients who are suffering from inflammation. Reducing nausea and pain is one of the most integral parts of getting through challenging medical situations and recovering from them.
How is Delta 8 Produced?
Delta 8 in its natural form is a very fragile compound and is not readily produced in the body on its own when Delta 9 THC is metabolized. However, if it is ingested and passes through the liver, Delta 8 can be formed. As mentioned earlier, this cannabinoid occurs naturally at a rate of about 5% amongst all cannabinoids found in cannabis. It has also been shown to occur more commonly in Sativa strains (known for their energizing effects) than in indica strains (which are known as being more sedative).
Delta 8 is also sold in the form of extracts. Because of the problems associated with isolating Δ9-THC from marijuana, only small quantities of Δ8 have been obtained. However, recent studies have shown several ways for scientists to synthesize this metabolite in larger amounts.
Most medical marijuana patients won't even have access to this extract because of its rarity in nature and the price that comes with it.
What are the Effects of Delta 8 THC?
Users of Delta-8 THC have reported that it provides them with feelings of calmness and relaxation. Instead of feeling high, some have also said that they feel more clear-headed and focused.
This is because Delta 8 THC has produced a different set of effects than the more common Delta 9 THC. For instance, it does not appear to work directly with the brain's cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). Instead, it binds to other sites on the receptors and then triggers a cascade of actions inside the cell.
Many studies still need to be carried out on Delta 8 THC before we can make any definitive claims about its properties.
It seems like a solid alternative to intoxicating strains for pain relief, which also has the added benefit of not causing nausea or drowsiness in some patients. Delta 8 THC could provide a lot to those looking for relief from their symptoms without any side effects. Keep an eye out for more studies on this one-of-a-kind endocannabinoid!