Delta 8 THC
If you have ever used cannabis either for recreational or medical purposes, you probably have heard of CBD and THC. The former is credited for several therapeutic and medicinal effects, while the latter is best known for its psychotropic properties. Unknown to many users, CBD and THC are just two of the 144 discovered cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. Some other rarely talked about cannabinoids include CBG, CBC, and THCV.
The psychoactive effect of delta-9-THC is well-documented, and it is basically the only compound that comes to mind whenever the 'high' influence of cannabis is being discussed. Like many people, you are not alone if you think D9 is the only compound with a psychoactive effect in cannabis. A relatively new kid on the block, which can be aptly referred to as its cousin, is delta-8-THC.
While D9 is often available in a significant quantity in cannabis and hemp, delta-8-THC is present in these plants in trace amounts, well below 1%. For commercial usage, the new famed THC is obtained through several processes: extraction, distillation, isolation, synthesizing, and refining to get a substantial concentration of the cannabinoid. Despite the apparent resemblance in structure and similar effects with the famous THC, Delta-8-THC comes with its own unique and exciting results. Let's dive into the qualities that make the compound an appealing prospect for medicinal as well as recreational use, benefits, how to lay your hands on it, and more.
What is delta 8?
The difference between Delta-8 and Delta-9 is subtle: Both are psychoactive, but Delta 8 is about half as potent as Delta-9. Many people say that Delta-8 is a smoother, less anxious experience with no paranoia compared to Delta-9. It also seems to have more medicinal effects than regular THC, such as better pain relief.
Delta-8-THC is often regarded as the analog of delta-9-THC. The degradation of D9, often after a long time of storage, yields D8 rather than cannabinoid synthesizing enzymes like other cannabinoids. As expected, they are similar in structure and properties. Currently, there has been only limited research on its medicinal benefits and effects. The findings and anecdotal evidence with delta-9-THC give us a good insight into this exciting cannabinoid and its works. The little yet significant difference between the two isomers stems from double in each compound. Delta-8 has it on the 8th carbon while it is on the 9th carbon in delta 9.
Like most other cannabinoids, the origin of delta-8 can be traced to cannabigerol acid (CBGA). First, delta-9 is formed and later degraded to delta-8 through decarboxylation. The process can be replicated to produce consistent and higher quantities through CO2 extraction and biochemical synthesis. On its part, it does not oxidize. It is stable, making it great for pharmacological use.
As stated by the National Cancer Institute, delta-8 is an analog of THC. Its properties include anxiolytic, analgesic, antiemetic, appetite-stimulating, and neuroprotective. Apart from the less psychotropic property, it has no dreaded side effects of delta-9, such as anxiety and paranoia.
What is the difference between delta-8 and delta-9?
The difference between delta-9-THC and delta-8-THC can be traced to the slight variation in their chemical structures. Both isomers have a double bond on a carbon chain. As it can be deduced from their names, the more known isomer has a double bond on the 9th carbon, delta-8 contains a double bond on the 8th carbon. The small variation makes a world of difference in how these cannabinoids interact with the human brain and body. It determines how they bind with the body's endocannabinoid receptors and subsequent effects on the body.
Delta-9 primarily triggers the CB1 receptor of the endocannabinoid system, while delta-8 acts on both the CB1 and CB2 receptors. As a result of much stronger bonds between its chains, delta-8 has a stable and prolonged shelf life. That characteristic makes it a more suitable compound for medicinal use as it is not susceptible to degradation.
The most apparent difference for cannabis users is the experience is the 'high' experience of these two cannabinoids. Delta-8 has been found to give similar but less intense and functionality-impairing than delta-9.
What states is Delta-8 legal in?
For many people, the legal status of delta-8 is confusing at best. Technically, it is legal to use the compound either for recreational or therapeutic benefits. That is made possible thanks to the Farm bill passed in 2018. Before that, all hemp and marijuana were outlawed in all 50 states in America.
According to the federal law, all cannabis plants containing less than 0.3% of Delta-9-THC are removed from illegal substances and available for all types of uses. With that law, hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) and its derivatives, including other THC forms, specifically delta-8, are open to being purchased and used across all states.
With all that said, the fact that delta-8 is allowed federally does not make it legal in your state. The law covering the selling, buying, and using of cannabis and its derivatives varies from state to state and overrides the federal law. The bill also gives the states or Indian tribes the freedom to have primary regulation over the sales and use of hemp and its derivatives and deciding the right testing procedure for the concentration of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.
Currently, the manufacture, sales, and use of delta-8-THC are legal in 38 states. Therefore producing, selling, or possession is technically legal in your States, except if you reside in Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Arkansas, Montana, California, Colorado, Delaware, Nevada, Iowa, Nebraska, Idaho, or Mississippi.
Where can I buy delta-8?
Now that you know the legal status where you live, the next step is to choose the best and reputable manufacturers or retailers to get safe premium quality D8. Many online delta-8-THC stores claim to have the best varieties. But if you truly want the best quality, it is best to source only from a manufacturer or store that uses only organically grown hemp.
Also, the manufacturing process is non-negotiable. Ensure your delta-8 products are from a manufacturer with a GMP certified state-of-the-art facility and also conducts multiple lab tests on all their products. These tests should be verifiable by a reputable third party to not contain impurities, microbes, pesticides, and unneeded cannabinoids.
Besides purchasing high-quality products from a licensed store, it is essential to know other ingredients in your delta-8 product and their thresholds, particularly THC, in your chosen brand. Remember, for any product to be legal, it must contain 0.3 percent delta-9. Delta-8 is packaged in retail-ready products that include vape, tincture, cartridge, distillate, gummies, and so on.
How is delta-8 made?
As mentioned earlier, the compound is found in cannabis plants in a small fraction of percent that is not enough for commercial production and usage. Naturally, D9 is degraded into delta-8-THC at an elevated temperature over a very lengthy period. Companies are finding ways of extracting the cannabinoid in the right concentrations to maximize its unique effects and benefits. Over the years, there have been several methods of extracting and recipes for converting the most abundant cannabinoid CBD to delta-9 and delta-8-THC.
One such is the isomerization method created by Dr. Mechoulam was patented in 2004. It has to be said that the extraction method has been around and used underground for decades.
For the curious cannabis users, isomerization involves breaking down CBD molecules and rearranging the atoms to form another molecule. In this case, up to 54% of delta-8-THC is derived from CBD using glacial acetic acid and H2SO4. That is possible because CBD shares the same atoms with both delta-9 and delta-8-THC.
However, advancement in technology has given birth to several other methods that include distillation breeding and molecular isolation. Another widely used technique by manufacturers in the industry is thin-film distillation. This process can yield a delta-8 distillate of 80% concentration and even over 99% when further distilled.
It is worthy of knowing that the making of a quality delta-8 starts from cultivating legal and top-quality cannabis flower (with a 03% D9 content) from rich, pesticide-free soil.
Image of Stardust Diesel Delta 8 CBD Flower
How does delta-8 work?
Like the sister cousin, delta-8-THC works by binding with cannabinoid receptors of the body's endocannabinoid system. Though more research is needed to understand how this cannabinoid interacts with the human body, we can infer based on our knowledge of delta-9-THC. Due to the similarities in their chemical and physical structures, it is expected for these two THC to have close yet slightly distinctive effects due to the presence of double bonds in different locations.
The human endocannabinoid system has two receptors CB1 and CB2. The CB1 receptors are found predominantly in the brain. CB2 receptors are located in the rest of the body, particularly the digestive and the immune system. Physiologically, these receptors are triggered by the body's natural cannabinoids such as anandamide and 2-AG. It is the body's way of maintaining equilibrium and regulating its functioning.
Delta-8-THC binds with both CB1 and CB2 but has more affinity for the former, located in the immune and digestive system. That explains why the cannabinoids have been acclaimed by few studies and tons of anecdotal evidence to have several health benefits but less psychoactive effects than delta-9-THC.
What are the effects and benefits of Delta-8-THC?
The numerous health benefits attributed to delta-8-THC stems from its affinity with the CB2 receptors. Admittedly, recreational users of cannabis are after the legendary euphoria of THC, which results from its binding readily with the CB1 receptors in the brain. Due to its less interaction with the CB1 receptors in the brain, consuming D8 extracts can get you high but not to the extent of the other THC. Researchers have aptly termed it as a great blend of CBD and delta-9-THC for its benefits and clear-headed experience yet without paranoia and anxiety. Talk about eating a cake and still having it. Let's take a look at some of the acclaimed benefits of the cannabinoid backed by studies.
- Stimulates appetite
A study conducted and published in Pharmacol biochem in 2004 showed that a small quantity of Delta-8-THC could increase food consumption and cognitive function. Though the research was conducted with mice, several anecdotal testimonies have suggested that the compound has the same effect on humans.
- Eliminates nausea
The antiemetic effect of Delta-8 is well-documented based on a study in 1995. The cannabinoid was administered to children between 3 and 13 years undergoing chemotherapy for varying hematologic cancer. A success rate of 100% of reducing nausea in 480 patients was recorded with negligible side effects.
- Increase in brain function
Research has suggested that the compound triggers an increase in the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. The neurotransmitter is touted for enhancement in memory, arousal, cognition, and neuroplasticity. These neuroprotective properties suggest a renewed hope for those suffering from depression and Alzheimer's, a condition linked with a low rate of acetylcholine.
- Relieves pain
Several researchers and everyday users have observed delta-8 like other phytocannabinoids such as CBD to relieve pain at varying degrees. According to the Cannabinoid and Cannabis Research Journal of 2018, phytocannabinoids, including delta-8, possess analgesic properties that are great for anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive use.
- Fights anxiety and attack
As already stated, delta-8 binds majorly with the CB1 receptor in the body to boost the functioning of the immune system. Its ability to interact with the CB2 receptor in the brain minimally gives it an anxiolytic property to regulate pain and anxiety and combat stress.
How do you find a quality delta-8 product?
The cannabis market is flooded with varieties of delta-8-THC. Unsurprisingly, all brands claim to have the best product in the market. But we know not all adhere to the highest industry standard. And not all products are made with the latest extraction technology in line with the GMP facility certification and from the best organically sourced hemp strain.
When choosing a quality delta-8 product, you have a good number of options. You first need to consider the types of Delta-8 products you want to use based on your preferences. Almost every reputable in the US sells their D8 extract in different forms. The most popular options include Gummies, Cartridges, Tinctures, and Delta-8 oil.
An obvious method of finding quality products online is to type "delta 8 products near me" into your web browser. After a few seconds, you will get a list of stores selling ranges of Delta-8 products around your location. It is always tempting to pick one of the first websites you come across. But don't. We strongly suggest that you check the product description and other pages for informational pieces about the brand and its products. That is the least you can do; to know the quality and potency of your stuff before putting it into your body. After that, you should read customer's reviews to know what to expect.
Different forms of Delta-8 and which is the best for you
As delta-8 is becoming increasingly popular among both THC and CBD users, the leading manufacturers continue to devise innovative, convenient forms of consumption in addition to the true and tested options. Let's check some of the most popular methods of consumption to help you make an informed buying decision.
A tincture is a method of taking delta-8-THC orally. To enjoy the benefits of D8 tincture, you place a drop or two under your tongue for a few minutes. It mostly comes with addictive or flavor for ease of use and other effects.
Are you looking to experience the organic experience of delta-8 alongside other cannabinoids and terpenes? Delta-8 flower is the way to go. It is simply adding a dash of the cannabinoid to a hemp flower. Again, it would be best if you did your research to know what you are consuming.
Image of Delta 8 CBD Flower - Cookies & Cheesecake
Delta 8 Moon Rocks
Imagine Bubba Kush CBD Flower soaked in terpene infused Delta 8 distilate then rolled in high concentrated Sour Diesel CBD Kief. That my friends is what you call a Moon Rock!
What are Delta 8 Moon Rocks?
Click on this link for everything You Need to Know About Delta 8 Moon Rocks
For obvious reasons, many people prefer to consume it by eating. Edibles are convenient and tasty. If you don't mind waiting for some time for the full effect to kick in, delta-8 gummies are your best bet to consume the proper dosage.
Image of Delta 8 Vegan Gummies - Green Apple & Strawberry
Vaping is the most hassle-free way of enjoying the compound while engaging your sensory organ. Delta-8 cartridges often contain distillate oil with other cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes in a legal hemp plant.
Many people want to get high but without the disillusion associated with delta-9-THC. For such consumers, delta-8-THC provides the right bridge between several of the health benefits of CBD and the euphoria of THC but is controlled and less intense. If that sounds perfect to you, it is time to start the pleasurable yet beneficial delta-8 journey. Besides its current favorable legal status, the cannabinoid has a good number of known pros than cons. However, before you make your first or next purchase, it is recommended that you start with a small dosage and increase gradually with time. Also, we implore you to patronize a legal, reputable store and manufacturers with detailed and certified third-party lab test results.