Delta-8 is Hemp’s newest, highly sought after derivative made from CBD rich cultivars. But unlike CBD, Delta 8 will make you feel high.
Is It Naturally Occurring?
Delta-8 THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is a naturally occurring cannabinoid in cannabis (hemp and marijuana) and is commonly abbreviated as Delta-8 THC, Δ8THC, Δ8, D8, D8 THC, and D8THC. It’s an isomer (defined as each of two or more compounds with the same formula but a different arrangement of atoms in the molecule and different properties) of both CBD and Delta-9 THC.
Is It Just Like Delta 9?
Delta 8 THC exists naturally and can also be produced by converting CBD or Delta 9 THC via a chemical reaction typically using heat, altered pH environments, and/or solvents.
When consumed or inhaled, Delta-8 can cause euphoria, relaxation, pain relief along with giddiness, and an increase in creativity. In other words, Delta 8 causes most or all of the effects commonly associated with the regular form of THC.
The chemical differences between the two forms of THC are very small, and they both interact with receptors in our brain within our endocannabinoid system.
How To Use Delta 8
Even though their effects are very different, Delta-8 products are used in the same way as CBD. Most commonly, you’ll find tinctures, edibles (such as gummies), and vape cartridges.
When it comes to dosing, we highly recommend that you “start low and go slow.” Begin with a very low dose, especially if you are inexperienced as Delta-8’s effects are much different from CBD’s effects.
Is Delta-8 Legal?
Yes, it is, but please take a moment to read our full disclaimer.
Delta 8 THC is federally legal and legal in most states in the USA thanks to H.R. 2: The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the 2018 Farm Bill.
The 2018 Farm Bill specifically made all derivatives, isomers, and cannabinoids from hemp legal, provided the final product has less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC. For reference, Delta 8 THC is an isomer of CBD, a derivative of hemp and CBD, a cannabinoid found in hemp, and is ultimately contained in our extracts with less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC.
To note, the Federal Analogue Act, which is part of the Controlled Substances Act, has Delta 8 THC is listed. This is where the 2018 Farm Bill is especially helpful, as it also includes an amendment to the Controlled Substances Act, explicitly removing all tetrahydrocannabinols derived from industrial hemp.
Delta-8-THC's medical potential
A range of preclinical and clinical studies are uncovering some of the unique properties and therapeutic potential of delta-8-THC.
Pain and inflammation. A 2018 preclinical study published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research found that delta-8-THC may help to diminish pain and inflammation in corneal injury in mice. The research found that delta-8-THC, applied topically, assisted in pain reduction, and reduced inflammation through its effects on the CB1 receptors. Another preclinical study on rats reported that delta-8-THC delivers pain relief, but that tolerance to the cannabinoid developed rapidly.
Anxiety. According to the US National Library of Medicine, delta-8-THC displays anxiety-reducing qualities similar to delta-9-THC. Anecdotal reports claim that the consumption of delta-8-THC results in a calm, focused high, but we need more clinical research into its anti-anxiety potential before drawing any conclusions.
Nausea. 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.
Lose of appetite. Delta-8-THC may also help stimulate the appetite. Research conducted on mice and published in 2004 in Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior found that a low dose of delta-8-THC administered to mice over 50 days resulted in a 22% increase in food intake compared with controls. The research also reported that delta-8-THC increased food intake significantly more than delta-9-THC, a known appetite stimulant.
Side effects and warnings
Since it's a minor cannabinoid, we have much more to learn about delta-8-THC, which necessitates a cautious approach toward using it. Presently, the cannabinoid is generally available in concentrated forms, because cannabis flower usually contains less than 1% delta-8-THC.
To acquire a substantial quantity of this cannabinoid, a significant amount of extraction and refinement must take place. While some delta-8-THC concentrates are isolates, other products may combine delta-8-THC with CBD and/or delta-9-THC for a more full-spectrum effect.
If you're thinking about consuming delta-8-THC, it's vital to be aware that a great deal of the current knowledge we have about the cannabinoid is based on animal studies. Research on animals has indicated that delta-8-THC (along with delta-9-THC) resulted in increased blood pressure by temporarily constricting the blood vessels. The rise in blood pressure was then followed by a drop in blood pressure and a slower heart rate.
The effects observed in animals can be very different from the effects observed in humans, as evidenced in a 2018 systematic review published in Pharmaceuticals. For example, while delta-8-THC significantly slowed heart rate in animals, it conversely increased heart rate in humans. The authors of the review concluded that there is limited data about the effects of delta-8-THC, and further studies need to be conducted in human populations to understand how it induces changes in blood flow.
Bottom line: exercise caution when trying delta-8-THC products for the first time.