by Khalil Holmes
Hemp is a flower that has grown naturally around the world for thousands of years. Hemp is packed with hundreds of compounds and contains over 100 different cannabinoids. THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is a better-known cannabinoid which is responsible for the high in cannabis, while delta-8-THC is very similar in structure, it reacts in several different ways to its namesake.
Delta-8-THC is one of the four most common cannabinoids found in cannabis Sativa. Although very similar to its psychoactive Delta-9-THC, it certainly does have some key differences, but first what is Delta-8-THC
Very similar to cannabidiol ( CBD ) Delta-8-THC is chemically different by only a couple of atomic bonds to Delta-9-THC. This is the reason why processors have found refining ways to convert CBD into Delta-8-THC. This cannabinoid only exists naturally in fractions of a percentage in the flower of cannabis Sativa, but still offers a potent high when consumed. As with many other compounds found in cannabis, there are many potential medical benefits of this cannabinoid. It may be used as an antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulator, analgesic, and also has neuroprotective properties.
Although it also connects to CB1 receptors it is half as strong as delta-9-THC, thus lowering the potency psychotropic effects. This makes delta-8-THC very effective for both the recreational and medical markets.
Unlike THC which primarily binds with CB1 receptors in the brain and CBD which agitates the CB2 receptors in the immune system. Delta-9-THC connects to both receptors and works similarly as THC.
The 2018 Farm Bill clearly states that all cannabinoids, isomers, and derivatives found in hemp are legal provided that the final products contain less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC.
Because delta-8-THC is an analogue precursor THC and closely resembles CBD, companies can make this cannabinoid through extraction, isolation, conversion, and the refinement of dried hemp flower.
Because of its lower potency, meaning, less psychoactivity delta-8-THC provides fewer anxiety effects than delta-9-THC. Because the cannabinoids provide the same effects with lower potency, researchers are digging deep into studies surrounding this cannabinoid.
Experts tend to agree that delta-8-THC provides a mild sedative effect without the mental euphoria. Meaning users may experience the soothing effects of traditional THC while staying focused on their jobs at hand.
Antiemetic – A study completed in Jerusalem during 1995 saw a remarkable improvement in children suffering from nausea after cancer treatments. Interestingly the children did not experience any psychoactive effects. (1)
Appetite-Stimulator – A 2004 study conducted on mice showed improvement of appetite using a treatment of delta-8-THC. (2)
Pain relief – THC is well known for its pain-relieving effects. Delta-8-THC has the same effects, without the psychoactive cerebral effects.
Anxiolytic – Delta-8 can produce less potent effects than its counterpart, without the anxiety and paranoia-inducing effects of delta-9-THC.
Neuroprotectant – This may an exciting prospect for neural diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. A 1987 study showed promising results in mice when treated with delta-8-THC, especially the increase in the level of acetylcholine produced in the brain. This neurotransmitter plays a key function in learning and memory abilities of humans. (3)
Stability and efficacy of this fairly new cannabinoid are very exciting indeed. Because the isolation and legal red tape surrounding this cannabinoid has been relaxed, we are sure to be hearing more about this cannabinoid in the future.