The legalization of marijuana is spreading all over the U.S. and the whole world. Thanks to this, people can now enjoy the many medical benefits it offers.
Marijuana has various chemical compounds that produce these effects. However, they also produce some side effects that made the plant illegal in the first place.
Now that we can look more into these compounds, we can now derive the more helpful ones. That’s why we can now differentiate CBD from THC.
Another cannabinoid is getting the spotlight, though. Delta 8 THC is a derivative of THC, and it’s showing its potential for treating certain conditions. Keep on reading to learn its many health benefits.
What is Delta 8 THC?
Does Delta 9 THC ring a bell? If it doesn’t, that’s because people often refer to it as THC.
It’s the main psychoactive component of cannabis. When people talk about THC’s ability to make you high, they’re talking about Delta 9.
It’s one of the hundreds of compounds found in cannabis, and it’s a derivative of THC. In those matters, it’s like Delta 8 THC.
The differences between the two are small. After all, their name only differs because of the location of a carbon bond on their chains. On Delta 8, it’s on the eighth chain, and on Delta 9, it’s on the ninth chain.
That seems like a tiny difference, right? However, it’s enough to change the way they affect your body.
One main difference is that Delta 8 THC doesn’t get you high as Delta 9 does. For many, it only gives them a smooth high.
Researchers are looking more into its potential to become another medical marvel. Like CBD, it’s proving to do more good than harm. Click here to learn more about it.
How It Works
We all have cannabinoid receptors all over our bodies. They’re a part of the endocannabinoid system.
It regulates and affects many of the natural responses of our bodies. This includes pain, emotions, mood, and stress
This is why cannabinoids like THC, CBD, and the Delta derivatives affect us. They bind to the receptors to produce helpful and even unwanted reactions.
THC forms stronger bonds with CB1 receptors than CB2 receptors. Delta 9, in particular, binds well with CB1 receptors. However, Delta 8 isn’t as successful with bonding.
This might be the reason why Delta 8 THC is less psychoactive than its cousin. Rather, it produces gentler psychotropic effects. It’s usually around 50% less potent—sometimes up to 10% in this area.
Is Delta 8 THC Safe?
Although Delta 8 can be more potent than Delta 9 in some beneficial ways, it’s still less potent overall. It has an estimated potency of about 2/3rds its THC cousin because of the way it binds to the brain.
Still, users report a “high” feeling when consuming Delta 8. After all, it’s a derivative of THC, so it’s bound to have stimulating effects on the brain.
It’s much milder, though, similar to how you might feel after a glass of wine. Because of this, it doesn’t have some of the effects that you might not like about THC.
For one, it doesn’t give you anxiety, paranoia, and psychosis tied to high doses of marijuana. It’s also less sedating and more energizing. Delta 8 produces the opposite effects of Delta 9 because of its altered structure.
Delta 9 can still be therapeutic, though, as it can have the same medical benefits. However, the therapeutic window is too narrow.
In too high doses, it can produce unwanted effects. In too low doses, it might not produce health benefits. The sweet spot between too high and too low is the therapeutic window.
Delta 8 THC has a wider window because it doesn’t bind that well to the CB1 receptors. This might be the reason why people report more of its medical benefits rather than the bad side effects.
Health Benefits of Delta 8 THC
The potential of Delta 8 THC is coming to light thanks to more research about this chemical. At the moment, we could use some more research, but people are already feeling its benefits.
Studies from the National Cancer Institute showed that Delta 8 THC has many beneficial properties. It’s neuroprotective, appetite-stimulating, antiemetic, analgesic, and anxiolytic. Let’s break those down and more below.
Antiemetics are drugs that help prevent or relieve nausea and vomiting. They work against these symptoms caused by motion sickness, pregnancy, infections, and such.
Many types of antiemetics are available over-the-counter or by prescription. They vary depending on the cause of nausea. In general, they work by blocking neurotransmitters.
These are chemical messengers that send the signal of nausea to the brain. By blocking these, antiemetics can stop the feeling of nausea.
Delta 8 THC works the same way. This isn’t a shocking discovery, though, as THC has long proven itself in preventing nausea. Delta 9 THC, in particular, has strong antiemetic properties.
Delta 8 THC doesn’t have the psychoactive properties the other has. For that reason, it’s more preferable for use in treatments. It can even be appropriate for children, like in a study published in Pharmacol Biochem in 2004.
The study consisted of THC given to children aged 8 to 13 years old. The subjects of this study were children undergoing treatments for various cancers. The researchers found it to have prevented vomiting caused by chemotherapy completely.
Even the U.S. government has a patent on the antiemetic properties of Delta 8. It found that the cannabinoid is 200 times more effective than its cousin, Delta 9.
Delta 8 THC is both safer and more effective than Delta 9 THC as an antiemetic. The side effects were minimal, as well, so patients can enjoy its benefits without worries.
One worry a user may have when taking Delta 9 for medicinal purposes is an increase in anxiety. Those who aren’t a stranger to cannabis know about paranoia and other unwanted side effects.
Delta 8 THC, however, works the opposite way. It has anxiolytic properties, which means it’s anti-anxiety.
An anxiolytic is any medication or treatment used for reducing anxiety. It targets key messengers in the brain to balance the chemicals associated with your ability to relax and your sense of well-being.
Some anxiolytics you might be familiar with are Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and so on. Their primary purpose is to treat anxiety disorders.
While Delta 8 isn’t yet at the level of anti-anxiety medications on the market, it can still help you relax. Because of its anxiolytic properties, even children can enjoy its benefits without anxiety.
Although you might still experience a “high,” you still have a clear head. It can help you relax rather than rile you up.
At the same, you feel motivated enough to do things rather than feel lethargic. If this is a side effect you don’t like about taking marijuana, you can try a Delta 8 THC flower instead.
A characteristic that marijuana is famous for is its ability to give you munchies. When consuming it, you get cravings for food, even the unusual ones.
That’s why there’s such a thing as stoner food. Doritos, Oreos, frozen pizza, French fries, are all typical cravings of cannabis users.
It’s no surprise that Delta 8 has this effect, as well. It stimulates the appetite as it has a strong effect on the CB2 receptors in the digestive system. This might be why it’s better than Delta 9 at this, too.
In a 2004 study, scientists treated rodents with low doses of THC Delta 8. The effect, as expected, is an enhanced appetite and improved cognitive function.
Even at low doses, it proved to be more potent than Delta 9. Plus, it didn’t show any cannabimimetic effects.
This sets a good precedent for the use of Delta 8 THC in the treatment of weight disorders. The side effects should be minimal, as well.
Researchers also found Delta 8 THC to have analgesic effects. As such, it can help relieve pain.
The analgesics we know today are medications like Tylenol, ibuprofen, and even opioids. In recent years, however, the use of cannabis for pain relief began to skyrocket.
Many people use it to manage chronic pain or pain caused by an illness. Some attest that it’s as effective as opioids, while others say it’s the only thing that works for them.
Research is still ongoing about cannabis-based therapies. However, many who self-medicate can use it in different forms. There are balms, edibles, tinctures, and more that are now available in the legal market.
Delta 8 THC is one of them. Reports show that this cannabinoid is effective in treating neuropathic and inflammatory pain. Still, some have found it to be effective in other types of pain.
THC helps relieve pain by activating the cannabinoid receptors in the nerve cells. When this happens, the sensation of pain reduces.
It has anti-inflammatory effects, too. This can provide relief from pain caused by autoimmune diseases. The relaxing properties of Delta 8 may also help the way we perceive pain.
Because of its neuroprotective properties, Delta 8 can help protect our brain cells. In the rat study above, another effect showed improved cognitive function.
Both Delta 8 and Delta 9 help increase the acetylcholine levels in the body. This is a chemical associated with neuroplasticity, memory, cognition, and arousal. It’s an important discovery as Alzheimer’s disease involves declining levels of this neurotransmitter.
What happens when combined with its ability to regulate the transmission of neuronal messages? It strengthens the communication of the different parts of the brain.
Consuming it on a regular basis may aid in the prevention or reduction of memory loss. With further research, it may play a key role in slowing down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
A study in 2013 found Delta 8 THC to also have antitumor properties. This study involved Delta 9 THC and another compound called cannabinol. It observed the cannabinoids’ effect on Lewis lung adenocarcinoma cells.
The cannabinoids showed to inhibit tumor growth in vitro and in vivo. They also affected the angiogenesis of other tumors. This gives hope for more cannabinoid-based strategies for antitumoral therapies.
Is Delta 8 THC Legal?
Some cannabis products are still illegal, but Delta 8 THC is legal thanks to the Farm Bill. Just because it’s a derivative of THC doesn’t mean it’s illegal.
People tend to think that everything THC is illegal because they only know marijuana. However, marijuana is only one of the many types of cannabis.
The Agriculture Act of 2018 legalized the production of hemp. This allowed people to start selling hemp-derived products.
As a bit of a background, the federal law didn’t differentiate hemp from other cannabis plants. It grouped hemp with marijuana. As you know, this was illegal (and still is in some states) under the Controlled Substances Act in 1970.
Hemp and marijuana have similar genetic makeup. Yet, they’re still different plants.
The Farm Bill eased the restrictions a bit by differentiating cannabis plants with only 0.3% of THC. This means hemp can’t contain more THC than that. Otherwise, it would be illegal as it would be now considered to be non-hemp.
To answer the question, Delta 8 THC should be legal. As long as it’s hemp-derived, you shouldn’t come into trouble with the law, depending on your state. Try to check first with the company; if it doesn’t ship to your state, chances are it’s still illegal where you are.
Find High-Quality Delta 8 THC Near You
To enjoy the benefits of Delta 8 THC, you must ensure the quality of the product after confirming its legal status in your state. Cannabinoids can be helpful but only if you do your part.
After all, cannabis is still a touchy subject. Many people also take advantage of fewer restrictions to earn. Be vigilant and protect your health.
If you want to learn more about cannabinoids and related drugs, visit our website.