An Introduction to Delta-8 THC

As we move forward in the common era, more people are taking notice of the hemp plant and all that it has to offer. While popular cannabinoids, such as Delta-9-THC and CBD controlled the spotlight for years, unbeknownst to many, Delta-9 THC has a beneficial sister.

Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, all derivatives, isomers, and cannabinoids in hemp are legal, if the final product contains less than 0.3% Delta-9-THC. Delta-8-THC is an isomer of CBD, a derivative of hemp and CBD, a cannabinoid found in hemp, and is contained in Delta Effex extracts with less than 0.3% Delta-9-THC. So, where does Delta-8 stand? It’s somewhere in the middle ground between CBD, and Delta-9 THC.

What Is Delta-8-THC

While considered a minor cannabinoid native to the hemp plant, Delta-8-THC is one of the four most important cannabinoids in a series of more than one hundred that occur naturally. It offers outstanding benefits that place it in between both marijuana and hemp, giving users somewhat of common ground between cannabidiols powerful role in easing symptoms, its non-intoxication properties, and Delta-9-THC’s pain control and psychoactive properties.

What is unfortunate is that Delta-8-THC occurs in very small concentrations, whereas CBD (in hemp) and Delta-9 (in marijuana) occur in very high concentrations. This makes Delta-8 THC that much more valuable, especially since it requires a complex process consisting of extraction, isolation, conversion, and refinement.

While Delta-9 THC is certainly the most known cannabinoid within the cannabis plant, it isn’t the only powerful one. It’s true, its beneficial sister, Delta-8 THC, packs just as much heat with several benefits and lower psychotropic potency, which many users may prefer. Though both Delta-9 THC and Delta-8-THC are relatives and present several similarities, there are some important key differences that separate the two.

Delta-8-THC VS Delta-9-THC

To briefly share some of the similarities and differences when comparing Delta-8 THC and Delta- 9THC, we have constructed a small list displaying those most notable.

  • Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC contain double bonds. Delta-8 THC contains the bond on the 8th carbon chain. Delta-9 THC contains the bond on the 9th carbon chain.
  • Both compounds bind to the CB1 receptor, which is responsible for psychotropic effects. However, Delta-8-THC is half as strong as Delta-9 THC when it comes to potency. It is often found in very low concentrations that rarely reach even 1%. Delta-9 THC can be as high as 25% in some strains of marijuana.
  • It’s true, both are considered psychoactive compounds. However, Delta-8 THC is less potent and user reports share that it provides a different, more clear-minded feeling when compared to Delta-9 THC.
  • The two have a similar structure, share similar properties, and they both serve the same purpose for medical and recreational users alike.

The main difference between the two is the location of a critical chemical bond. Although the chemical bond location doesn’t appear to be that big of a deal, the difference presents very noticeable effects when it comes to the endocannabinoid system and how the receptors both bind and respond.

The Endocannabinoid System

If you aren’t familiar with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), it is a part in our body that is made up of three parts: enzymes that help break down different endocannabinoids and cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, and receptors that are positioned the nervous system and body, which endocannabinoids and cannabinoids bond with. To share what the ECS is in the simplest form, Endo is “endogenous” and cannabinoid is derived from cannabis.

The ECS is linked for several ailments due to Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD). While it isn’t a disease, it is a term used to describe the dysfunction in the ECS. Fibromyalgia, IBS, and several other ailments attributed to the lack of cannabinoids. However, there are researchers that are proving that cannabinoid treatments are beneficial, helping bring the ECS back under control. With that said, cannabinoids such as CBD, Delta-8-THC, and others help the internal system by binding to receptors and enzymes to greatly improve health and wellbeing.

Now that you are aware of how the ECS plays such a prominent role in regulating various functions and processes of the body, what does Delta-8 do in all of this? Like Delta-9 THC, Delta-8-THC binds to the CB1 receptors in the ECS. The CB1 receptors are positioned in the central nervous system, which is responsible for motor activity, thinking, appetite, short term memory, pain perception, and immune cells. Delta-8-THC also has similar characteristics that suggest a possible relationship with the CB2 receptors as well, yet there hasn’t been enough information published on the matter to share what that relationship is.

Delta-8-THC FAQS

Will Delta-8 Get Me High?

      • It is known to have psychoactive compounds. Both Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 bind to the CB1 receptor, as previously shared in this article. The CB1 receptor is responsible for most of the psychotropic effects associated with THC. However, Delta-8 THC is less potent by a longshot when compared to Delta-9.

Is Delta-8 Legal?

      • Yes, Delta-8 THC is legal. The 2018 Farm Bill made all derivatives, isomers, and cannabinoids in hemp legal, if the final product has less than 0.3% Delta-9-THC. Delta-8-THC is an isomer of CBD, a derivative of hemp and CBD, a cannabinoid found in hemp, and therefore is federally legal in the United States. On a state level, however, the legality can differ.

Does Delta-8 Flower Exist?

      • Although that would make it so much easier on manufacturers and processors, unfortunately, there is no such thing as a Delta-8 flower. In fact, Delta-8 THC only occurs in small concentrations and must go through a complex process just to acquire a significant amount of it.

What Is The Best Way To Use Delta-8?

      • Vaping is by far the best route when it comes to Delta-8-THC. The absorption rate allows for rapid delivery and the taste of Delta 8 THC Cartridges make the experience that much more enjoyable.

The legalization of marijuana in some states has decriminalized the perception of cannabis for the public, and that is causing more people to take advantage of the properties that it has to offer. The legalization of hemp on a federal level has only propelled the movement, allowing people to seek out alternatives by using a number of cannabinoids derived from the hemp plant, which includes one of the most powerful cannabinoids available, Delta-8-THC.

Shane Dwyer
Author:
Shane Dwyer
Shane Dwyer is a cannabis advocate who isn’t afraid to tell the world about it! You can find his views, rants, and tips published regularly at The 420 Times.

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