Article by Jennifer Jenka, Cannabis Life Network
You may already be familiar with delta-9 THC (commonly referred to as THC), the cannabinoid most likely to cause psychotropic and psychoactive highs. But what is delta-8 THC? It is one of 100+ cannabinoids in cannabis and is quickly rising in popularity throughout cannabis culture.
Delta-8 THC is said to be a similar cannabinoid as delta-9, but with a less intense high. It is said to relieve pain, anxiety, stress and acts as an anti-nauseant with much milder psychotropic effects than typical delta-9 THC.
Delta-8 is extracted from hemp and cannabis, and unlike delta-9, delta-8 is less prevalent throughout the cannabis plant. It is only because of improvements in the extraction process that delta-8 products can be created.
How does delta-8 THC work?
The different THC molecules interact with our endocannabinoid system, causing us to experience a range of sensations both in the body and the mind. Delta-8 causes you to become high because, like delta-9 THC, the molecules bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors located throughout our bodies’ central nervous system. These receptors are designed to connect with both phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids. Once they form a bond with a cannabinoid, they create a specific reaction, such as a calming effect on the body or a rise in appetite.
A delta-8 isomer is chemically different from delta-9 THC by only a few atomic bonds but still connects to the receptors in a similar manner as regular THC. The “delta” represents the location of a double bond on the carbon chain, with the “8” meaning the double bond is on the eighth carbon on the chain, and the “9” binds to the ninth carbon.
These double bonds contain more electrons, allowing these isomers to interact differently with our endocannabinoid system. However, where delta-9 THC connects with primarily CB1 receptors (found in higher quantities in the body than CB2 receptors), delta-8 connects more readily with CB2 receptors.
Why does delta-8 have different effects than delta-9?
Delta-9 produces a more potent high than delta-8 because of the double bond on the ninth carbon chain and because CB1 receptors are more prevalent in our endocannabinoid system. On the other hand, delta-8 binds with CB2 receptors, which are found primarily in our organs, like our intestines.
This difference in bonding is the primary reason delta-8 has varying effects, as each different cannabinoid connects differently depending on the strain or whether it is made from cannabis or hemp.
What does a delta-8 high feel like?
The effects of delta-8 will get you stoned, similarly to delta-9. It is typically described as a whimsical high where you feel the calming and relaxing effects without paranoia and anxiety. While high on delta-8, people claim that you remain lucid and can think without the annoying brain fog that some people do not enjoy when consuming delta-9. Also, the “high” isn’t supposed to last as long as it does for delta-9.
The rise of delta-8
Delta-8 has swiftly risen in popularity due to the fact that it produces a high that is not as strong as delta-9 but still helps with a wide range of symptoms. Delta-8 may potentially help reduce stress and feelings of sadness. It also has an antiemetic effect, neuroprotective properties, and can reduce inflammation throughout the body.
People are raving about the benefits and the market is now flooded with delta-8 products. You can now find many stores online that sell delta-8 in distillate cartridges, edibles, tinctures, topicals, and more.
What is the best way to consume delta-8 THC?
The best way to consume delta-8 THC depends on the individual. If you want an immediate high, try out a vape pen. It is described as harsher than delta-9 but will have you feeling good in a few minutes. Edibles and tinctures take the longest time to metabolize and will likely produce a more powerful body stone than if you vaped it.
Ensure that the products you are buying come from a company that is open about its standards, extraction processes, and ingredients. Look out especially for vitamin e acetate, and make sure your supplier doesn’t use it in their products.
Will consuming delta-8 cause you to fail a drug test?
When it comes to THC testing, both delta-8 and delta-9 THC will show up as a positive result on a THC test. No matter the product, if it contains THC (even 0.3% THC), it will likely show up on drug tests, especially if you are a regular consumer. This is because THC testing seeks out THC metabolites in your urine, blood, or hair, which are broken down and metabolized by our bodies.
Like delta-9, delta-8 THC is also broken down into THC metabolites, which will cause you to fail a drug test. It is also essential to note that THC remains in your system for varying times, depending on the method of testing.