The cannabis plant contains many components (over 120, to be exact), each with unique properties and benefits. If you enjoy hemp/cannabis products, you may have heard about Delta 9 THC. That’s the compound responsible for causing a ‘high’. But when it comes to Delta 8 THC, that’s where things get a bit mixed up.
We talked a great deal about the legal status of Delta 8 THC, but there’s so much more to this cannabis component than meets the eye! Want to try Delta 8 THC but don’t really know what it is or how to use it? Keep reading!
First and foremost, Delta 8 (sometimes called D8) is a component of the cannabis plant, just like CBD or Delta 9 THC (sometimes just referred to as THC). Delta 8 is less abundant in cannabis plants than CBD & Delta 9 THC, but is becoming popular for a number of reasons!
Different Chemical Structure
In order to talk about Delta 8 THC, we need to clearly distinguish it from Delta 9 THC. Why? Because these two components are sometimes mixed up.
Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC may sound very similar, but they aren’t exactly the same! The difference lies in the organization of their chemical structures. The simplest way to put it: both components are isomers of THC, and both have double bonds in their designs. Where that double bond is, is what makes a difference between the two. Delta 9 has a double bond on the ninth carbon chain, Delta 8 has a double bond on the eighth. This causes a difference in their potency levels, and is the major reason why Delta 9 THC is federally illegal.
Properties of Delta 8 THC
Since the chemical structures of Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC are different, their properties are different as well. The details of Delta 9 have been massively covered in cannabis communities throughout the years, so let’s focus more on D8 for now. The properties of D8 are the following:
- Exists in much lower quantities in the plant than Delta 9 THC
- Is less potent due to the double bond on the eighth carbon chain. That makes it perfect for individuals who don’t tolerate Delta 9 and want a slightly weaker version of it
- Interacts with CB2 receptors, which are in the digestive tract and immune system and are responsible for controlling inflammatory reactions inside the body
Effects of Delta 8 THC
When D8 is extracted and treated properly, it may have fantastic effects on the body. It does often cause a bit of a ‘high’ sensation, although it is less than Delta 9 THC products. With that in mind, here are some of the main effects that Delta 8 THC ingestion may produce:
- Antiemetic effect – this means it may help relieve nausea due to it interacting with the CB2 receptors in the gastrointestinal system
- Anti-inflammatory effect – the interaction with CB2 receptors may cause relief from inflammation in muscles
- May help relieve stress and discomfort by relaxing the body – another reason why D8 is sometimes preferred over Delta 9 THC, which may cause paranoia and anxiety in some cases
- Analgesic effect – may help ease discomfort
It’s important to note that in very large quantities, it is possible that Delta 8 might cause some unwanted effects, such as:
- Dry mouth
- Problems with digestion
You can avoid these side effects by using D8 in safe, controlled doses.
One of the best things about D8 is that it is currently not facing any limitations or prohibitions, making it federally legal!
While Delta 9 THC is illegal, D8 products are completely legal to purchase and use, except in these states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island, and Utah.
If you want to learn more, check out our blog about the legal status of Delta 8 THC here!
Taking the time to learn more about cannabis and its components can only be beneficial in the long run. It’s important to educate yourself on these topics as much as possible! There are many interesting points that make D8 one of the most promising components of the cannabis plant. We hope to see more research on Delta 8 THC in the future, as there aren’t many scientific studies on this component yet.
*The authors of this article are not medical professionals, and any information presented in it is only their best knowledge of the subject.