How is Delta-8-THC Different from THC?

How is Delta-8-THC Different from THC?
The benefits of cannabinoids such as CBD and THC, derived from the cannabis sativa plant, are increasingly popular health tools. Cannabinoids such as CBD provide ways to manage chronic pain and natural energy through their interaction with the endocannabinoid system. THC is known for its euphoric effects on the body. Each cannabinoid has a specific way it interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which regulates things such as energy, appetite, and mood. In recent years, Delta-8-THC, a lesser-known cannabinoid, has enjoyed a surge in popularity. Many products incorporate Delta-8 as an alternative to THC. Knowing the difference between the two can be instrumental in knowing how they are used, and what to look out for when choosing products.

How are Delta-8 and THC different?

Certain cannabinoids, such as THC, are naturally prevalent in the cannabis plant. Others, such as Delta-8-THC are not as naturally occurring and therefore are synthetically derived from the plant when used in products. As Delta-8-THC has recently enjoyed a surge of popularity, you may be wondering how this compares to Delta-9-THC, or simply THC. There are some distinct differences between the two, and thus provide different benefits to users.

Delta-8 is one of over 100 cannabinoids present within the cannabis plant. While it is a naturally occurring chemical compound, it is not present in high enough levels to be derived solely from the plant. This means that Delta-8 is synthetically produced from the hemp plant, the same plant from which we derive CBD. The hemp plant contains lower levels of THC, or Delta-9, which is why it has been utilized more rigorously for medicinal purposes. Delta-8 is purported to have similar effects to that of THC, without the anxiety or nausea that some experience in conjunction with THC.

THC, or Delta-9, is present within the cannabis plant in naturally high forms. THC interacts with the endocannabinoid system by latching onto both the CB1 and CB2 receptors. This contributes to the strong psychoactive, or ‘high,’ feeling associated with this endocannabinoid. Delta-8, on the other hand, does not latch onto the CB1 receptor. This means that Delta-8 does not have the full range of THC, which contributes to the weaker effects.

Benefits of Delta-8-THC

Delta-8-THC as a cannabinoid has not undergone as much research as other strains found within the cannabis plant. All of the potential benefits come from those currently using and therefore are not backed by foundational research in the same way THC and CBD enjoy.

According to the Journal of Cannabis Research, which produced a poll for Delta-8 users, the vast majority of users described an increased feeling of relaxation. Along with this, users reported the euphoric feeling while also experiencing a decrease in anxiety, leading Delta-8 to have the potentially calming effects without the paranoia associated with THC. Studies that point to Delta-8’s ability to reverse other side effects found within medication such as nausea and appetite regulation continue today.

What are the Side Effects?

For those who utilize both Delta-8 and Delta-9-THC, there are a few things to consider. For example, Delta-8 potentially can calm the undesired effects of THC. As it does not join to the CB1 receptor, it causes a less harsh reaction than THC might. Those looking to explore both options should carefully consider the overall side effects of usage.

As Delta-8 is structurally similar to THC, it may also cause side effects such as nausea, dry mouth, and mental fogginess. These are potential side effects attributed to THC usage and may be present with Delta-8 as well.

Things to Consider

Unlike more established cannabinoids, Delta-8 does not yet have substantive research showcasing its effects. Most of the research contributed to Delta-8 is by current users, and may be subjective until more research is undergone.

Bottom Line

The cannabis plant provides over 100 different cannabinoids which affect the endocannabinoid system in different ways. Knowing which cannabinoids to utilize can be instrumental tools in staying in the game, especially as bodies undergo wear and tear. Cannabinoids such as CBD can help manage things such as chronic pain, and provide much-needed energy crucial to performing at the top.