Cannabis usage is becoming widely popular and for many different reasons. People like the idea of using cannabis to help medicinally as well as with other factors surrounding their lives. However, are you familiar with the different types and strains of cannabis? One, in particular, is Delta-8 THC. There are more than 100 cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. While we have some foundational knowledge about the primary cannabinoids, Delta-9-THC and cannabidiol (CBD) two of the most common elements and strains, we know less about the secondary, or minor cannabinoids, like Delta-8 THC. This article will help you understand the difference and also look at everything you need to know about Delta-8 THC.
What is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8-THC is a minor cannabinoid, occurring in the plant in very small concentrations. Delta-8-THC is also known to be a degraded form of THC and is not directly produced by cannabinoid-synthesizing enzymes within the plant. This is what makes it a minor cannabinoid in comparison to Delta-9 THC and CBD which are both more commonly known. When THC is stored for a long period of time, it degrades into Delta-8-THC. Commercial growers and extractors use selective breeding and molecular isolation to access greater quantities of Delta-8-THC.
According to the National Cancer Institute, Delta-8-THC can be defined as:
“An analogue of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties. [Delta-8-THC] binds to the cannabinoid G-protein coupled receptor CB1, located in the central nervous system…This agent exhibits a lower psychotropic potency than [Delta-9-THC], the primary form of THC found in cannabis.”
Delta-8-THC is chemically different from Delta-9-THC by only a few atomic bonds and still offers a potent high of its own as well as other benefits that can be medically linked. While Delta-8-THC only exists naturally in fractions of a percent, this is what makes it a more unique element and one to consider trying. Some are unsure about the cannabinoid’s properties with less information and knowledge surrounding them. But there is some information that is worth noting, especially when considering the potential for possible health benefits.
Potential of Delta-8 THC
Pain management and Anti-inflammatory properties
A range of preclinical and clinical studies are uncovering some of the unique properties and therapeutic potential of Delta-8-THC. A 2018 preclinical study published in “Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research” found that Delta-8-THC may help to diminish pain and inflammation in corneal injury in mice. The research found that Delta-8-THC, applied topically, assisted in pain reduction, and reduced inflammation through its effects on the CB1 receptors. Another preclinical study on rats also reported that Delta-8-THC delivers pain relief, but that tolerance to the cannabinoid developed rapidly.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Delta-8-THC displays anxiety-reducing qualities similar to Delta-9-THC. While there is currently little clinical literature investigating its anti-anxiety potential, anecdotal reports claim that the consumption of Delta-8-THC results in a very calm, focused high, without the anxiety that can sometimes accompany Delta-9-THC.
The nausea fighting potential of Delta-8-THC was reported in a 1995 study published in “Life Sciences.” The study followed eight pediatric cancer patients over two years and found that no vomiting occurred when patients ingested Delta-8-THC before and for 24 hours after cancer treatment. The study reported very few side effects.
Delta-8-THC may also help to stimulate the appetite. Research conducted on mice and published in a 2004 edition of “Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior” found that a low dose of Delta-8-THC administered to mice over 50 days resulted in a 22% increase in food intake compared with controls. The research also reported that Delta-8-THC increased food intake significantly more than Delta-9-THC, which is a reputed appetite stimulant.
When it comes to the comparison of Delta-8 and CBD, the differences between the two are a bit more balanced than the similarities Delta-8 and Delta-9 have. This is because CBD is chemically much different from Delta-8 THC. For instance, Delta-8 is a psychoactive cannabinoid, and CBD isn’t. Additionally, scientists have conducted much more research on CBD and the benefits that it offers may be vast. Here is a brief list comparing the two to show the differences between them.
- High Probability of Failing a Drug Test
- Found in Low Concentrations
- Used Medicinally and Recreationally
- Binds to CB1 Receptors and Relation to CB2 Receptors
- Low Probability of Failing a Drug Test
- Found in High Concentrations
- Commonly Used Medicinally
- Binds to CB1 Receptors
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