Delta-8 is a new cannabinoid that is being used in the hemp industry today to help create a wider range of products for individuals looking to benefit from therapeutic hemp oil. This cannabinoid can be helpful in pain relief, but can also cause unwanted effects if it is not properly managed.
Here’s what you need to know about this new compound, and how it may or may not make a difference when it comes to treating your symptoms.
What Is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 THC is an abbreviation for delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol—and according to most, this is the only known form of THC that doesn’t have psychoactive properties. The chemical structure of delta-8 is nearly identical to that of delta-9 THC, which is the kind of cannabinoid that is most commonly found in a marijuana plant.
Because delta-8 has been shown to not have any psychoactive effects, it has been of interest to those who are looking to make products for use by individuals who don’t want their medication to cause impairment.
What Does This Mean In Terms Of Treatment?
About treatment, this means that people suffering from pain may be able to get relief without experiencing unwanted side effects or potentially dangerous consequences.
As stated above, the fact that delta-8 does not have psychoactive properties makes it an attractive option for anyone who wants to try out treatments made with cannabinoids but doesn’t want the potential for abuse. Products containing delta-8 are widely available, and they can be found in both oil form as well as infused edibles.
What Are The Potential Benefits Of Using Delta-8?
There are many potential benefits of using delta 8. First, it often appears blended with other cannabinoids to give users a variety of different options when it comes to intensity, focus, mental or physical relief, etc.
Some products that include delta-8 have very low concentrations of this cannabinoid — so low that they are considered “trace amounts”– which means there is not enough present to provide the individual any kind of high at all.
This makes these products suitable for everyone who has been prescribed medical marijuana. It also means that people looking for pain relief only need to take small amounts to see results.
Other benefits of using delta 8 include the fact that it shows promise for individuals struggling with anxiety disorders, chronic pain, and even seizures. This is why some companies are calling this cannabinoid the new CBD–because they believe it has similar effects.
While there hasn’t been enough research done to prove or disprove these claims (this is where many questions still lie), initial testing shows promising results in terms of how useful this compound can be for those looking to improve their quality of life.
How Is Delta-8 THC Different From CBD?
CBD is found in about 25% of the hemp plant and delta-8 THC is found in less than 1% of the hemp plant. Delta-8 THC is a non-psychoactive compound that is a metabolite of delta-9 THC. This means it’s a different form or variant of the same chemical compound.
Through aging and exposure to light and air, delta-9 breaks down into delta-8, which can be detected through gas chromatography testing.
While CBD will transform from cannabinol (CBN) to CBD only after significant aging, the conversion from delta-9 THC to delta-8 THC continues as long as there is heat and light present – such as if you’re smoking it.
This isn’t necessarily good or bad news for those looking for pain relief through cannabis. Delta-8 THC will produce a relaxing effect similar to that of delta 9. It’s just not as strong and could take much longer to feel the effects.
How Does Delta-8 THC Relieve Pain?
Delta 8 can be used to treat pain in much the same way CBD is used, by activating cannabinoid receptors in the brain and nervous system. The chemical compounds enter your bloodstream and make their way up to your brain and other affected areas in your body.
By attaching themselves to these cannabinoid receptors, they stimulate them which triggers an anti-inflammatory effect that helps reduce swelling and inflammation throughout your body.
Can You Use Delta-8 As A Pain Reliever On Its Own?
Since D8 has very little psychoactive effects compared to D9, it is much less likely to produce any sort of ‘high’ in the user.
It’s not likely that D8 will make you feel high and relaxed in the same way D9 might, and in fact (in even smaller doses), delta-8 may even reduce some of the psychoactive effects felt when using Delta-9.
The reason for this goes back to how these two chemicals are structured: THC has a cyclic ring with hydrogen atoms at specific positions on its structure; THC’s molecular formula is C21H30O2.
Delta-8 does not have this cyclic ring fused onto its chemical structure. Therefore it has more limitations on what positions on the molecule can be occupied by hydrogen atoms, which means it won’t have as many free electrons to push and pull at the end of the molecule, making delta-8 less likely to produce psychoactive effects.
However, this also makes delta-8 a bit more unstable than D9 and prone to oxidation (breaking down), which is why most CBD products like oils will include small amounts of THC or even Delta-9 itself.
What Are The Potential Downsides To Using Delta-8?
Potential downsides exist as well. There have not yet been any clinical trials conducted on delta-8 alone – so most of what we know about the potential benefits of this compound come from research done on CBD.
As a result, most physicians do not know how they should recommend the use of delta-8 for specific conditions just yet. This can be extremely frustrating to patients who are looking for relief and may have finally found an option that is safe enough for them.
Another downside is that because this cannabinoid isn’t as well studied as others, it is unclear exactly what side effects may arise. Depending on the individual, some people report feelings of dizziness or drowsiness when using products with high concentrations of delta-8 THC–which again makes sense because delta-8 has been shown to impact the CB1 receptor, just like delta-9, but not nearly as strongly.
Other people say that they didn’t experience any effects at all. Again, this may be because there wasn’t enough delta-8 to cause an effect or it could also be an entirely separate reaction.
Because of its similarity to CBD, there has been a lot of interest surrounding delta-8 THC–which means we may also see more research conducted on delta-8 to give us a better understanding of its therapeutic value to get a better understanding of what benefits (and side effects) are associated with this cannabinoid alone.
When all is said and done, there are still many questions surrounding how useful delta-8 THC will be for the human body–but thus far, it appears that this product does have some benefits worth exploring further.