You have likely heard of cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in reference to cannabis. What you may not know is that there are two primary THCs that come from the cannabis plant. Delta 9 THC is the most abundant THC, which is why most people associate THC with extreme euphoria and psychotropic properties. Delta 8 THC is not as abundant. Therefore, many people don't even know it exists. However, when you purchase CBD products, you will likely see some products with the Delta 8 THC name.
What is Delta 8 THC?
Just like CBD, Delta 8 is a cannabinoid. Cannabinoids are naturally occurring within cannabis, with the most common form of THC labeled as Delta 9. Think of Delta 8 as the distant cousin of Delta 9. Even though it shares the same name, it doesn't pack as much of a punch because it's not the front runner in the cannabinoid family.
When looking at THC on a molecular level, the bond for Delta 9 occurs in the 9th carbon atom. Delta 8's bond occurs in the 8th carbon atom. That is how these are scientifically differentiated from each other.
How Does Delta 8 Work?
To understand how Delta 8 works, you have to understand how cannabinoids work. Within your body is something called the endocannabinoid system. The most well-known receptors of the endocannabinoid system are the CB1 and CB2 receptors. The CB1 receptors are primarily found in the brain and central nervous system, and the CB2 receptors are primarily in the peripheral organs.
Cannabinoids bind to these receptors – CBD to CB2 and THC to CB1. The exception to this is Delta 8 THC. It binds to both of these receptors for a whole-body experience. Even though it can alter perception, it is a more clear-headed and less euphoric feeling.
The Delta 8 Entourage or Ensemble Effect
Some people believe that Delta 8 promotes an entourage or ensemble effect when used. The effect comes from the idea that cannabinoids are best taken in full-spectrum (multiple at once) versus an isolate (single cannabinoid). There is no research that supports this theory, but people have reported having a deeper whole-body experience when using Delta 8 with CBD.
Potential Benefits of Delta 8 THC?
Research has been done with interesting results, but there is still no proof or FDA clearance for Delta 8. Before trying Delta 8 or anything like it, you are urged to seek out the advice of a medical professional. Your medical provider is the only one who can give you any sound advice when it comes to introducing something new to your body.
There is a lot of speculation about what Delta 8 may or may not do for the person who consumes it. You can find forums and communities of people who have tried and voice their experiences with Delta 8. Many people consider it the middle ground between CBD and Delta 9 THC.
We cannot say if there are potential benefits to using cannabinoids as a part of your health regimen. Every person is different and may respond differently to using them, especially Delta 8.
What to Look for When Purchasing Delta 8 THC
If you decide to purchase Delta 8 to try for yourself, there are some things that you might want to consider.
- Don’t just purchase it from anywhere – There are different places that you can purchase Delta 8 from, some seem to be more legitimate than others. Do your research on the company you are considering purchasing from before you buy.
- Ask for the third-party lab report – If the retailer doesn’t offer the third-party lab report upfront, you may want to walk away. Third-party lab reports are the proof that a third-party lab has tested the Delta 8 (or CBD) and have supplied the contents of the batch to account for purity.
- Honesty – Understand that retailers are there to make money, but they shouldn’t be forcing the customer to try something they aren’t ready to try. Make sure you are educated and that all of your questions are answered before you make a purchase. The retailer should be more than willing to answer any questions you may have.
It All Comes Down to Delta 8 Science
There are some key takeaways about Delta 8 that you should gather from this article. They are:
- Delta 8 is a less abundant cannabinoid found within the hemp plant
- The bond falls on the 8th carbon chain and the Delta 9 THC bond falls on the 9th carbon chain
- Delta 8 has a familiar effect to that of Delta 9, but with less headiness and potency
- Promising studies, but no definitive proof of its benefits
- Everyone is different and will respond differently to using Delta 8 THC
- No third-party lab? No purchase!
- Get all your questions answered before you buy
Is Delta 8 THC Right For You?
Delta 8 THC isn't right for everyone. The same applies to other cannabinoids, as well. There is no way of determining how any cannabinoid will affect a person, which is why it should always be used responsibly. If you have any questions, seek your medical professional's assistance and discuss it with them first. Delta 8 may be right for you if you are looking for the experience of Delta 9 THC on a less intense level.