The Delta 8 and CBD experience can create an entourage effect that is more fulfilling than just Delta 8 THC on its own. Maximizing the effects of your experience can provide a more satisfying outcome.
Why Delta 8 THC is Becoming a Popular Choice
Shortly after the 2018 Farm Bill was passed, CBD (cannabidiol) saw its time in the spotlight. Even though CBD is still popular in some aspects, the new front runner in the cannabinoid industry is Delta 8 THC. Yes, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), but not the one that you are thinking of. At least 144 different cannabinoids can be accounted for in the cannabis plant – the most abundant are CBD and THC (Delta 9 THC). You are likely to begin seeing more Delta 8 THC alongside your regular CBD products online and in your local dispensary. As you read on, you will find out more about why Delta 8 is taking this industry by storm.
What is Delta 8 and What Strains Exist?
Delta 8 is often described as the cousin to Delta 9. The only molecular difference between these two cannabinoids is where the molecular bond is formed. In Delta-8, the bond is formed in the 8th carbon atom. Likewise, the bond occurs in the 9th carbon atom in Delta 9.
Delta 8 is also not as naturally abundant in the cannabis plant as Delta 9. There has been very little distinction between Delta 8 and Delta 9 for the simple fact that the percentage of Delta 8 THC available is minute in comparison. On its own, Delta 8 does not offer the same kind of effects. Yes, it gives you a familiar effect, but it is more clear-headed and not nearly as potent as the effects found with Delta 9.
Except for hybrid strains, cannabis has two major strains – Indica and Sativa. The strain determines the primary effects on your body. Strictly Indica strains are known for the relaxation properties it promotes. Even though there isn't an "Indica" strain of Delta 8 THC (just like how there isn't "Indica" Delta 9, just Indica marijuana), many people enjoy the drowsy effects that Delta 8 can cause. Delta 8 binds to the body's CB2 receptors, which are especially good for promoting relaxation and restful states.
On the other hand, Sativa is the energetic strain. Some describe the energy boost as a shot of espresso. This strain is great for those who need that extra boost for social events, activities, gatherings, or any occasion where there is a need for social activity.
The Entourage/Ensemble Effect
In addition to the strain, something to consider is the entourage/ensemble effect. This effect occurs when more than one cannabinoid is used together. For example, those who use CBD with Delta 8 THC find that the effect provides a deeper body experience. These two cannabinoids target the CB2 receptors in the body, promoting a more relaxing experience physically versus mentally. The idea is that a full-spectrum cannabinoid experience offers more effect than an isolate.
Understanding the Endocannabinoid System and Delta 8
If you want to maximize the experience you have with Delta-8 or any other cannabinoid, you have to understand how your body could respond to it. Your body has an endocannabinoid system, and the cannabinoid you use will react with this system – the CB1 or the CB2 receptors.
- CB1 Receptor: These receptors are primarily found in the brain and central nervous system, but only the tissues to a lesser extent.
- CB2 Receptor: These are mostly found in the peripheral organs and the cells found in the immune system.
Delta 8 THC binds to both of these receptors, unlike Delta 9 that binds to the CB1 receptor. CBD can compete for these receptors in the binding process, mellowing out the Delta 8 experience through the entourage effect. Creating the best possible experience doesn’t mean increasing or decreasing your Delta 8. It means understanding the process involved within the body.
Delta 8 THC Dosages
The biggest misconception about Delta 8 THC is that because it does not have the same psychotropic tendencies as Delta 9 THC, less caution can be taken. That frame of mind is not correct. For those who have never felt “high” before, the effects can be overwhelming, especially in larger amounts. For those who have felt the Delta 9 high before, there is the risk of taking too much for the simple fact that it does not provide the same effects. There is a middle ground to consider when trying Delta-8.
Everyone responds differently to Delta 8 so it’s best to just start with a small amount. For someone who has never experienced any cannabinoid, especially THC, starting with a lower dose is advisable. One thing to also consider is the method in which you are consuming it. The effects you feel will have a quicker onset if you are smoking it or vaping the product. Edibles and ingested Delta 8 (or any cannabinoid) must go through the digestive process before breaking down and entering the bloodstream. So, your onset could be anywhere from a few minutes with smoking and vaping to up to three hours with edibles and tinctures.
Why Maximizing and Understanding the Delta 8 Experience is Important
The first mistake of cannabinoids is not understanding how they work. The second, not knowing how they work within your body. Even if using cannabinoids for recreational purposes and not for self- medicinal purposes, you need to know how they work within your body. The only way to get the most out of them and maximize the experience is to understand what they are and how they work within your body. As with any cannabinoid, always use them responsibly and discuss them with your medical provider if you have any concerns.