You’ve heard of the popular Delta 9 THC, but what about Delta 8 THC? What is it and what effects does it have on the mind and body? Well, there are many reasons why you’ll like it, and we’ll talk about them below.
Its popularity has risen since the 2018 United States Farm Bill became law and legalized it. Delta 8 is legal everywhere, for now. Try it soon (and stock up) before it gets shut down by the DEA!
THC Delta 8 has the power to help with pain and anxiety, but there’s more. Read on to learn why it’s in the spotlight.
What Is THC Delta 8?
This newly popular cannabinoid, Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta 8 THC or D8), is getting a lot more attention these days for its unique effects. Discovered in the 1970s, it wasn’t seriously considered for its therapeutic value until 2004. It’s a close cousin to Delta 9 THC, the strongest psychoactive compound within the Cannabis plant.
Let’s break it down. Cannabis produces over 100 compounds, known as cannabinoids. Delta 9 THC and CBD have (so far) been the superstars. But Delta 8 THC is the next great contender because it represents the best of these two.
Scientists are also using selective breeding and more to get you that perfect product. The “minor cannabinoids” include CBN, CBG, THCV, and our newest buddy, D8. There are also terpenes in the plant that can be isolated, bred for, and together with cannabinoids, cause the “entourage effect”.
Most plants of the cannabis variety make only a tiny amount of Delta-8 THC, so it needs to be refined and processed to make a usable amount. But all that refining is worth it because the result is amazing!
This small molecular difference is proving to be a huge improvement for many people:
You might be wondering, “Is Delta 8 THC safe?” So far, it seems that way. It’s described by the National Cancer Institute as “an analog of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties”.
Delta 8 works very similarly to Delta 9, only it’s about 2/3 the potency per milligram. This means that if you eat a gummy with 10 mg Delta 9 and one with 10 mg Delta 8, Delta 9 will have 2/3 the effects. More studies are being done on safety.
How Do I Take It?
Delta 8 THC occurs in small amounts within cannabis plants. Companies have discovered how to make the D8 compound concentrated enough to be effective. They do this by isolating particular isomers to reach a more intense product.
D8 is currently available in the forms of oil, concentrates, or gummies. The oil can be vaped or taken as a tincture under the tongue (sublingually) depending on what you buy. Gummies are easy to pop in your mouth when you’re on the go.
With oil tinctures, put a drop under your tongue and leave it there for around 20 seconds before you swallow it. The oil is absorbed and starts working right away. Directions may be different depending on the seller.
What About Delta 8 THC Flower?
This cannabinoid is a component of the hemp plant, so you’re probably wondering if it’s available in flower form. Yes and no.
It doesn’t occur at adequate concentrations in hemp naturally, so all you have to do is spray the distillate form onto your CBD flower and then smoke it that way. You can find pre-filled bottles for sale. This way you can essentially make your own Delta 8 THC flower.
Take it before or after physical exertion such as exercise, for example, to ease any pain you might have. Or take it as a more natural pain reliever in general. It’s good for your liver, unlike most over-the-counter pain-killers.
Start with a small dose because the buzz feels more intense than CBD. You can always increase your dose later. Eventually, you’ll find your perfect dose for a variety of activities.
People are reporting a smooth, relaxing high with Delta 8. Combine it with CBD to produce an even calmer buzz. The Delta 8 THC feeling is a toned-down version of Delta 9:
You Might Not Feel It the First Time
As you experiment with THC or any other cannabinoids, remember that people don’t always feel the effects the first time. This is because:
- They don’t take it correctly
- Their liver doesn’t fully break it down
- Our innate biological filter that sometimes prevents the breakdown of THC
The good news: It’ll probably work the next time, so don’t give up! You’ll learn to inhale the smoke/vapor more fully, and your body will adjust to the new substance. Don’t throw those gummies away!
The Delta 8 THC High
Can you get the Delta 8 THC high without paranoia? Yes! People are raving about this milder THC because it feels like a Delta 9 THC high without the dreaded anxiety and paranoia side effects.
When it comes to distillate cartridges, the vapor’s taste is a little different but this has to do with processing. If you don’t like the taste, it’s easily avoided by taking sweet gummy or other edibles.
You might have to take more hits of Delta 8 THC vape (or more doses of edibles) to get the same effects as Delta 9 THC, depending on the product. Talk with your bud-tender about things to consider or read the product details before you buy so you know what potency you’re getting.
Sick patients are finding relief with Delta 8 THC. It results in less confusion yet provides relief from extreme nausea and loss of appetite. You don’t feel as impaired and “stoned” as you would with Delta 9, so you can go about your day more normally, depending on your dose.
So far, it hasn’t shown any worrisome side effects. Stock up on your healthy munchies, though, because you’re not getting around this one. If a better appetite is what you’re after, you’ve got it with Delta 8.
Mind and Body Benefits
There have been some notable clinical and preclinical studies on Delta 8 THC to discover its unique therapeutic potential. It carries benefits both medically and recreationally. And, by promoting divergent thinking in the frontal lobe of your brain, you’ll create the next hit song.
After the experience, D8 doesn’t leave you feeling exhausted or drained as D9 can. It takes a little longer to set it, lasts half as long, and has a come-down smoother than James Bond:
Pain Reliever and Anti-Inflammatory
A preclinical study on mice discovered that Delta 8 THC might reduce inflammation and pain when applied topically. This study took place in 2018 and was published in “Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research”.
Another study on rats found that while it relieved pain, tolerance to it developed quickly. This doesn’t necessarily mean your tolerance will do the same.
Inflammation is one of the main causes of joint pain, which most of us have felt this at one point or another. Delta 8 THC reduces that inflammation naturally alone, or in conjunction with, prescribed pharmaceuticals. Ask your doctor before combining with other drugs.
Calm and Euphoric
Delta 8 THC produces an extremely calm, yet focused high without paranoia or anxiety. There isn’t very much clinical literature on this, but a lot of anecdotal evidence is pointing in this direction.
Delta 8 THC makes you feel euphoric, unlike CBD. But you can do take care of business on both D8 and/or CBD and still be in control of your thoughts and actions.
Takes Care of Nausea
Delta 8 THC is helping patients with cancer by relieving them of nausea and vomiting caused by their treatments. A two-year study followed eight kids stricken with cancer. Taking D8 eliminated any vomiting, thus improving the quality of their lives.
In 2004, “Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior” published results of a study finding that when mice are given the cannabinoid over 50 days, their food intake increased 22% compared with the mice given none.
They also found that these mice ate a lot more than Delta 9 THC recipients. So, if this is the case with humans as well, you might not want to grocery shop while under the influence (unless you want to end up with a kitchen full of Cheetos, cookies, and that oreo frosting…mmm…)
Scientists are very optimistic about Delta 8 THC’s potential to be a strong neuroprotectant. There are several ways it does this. Not only does it improve the growth and regeneration of neurons, but it also regulates:
- Adenyl cyclase
- Calcium channels
All of these actions result in a healthier brain and help prevent possible future brain degeneration. If you or a loved one have an illness, consider all the relief this could provide.
What If I Take a Too Much?
Although it has anti-anxiety properties, too much could turn the tables on you. The psychoactive effects, if too intense, could make you a bit worried and anxious. Here are some minor side effects you could experience if you take too much:
Delta 8 THC can give you a dry mouth, or “cotton mouth”, just like its cousin. Just remember that this doesn’t mean you’re dehydrated. It happens because your salivary glands are being affected by the cannabinoid. Water can help.
Slightly Red Eyes
Dry, red eyes can be a tell that you’ve consumed D8. This side effect isn’t as strong as with D9 but if taken in higher doses, it can be. Eye drops can help.
You could start to feel lightheaded and groggy if you take too much. If you’re doing something that requires intense awareness, you might want to take it easy on the dosage. Caffeine can help, but don’t depend on it.
THC in any form will give you both mind and body highs. If you overdo it with Delta 8, be aware you could get couch-lock and lose motivation for everyday responsibilities. You might like this, but too much could have you melting like butter into the cracks of your sofa.
A mind high is too strong when you’re “in your head” and not giving your full attention to the outside world. Sounds like paradise, though, doesn’t it? Just remember that if you take this, your thoughts could get a little off track.
Driving could be risky if you have too much Delta 8 THC. Taking it when you don’t have responsibilities is the best way to enjoy it. We’re trying to eliminate anxiety, so let’s not give ourselves more reasons to worry!
Think twice before taking it before or during work because it could hinder your abilities. It can alter your coordination and thinking. Try it in a different setting first if you’re considering this, so you can judge your reaction to it.
You’ll fail a drug test because it activates the same metabolite as Delta 9 THC does, to break it down in the body. Urine tests look for this metabolite.
Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s easy to explain away after a drug test. When it comes to THC, they all show up. You don’t want to lose your job or get turned away from one because of a legal substance.
Delta 8 THC is a little sneaky, so take it slow and steady. Give it time to show its effects on you before you decide to take more. You don’t want it to hit you all at once.
You might get a little giggly, so if you’re going into a serious meeting or interview, you might want to take it easy on the Delta 8.
Too Good to Be True?
No! If you can believe it, there is something out there for those that hate the paranoia and anxiety of Delta 9. You can have your THC and eat it too.
Enjoy THC Delta 8 if you want a smooth high, and mix with CBD for an even more relaxing, and pain-relieving, effect. Get it while it’s legal because something this good might not last long.
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