What is Delta 8 THC?

Written by BlackbirdGo December 20, 2018
The Plant

In last week’s article, we learned about THCV and CBDV, two of the lesser-known cannabinoids found in the cannabis sativa plant. Today, we’re learning about a psychotropic—or high-inducing—cannabinoid, Delta 8.

What is Delta 8 THC?

As its name suggests, the cannabinoid Delta 8 THC is very similar to the THC most people are familiar with. It is an analog of THC, meaning the two chemical compounds are almost the same but differ in a specific aspect. In this case, Delta 8 THC is only different from THC (also known as Delta 9 THC) by a few electrons.

Delta 8 THC’s physical structure is similar to the structure of THC, which allows it to bind to the CB1 receptor, inducing a euphoric high typically associated with THC. One study found this cannabinoid to have similar potency to THC, but its effects did not last as long. Research suggests that this form of THC also interacts with the CB2 receptors found throughout the body that help regulate normal processes of the immune system.

Delta 8 THC is found in lower concentrations in cannabis flower than its more popular cousin. Extract labs like Guild Extracts have been able to isolate large quantities of Delta 8 through a proprietary extraction process. Distillate can be found in some dispensaries in Nevada and California.

What are the medical benefits of Delta 8 THC?

Due to prohibition, there is not enough information on the potential benefits of any cannabinoid. Possible benefits could include the following;

Possible Risks of Delta 8 THC

There is not enough research at this time to accurately assess the potential risks associated with this cannabinoid. As always, if you are concerned, you should seek advice from a trusted medical professional.

The Entourage Effect and Total Plant Medicine

Research suggests that the use of pure extracts of any cannabinoid or terpene is not as effective as when they are paired with other cannabinoids and terpenes. These compounds have a synergistic effect, working in tandem to interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system. Studies have shown that consistent use, as well as the use of a variety of cannabinoids at different potencies, shows better results in the treatment of various symptoms.

Think of it like taking a multivitamin—the increased and consistent levels of vitamins in your immune system promote the overall efficiency of your immune system and will show improvement over time. Similarly, research suggests that consistency of use of cannabinoids promotes the overall effectiveness of the endocannabinoid system.

- Leafly
- Cannabis.net
- HelloMD
- Guild Extracts
- Dave Evans