Updated: Feb 8, 2021
Getting to know Delta 8 THC
According to the National Cancer Institute, Delta 8 THC is defined as “an analogue of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties.” They also stated that “this agent exhibits a lower psychotropic potency than Delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta 9 THC), the primary form of THC found in cannabis.”
The “8” in delta-8 stands for the placement of a chemical bond, one step over from where it sits in delta-9. Its structural similarity allows it to have similar effects. In an easier term Delta 8 is a form of THC. THC is the substance commonly associated with marijuana that gives you the euphoric sensation. However, when you normally think about the euphoric sensation from marijuana people are typically thinking about Delta 9 THC. While Delta 8 is a form of THC it is slightly different than Delta 9. Many people will describe it as a more clear-headed experience than Delta 9. It has also been reported to not have some of the side effects that many associate with Delta 9 THC like paranoia or anxiety.
The “8” in delta-8 stands for the placement of a chemical bond, one step over from where it sits in delta-9. Its structural similarity allows it to have similar effects.
How could it make you feel?
Delta-8-THC binds to the CB1 receptor like delta-9-THC, but its affinity for the receptor is different due to its slightly altered molecular structure. The CB1 receptor is responsible for mediating most of the psychotropic effects of THC.
This differential binding may be responsible for the reported clearer high with reduced anxiety, and greater ability to concentrate often associated with delta-8-THC. It’s possible that its unique molecular structure also impacts the chemical’s effects on other receptors and neural pathways.
Delta-8 can be psychoactive for some consumers, just less so than delta-9. A good way to think about it generally like a lighter version of weed. Many of the effects and benefits of delta-9, though toned down a few steps. It is still euphoric and stimulates appetite. It can energize or relax the consumer depending on the larger terpene and cannabinoid profile, similar to delta-9. And yes, it can induce some of the typical heady, psychoactive experience.
The main difference is that while delta-8 can do all of these things, it does them with less intensity, gentler if you will. Even for experienced cannabis users, there is a noticeable effect, albeit a less intense one. However, the trade-off here is that the potential negative side effects of cannabis are also reduced.