The use of novel cannabis products containing Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-8 THC), an isomer of Delta-9 THC, has sky-rocketed in just a couple of years. Despite the rising popularity of Delta-8, little is known about the substance.
One recent study investigated the socio-demographic characteristics, motivations, and Delta-8 THC consumption patterns of 4,348 adult cannabis users in the United States, and found out that the most popular method of consumption was vaping concentrated Delta-8 THC formulations (41.2 percent). Moreover, the easy accessibility of Delta-8 (compared to Delta-9 THC), and the perceived therapeutic benefits were the main motivations for use.
Is Delta-8 legal?
Delta-8 THC is a hemp-derived compound that is closely related to delta-9 THC – the psychoactive component of cannabis that is responsible for the high that people experience. But unlike Delta-9 THC, Delta-8 can be sold and consumed without having to worry about lawful restrictions. Hemp containing less than 0.3 percent delta-9 THC was legalized in the 2018 Farm Bill. So technically, federal law can allow products containing higher amounts of delta-8 THC, as long as they are derived from hemp with less than 0.3 percent delta-9 THC by dry weight. Despite this, there has been little research on this compound. Cross-sector cooperation among scholars, government officials, and representatives from the cannabis industry is vital in order to fast-track the generation of knowledge regarding delta-8-THC, its properties and mechanisms.
What are the benefits of Delta-8?
Delta-8 THC, like regular cannabis, can be vaped or eaten. Anecdotally, its supporters swear by its benefits, claiming that it aids in relaxation and pain relief without producing intense highs that can lead to anxiety or paranoia.
Other supporters of the novel compound are currently promoting the following benefits:
- Facilitates healthy sleep
- Reduces pain and inflammation
- Improves a balanced mood by regulating serotonin, dopamine and glutamate
- Increases appetite
- Prevents nausea and vomiting
- Provides neuroprotective benefits
Delta-8-THC has sparked widespread interest because hemp users report experiencing a "gentle high" when using the novel compound. The psychoactive effects are milder, but without the agitation, psychosis, or paranoid delusions that are commonly associated with delta 9 THC.
In an online survey by Kruger and Kruger, the most common subject was comparisons between delta-8-THC and delta-9-THC. Participants’ answers comprising this theme contained:
“Delta 8 feels like Delta 9’s nicer younger sibling”; “It has all the positives and many fewer drawbacks/side effects. It is less impairing and much less likely to cause anxiety or paranoia. It has much milder to nonexistent aftereffects.”
One of the reasons, according to research, is that delta-9-THC has a stronger effect when attaching to CB1 receptors than delta-8. The CB1 receptor is thought to be responsible for the typical cannabis head buzz, mood swings, and cognitive alterations associated with THC use.
Delta-8 THC is consumed in what forms?
Delta-8 can be delivered in a variety of ways, each of which affects how the cannabinoid is absorbed and processed by the body and mind. Gummies are the most popular delta-8 THC delivery method, but other common methods include vape pods and vape pens, oral sprays, capsules, and tinctures. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S030646032200140X https://jcannabisresearch.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s42238-021-00115-8 https://jcannabisresearch.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s42238-021-00115-8#Sec7 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2882293/