What is Delta 8 THC?
Delta-8-THC is a minor cannabinoid that occurs in very small concentrations in plants. It is also known that delta-8-THC is a degraded form of THC and is not directly produced within the plant by cannabinoid-synthesizing enzymes. It degrades into delta-8-THC when THC is processed for a period of time. In order to access larger amounts of delta-8-THC, commercial growers and extractors use selective breeding and molecular isolation.
Delta-8-THC is distinct from THC, which is often referred to in cannabis conversations. What we refer to as THC is usually delta-9-THC, the main form of THC found in cannabis. Delta-8-THC is a delta-9-THC analog, a molecule with a similar structure, but with some notable differences. While both have many similar properties, such as reportedly stimulating appetite, reducing nausea, and soothing pain, delta-8-THC tends to exhibit lower psychotropic potency than delta-9-THC.
A range of preclinical and clinical studies are uncovering some of the unique properties and therapeutic potential of delta-8-THC.
- Pain and Anti-Inflammatory Effects
A preclinical study published in 2018 in “Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research” found that delta-8-THC may help to reduce pain and inflammation in corneal injuries in mice. The research found that delta-8-THC was applied topically, helped to reduce pain and reduced inflammation due to its effects on CB1 receptors. Another preclinical study in rats also reported that delta-8-THC delivers pain relief, but that cannabinoid tolerance developed rapidly.
- Anti-Nauseant Effects
The nausea-fighting potential of delta-8-THC was reported in a 1995 study published in Life Sciences. The study followed eight pediatric cancer patients over two years and found that no vomiting occurred when patients ingested delta-8-THC before and for 24 hours after cancer treatment. Very few side effects were reported in the study.
- Appetite Stimulant
Delta-8-THC may also help stimulate the appetite. Research conducted on mice and published in the 2004 edition of “Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior” found that a low dose of delta-8-THC administered to mice over 50 days resulted in a 22% increase in food intake compared to controls. Research also reported that delta-8-THC increased food intake significantly more than delta-9-THC, a renowned appetite stimulant.
According to the United States of America. National Library of Medicine, delta-8-THC displays anxiety-reducing properties similar to delta-9-THC. Although there is currently little clinical literature investigating its anti-anxiety potential, anecdotal reports suggest that the consumption of delta-8-THC results in a very calm, concentrated, high level of anxiety that can sometimes accompany delta-9-THC.
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