Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as Δ8THC, is one of the many cannabinoids present in cannabis plants. Think of it as the younger brother of the more popular THC, the main psychoactive component of cannabis. Delta-8 THC is produced in the cannabis plant when delta-9 THC is oxidized. Some are converted to an isomer with an extremely similar molecular structure, referred to as delta-8 THC, or Δ8THC, for short.
Δ8THC is present in CBD hemp flower at very low concentrations (<0.1 percent). It can however be extracted or transformed using other cannabinoids and turned into a concentrated form for a variety of uses. There is still some mysticism around this lesser known cannabinoid. This guide discusses what we know about it so far, and why it’s got some traction.
Does delta-8 THC get you high?
Some users say Delta 8 will get you stoned. Some users mention feeling little or nothing in terms of intoxication. Delta 8 is psychoactive, but its intoxicating effects are not the same as delta 9 THC.
Similar to CBD, delta 8 also binds to CB-1 cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system, but delta-8 THC appears to react differently due to its slightly modified molecular structure. Users reported clear-headed, anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) and non-sedative effects. In certain ways, the results of delta 8 are the opposite of delta-9 THC. But they are all different, and the goods and strengths vary, so always err on the side of caution.
How do you use delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 THC is usually generated in a distillate form. This is because it exists in such low concentrations in cannabis plants. Delta-8 can be distilled in a dense, transparent liquid that looks like any CBD distillate. This involves a multi-step process in which the plant passes through refining stages, including extraction, hibernation and decarboxylation.
Delta-8 distillate is sold in cartridges or syringes and can be vaporized with a regular cannabis pen or dab rig. It can also be combined with the flower to activate the Δ8THC potency stage. Since distillate is technically edible, it can be ingested orally, but little research has been done on the effects of delta-8 when it is metabolized in the body. A few delta-8-THC infused oral tinctures (for sublingual use) are also available.
How is delta-8-THC interacting with other cannabinoids?
Delta-8-THC can end up proving to be a powerful contributor to the entourage effect. This proposed synergistic association between the various cannabinoids present in Cannabis sativa is believed to increase the potency of each cannabinoid and to yield benefits that no single cannabinoid may provide on its own. Although delta-8-THC is widely ignored within the pantheon of cannabis constituents, the reduced psychoactive profile of this cannabinoid compared to delta-9-THC can make it more attractive to combine with non-intoxicating cannabinoids such as CBD, CBG, and CBN.
Although many CBD users are curious about the effects that cannabinoids could have when combined with THC, they want to avoid the intoxicating and addictive properties of THC. If it is true that delta-8-THC has the same benefits as delta-9-THC but has less side effects, this THC analog may be the perfect method for experiencing the full extent of what the entourage effect has to offer.
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