The world of cannabis is an ever-evolving space, with new variants and products emerging all the time. Delta-8, or delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, is a psychoactive compound gaining in popularity. Although it contains THC, it is not as potent as delta-9 THC. A closer look at the potential benefits and challenges of finding and using delta-8 can help consumers make more informed decisions when they visit their favorite dispensary.
What is Delta 8?
Delta-8 can be confused with its close sibling, delta-9, but don’t let the numbers fool you. Delta-8 binds to the body’s endocannabinoid system, creating a euphoric feeling. Chemically similar, they both have a double bond structure but also vary in how it works in the body. Delta-8 bonds on the eighth carbon (hence the ‘8’) and delta-9 bonds on the ninth. Because of how it bonds in the body’s system, this makes it less potent than regular THC.
When THC is present, it is likely a person will get high. That is the simple answer. However, delta-8 is known as a smoother, more mild high that may not be everyone’s cup of tea. For a beginner, delta-8 may help them adjust to what it feels like. A more experienced consumer might appreciate the mellow mood but also want a bit more potency. It all depends on how much is used and the person themselves. Many people report feeling relaxed and even keel after taking delta-8.
Delta-8 THC is made most often by mixing high-THC marijuana with hemp oils. Vaping cartridges and tinctures often contain this. Once the process is complete, CBD goes through decarboxylation, or a chemical reaction that produces CBD’s psychoactive effects. While THC and CBD are known for medicinal benefits, delta-8 is psychoactive. While a consumer might get euphoric, they are less likely to experience effects that help conditions like epilepsy or PTSD.
Delta 8 Benefits
Even though the benefits may seem mild, delta-8 can really help people. Some might experience some helpful effects for their physical and mental health.
Recreational cannabis users who want to feel a buzz look for compounds that contain THC. Delta-8 has a potency at around 50-70% of delta-9 strength. The high can feel less euphoric but also lets consumers relax and enjoy the experience.
Consumers also use delta-8 to boost their appetite. This stimulative effect can be twice as strong from its sibling, delta-9 which helps people who might struggle with low appetite or need to gain weight for medical reasons.
Scientists have begun exploring the benefits of delta-9 for its neurological benefits. Better brain health is one of the benefits being looked at because it increases levels of choline and acetylcholine which may be helpful in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease.
Enhanced sleep is a positive benefit for many consumers of delta-8. Stress relief, uplifting moods, and a sedative effect are positive ones for people who have insomnia and want to ease into a better night’s rest.
Delta-8 exerts anxiolytic effects. In other words, it helps people relax and lowers anxiety. It binds to the CB1 receptors in the brain and helps lower stress levels and tension in the body. Like CBD and other cannabinoids, delta-8 can ease muscle tension and help the body unwind.
Mild pain relief is usually on the mind of many people from headaches to stronger pain relief options. Chronic pain and inflammation can be difficult to live with. Delta-8 can support people in seeking mild relief since THC has anti-inflammatory properties. When THC enters the body, a person’s perception of pain shifts and they are able to relax more.
Consumers new to cannabis can feel the effects more strongly, even though the content is more mild than other products. It all depends on the person. A trained professional in a dispensary can offer advice on how much to take.
Vape cartridges and gummies are the most common form of delta-8 products sold. Cartridges are a common type of Delta 8 product. Inhaling can result in feeling the effects more quickly. Not everyone loves inhaling or wants this method, which is why there are a few other options to consider.
Edibles are measured and dosed at more than twice the strength of THC gummies. Producers calculate the lower THC content when creating the product. A 25mg delta-8 gummy is going to have the effects of a 10mg THC gummy. Every person varies in how they react to the product, so it helps to visit a certified dispensary that knows the products and can provide guidance in selecting the right one.
Tinctures are another method of using delta-8 to feel the effects. For consumers who use CBD oil, they may be more familiar with it. All a person has to do is unscrew the bottle, fill the dropper, squeeze it under the tongue and hold it for around 60-90 seconds.
Advice on how to start with tinctures is slow and easy. Don’t take it too quickly or be in a rush. Take a deep breath and focus on being relaxed in the moment. Taking too high a dose can be overwhelming. Most beginners start with lower doses, around 10mg, but definitely speak to a dispensary or professional to get guidance on what will help.
Delta-8 can be purchased in shops and dispensaries where it is legal. Not all states allow the sale of it yet but overall the products available in dispensaries go through a process before they can be purchased. It is always recommended to speak with a treating physician before using delta-8 products. There is always a chance of interactions with existing medication so speak with a medical professional who can advise use, dose, and type of product that is best. Research is key. Delta-8 is fairly new on the market. The best way to be protected is to stay informed and educated about how it works and the myriad benefits.
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