The rise of Delta-8 THC is hardly surprising. For many years, people had been looking for something that could give them the high of marijuana, but legally and without its side effects.
Cannabidiol (CBD) was already around as a legal cannabinoid. But it did not have the psychoactive properties of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Though some people consider that a blessing, many crave something that can give them the best of both worlds — the calm of CBD and the euphoria of THC.
Their prayers were answered in 2019 when Delta-8 THC extracts were put to commercial use. Though it had been discovered way back in 1965, it was never put to commercial use. In 2019, that barrier was finally broken.
This newly discovered cannabis-based compound is psychoactive. But its euphoric potency is much milder than Delta-9 THC. We all know what Delta-9 THC is capable of. It is the compound that makes marijuana intensely euphoric and also causes quite a few nasty side effects, such as paranoia and psychosis.
Delta-8, on the other hand, clears the head and helps you focus during the day, and helps you sleep like a baby at night.
However, since it’s a new compound and myths abound about Delta-8, many people are still in two minds about using it. They worry about its potency, how strong the effects will be, how they will feel after using it, and the like. In this article, we have tried to clear some of those doubts.
Comparing Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC
It’s human nature to fear change. So, the biggest worry of many traditional connoisseurs is whether Delta-8 gives the same effects as Delta-9. Well, yes and no.
To begin with, both are psychoactive. That is, they both affect the mind. But they affect the mind in similar as well as different ways. For instance, both give you a high. But Delta-8 offers a much milder high than Delta-9. You will feel a light buzz at the most, but you won’t get stoned.
Also, Delta-8 won’t leave you paranoid and psyched out. On the contrary, you will feel your head clearing up and your focus growing sharp. You will generally get that chilled-out feeling or a mellow high.
Interestingly, the chemical structures of Delta-8 and Delta-9 THCs are the same but for the placement of a double carbon bond. Delta-8 THC has the double bond on the eighth carbon chain, while Delta-9 has it on the ninth. This difference may seem like nothing to you and me, but it alters their effects dramatically.
As we have already mentioned, it makes Delta-8 more stable than Delta-9 and brings about the difference in effects. We owe these differences to our endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS is a biological system in the human body designed to accept phytocannabinoids with its receptors, CB1 and CB2. All cannabis compounds, including CBD and all forms of THC, are phytocannabinoids. CB1 and CB2 form different bonds with these cannabinoids.
Because of the slight difference in the chemical structure of the two THCs, the human body interacts with them differently. The bonds formed by the CB1 receptor are three times stronger for Delta-9 compared to Delta-8. Hence the difference in the effects.
Research on Delta-8 is still very limited. However, a study has confirmed something for which there is overwhelming anecdotal evidence. Delta-8 induces less sedation, paranoia, anxiety, and dizziness compared to Delta-9. The high from Delta-8 comes slowly and doesn’t hit as strongly as Delta-9. The high also doesn’t leave the user stoned. However, both can reduce stress. But Delta-9 has much stronger antidepressant properties owing to its stronger bond with the CB1 receptor.
Another property of both Delta-8 and Delta-9 is appetite stimulation. An Israel-based study with mice suggested that low doses of Delta-8 may help boost appetite and help treat weight disorders, as well. Delta-9 has been known to give users a hearty appetite. Cannasseurs will vouch for it.
Another study in Israel with pediatric oncology patients suggested that Delta-8 has strong antiemetic properties. Antiemetic property is the ability of a substance to prevent vomiting or nausea. The researchers of this study used both Delta-8 and Delta-9 to prevent medicine-induced vomiting among young cancer patients. Delta-8 showed more promise with negligible side effects.
Not only anecdotal evidence, scientific research, too, suggests that Delta-9 is more potent than Delta-8 THC. This makes it an excellent alternative for those with lower tolerance to cannabinoids and newbies. Besides, who would want a near-schizophrenic experience with marijuana when Delta-8 can give you the high without those side effects?
However, it’s important to remember that the effects of cannabinoids depend on physiological factors, too. These include metabolism, body mass index, and tolerance to the compound. Some people may have a more intense experience even with Delta-8 compared to others. The effect will also vary according to the type of cannabinoid product consumed and its potency.
So, there is no reason to underestimate the power of Delta-8 just because it gives a milder high. It would be best if you did not take too much of it too soon. For all you know, it may just leave you a bit zonked.
Experience The Best Of Delta-8 THC
So, if you have now decided that you want to give Delta-8 a try, how would you know that the product you choose would indeed be safe and effective? After all, if your product contains too much Delta-9 THC, not only will it be illegal, but it will also leave you stoned.
Delta-8 occurs in very low concentrations in natural cannabis plants. For commercial use, it has to be converted from CBD or Delta-9. To be legal, Delta-8 MUST BE converted from CBD, and the CBD has to be sourced from hemp. But what if you buy your stuff from a dubious company that sells you Delta-9-converted Delta-8 sourced from marijuana?
To avoid any trouble, buy Delta-8 products only from reputable companies. Look for the source of the hemp on the company website and check the extraction method. You must only buy hemp grown in the US or the EU because the farming practices are strictly monitored.
Choose companies that use the CO2 extraction method to derive CBD from hemp. This method leaves no residues and gives you the purest extracts. Double-check the cannabinoid profile in the third-party lab-test reports, which are usually posted on websites as Certificates of Analysis or CoAs. Make sure that the Delta-9 THC content is less than 0.3%.
It is also essential to choose a product that will suit you and your taste. If you are just starting, oils and tinctures may not be your best bet as they do not taste too great. They have the natural taste of hemp, and if you do not take a liking to that taste, you may not enjoy the product at all.
Gummies and edibles, on the other hand, may contain sweeteners and artificial flavors and colors. Look up the ingredients list carefully to find out what those additives are. Avoid them altogether if you do not approve of the ingredients.
Vape devices, too, often contain artificial flavors. But it’s best to go for products that use only natural plant-derived terpenes as the flavoring agent. You will find many such products from reputable brands. Look for brands that have “all-natural” and “organic” tags against their products.
Most importantly, check the strength of the product. If you are new, start with the lowest dose and only a tiny amount of that product. For example, take half a gummy or only one small puff of the vape. Wait for half an hour and gauge the effects that you are experiencing. Do you feel high? Is it enough for you? If not, do not gobble up another gummy or take two more puffs at once. Wait at least another half hour and then take just as much as you took the first time.
Also, no matter how mellow the high, do not operate heavy machinery or drive after consuming any Delta-8 product. You may not have complete control over your motor skills. Do not endanger your life or that of others.