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Delta 8-THC: What Do We Know About It?

Delta 9-THC has some new competition in the cannabinoids market — it’s called Delta 8-THC.


What is Delta 8-THC?

Delta 8-THC is a variant form of THC found in small concentrations in the cannabis plant. Processors extract the cannabinoid and concentrate it to therapeutic levels.

What is the difference between Delta 8-THC and Delta 9-THC?

The main difference between Delta 8 and Delta 9 is the location of the double bond. Delta 8 has the double bond on the 8th carbon in the chain, Delta 9 on the 9th.

Is Delta 8-THC medicinal?

Yes! Delta 8-THC is used for a variety of symptoms including:

  • Pain relief

  • Appetite stimulation

  • Nausea

  • Anxiety

  • It even protects brain cells!

What are the effects of Delta 8-THC?

The effects of the Delta 8-THC cannabinoid are described as similar to traditional Delta 9-THC, but have been described as less intense, though still powerful, offering the user a calm focus.

Where can I buy Delta 8-THC?

PSNet Wholesale Distribution has partnered with two Delta 8 producers, 3Chi and 8Delta8, and we will be making their products available here soon.

Delta 8-THC has been growing in popularity for its touted array of benefits similar to our well-known friend Delta 9-THC, but with less intense side effects. Researchers are discovering more about minor cannabinoids in the cannabis plant and their potential role in producing the unique intoxicating sensations from consuming different cannabis strains. Could it be that we have found a molecule with all the good of Delta 9-THC and less potential for the paranoia or anxiety that can come from getting too high?

Delta (∆) 8-THC exists in the cannabis plant alongside other molecules like CBG, CBN, and various aromatic terpenes. Delta-8 THC is more stable than Delta-9 THC, but less potent. Like ∆-9, it binds to CB1 receptors but has a lower affinity for them, which may account for this lessened effect. Also, it does not exist naturally in large quantities in the plant, so it must be extracted from the plant or synthesized.

Some benefits of ∆ 8-THC include stimulating appetite and abetting pain and inflammation. With ∆-9 only recently legal in very small quantities, there is even less research on ∆ 8-THC’s effects. However, the research that does exist shows results of eliminating nausea in cancer patients, increasing appetite in a mouse model, and successful conversion from other cannabinoids like CBD.

This praised cannabinoid has created a market for new product lines claiming to help with anxiety, nausea, or just to provide a nice experience for recreational use. Just like ∆-9, you can purchase edible gummies, vape pens, and extracts from different strains. The company 3Chi recently released a Delta 8-THC hemp-derived tincture, containing 1,200mg of the cannabinoid per 30 milliliter bottle. Despite these exciting findings, because the molecule activates CB1 receptors similar to ∆-9, it is always a good idea to be careful with your consumption habits and to start low and slow if you are worried about anxiety being a possible side effect.

The DEA recently published an addendum to the 2018 Farm bill specifying some of its conditions. Initially, the bill stated hemp products were legal if they contained less than 0.3% Delta 9-THC. This led people to believe that because Delta 8-THC was not specified here, and is considered a minor cannabinoid, it is legal in any concentration. This DEA document now attempts to redefine “tetrahydrocannabinols” in the eyes of the law, stating that any synthetically produced THCs are illegal: “For synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols, the concentration of Δ 9-THC is not a determining factor in whether the material is a controlled substance. All synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols remain schedule I controlled substances.”

We know ∆ 8-THC only exists in the cannabis plant in small concentrations and in order to achieve more of an intoxicating effect, it must be extracted. If hemp-derived cannabinoids (remember, “hemp” is just cannabis that contains less than 0.3% ∆ 9-THC) are legal because they are “natural,” does this make ∆ 8-THC legal because it technically comes from the same plant? Or does the process of extracting it automatically make it synthetic? These are all good questions to be asking, and the consensus seems to be that as long as it is derived from the hemp plant, which follows the bill’s conditions of ∆ 9-THC content, it is federally legal. Keep in mind this is always subject to change as policy adapts to changes in our society.

New light shed on ∆ 8-THC has reminded us of the many working components of the cannabis plant that interact to create the positive effects we see for so many individuals. This minor molecule holds promise for treating a variety of conditions in ways that do not carry as many intense side effects as Delta 9, and we should keep an eye on policies as they adapt to shifts in demand and legality.

Written By: Hanna Webster

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