What Is Delta-8-THC and How Is It Different from Delta-9?
Delta-8 is a cannabis compound that has become popular because of its similarity to THC, the main compound in cannabis that gets you high, causing euphoria, happiness, sedation, symptom relief, and much more. Large amounts of THC are found in a majority of cannabis strains.
The similarities between the two cannabinoids lie in their chemical structures and their names. THC’s scientific name is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or delta-9 THC, or just delta-9. Delta-8 is short for delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, or delta-8 THC. Delta-8 THC can cause effects similar to regular delta-9 THC—but they will be much less potent.
Delta-8 and delta-9 are both forms of THC. In common usage, when people refer to THC they are talking about delta-9 THC
Delta-8, like delta-9 (regular THC), binds to the body’s endocannabinoid system, which causes you to feel high. Chemically, delta-8 and delta-9 are similar in that they both have a double bond in their structures. This double bond is thought to produce the intoxicating effects that make you feel high.
The two THCs are chemically different in the placement of the double bond. Both cannabinoids have a chain of carbon atoms, but delta-8 has the double bond on the eighth carbon, whereas delta-9 has it on the ninth.
Delta-8 binds to the endocannabinoid system in a slightly different fashion because of the location of its double bond. This is what is thought to make delta-8 much less potent than regular THC. However, more research needs to be done on delta-8 and how it interacts with the body.
Will delta-8 get you high?
Delta-8 will get you high, albeit not as high as common delta-9 THC. For those living in states where cannabis is illegal, delta-8 may be a legal way to experience some THC-like effects from cannabis.
Some consumers may even prefer cannabis products that aren’t as strong as common THC, even if they can legally obtain THC products. THC can cause negative effects for some, bringing on anxiety or paranoia. Delta-8 may offer a smoother, milder high.
Effects of delta-8
Delta-8 consumers report many of the same effects as THC, such as mild euphoria, happiness, uplifting feelings, and relief from some symptoms such as pain, although the compound is much less potent. Delta-8 can also help with insomnia.
Side effects may be similar to those of THC, including dry mouth, red eyes, getting the munchies, short-term memory, paranoia, or anxiety. It’s important to note that delta-8 hasn’t been studied extensively and more research is needed on the effects it has on the mind and body.
Delta-8 vs. CBD
Delta-8 has more similarities to THC (delta-9) than CBD, both in its chemical structure and because it gets you high. Delta-8 THC binds to the body’s endocannabinoid system more like delta-9 THC. CBD doesn’t bind as readily to the endocannabinoid system, making it non-intoxicating, although CBD can offer medicinal benefits for the consumer.
If you are looking for effects similar to THC but with a reduced potency, delta-8 may be for you. If you seek relief from certain symptoms and don’t want to get intoxicated, you may want to try a CBD product.
For most people, especially moderate or experienced consumers, delta-8 will feel much weaker than regular THC. If you are new to cannabis, delta-8 could affect you strongly—it depends on your body chemistry. Again, it’s important to note that very little research has been done on delta-8. We don’t know much about how strong its effects are, and how it affects the body. As with any cannabis product, the chemical profile of the cannabis, your body’s chemistry, your tolerance level, your set and setting, and the amount you take all affect how you will feel. It’s always recommended to take a little bit at first and then wait for the onset of effects before taking more. The consumption method will affect how quickly you feel those effects. If you’re vaping delta-8, you should feel the effects within ten minutes or less; if taking edibles, wait at least an hour or two before taking more.