When you hear THC, you most likely think of Delta 9 THC, the most prominent psychoactive cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. However, there are numerous analogues of THC we should be talking about, one of them being Delta 8 THC. It has become increasingly popular, and consumers have coined the terms “decaf weed” and “diet weed” to describe the minor cannabinoid. It is fairly new to the market, compared to the well-known CBD or Delta 9 THC, and many are asking what exactly it is and should I be taking it? Let’s take a deep dive into what it is and how it may be able to benefit you.
What is Delta 8 THC?
First, what exactly is it? It is one of over 100 cannabinoids that have been identified in hemp and cannabis plants. It is a minor cannabinoid that is found in trace amounts in mature cannabis and hemp plants. Due to growing popularity and the vast amount of benefits the cannabinoid offers, cultivators are using selective breeding and molecular isolation to yield plants with higher concentrations of Delta 8 THC. Additionally, it isolates high purity extracts that are used in a variety of products, such as tinctures and edibles, to achieve the desired amount of Delta 8 THC in the final formulation.
Closely related to Delta 9 THC, Delta 8 THC does have some psychotropic potency. Researchers have estimated it to about half of that of Delta 9 THC. When taking a Delta 8 THC product, one will feel some euphoria, or a “high” feeling. However, consumers have reported feeling clear headed and more focused, with reduced anxiety when ingesting Delta 8 THC in comparison to Delta 9.
What are the benefits of Delta 8 THC?
It only recently soared in popularity. However, the science community has been interested in the therapeutic value of Delta 8 THC for a long time. In fact, research began into the cannabinoid as early as the 1970’s and since then even more benefits have been discovered. Here are some of the many benefits that it can potentially deliver.
In 1995, researchers followed eight children with cancer for a period of two years undergoing a total of 480 combined chemotherapy treatments. When the patients ingested Delta 8 THC before and for 24 hours after chemotherapy treatments, no vomiting occurred. The trial had a 100% success rate for all patients involved. Due to the powerful therapeutic benefit Delta 8 THC can deliver to combat nausea, a patent is filed in the United States for the use of Delta 8 THC, in combination with CBD, for use as an anti-nausea therapeutic. Additionally, within the patent it was cited Delta 8 THC increased the appetite of patients 200% more than that of Delta 9 THC.
Delta 8 THC can significantly improve food intake, even more so than Delta 9 THC. When administered to mice, their weight, activity levels, appetite, and cognitive functions increased in numerous studies. By increasing appetite, Delta 8 THC could potentially help with various illnesses that cause loss of appetite including AIDS and cancer.
Delta 8 THC acts as a neuroprotectant, making it a potential therapeutic for those with neurological diseases including patients with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and dementia. Through research, it has demonstrated the ability to stimulate the production of a neurotransmitter known as acetylcholine, benefiting a wide range of mental functions, including memory, cognition, and neuroplasticity, assisting one to learn new things and adapt.
In 1974, the United States government was researching if Delta 8 THC was harmful to the immune system. The cannabinoid was given to rats with lung cancer. After 20 days of treatment, researchers found not only did it not have a negative effect on the immune system, but discovered the treatment reduced the size of the tumors in the rats. Additionally, the survival rate of the rats increased from the testing.
As of 2022, the National Cancer Institute’s drug dictionary list Delta 8 THC as a potential therapeutic to reduce nausea, pain, as well as act as an appetite stimulant. With many losing their lives to cancer annually and suffering from the disease, it is important more research is done on how it can help individuals with cancer.
Delta 8 THC bonds to the body’s CB1 receptors, helping to calm our minds and reduce stress and anxiety. It also has reduced psychotropic potency compared to Delta 9 THC, so it doesn’t bring on the uncomfortable anxiety one may associate with THC. Instead, it leaves consumers clearer headed and more focused.
Along with reducing anxiety, Delta 8 THC’s binding to the body’s CB1 receptor also allows it to be a great ally for various gastrointestinal disorders. The British Journal of Pharmacology found cannabinoids that interact with the CB1 receptor can help patients with gastrointestinal disorders, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Reduces pain and inflammation
Delta 8 THC can potentially help individuals with acute and chronic pain, inflammatory pain, and neuropathic pain. When administered to rodent models, Delta 8 THC alleviated pain in numerous studies, warranting the need for clinical trials with human subjects.
How is Delta 8 THC legal?
It is federally legal per the 2018 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill legalized cannabinoids on a federal level as long as they are derived from hemp, and the product contains 0.3% or less of Delta 9 THC. There are no specifications on analogues of THC, such as Delta 8 THC or Delta 10 THC, making Delta 8 THC federally legal if derived from hemp. However, since federal legalization some states have banned the sale and consumption of Delta 8 THC products for various reasons. It is best to always check your state laws prior to purchasing Delta 8 THC products.
Delta 8 THC is a minor cannabinoid that has the potential to be used in major ways. It can be a great addition to one’s routine to support overall health and wellness, and research has demonstrated it can help with an array of ailments and diseases. With numerous clinical trials underway, it is only a matter of time before we know of even more benefits the cannabinoid has to offer.
Always speak to your primary care physician before adding any supplements into your health regimen.
Check out agrowthcorp.com for more information on Delta 8 THC and learn how you can start a hemp smokables brand today.