If you use cannabis, chances are you know about delta-9 THC. This is the psychoactive compound that gives the high that many users seek and results in side effect such as relaxation, increased appetite and in some cases, anxiety or paranoia. While delta-9 is the most common cannabinoid, it’s far from being the only option for those who use cannabis products. Recently, delta-8 THC was discovered as an alternative to delta-9 and for some, this newly-discovered cannabinoid is a much better choice.
Let’s take a look at the differences between delta-8 and delta-9 THC.
Side Effects and Feelings
Delta-9 has strong psychoactive properties. With a variety of different strains that contain different terpines and THC levels, users report varying side effects from delta-9 THC use. Most often though, these feelings include relaxation, hunger, drowsiness and for some, anxiety.
On the other hand, delta-8 THC users report less intensity when it comes to side effects. It’s also seemingly rare for delta-8 THC to result in feelings of paranoia, anxiety, or drowsiness. Instead, most users who try delta-8 THC report that they feel alert, focused, and relaxed. For many, this results in a more pleasant, productive high when compared with delta-9 THC.
When it comes to the way delta-8 THC affects the brain, studies have shownt hat while delta-9 THC activates the brain’s CB1 receptor, delta-8 THC activates both the CB1 and CB2 receptors. By activating both of these receptors, the body is able to feel more relaxed and potentially reach a state of homeostasis. This effect is similar to that of CBD; however, unlike CBD, delta-8 also has some psychoactive properties.
While delta-8 and delta-9 both have the potential to treat a wide range of symptoms and health conditions, it’s important to consider the added benefits of using delta-8 THC for its medicinal properties.
Thanks to the reduced psychoactive effects of delta-8 THC, it can be used to treat a wider range of patients who don’t feel comfortable using delta-9 THC. It offers the same appetite stimulation as delta-9 without the feelings of panic, paranoia, and anxiety that often come with delta-9 use. Studies have also shown that adding CBD to delta-8 THC can further reduce psychoactive effects, helping those who prefer not to feel high benefit from its antiemetic and appetite stimulant properties. This makes delta-8 THC a good choice for treating cancer patients and those receiving medical treatments that result in nausea or decreased appetite.
Delta-8 THC is subject to the same marijuana laws as other cannabis products. That means that according to federal law, delta-8 THC products must have less than 0.3% delta-9 THC to be considered legal and of course, this legislation varies at the state level. In some cases, delta-8 THC can be derived from hemp plants or converted from CBD and in those cases, delta-9 THC isn’t present at all.
Delta-8 THC is becoming more and more common in the cannabis industry and many manufacturers have begun marketing this unique cannabinoid. Most commonly, delta-8 THC is sold in edible gummies or vape cartridges.