Delta-8 THC is a psychoactive substance found in cannabis, marijuana, and hemp plants. It is one of the hundreds of cannabinoids that have been identified in the cannabis plant. Delta-8 THC is a cannabis compound similar to delta-9 THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid that produces the high associated with marijuana, but delta-8 gives users a milder high. Delta-8 is legal because it is derived from hemp and has less than 0.3 percent delta-9 THC by dry weight.
Delta-8 THC works on cannabinoid receptors in your brain. These receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system — a neural network that helps regulate functions like appetite, mood, and memory. Delta-8 is a fatty acid that occurs naturally in your body. It helps control the flow of calcium into and out of cells. When you have high calcium levels in your blood, you may develop high blood pressure. Therefore, a substance that can lower calcium levels may help reduce blood pressure and protect against cardiovascular disease.
Scientists and researchers are still learning how the cannabis plant works in the human body, but we know that delta-8 can interact with our endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a network of cannabinoid receptors spread throughout your brain and central nervous system. When you ingest delta-8, it can bind to these receptors and produce various effects.
There are two primary types of receptors found throughout the body: CB1 and CB2. Delta-8 primarily binds to CB1 receptors, responsible for regulating mood and appetite. Delta-8 also interacts with other receptors in your body, such as opioid receptors, serotonin receptors, and vanilloid receptor 1 (TRPV1). These interactions may be part of why users report feeling calm, relaxed, or euphoric when they consume delta-8 THC.
Like other CBD products, delta-8 can be used in various edible products such as gummies, brownies, and cookies. It is also used in beverages like coffee, smoothies, and topicals like lotions and creams.
One of the most well-known research studies on delta-8 THC has to do with cancer treatment. The study involved administering delta-8 to mice bred to develop leukemia and lymphoma tumors. Researchers found that delta-8 could significantly reduce tumor growth without producing the psychotropic effects of delta-9. It suggests that it could be an effective treatment for patients with cancer or other conditions without causing them to feel high.
When you smoke cannabis with delta-8 THC, you will experience the same pain relief benefits of THC but with a “less high” feeling or the euphoric feeling associated with delta-9 THC. In addition, it means that you may experience any of the following side effects:
The popularity of delta-8 as a treatment option stems from its ability to bind more strongly than THC to CB1 receptors in your brain.
Because of this property, it has been used to treat various conditions such as migraine headaches, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, etc.
When you consume an edible made with CBD, you’re likely not getting all of the benefits from the CBD because your body may not be able to absorb it properly. The same goes for other cannabinoids like CBG and CBN.
Delta-8 can help with this problem by increasing your body’s ability to absorb these cannabinoids more effectively. It means you’ll get more from them when you use edibles with delta-8 in them.