delta 8 thc

Simply if you thought the storm of three-letter acronyms like THC, CBD, and CBN had ebbed, the pro-cannabis neighborhood hones in on one other razor-thin distinction between cannabinoids in hopes of a authorized workaround: the delta-9 versus delta-8 THC cut up.

Take a deep breath—we notice there’s a ton of misinformation surrounding all the pieces hashish proper now, however we’re right here to assist with a transparent breakdown of delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol.

All of it begins within the fan-leafed enigma that’s the hashish plant, so let’s start there.

Desk Of Contents

  1. What Is Delta-8 THC?
  2. What Are The Purported Advantages Of Delta-8 THC?
  3. Delta-8 THC Facet Results
  4. Similarities And Variations Between Delta-8 And Delta-9 THC
  5. Key Takeaways

What Is Delta-8 THC?

delta 8 thc

Together with its rather more well-liked cousin, delta-9 THC, delta-8 THC belongs to a category of greater than 100 cannabis-based chemical compounds referred to as cannabinoids (CBD, CBN, CBG, and all of the THCs are cannabinoids).

Delta-8 THC can be psychoactive, that means it will probably elicit a excessive when consumed.

Nonetheless, delta-8 THC is far much less ample within the hashish plant than delta-9 THC, seldomly rising above a focus of 1 % in unaltered vegetation.

Selective breeding can improve this quantity barely, however essentially the most environment friendly option to improve the quantity is to synthesize delta-8 THC from different cannabinoids (we’ll get to that in a second).

What Are the Purported Advantages of Delta-8 THC?

In line with this PubChem data sheet on the compound, delta-8 THC may help with:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stress
  • Low urge for food
  • Ache
  • Nerve tissue injury and dysfunction

Nearly all of its interactions with the nervous system happen on the CB1 receptor, of which it’s an agonist (stimulator).

The CB1 and CB2 receptors, the compounds that work together with them, and the enzymes that break these compounds down are collectively known as the endocannabinoid system. 

The THC cousins, CBD, CBN, and all these different cannabinoids work as a result of the physique already has this technique in place, together with our very personal model of internally produced cannabinoid, anandamide. 

Delta-8 THC stimulates CB1 (and to a lesser extent, CB2), which contributes to dozens of physiological processes that help the above advantages.

delta 8 thc stimulates cb1

Delta-8 THC Facet Results

Lighthearted popular culture references apart, delta-8 THC unintended effects can doubtlessly progress past the “munchies.”

Sure, it’s a naturally occurring compound, however so is arsenic.

A examine by Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem inspecting the efficacy of delta-8 THC as an anti-nausea remedy for youngsters with most cancers famous the following unintended effects:

  • Dizziness
  • Euphoria
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability

As with all compounds and/or medicine, amount, co-administration of different meds or alcohol, medical historical past, and a number of other different components can have an effect on threat components for unintended effects.

Now to handle the elephant within the room: how is delta-8 THC much like and completely different from delta-9 THC?

For starters, the above unintended effects are a lot much less frequent and potent with delta-8 THC. 

Similarities and Variations Between Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC

Press protection is only the start with regards to the a number of variations between these compounds, and on the identical time, they’re comparable in lots of regards.

Before everything, they’re manufactured from the identical stuff, however constructed otherwise. 

Chemical Construction

Each of those cannabinoid molecules include the very same variety of the very same components; the chemical formulation for delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC is C21H30O2

Nonetheless, the best way the atoms bond to one another is barely completely different.

The place delta-9 THC has a carbon-to-carbon double bond on the ninth carbon atom, delta-8 THC has a carbon-to-carbon double bond on the eighth carbon atom.

These two molecules are what chemists discuss with as isomers or structural analogs of one another: molecules composed of the identical atoms, however structured otherwise.

Although this distinction appears tiny, it truly provides delta-8 THC extra stability, growing the molecule’s shelf life and resistance to oxidation. 


Along with being far much less ample than delta-9 THC, delta-8 can be considerably much less potent.

Its interactions with each CB1 and CB2 receptors elicit smaller responses (e.g., pain-controlling results, anti-nausea results, and so forth.) than delta-9 THC.

Leisure and extra functionally minded customers preferring a milder excessive can flip to delta-8 THC, the place these in both camp preferring/want stronger results could gravitate to delta-9 THC. 

Absorption: How, The place, and How Quick

Lastly, there may be virtually no discernible distinction between the “pharmacodynamics” of delta-8 and delta-9 THC; each comply with the identical pathway within the physique.

Which means they work together with the identical receptors (CB1 and CB2), get metabolized by the identical liver enzymes, and are excreted in the identical approach.

For anybody within the positive print, this examine from Hokuriku College in Japan breaks it down by the enzyme. 

In fact, there are a number of discrepancies between how the 2 compounds are absorbed, however they’re so small, it’s secure for our functions to think about them negligible. 


The 2018 Farm Invoice explicitly excludes merchandise containing greater than 0.3% THC from the definition of commercial hemp, i.e., federally authorized hemp.

Regardless of its purposeful and structural similarity to delta-9, delta-8 THC is not explicitly outlawed by this laws.

Nonetheless, right here’s the issue: that rule was solely pertaining to compounds naturally current within the hemp plant.

Within the case of delta-8, for producers to succeed in fascinating portions of the compound, they need to synthesize it from CBD

An Interim ultimate rule enacted in August of 2020 by the DEA states that “The AIA (Farm Bill) did not impact the control status of synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols because the statutory definition of ‘hemp’ is limited to materials that are derived from the plant cannabis sativa L.” 

The rule went on to broaden, “All synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols remain schedule I controlled substances.”

In different phrases, the substance itself is technically federally authorized in its personal proper, however the course of used to synthesize it renders it unlawful. 

Key Takeaways

delta 8 and delta 9 thc

In the event you’ve skimmed to the underside in hopes of a TL;DR breakdown, you’re in luck.

Right here’s your bite-sized introduction to delta-8 THC, together with its similarities and variations to delta-9 THC:

Composition: The chemical formulation for delta-8 THC (C21H30O2) is the very same as delta-9 THC, however the two molecules differ within the location of a carbon-carbon double bond. 

Stability and Efficiency: Although delta-8 THC is much less potent than delta-9 THC in all regards (feeling excessive and experiencing well being advantages), its construction permits for better stability, that means it will probably last more and endure extra abuse earlier than breaking down or oxidizing.

Absorption: Each delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC comply with virtually the very same pathway within the physique, interacting with the identical receptors and enzymes.

Legality: Whereas delta-8 THC is technically not a schedule I managed substance like THC-containing marijuana, the method of synthesizing it (as is required to attain therapeutic portions) lumps it in with schedule I substances.

That’s one misrepresented cannabinoid down, 100 extra to go.

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