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What is Delta 8 THC?
Delta 8, aka D8, is an up and coming favorite amongst many cannabis users but what is it really and is it for you? Described as a less potent form of regular THC it has become a favorite for those who want to keep a clear head and body. Like microdosing THC, legally.
So Delta-8 THC is a mild psychoactive cannabinoid extracted from the cannabis Sativa plant. It is an isomer of the Delta 9-THC, commonly referred to as THC. D8 is also a minor cannabinoid found in small quantities in Cannabis plants.
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What are the differences between Delta 8 THC and THC?
Although Delta-8 and THC share similar properties such as relieving pain, aiding in sleep and boosting appetite, the two compounds are different which can be seen as discussed below;
1. Molecular Structure
One of the major differences between Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC is the location of double bonds in their carbon chains. In its molecular structure, Delta-8 has a double bond on the eighth carbon atom while Delta-9 has the double bond located on the ninth carbon atom.
2. Side Effects
Delta-8 produces milder euphoric effects and is less potent than Delta-9. This means that it is effective and has similar effects when consumed, but it induces calm and less anxious “high” than Delta-9 THC.
The time it takes to feel the effects is faster in Delta-9. Delta-8 works gradually and provides a much easier experience than Delta-9. As a result, you are less likely to feel anxious after consuming the less potent option. On the other hand, Delta-9 is absorbed quickly, which means it can induce feelings such as paranoia and anxiousness faster.
3. Delta-8 Extraction
Delta-8 is a minor cannabinoid, found in small quantities in cannabis plants. Since it’s found in fewer amounts, it is mostly created using Delta-9. In comparison, Delta-9 is a major cannabinoid found in significant amounts. As such, its extraction is cheaper and simpler with the right equipment.
4. Molecular Stability
According to this study, Delta-8 THC is more stable than Delta-9 THC. Unlike Delta-9 that undergoes oxidation to become Cannabinol (CBN), Delta-8 THC doesn’t oxidize and is more chemically stable than Delta-9. The study also notes that Delta-8 THC has a longer shelf life.
5. Interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS)
Delta-8 THC and THC interact similarly with your system when consumed. The only difference lies in the affinity for the cannabinoid receptors in your body, which caused by the slightly different molecular structures. Cannabinoid receptors (CB1) are responsible for the cognitive effect you experience after taking Delta-8 or THC. The difference in the affinity for CB1 receptors creates less potent psychotropic effects after taking Delta-8 than THC.
Is Delta-8 Legal?
Technically speaking, Delta-8 is legal on a federal level. This is because of the ambiguities created by the Farm Bill from 2018. The bill legalized hemp production and doesn’t prohibit extracting Delta-8 from hemp.
However, various states have banned and restricted the sale of Delta-8 products due to their psychoactive effects. Recently, FDA noted their concerns over Delta-8 THC. The emphasis is that Delta-8 is yet to be approved for safe use and may be a health risk to consumers.
Now that you have learnt what Delta-8 THC is and how different it is from Delta-9 THC, you may know the benefits and the side effects you may encounter. With that in mind, always buy Delta-8 products from trustworthy vendors and be keen on how your body reacts to them.