Delta-8 THC: What You Need to Know
Updated: Mar 1, 2021
Lois Carter & Gina Epps contributed to this post.
As Cannabidiol (CBD) takes the health and wellness marketplace by storm
with a wide range of benefits, another derivative from the cannabis plant,
Delta-8 THC, is rapidly gaining popularity for how it interacts with the human
body’s endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system is the homeostatic regulator that affects nearly
every system of our body.
Delta-8 THC is a naturally occurring phytocannabinoid found at low
concentrations in most varieties of the cannabis plant and their subsequent
strains—including industrial hemp.
If you have ever used hemp-derived, full-spectrum products, such as certain
CBD gummies, flowers, or tinctures, you are already ingesting Delta-8 THC,
albeit in extremely low amounts.
Yet these trace levels of the compound only scratch the surface of the
potential benefits Delta-8 THC can offer the human body and mind. Delta-8
THC is an immensely important cannabinoid specifically due to its ability to
serve as a more functional substitute for Delta-9 THC—another infamous
cannabinoid that is found at high levels in some strains of cannabis.
How Delta-8 THC is Different Than Delta-9 THC
In chemistry, the word “Delta” simply means “double carbon bond.” The
number that follows the word “Delta” refers to where the bond occurs. Upon
first glance, the exact position of the Delta in the carbon chain might seem
minor—yet this is far from the case. When it comes to cannabinoids and CB1
receptors in the central nervous system, big changes occur depending on the
exact position of the delta in the carbon chain. Cannabinoids bind to CB1 and
CB2 receptors within the endocannabinoid system. It is here where they act
as either agonists—mimicking endocannabinoids which are naturally
produced by your body—or antagonists—blocking receptors and limiting
their activity. THC is an agonist and CBD is an antagonist; allowing them to
benefit the body both independently and symbiotically depending on the
Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC are both equally powerful cannabinoids. Our
body’s chemistry allows us to distinguish their slight variances as to where
the position of the Delta bond occurs. Yet both cannabinoids influence mood and behavior and have similar, subjective intoxicating effects. It is important
to note that on the whole Delta-8 THC tends to deliver its user a more
controlled experience than Delta-9 THC, taking into account biological and
When consumed by vaporization, studies show that nearly an equal
percentage of people reported feeling a subjective, intoxicated feeling from
Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC. However, approximately 20% more users (91%)
reported their experience with Delta-8 THC to be positive than those who
vaporized Delta-9 THC (72%).
At the same time, only 6% of users reported negative effects from vaping
cartridges containing Delta-8 THC compared with 58% of users reporting
negative effects such as increased feelings of paranoia, loss of focus, and
overeating from vaping cartridges containing Delta-9 THC.
As a result of these anecdotal reports, the effects of Delta-8 THC can be
considered less problematic than Delta-9 THC, with a milder onset, an
experience better regulated by the user, and elevated feelings of creativity,
alertness, and positive social responses.
Delta-8 THC Safety
Since Delta-8 THC is extracted from the cannabis plant in a laboratory setting, public
safety concerns are alleviated. Lab policies and quality control procedures are
drafted to ensure that operations are performed correctly by trained personnel.
Similar to its Delta-9 THC counterpart, there are no identified fatal overdose
parameters. However, it should be noted that as with other substances, vitamins, or
supplements, there are undesirable effects when consuming more than a person
Delta-8 THC effects vary based on the chosen method of consumption. Delta-8 THC
exhibits immediate responses when vaporized or smoked and delayed peak effects
when consumed in an edible format such as a gummi that can range from 45
minutes to a couple of hours. The level of purity also plays a role in onset time. The
presence of other cannabinoids may delay the onset of desired effects along with
the concentration of Delta-8 THC in the product. Consequently, this gives the user
further control with the option to consume an antagonist such as CBD if they prefer
to mitigate the effects of a Delta-8 product.
Whether or not you have experience with cannabinoids, to limit undesired effects it
is a best practice to work your dose up slowly to identify your baseline.
Delta-8 THC Extraction, Isolation From Other Cannabinoids
Industry extraction methods currently do not yield substantial quantities of
Delta-8 THC, making isolation of Delta-8 from plant material nearly
impossible without major costs and equally not economical for end-use
consumers. The most common and practical industry practice is converting
CBD, which is abundant in legal hemp. This is done thru a chemical reaction,
typically using heat. This reaction is much like the natural conversion that
takes place as cannabinoids are being created from the mother cannabinoid,
Cannabigerolic Acid, (also known as CBGA), a non-intoxicating cannabinoid
that is the precursor for THC, CBD, and several other common cannabinoids.
The reaction occurs by way of heat, light, time, and plant genetic factors. It is
important to distinguish this when deeming legality. Delta-8 THC produced
in a lab using CBD is a “derivative” or “conversion”, not a synthetic substance,
which is easily classified as illegal.
Delta-8 THC Benefits
The effects of Delta-8 are subjective, but there is a common ground when
users explain their experiences. Similar to the effects of CBD, the effects of
Delta-8 THC can come in two phases. At lower blood concentrations it is
reported to be energizing and at higher doses and blood concentrations it
may be sleep-inducing. One of the most commonly reported characteristics
is how the effects of Delta-8 THC are not overwhelmingly intoxicating—which
is often an effect associated with Delta-9 THC.
A unique trait of Delta-8 in comparison to other tetrahydrocannabinols is the
reduced side effects that come with influencing CB1 receptors in the brain. As
discussed earlier, cannabinoids bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors on the
endocannabinoid system. CB1 receptors are located in the brain and
throughout the body, while CB2 receptors are found mostly in the immune
and gastrointestinal system. While CB2 receptors are also found in the brain,
they are not expressed quite as densely as CB1 receptors.
CB1 receptors are what give Delta-9 THC its infamous “high”. Though the THC
family bonds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors, Delta-8 bonds more to CB2 than
CB1, delivering its benefits throughout the body and less of CB1 receptors in
the central nervous system. Ultimately, this makes the health benefits of
Delta-8 THC stand out while minimizing its psychoactive effects—supporting
users’ claims of a clearer, more relaxing, more sensible, and functional
experience as well as an uplifting effect on the body.
Common Reports of Delta-8 THC Effects:
• Enhanced mood
• Increased relaxation
• Reduced aches and pains
• Increased libido
• Stabilized sleep patterns
• Reduced nausea
• Increased appetite
Similar to Delta-9 THC, potential negative side-effects could include
unwanted drowsiness, headache, dry mouth, and red eyes depending on the
dosing and individual user.
Delta-8 THC is a new way to experience the cannabis plant. It is perfect for
anyone that would like to feel good without being slowed down. Countless
people have unusual tolerance issues that lead to being overstimulated when
using Delta-9 THC—leading to undesirable effects such as increased anxiety,
nervousness, paranoia, and mental cloudiness. The benefits of Delta-9 THC
cannot be understated. However, not everyone can manage the “high” and
perform their daily tasks and responsibilities effectively—which makes Delta-
8 THC a golden alternative.
If you are interested in partnering with Gummi
World to create your own, customized Delta-8 THC gummi, call our Partner
Satisfaction Expert at 830-358-9770 today or schedule a time online.
The statements above have not been evaluated by the FDA. Delta-8 THC is
not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.