The cannabis plant, including hemp, has over 120 cannabinoids but only a handful have really been studied and marketed. Let’s take a closer look at Delta-9 THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and its close cousin Delta-8 THC, and learn how they differ.
Delta 9 THC is the psychoactive compound present in cannabis that has had the most attention in recent years. However, over the last couple of years consumers have turned their eyes to Delta 8 THC due to it’s unique properties.
The Difference Between Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC
So – what’s the difference between Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC?
There are 3 differences: There are the differences on a molecular level, differences in availability and there are the differences when it comes to experiencing the highs.
- Molecular: On a molecular level Delta 9 THC has a double bond on the 9th carbon chain whereas Delta 8 THC has a double bond on the 8th carbon chain. Despite this being a seemingly small difference, it yields big results.
- Availability: Delta 8 THC is less abundant than Delta 9 THC in the marijuana / cannabis plant – only with recent technological advances have we been able to isolate Delta 8 THC for it to be publicly available.
- Experience: Delta 8 THC has been shown to give a similar “high” to Delta 9 THC but with less severe side-effects. The high produced by Delta 8 THC (in comparison to Delta 9 THC – which is the most common THC) is described as “less intense, gentle, enjoyable and manageable”. On a more practical level, the highs from Delta 8 THC are found to have less functionality-impairing effects.
Where to buy Delta 8 THC & Cannabis Products
Unfortunately, you probably will not Delta 8 products at your local dispensary (as of the time we’re writing this article). However, Freshbros provides has been able to take the cannabis plant and isolate Delta 8 THC to create several products that include:
Delta 8 Gummies (vegan delta 8 infused gummies)
Delta 8 Vape Pens and Vape Cartridge
Delta 8 Distillate
In addition to delta 8 products, Freshbros has a whole suite of cannabis products that you can check out here.
Delta 8 Distillate – How Delta 8 Products are Made
Delta 8 THC distillate is made by allowing the cannabis / marijuana flower to go through the distillation process.
The distillation process and the science that goes with it is proprietary knowledge, but the end result is that we’re able to isolate different components of the cannabis / marijuana plant depending on what we’re producing. There are distillation processes for different cannabinoids, oils, and forms of THC.
Is Delta 8 Legal?
The end product of the distillation process is the most potent and pure form of Delta 8 THC that can be legally acquired.
Cannabis Distillation – What Manufacturers do With It
Once we have delta 8 distillate, we’re then able to offer consumers a wide array of cannabis products from something such as a vape cartridge, to terpenes, tinctures, an oil, or the distillate itself. While many of our clients are end user consumers, other clients also include dispensaries who want to provide their customers with quality delta 8 products.
Delta 8 THC in the Endocannabinoid System
Delta-8 is being discovered as an alternative to Delta-9 since it produces a less intense, gentle, enjoyable and manageable high. As far as the endocannabinoid system, Delta-9 THC only activates the CB1 receptor whereas, Delta-8 THC activates both the CB1 and CB2 receptors. The activation of both receptors is why many believe Delta 8 THC has more benefits than Delta 9 THC.
Delta 8 THC – Notable Research, Benefits, and Effects
- Nausea: As far as therapeutic benefits of Delta-8, they are considerably different than those of Delta-9. In studies dating back to 1974 when cannabinoids were being studied by Professor Raphael Mechoulam 1, the studies found that Delta-8 is an powerful immune system activator and eliminated nausea in patients who were ill from cancer medications and chemotherapy treatments. Because of this, some people prefer Delta 8 THC to help with nausea and lack of appetite.
- Cancer: It was shown in a 1995 study by Aya Abrahamov 2 that Delta 8 THC shrunk cancer tumors.
- Brain Function: Research has also shown that Delta 8 THC improves brain function 3. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that effects memory, cognition, arousal, and neuroplasticity (neuroplasticity is your brains ability to adapt and learn new things). Studies found that Delta 8 THC increases the neurotransmitter acetylecholine in the brain, with different forms of THC increasing acetylcholine in different areas.
- Anxiety and Pain: Several of Delta 9’s benefits overlap with Delta 8. In a double blind clinical trial study, research found that THC “significantly” relieved pain and reduced anxiety 4.
The Future of Delta 8 THC
Due to the less sever psychoactive effects, Delta-8 can treat a wider range of cancer patients since it’s better at combating a lack of appetite than Delta-9. And some cancer patients don’t use Delta-9 due to the panic they feel when the take it. Delta-8 has fewer discomforting side effects so it can treat a wider range of cancer patients. When CBD is added to Delta-8 it diminishes the psychotropic affects even more, so you get the benefits of Delta-8 along with CBD with little to no high.
Legality of Delta 8
Another positive about Delta-8 THC is that it is legal in any state that marijuana and hemp derived CBD is legal medically or recreationally. Delta-8 falls into a kind of regulatory gray area since it can be obtained from both the hemp and marijuana plants and can be converted from CBD which has zero Delta-9 THC present. If there are traces of Delta-9 THC present, it needs to be below the federally regulated level of 0.3%.
As a result, extractors and manufacturers have begun to isolate this cannabinoid and convert CBD into Delta-8 and are adding to many products since it features some special effects not seen with other cannabinoids.
Moving forward, we expect to see Delta 8 THC take the spotlight for recreational users as it gives many of the health and experience benefits but without the impairing effects of Delta 9 THC.
We’re also expecting traditional cannabis or marijuana products to (brownies, gummies, vape, oil, dab, and more) to become available infused with Delta 8 where science permits.
Delta 8 THC in United States Patents
US Patents the following is stated:
**Note: The “Δ” symbol is pronounced “delta”.
“Δ8-THC, for the most part, produces similar psychometric effects as does Δ9-THC, but is generally considered to be 50% less potent“
“[Δ8-THC] “has been shown in some cases to be 3-10 times less potent“
“Δ8-THC has also been shown to be more (200%) effective an anti-emetic than Δ9-THC“
Further Delta 8 THC Research
Cannabis research has recently been legalized in specific states. Because of this, new research on cannabis is proliferate. The effects derived from the plant are amazing and people want to know if there are other benefits or side effects that we don’t know about yet.
Delta 8 Research Citations
Here are Freshbros, we use science to back up any claims and to help consumers make informed and educated decisions. Below are science or medical research related to cannabis that we referenced in this article.
3: Tripathi, H & Vocci, Frank & Brase, DA & Dewey, William. (1987). Effects of cannabinoids on levels of acetylcholine and choline and on turnover rate of acetylcholine in various regions of the mouse brain. Alcohol and drug research. 7. 525-32.
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