When people think of cannabis, the first thing that typically comes to mind is the classically intoxicating cannabis “high.” Most experienced users know that the compound largely responsible for these sensations is Delta-9 (regular THC). However, experts have found over 100 additional compounds in the cannabis plant, with more being discovered every day. One compound, in particular, has skyrocketed recently in popularity with cannabis lovers worldwide: Delta-8 THC. So what is this mysterious new cannabinoid, how does it work, and is it right for you? Read below to learn everything you need to know about Delta-8 THC!
What is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, or Delta-8 THC for short, is one of the many naturally occurring chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. Although this cannabinoid has been around for a while, it was largely ignored for years since it is typically only found in trace amounts. Fortunately, recent advances in cannabis technology have allowed experts to convert other compounds such as CBD and Delta-9 THC into Delta-8 THC, making this compound a new area of interest for researchers.
What’s the Difference? Delta-8 THC vs. Delta-9 THC
If you talk to any cannabis user about THC, odds are they’ll be referring to Delta-9 THC. Delta-9 is easily the most popular and commonly used of the cannabinoids due to its psychotropic effects and clinical benefits. While Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 do share some key similarities, there are enough differences between the two to offer Delta-8 a unique spot within cannabis culture. So how exactly do these compounds relate, and more importantly, how do they differ?
Both Delta-9 and Delta-8 THC share extremely similar chemical structures which contribute to the similarity of their effects. They each possess a double bond in their chemical structures, and it’s this double bond that contributes to any psychotropic sensations. Both cannabinoids also interact with the same network of cells, enzymes, and receptors located throughout your body. This network is called the endocannabinoid system and is critical for regulating internal functions such as mood, pain, sleep, and more.
Although they interact with the same bodily system, there is one major difference that sets Delta-8 and Delta-9 apart. It all comes down to the specific location of that double bond we talked about earlier. Both compounds are made up of a chain of carbon atoms, and the double bond is located on one of these atoms. In Delta-9, the double bond is found on the ninth carbon atom but is located on the eighth carbon atom in Delta-8 THC. While this may not seem like a huge difference, the location of the double bond directly influences how well the cannabinoid binds to your endocannabinoid receptors. This is why Delta-9 produces much more potent effects compared to those of Delta-8 THC.
Delta-8 THC Effects
As a result of its chemical similarity to Delta-9 THC, Delta-8 THC does produce a range of psychotropic effects. Consumers often report feelings of happiness, euphoria, and relaxation. Delta-8 THC can also offer relief from symptoms of certain medical conditions including chronic pain, insomnia, and more. However, the effects are generally only around two-thirds as potent as those you would experience when consuming Delta-9 products.
While some may argue that Delta-8 THC’s decreased potency is a downside, it can actually be quite an important advantage. Due to its strong effects, Delta-9 THC can often bring about unwanted side effects such as increased anxiety or feelings of paranoia. Many users actually prefer Delta-8 THC because it offers a smoother, less intense high. This cannabinoid is especially great for first-time users who want to ease their way into cannabis use without overdoing it.
Even with Delta-8 THC, however, you still may experience mild side effects. That’s why it’s important to always be cautious when consuming THC, no matter which version it is.
Dosing Delta-8 THC
The effects of THC, both Delta-8 THC and Delta-9, can differ greatly depending on a number of factors. People of different sexes, body weights, and tolerance levels will all experience THC’s effects in different ways. If you have experience using Delta-9 THC, then the effects of Delta-8 THC will feel much weaker and won’t last as long. On the other hand, someone who is new to cannabis could experience quite strong effects with Delta-8. It’s really all down to your individual body chemistry.
Your experience can also change depending on how you choose to consume Delta-8. Cannabis comes in many different forms and can interact with your body in a variety of ways. For example, it is common knowledge among cannabis veterans that consuming edibles leads to a much stronger high than smoking cannabis flowers. That’s why it’s important to always check exactly how much Delta-8 THC you’re consuming regardless of how you consume.
There is still very little research out there that specifically investigates the effects of Delta-8, so it’s usually best to start with a small dose and wait at least two hours before consuming any more. This method will help you avoid any negative side effects and find the most ideal dosage for you.
Buying Delta-8 THC Products
Now that you’re convinced that Delta-8 THC is the real deal, you may be feeling tempted to run off and buy any products that you can find. Before you do, there are a few important things to consider when purchasing Delta-8 products. First and foremost, research into the legality of Delta-8 THC where you live. Delta-8 is sourced from hemp instead of cannabis, meaning that it is legal for purchase in many areas when cannabis is illegal. However, there are some places that have explicitly listed Delta-8 THC as an illegal compound, so make sure to check before attempting to purchase anything.
Another critical thing to look out for is the safety and legitimacy of your Delta-8 THC product. Since this compound is relatively new to the cannabis market, there still isn’t much regulation surrounding its sale and manufacturing. Before purchasing, make sure your product has been inspected by a laboratory independent from the actual brand. This will ensure you receive a good-quality product that’s safe to use and doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients.
Delta-8 THC Final Thoughts
As you can see, Delta-8 may be a fantastic way to experience cannabis for both beginners and enthusiasts alike. At SYZYGY, we offer customers valuable cannabis education resources as well as a wide selection of top-tier CBD products. Shop SYZYGY today and experience wellness like never before!