What is Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol?
As the popularity of CBD increases, studies continue and benefits are seen, so the interest in other cannabinoids and their potential health benefits grows. We look at Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabiniol, the new kid on the block that is turning heads and raising curiosity.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive compound found in marijuana, a breed of the cannabis sativa plant. One of over 100 cannabinoids found in the plant, it is the chemical responsible for most of the psychological effects associated with marijuana.
Illegal in the UK, when we refer to THC, we are generally talking about Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-9-THC). This is found in high concentration in the marijuana plant. Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol is a less ‘well-known’ naturally occurring compound that is increasing in popularity. It has the same chemical properties of Delta-9 but minor variations in the molecular chain.
What does Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol do?
As with Delta-9-THC, Delta-8-THC has psychoactive properties that give users a ‘high’. However, Delta-8 has a lower psychotropic potency, so these effects will be milder.
Feelings of euphoria, relaxation and possible pain relief are still present in this minor cannabinoid but without such a pronounced ‘high.’ It is, therefore, often preferred by people who are new to THC and are searching for its medicinal benefits without the hallucinatory effects associated with Delta-9.
Reported benefits include:
– Pain relief
Studies have discovered analgesic properties of Delta-8, meaning that it may be able to desensitize the nervous system to pain.
– Prevention of nausea and vomiting during cancer treatment
Studies have reported that Delta-8 controls nausea and prevents vomiting in patients receiving chemotherapy, with negligible side effects.
– Positive effect on mental health
Delta-8 binds with the CB1 receptors of the endocannabinoid system, possibly helping to relieve anxiety and induce better sleep.
– Appetite stimulation
This study recognised an increase in the appetite of mice when treated with a low dose of Delta-8 THC, indicating that Delta-8 could be considered as a treatment of weight loss.
Is Delta-8 Legal?
Delta-8-THC is not legal in the UK. While it is not mentioned in the UK’s drug licensing fact sheet, it can be assumed that, with the strict regulations on hemp and marijuana, Delta-8 with its psychoactive properties and links to THC would not be approved in the UK.
Delta-8-THC is legal for use in many states in the USA, largely because it is extracted from hemp-derived CBD which is legal to farm there. However, it’s worth being aware of a potential grey area, existing due to the fact that it is currently legal to market Delta-8 products in many US states, purely because they contain no more than 0.3% of Delta-9-THC on a dry-weight basis. Delta-8 is largely made by converting CBD or Delta-9 THC into Delta-8 THC synthetically, which is illegal. While it comes from a natural source, the way it is produced makes it synthetic.
Where can I buy Delta-8?
In the UK, Delta-8 is not available unless on prescription from a specialised doctor.
In the USA, Delta-8 can be purchased in the 30 states where it is legal. These include Florida, Texas, Georgia, Illinois and New Mexico. It is prohibited in the other US states including New York, Vermont and Colorado. If purchasing in an area where Delta-8 is legal, be sure to do your homework, buying from a reputable source and always looking at the label. Keep an eye out for high-quality, hemp-derived Delta-8-THC, reading up on lab reports and reviews. Many products offer familiarity to CBD users as they are similar to the hemp product lines already available
While Delta-8-THC undoubtedly shows positive effects, there is a lack of conclusive research, particularly when it comes to the adverse effects of consumption and any long-term issues.