Delta-8-THC is the new kid on the block when it comes to cannabis. Products containing delta-8-THC, either by itself or in conjunction with other cannabinoids, have been popping up in dispensaries more frequently, but information about delta-8 is scarce. So, what is delta-8-THC? How is it different from delta-9-THC? What are the potential effects? Below we dive into everything you need to know about delta-8-THC.
What is Delta-8-THC?
If you’re unfamiliar with delta-8 THC, you may be wondering what exactly it is. Chemically speaking, delta-8 THC is a cannabinoid, the chemical compounds derived from cannabis that interact with your endocannabinoid system and regulate your mood, sleep, appetite, and more.
THC, which is psychoactive, and CBD, which is non-psychoactive, are the two most prominent cannabinoids found naturally occurring in the plant. The abbreviation THC, however, actually refers to the specific compound delta-9-THC. As you may be able to guess, delta-8-THC is very similar in structure to the cannabinoid cannabis consumers are most familiar with, delta-9-THC. Like delta-9-THC, delta-8-THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid that has the ability to produce mind-altering effects.
Delta-8-THC vs. Delta-9-THC
Although the two cannabinoids are similar, there are few distinct differences between the two. Delta-8-THC is only found naturally occurring in very small amounts, making it difficult to extract at usable quantities. Delta-9-THC, however, naturally occurs in marijuana in high amounts and can be more easily extracted directly from the plant. But because delta-8 is similar chemically to delta-9, it can be made synthetically in higher quantities using distillate, extracted cannabinoids completely stripped of its plant material, and terpenes.
Although both forms of THC are psychoactive and delta-8-THC is capable of providing a slightly intoxicating effect on its own, it should be noted that delta-8-THC provides a less potent high than delta-9-THC. This may be appealing to you if you find delta-9-THC to be too overpowering or if you want to try something a little milder for different uses. Even if you prefer more potent cannabis, consuming delta-8-THC in conjunction with delta-9-THC or other cannabinoids can induce a unique high and sensation.
Effects of Delta-8-THC
As stated above, delta-8-THC does not provide as strong of a mind-altering effect as delta-9-THC, but it does possess some unique qualities on its own. By itself, the effects of delta-8 are usually described as a toned-down version of delta-9 THC — enough to give you that “stoned” feeling without the usual intensity.
So what are the benefits of this so-called “diet weed?” Well, just how delta-8-THC can induce a mild high reminiscent of delta-9-THC, many delta-8 consumers report feeling less of the potential negative side effects of the THC we’re used to.
Overall, delta-8-THC is another cannabinoid that offers its own unique advantages and characteristics.