What’s the Difference Between Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC?

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Delta-8 THC vs. Delta-9 THC: Key Differences

Cannabis is a complex plant with an unending amount of unique qualities. From THC to CBD, there’s a wide spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes that can affect you in different ways. Getting involved with cannabis products for therapeutic purposes or even just for pleasure, it’s important to know the ins and outs of the plant and its properties.

Delta-9 THC is a property of cannabis discovered all the way back in 1964. This is the property linked with some common effects of cannabis like elation, sedation, relaxation, laughter, memory impairment, and hunger. So what is Delta-8 THC? Delta-8 is a lesser-known cannabinoid, but a no less important one to be aware of. The primary difference between Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC is that Delta-8 is just a bit less psychoactive than Delta-9. This means that products with Delta-8 THC have a more gradual, and therefore more satisfying, effect on the consumer. 

With Over 100 Cannabinoids Available to Isolate, Why Delta-8?

Why go out of your way to find products with Delta-8 THC? Well, there are a few reasons. For starters, certain studies have shown a number of health benefits of Delta-8. Let’s dive in. 

1. Antineoplastic Activity of Cannabinoids

This study published by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found a few interesting outcomes from the use of Delta-8, all that heavily implied its beneficial qualities: 

  • The oral intake of Delta-8 THC inhibited tumor growth in the lungs. 
  • When measured 12 days post tumor inoculation, all doses (50-400 mg/kg) of Delta-8-THC inhibited primary tumor growth between 40 and 60%.
  • It was found that mice treated with 50, 200, and 400 mg/kg delta-8-THC had an increased life span of 22.6, 24.6, and 27.2%, respectively.
  • Mice treated for 20 consecutive days with delta-8-THC and CBN had reduced primary tumor size.
  • Experiments with bone marrow and isolated Lewis lung cells incubated in vitro with Delta-8-THC showed a dose-dependent (10 -4 10 -7) inhibition (80-20%, respectively) of tritiated thymidine and 14C -uridine uptake into these cells.

These outcomes suggest a link between the use of Delta-8 THC and the reduction of cancerous tumors. In terms of how this study may influence a more casual cannabis user, consider that these findings help to prove Delta-8’s health benefits as a whole as a cannabinoid that will do more good than harm to your body’s functions. 

2. An Efficient New Cannabinoid Antiemetic in Pediatric Oncology

This study published in Life Sciences explored the use of Delta-8 as an antiemetic in pediatric oncology treatments and found a number of promising outcomes:

  • Delta-8 THC has antiemetic properties that helped prevent vomiting.
  • With 480 Delta-8 THC treatments, with the treatments starting two hours before each antineoplastic treatment and continued every 6 hrs for 24 hours, vomiting was completely prevented.

For the young cancer patients in this study, Delta-8 THC was seen to effectively prevent vomiting following their chemotherapy treatment. This is a positive sign of Delta-8’s overall health benefits, even for those who may suffer from less serious ailments. 

3. Delta-8 THC Studies: Literature Through the National Institute of Health

In this literature found through the National Institute of Health, a number of beneficial qualities have been linked to Delta-8 THC:

  • Delta-8 THC is not only less potent than Delta-9, but it has been found to stimulate appetites better.
  • Delta-8 THC induces less anxiousness than Delta-9.
  • Delta-8 THC can even be up to 200% more effective as an antiemetic than Delta-9.

Essentially, this study found that Delta-8 THC can induce a less anxious or potentially paranoid high than your average THC marijuana, which is great news for the casual cannabis user. In terms of health use, this study shows that there is potential for Delta-8 THC to be used therapeutically as an antiemetic, curbing nausea and vomiting in those suffering from such conditions.  

4. Delta-8 THC and Increased Appetite

This article found on PubMed presented a study that found links between the use of Delta-8 THC and food consumption, cognitive function, and neurotransmitters: 

  • Mice were fed for 2.5 h a day for 9 or 50 days, in the 9-day schedule, the THC-treated mice showed a 16% increase in food intake compared with controls.
  • Delta-8 THC caused an increase in activity in the mice. 
  • Cognitive function showed a tendency to improve with the use of Delta-8 THC. 
  • Overall Delta-8 THC caused increased food consumption and a tendency to improve cognitive function, without cannabimimetic side effects. Therefore, a low dose of THC could be considered a potential therapeutic treatment of weight disorders. 

The use of Delta-8 in this study showed the cannabinoid’s benefits as a treatment for appetite disorders and cognitive functions. This means that Delta-8 THC could potentially aid with any loss of appetite as well as metabolic functions and mental clarity.  

5. Potency of Delta-8

In this article published by Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, researchers found: 

  • That Delta-8 has a similar effect on the human body as Delta-9, but its relative potency is 2:3. 

This is further confirmation of what we’ve already learned, that Delta-8 is an effective, but calmer and less potent cannabinoid than Delta-9. 

In short, through these studies, we can see that Delta-8 THC can not only aid in a more clear-headed and less anxious high, but it can help with pain and inflammation, stimulating appetite, curbing nausea, and overall just supplement a healthier livelihood. The medical benefits of Delta-8 make it an extremely vital property of cannabis. 

More Important Information on Delta-8 THC:

How much Delta-8 THC is Actually in the Cannabis Plant?

Cannabis is a plant that grows naturally and is farmed safely around the world. Each cannabis plant is composed of various kinds of cannabinoids, chemical constituents that engage with our body’s receptors. These cannabinoids are the reason we feel mental and physical effects from the consumption or application of cannabis products. Delta-8 THC is one of the four most common cannabinoids found in the composition of a cannabis plant. Although, Delta-8 is a much rarer cannabinoid than Delt-9, so it can be slightly more difficult to source. 

Most dried cannabis flowers will be composed of less than 1% Delta-8. Those in the Delta-8 industry know that the only way to produce a significant amount of this cannabinoid is through extraction, isolation, conversion, and refinement of dried cannabis flower. A distillate of cannabis can consist of much larger percentages (even up to 99%) of Delta-8. For example, this cannabis extractor based in Washington state makes a distillate called AquaTek Delta-8 THC and it contains 58% Delta-8 THC, 7.9% Delta-9 THC, and 0.35% CBD. Luckily, Delta-8 can be extracted from either type of cannabis plant, both Sativa and Indica strains, which helps with its accessibility.

How are Delta-8 products Made? 

Producing Delta-8 THC begins with the cannabis plant. High-quality cannabis grown in rich, quality soil will of course make for the best quality Delta-8. These buds will then be harvested, dried, cured, and trimmed. Each cannabis will contain many cannabinoids in addition to Delta-8, including Delta-9 and CBD. In order to focus on a singular cannabinoid, a maker will go through a process of extraction, isolation, and synthesization. Some makers will begin by breaking the flower down through a fractional distillation process. Isolation of the Delta-8 can occur through utilizing variations in temperature and pressure during distillation. This is the process that will create a distillate that can be refined enough to be composed of 99% Delta-8, or less if so desired. 

Some producers use a process of isomerization which can help convert CBD and CBG into bulk Delta-8 THC. Isomerization is a chemical procedure where a molecule is transformed into an isomer with a different chemical structure, which is how the transformation of CBD to Delta-8 is possible. 

What should consumers know about Delta-8 THC? What types of Delta-8 Products are Available?

With health benefits in mind, when shopping for cannabis products it’s in your best interest to start looking for products that include Delta-8. Like with other cannabis properties, terpenes, and cannabinoids, you can’t be certain that a product contains Delta-8 unless it is clearly and specifically labeled. Here are just some of the forms in which Delta-8 can be sold: 

  • Delta-8 Gummies
  • Delta-8 CBD Products
  • Delta-8 Ointments
  • Delta-8 Wax
  • Delta-8 Vape Juice
  • Delta-8 CBD Oil
  • Delta-8 Creams and Lotions
  • Delta-8 Tinctures

Which type of product you buy largely depends on what form of cannabis intake usually works best for you, so consider what has worked for you in the past with other forms or strains of cannabis. If you’re a beginner, try starting with a simple product that has a low dosage in order to get you more acclimated to the Delta-8.  

What is the Standard Suggested Dosage for Delta-8 THC?

The suggested dosage for Delta-8 THC can be largely subjective and dependent on what type of user you are. Are you new to cannabis and have never tried any form of cannabis before? Or have you been using cannabis for a long time?  Are you a casual, recreational cannabis user? Or are you mainly using cannabis for medical and health purposes? Perhaps you’ve only taken CBD products before and are wondering if the same dosage applies?

Consider all of these questions before you buy the first product you see. With Delta-8 products, you may want to look for a slightly different dosage than you would with CBD products, simply because they have different effects and Delta-8 is ever so slightly more psychoactive than CBD. There are also two numbers you will want to look for: the milligram amount and the dosage.

  • The milligram strength refers to the amount of Delta-8 in the formula compared to other ingredients. 
  • The dosage is the quantity you take per dose. 

Depending on the type of user you are, consider this brief chart as a guide for deciding which dosage would be best for you: 

  • BEGINNER USER (low or unknown tolerance): 5mg-15mg per use
  • INTERMEDIATE USER (medium tolerance, semi-regular user): 15mg-45mg per use
  • ADVANCED USER (high tolerance, regular user): 45mg-150mg+ per use

Where Can You Get Delta-8 THC?

Where is Delta-8 available? Again, it’s important to look closely to make sure that the product you’re buying says clearly that it contains Delta-8. Flora CBD makes a Delta-8 CBD gummy that’s great for any type of cannabis user – experienced or beginner. If you’re just starting out on your Delta-8 journey, here’s some more info on Flora CBD’s Delta-8 Gummies to check out: 

Flora CBD Delta-8 CBD Gummies

  • Flora CBD’s Delta-8 CBD Gummies are 300-mg and 30 count per container.
  •  Each gummy contains 10-mg of Delta-8.
  • They are formulated to “stimulate your mind and provide a deep sense of calm without the anxiousness often experienced with other edible products”.
  • They come in assorted flavors including watermelon, blueberry, and mango.
  • A lab report for all Flora CBD products is available on their website. 
  • Ingredients include: natural and artificial Flavors, organic hemp oil, 100% coconut MCT oil, and full-spectrum hemp extract.
  • Recommended serving is one piece, do not exceed four pieces every six hours. 
  • The product has received 4 and 5 star reviews from users.

These gummies are the perfect dosage to tap into the calm, anxiolytic properties of Delta-8 all while avoiding any of the anxiety often experienced with other forms of cannabis. 

Is Delta-8 Legal? 

Delta-8 THC is most popular in America, though gaining traction in Canada and overseas. Delta-8 THC is cannabis, and therefore it mostly adheres to a country’s specific marijuana laws. In the US, these laws are applied state by state. 16 states in the US have legalized the use of cannabis in various forms, some recreationally, some medically, some both. These include Colorado, South Dakota, Montana, Arizona, Vermont, New Jersey, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, Maine, California, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia. In Canada, cannabis is legal recreationally and medically nationwide. 

However, because Delta-8 is a less potent cannabinoid than Delta-9, the more common THC found in marijuana, the rules are a little less clear when it comes to legality. Hemp products are not a controlled substance and can be distributed freely and legally. But when Delta-8 THC is manufactured from hemp-derived CBD (instead of being directly extracted from the hemp plant), it becomes classified as a controlled substance under federal law. So Delta-8 products are most commonly found in the same legal class as CBD products. Therefore the risk stands in that Delta-8 THC is classified as an illegal controlled substance under federal law, so can only be considered legal in states that have legalized the use of marijuana.  

Is There a Difference Between Delta-8 and CBD?

Both CBD and Delta-8 are much less potent as Delta-9 THC, and as we’ve learned many products can contain both CBD and Delta-8. There are few things to consider when differentiating between Delta-8 and CBD: 

Delta-8 THC

  • Psychoactive
  • Low concentrations per cannabis plant
  • Low potency
  • Used medicinally and recreationally
  • Binds to CB1 receptors and relation to CB2 receptors

CBD

  • Non-psychoactive
  • Higher concentrations per cannabis plant
  • Mostly used medicinally
  • Binds to CB1 receptors

The biggest difference between CBD and Delta-8 is their non-psychoactive and psychoactive natures. When they are combined in a product, they can make for a very well-balanced, health-conscious experience. 

What is the Best Form of Delta-8 THC? 

We mentioned all the many forms you may find Delta-8 THC – gummies, topicals, tinctures, and vapes. Is there a premiere version? One form that delivers the most quality results? Once again, this is a truly subjective question that can only be answered based on your specific needs and experience level. 

Typically, gummies come in a much wider variety of dosages and thus are a great option for those who are just starting out or want to play around with potency levels. Topicals, lotions, and oils are best for those who would like to focus on specific aches and pains: dry skin, strained muscles, bruises, stiff necks etc. Tinctures are a great form for those who prefer a tasteless alternative – one that can be blended into any type of beverage from coffee to smoothies to cocktails. 

This is another very specific instance of assessing your own personal status as a cannabis user. Ask yourself the questions you need answered and check in with your body to determine which type of product will best fit your needs.

Conclusion

We’ve now learned that Delta-8 THC is a cannabinoid with the following properties: psychoactive, lower potency than its more common brother, Delta-9 THC, and contains a variety of health benefits including the potential use as an antiemetic, an appetite stimulator, a metabolism enhancer, an improver of cognitive functioning, pain release, and stress reducer. 

Hopefully, these facts about Delta-8 have opened your eyes a bit to the potential positive effects that cannabis could have on your life. In fact, this is the truly unique cannabinoid that could change your outlook on the entire world of cannabis. As you begin your Delta-8 journey, make sure to look specifically for Delta-8 products in your cannabis search. Look for trusted, well-reviewed companies to shop from. Once you find the product and dosage that best suits you, brace yourself for the balanced, calm, and clear-headed experience of Delta-8.  What’s the Difference Between Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC?