Delta 8 Guide. What Is Delta-8-THC, And How Is It Different From CBD?

4 Ways Delta-8-THC Is Different From CBD

Delta-8-THC is the next big thing in the hemp industry. Although it’s new to the scene, Delta 8 THC infused products are popping up in every corner – much like they did with CBD. But what is delta-8-THC, and how is it different from CBD?

The difference between the two cannabinoids is quite significant. Although it is milder, delta-8-THC is more comparable to delta-9-THC than CBD. Compared to CBD, delta-8-THC is a relatively new cannabinoid and is yet to be accepted at the same level.

The two cannabinoids have achieved some level of success in the hemp industry since the plant’s cultivation and sale was legalized in the 2018 Farm Bill.

CBD is now regarded as the go-to natural solution for some conditions, while delta-8 is seen as an alternative for marijuana, especially where cannabis is illegal.

This article takes a more in-depth look into what delta-8-THC is and how it differs from CBD and delta-9-THC.

Delta-8-THC, A Brief History

Delta-8-THC has been around for quite sometimes although many have only come across the cannabinoid in 2020 or late 2019 when 3Chi became the first company to sell it legally in the USA. 

Partial synthesis of the cannabinoid was first published in 1941, and the total synthesis achieved by 1965. In the early scientific literature, delta-8-THC was referred to as delta-6-THC. Although this name is no longer conventional, it’s still listed in the National Library of Medicine’s chemical database as a synonym.

Delta-8-THC has been the subject of many studies, some going back as far as the 1970s. In a 1974 study, researchers used mice infected with lung cancer in a bid to determine if delta-8-THC would harm their immune system.

However, the researchers realized that after the mice were treated with delta-8 for 20 days, the size of their tumors had actually reduced. They also found that the mice’s survival time went up.

Unfortunately, further research into the subject was hindered by the strict cannabis laws in the following decades. 

The scarcity of research on delta-8 went on until the 90s when the most popular delta-8-TH study was conducted. In this study, Israeli researchers administered delta-8 to eight children aged 3-13 who suffered from various cancers to prevent nausea caused by chemotherapy.

The researchers noted that the cannabinoid completely prevented vomiting, it had lower psychotropic potency than the primary cannabinoid in cannabis and that the side effects observed were negligible. This suggests that the cannabinoid could be useful as an antiemetic treatment.

That said, the studies on delta-8-THC have been few and far between. However, after the legalization of hemp in the USA, this is expected to change.

So, what is this delta-8-THC cannabinoid?

What Is Delta-8-THC?

Delta-8-THC is one of the 100+ cannabinoids found in the cannabis and hemp plants. The compound is chemically different from delta-9-THC, which is the cannabinoid most people refer to when they talk about THC.

According to the National Cancer Institute, delta-8-THC is an analogue of delta-9-THC that exhibits similar anti-anxiety, appetite-stimulating, pain-relieving, antiemetic and neuroprotective properties, but with a lower psychotropic potency.

Delta-8-THC is psychoactive. That means it will get you high, although it’s estimated that it’s only half as potent as delta-9. The manageable euphoric effects and the other benefits are the reasons why it’s spreading like wildfires across the states.

Delta-8 occurs in very low concentrations in the plant, most times in levels less than 0.1%. This is because it’s not directly synthesized by the plant’s enzymes. Instead, it’s formed by the degradation of THC.

When delta-9-THC sits for an extended period of time, it breaks down, and some of it becomes delta-8-THC. D8 is a stable compound because it is formed as a result of oxidation. Therefore, it can sit on the shelves for longer than CBD and delta-9 extracts, strengthening its case as a medical marijuana and CBD alternative.

Extracting delta-8-THC from hemp is legal federally. However, the most commonly used process of altering hemp-derived CBD into delta-8 may be considered synthetic and may not be permitted. This process is considered to be the most cost-effective, but it is federally banned.

The CBD – Delta-8 comparison is inevitable for cannabis consumers on the lookout for more effective products.

Most people are aware of CBD as it gained the most attention after the 2018 legislation was signed into law and delta-9-THC, which is the most popular cannabinoid. 

The main reason behind CBD’s massive popularity is that it offers some of the benefits of marijuana without the psychoactive effects.

But how is it different from the new kid on the block? Here is how delta-8-THC is different from CBD;

1. Delta-8-THC Will Get You High

D8 like its close relative d9 is psychoactive. However, its high is not the same high as D9. Delta-8 is only half as potent as delta-9 and can therefore get you high without the anxiety, paranoia, and confusion associated with marijuana.

CBD is non-psychoactive. This means it won’t make you high, which is the main reason why it’s widely used. However, some people prefer the mild euphoria as it is noticeable compared to CBD, which works in the background, and the effects may not be felt immediately.

Delta-8-THC’s high is described as clear-headed, smooth, body high with no anxiety or paranoia.

2. Chemically Divergent

CBD and delta-8 are chemically different. Although they have the same chemical formula (C21H30O2) and molar mass (314.5 g/mol), delta-8-THC is closer to delta-9-THC than CBD.

The only difference between delta-8-THC and delta-9 is the location of the double bond, which occurs on the 9th carbon in d9 and the 8th in d8.

The chemical difference between CBD and delta-8 is evident in how they interact with the endocannabinoid system and the effects they cause – such as the psychoactive effects.

3. How They Interact With The ECS (Endocannabinoid System)

Delta-8-THC binds with both CB1 and CB2 receptors, although due to the location of the double bond, it only has about half of d9’s potency.

Cannabidiol or CBD has a low affinity for both CB1 and CB2 receptors, but despite that, it can interact with both and may even be an antagonist of CB1 and CB2 agonists. This is why it may modulate some of THC’s effects.

4. How The Body Processes Them

Delta-8-THC is metabolized similarly as delta-9-THC. Some of the metabolites that d8 is broken down into can also be detected in d9 metabolism. As a result, delta-8 may trigger positive results in cannabis drug tests, which work by detecting cannabis metabolites.

CBD is metabolized in the liver – like d8 and d9, but it results in different metabolites. However, full-spectrum CBD may or may not trigger positive drug test results depending on the amount of THC present.

What Is Delta-8-THC and Difference With CBD – Final Word

There is still a lot to discover about delta-8. It is still new, and unlike CBD, it hasn’t been the subject of many studies. However, this is slowly changing as people become more aware of its benefits.

Both cannabinoids have their own health and wellness benefits and are legal federally as long as they are obtained from hemp and contain less than 0.3% delta-9-THC on a dry weight basis.

Delta-8 is psychoactive and may cause a slight high, CBD on the other hand, is non-psychoactive.

Both CBD and Delta 8 are safe to use if you buy them from reputable companies either on line or in store. If you are unsure which one best fits your needs, seek advice from a medical professional.