Cannabis has been a popular medicinal plant for thousands of years and it’s still widely used today. According to a recent Gallup poll, 14% of Americans said that they regularly use CBD derived from marijuana.
Thanks to the phenomenal popularity of cannabis, the scientific fraternity’s been taking a major interest in cannabinoids for some time now.
Researchers constantly delve ever deeper into studies surrounding the way cannabinoids react with the human body. As they go along, they’re discovering more about the effects of individual cannabinoids on the human system.
Delta-8 is one of the latest ones to attract the spotlight. So, what is this mysterious compound, how can it help you, and does it do any harm?
What Is Delta-8?
Delta-8 THC is one of the hundreds of cannabinoids found in marijuana. It bears many similarities with Delta-9, which is the best-known cannabinoid along with CBD.
It’s called Delta-8 because it has a double bond on the eight-carbon chain. Delta-9 has a double bond on its ninth carbon chain.
This has a major effect on how the human body’s CB-1 receptors react with this compound. For starters, Delta-8 is much less potent than Delta-9, meaning it’s less psychotropic.
In this way, it occupies the middle ground between CBD and THC. Delivering a milder high and fewer side effects than Delta-9 and not as many benefits as pure CBD.
Although Delta 8 occurs naturally, it’s less abundant than Delta-9. Lab technicians can manufacture it by treating CBD or Delta-9 THC with catalysts, heat, or solvents though.
Like Delta-9, Delta-8 is a viscous oil that stays ‘activated’ naturally, so you don’t need to decarboxylate either of them to feel the effects.
Cancer.gov offers a more sciency definition of Delta 8 if you’re interested in the finer details.
Benefits of Delta-8
It’s said that Delta-8 has more benefits than both Delta-9-THC and CBD. That’s because it connects with both CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors.
Receptors are the tiny receivers present in the human endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS works to maintain homeostasis in your body by reacting with naturally produced cannabinoids as well as any you ingest from plants.
CB1 receptors maintain your heart, glands, and central nervous system, while CB2 receptors occur in tissues all over your body.
So it’s easy to see why users report that Delta-8 helps with nausea, pain, and anxiety.
Although we haven’t heard much about this type of THC in previous years, scientists have studied it for years, so there are some findings to support these claims.
In 1995, studies discovered that Delta-8 inhibited vomiting in studies involving children being treated with chemotherapy. Negligible side effects came to light in this study.
A 2004 study measured increased appetite and cognitive function in mice given small doses of Delta-8.
Another mice-based study in 2018 revealed that Delta-8 reduced corneal pain and inflammation.
How Do Manufacturers Extract Delta-8?
Delta-8 occurs in much smaller quantities than Delta-9 does in the marijuana plant. In fact, it’s usually present in only a fraction of a percent. On the other hand, Delta-9’s the most abundant cannabinoid there is.
So, to get the full benefits of Delta-8 independent of Delta-9 influences, processors extract this cannabinoid and turn it into concentrated products. The only way to do this is by extracting, isolating, converting, and refining the flowers.
The process starts with dried cannabis flower and the first step is using a thin film distillation. This process involves using temperature variations, specialized lab equipment, and vacuums to convert Delta-9-THC into Delta-8.
This technique also eliminates any residual impurities, solvents, and other undesirables.
The result is an extract that’s up to 99% pure Delta-8 THC and less than 0.03% Delta-9-THC.
Another process, called isomerization, involves a complicated process of dissolving CBD in acetic acid and leaving it to stand. Various solvents are then added to the mixture and heated in a vacuum to produce about 10% Delta-8-THC.
Fortunately, you don’t have to go to all this trouble yourself, you can buy Delta-8 off the shelf or online in an easy-to-use format. In fact, producing
Delta-8 this way isn’t technically legal.
How to Take Delta-8
You’ll usually get some Delta-8 in the mix however you take your weed but there’ll be a lot of illegal Delta-9-THC involved too.
When you opt for pure Delta-8 products, you won’t have to deal with any of the negative side effects associated with Delta-9, plus you’ll get more of the benefits you want.
These are the most popular ways to consume Delta-8:
Gummies are popular among Delta-8 fans since they’re easy to use.
You can read the supplemental facts on the container to figure out your required dosage and simply chew on the number of gummies as recommended. Usually, you’ll only need one gummy to get the desired effect.
Gummies come in a variety of tasty flavors and most people enjoy the texture of gummies too. Some of the most popular flavors include mango, watermelon, apple, and birthday cake. You can also get vegan-friendly Delta-8 gummies.
Usually, they come in a 10 or 24 piece container, so you can budget easier with gummies. They’re also one of the more affordable options when it comes to Delta-8-THC.
Gummies produce results pretty quickly and you’ll usually feel the effects within 25 to 45 minutes after taking them and the effects last for around 4 hours.
Delta-8 THC Cartridges
Cartridges let you enjoy the effects of the Delta-8-THC immediately. They work in much the same way as ordinary cartridges, so if you vape, you’ll know all about ‘carts’.
For the uninitiated, here’s what you should know about Delta-8 cartridges:
Check for additives and fillers when buying cartridges. Things like Vitamin E acetate can cause serious harm to your body. The best cartridges contain only Delta-8-THC distillate and terpenes which add scent and flavor to the distillate and improve its effectiveness.
A ceramic coil cartridge works best for Delta-8 distillate because it delivers a smooth taste and there’s no risk of burning the distillate.
You’ll also need a battery to screw into your cartridge before you vape Delta-8.
Remember, pure Delta-8 is difficult to work with since it’s extremely thick. The higher the percentage of Delta-8 in the mix, the thicker the liquid. Thinner oil evaporates easier and you should also preheat your vape if you want the best results.
If you enjoy smoking, pre-rolled joints are a good option for you. They usually contain a Sativa-dominant variety of hemp flowers covered with terpene-infused Delta-8 distillate.
Most joints contain about 0.8g of hemp flower.
Dabbing Delta-8’s best for people who’re comfortable with how vaping works and its effects.
The process involves applying cannabis concentrates to a hot surface, vaporizing them, and inhaling them. Dabbing’s one of the most potent ways to enjoy THC, so take it slowly.
These are the things you’ll need to dab your Delta-8 THC:
- A dab rig or bong
- A nail for placement of the concentrate
- A dabber, to put the concentrate in place
- A cigar torch to heat the nail
- A Delta-8-THC dab
This is how dabbing works:
- Place the Delta-8 concentrate on your dabber and set it aside
- Grab your cigar torch and point the flame at the anil
- When it’s hot, set the cigar torch aside – don’t forget to turn it off
- Place the concentrate o the nail, inhale on the dab rig, and then exhale
Cigar torches can be tricky instruments, so don’t try dabbing on your own. Always get an experienced dabbing fan to help you figure it all out.
Dabbing produces an immediate rush which can be a little overwhelming or addictive, depending on your personal preferences.
It’s vital to buy your Delta-8 products from a reputable supplier or a registered dispensary. That’s the best way to ensure you don’t end up with impurities, or illegal THC.
There are three ways to take Delta-8 tincture.
You can place a few drops under your tongue, where it acts directly on the sublingual artery, and enters the bloodstream directly. The second way involves swallowing it like food. You can add it to some juice or water if you prefer to take it this way.
Thirdly, you can apply it directly to the skin. This means you won’t experience any high at all when taking it.
There’s no right or wrong dosage to optimize the results you achieve with this cannabis-based product. Everyone responds differently to Delta-8.
You’ll also see different results based on how much you take.
It could take a little experimentation to find your own sweet spot when it comes to using Delta-8.
Always start low and adjust your dosage upward. That means you should start with a quarter of a gummy, a few drops of a tincture, or one puff if you’re vaping.
Give the product time to work before you take some more. If you experience any unpleasant symptoms like headaches or nausea, decrease your dosage.
To help you keep track of what works and what doesn’t keep a detailed dosing log about how you felt depending on the dose you took.
Effects of Delta-8
Apart from its reported health benefits, Delta-8 does have a mildly psychoactive effect too.
Delta-8 produces a high feeling that’s like that of Delta-9. Unlike Delta-9, it doesn’t have a sedative effect.
Most people report feeling energized and clear-headed after taking Delta-8. They still feel lucid and energetic enough to cope with all their tasks throughout the day.
Other people report that they don’t really notice any cognitive change when taking Delta-8-THC. Most people agree that Delta-8 produces none of the negative side effects associated with Delta-9-THC.
When you take increasing amounts of Delta-8, the0 effects start to fade, so there’s very little potential for Delta-8 to become addictive.
Read this for a click here of how the Delta 8 high works.
What About Side Effects?
Most of the research around Delta-8 focuses on animal studies, so remember that findings may differ when it’s used by human beings.
One study showed that animal subjects experienced increased blood pressure followed by a drop in blood pressure and a slower heart rate. On the contrary, a similar test done on humans produced an elevated heart rate.
Always remember that there’s limited scientific evidence available regarding Delta-8 and it’s impossible to predict how it may react with other medications. Always proceed carefully if you want to try Delta-8-THC.
Is Delta 8 Legal?
The main federal legislation that applies to marijuana products is the 2018 Farm Bill, which allows farmers to cultivate, harvest, and distribute industrial hemp.
It’ll illegal to grow or process cannabis that contains more than 0.3% Delta-9-THC. The law classifies Delta-9 as a Schedule 1 drug according to federal law, in the same class as cocaine and other illegal drugs.
Since it contains none of the much-maligned Delta-9 THC, Delta-8’s the best way to get a legal high depending on where you live. All cannabis products are illegal in Iowa, Alaska, Idaho, Delaware, Mississippi, Nevada, Nebraska, Arkansas, and Utah.
When it’s produced from industrial hemp, Delta-8’s federally legal, but each state has its own requirements when it comes to just how legal it is.
Delta-8 still falls into a grey area when it comes to the law. Although it’s technically legal, it’s under increased scrutiny, so we could see some restrictions in the future.
Should You Take Delta-8?
If you live in a state where Delta-8’s legal and you feel it will benefit you, there’s no reason not to try it out. However, it’s always best to check with your doctor before you take any medication, whether it’s legal or not.
Like all hemp-derived products, Delta-8 can interact with any other medications you’re taking. ‘Better safe than sorry’ should always be your guiding principle when considering any supplements or tonics.
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