What is Delta-8-THC and what are its benefits?

Humanity has been cultivating cannabis all over the world for many thousands of years. Hemp tissue is filled with many different chemical compounds, some of which are called cannabinoids.

These compounds, mainly found in plant tissues, are capable of influencing physiological and psychological processes in the human body. Basically, the active effects of cannabis consumption are manifested in intoxication, which is a consequence of the psychoactive effects of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, on receptors in the body.

Related to this compound is a substance called Delta-8-THC (which distinguishes it from regular THC, which is more accurately called Delta-9-THC), which is rather little known even among cannabis enthusiasts, despite the fact that it is the fourth most concentrated cannabinoid in plant tissue.

It is worth mention that, despite structural analogies and similar names, both substances have slightly different effects. According to the American National Cancer Therapy Institute (NCI), Delta-8-THC can be described as follows:

“This compound is a structural analogue of THC, having similar antiemetic, sedative and analgesic properties. Delta-8 attaches to the CB1 receptor, which is susceptible to contact with G-protein compounds, located in different parts of the body’s nervous system. The substance has much less pronounced psychoactive effects than THC, which allows its future use as a therapeutic analogue of this psychoactive substance”.

In fact, Delta-8-THC differs in just a couple of differently located atomic compounds, while retaining most of its inherent effects. In nature, this compound is found in extremely low concentrations, however, at the moment several companies are engaged in the synthesis of artificial forms of rare cannabinoids.

When consumed, the extract has a tangible and long-lasting sedative bodily effect, without a significant effect on perception. The substance has a tangible, but not burdening, sedative stone effect, accompanied by stimulation of easy appetite. It is possible that Delta-8 does not stimulate appetite as strongly as THC due to its antiemetic properties.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at the effects of Delta-8-THC on the human body:

Delta-8-THC is produced by fractional distillation of hemp flower and foliage extract through a thin membrane, which allows only Delta-8-THC compounds to be isolated in the oil by manipulating the pressure and temperature during the distillation process.

Specifically, Delta-8 comes from the decomposition of THC. Using filters allows to remove all excess cannabinoids and possible impurities from the mixture. As a result, a purified product is obtained containing an increased concentration of Delta-8-THC. On average, a dried cannabis cone contains no more than 1% Delta-8 concentration, so the production of the extract can take the yield of an average hemp bush.

In general, the concentration of cannabinoids in the final extract depends on the quality of the raw materials used, in particular the type of marijuana used. Impurities are not added to the product, therefore the extract contains only natural cannabinoids.

This compound, like THC, is able to interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors.

Back in 1995, Dr Raul Meshulam, in collaboration with the University of Jerusalem and several hospitals in Israel, published an article proving the therapeutic properties of Delta-8. During the study, the doctor provided the substance to 8 children, aged 3 to 13 years old, suffering from cancer.

All participants in the experiment underwent chemotherapy for 8 months before starting cannabinoid use. The patients received the first dose of the substance two hours before the chemotherapy session, after which they continued to use Delta-8 extracts every 6 hours, over the next day.

According to the doctor, the substance successfully relieved pain and suppressed attacks of nausea in the participants, while not having a psychoactive effect on them. Over time, Delta-8-THC-based extracts could become a popular THC alternative in the treatment of chronic childhood diseases.

Overall, Delta-8-THC is a stable and less intense alternative to THC, which allows the substance to be used as a substitute for its more psychoactive counterpart, both for recreational and therapeutic purposes. Undoubtedly, in the future, scientists will be able to more accurately describe the properties and therapeutic effects of this particular cannabinoid.

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