What Is Delta-8?

What is Delta-8?

According to the National Cancer Institute, delta-8-THC can be defined as:

“An analogue of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties. Delta-8-THC binds to the cannabinoid G-protein coupled receptor CB1, located in the central nervous system…This agent exhibits a lower psychotropic potency than delta-9-THC, the primary form of THC found in cannabis.” While delta-8-THC only exists naturally in fractions of a percent, companies are finding value in concentrating esoteric cannabinoids for their unique effects and applications.

Delta-8-THC is a minor cannabinoid, occurring in the plant in very small concentrations. Delta-8-THC is also known to be a degraded form of THC, and is not directly produced by cannabinoid-synthesizing enzymes within the plant. When THC is stored for a period of time, it degrades into delta-8-THC. Commercial growers and extractors use selective breeding and molecular isolation to access greater quantities of delta-8-THC.

Delta-8-THC binds to the CB1 receptor like delta-9-THC, but its affinity for the receptor is different due to its slightly altered molecular structure. The CB1 receptor is responsible for mediating most of the psychotropic effects of THC.

This differential binding may be responsible for the reported clearer effect with reduced anxiety, and greater ability to concentrate often associated with delta-8-THC. It’s possible that its unique molecular structure also impacts the chemical’s effects on other receptors and neural pathways.

Why Terpenes Matter

The entourage or ensemble effect is the principle that cannabinoids work better when taken in conjunction with the array of other cannabinoids, terpenoids, flavonoids, and compounds present in cannabis, rather than as an isolated molecule. This enhancement can create preferable therapeutic outcomes compared to isolated cannabinoids. While the knowledge we have about the entourage effect is based on delta-9-THC, the molecular similarity of delta-8-THC could mean that it produces enhanced effects when ingested as whole-plant medicine rather than as an isolate.

Disclaimers:
Products on this site contain 0.3% or less Δ9THC (no more than 0.3% Δ9THC).

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WARNING: Effects of Delta-8 products may be delayed up to two hours. Delta-8 use while pregnant or breastfeeding may be harmful. Consumption of Delta-8 products may impair your ability to operate machinery. Please use extreme caution when using Delta-8 products.