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What is Delta-8 THC?

What is Delta-8 THC?

cannabis leaves

When it comes to the cannabis plant, there’s a lot to know. And, it seems like every day, we learn something new, constantly expanding our plant knowledge. But, with this never-ending flow of canna-information, you may find it challenging to keep up with all the different terms. Delta-8 THC, for example, has been popping up left and right, leaving many consumers with questions. What is delta-8 THC? How is it different from regular THC? Is it legal?

If you’ve found yourself asking these questions about this seemingly brand-new cannabinoid, you’re not the only one. Today, we’re talking all about the D8 cannabinoid, what it is, and what makes it unique. This way, the next time some delta-8 products pop up on your radar, you’ll know exactly what to expect — and whether or not you should try some for yourself. Let’s get started. 

Defining Delta-8 THC

Delta-8 THC is one of the cannabis plants’ many cannabinoids. Its structure is incredibly similar to delta-9 THC, which is the primary psychoactive component in cannabis. However, delta-8 THC doesn’t have the same binding properties that delta-9 THC does, creating different effects in the body. 

Delta-8 THC is only mildly psychoactive. The cannabinoid has a higher therapeutic value than psychoactive value, making it incredibly appealing to those looking for relief and comfort. You’ll find delta-8 THC in low amounts within both hemp and marijuana plants, but it’s best when extracted. Extracting delta-8 THC allows consumers to better focus on and embrace the cannabinoid’s effects, as its natural levels are so low. 

How is Delta-8 Different Than Delta-9?

If you hear someone talking about THC, chances are, they’re not talking about delta-8 THC. Usually, they’re referring to delta-9 THC, the cannabinoid’s more abundant, intoxicating counterpart. But, what creates this kind of difference in effects, and how else do these cannabinoids differ?

When you really get into the nitty-gritty details of delta-8 and delta-9, you’ll learn that both of these cannabinoids have double-bond structures. Double-bond structures are somewhat revered within the cannabis world because researchers believe it’s what causes that high feeling. However, the double-bond form between the two cannabinoids isn’t identical. Hence the name, delta-9 THC has its double bond on the ninth atom, while delta-8’s is located on the eighth atom. 

What does all this technical mumbo-jumbo mean? Essentially, because the double bond is found on a different spot in the chemical compound, it makes the cannabinoid bind differently within the body. So, delta-9 binds beautifully to receptors in the brain, creating strong feelings of intoxication. Delta-8, on the other hand, doesn’t bind nearly as strongly, only creating subtle, mild feelings of psychoactivity. (See, it’s not too confusing.)

Of course, delta-9 THC does have its own therapeutic benefits as a cannabinoid, but delta-8 appears to demonstrate more substantial benefits. This is likely due to the cannabinoid’s ability to better bind to CB2 receptors than CB1s. 

The Benefits of D8

Now that you know a bit about the characteristics of delta-8 THC, let’s talk about the specific benefits this cannabinoid is said to bring. 

It’s quite common to experience slight feelings of euphoria, bliss, and weightlessness when enjoying delta-8 THC. This is simply because of the mild psychoactivity levels. However, most people tend to focus on medicinal relief, as D8 is lovely for boosting moods, stimulating appetites, and even reducing pain. 

Though research is somewhat limited, preliminary studies have pointed towards delta-8 demonstrating strong neuroprotective properties. Essentially, it appears as though delta-8 has the ability to produce a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, a compound that plays a considerable role within cognitive function. Not to mention, acetylcholine is said to help with memory and focus, as well as arousal. (Wink, wink.) So, enjoying a bit of D8 THC may provide some brain support you didn’t even know you needed.

Along with boosting cognitive function, other studies illustrate delta-8 THC’s analgesic and anxiolytic effects. In terms of pain, the cannabinoid appears to help regulate inflammation levels and modulate pain response, lowering discomfort levels overall. On top of this, the anxiolytic effects work to relieve anxiety and help relax the mind. Together, these effects can help you decompress entirely. Thus, D8 may be an excellent option for helping you sleep or at least unwinding at the end of a long day. 

This is just the start of the benefits that delta-8 may bring. As we continue to learn more about this unique cannabinoid, there’s no doubt researchers will uncover more advantages to the D8 chemical compound. 

Is Delta-8 THC Legal?

After all this talk about psychoactivity and similarity to THC, one starts to wonder, “Is delta-8 THC even legal?” In most states, yes!

Technically, delta-8 THC can be hemp-derived, making it legal under the 2018 Farm Bill. As long as the product doesn’t contain more than 0.3% delta-9 THC and comes from the hemp plant — not the marijuana plant — the product is completely legal federally. However, some states have placed their own bans or regulations on delta-8 THC products, making the legality muddied across the board. 

The best thing for you to do is research delta-8 THC regulations in your state. Again, as long as the products follow the guidelines of the 2018 Farm Bill, you should be just fine. Although, it’s better to be safe than sorry and double-check with what your state law enforcement has to say about the cannabinoid. This way, you can purchase and consume with confidence. 

Understanding Cannabinoids With TerraVita

Here at TerraVita, we want you to understand the ins and outs of the cannabis plant, including all the cannabinoids it contains. Though somewhat new, delta-8 THC is a compound that has the community excited. So, let us be the ones to tell you all about it. We are cannabinoid experts, after all!

If you still have questions about delta-8 THC, TerraVita is here to answer them. You can also check out our blog posts on the subject, as this will give you the fullest understanding of this mildly psychoactive, heavily therapeutic cannabinoid. No matter what, always remember to do your research, double-check with third-party lab-test results, and consume with care.

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