The legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational use in various states has led to an increase in cannabis products available to consumers. While Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-9 THC) is a popular and commonly-known psychoactive compound found in cannabis, Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-8 THC) is also becoming increasingly popular in several states.
Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC are derived from the cannabis sativa plant, which naturally produces over 100 cannabinoids. Delta-8 THC is a minor cannabinoid that is present in small amounts in the plant, while Delta-9 THC is one of the most abundant and well-known cannabinoids. However, despite the similarities between the two, they have some key differences that users should be aware of before consuming them.
In this article, we’ll explore the differences and similarities between Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC, their potential benefits and risks, and whether they are legal.
What is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 THC is a psychoactive compound that is derived from hemp or CBD. Since the cannabis plant naturally produces only a small amount of Delta-8 THC, it is usually manufactured in concentrated amounts from hemp-derived cannabidiol. Delta-8 THC has similar psychoactive effects as Delta-9 THC, although it is generally less potent.
Delta-8 THC is available in various forms, such as gummies, chocolates, cookies, tinctures, vaping cartridges, infused drinks, and even breakfast cereal. Some manufacturers promote Delta-8 THC products as treatments or cures for medical conditions, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has neither evaluated nor approved these claims. In fact, the FDA has issued warning letters to five manufacturers of Delta-8 THC products for violating the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
Delta-8 THC Potential Benefits
While there are no definitive studies on Delta-8 THC, anecdotal evidence suggests that it has potential benefits, such as:
- Alleviate Discomfort: Delta-8 THC has been suggested to help individuals experiencing discomfort, such as sore muscles or headaches, feel relief.
- Enhanced Rest: Some consumers report that delta-8 THC may help them fall asleep more quickly and achieve more restful sleep.
- Mood Support: Delta-8 THC has been known to help calm the mind and promote relaxation, potentially aiding individuals who struggle with anxiety or depression.
- Appetite Stimulation: Delta-8 THC has been suggested to help stimulate appetite in individuals with a loss of appetite or nausea, such as those undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
- Sensory Relief: Some individuals have reported that delta-8 THC can help them feel less overwhelmed by sensory input, making it a potential option for those with conditions like autism or ADHD.
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Delta-8 THC has been suggested to have anti-inflammatory properties, potentially aiding individuals with conditions such as arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease.
Delta-8 THC Potential Risks
Consuming more Delta-8 THC than the body requires can cause short-term adverse effects, including:
- Feelings of fatigue or drowsiness
- Confusion or difficulty concentrating
- Heightened feelings of worry or fear
- Dryness of the mouth, throat, and eyes
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Difficulty with movement or coordination
Individuals with preexisting conditions may have risks that others do not. For example, in patients with high risk for (or already diagnosed) psychotic diseases, over-consuming Delta-8 THC could increase the frequency or severity of psychosis. Consuming large amounts of Delta-8 THC, especially when smoked, could precipitate heart damage or abnormal heart rhythms in those with significant underlying cardiovascular disease. Additionally, Delta-8 THC products may contain potentially harmful chemicals or contaminants, including household chemicals used during the chemical synthesis process that yields Delta-8 THC.
What is Delta-9 THC?
Delta-9 THC is the primary psychoactive component found in the cannabis plant. When someone smokes or consumes Delta-9 THC beyond a certain threshold, they typically experience a “high”. Delta-9 THC products are available in many forms, including gummies, cookies, candies, infused beverages, tinctures, vaping cartridges, topical lotions, and pre-rolled joints.
Some manufacturers market Delta-9 THC products as able to treat or mitigate symptoms of certain medical conditions or diseases. However, the FDA has only approved two synthetic THC formulations—dronabinol and nabilone, which are used to alleviate chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.
The government has done multiple studies on the efficacy & safety of Delta-9. Here is a study with additional information from the National Library of Medicine.
Delta-8 THC vs Delta-9 THC: Differences and Similarities
Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC are both naturally occurring cannabinoids found in the cannabis sativa plant, but their chemical structures are slightly different. Delta-8 THC has a double bond on the 8th carbon atom, while Delta-9 THC has a double bond on the 9th carbon atom.
Both Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, specifically the CB1 and CB2 receptors. However, Delta-8 THC is generally considered to be less potent than Delta-9 THC. This is because it binds to the CB1 receptors in a slightly different way, which may explain why it produces a more mild high.
Another difference between the two compounds is their legality. Delta-9 THC is illegal at the federal level but is legal for medical or recreational use in some states. Delta-8 THC is a newer compound and its legal status is less clear. While it is currently legal at the federal level, some states have banned it or placed restrictions on its sale.
Potential Benefits and Risks of Delta-8 THC
Delta-8 THC is often marketed as a legal and less intense alternative to Delta-9 THC, with claims of providing many of the same benefits without the side effects. Some potential benefits of Delta-8 THC may include:
- Pain relief
- Reduced anxiety
- Improved appetite
- Reduced inflammation
However, it is important to note that research on the potential benefits of Delta-8 THC is limited and much of the evidence is anecdotal.
On the other hand, Delta-8 THC can also have potential risks, including:
- Dry mouth and eyes
- Increased heart rate
- Impaired coordination
- Anxiety and paranoia
- Psychotic symptoms
In addition, the lack of regulation of Delta-8 THC products means that consumers may be at risk of exposure to harmful contaminants or inaccurate labeling.
Can Delta-8 THC Show Up on a Drug Test?
It is possible for Delta-8 THC to show up on a drug test, but it depends on the specific type of test being used. Standard drug tests typically only test for Delta-9 THC, so Delta-8 THC use may not be detected. However, some tests are specifically designed to detect Delta-8 THC, and there have been reports of people testing positive for THC after using Delta-8 THC products.
Learn more about Delta from in this article from the Cleveland Clinic.
Visit Mr. Mahalo for More Information and Amazing Products
If you’re interested in learning more about Delta-8 THC and its potential benefits, Mr. Mahalo offers a wide range of informative resources to help you make an informed decision. In addition, their online store offers a variety of Delta-8 THC products, including gummies, tinctures, vaping cartridges, infused drinks, and more.
While it’s important to understand the risks and limitations of Delta-8 THC before using it for pain relief, Mr. Mahalo’s knowledgeable staff can help answer any questions you may have and provide guidance on the best products for your needs.
If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort, it’s always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before trying any new supplement or medication. However, if you’re interested in exploring the potential benefits of Delta-8 THC, Mr. Mahalo can help guide you on your journey.
In conclusion, while Delta-8 THC is a promising compound, it’s essential to be aware of the lack of regulation and potential exposure to harmful contaminants when using Delta-8 THC products. At Mr. Mahalo, you can find high-quality, lab-tested Delta-8 THC products that are safe and effective.