Delta-8-THC, what's it all about?

Liz Filmer
25 Jul 2021

The cannabinoid Delta-9-THC creates the "high" feeling that you get from smoking or ingesting cannabis. Delta-8-THC is much milder in its psychoactive make-up. Research indicates that it is a valuable and effective cannabinoid with therapeutic characteristics. Offering another pathway to experience the beneficial properties of the cannabis plant

What is Delta 8 THC?

Delta-8-THC is made when Delta-9-THC becomes oxidised. Delta-8 originates from the cannabis "stem cell" CBGA. CBGA produces THCA, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that has to be heated or decarboxylated to activate itself into Delta-9-THC, the more familiar and psychoactive substance that we attribute to cannabis

Following this transformation into Delta-9-THC, 1% or less is transformed again by oxidation, becoming Delta-8-THC. A very stable substance that is great for pharmaceutical use and also for recreational cannabis users

The benefits of Delta 8 THC?

Delta-8-THC is 50-75% less psychoactive than Delta-9. Even at high doses, it is less likely to cause unwanted THC side effects such as anxiety. This cannabinoid shares all the same medical benefits as Delta-9-THC but with the advantage of not leaving you incapacitated. It can induce a much clearer high that heightens senses and perception, making everyday tasks more enjoyable and energised.

Delta-8-THC is particularly effective in relieving nausea and encouraging appetite, making it a very promising treatment for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Due to its lower levels of psychoactive influence, it also can treat children undergoing chemotherapy.

Is it like CBD?

Whilst Delta-8-THC is mildly psychoactive, CBD is not, meaning that chemically they are two different animals. Both have health and wellness benefits, but it comes down to lifestyle to better suit the individual. Delta-8-THC can be used recreationally or medicinally, whereas CBD is more of a medicinal cannabinoid. Delta-8-THC is more likely to show up on a drug test due to its THC based roots, and so this may be a deciding factor in which you decide to use.

 Is it legal?

The low concentration of naturally occurring Delta 8 at less than 1% means that it is difficult and expensive to extract. Methods of converting CBD into Delta-8-THC have recently been discovered. They are being explored for broader access and better products with higher concentrations. The effects of Delta 8 would be negligible if you tried to access them by smoking natural flowers. Currently, it is impossible to find strains that are rich in its content.

Delta-8-THC products are available in the form of vape products and oil drops. The sale of Delta 8 "wellness" products is somewhat legal depending on where you are, i.e. countries or states where cannabis regulations have been relaxed partly, entirely or not at all.

Hopefully, as research and education continue, this fantastic cannabinoid and the many others like it will be made more readily available for all who could benefit from it.

Liz Filmer