Delta 8-THC has been growing in popularity for its touted array of benefits similar to our well-known friend Delta 9-THC, but with less intense side effects. Researchers are discovering more about minor cannabinoids in the cannabis plant and their potential role in producing the unique intoxicating sensations from consuming different cannabis strains. Could it be that we have found a molecule with all the good of Delta 9-THC and less potential for the paranoia or anxiety that can come from getting too high?
Delta (∆) 8-THC exists in the cannabis plant alongside other molecules like CBG, CBN, and various aromatic terpenes. Delta-8 THC is more stable than Delta-9 THC, but less potent. Like ∆-9, it binds to CB1 receptors but has a lower affinity for them, which may account for this lessened effect. Also, it does not exist naturally in large quantities in the plant, so it must be extracted from the plant or synthesized.
Some benefits of ∆ 8-THC include stimulating appetite and abetting pain and inflammation. With ∆-9 only recently legal in very small quantities, there is even less research on ∆ 8-THC’s effects. However, the research that does exist shows results of eliminating nausea in cancer patients, increasing appetite in a mouse model, and successful conversion from other cannabinoids like CBD.