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You might be surprised by new products like Delta-8 THC popping up at your local medical marijuana dispensary or even CBD shop.

While speaking about cannabis, the one thing that lingers in mind is its intrinsic psychoactive effects. However, gradual research has found that certain compounds, like CBD and THC, exhibit the therapeutic benefits of marijuana.

Although CBD, also known as cannabidiol, reveals more medicinal value, it’s not the primary chemical compound present in cannabis. The psychoactive THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is present in abundance, and studies support they have a wide range of health benefits if consumed in moderation.

What Exactly Is Delta-8 THC?

You might think that CBD and THC are the only two cannabinoids that characterize marijuana. But it’s not so. Cannabis has more than 100 cannabinoids, and they all have different chemical properties. One such compound is Delta-8 THC. The user can often confuse Delta-8 with that of classic THC, also known as Delta-9 THC, but they have different profiles, properties, and effects on human bodies.

Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC- The Difference

Both the cannabinoids are almost structurally similar, with dual-bonded Delta-8 sitting above Delta-9 in position. Although this difference is minimal, it has a notable impact on the body.

The slight molecular variation helps Delta-8 to bind to CB receptors with different affinity than Delta-9. Due to this, Delta-8 shows mild tranquilizing potency but higher therapeutic efficacy. In other words, we can say that Delta-8 is the moderate version of Delta-9 with similar health advantages.

Studies also found delta-8 to be more stable, has an increased shelf-life, and unlike Delta-9, it does not oxidize to become cannabinol.

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Health Advantages of Delta-8 THC

Delta-8 is a fairly new cannabinoid, and it is gaining popularity because of its low strength and an array of medicinal benefits. It means that unlike Delta-9 THC, it can relax the mind while being focused.

The other health benefits of Delta-8 THC include:

1.   Antiemetic Effect

A study on children with cancer shows that after administering Delta-8 THC, there is complete prevention of vomiting. Even though researchers conducted the test on a limited number of cancer patients, they all show improvement in nausea and vomiting without any severe side effects.  It also increases appetite. 

2.   Anti-Anxiety Effect

Due to its low potency, Delta-8 can inhibit anxiety. Anecdotal references claim this compound relieves the mind from tension, uplifts mood, relaxes mind and body and induces alertness.

3.   Pain Relieving Effect

Pain can be nociceptive that arises from physical injury or neuropathic. Many studies report that cannabinoids, primarily THC, are excellent for pain management and can reduce cancer-related pain, neuropathic pain, pain during multiple sclerosis, etc.

Delta-8, being closely related to THC, inhibits similar properties. Although more studies are ongoing, an animal study shows that Delta-8 THC can alleviate inflammatory responses and pain caused by corneal hypersensitivity.  

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4.   Appetite Stimulation Effect

Clinical trials on mice have found that low doses of Delta-8 THC can increase food intake and improve cognition. A low dosage can thus have the potential to treat eating disorders like anorexia.

The legality surrounding Delta-8 THC

The legal status of Delta-8 THC is still questionable. As per Federal Law, any cannabinoid derived from hemp containing a THC level less than 0.3 percent is considered legal. But  Delta-8 THC is more likely to be Delta-9. Till now, DEA does not specify the legality of natural Delta-8 THC, but it may treat it as a controlled substance. So, at federal and state levels, there may be discrepancies in rules.

Some places can criminalize the use of Delta-8 even if it is obtained from hemp, and others may decriminalize the possession of this substance. Possessing and consuming Delta-8 products, therefore, requires a thorough knowledge of local laws that can change at any moment.

Delta-8 THC Supplies

Just like other cannabinoid products, the dispensaries are now witnessing the surge in Delta-8 THC supplies. The products available are distillates, oils, vapes, gummies, and even sauces. Except for smoking flowers, you can find tinctures, concentrates, cartridges, and syringes of Delta-8. Before starting any of these products, check their strength.

As this compound is still at the nascent stage of consumption, you must start with small doses. It is also better to try supplements with minimal potency to avoid side effects if any.

Extraction of Delta-8 THC

Delta-8 grows in low quantities in cannabis. It contributes to only 1 percent of the dried plant. Therefore, for making the amount consumable, manufacturers scientifically extract it from cannabis.

At first, the producers organically cultivate cannabis to get high-quality flowers. The flowers then run through the distillation and isolation processes to form concentrates that are abundant in Delta-8 THC. These further create retail products that are readily available in the market.


Delta-8’s unique property is attracting many users, especially those who are new to cannabinoids. It’s popular among users who are taking cannabis for medical purposes but finding classic THC too intense. Also, novice users who use cannabis for recreational purposes, but want to remain active, can try this substance without worrying about intoxication and side-effects.

For all Delta-8 consumers, this is just the beginning, as this magical compound is yet to unfold various functionalities that may work for improving overall health and wellbeing.

dr. michele ross cannabis coach and mushroom expert

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Should You Buy Delta-8 THC Products?