What is Delta-8? A 2021 Guide To The New THC
Meet the new THC.
Delta-8 may be one of the good things that swept across the world in 2020. It’s a hot topic in cannabis circles these days. Coined the chilled-out THC, many people are turning to delta-8 for the same reasons they roll up a marijuana joint or puff on a vape: pain relief, a better sleep, and a little boost of “happy.” And much, much more.
Indeed, delta-8 is an ideal choice for people who’ve never tried traditional THC because it’s less potent, and its effects are more subtle.
There are stacks of questions about delta-8, but unfortunately, not a lot of clear, straightforward answers. Some of the colloquial literature available online is misleading or contradictory. However, we know enough about the chemical composition of delta-8 and its predecessor, delta-9, to safely speculate its general effects, benefits, and how to use it.
In this guide, we’ll share everything we know and love about delta-8.
What Is Delta 8?
Delta-8 is a cannabis compound found in both hemp and marijuana plants. It’s chemical name, delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, reveals some rather hot information about it: it contains THC. THC is the intoxicating psychoactive component of marijuana that causes a high: feelings of euphoria, happiness, sedation, pain relief, and much more.
Delta-8 & Delta-9: Same, Same––But Different
What’s the difference between delta-8 and delta-9?
You may have heard of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as delta-9, or simply THC. Delta-8 is similar to delta-9 in chemical structure, action, and effect, which is why it is so popular, but it’s also notably different.
To understand how they differ, we have to start with the body.
In certain areas of the brain there is a concentration of cannabinoid receptors that are associated with numerous mental tasks, including thinking, memory, perception of time, and coordination. As a cannabinoid, THC interacts with those receptors––those areas that receive cannabinoids––and affect a person’s mental state. THC influences our sense of pleasure, concentration, thoughts, memory, coordination, incoming sensory information, and even our sense of time. If you’ve ever smoked pot, you know its effects first-hand.
Like traditional THC, delta-8 interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, causing a high-like sensation. Both compounds have a double bond structure, which is believed to produce that intoxicating effect. The difference between the two is the location of that bond. In delta-8, the double bond is on the eight carbon; in delta-9, it’s on the ninth. Therefore, delta-8 binds with the body’s endogenous cannabinoid system differently because of the location of its double bond.
If that sounds a bit scientific for some readers, trust us––it’s as simple as it gets! Think about it this way:
Delta-8 is one carbon molecule away from producing a full-on high, and that one molecule of difference can be a game-changer.
The effect of delta-8 on the brain is more mild and less intoxicating than delta-9 THC. It offers a nice downgrade (or upgrade, depending on how you look at it) for those who prefer a more manageable high. Not everyone likes to fire on all cylinders after all!
Like THC, delta-8 also comes in different strains––sativa, indica, and hybrid. Sativa and indica are subspecies of the cannabis plant. Separately, in delta-8, they produce a different “kinda” high.
Sativa energizes and uplifts the mood, and may make you feel more productive and creative.
Indica or kush works more like a sedative, inducing a “bedtime buzz” or body high that leaves you feel relaxed and tranquil. However, some strains may make you feel euphoric and focused.
A hybrid contains both strains, allowing for the effects of both sativa and indica. However, there is wide variation, with some hybrids being more sativa- or indica-dominant. Keep in mind too that these strains affect people differently, depending on your body chemistry and overall sensitivity to substances.
How Do I Take Delta 8?
Like CBD, or traditional THC, delta-8 comes in a variety of forms: oils, tinctures, gummies, and vape pens, for example.
The best way to take delta-8 is a matter of individual preference. One of the more popular ways to take it is through an oil tincture. Unlike a pure oil, which as an oil carrier, a delta-8 tincture has an alcoholic base and may also contain a flavour component to hide the earthy taste of THC.
Both delta-8 oils and tinctures are applied sublingually, under the tongue, where there is a concentration of blood vessels. They generally take effect in about 30 minutes and will last four to five hours, depending on your body’s individual response and chemistry.
If you’re wondering how much delta-8 oil to take, it depends on where you’re sourcing it from. A reputable dealer will include recommended guidelines for dosage.
Because of its intoxicating effect, you won’t take the same amount of delta-8 as you would CBD––it’s much less. Always check the packaging or dosage instructions of the product you choose.
Edibles, in the form of gummies and baked goods that contain delta-8, are processed through the digestive system, so they may take a little longer to kick in. Most people notice the effects come on between 30-60 minutes after ingestion. However, it may take more time, so wait at least an hour before upping your dose. Like sublingual types, the “high” lasts four to five hours.
Vaping is another popular way to take delta-8. The effects come on almost instantly so you’ll feel the benefits immediately. Vaping delta-8 is an ideal method for boosting your focus quickly if you’re working on a project and want to reduce anxiety or clear your mind. The benefits don’t stick around as long as with the oils or edibles, so if you’re after pain relief, one of the other methods is probably more suitable.
Delta-8 dabs, aka wax, amber, honeycomb, shatter, or budder, contain a potent concentration of THC. Butane oil is used to extract the oils from the cannabis plant, resulting in a concentration of about 80% THC (traditional cannabis contains about 10-15%). A dab experience produces an intense high that comes on quickly, so caution is highly advised if you plan to experiment with this method. Keep in mind that people often choose delta-8 over traditional THC for its more subtle effects, so if you’re looking for an intense experience, it makes sense to go for delta-9 THC.
If you experience chronic pain and you’re not one to vape or ingest THC, a delta-8 topical might be the best choice for you. It comes in the form of lotions, creams, lip balms, and salves. Simple rub it directly into the skin in the problem area. Benefits kick in within a few minutes.
Is Delta-8 Safe?
Though less than traditional Delta-9, D8 contains THC, which has an intoxicating effect. Generally, it produces a high––feelings of euphoria, bliss, and contentment. Some strains may also make you feel relaxed and sleepy.
As with any psychoactive substance, delta-8 should be taken with care. In some cases, THC produces anxiety or paranoia, so starting with a modest amount will acquaint you with how it feels. From there, you can determine if you want to take more.
Note that different methods for taking delta-8 affect the rate of delivery and how long it lasts. See our How Do I Take Delta-8 section for details.
The Gentle Highway…
If you enjoy the benefits of THC but want a more subtle experience, delta-8 is ideal. It’s also a safe, gentle way for the beginner to experiment with THC.
Keep in mind that delta-8 is not CBD. It contains THC, which is the primary psychoactive component of the cannabis plant, and should be used with caution. In most cases its effects are positive, producing feelings of bliss and mental focus, but it interacts with people differently, so start small. We also recommend consulting a health expert before using delta-8, particularly if you’re on medication.
At CBD35.net, all our CBD and delta-8 products are sourced with integrity from the USA and carefully selected for quality and potency. They’re also third-party tested and stored in optimal conditions that maintain their purity and potency.
Got a question about our delta-8 products and how to use them? Contact us on LINE.