Why All the Hype for delta-8?
With all this talk about cannabis as its legality is becoming less and less of a taboo, people are starting to explore its possibilities. Then came CBD, which got more people open to cannabis due to its benefits and lack of psychoactive properties. And now, there’s another derivative that may make cannabis even more attractive.
THC is usually available in the form of delta-9, which is the most common form of tetrahydrocannabinol. That’s what gives cannabis most of its psychoactive properties, and a lot of people are discouraged by that alone.
However, its less intense little brother may change their hearts and minds. Let’s look into delta-8 THC and learn about what it is and why there’s so much hype about it lately.
What is delta-8?
Let’s go over what delta-8 to better understand why it has been gaining momentum in recent years as a health supplement and an alternative to pharmaceutical drugs.
It has many constituents that form tetrahydrocannabinol, the most common being delta-9. That’s the form of THC most people are familiar with, with most of the psychoactive properties that cannabis is known for. Its less potent counterpart, delta-8, is usually found in small amounts within the plant as a result of delta-9 oxidation.
From delta-9, its less psychoactive derivative can be isolated into a solvent-free distillate that makes it safer for various means of consumption. That makes delta-8 more easily extracted, making it a lot more available. It can be obtained in a form that allows for vaping or sublingual administration, much like cannabidiol, better known as CBD.
Main Reasons for the delta-8 Hype
The biggest selling point of delta-8 THC is having the same beneficial effects of regular THC without the downsides like increased anxiety with higher doses. Couple this with the lower cost and greater availability of delta-8 in recent years, and you have a compelling alternative. That increased availability is due to the 2018 Farm Bill, which made it federally legal to grow hemp.
While marijuana remains listed as a Schedule 1 drug under Drug Code 7370 by the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Department of Justice made a clarification by referring to a Ninth District Court appeal in 2004 stating that “products and materials that are made from the cannabis plant and which fall outside the Controlled Substance Act definition of marijuana are not controlled under the CSA.”
If the delta-8 comes from the cannabis sativa plant, it’s still technically considered Schedule 1. But delta-8 can also come from hemp, which is considered legal, making it much easier to produce and distribute. That made delta-8 more affordable and available, thus the hype.
That has paved the way for many delta-8 products. There are now many ways to consume it, including delta-8 gummies available here.
Forms of delta-8
Delta-8 can come in various forms, with the most common ones being oils and tinctures, vape concentrates, edibles (i.e. gel capsules), CBD-rich hemp flowers sprayed with delta-8 THC oil, and delta-8 pre-rolls.
Many users prefer vaping or smoking delta-8 due to much quicker absorption compared to other methods. This method is useful for taking delta-8 right before going to bed as it takes effect right away, letting the user fall asleep quickly.
If used primarily as a sleep aid, it may take some time to dial in the dose that’s right for you. It’s important to consult with a physician before taking any sort of sleep medication. Also, some medications can interfere with cannabinoids, so it’s important to look for potential interactions.
Edibles and oils absorb more slowly, which is good for use cases when slow release of delta-8 is preferred. They’re also better for those who may not want or can’t take their delta-8 through inhalation.
Oral administration is good if you’re taking delta-8 as a health supplement. For instance, a great way to consume it orally is with delta-8 gummies. They're a delicious way to take your daily dose of delta-8 THC.
Benefits of delta-8
If you don’t know yet why delta-8 is getting all this hype in the consumer market, it’s because of its many purported benefits. This newer form of THC has been gaining traction, especially with the loosening restrictions on cannabis in America. Let’s briefly go over its advantages.
Supplementary Cancer Treatment
Right now, it’s being studied as potential treatment for nausea and vomiting experienced during chemotherapy. As expected from any form of THC, it can be used for pain relief that doesn’t involve addictive opioids. It can also stimulate appetite, which is crucial for recovery during cancer treatment.
But what sets it apart from other THC variants is the lack of many psychoactive effects that are usually associated with cannabis use. That makes it easier for most people to consume.
People who have consumed cannabis recreationally at a significant capacity would know of the anxiety it can induce when they’re not prepared for it, especially for beginners. This is one area where delta-8 can trump conventional cannabis as it actually has the reverse effect.
Users of delta-8 have reported clear-headedness, lessened anxiety, increased appetite, reduced nausea, and pain relief while avoiding many of the sedative effects of delta-9. Basically, it’s a lot more soothing and relaxing, which can make it more preferable than most forms of THC to a lot of people.
These anxiety-reducing effects make delta-8 a potential alternative to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. The problem with SSRIs is that going off of them suddenly can result in increased anxiety, depression, and mood swings.
Among the various cannabinoids, delta-8 has shown significant neuroprotective effects with small dosages. It can relieve stress, as well as serve as a nootropic and reverse brain damage and dementia. In short, it heals and protects the brain.
Due to its more relaxing effects, delta-8 can be either alternative or supplement to melatonin for aiding sleep. Unlike delta-9, there are much less of the negative side-effects from delta-8 that may cause paranoia and elicit inappropriate behavior, making it a more relaxing and sleep-inducing experience.
Anti-Inflammation and Pain Relief
As stated, delta-8 can be used for pain relief. Much like CBD, delta-8 has exhibited anti-inflammatory effects that make it great for treating joint pain and arthritis. It has been shown to have antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects.
With that, delta-8 is a solid alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, over-the-counter analgesics, and opioids, all of which may have undesired side-effects, long-term damage to the liver and kidneys, and cause addiction.
Science continues to pave the way to finding more medical use for cannabis, and delta-8 is shaping up to be the next big thing in health and wellness. It offers a lot of benefits, but without the downsides usually experienced with pharmaceutical drugs.
As legality of cannabis becomes more widespread and more research is done, we may get even more cannabis-based products that will encourage more people to give them a try. It’s looking like delta-8 is shaping up to be the gateway they need.