THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is the most famous cannabinoid, but it is not the only psychoactive cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. Delta-8-THC is similar to THC. Delta-8 Tetrahydrocannabinol is a cannabinoid with alleged anti-cancer properties. In addition, Δ8–THC might be a potential medicine for the treatment of nausea and pain-relief as well as a potent anxiolytic.
Delta-8 THC is chemically different from Delta-9-THC. However, it is also a potent cannabinoid that we still don’t know him as well as his more famous brother. In addition, Delta-8-THC is found in smaller proportions than Delta-9-THC.
Furthermore, Delta-8-THC is known as a degraded form of THC. In short when you store THC for a period of time, it will degrade into Δ8–THC.
Selective breeding and molecular isolation are used by commercial growers and extractors to increase the amount of delta-8-THC.
How Does Delta-8-THC Interact with the Endocannabinoid System?
Both Delta-8-THC and Delta-9-THC have very similar chemical structures. The difference between these two cannabinoids is that Delta-8-THC contains a double bond on the 8th carbon chain whereas Delta-9-THC contains that bond on the 9th carbon chain.
The main problem with Delta-8-THC is that it is very unstable, and it oxidizes into CBN (Cannabinol).
As THC, Delta-8-THC mainly bounds with CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoids system. Many cannabis users report a clearer high with Delta-8-THC and less anxiety than with THC. Even though they are called “minor cannabinoids” their contribution is not minor at all. As a matter of fact, many of these cannabinoids are very important in the effectiveness of a cannabis strain in the treatment of medical conditions. We know at least the potential medical properties of eight minor cannabinoids (CBG, CBC, CBN, Δ8–THC and their acidic forms).
Cannabinoids and the Entourage Effect
We have heard about the entourage effect many times. The entourage effect is a theory that claims that cannabinoids are more effective when they act synergistically, i.e., cannabinoids are more effective together than by their own.
The term “entourage effect” is controversial as it has been mainly associated with the cannabis and CBD industry. However, there are examples of this entourage effect. For example, patients who used THC and CBD-only medicines have experienced fewer effects than those patients that have used plant-based medicines with both THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids.
Moreover, many sources claim terpenes have also therapeutic effects. Terpenes are the organic compounds present in plants, especially in conifers.
Delta-8-THC and Medical Uses
There are some preclinical studies researching Delta-8-THC and its potential therapeutic effects. As many other cannabinoids, Delta-8-THC has antiemetic properties. Moreover, it has also pain relief properties, especially when it is topically applied. Furthermore, Delta-8-Thc is being researched for its anxiety-reducing properties.
The same as THC, Delta-8-THC stimulates appetite. Some theories suggest that we crave for sweets after using cannabis because we consume more glucose when cannabis enters our system. According to recent studies, THC causes an increase appetite because somehow cannabis “tricks” the brain into thinking that we are starving.
Delta-8-THC will stimulate neurons in your brain to produce chemicals that would make you feel hunger. In summary, cannabis has great potential health benefits for those patients that suffer of extreme weight loss or appetite loss.