If you’ve only recently just finally figured out what CBD is, well, now it’s time to meet another cannabis compound that’s just starting to go mainstream: Delta-8-THC.
But if you’re still not crystal clear on what CBD is, here’s a crash course….
The cannabis sativa plant can be selectively bred to produce marijuana or hemp. Marijuana, of course, is the cultivar that gets you stoned. The main active ingredient in marijuana is THC, which is the psychoactive chemical that makes users feel high.
CBD is the second-most abundant in marijuana. It’s non-intoxicating and actually counteracts the anxiety-inducing effects of THC.
CBD from industrial hemp became legal in all 50 states in 2018 with the passage of the Hemp Farm Bill. The most abundant chemical in hemp is CBD. By law, hemp can only contain a maximum of 0.3% THC, which is an amount that is non-intoxicating.
Although only one CBD-based drug has been approved by the FDA—for two rare forms of epilepsy—a growing scientific body of evidence supports CBD for various health concerns. The most impressive research has focused on anxiety, sleep and pain relief.
CBD is thought to work by indirectly activating a system in the body known as the endocannabinoid system, or the ECS. The ECS, when working optimally, helps promote balance in the body.
Many cannabis researchers, so-called experts and users believe that for the best pain-relief results, a blend of THC and CBD works best. However, for people who don’t like getting high, THC is out of the question.
A chemical compound that’s very similar to THC, Delta-8 contains properties that protect the brain, reduce pain, nausea and anxiety and pain. Although Delta-8 does produce psychotropic (intoxicating) effects, the effect is much less potent than pot’s main intoxicating agent, THC.
Thus, with Delta-8, users get the best of both exogenous (external) cannabinoids.
Delta-8 naturally occurs in cannabis, however, it can be synthetically produced from either CBD or THC. (It is more commonly converted from CBD.)
The main advantage of using Delta-8 is that it’s far less likely to produce an anxiolytic effect. For some people who use marijuana, the drug can induce paranoia or anxiety. Delta-8, it seems, offers the potential therapeutic effects of marijuana, without the anxiety of delta-9 (THC).
However, because of the fact that Delta-8 does have a psychoactive effect, new users should not take large doses.
With passage of the Hemp Farm Act, dozens of CBD research studies have been conducted over the last few years. However, there is currently a dearth of studies on delta-9.
If you’re seeking the therapeutic effects of both THC and CBD, but don’t like feeling the anxiety-inducing effects of marijuana, Delta-8 may serve as an effective middleground.