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What is Delta 8 THC?

To put it simply, Delta 8 THC is a type of psychoactive cannabinoid that causes mellow and clear-headed symptoms in many cannabis users.

Delta-8-THC is less potent than delta-9-THC. It is said that delta-8-THC is about half as potent as delta-9-THC. Delta-8-THC is also less psychoactive than delta-9-THC.

Due to its similarity to delta-9 THC, delta-8 can cause similar side effects such as red eyes, dry mouth, rapid heart rate, coordination problems, slowed reaction times, anxiety, and memory loss.

Furthermore, some studies suggest that there is a potential risk it may interact with other drugs that are metabolized, leading to potential negative drug on drug interactions.

Users will feel a sensation similar to that of Delta 9, however the effects will be much more mild and will not typically carry side effects such as anxiety or paranoia. Delta 8 will not produce the loss of focus that is characteristic of Delta 9.

The legal status of delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta 8 THC) varies depending on the location. In the United States, the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp, which contains less than 0.3% delta-9-THC, but it is not clear if the bill covers delta-8-THC specifically.

There are several alternatives to Delta 8 THC that may provide similar therapeutic benefits which include: Delta 9 THC, THC-O, HHC, CBD, CBG, CBN, CBC, CBGa & CBDa.

Just when you thought you knew everything about CBD we have a new cannabinoid to introduce you to! 

To put it simply, Delta 8 THC is a type of psychoactive cannabinoid that causes mellow and clear-headed symptoms in many cannabis users. Like many of the 100+ chemical compounds found in cannabis, its effects are difficult to pinpoint, but recent research has shown that it has promise for certain conditions.

So why is this important? To answer this, we need to look back at the USDA 2018 Farm Bill, which stated that cannabis needed to contain under 0.3% THC to be legal. However, this only applied to one specific type of THC.

The version of THC that has gained notoriety as “The High Causer” is a compound called Delta 9 Tetrahydrocannabinol, or Δ9-THC. Δ9 is the specific variant most people are referring to when they simply say “THC” and is what differentiates hemp from marijuana on a legal level thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill.

“The term ‘hemp’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.

Types of THC

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While the Farm Bill only gives a limit on Delta 9, hemp contains a few versions of THC, including Delta 8, THCA, and THCV. Each version brings unique effects to the table

THCA

THCA exists in the stems, leaves, and flowers of the cannabis plant. It is the only type of THC that has no psychoactive or mind-altering properties. It is the source of the other 3 types of THC. This process is stimulated by applying heat and light to THCA. Sunlight and natural aging can cause the conversion of small amounts of THCA to their counterparts.

THCV 

THCV is another byproduct of THCA breakdown. While it is similar to Delta 9 THC, it has some distinct differences. One significant difference between THCV and its better-known cannabinoid cousin: It actually functions as an appetite suppressant instead of making you hungry. It can, in fact, even limit the actions of Delta 9 THC.

Delta 8 THC

Delta 8 THC is not as potent as its sister cannabinoid, but it does still produce a high. The euphoric feeling produced tends to be less intense than what might be experienced with Delta 9 THC, and you may experience a more clear-headed and energetic result. Utilizing CBD with Delta 8 THC will further decrease any mind-altering effects experienced by the user.

Delta 9 THC

Delta 9 THC, or what is commonly referred to as THC, is the main psychoactive compound of the cannabis plant. Found in both male and female cannabis plants, the concentration is much higher in female plants. It is interesting to note that while THC is in its raw form (THCA), it has no mind-altering properties. This only happens as decarboxylation occurs and heat alters the original molecule into one that can bind with the cannabinoid receptors in our body, located in the endocannabinoid system, to produce that euphoric feeling known as a “high.”

THC-O

THC-O (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) is the non-psychoactive form of THC that is found in raw and live cannabis. It is converted to THC through a process called decarboxylation, which is usually done by heating the compound. This process activates the THC-O, making it psychoactive and capable of producing the “high” associated with marijuana use.

Delta 8 THC, on the other hand, is an isomer of THC, meaning it has a similar chemical structure but with slight differences in its atomic arrangement. It is considered to be less psychoactive than delta 9 THC, which is the most common form of THC found in cannabis. As a result, it is thought to produce a milder “high” and may have different therapeutic benefits.

HHC

Delta 8 THC and HHC (hydroxyhexahydrocannabinol) are both related to the more well-known compound THC.

Delta 8 THC is an isomer of THC, meaning it has a similar chemical structure but with slight differences in its atomic arrangement.

HHC is a compound that is considered to be a minor cannabinoid, it is a derivative of THC, it is psychoactive and has been found to have some therapeutic benefits. However, research on HHC is limited, and more studies are needed to fully understand its properties and effects.

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Delta 8

One of our most popular lines, we offer Delta 8 products in edible gummy form as well as in vape cartridges.

Chemical Properties of Delta 8

Delta-8-THC has a chemical structure similar to delta-9-THC, but it has a double bond isomerized from the 9th to the 8th carbon. This structural difference is thought to be responsible for its lower psychoactivity and a lower binding affinity for the CB1 receptor.

The CB1 receptor is a protein found in the brain and central nervous system that is activated by cannabinoids such as delta-9-THC. This activation is thought to be responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana. As delta-8-THC has a lower binding affinity for the CB1 receptor, it is thought to have less psychoactive effects than delta-9-THC.

Delta-8-THC is also thought to have a higher binding affinity for the CB2 receptor, which is found in the immune system and peripheral tissues. This suggests that it may have a greater potential for therapeutic effects in conditions that involve soreness or discomfort.

delta 8/9 thc molecule

D8 vs D9 | How is Delta 8 different from Delta 9 THC?

Chemistry of D8 vs D9

Remember much from your last chemistry class? Don’t worry, we won’t get into the weeds too much. But it’s important to be able to visualize some basic chemistry to be able to understand how Delta 8 THC works. So here we go!

In chemistry terms, the delta part of the name refers to the double bond, so both Delta-8 and Delta 9 contain double bonds, the difference is where that double bond is located. 

Organic chemistry deals with carbon atoms – a lot of carbon atoms, chains of them – and the respective “8” and “9” in the names of these cannabinoids refer to the location of that double (Delta) bond in the chain. 

Delta 9 has a double bond on the 9th carbon in the chain, Delta 8 on the 8th. So, what this really boils down to is that a double bond is going to have more electrons than single carbon bonds and will interact differently with the endocannabinoid system. It doesn’t seem like a big difference, but when we’re talking about subatomic particles, the location of that double bond can be very significant.

Potency & Psychoactivity of D8 vs D9

Delta-8-THC is less potent than delta-9-THC. It is said that delta-8-THC is about half as potent as delta-9-THC. This means that it takes a higher dose of delta-8-THC to produce the same effects as a lower dose of delta-9-THC.

Delta-8-THC is also less psychoactive than delta-9-THC. This means that it produces a milder “high” and is less likely to cause anxiety or paranoia.

What are the potential benefits of Delta 8?

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A range of preclinical and clinical studies are uncovering some of the unique pharmacological effects, properties and therapeutic potentials of Delta 8 THC.

Pain and Anti-Inflammatory Effects

A 2018 preclinical study published in “Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research” found that Delta 8 THC may help to diminish pain and inflammation in corneal injury in mice. The research found that Delta 8 THC, applied topically, assisted in pain reduction, and reduced inflammation through its effects on the CB1 receptors.

Anxiety

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, delta-8-THC displays anxiety-reducing qualities similar to Delta 9 THC. While there is currently little clinical literature investigating its anti-anxiety potential, anecdotal reports claim that the consumption of Delta 8 THC results in a very calm, focused high, without the anxiety that can sometimes accompany Delta 9 THC.

Anti-Nauseant Effects

The nausea fighting potential of Delta 8 THC was reported in a 1995 study published in  “Life Sciences.” The study followed eight pediatric cancer patients over two years and found that no vomiting occurred when patients ingested Delta 8 THC before and for 24 hours after cancer treatment. The study reported very few side effects.

Appetite Stimulant

Delta 8 THC may also help to stimulate the appetite. Research conducted on mice and published in a 2004 edition of “Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior” found that a low dose of Delta 8 THC administered to mice over 50 days resulted in a 22% increase in food intake compared with controls. The research also reported that Delta 8 THC increased food intake significantly more than Delta 9 THC, which is a reputed appetite stimulant.

Potential Risks of Delta 8 THC

Due to its similarity to delta-9 THC, delta-8 can cause similar side effects such as red eyes, dry mouth, rapid heart rate, coordination problems, slowed reaction times, anxiety, and memory loss.

However, it is worth noting that delta-8, as a synthetic product, may also have additional risks as the composition may not be fully known. Also, products containing delta-8 may also contain delta-9 and delta-10 THC which are compounds about which little is known. While these compounds may not produce significant negative effects, there is a lack of certainty regarding the safety of other by-products, including synthetic ones, when consumed.

Furthermore, some studies suggest that there is a potential risk for drug-drug interactions. As delta-8-THC is metabolized by the cytochrome P450 enzyme system, it may interact with other drugs that are metabolized by this system, leading to potential drug-drug interactions. This could result in altered efficacy or increased toxicity of the other drugs.

Another potential risk is the potential for abuse and addiction. Delta-8-THC has psychoactive properties and may have the potential for abuse, particularly in individuals with a history of substance abuse. However, given the lower psychoactivity of delta-8-THC compared to delta-9-THC, the potential for abuse may be lower.

Delta 8 Pharmacokinetics

Pharmacokinetics is the study of how a drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and eliminated by the body. Understanding the pharmacokinetics of a drug is important for determining its safety and efficacy.

Delta-8-THC has a relatively low oral bioavailability, which means that not much of the compound is absorbed when it is consumed orally. This is due to the fact that delta-8-THC is metabolized by the liver before it can reach the bloodstream, which results in a significant loss of the compound. It is thought that inhalation and sublingual administration may result in higher bioavailability.

Delta-8-THC is metabolized by the liver and is thought to have a relatively short half-life, which means that it is eliminated from the body relatively quickly. The exact duration of the half-life is not fully known, but it is thought to be between 5 and 10 hours.

Delta-8-THC is thought to be metabolized by the cytochrome P450 enzyme system, which is responsible for the metabolism of many drugs. This means that it may interact with other drugs that are metabolized by this system, leading to potential drug-drug interactions.

What does Delta 8 THC feel like?

Opposite to CBD, Delta 8 will produce psychoactive effects. Users will feel a sensation similar to that of Delta 9, however the effects will be much more mild and will not typically carry side effects such as anxiety or paranoia. Delta 8 will not produce the loss of focus that is characteristic of Delta 9.

Many users will find that Delta 8 THC makes them feel more uplifted and motivated. If you have never experienced any form of THC directly, you may want to start small to gauge how it affects you.

Learn more about Extract Labs Delta 8 by checking out our blog and product listing.

Is Delta 8 THC Legal?

The legal status of delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8-THC) varies depending on the location. In the United States, the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp, which contains less than 0.3% delta-9-THC, but it is not clear if the bill covers delta-8-THC specifically. In August 2021, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a interim final rule that classified all synthetic tetrahydrocannabinols, including delta-8-THC as Schedule I controlled substances. This means that it is illegal under federal law to manufacture, possess, or distribute delta-8-THC.

However, there are states (specifically Colorado where Extract Labs manufactures Delta 8) that have legalized the use of delta 8 products for medical or recreational purposes.

Outside of the United States, the legal status of delta-8-THC is also not clearly established. In some countries, marijuana and its derivatives are illegal. In other countries, marijuana and its derivatives are legal for medical or recreational use, and it is possible that delta-8-THC would be considered legal as well.

It’s important to note that the legal status of delta-8-THC is subject to change, and it is important to check your local laws before using it. 

Delta 8 Alternatives?

There are several alternatives to delta 8 THC that may provide similar therapeutic benefits. One alternative is Delta 9 THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the most well-known and widely studied compound found in marijuana. Delta-9-THC is known for its psychoactive properties and has been used to treat a variety of conditions.

Another alternative is CBD (cannabidiol), which is a non-psychoactive compound found in marijuana. CBD has been shown to have therapeutic potential in a variety of conditions.

Other alternatives include:

  • CBG (Cannabigerol): A non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis that may have potential therapeutic benefits which support cognitive wellness

  • CBN (Cannabinol): A mildly psychoactive compound found in aged cannabis that may have potential therapeutic benefits such as promoting sleep.

  • CBC (Cannabichromene): A non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis that may have potential therapeutic benefits such as reducing soreness and promoting recovery.
  • CBGa (Cannabigerolic acid): A non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis that may have potential to support immunity.
  • CBDa (Cannabidiolic acid): A non-psychoactive compound found in raw cannabis, is converted to CBD when exposed to heat or UV light, and may also support the immune system.
  • HHC (tetrahydrocannabinol): A psychoactive synthetic form of THC that has been studied for potential therapeutic uses.
  • THC-O (THC-O-Acetate) A psychoactive compound found in certain strains of cannabis that may have potential therapeutic benefits.

Source:
https://growersnetwork.org/processing/delta-8-thc/
https://weedmaps.com/learn/dictionary/delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol/

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CEO | Craig Henderson

Extract Labs CEO Craig Henderson is one of the country’s top experts in cannabis CO2 extraction. After serving in the U.S. Army, Henderson received his master’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Louisville before becoming a sales engineer at one of the nation’s leading extraction technology companies. Sensing an opportunity, Henderson began extracting CBD in his garage in 2016, putting him at the forefront of the hemp movement. He’s been featured in Rolling StoneMilitary TimesThe Today Show, High Times, the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies, and many more. 

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