DELTA-8 THC vs CBD
- Delta-8 is a close cousin to Delta-9.
- Delta-8 carries a much more subdued psychotropic effect than Delta-9.
- CBD & Delta-8 can produce similar effects, but with a different need for routine.
- Take caution with Delta-8, especially the first time you use it.
Hemp & CBD shops have been stocking their shelves with a new kind of cannabinoid lately. It's called Delta-8 Tetrahydrocannabinol or Delta-8 THC for short. If you're wondering whether or not this has anything to do with the THC found in Marijuana, then the answer is "Yes!" Let's talk about how those two differ and where they fit in with CBD.
What is Delta-8?
When you see the abbreviation "THC" most people's minds go to the compound (or cannabinoid) found in marijuana that makes you "high." That cannabinoid is actually known as Delta-9 THC. It carries a heavy psychotropic effect that can often be described as whimsical or even paranoid. It also can heavily increase your appetite, suppress nausea, and sooth pain.
Delta-8 THC is a close cousin to the more well-known Delta-9 THC. Scientifically speaking, the only difference between the two is a double covalent bond on the eighth carbon chain of Delta-8 opposed to a double bond on the ninth carbon chain of Delta-9. This seemingly small difference causes some notable changes in effects.
While Delta-9 carries a fairly heavy psychotropic effect, Delta-8 is far more subdued and does not often lead to feelings of paranoia or whimsy, unless taken at an irresponsible level. The psychotropic effects associated with Delta-8 are generally described as purely relaxing and soothing. Additionally, Delta-8 has been known to aid in appetite stimulation and easing nausea, however it is a far cry from the "munchies" or insatiable hunger that is often experienced with Delta-9 THC.
Given the fact that Delta-8 THC carries a significantly subdued psychotropic effect, it gives people the ability to find a medicinal dose far more easily. People have found more leeway in identifying the number of milligrams that are necessary to see their desired results. Where the difference between 10mg and 20mg of Delta-9 is drastic, the range of effects between 10mg and 20mg of Delta-8 are far more forgiving. This allows people who are truly seeking medical benefits from THC to use it throughout the day without a worry of becoming too "high" (after they have discovered their appropriate dosage).
What is CBD?
If you are doing research on Delta-8, you are probably already familiar with CBD. Let's just do a quick rundown on the effects of CBD for those who may be new to the concept.
CBD (or Cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid that is found in cannabis. It is most abundantly found in hemp. Cannabidiol has been found to interact with what is known as the "Endocannabinoid System" which is a system that exists in all humans and animals. It is a system of receptors that are found all throughout the body. The primary receptors (known as CB1 and CB2) can be found everywhere from our brain, to our organs, to connective tissues, glands, and immune cells. When CBD enters the body, it basically helps the endocannabinoid system to produce and more efficiently utilize what are called "Endocannabinoids." There are two primary endocannabinoids and they are known as Anandamide and 2-AG. These endocannabinoids have been found to help in regulating many bodily functions. Two primary effects that have been extensively studied are pain management and mood stabilization (stress & anxiety).
Unlike THC, CBD does not give the user a psychotropic effect. There is no "high" or inebriation of any kind.
What are the Differences?
One of the primary differences that users find between CBD and Delta-8 is the necessity of a routine. It is often necessary to develop a regimen with CBD to keep the effects consistent. This is a bit different when referring to topical CBD solutions, however right now we are just referring to the effects of ingesting each cannabinoid. Some people find that they need a few days to a few weeks for CBD to build up in their system and take full effect. Delta-8 THC can be taken once and the effects are rapid by comparison. There are some differences in the speed of effects depending on the delivery method (edible vs tincture vs smokable) but Delta-8 stands apart from CBD in its ability to be taken on a case by case basis.
This difference mostly has to do with the chemical structure of the two cannabinoids. Where CBD has a lower affinity for the CB1 receptors that are found mostly within our nervous system, Delta-8 carries a much higher affinity. The effects of CBD on these receptors is largely found in its ability to block the enzymes used to break down Anandamide and 2-AG, leaving more of those endocannabinoids to do their job by interacting with those receptors. Delta-8 directly interacts with the receptors, creating the mild psychotropic effect that can lead to relaxation and pain soothing.
To clarify, there are still benefits to maintaining a regimen of CBD rather than exclusively using Delta-8. The effects you receive from THC are fleeting and its ability to aid in pain relief lands comfortably in the realm of "helping you not to care about the pain so much." Studies have found that CBD can actually aid your body's ability to combat inflammation efficiently. Our recommendation to anyone looking into a pain management solution for chronic pain would be a regimen of CBD over the case-by-case use of THC. That will have a better chance of consistent relief.
Let's start with the fact that not all Delta-8 is created equal. While testing numerous products for Lovely Leaf, we have found that Delta-8 distillate quality can vary GREATLY. We have had customers report little to no effects from 75mg gummies from other brands, but then try our 25mg gummies and see amazing effects. This can be dangerous because it will lull people into a false sense of security and end up getting them sick if they take too much of a product that actually has high quality distillate in it. If their only point of reference is a low end product that barely shows any effects at 100mg, but then they take 100mg of our products, they would not have a positive experience and may end up hurting themselves. Here at Lovely Leaf, we test and test and test to make sure that every Delta-8 product contains distillate that is AT LEAST 90% pure with anything else just being trace amounts of additional cannabinoids. No adulterants, solvents, metals, or illicit substances.
There are also illicit substances that are being passed off as Delta-8. These have even included things like PCP and Heroin. A good first rule of thumb is to never buy a product that looks like another product. If a company is trying to sell you "Medicated Nerds Rope" or "Stoneos" (Laced Oreos) or Sour Patch Kids that have been spiked, RUN AWAY. Historically, those are the lowest end companies and have the highest potential of containing something illicit or dangerous. No self respecting cannabis company is making their products look like anyone else's at this point. It used to be more popular, but now the industry standard is to lean into the quality of the product by making them into innocuous shapes and not relying on gimmicky marketing ploys that are attractive to children.
Anytime there is the potential for a psychotropic effect, caution needs to be exercised! Here at Lovely Leaf we generally recommend that a customer start with no more than 10mg - 15mg of Delta-8 THC. Even with that low dosage, we also recommend that it is taken for the first time in the safety of your own home when you know you won't have to drive anywhere for the rest of the evening. This is just to give you the chance to experience what that dosage is going to do for you. Everyone's body is different and it is necessary to take precautions when taking any new supplement. Beyond your first few uses, we still recommend that you not operate any kind of heavy machinery while experiencing effects. We also request that you inform your doctor of this change in supplemental regimen and listen to their thoughts on the matter.
On that same note, medicinal interactions are something to be careful with anytime you add a new supplement into your healthcare routine. First and foremost, you should talk to your doctor about any potential interactions. Beyond that, we recommend starting out by giving at least a 2 Hour buffer before and after any prescription medication. For example, if you take your prescription medication at 4PM, then avoid taking any kind of cannabinoids between 2PM and 6PM. This is just a precaution to make sure your prescription medication's effects are not interfered with.
Finally, if you are looking to take CBD and Delta-8 together, we would just caution you the same way we would with other supplements or medication. Since the two cannabinoids use similar enzymes to break down, one could potentially intensify the effects of the other. You should be careful anytime you are mixing two substances together for the first time. Keep a log of your experience and consider all variables including how long it's been since you have eaten.
We are always here to help and answer any questions you may have. Feel free to call us here at the store during business hours, or just shoot us a message over on our Facebook Page! We generally answer quickly and always give practical information to the best of our ability. Thanks for taking the time to read this! We hope to chat with you soon!
If you think you are or may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of the information we provide. If you are considering making any changes to your lifestyle, diet, or nutrition, you should first consult your doctor or health care provider. All information that we provide is for educational purposes only and it is not meant as an alternative to medical diagnosis or treatment. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.