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Delta 8 THC- All you need to know about it

Hempco LogoHempco Admin
4 Mins. Read

Over the past few years, there have been controversies concerning the use of Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as Delta 8 THC, particularly in the case of legality due to its potential benefits, risks, and other factors associated with it.

In this article, we’ll be taking a deep dive into Delta 8 THC, its legal status, potential benefits, and other factors related to its use. 

What is Delta 8?

Delta 8 is a psychoactive substance found in the cannabis plant. Delta 8 shares similar characteristics with a more popular THC compound called Delta 9 THC, though not as potent as Delta 9. Delta 8 is one out of the hundreds of cannabinoids produced naturally from the cannabis plant.

However, due to its limited amount in the plant, a more concentrated form of the compound is obtained from hemp-derived cannabidiol. 

Hemp and CBD cannot provide the psychoactive boost to get users ‘high, 'but they contain a noticeable amount of Delta 8 THC. The Delta 8 THC is often referred to as the nice younger sibling of Delta 9 THC because it provides almost the same benefits as Delta 9 THC but with a reduced adverse effect. 

Is Delta 8 THC legal? 

Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) boss John Skerritt did not mince his words about delta-8 THC during his presentation at Medicinal Cannabis Industry Australia’s Cannabis conference.

While acknowledging the contentious compound does appear naturally in cannabis plants in tiny amounts, Skerritt reminded the industry that products containing delta-8 which has been chemically transformed from CBD are not legal in Australia.
He said: “[Delta-8] is only found [naturally] in trace amounts, 0.1%, maybe 0.5% in some strains, but generally very, very low amounts, not commercially feasible to extract.”

“It has become popular because it can be chemically made… it’s generally converted by ‘cooking up’ CBD with acids, solvents and heat.”

John Skerritt 600x375 1

Potential benefits of Delta 8 THC

The National Cancer Institute reports Delta 8 THC to have the effect of binding CB1 and CB2 receptors throughout the body. The chemistry between these two receptors causes Delta 8 THC to have similar health effects to Delta 9 THC. Some of the known benefits of Delta 8 THC include the following: 

  1. Appetite boost 

Scientists believe Delta 8 THC plays a significant role in boosting appetites, and its effect in this respect is twice as effective as compared with Delta 9 THC. A single dose of Delta 8 THC can help stimulate one’s appetite, especially for people suffering from eating disorders and low appetite. 

  1. Sleep benefits 

People struggling with insomnia may find Delta 8 THC effective in aiding them to sleep better. The substance induces a subtle ‘high’ in the user and helps reduce stress, euphoria, and sedation. 

  1. Enhanced psychoactive experience

The psychoactive potency of Delta 8 THC has been measured to be between 50% to 70% of its stronger counterpart, Delta 9 THC. Many users claim they feel less edgy and relaxed in their high state whenever they use this cannabinoid compared to Delta 9 THC. 

  1. Neuroprotection

The effects of Delta 8 THC on the brain are one reason why scientists have recently picked an interest in the health benefits of this substance. 

Delta 8 THC promotes better brain health by inhibiting the release of adenylyl cyclase and regulating calcium and potassium passage in the central nervous system.

delta 8 benefits

Other neuroprotective properties of Delta 8 THC include enhancing the levels of choline and acetylcholine, which could be beneficial in the treatment of certain neurogenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s Disease. 

Delta 8 THC has also been found to promote neurogenesis, which results in better cognitive performance.

  1. Pain Relief 

Many users prefer Delta 8 THC over other stronger cannabinoids for pain relief. Recent research on the topical application of this substance has been found to ease chronic pain and inflammation. It's also considered a better alternative since it has almost the same effects as Delta 9 THC without the high effects that come with it. 

Potential risks of Delta 8 THC

You can expect Delta 8 THC to have all or some of the side effects of Delta 9 THC since they are very similar to one another. Common side effects of the substance include: 

  • Anxiety 
  • Memory loss
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Dry mouth 
  • Red eyes 
  • Trouble with coordination 
  • Slowed reaction times 

It’s also possible for Delta 8 THC, which is synthetically manufactured, to pose more side effects as one cannot really tell all its components. 

Alternative to Delta 8 THC

There may be a more legally acceptable alternative to Delta 8 THC- CBD. Note that CBD won't give you any "high" effect, but it pretty much does the job you want from Delta 8 THC, healthwise. 

Difference between Delta 8 THC, Delta 9 THC, and CBD

CompoundPotential Benefits Potential RisksImpairing Effects
Delta 8 THCEuphoria 
Pain relief
Rapid heart rate
Memory loss
Dry mouth 
Red eyes
Unknown risks associated with its synthetic nature.
Delta 9 THCEuphoria 
Pain relief
Rapid heart rate
Memory loss
Dry mouth 
Red eyes
Pain relief 
Anxiety relief
Loss of appetite 
Weight loss

Final thoughts 

While Delta 8 THC may be a milder alternative to Delta 9 THC in terms of its ‘high’ effects, more scientific research needs to be done to tell all the side effects associated with the compound. The poor regulation of the compound also raises some concerns about its content.

Until its regulated standards can be vouched for, you’re better off with Delta 9 THC, or CBD, if you want to rule out the high effects associated with the former.