Delta 8 THC products are one of the newest trends in the boom of CBD and hemp products in the cannabis space. But what exactly is Delta 8 THC? How are Delta 8 THC and CBD different? And most importantly is Delta 8 THC worth trying?
We tackle all these questions and more in this article.
How are Delta 8 THC and CBD different?
Delta 8 THC and CBD are similar in that they both show potential as a medical supplement. They both currently lack enough research to prove anything conclusively but a host of anecdotal evidence is out there. CBD also has no high associated with it while Delta 8 THC produces a mild one. Delta 8 THC’s milder high may be ideal for anxiety related conditions or new cannabis users. Finally, CBD does not consistently affect appetite whereas Delta 8 stimulates it strongly.
The key points above are the really short version of all you need to know about these two compounds. If you’d prefer the finer details, read on to learn everything you need to know about the difference between CBD and Delta 8 THC.
The idea of a lighter, more clear headed high has a lot of people excited about the potential benefits of Delta 8 THC. And thanks to a legal gray area in federal law, Delta 8 THC processed from hemp can be sold legally in most US states. So, it’s become a hot topic in the cannabis community as more of these products begin to hit the market.
What is Delta 8 THC?
Delta 8 THC is a compound found in cannabis similar to the main psychoactive ingredient, Delta 9 THC. Though its chemical makeup is nearly identical to Delta 9, Delta 8 has a few key differences that make it a highly desirable alternative for some cannabis users.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is one of the nearly 400 compounds present in cannabis. THC is the major, active ingredient in cannabis responsible for a host of effects that make up the “high” produced. What most people don’t know is that THC comes in a few different varieties. The compound you’re probably most familiar with is called Delta 9 THC.
Delta 9 is nearly identical to Delta 8 THC except for one double bond in the chemical structure shifted over a single position. This difference between Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC looks so minor on paper but has a massive impact on how it affects your body.
Does Delta 8 THC make you high?
Delta 8 THC does make you high, but with a lower intensity than Delta 9 THC.
Delta 8 THC binds to receptors in the brain that produce psychoactive effects just like Delta 9. Depending on the strain and terpene profile, you may feel lifted, relaxed, an increased appetite, or mentally stimulated.
The most important point to remember here is that the effects will be a lot less intense (with one exception) than a typical Delta 9 THC high. Read on to learn more about these differences in detail.
How are Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC different?
Delta 8 THC has all the traits of a typical high but in a milder form, except for increased appetite. Delta 8 THC also comes at a premium cost since the extraction process involved and limited availability in hemp makes it more expensive to manufacture.
The research on Delta 8 THC is still in its infancy, but anecdotal evidence suggests some that the anxiety-inducing effects of Delta 9 THC are extremely mild in a Delta 8 high. Psychoactive effects are also much lighter. This means a clear-headed experience with fewer negative side effects.
A lot of users may be looking for a strong, heady high that comes along with Delta 9 THC. But, these qualities make Delta 8 THC a gentle alternative for daily use or a good entry point for a beginner to cannabis.
Delta 8 THC products are usually found in the form of extracts. Through a process of extraction and distillation, Delta 8 THC can be separated and isolated from the other compounds in hemp flower. The big problem is that Delta 8 THC makes up less than 1% of the total material. (For comparison’s sake, Delta 9 THC can comprise up to 30%.)
So, the availability of Delta 8 THC products is both limited and nearly 3 times as costly as typical alternatives. Research also shows that Delta 8 THC tolerance can build up rapidly.
What are the medical uses of Delta 8 THC?
While the research is still limited, Delta 8 THC has the potential to be an excellent remedy for anxiety and stimulates appetite more effectively than typical cannabis products.
Delta 8 THC demonstrated plenty of medical uses in studies found at the National Library of Medicine. Delta 8 reduces inflammation, may reduce pain, acts as a defense against nausea, and stimulates appetite.
Thanks to its gentle high and lower intensity, Delta 8 THC products hold some promise as an excellent way to get all the benefits of cannabis without triggering anxiety. Most typical cannabis users can attest to an increased appetite courtesy of the munchies. But, Delta 8 THC is significantly stronger in this respect. One study produced a 22% increase in the amount of food eaten by mice against a placebo.
Is Delta 8 THC safe?
Delta 8 has a lot of similarities to delta 9 THC and even fewer side effects. But, there’s not enough research available to conclude that delta 8 is safe or not. That said, there have been studies showing positive results.
Scientists tested delta 8 as early as the 1970s. They found that delta 8 demonstrated cancer-fighting properties in some subjects along with reduced anxiety, and nausea. These studies along with more current ones suggest that delta 8 might have a lot of potential benefits.
The problem is there have been no studies focused on the safety of delta 8. For now, it’s up to you to use your own discretion and decide for yourself.
Does Delta 8 THC show up on a drug test?
Delta 8 THC does show up on a drug test. To understand why, you should know how THC is metabolized and how drug tests work.
When THC enters our body, it is broken down into completely different compounds. These are called metabolites. These remnants of THC can remain in our system for up to 90 days. But, most drug tests use urine analysis which only detects metabolites for about 60 days.
Drug tests look for these metabolites. They can’t show how much THC metabolite is in your system or from what kind of substance it came from. Instead, you’ll get a simple pass or fail depending on whether they’re detected or not.
Since delta 8 products contain THC, they produce the metabolites that drug tests can find and will show up positive.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is an active ingredient found in cannabis. It has the second highest occurrence among compounds in the plant, right behind THC. CBD carries many of the benefits of THC without the strong psychoactive effects.
CBD can be packaged into a huge variety of delivery methods. There are topicals, vaporizers, capsules, edibles, tinctures and even nano-CBD infused water. Which way is best for you depends on your personal preferences and what kind of benefit you’re looking for.
Over the past few years, CBD has exploded in popularity thanks to its potential as a medicinal supplement. It’s been heralded as a reliever of inflammation, anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and muscle pain.
Please do keep in mind that nearly all of these conditions outside of inflammation, seizures and anxiety lack the research to prove how effective CBD really could be. And even in these three conditions, more thorough research is needed.
But anecdotal evidence and thousands of satisfied CBD consumers might be pointing to the exact remedy you’re looking for.
Does CBD make you high?
Unlike THC, CBD does not cause any psychoactive effects. So no, CBD will not make you high.
Some products, like full spectrum CBD extracts, do contain trace amounts of THC, the compound that does get you high. But to be sold legally, pure CBD products must contain less than 0.3% THC by volume. So even in these products, the THC present is so miniscule that it would be virtually impossible to feel a typical high.
Some 50/50 blends of THC and CBD oil extracts are on the market too, but these will be clearly labeled and may or may not be legal in your state. If you need to avoid THC entirely, you can still try CBD without worries. Just make sure to check out the product description carefully before you buy.
What are some medical uses of CBD?
Like Delta 8 THC, CBD has shown promise to reduce inflammation, ease anxiety, relieve insomnia, prevent seizures and potentially alleviate certain forms of pain. Because of complications involving federal law and securing grant funding, there isn’t enough research to prove any of these benefits yet. But, initial results look promising and show a varying degree of effectiveness depending on the condition.
The possibilities of relief CBD may offer are truly exciting. At times, this earns it a reputation as some kind of panacea. But be careful of this kind of thinking. There are a ton of low quality CBD products out there making outlandish claims with no scientific basis. Before buying any CBD product, make sure it’s backed up with 3rd party lab results to prove its efficacy.
The good news is the cost of entry to try out CBD is extremely low and it’s completely safe in any form you prefer. Like cannabis, reactions to CBD vary a lot. So ultimately the best way to see if CBD works for you is to try it.
Is CBD safe?
For the most part, CBD is one of the safest hemp-based compounds you can try. But, it does have a few potential side effects like fatigue, dry mouth, or diarrhea. The most common advice that practically guarantees you’ll never feel these negative side effects is this: start with a low dose of CBD and work your way up slowly.
The only side effect that could be dangerous is CBD’s interaction with other drugs. CBD can slow down the metabolic process of a certain enzyme in the gut. This enzyme breaks down some drugs before they pass through your liver. This in turn makes your liver work harder to break down those drugs since they’re not getting processed enough in the gut. This can also turn a low dose of medication into a high one.
To avoid this, don’t take CBD with any drug that includes a warning to not eat grapefruit. Grapefruit and CBD both slow down those enzymes in the same way.
Does CBD show up on a drug test?
CBD can show up on a drug test. But it depends what kind of product you use. Remember, drug tests detect the presence of THC. It doesn’t matter how much or how little is in your system. If the metabolites are there, the test will come up positive.
Full spectrum CBD products contain traces of THC. Even though the amount of THC is under the legal limit of .3%, frequent users may trigger a positive on a drug test.
But if you use a broad spectrum or isolate CBD, all the THC has been removed. So, nothing will show up on a drug test.
We know there’s a lot of information to take in! So, here are the key points to remember about the difference between delta 8 THC and CBD.
- Delta 8 THC and CBD are both active ingredients that can be extracted from hemp or cannabis.
- They each offer some similar benefits but different experiences since Delta 8 causes a mild high while CBD causes none.
- CBD does not consistently affect appetite whereas Delta 8 THC does strongly.
- Delta 8 THC could be a great choice for anxiety or new users if Delta 9 dominant cannabis is too intense.
- Research on both compounds is still lacking but shows promise. Anecdotal evidence from satisfied users everywhere is one more good sign.
Want to learn more about cannabis and CBD? Stick with us at CBD Informative! Learn everything you need to make a solid choice. Check out our lab-tested and personally vetted CBD product reviews. Get informed to find a product that really works.