What is delta 8 THC, and what does it do? Most of the people are familiar with the concept of cannabinoids. These hemp-derived compounds are unique from others that occur in nature, as their most notable characteristic is their effects on the body via the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system is made up of cannabinoid receptors which are present in every system of the body, with different receptors creating different responses that play a role in our physical and mental wellbeing. Cannabinoid receptors receive cannabinoids from cannabis, which results in a binding process that regulates the functions of the body.
CBD is the dominant cannabinoid in hemp, as there’s more cannabidiol than any other in the plant’s chemical makeup. There’s anywhere from about 15 to 20 percent CBD in any given strain of the hemp plant. Meanwhile, there’s about 0.1 percent delta 8 that naturally occurs in hemp.
Delta 8 THC is, technically speaking, is similar to Delta 9 THC, but is one isomer off. Delta 9 THC is, of course, the controversial cannabinoid that is responsible for marijuana’s complicated legal status across the United States. Delta 9 is psychoactive, and present in high levels in marijuana, but only in trace amounts in hemp.
Delta 8 THC comes from CBD isolate that undergoes a safe chemical conversion process to then become Delta 8. This means Delta 8 THC is hemp-derived, not marijuana-derived. The experience of Delta 8 THC includes a high 50-70% of Delta 9 THC, except without the negative side effects. In terms of benefits, Delta 8 THC offers potentially useful properties much like all cannabinoids, thanks to its regulatory effects on the body. Delta 8 binds with CB1 receptors in the nervous system, which play a role in pain, mood, and more.
Delta 8 is, on a molecular level, remarkably similar to delta 9. After all, it’s aged delta 9 THC. Further, delta 8 is an isomer of both delta 9 and CBD, which means that molecularly, the makeup is the same, except the molecules, are arranged in a different manner.
Now, if you’re taking a full-spectrum hemp product, or using pure flower, you’re already consuming the amount of delta 8 that naturally occurs in the plant. This extremely trace amount is basically undetectable in any way. But, now the industry offers delta 8-specific products which are based on a delta 8 extract that has been concentrated, allowing the user to experience very high levels of the cannabinoid.
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