When we talk about THC, we are generally referring to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, which is responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis. But it is not the only one. Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol is another isomer of THC. Although not as potent as delta-9, delta-8-THC also has psychoactive and therapeutic effects.
History of delta-8-THC
The delta-8-THC differs from the delta-9-THC only by a few electron bonds. And even though it is one of the most common cannabinoids among the 110 or so that exist, it often accounts for less than 0.1% of the content of dried flowers. The delta-9-THC, cannabidiol (CBD), and cannabinol (CBN) are found in greater quantities.
Delta-8 connects to the same receptors as delta-9-THC and would boost in particular the secretion of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, whose deficiency would contribute to Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive diseases.
Therapeutic effects of delta-8-THC
The American Cancer Institute defines delta-8-THC as a :
“THC analog with antiemetic, anxiolytic, analgesic appetite stimulant and neuroprotective properties”.
A 2004 rodent study suggests that low doses of delta-8-THC stimulate appetite more than delta-9-THC.
A 1974 study in mice also highlighted the ability of delta-8 to inhibit tumor growth. In 1995, a study studied the effect of delta-8-THC on childhood cancers. When the study was published, 480 cancer treatments with delta-8-THC were successful. The cannabinoid had also shown its ability to stop vomiting.
Where to find delta-8-THC?
Extractions of delta-8-THC are relatively difficult to find. A few companies have made a specialty of it and offer a distillate that is a rather thick liquid.
Inhalation is advisable, as ingestion produces a derivative whose effects are unknown, 11-hydroxy-delta-8-THC.
delta-8-THC also causes less psychoactive effects and stimulates appetite more, making it easier to administer to patients who do not like the effects of delta-9-THC.