By LeeWEpstein

December 5, 2020


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.

In terms of potency, research suggests that delta-8 only reaches 2/3 of delta-9, still more potent than THCV for example, which only reaches 25%.

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.

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