The Delta-8-THC comes from the famous Delta-9-THC. While it seems to share some of its effects, the power of Δ⁸ seems lower. Read on to find out where this cannabinoid comes from and how you can test it for yourself.
Understand how cannabinoids are synthesized
Cannabinoids produced by natural chemical reactions such as decarboxylation, isomerization, and oxidation. A few key enzymes are responsible for the biosynthesis of cannabinoids, namely CBDA synthase, CBCA synthase, and THCA synthase.
These substances convert CBGA, the root or “mother” of cannabinoids into the acidic forms of cannabinoids that we all know and love. CBD and Δ⁹-THC, as well as lesser-known compounds such as CBC and Δ⁸-THC.
What is Delta -8-THC?
From CBGA, the resulting Δ⁹-THC oxidized to an isomer with a very similar structure: Δ⁸-THC. Since this molecule formed by oxidation, it is not further altered upon exposure to air.
This is a useful feature for pharmaceutical uses that compensates for the rarity of this cannabinoid. Δ⁸-THC in fact produced in such small quantities by cannabis that the only way to benefit from its effects is to consume very specific concentrates.
How does DELTA-8-THC differ from DELTA-9-THC?
Δ⁸-THC binds to CB1 receptors in the central nervous system in the same way that Δ⁹-THC does, as well as to CB2 receptors.
According to research and anecdotal evidence, Δ⁸-THC is a kind of “light” version of the traditional Δ⁹-THC, it has a mild sedative effect without the typical mental stimulation caused by Δ⁹-THC.
As an analog of Δ⁹-THC, Δ⁸-THC showed in research to have antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite stimulant, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties, although it has milder psychotropic effects than Δ⁹-THC.
In addition, when taken in high doses, Δ⁸-THC appears to cause less anxiety than Δ⁹-THC.
Does it have therapeutic properties ?
While psychoactive Δ⁹-THC may be problematic for patients prone to panic and anxiety, Δ⁸-THC has the potential to provide therapeutic effects at low doses, with some intoxicating effects.
Some consumers report the same medical effectiveness of Δ⁸-THC as Δ⁹-THC, but with an increased ability to stay focused while working or performing everyday tasks.
In the laboratory, very low doses of Δ⁸-THC showed increased food consumption in mice, as expected.
More importantly, this cannabinoid already successfully tested in pediatric oncology as an antiemetic.
Δ⁸-THC administered to 8 children aged 8-13 years with various hematological cancers. The children were first treated with chemotherapy and then with concurrent treatment with Δ⁸-THC.
During this experimental treatment with this cannabinoid, vomiting completely avoided and other side effects of the chemotherapy drastically reduced.
Can it be isolated it at home ?
Regardless of the variety, this cannabinoid produced by cannabis in very small amounts.
Targeted breeding may one day offer new varieties with higher concentrations of Δ⁸-THC. But special industrial methods of extraction, fractional distillation, and molecular isolation will probably required to obtain significant amounts of rare cannabinoids and others.
In other words, there is no way to successfully extract Δ⁸-THC at e home. Although it is theoretically possible to adjust one’s vaporizer to release a certain range of terpenes and cannabinoids, including Δ⁸-THC.
Realistically, commercial Δ⁸-THC products are likely to be available as vaporizable extracts and sublingual drops. There is no edible version of this cannabinoid. As Δ⁸-THC transforms into Δ¹¹-THC during the digestion process, thereby removing the medical properties of the former.
New generation cannabinoid distillates show the highest levels of Δ⁸-THC. Comprising almost 58% of this cannabinoid, accompanied by 8% of Δ⁹-THC and 0.30% of CBD. These new products open the door to uncharted territory for medical and recreational consumers, only time will tell what the consensus is.