Back in the days of classic rock and hotbox sessions, weed was weed, and there wasn’t much more to it. Perhaps the only differentiating terms were “schwag” and “good stuff.” But modern-day cannabis research is changing that.
So far, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health says there are over 100 known cannabinoids and about 540 different chemical substances in cannabis. http://
The two most recognizable cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). There are also non-psychoactive cannabinoids, such as CBN, CBG, and CBDV. These are known as CBD-derivatives.
But did you know there are also derivatives of THC, the cannabinoid that’s known for getting you “high?”
THC: The Bigger Picture
While THC is the principal psychoactive cannabinoid, it does more than just “get you high.” THC has an array of recognized medicinal properties, too. According to Healthline, THC has the potential to alleviate:
- Low appetite
- Muscle spasms
When you hear THC, you’re likely thinking of Delta 9 THC (∆9-THC). According to an International Review of Psychiatry journal article, it’s the primary active component of cannabis. But there’s another derivative that you ought to know about, too — Delta 8 THC.
Delta 8 THC Explained
There’s still much to learn about Delta 8 THC. So far, research has found it can effectively reduce nausea and stimulate the appetite. This is highly beneficial for those currently undergoing chemotherapy, which is known to induce nausea and reduce appetite.
Delta 8 THC is also psychoactive and produces effects similar to Delta 9 THC — the only discernible difference thus far is delta 8 THC is about half as potent.
Why use a cannabinoid that’s half as effective? Well, for many, the effects of Delta 9 THC are overwhelming. While there are people who successfully treat their anxiety with medicinal cannabis, too much THC is known for increasing anxiety and causing paranoia.
Think of it this way: CBD allows you to enjoy the medicinal benefits of cannabis — inflammatory pain relief, stress relief, improved sleep, and tumor growth inhibition — without the psychoactive effects.
Delta 8 THC allows you to experience the psychoactive effects and medicinal benefits of THC without the fear of it having an adverse impact and increasing your anxiety or stress levels.
Delta 8 THC Uses and Benefits
This cannabinoid could help pediatric cases in which the child needs cannabis to treat their condition, but parents feel wrong giving their child something as strong and psychoactive as Delta 9 THC.
Although Delta 8 THC would still induce similar effects, it would only be half as strong as traditional THC treatment options.
Additionally, Delta 8 THC is more stable than Delta 9 THC. It doesn’t oxidize, so it has a much longer shelf life. This makes Delta 8 THC more viable for use in prescription drug formulations without having to worry the cannabinoid will break down as much.
Is Delta 8 THC Legal?
The legality of Delta 8 THC exists in a bit of a grey area. The 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized hemp-derived CBD products containing less than 0.3 percent Delta 9 THC. It also legalized other hemp-derived cannabinoids, so long as they don’t have more than the Delta 9 THC limit.
Delta 8 THC is a cannabinoid found in hemp plants, and the 2018 Farm Bill doesn’t make any explicit mention of it.
However, tetrahydrocannabinol is still a Schedule I drug. The Controlled Substances Act only omits the tetrahydrocannabinol found in hemp.
So, technically speaking, Delta 8 THC isn’t explicitly outlawed by the 2018 Farm Bill. The Controlled Substances Act doesn’t specify any regulations against it, either, so long as it’s hemp-derived and contains less than 0.3 percent Delta 9 THC.
But that’s at the federal level. State by state laws may prohibit the use of Delta 8 THC, even if it’s hemp-derived. When the 2018 Farm Bill was first passed, multiple states upheld a ban on hemp-derived THC products.
Currently, ten states have outlawed the use of Delta 8 THC. These states include:
- Rhode Island
This could change in the future, as these states could decide to legalize Delta 8 THC, or other states may decide to prohibit it, as well.
New discoveries are continually updating the current understanding of cannabis and its therapeutic benefits. Thus far, we know there are over 100 cannabinoids, with CBD and Delta 9 THC being the two main cannabinoids.
Much of the current research on other cannabinoids are focused on the non-psychoactive derivatives of CBD. However, there are multiple types of THC, as well.
Delta 8 THC is a less potent form of Delta 9 THC with very similar effects and benefits. It’s a useful substitute for those who feel Delta 9 THC is too potent for them.
Furthermore, hemp-derived Delta 8 THC exists in a legal grey area. There aren’t any federal regulations against it, but laws may vary by state.
So long as Delta 8 THC is legal where you live, it could be a viable treatment option for you. While it isn’t as widely available as CBD products, you can purchase Delta 8 THC online or select local vape shops.