Delta- 8 THC is the new poster child for the cannabis industry. It is widely marketed and has gained favorable recognition in the last year. But due to it being relatively new, there is a lot of information regarding Delta 8 that is still unknown to most people. But what is its selling point, and why are so many people talking about it?
The answer lies with the side effects of Delta-9 THC, which lead to anxiety, paranoia, and an elevated heart-rate. These effects are not assured but are highly common due to the powerful mind-altering effects of THC. Delta-8, on the other hand, promises similar euphoric effects without any of the unwanted side effects.
What is THC?
THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol is also a main component of the cannabis plant. It is responsible for the psychoactive effects that people experience when they consume cannabis. THC influences brain function and is the most desired compound by people who want to consume cannabis for the mind-altering effects.
While most people are aware of THC as a compound of cannabis, not many are aware that there are different THC types. Delta-9 THC is the most commonly consumed THC strain, while Delta-8 is relatively new and lesser-known. But what exactly is the difference between these two strains? The answer lies in their chemical bonds.
Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC have a double bond to the molecular chain in cannabis. This atomic bond takes place on the 9th carbon chain for Delta-9 THC, while the 8th carbon chain bond is for Delta-8. While this may seem like a small or negligible difference, their effects on the human brain are very different. But to understand it, you must first look at how THC interacts with the brain.
The human brain has receptors known as endocannabinoid receptors. These receptors are tasked with recognizing when the body needs endocannabinoids to improve and regulate certain bodily functions. The human body produces endocannabinoids, which then latch on to receptors in your brain. These receptors send signals to the body to improve and regulate specific functions. Once the function is completed, they are broken down by enzymes.
THC latches to the endocannabinoid receptors and simulates the transmissions as if they were original endocannabinoids made by the body itself. It means that even if the body is not producing the necessary molecules for improving mood or regulating sleep, THC will mimic those functions. Your body has two types of receptors for endocannabinoids called CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors lie in the brain, while CB2 receptors reside in the digestive system.
The small difference in the carbon chain location between Delta-8 and Delta-9 is significant enough to cause them to bind differently to the body’s endocannabinoid receptors. Delta-9 THC forms a powerful bond with CB1 receptors commonly found in the brain, giving Delta-9 THC a strong influence over mood-altering receptors in the brain.
Delta-8 THC, on the other hand, is generally less successful in forming the strong bond that Delta-9 has with the CB1 receptors. This is due to the slight difference in molecular structure. It does not mean that Delta-8 does not bind to the receptors. Rather, its affinity for the bond is lesser than Delta-9. This means that its level of influence on brain function is lesser, resulting in the absence of elevated heart-rates and anxiety-ridden phases commonly brought on by Delta-9.
Why Is Delta-8 Better?
There are countless examples of people who consumed cannabis and had a bad experience. They complain of effects like fear, paranoia, and disjointed cognition, putting them off cannabis for good. These effects are not guaranteed but are also not uncommon when consuming THC, which until last year has been only Delta-9 THC.
Delta-8 THC, on the other, gives all the calming and relaxing effects of cannabis without the unwanted side-effects due to its different manner of bonding with the human body’s cannabinoid receptors. This makes it an excellent choice for those who want to consume cannabis only for relaxation and mental well-being.