Contrary to popular belief, the cannabis plant is not merely a plant that can be used to get ‘high’ – it’s a beautiful, complex, and useful herb with many characteristics and elements that make it unique.
The potential benefits this plant possesses are truly varied, which is why it’s important that we acknowledge the properties of cannabis that are beyond the recreational realm. It’s possible you’ve heard of Delta 9 THC, the compound that is responsible for causing the relaxing and sedating ‘high’ effect from consuming cannabis. However, Delta 8 THC, a lesser-known compound, is another of the many components found in the cannabis plant – and it’s just as exciting and notable as Delta 9 THC! In this article, we’re going to take a look at all the similarities and differences between these two cannabis compounds.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS)
The endocannabinoid system is a term that’s been widely covered and discussed in cannabis communities, so let’s quickly go over what it is! Essentially, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a bodily system, much like the immune or digestive systems, and it features cannabinoid receptors throughout the body (CB1 and CB2) specially designed to accept phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids (such as CBD). These receptors form bonds with cannabinoids and manifest a specific reaction – this explains why we get calm and soothing sensations when we consume cannabis. The main thing about the ECS is that although it binds with plenty of cannabinoids, it produces a different reaction with each one of them. These reactions depend solely on the properties of the components that bind with it. This is where Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC come in – the small, yet significant difference in their chemical structures is precisely what makes all the difference for our bodies!
As we’ve already mentioned, the difference between Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC is very subtle and perhaps even insignificant for people who aren’t really keen on chemistry. Still, it’s truly important in determining the effects these compounds will produce. Both are isomers of THC, but the main contrast lies in their chemical bonds – Delta 8 THC has a double bond on the eighth carbon chain, while Delta 9 THC has the same double bond on the ninth carbon chain. The difference? The level of potency.
Delta 9 THC (Δ9-THC)
When dealing with Delta 9 THC, it’s hard to present new information when it’s such an amazingly popular component. Nevertheless, it’s important to mention that Delta 9 THC binds with our CB1 receptors, predominantly found throughout the body and the brain. When Delta 9 THC binds with CB1 receptors, the effect is quite strong because of the double bond on the ninth carbon chain. Delta 9 THC is also present in the cannabis plant in very high quantities, which means effects are strong. This is perhaps a suitable explanation for the occurrence of a general feeling of relaxation when we consume cannabis, which is known to potentially help with stress, sadness, and some kinds of discomfort.
Delta 8 THC (Δ8-THC)
While it may seem like these two components are practically the same, Delta 8 THC is found in the cannabis plant in much lower quantities, is less potent, and it also tends to bind with CB2 receptors (unlike its more potent counterpart that we mentioned earlier). CB2 receptors are most present throughout the organs & extremities, like in the digestive tract and the immune system.
Since they produce different effects, it might be a good idea for beginners to try both and see how they react to them. They should also be used with caution and in controlled doses as everyone has a different level of tolerance. On another note, it would also be useful to mention that with the 2018 Farm Bill, Delta 8 THC is federally legal to shop and use in the USA, while the status of Delta 9 THC remains unchanged – that is, only products with less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC are allowed federally. GRH Kratom offers premium delta 8 THC gummies (in 3 flavors!), as well as delta 8 THC cartridges in 7 flavors that can be used with a vape pen.
Both isomers are known to be incredibly helpful with some types of discomfort as long as they are used in safe and controlled doses. That being said, let’s take a look at what each of these compounds can offer:
Delta 9 THC
• Can help reduce feelings of nausea (antiemetic effect)
• Has antihistaminic properties
• Has a very relaxing and soothing effect and can potentially help with stress and discomfort
Delta 8 THC
• May potentially help reduce stress or feelings of sadness, especially in individuals who find the effects of delta 9 THC a bit too strong for them
• Helps reduce feelings of nausea (antiemetic effect)
• Helps reduce inflammation in some body parts, especially when applied topically
Learning more about cannabis and its compounds is an excellent way to make the most out of the CBD products you consume. That being said, always make sure that you are buying from a safe and reputable vendor, and always pay extra attention to how you react to these products. Listen to your body! Now that you know all the similarities and differences between Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC, you’re ready to continue your journey by purchasing some of the products of your choice! This article is only our best information on the subject and does not serve as a form of medical advice or recommendation. Consult a doctor before use.