Of the two main cannabinoid groups, CBD and THC, THC is often mislabeled as purely recreational because it gets you high. This is a misconception. The reality is that THC has incredible medical and therapeutic potential alongside CBD. It has been proven to alleviate a number of very real ailments such as nausea, chronic pain, and sleep disorders. The US government legally recognizes single-molecule THC as an anti-nausea compound and appetite booster.
In many ways, that is only the tip of the iceberg. More studies continue to reveal a huge range of applications for THC in the medical community. Recently a team at the Scripps Research Center in San Diego found that THC inhibits an enzyme that helps form amyloid beta plaque in the brain — one of the main causes of Alzheimer’s-related dementia.
The potential benefits are enormous, but a huge problem facing the industry are the number of very real side effects that turn off many prospective patients. It becomes a kind of cost-benefit analysis, where people seeking relief are forced to deal with the powerful side effects. For many, the high is unwanted.
That fact is what makes Delta-8 so appealing. Because of its unique structure, Delta-8 is capable of providing a range of therapeutic treatments, with almost active zero side effects.
How it works
All cannabinoids interact with the bodies’ natural receptors. Delta-9, the active ingredient in cannabis, binds strongly to the CB1 receptors. Those receptors are responsible for the psychoactive feelings, aka the fogginess and intoxication.
Delta-8 also binds to the CB1 receptors, meaning you get some of those high feelings. But it binds differently, which leads to a less overwhelming psychoactive experience. It also binds with a totally different set of receptors, the CB2 receptors, which more commonly interact with the other cannabinoids.
The most famous of these is the CBD group, which has proven calming effects. This means Delta-8 gives a different kind of high. One that is less potent, but brings a range of unique effects. And in fact, it has often been described as the middle ground between Delta-9 and CBD. CBD has recently exploded in popularity because of these soothing qualities.
The most noticeable difference reported among first-time Delta-8 users was the quality of the high. Compared to cannabis, the effects are fairly mild. It is said to be more alert and energetic, and more relaxing overall. Users will notice the difference in mental state, but it will feel far less hazy. Instead the feelings are more soothing. This is thought to be because of the dual receptor interaction of the molecule.