Chris DeWildt

March 29, 2019 6 min read
March 29, 2019
6 min read

Delta 8 THC: What is it and what does it do?

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In this article, Growers Network discusses Delta 8 THC, a potent cannabinoid gaining in popularity. We tell you what it is, what it does, and how it's different from Delta 9.

Working in the cannabis industry, you hear a lot about new cannabinoid products hitting the market, and I honestly haven’t heard as much in such a short time as I have about Delta 8 THC. It was one of those things where after you hear about it the first time, it’s suddenly everywhere! My coworkers were talking about it, my friends were asking me about it, and I noticed a number of new articles about it on the web. But with all the buzz surrounding Delta 8 THC, I had to wonder if there was anything to it, or was it just an opportunity to capitalize on some obscure cannabinoid. Spoiler: This stuff is for real and it's amazing!

Delta 8 THC came to my attention a couple months ago when a friend offered up his vape pen. He claimed it was Delta 8 THC and the effects were different than those he experienced with Delta 9. He described a smooth buzz with no paranoia. As I mentioned, I was skeptical, but not for long. It was just as he described it. I was stoned, but my thinking remained lucid and really, I just felt good. So if all you're looking for is a recommendation - I recommend Delta 8 THC! But if you have questions, or are just skeptical like I was, read on for a little more info on Delta 8.

Concentrated extracts are currently the only effective delivery of Delta 8 THC

Editor's Note: For those of you who don't live near an area where you can get DELTA 8 THC, our staff has found this full spectrum cannabinoid product to have similar effects of reducing anxiety and sleeplessness as it includes CBD, CBG, CBC, and CBN. It also has 16 other terpenes designed to help alleviate anxious thoughts. Our staff recommends using this product as a stand alone or taking it about 30 minutes prior to smoking cannabis or eating an edible if those generally are anxiety inducing for you.

Tinctures not for you? Think about Keep Calm Gummies from Medterra, although they only have CBD (isolate) and do not have the other cannabinoids or terpenes.

What is delta 8 THC?

Delta 8 THC is one of the 100+ cannabinoids in cannabis. Processors extract and concentrate it since it only exists naturally in small percentages within the cannabis flower. Like other cannabinoids, it interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system - specifically the CB1 receptor of the nervous system - to bring on its psychotropic effects. Despite the difference in the natural quantities of Delta 8 and Delta 9 in cannabis, when concentrated, they interact with the nervous system similarly, which raises the question...

What’s the difference between Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC?

Quick chemistry lesson for the uninitiated: The delta part of the name refers to the double bond, so both Delta 8 and Delta 9 contain double bonds, the difference is where that double bond is located. Organic chemistry deals with carbon atoms - a lot of carbon atoms, chains of them - and the respective “8” and “9” in the names of these canabinoids refer to the location of that double (Delta) bond in the chain. Delta 9 has a double bond on the 9th carbon in the chain, Delta 8 on the 8th. So, what this really boils down to is that a double bond is going to have more electrons than single carbon bonds and will interact differently with the endocannabinoid system. It doesn’t seem like a big difference, but when we’re talking about subatomic particles, the location of that double bond can be very significant.

Is this Delta 8 THC or Delta 9 THC? Hard to tell; the molecular difference is subtle. Only your brain will know for sure!

What does delta 8 feel like?

As I mentioned above, Delta 8 THC will get you stoned, but it’s effects truly are a bit different. Now I love Delta 9 THC and it’s what I primarily use, however, there are times I’d abstain because it can affect my concentration. I found this wasn’t the case with Delta 8. I felt the effects, and while I wouldn’t describe them as diminished relative to Delta 9, they were more low key, as if I was on cruise control with no loss of focus. I was able to work, concentrate, and still felt the calming effects I desire from my THC. And I’m not the only one. I was discussing Delta 8 THC with another friend of mine and he had this to say:

Delta 8 gives a very clear-headed, engaged high, with zero anxiety or fogginess. I feel more "in tune" and less impaired than when I consume delta 9. My vision and other senses almost feel heightened, or more crisp. Really phenomenal for hiking and biking. In fact, for most purposes, I would rather consume delta 8 than other cannabinoids.
-Will L.

I've talked to a number of people who've tried this amazing cannabinoid and they all report the same type of effects. That tells me there is definitely something to it. While I'll never give up my Delta 9, Delta 8 THC now has a special place in my heart (and lungs and brain).

So there it is, the GN take on Delta 8 THC. Hopefully we’ve provided some clear information and answered a few of your questions regarding this cannabinoid that is increasing in popularity. If you’re curious, I highly recommend you check it out. And if you do - or if you already have - the team here at Growers Network would love to hear about your experience. Let us know by filling out the survey below this article or better yet, join our forum by clicking one of the “Join Now” buttons located at the top and bottom of this page and start a conversation! See you there!

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Delta 8 THC FAQs

What is Delta 8 THC?
Delta 8 THC is a variant form of THC found in small concentrations in the cannabis plant. Processors extract the cannabinoid and concentrate it to therapeutic levels.

What is the difference between Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC?
The main difference between Delta 8 and Delta 9 is the location of the double bond. Delta 8 has the double bond on the 8th carbon in the chain, Delta 9 on the 9th.

Is Delta 8 THC medicinal?
Yes! Delta 8 THC is used for a variety of symptoms including:
  • Pain relief
  • appetitie stimulation
  • nausea
  • anxiety
  • It even protects brain cells!
What are the effects of Delta 8 THC?
The effects of the Delta 8 THC cannabinoid are described as similar to traditional Delta 9 THC, but have been described as less intense, though still powerful, offering the user a calm focus.

Where can I buy Delta 8 THC?
As of today, there are relatively few producers extracting Delta 8 THC. In town here, there is only one dispensary offering the product currently. However, chances are it's available somewhere near you. It may require a bit of calling around or a web search.

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About the Author

Chris DeWildt is a graduate of Grand Valley State University and Western Kentucky University. He worked in education and publishing for ten years before joining the team at Growers Network. In addition to editing the GN blog, Chris also works on the Canna Cribs series.