Medically reviewed by Alexander Tabibi, MD
August 17, 2020

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of Delta-8 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a fascinating and increasingly popular cannabinoid. From its origins to its effects and legal status, we will provide you with a well-rounded understanding of Delta-8 THC.

This post is intended as information and for general knowledge only. It is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is recommended that you talk to a healthcare professional about this before introducing cannabinoids into your daily routine (especially if you have been diagnosed with any medical conditions or are under any medication). It is not recommended to drive or operate any machinery when using cannabis- or hemp-derived products. Use responsibly!

What is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 THC is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It is an isomer of Delta-9 THC, meaning it shares the same chemical formula but has a slightly different arrangement of atoms. This difference contributes to its distinct effects. Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC share similarities in their molecular structures, but Delta-8 THC tends to exhibit a milder psychotropic effect. This distinction arises from the variance in how they interact with the endocannabinoid receptors in the body.

Delta-8 THC is present in trace amounts in both hemp and marijuana plants. It is usually extracted through specialized processes to concentrate its levels for various uses.

How Does Delta-8 THC Interact with the Body?

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) plays a pivotal role in maintaining homeostasis within the body. Delta-8 THC primarily binds to the CB1 receptors of the ECS, which are mainly located in the central nervous system. This interaction leads to the characteristic effects associated with Delta-8 THC consumption. Unlike Delta-9 THC, Delta-8 THC’s bond with CB1 receptors is less potent, resulting in a less intense psychoactive experience. This makes it a more approachable option for those seeking milder effects. In contrast to CBD, which is non-psychoactive, Delta-8 THC does induce psychoactivity, albeit to a lesser degree.

Potential Benefits of Delta-8 THC

Delta 8 THC What is

Delta-8 THC is believed to possess pain-relieving effects, making it potentially useful for individuals seeking natural alternatives for managing pain. It has demonstrated antiemetic properties, meaning it can help alleviate nausea and vomiting. This could be beneficial for individuals undergoing chemotherapy or experiencing other forms of nausea. Early research suggests that Delta-8 THC may have anxiolytic effects, potentially providing relief for individuals dealing with anxiety and stress. Similar to Delta-9 THC, Delta-8 THC may stimulate appetite, which could be particularly helpful for individuals with appetite-related medical conditions.

Delta-8 THC vs. Delta-9 THC: Similarities and Differences

Delta-8 THC is psychoactive, but its effects are generally considered to be less intense and overwhelming than those of Delta-9 THC. Users often describe a smoother and more clear-headed high. Delta-8 THC’s psychoactive effects are associated with less impairment of cognitive function compared to Delta-9 THC. This makes it an attractive option for users who want to avoid feeling excessively “stoned.” While Delta-9 THC is federally illegal in many places, Delta-8 THC’s legal status is more complex and can vary between jurisdictions.

The legal status of Delta-8 THC under federal law is explained, particularly in relation to the 2018 Farm Bill. There is an overview of how different states have approached the legality of Delta-8 THC, including states where it’s fully legal, partially legal, or banned. The distinction between Delta-8 THC sourced from hemp and that sourced from marijuana is discussed, and how this affects its legal status.

Methods of Consumption

Inhalation, including vaping and smoking Delta-8 THC products, is explained in detail, covering onset time and potential risks. Oral consumption, including Delta-8 THC edibles and tinctures, is overviewed, highlighting their delayed onset and longer-lasting effects compared to inhalation. Topical applications, such as Delta-8 THC-infused creams and lotions, are discussed for their potential localized relief without producing psychoactive effects. Dosage considerations are provided, emphasizing the importance of starting with low doses and gradually increasing.

Potential Risks and Side Effects

Common short-term side effects of Delta-8 THC use, such as dry mouth, red eyes, and dizziness, are explored, along with how to manage them. Potential long-term health risks associated with Delta-8 THC use are discussed, including cognitive effects, addiction, and impact on mental health. The caution about possible interactions between Delta-8 THC and other medications is emphasized, along with the importance of consulting a healthcare professional before use. Responsible use is highlighted to minimize risks and adverse effects.

Tips for identifying trustworthy brands and products, including checking for third-party lab testing and reviews, are provided. Explanation of information typically found on Delta-8 THC product labels, such as potency, ingredients, and serving sizes, is given. General dosage recommendations for beginners and experienced users are provided, with a reminder that individual tolerance can vary. Factors influencing individual responses to Delta-8 THC, including body weight, metabolism, and prior cannabis experience, are discussed.


Ongoing research into Delta-8 THC’s potential medical applications and effects is discussed. Speculation on the role Delta-8 THC might play in the future of medical treatment and recreational cannabis use is presented. Consideration of how the growing popularity of Delta-8 THC fits into changing attitudes toward cannabis consumption is explored. A recap of key takeaways and encouragement for readers to make informed decisions based on the knowledge gained from this guide concludes the article.

In conclusion, understanding Delta-8 THC is a journey that encompasses its chemical structure, interactions with the body, potential benefits, and associated risks. As this minor cannabinoid gains attention in the world of cannabis products, informed consumers are better equipped tomake responsible choices that align with their preferences and well-being.

Understanding Delta-8 THC

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