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Delta-8 and Delta-9 cannabinoids are almost identical in structure, and this is the main reason why delta-8 THC was originally discovered as a byproduct of delta-9 THC.
Delta-8 THC was first synthesized in 1940 at the University of Illinois by chemists trying to create an analog for placebo capsules that wouldn’t cause any psychoactive effect. Their experiment proved unsuccessful, but they went on to isolate delta-8 THCA (delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol acetate), hence its other name: Delta 9 THC.
Recreational users are now turning to delta-8 THC for its non-psychoactive effects and medical benefits without having to worry about feeling ‘high.’ This article will break down the information you need to know about delta-8 THC vs. delta-9 so that you can make a well-educated decision.
Delta-8 vs Delta-9
Delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC have an identical molecular structure, except for a slight difference in their atomic arrangement – specifically, where they attach to the carbon chain.
In terms of chemical composition, both cannabinoids are 21 atoms: 18 carbons, one nitrogen, and two hydrogens. Delta-9 has a saturated hydrocarbon chain with nine carbons forming its side chain.
Delta-8 has an unsaturated hydrocarbon chain with seven carbons and two double bonds forming its side chain.
These two cannabinoids also differ by how easily they are metabolized in the liver. Delta-9-THC is hydroxylated at the 11th carbon atom, creating an active metabolite (11-OH-THC), while delta-8 does not get processed this way.
Additionally, delta-8-THC affects the receptors differently from delta-9-THC. Some studies suggest that both cannabinoids utilize CB1 and CB2 receptors equally, while others give more credit to delta-9 for using these receptors. Click here to learn more about it.
Because of its similarity to cannabinol (CBN), it has been assumed that delta-8 also converts into CBN; however, there is no available evidence to prove this. Other tissues may contain enzymes that can convert delta-8 into CBL or CBN.
Delta-8 and delta-9 similarly utilize both receptors, but their respective effects may differ slightly based on this.
At lower doses, delta-8 affects the CNS more than at higher doses. It begins to affect other tissues; similarly, delta-9 has been observed to affect other tissues at lower doses rather than just affecting the CNS like delta-8. This is due to anandamide content in different areas of the body. Anandamide acts as a CB1 receptor agonist in the brain but as an antagonist when found elsewhere in non-brain regions.
Overall, delta-8-THC may be a more balanced option than delta-9 if you’re looking for a slightly less psychoactive and slightly more cerebral experience.
Overall, it looks like delta-8-THC might be a good choice for people who want a slightly less intense experience than what’s associated with delta-9 – the full-psychoactive version of this molecule. If you’re vaping or smoking cannabis that contains both cannabinoids, then delta-8 should be your preferred choice over delta-9 because there is no risk of getting high from its psychoactive effects.
Because of its lack of psychoactivity and greater affinity for CB2 receptors has been suggested as an anti-inflammatory option for those seeking relief from chronic pain or neurodegenerative diseases.
Delta-8 has also been studied as a treatment for cancer, pain management, and appetite stimulation. The results are promising, but there isn’t enough information available yet to make any definitive claims about how well it works or what kind of doses are required for optimal relief.
Although it could potentially have a greater therapeutic potential than delta-9 does, more research needs to be conducted before any claims of delta-8’s superiority over delta-9 are made.
The extraction processes of these cannabinoids are also different. Because delta-8 is non-psychoactive and available in minimal quantities in the cannabis plant, it is typically isolated through a process known as chromatography.
In this technique, the cannabinoids are separated based on their differing affinities for a stationary phase and the mobile phase passing through it. In most cases, this is done with high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC).
Delta-9 THC requires chloroform or ethanol to extract its psychoactive effects, making delta-8 the better option for those concerned with potential solvent residue in their end product.
Delta-9 THC has been studied alongside CBD in preclinical trials to investigate its potential application as an antiemetic agent, but delta-8 research is limited due to its rarity in comparison to delta-9.
The most practical use for delta-8 may be in vape cartridges, where it can be mixed with other cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. It can also be used in foods and topical ointments where the full benefits of THC are desired, but a higher dose than what’s possible through inhalation alone is preferred.
For example, this would be an ideal way to create a topical ointment that has the benefits of THC but isn’t sticky or smelly like other cannabis-infused products can be. At stronger doses, delta-8 may begin affecting other tissues in the body, making it more useful for people with neurodegenerative diseases looking for relief.
Delta-9 is better suited for those looking to get high from smoking or eating cannabis since these routes of administration easily allow you to reach psychoactive effects.
The standardization of delta-8 into capsules and vape pens would likely benefit manufacturers because they could then sell their product without worrying about the harshness of the extraction process, allowing them to use cheaper materials while still producing high-end products.
A standardization of delta-8 into these types of cannabis products would provide consumers with more product options that will meet their needs and give them the benefits associated with THC without the potential side effects of getting high.
Overall, delta-8 is generally considered less psychoactive than delta-9-THC, even though its affinity for CB2 receptors makes it an incredibly effective medicine at stronger doses. It is possible that this cannabinoid could begin affecting other cell types when used at higher doses, making it an even more versatile medicine than delta-9.
It is also much easier to extract delta-9 than delta-8 because it is available in large quantities in the cannabis plant. This allows manufacturers to use cheaper materials in their products without compromising on quality.
If you’re looking for fewer side effects and less intensity when consuming cannabis, then delta-8 may be an excellent option for you. It can provide the same benefits as delta-9 does, minus some of the adverse effects associated with getting too high.
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Meraki Detox Nightwear Cream with CBD
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God’s Greenery CBD for Christians
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Batch CBD Gift Bundle
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&Sunny CBD Special Care Bundle
Every product at &Sunny is intricately hand-made with a little bit of hemp and a lot of love. With a combination of premium Broad-Spectrum Hemp Oil with natural botanicals, including therapeutic-grade and cosmetic-grade essential oils, for added benefits. Includes four fan-favorites; Rose Essential Oil Roller, Aromatherapy Bath Soak, Intense Moisturizing Crème, and Lip Sugar Scrub.
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Kwan Patch is a hemp-infused transdermal patch providing an ongoing, slow-release of active compounds into the system via the skin. This delayed-release transdermal patch lasts up to 8 hours and is chosen by those who want hassle-free, effective hemp delivery with 16mg per patch.
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KWAN CBD Bar Soap
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Ott CBD Coffee
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Yummy Gummy CBD Holiday Gift Set
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Pride GummiesRX CBD Chews 750mg CBD: Full-Spectrum
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The Complete CBD Bath Bomb Kush Queen Collection 100mg
Save over 15% and get all 6 100mg CBD Bath Bombs in one convenient (and discounted!!) collection! Whether you are a newbie who just wants to try things out or a Kush Queen enthusiast who can’t get enough, this is the perfect set of CBD products for EVERYONE! Included: 1 of each CBD Relax, Relieve, Sleep, Love, Citrus, and Awaken Bath Bombs.
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Healing Rose 4 Pack of Bath Soaks
Practice self-care and treat yourself to a CBD Infused Bath Soak that uses all Organic Essential Oils & Organic Jojoba Oil combined with Dead Sea Salt that will create a magnesium-rich soak. 300mg of CBD from full-spectrum, Phytocannabinoid Rich CBD Hemp Oil is used. The bath will leave your skin moisturized and smelling wonderful. This product is vegan and free of any animal products or by-products.
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Verma Farms Fan Favorite CBD Gummy Gift Set
With a Hawaiian approach to hemp, their socially conscious efforts focus on making a product that helps leave the world in a better place than they found it. Stock up on all your CBD Gummy needs with this bundle of the best selling Beary Beach, Wahoo Worm, and Tropical Cherries Gummies. As with all products, this product is THC-free.
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Pure Nectar CBD Bundle
This special CBD bundle allows you to purchase some best-selling items to see what works best for you. Included: Assorted Fruit CBD Gummies delicious method for consuming the CBD you need (25mg CBD). Cool Mint CBD Oil – 1500mg is 100% pure broad-spectrum CBD to get the benefits of the naturally revealing ingredients of the hemp plant. Caribbean Sun Pain Salve is a unique formula combined with CBD’s anti-inflammatory qualities that will help bring you the relief you need.
UPDATE 8/2021: This company is no longer in business. Visit our other CBD products.
Joy Organics Nighttime Bundle
Experts say that restful sleep starts with a consistent nighttime routine, which is exactly what this bundle is for. It includes Melatonin + CBD Softgels, 30 Servings, and Lavender 25mg CBD Bath Bombs 4 Pack. Both of these products are made using 0.0% THC, broad-spectrum CBD oil.
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The CBD Pillow releases microdoses of CBD all night long, so you can have a relaxing sleep. The pillowcase is infused with millions of microcapsules filled with the highest quality CBD for deeper sleep, relaxation, and a more refreshing morning. Purchase a new CBD-infused pillowcase every 3 to 6 months to replenish with a fresh supply of CBD. You can unzip the cover, and remove any amount of fill to customize the firmness level to your individual needs.
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Glow Lotion Lavender & Arnica – 600 MG
Take aromatherapy up a notch with THD Glow Lotion. A great addition to your self-care routine, this lotion contains CBD oil and moisturizing lotion to assist in soothing the skin. Set this lotion by your bedside or bathroom mirror to incorporate a new remedy in your day-or-nighttime ritual.
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Peppermint CBD Bath Ball – 250 MG
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You Down With CBD Tee
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Honcho & Hoss MINTED CBD
The mintiest full-spectrum CBD oil west of the Mississippi, and east of it for that matter. Enjoy the power of premium, all-natural CBD oil while freshening up that dirty pirate mouth in the process. Less than .3% THC. Most people use CBD oil for anxiety, pain management, insomnia, inflammation, and overall wellness.
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NYX Professional Makeup Bare With Me SPF 30 Cannabis Primer
NYX's 1st moisturizing makeup primer with SPF 30 sunscreen to protect against damaging UVA and UVB rays! Plus, it’s formulated with Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil, delivering 24 hours of soothing hydration while keeping sunburns at bay. Perfect under makeup or alone, this moisturizing, colorless primer is especially great to soothe irritated skin.
High Falls Hemp NY Pomegranate CBD Gummies
Unlike others, High Falls Hemp NY owns the process from the seed in the ground to the product delivered to your hands. They craft the purest hemp-derived CBD-infused supplements, tinctures, and topical care products to promote your health and wellness on the market today. The product ingredients are sourced from our farm in High Falls, New York. Available in 100mg and 750mg.
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Mana Botanics Hemp Dark Chocolate Bar
Located on the foothills of Mauna Loa Volcano, Honaunau Farm Wellness Retreat is the birthplace of Mana Artisan Botanics. This decadent dark chocolate bar is infused with 100mg of cannabinoids and Hawaiian sea salt! All ingredients used in the hemp infusions are certified organic, non-GMO, and sourced from Mana's own farm or local farms when possible. Organic hemp used is cultivated sustainably, in Colorado.
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