Cannabis medicine is extremely popular, and with every day comes new discoveries. The last six months have proved to be extremely productive for the industry. We have grown new CBG dominant flower, something that was once impossible, and we are all working towards isolating specific cannabinoids to treat specific ailments quicker and easier. But the latest discovery is something a little bit different- Delta 8-THC (Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol).
What Is Delta 8-THC?
Delta 8-THC is a minor cannabinoid, meaning it is naturally occurring in cannabis plants in only a very small percentage. In fact, it is not even directly produced by the enzymes in the cannabis plant! It is produced when THC (popularly Delta 9 THC, the dominant form in most marijuana) is stored for a long period of time. It degrades slowly into Delta 8. Farmers are now working on selective breeding to develop plants that will produce more Delta 8 in that degradation period, so they can extract it in an isolated form and use it in products all over the country.
Those who have heard of Delta 8 have had many mixed opinions. Any product labelled “THC” in a state where marijuana is not legal can often set off red flags. While these two types of THC are closely related, they do have noticeable differences when it comes to the effect it has on one’s body. They share classic symptoms such as increase in appetite, reducing nausea, and soothing pain, but Delta 8 has much less psychoactive potency than Delta 9. So how does this translate to our bodies ability to ingest Delta 8?
Delta-8 largely binds to your CBD1 receptors, which are largely located in your brain and central nervous system, but are also lightly spread around some nerves and organ tissues. While this is also where Delta 9 is largely absorbed, one small molecular chain makes all the difference to our cannabinoid system! It’s all in the name, Delta 8 has a molecular bond on the 8th carbon chain, and Delta 9 on the 9th. This doesn’t mean a whole lot to the average person, but the small change of molecular bonds is responsible for the longer lasting effects of Delta 8, the weaker “high” and the “clear-headed” feeling that people experience after ingesting a Delta 8 product.
My Personal Experience with Delta 8-THC
This is where personal experience comes in. I could type all day long about scientific studies with mice and how their corneal damage was reduced, but that does not reassure most people that this is a safe cannabis for them to ingest! I have been taking Delta 8 THC products instead of my normal full spectrum CBD oil dosage for the last couple of weeks to see how it affects someone with an average body weight, average tolerance to cannabis, and average metabolism.
I started with the gummies. Half of a 20mg Delta 8 THC gummy in the morning, another half just before dinner, and hitting a Delta 8 vape cartridge sporadically throughout the day. To preface this, I use cannabis largely for anxiety, muscle tension, and chronic headaches. Delta 8 is definitely more noticeable than any CBD delivery method I have experienced, even more potent than smoking raw CBD flower! The vape cartridge was quite smooth, and had almost no taste.
How I Felt Using Delta 8-THC
Within the first few minutes of hitting it, I felt some tension release in my neck and an almost immediate increase in appetite. I laughed a little more than normal, and felt comfortable and relaxed. What I noticed the most was an increase in focus. I was able to get my work done in a very short amount of time with minimal distraction. CBD and THC have helped me in the past with creative energy, but I find that they can make me a bit scatterbrained at points, so this was a very interesting effect.
Delta 8-THC Vapes
I did find that hitting the Delta 8 vape more than normal did not make me sleepy, it only increased my focus and energy level without making my heart rate spike or trigger my anxiety symptoms. While that is nice, I found myself staying up later and messing up the sleep schedule I have worked so hard to maintain. All in all I love the Delta 8 cartridge for daytime use, but will probably cut myself off after about 6PM.
Delta 8-THC Gummies
The gummies were a whole new world for me, and I don’t know if I will ever go without them. Eating a half of a 20mg gummy relieved almost all muscle tension for the entirety of my work day. In fact, it was a very similar feeling to taking a mild painkiller. Not only did my body not hurt, I also felt very “floaty”, like my body weighed nothing, which is a feeling I am not used to experiencing without a heavy psychoactive high along with it. The energy and focus I experienced with the vape was still present in the edible form, but it felt much more like natural, euphoric energy, rather than an almost caffeine type energy.
For one week I tried taking a whole 20mg gummy at around 6 in the afternoon, when my work day comes to an end. This dosage definitely leaned more towards a “high”, but not a high that I would compare to smoking good ol’ fashioned weed. It was euphoric, my body was weightless and to be honest, I barely felt my legs or back. That was an incredible feeling, as I carry a lot of constant pain in my upper back and calf muscles. My words were slightly slurred, I assume because every muscle in my body was at ultimate relaxation. I was able to get to sleep as soon as I layed down, and woke up without any groggy feeling.
If anything, I was slightly less achey than I normally am in the mornings. My anxiety did not make an appearance at any point, which is unusual considering I am usually panicked when I feel intoxicated in any way. My heart rate was low, my breathing was normal, and I was not shaky or clenching my jaw at any point. The only downside I will note with the gummies was the increase in appetite. I am used to this from my days of constant THC smoking, but this was definitely a little extreme. I had seconds at dinner, a huge dessert, and snacked until I went to bed. This could be a downside to many, but compared to how comfortable and pain-free I was, it was a worthy price to pay.
I hope this two week test on myself will be helpful to those who want to try Delta 8. I will say that, as someone who tends to get anxious after smoking weed, this was a very enjoyable, clear-headed, and productive “high”. I am switching back to my daily CBD oil usage, but I will continue to eat a Delta 8 gummy after work as often as I can. I STRONGLY recommend this gummy to anyone who suffers from chronic pain. I have not felt that amount of tension release in a very long time. As we always say at Asheville Hemp Farms, start small, do your research, and document your effects! Delta 8 is a brand new product that is now widely available to the public, and I encourage anyone who has had good luck with CBD to give it a try!