The Delta 8 CBD Debate – Is This the End of the Road for CBD?
Posted on April 1st, 2021
CBD grew in popularity over the recent years, mostly due to anecdotal accounts of its potential calming and pain-relieving effects. Behind the surge of the CBD craze are wellness enthusiasts turning to this “cure-all” cannabinoid for particular health issues. CBD products are, for the most part, legal in most states across the country. The legality of THC, on the other hand, remains a politicized debate that seemingly will go on into the foreseeable future. The latest developments in the hemp and marijuana space came as a result of the entry of a less-known cannabis compound: delta-8. If you haven’t heard of it, you are not alone. Read on to find out more about delta 8 and how the delta 8 CBD debate is shaping up!
What are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids refer to compounds that can interact with cannabinoid receptors in the human body. They are able to deliver particular effects by influencing the neural communication network. Generally, the body has naturally occurring cannabinoids called endocannabinoids which the body synthesizes on demand. They are part of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which plays an essential role in the human body.
Cannabinoids also naturally are present in plants, most abundantly in the cannabis sativa plant. Popularly known as phytocannabinoids, these cannabinoids come to be in the plant’s trichomes, particularly on flowers and leaves. It is also possible to synthesize synthetic cannabinoids that work just like endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids due to a similar chemical structure.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is a naturally occurring cannabinoid in the cannabis sativa plant. This cannabinoid features calming and pain-relieving effects. Unlike its relative, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD doesn’t get you “high,” which makes it safe to use and legal in most states.
Effects of CBD
Due to its properties, many people use CBD for pain and inflammation, anxiety, sleep disorders, nausea relief, seizures, and even acne. The use of CBD is largely safe, especially if taken through the mouth. However, users may report some short-lasting mild effects, including:
- Dry mouth.
- Low blood pressure.
What is Delta 9 THC?
Delta 9 THC, or simply THC, which is short for tetrahydrocannabinol, is another cannabinoid found in cannabis. It is the primary psychoactive compound responsible for the “high” derived from cannabis use.
Effects of Delta 9 THC
THC works by attaching to cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system and brain. This way, it affects the secretion of certain neurotransmitters. which in turn affects certain body processes. People mostly consume Delta 9 THC through smoking dried cannabis leaves.
THC works through the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that controls mood. While the general effect of THC is the feeling of euphoria, effects can vary from one user to the next and generally include:
- Feeling of relaxation.
- Increased appetite.
- Altered perception of time.
- Increased sensory perception.
In some cases, continued use of THC can have adverse effects such as increased anxiety, hallucinations, and memory problems.
Where Does CBD Come From?
Cannabidiol is one of the many naturally occurring cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. These cannabinoids synthesize in the resin glands of the plant and stored in flowers and leaves. Originally, all cannabinoids occur in an inactive acidic form. Precisely, CBD comes from its precursor, cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), which is converted to CBD when subjected to heat.
What is the Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana?
While most users enjoy the calming and psychoactive effects of CBD and THC, respectively, few understand the difference between hemp and marijuana. The differences between the two majorly lie in their THC levels which also dictates their legality.
The hemp plant is a variety of the cannabis plant that contains less than 0.3% THC. Meanwhile, marijuana is a cannabis variety that contains more than 0.3% THC. Therefore, the use of hemp products does not induce psychotropic effects in the user.
What Exactly is Delta 8?
The legality of THC is probably why delta 8 gained popularity in recent years. Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, or delta-8, is a cannabis compound that has similar effects as THC. Yet, it has a slight but significant difference in its chemical structure.
So, what makes delta 8 special? Unlike THC, delta 8 is legal in most states. What’s more, this compound induces psychotropic and euphoric effects in users, albeit not nearly as strong as those from delta-9 THC. Due to the outlawing of THC still in some states, cannabis users see delta 8 as a legal way of experiencing the effects of THC, however less potent it might be.
According to experts, delta 8, exhibits anxiolytic, analgesic, antiemetic, neuroprotective, and appetite-stimulating properties just as THC. Due to its lower psychoactive potency, delta 8 will help alleviate pain, prevent anxiety and vomiting without creating an exact high as THC.
Delta 8 manifests these benefits due to its ability to bind with similar cannabinoid receptors in the brain as THC. While the metabolism processes of delta 8 and THC are similar, the effects of delta 8 are significantly less potent. Users experience a clearer and calmer high compared to that which comes from using delta-9 THC.
Where Does Delta 8 Come From?
Like other CBD products, delta 8 comes from hemp. Some marijuana proponents believe that there is a real chance that most users actually tried delta 8 already by consuming some CBD products.
The legality of delta 8 may not be clear to most people. Well, this compound is legal everywhere CBD is. According to the 2018 Hemp Farm Bill, individuals are legally able to manufacture and sell any hemp-derived product containing less than 0.3% delta-9 THC.
The amendments by the Controlled Substance Act protect the manufacture of any hemp-derived THC at appropriate levels by excluding them from the Schedule 1 narcotics list, which essentially makes delta 8 legal.
Another common question in the delta 8 CBD debate is whether delta 8 can show up in a drug test. Unfortunately, this compound can sometimes result in a false positive. Normally, drug tests test for metabolites results from use and not the compound itself. Since delta 8 and THC metabolize in the same way, there’s a possibility that a drug test may come back positive.
Benefits of Delta 8
Another discussion around the delta 8 CBD debate is the benefits of this less-known cannabinoid. The use of delta 8 has the same benefits as using regular THC, except that the users experience a less potent, more clear-headed high. You can use delta 8 in various ways, such as smoking, vaping, chewing, or as a tincture. Regardless of the product of choice, here are some benefits of delta 8:
- Helps stimulate appetite.
- Relieves pain and inflammation.
- Eliminates nausea and vomiting due to its antiemetic properties.
- Prevents anxiety by inducing a feeling of calmness and relaxation.
- Offers a smooth and clearer high.
Will Delta 8 Get You High?
Just like delta-9 THC, delta 8 induces a euphoric and psychotropic effect in users. However, delta 8 is less potent than delta-9 THC, which results in a clear and mostly mild psychoactive buzz and an uplifting feeling. A significant difference is that the “high” by delta 8 doesn’t come with the typical undesired feeling associated with using THC. Thus, no paranoia, anxiety, clouded head, and dry eyes and mouth.
Generally, delta 8 doesn’t the negative effects of THC, mainly because its effects take more time to set it. What’s more, the “high” by delta 8 lasts half as long as that of THC, which means that the user doesn’t feel exhausted or drained after use.
Is Delta 8 CBD’s Alternative?
Perhaps the climax of the Delta 8 CBD debate is establishing whether delta 8 is an alternative to CBD. A good way to go about this is by putting across any similarities and differences of these compounds. To start with, the differences between the two cannabinoids are clear. While delta 8 is psychoactive, CBD isn’t.
These compounds also have some similarities. Both bind to the same cannabinoid receptors in the brain, which means that they have almost similar effects on the body. In fact, apart from the “high,” most of the effects of both CBD and delta 8 on the body are very similar.
Delta 8 offers the body the same benefits as CBD – it relieves pain and inflammation. It also eliminates nausea, helps with appetite, reduces anxiety, and potentially offers neuroprotective benefits. This shows that delta 8 could be a potent alternative to CBD as it looks promising already.
The Delta 8 CBD Debate – The Takeaway
Delta 8 is a less-known compound that occurs naturally in the cannabis sativa plant. Its growing popularity sparked the delta 8 CBD debate. Experts seek to know its effects, benefits, and whether it is a viable alternative to CBD. What’s for sure’s that delta 8 is a great alternative to THC for users seeking a euphoric effect without the downsides associated with THC. Also, the similarities between delta 8 and CBD indicate that delta 8 might be a potent CBD alternative as it delivers the same benefits as CBD, with an extra psychoactive effect that is, nonetheless, less potent than THC’s. If you like CBD, feel free to give delta 8 a try without worrying about it turning out a similar experience to taking THC.