What is Delta 8 CBD? Let’s Clarify a Common Misconception.

what is delta 8 cbd

Posted on April 13th, 2021

You may have asked the question, “What is delta 8 CBD?” The truth is that delta 8 CBD does not exist. The actual name for the compound is delta 8 THC. Some people confuse it with CBD because they have similar effects on the body and are both legal in most states. But it’s important to note that these two compounds are different.

By this point, most of us are familiar with THC and CBD, the two major cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. But these two natural compounds are only the tip of the iceberg. Experts now believe there are more than 120 different unique cannabinoids in the plant. Throughout recent years, scientists have been able to completely isolate and extract many of these compounds for testing.

One of the most recent cannabinoids to take the spotlight is Delta 8. Because some companies advertise it as an alternative to Delta 9 THC, it isn’t surprising that people confuse it with CBD. What you learn in this article will help you clarify the subject for anyone who asks “what is delta 8 CBD?” Let’s start with an overview of important cannabis topics.

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana is cannabis that contains more than 0.3%THC. If cannabis contains less than 0.3% THC it is hemp. Cannabis is one of the oldest psychoactive substances on the planet. The buds of the plant attract most recreational users, though the entire plant is useful.

The most potent psychoactive compound in marijuana is delta 9 THC. Cannabidiol (CBD) is another abundant cannabinoid. It lacks the intoxicating potential of THC. A few other cannabinoids we are familiar with include cannabinol(CBN), cannabichromene(CBC), and cannabigerol(CBG).

hemp effects on lungsWhat is Delta 9 THC?

Delta 9 THC is the most abundant cannabinoid in the marijuana plant and it is what causes the when smoking the plant. THC has been in the scientific spotlight for decades as researchers have discovered its health benefits. Easing pain, stimulating the appetite, and warding off depression are some of these benefits. 

Unfortunately, delta 9 THC is also illegal in most states. Hemp plants contain a very low percentage of delta 9. But the average marijuana plant has delta 9 THC levels between 12 and 19 percent.

Effects of Delta 9 THC

The cannabinoids in the marijuana plant are classified as phytocannabinoids. There are also cannabinoids naturally inside the body called endocannabinoids. Both work by bonding with endocannabinoid receptors called CB1 and CB2. Different cannabinoids will bond differently and to varying degrees. Two cannabinoids may have very similar effects yet only one of them has a high affinity for bonding. Delta 9 THC shares a very similar chemical structure to the endocannabinoid anandamide. However, THC has a much higher potency, affinity for bonding, and shorter activation time in vitro.

Delta 9 THC affects the brain and body in a number of unique ways that we don’t exactly experience or recognize with anandamide. The most potent effects occur in the hippocampus, cerebellum, and frontal cortex. These include:

  1. Increased serotonin uptake
  2. Impaired memory formation
  3. Mood stabilization
  4. Increased focus
  5. Reduce anxiety (when consumed in small amounts)

It can also affect other areas of the body. For example, it can increase appetite, reduce pain, control muscle spasms, alleviate nausea, and can even help kill certain unhealthy bacteria that form in the gut. There are undoubtedly many effects of delta 9 THC that are still not fully understood. We are constantly learning more about this compound as well as other cannabinoids through scientific studies and clinical trials.

Delta 9 Legality

The legal status of the cannabis plant is tied very closely to its delta 9 THC levels. On a federal level in the United States, cannabis that contains more than 0.3 % delta 9 THC is illegal. It is classified as a Schedule I drug. This means it has “no medical use” despite the plethora of research and studies that suggest otherwise. This unjust ban has led to the rise of Delta 8 and misinformation that leads to people asking “what is delta 8 CBD?”

The legality does vary some from one state to another despite remaining illegal according to federal law. A few of the states that allow recreational use of delta 9 THC include Alaska, Colorado, California, and  New York. Then there are some states that allow delta 9 THC for medical use, such as Delaware, Arkansas, and Florida.

What Is CBD?

The cannabinoids in the plant besides THC are still linked to a variety of different potential health benefits. CBD has become the most popular cannabinoid after THC due to its numerous potential health benefits.

CBD was discovered in 1940 and has since been the subject of numerous studies. However, there are still very few high-quality studies on the subject. Following extraction from the plant, CBD can be used in capsules, tinctures, and oils. It is also present in smaller quantities when smoking dried cannabis buds.

Where Does CBD Come From?

As with THC and the other cannabinoids, CBD is present in abundance in the cannabis plant. It accounts for roughly 40 percent of the phytocannabinoid content of the plant. However, advances in the breeding and cultivation of hemp allow for even higher concentrations.

Several states have built a reputation for their hemp farms and CBD production. Arizona has more than 34,000 acres of hemp farms and is capable of growing hemp in every season throughout the year. Colorado is the leading producer of hemp with roughly 40,400 acres of hemp.

What Are The Effects Of CBD?

CBD shares several benefits with THC as well as some of the potential side effects. How you consume it and what additional ingredients are present in the product can affect things. CBD oil/tincture is the most common delivery method. Many people use CBD to reduce anxiety, fight pain, and improve appetite.

There is also evidence that suggests CBD can treat childhood epilepsy syndromes. It is often utilized when patients do not respond to their traditional seizure medications. CBD may reduce the frequency and severity of seizures in children. There is currently only one prescription medication that includes CBD for this very reason (Epidiolex). We expect to see more medications like this appear in the future.

Will CBD Get You High?

No. This is the major factor that separates CBD from THC. CBD will not make you high, which is why it remains legal across the country. In many states, you can find CBD products at grocery stores, gas stations, and specialty shops. It’s safe to operate vehicles and machinery after CBD consumption due to the lack of psychotropic properties.

What Is Delta 8 CBD?

Delta 8 is a phytocannabinoid that is similar in structure to delta 9 and has some of the same effects on the mind and body. Despite common misconceptions, it is actually a variation of the THC compound rather than CBD. It contains a double bond in the molecular chain similar to THC. The location of the bond is slightly different, which results in a few subtle differences. It is also consider it a more stable compound than delta 9 and cannot be equally oxidized.

Effects Of Delta 8

Delta 8 bonds to the same CB receptors as delta 9, but with slightly less affinity due to the altered molecular structure. There are significantly fewer studies regarding the compound and its effects. However, existing studies all suggest similar effects to delta 9. This includes appetite improvement, mood control, and pain management. 

Delta 8 vs Delta 9

Unlike CBD, delta 8 produces a mild psychoactive effect. Many consider it to be a milder and clearer high than the more potent delta 9. These effects are more noticeable when in edible form because it undergoes the same metabolic process as delta 9. Delta 8 and 9 are both converted to 11-hydroxy-THC in the liver.

Will Delta 8 Replace CBD?

It is too early to tell whether or not delta 8 will make a suitable replacement for CBD. It is still an uncommon cannabinoid and still requires a great deal of research. The psychoactive properties make it highly unlikely to be a completely safe replacement for CBD. For example, children suffering from epileptic seizures likely wouldn’t switch to delta 8 THC when CBD functions well without the high.

Conclusion: What is Delta 8 CBD?

The details of how the many cannabinoids work can be pretty confusing. It’s no wonder people ask things like “what is delta 8 CBD?” Hopefully this article has provided some clarity about CBD, delta 8 and delta 9 THC. If you’re already comfortable with the psychoactive properties of delta 9 THC, you may want to give D8 a try. But if you would like to avoid the “high” altogether, then you may be better off with traditional CBD and hemp extracts.

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