What Is Delta-8-THC?
According to the National Cancer Institute, delta-8-THC can be defined as:
“An analogue of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties. [Delta-8-THC] binds to the cannabinoid G-protein coupled receptor CB1, located in the central nervous system…This agent exhibits a lower psychotropic potency than [delta-9-THC], the primary form of THC found in cannabis.”
Delta-8-THC is chemically different from delta-9-THC by only a few atomic bonds and still offers a potent high of its own. While delta-8-THC only exists naturally in fractions of a percent, companies are finding value in concentrating esoteric cannabinoids for their unique effects and applications.
How is the delta-8-THC distillate made?
This product is made by employing a thin film distillation–fractional distillation–of locally cultivated cannabis flower and trim. The isolation of the delta-8-THC compound in this process is accomplished through variations of temperature, vacuums, and scientific equipment to convert delta-9-THC over to delta-8-THC. This allows purification and isolation of specific cannabinoids by removing any residual solvents, impurities, and any other undesirable compounds.
This yields the most potent and refined end-product that offers the user one of the most clean, potent and unique delta-8-THC products on the legal market today. Most dried cannabis flower contains less than 1% of delta-8-THC, so getting a product that contains a substantial amount of this cannabinoid can only be done through extraction, isolation, conversion, and refinement of dried cannabis flower.
What should consumers know about delta-8 THC?
For one, delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol has a lower psychotropic potency than its close cousin delta-9 THC, which is the most abundant cannabis constituent found in cannabis.
Second, it is known to connect to both CB1 and CB2 receptors in our bodies. A study was conducted in 1995 by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam in conjunction with Shaare Zedek Hospital, Bikur Holim Hospital, and Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In this study, delta-8 THC was administered to eight children ranging from 3 to 13 years of age with various hematologic cancers. These children had been treated with different drugs and [chemotherapy] for eight months prior to treatment with delta-8-THC. The delta-8-THC treatments started two hours before each session of chemo and continued every six hours for 24 hours. With this treatment, vomiting was completely prevented and side-effects were reported as negligible.
With the help of science, we too hope to influence and advance the benefits of delta-8-THC as well as all other cannabis-derived compounds.
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The efficacy and stability of delta-8-THC make it an extremely valuable cannabis-derived chemical compound. The distillate’s benefits and effects serve both medical and recreational consumers alike, and it illustrates the power of individual chemical constituents within cannabis. As science defines and refines the applications for cannabis’s eclectic collection of cannabinoids, we will benefit, one puff at a time.