Updated: Jan 22, 2021
There is a long list of cannabinoids you may hear about when talking about cannabis, and one particularly popular one is Delta-8. And while many consumers may see various products that read Delta-8 on the shelves, they may not know very much about this specific cannabinoid.
So what exactly is Delta-8? Delta-8 is short for delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol. According to the National Cancer Insitute, Delta-8 is "An analogue of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties. Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8-THC) binds to the cannabinoid G-protein coupled receptor CB1, located in the central nervous system; CB1 receptor activation inhibits adenyl cyclase, increases mitogen-activated protein kinase activities, modulates several potassium channel conductances, and inhibits N- and P/Q-type Ca2+ channels. This agent exhibits a lower psychotropic potency than delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC), the primary form of THC found in cannabis."
That is a mouthful for anyone to try to say. But in less complicated terms, it has a number of ways that impact your body, including the nervous system. Multiple preliminary studies have been conducted on Delta-8 to help pinpoint the potential benefits, however all point towards the need for more detailed research before any definitive answers can be made.
In one study, "delta-9-THC, delta-8-THC, and cannabinol were found to inhibit the growth of Lewis lung adenocarcinoma cells" (Cancer that begins in glandular (secretory) cells). Studies like this one have pointed researchers towards the possibility of another way to reduce cancerous tumors.
According to Discover Magazine, "Many people claim that Delta-8 is a smoother, less anxious psychoactive experience than the more familiar Delta-9. It also seems to have additional medicinal effects than regular THC, such as better pain relief, but these claims have yet to be weighed out in clinical trials."
No matter how you look at it, Delta-8 is poised to have a bright future as a beneficial cannabinoid. People already are offering personal stories of their own experiences with Delta-8. Because of public focus and preliminary research, science has a keen focus on this cannabinoid for many reasons. With time and backing from scientific research, Delta-8 may prove to be a very valuable resource.