Delta-8 only recently arrived on the mainstream radar. However, it was actually discovered back in 1965 by cannabis researcher Dr. Raphael Mechoulam. Scientists and researchers have been uncovering benefits ever since.
While everyone may experience Delta-8 differently, some report feeling a high similar to Delta-9 THC — with a few key differences, reports ACS Laboratory: Unlike Delta-9, which can produce a sedative effect, Delta-8 is more associated with clear-headed and energized feelings. This has huge implications for patients and consumers who like the psychoactive and healing benefits of THC, but also want to function with more energy and clarity during the day.
According to the National Cancer Institute, Delta-8 THC exhibits “lower psychotropic potency” than Delta-9 and might bind with the brain’s receptors differently than Delta-9, thereby explaining the variation of effects. Therefore, consumers have reported feeling less intense psychoactive effects with Delta-8 — but they’re still noticeable. Delta-8 users experience appetite stimulation and euphoria, though not as intensely as they do from THC.
Like CBD and other cannabis compounds, Delta-8 communicates with receptors in the body, which make up the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS’ main receptors are CB1 and CB2, which Delta-8-THC communicates with to help balance functions including pain, appetite, mood, hormones, inflammation and blood pressure. This process marks Delta-8’s reported therapeutic and psychotropic effects.
Further, some suggest that Delta-8 could help the body produce a neurotransmitter that’s responsible for cognition, memory and neuroplasticity.
“Although research has been limited due to the prohibition of cannabis, what we know about Delta-8 is exciting for processors, manufacturers, patients, and recreational users,” ACS said. “As more people report a positive experience with Delta-8, we may see more products flood the market along with a marked shift in consumer behavior.”