What is Delta-8?

The National Cancer Institute defines delta 8 THC 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.”

The cannabis flower has grown in the wild for many centuries. It has chemical components called cannabinoids that attach to receptors in the human body. Many of these cannabinoids are beneficial when used appropriately. They trigger mental and physical effects that can bring pleasure, relaxation and other benefits. Delta 8 THC is one of the most common cannabinoids; it is physically similar to psychoactive THC with many important differences. Let’s dive deeper into the chemistry for a better understanding of this compound.

How Does Delta 8 THC Work?

Here’s a quick primer of the chemistry associated with Delta 8 THC. The delta stands for double bond as seen in both Delta 8 and Delta 9. So, what’s the difference? The location of the double bond is important here. Organic chemistry is the study of carbon atoms, usually in very long chains. The 8 or 9 of the delta THC refers to where those bonds occur. Namely, Delta 9 contains a double bond on its 9th carbon chain.

Conversely, Delta 8 contains a double bond on its 8th carbon chain. Double bonds have more electrons than carbon chains with single bonds. This subatomic difference changes the two substances ever so slightly. However, the resulting changes are surprising to users used to Delta 9 THC but new its cousin, delta 8 THC.

Users report that delta 8 THC has mood and mind-enhancing properties just as delta 9 THC does. However, even those who primarily use delta 9 can appreciate the different effects of these two cannabinoids. The benefits each user gets is personal and unique. However, if you need to abstain from delta 9 THC, it may be worthwhile to try delta 8 THC instead.


With delta 8, you can achieve the same effects in a more low-key way. This is a great alternative if you need your full concentration for work or personal projects. Find out if the calming effects of delta 8 can give you the best of both worlds without getting in your way at work.

Delta 8 THC has the following medicinal properties:

  • appetite-stimulating

  • antiemetic – which can suppress nausea and vomiting

  • anxiolytic – a category of drugs that prevents anxiety, important for anxiety disorders

  • neuroprotective properties

  • analgesic – for pain relief

When you use delta 8 THC, the G-protein cannabinoid attaches to the CB1 receptors in your central nervous system. While Delta 9 is well-known for antispastic qualities, delta 8 THC has a lower potency. This means you won’t have the same potent effect as in the delta 9 cannabinoid that causes psychotropic reactions. So, the point is what you are looking for and the best way to achieve your goals when choosing one or the other for any particular session. If you want the mellowing effect associated with cannabinoid use without some of the more extreme effects, delta 8 can help you stay clear, alert and focused without being anxious.

Delta-8 THC: The 'Next Big Thing' or a Dead End for the Hemp Industry? -  Hemp Benchmarks