Why you should drop everything and pay attention to THC’s beneficial sister

The technical name for THC—the abundant cannabinoid responsible for giving you that high feeling—is Delta 9 Tetrahydrocannabinol. Aside from just offering a “stoned” feeling, THC has demonstrated its ability to offer relief from nausea, sleep disorders, pain, and other issues. Cannabis labs and extractors have in recent years been experimenting with varying forms of THC, with slight variations in their chemical composition.

Turns out the well-loved Delta 9 THC has a sister compound, with its own unique properties and benefits. Known as Delta 8 Tetrahydrocannabinol, it differs from Delta 9 by only a slight shift in one chemical bond but has an entirely different profile that has intrigued the medical marijuana industry in recent years.

As Delta 8 occurs less abundantly in cannabis plants than Delta 9, labs and extractors have utilized selective breeding and molecular isolation methods to extract concentrates that are abundant in Delta 8.


Chemists began experimenting with Delta 8 years ago and have discovered some promising results. In 1975, researchers discovered it could shrink cancer tumors in rats. Israel scientists in 1995 administered Delta 8 to pediatric cancer patients who were suffering from nausea associated with chemotherapy and found it dramatically cured the nausea, with a 100% success rate over 480 treatments.

The US’ National Cancer Institute reported a “lower psychotropic potency” that Delta 9 THC, meaning that Delta 8 is less associated with a stoned feeling. Interestingly, they also suggest that Delta 8 could affect a different set of cannabinoid receptors—the brain’s natural mechanism for receiving the benefits of these types of compounds. This may be why many patients report that Delta 8 provides a general sense of well-being—the cannabinoid receptors involved are associated with a physical state known as homeostasis, the body’s natural resting state, when it is not in a fight, flight, or freeze mode.


Although research has been limited by ongoing US restrictions against robust cannabis studies—many people have reported their own positive experiences.

Consumers of Delta 8 THC report feeling relaxed, clear-headed and energized.

“Incredibly energizing while also being completely clear-headed. There is absolutely nothing “stoning” about Delta 8 THC. There’s certainly a “high” of sorts but it’s neither euphoric nor heavy like the couchlock of a true stoned feeling. And it completely rids me of any feeling of nausea, even the especially debilitating form of nausea that an [alcohol] hangover gives me.” Read the full article at The Stranger

“Delta 8 is like CBD that you can physically feel working in your body. It’s a total sense of well-being.” – Patient Testimonial

What’s more, some research suggests that Delta 8 potentially helps patients produce a neurotransmitter called Acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is responsible for:

  • Cognition
  • Memory
  • Arousal
  • Neuroplasticity

Intrigued? Delta 8 is great for patients who:

  • Have found little relief from a CBD regimen
  • Have a low tolerance for THC
  • Suffer from nausea or lack of appetite
  • Want to manage their anxiety without risk of impairment
  • Someone recovering from a TBI
  • Someone struggling with low libido
  • Menstrual cramping
  • Hangovers

A change in the law, a change in the times

The landmark moment in Delta-8 history happened two years ago, with the passing of the Hemp Farming Act of 2018. This bill removed hemp and low-THC cannabis from regulation under the Controlled Substances Act. This flung open the door for researchers to explore new THC strains. Delta-9 and cannabis stayed tightly regulated, and it remained up to each state to legalize or maintain the prohibition. But the less potent THC compounds — effectively everything that wasn’t Delta-9 — became legal and available for development. That included our friend Delta-8.

It took some very smart chemists a little over a year, but by late 2019 a legal Delta-8 THC was being created and sold, using a simple process to extract the compound from cannabis plants. It is a completely natural version of THC and has existed alongside the other cannabinoids for as long as it has been around. The sole reason Delta-8 isn’t more widely known is that it exists in extremely small quantities naturally. For a long time there was no reason to extract it — it was illegal anyway. But once it and the other less-potent THC strains became legal, it was suddenly a viable option. It is not an exaggeration to say that Delta-8 THC being legalized was the biggest win for the cannabis industry in decades.


Although less psychoactive that Delta 9 THC, someone that is very sensitive to cannabis may feel some impairment from Delta 8. That said, it is important to ensure that patients do conservative test dosing to find out how they will respond to Delta 8.