Cannabis scientists discovered THC Delta 8 in a laboratory for the first time in 1965. THC ∆8’s identification and synthesis coincides directly with the study of THC ∆9 and CBD. Both THC ∆9 and CBD are abundant in Cannabis plants; THC ∆8 is not. Because of this and the prohibition of Cannabis for public use, it fell into obscurity. In the 1990’s, interest in THC ∆8 was briefly revitalized when the State of California legalized Cannabis for medical use. Researchers discovered that higher doses of THC ∆8 could be delivered without inducing the paranoia and anxiety that can accompany THC ∆9 and deliver similar results. Once again, because THC ∆8 could not be quickly produced and the other cannabinoids were readily available, it was easier to use THC ∆9 and CBD in combination to get similar results. If THC ∆8 would have been exceptionally different from THC ∆9 or CBD, then the desire for and cost of producing it would have been justified. In 2018, with the passage of the Farm Bill, Cannabis with <0.3% THC ∆9 was removed from Schedule 1 status making THC ∆8 produced from hemp, legal. A growing demand for THC ∆8 has developed in the states where recreational Cannabis is illegal. People all over are finding out THC ∆8 is close enough to THC ∆9 to address the issues they’ve always used Cannabis for without the risk of dealing with black market suppliers and legal entanglements.
When consuming THC Delta 8 and THC Delta 9, similar effects occur because they both interact with the Endocannabinoid System through the same receptors and provide a similar psychotropic effect or “high.” The results vary by degrees, sometimes THC ∆8 is more effective and sometimes THC ∆9 is more effective but ultimately they work through the same pathway and provide similar benefits. Here at Alpine Dispensary, after thorough experimentation and exposure to high doses of THC ∆8, we no longer repeat what we’ve read on the internet about THC ∆8 not being as strong as THC ∆9. Buzz is perception and perception is always relative. A buzz does not always signify results. Beyond the buzz, here are the top five ways that THC ∆8 and THC ∆9 are similar and the latest science to back it up.
1. THC ∆8 and THC ∆9 Relieve Pain
Studies on THC and pain, show that THC works better for some types of pain than others. These include; neuropathic pain or chronic pain from conditions like arthritis, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and nerve damage from old injuries. The Israeli scientists Simon Vulfsons, Amir Minerbi and Tali Sahar published a peer reviewed article in 2020 that objectively summarizes the current state of research on THC and pain. The evidence they discuss suggests that THC is better for chronic pain conditions than the acute pain associated with fresh injuries or going to the dentist and getting your tooth drilled. Because THC heightens sensory perception, acute pain can be even more intense. (1) In summary, this means that if you smoke a joint and smash your finger with a hammer it will still hurt, maybe twice as bad. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, a lot of pain relievers dull the sensory perception to a point where further injury could go unnoticed. THC does help with the pain as new wounds heal but is even more effective for chronic conditions.
The article also mentions THC and the interactions that it has with opioids and other anti-inflammatory drugs. THC has been touted as a substitute for opioids or as a way to reduce the amounts necessary to relieve pain. THC in combination with opioids makes them more effective in lesser quantities.(1) Weening off of Opioids is difficult and the users tolerance grows everyday creating more complications and lowering your quality of life. By using Cannabis in combination with other methods of pain treatment, we can reduce the levels of dependency and damage done through daily use of these medications.
2. THC ∆8 and THC ∆9 and Depression
A group of Scientist from Yale published an article on the effectiveness of THC to immediately alleviate the symptoms of depression. The study concluded that even though the majority of people did experience positive effects, some did not. Moderation seems to be the key with depression. One wants to avoid using too much THC and becoming unmotivated or lethargic. That level will be relative to an individuals tolerance. How THC does this is related to its interactions with the CB1 receptor and the release of dopamine and seratonin.(2)
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is working towards balance in the body. The key to using Cannabis to alleviate depression is finding the right amount for you. Also, in cases of depression certain strains may be more effective than others based on the terpene profile and the Entourage Effect. Limonene and Caryophyllene, the two most common Cannabis terpenes, are known to have antidepressant qualities. Finding strains high in these terpenes will boost the antidepressant properties of Cannabis.
3. THC ∆8 and THC ∆9 Stimulate Appetite
Enough anecdotal evidence of the munchies exist to declare that Cannabis, specifically THC, stimulates the appetite and leads to episodes of uncontrollable eating. The only question left for science to answer here is: How? According to a 2014 article in the Nature Neuroscience Journal, THC stimulates our olfactory senses.(3) Basically, that means it is our increased sense of smell that causes the munchies. The smell of food stands out against the other odors. When a delicious smell hits our nose, a cascading response occurs. Our brains send signals to all parts of the body to find more and more food. When the buzz wears off, the munchies will subside on their own.
A lot of research performed has revealed that the Endocannabinoid system plays a vital role in metabolic function and body mass index. In Dr. Bonnie Goldstein’s book Cannabis is Medicine, she provides her interpretation on research related to how chemicals released as a result of the ECS response signal hunger. Smelling food is a trigger for the munchies; however, the intake of phytocannabinoids stimulates appetite inducing neurotransmitters which have the body primed to interpret sensory information signals related to food. She also discusses how the appetite suppressing qualities of CBD and other terpenes can ward off the munchies.(7)
4. THC ∆8 and THC ∆9 Protect your Neurons
Nerve cells live out their own individual life cycles, a neuroprotective agent helps prolong that life by keeping nerve cells healthy. THC ∆8, THC ∆9 and CBD are all neuroprotective agents. In cases of specific diseases that cause the rapid aging and decay of nerve cells, all three of these cannabinoids have been proven to slow the process. The research that has been performed on CBD and THC ∆9 is far more extensive than on THC ∆8. In a 2018 article from Surgical Neurology International called Review of the Neurological Benefits of PhytoCannabinoids, Jeff Bost and Joseph Maroon compiled and analyzed the results of modern studies on THC and CBD. Both Cannabinoids have proven effective for the growth of new nerve cells after severe injury or in combating neurodegenerative diseases.(4)
Certain assumptions can be made about the effectiveness of THC ∆8 in many ways because we know it functions in the body the same way other phytocannabinoids do, specifically THC ∆9. A group of scientists released a paper in the journal Biomolecules in March of 2020, the study looks specifically at how cannabinoids interact with the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. The scientists scrutinized the interactions of multiple cannabinoids and determined that they can use them to increase or decrease acetycholine in a controlled way.(5) This is significant. When acetylcholine levels in the body are out of balance, it can lead to problems that can cause neurological and mental disorders. This study is also a testament to the effort and resources being put toward cannabis research. The advances of neuroscience in the past twenty years have given humanity the capability to observe much more about our brain and nervous system than ever before.
5. THC ∆8 and THC ∆9 Alleviate Nausea
The majority of studies on Cannabis in relation to nausea are performed on cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. In 2017, the National Center for Biotechnical Information published a book that tallies the results of accredited studies in many different subject areas. In relation to nausea and vomiting, they state: “There is conclusive evidence that oral cannabinoids are effective antiemetics in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.” Cannabinoids when compared to other antiemetic medications delivered the same level or better results and were often preferred by patients involved in the studies due to the lack of secondary side effects.(6) The turmoil inflicted on the human digestive tract as a result of chemotherapy is way worse than your average tummy ache.
Dr. Bonnie Goldstein published Cannabis is Medicine: How Medical Cannabis and CBD are healing everything from Anxiety to Chronic Pain in 2020. She provides a comprehensive analysis of Cannabis, existing Cannabis science and provides access to the anecdotal evidence through the stories of Cannabis partakers that use it for medical treatment. In the chapter devoted to chronic GI afflictions, she shines the light on overwhelming evidence that Cannabis is a valid treatment for IBS, Crohn’s, Colitis, gastric reflux, anorexia and general nausea. She also stresses the importance of the whole plant and how certain terpenes can aid cannabinoids in doing the necessary work.(7)
One of our primary goals at Alpine Dispensary is to guide our customers to accurate and honest information about Cannabis. Many peer reviewed scientific studies exist to justify the use of Cannabis for specific conditions and ailments. Each individual Cannabis user has a testimony about using Cannabis to treat their ailments. Some perfectly healthy people like it because it simply makes them feel good. All of these reasons are valid. Visit us online at AlpineDispensary.com to see all of our amazing, federally legal products. We have full lines of THC ∆8 and CBD products available in capsules, gummies, vapes, flowers, and sublinguals. Give us a call or stop by. Our Cannabis Certified Budtenders (CCBT) here in Helen, GA are available seven days a week to answer your questions and help you refine your cannabis regimen for maximum health and quality of life.
J.C. Dyer, Mojo Coordinator
1. Vulfsons S, Minerbi A, Sahar T. Cannabis and Pain Treatment-A Review of the Clinical Utility and a Practical Approach in Light of Uncertainty. Rambam Maimonides Med J. 2020;11(1):e0002. Published 2020 Jan 30. doi:10.5041/RMMJ.10385 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7000155/
2. Li X, Diviant JP, Stith SS, Brockelman F, Keeling K, Hall B, Vigil JM. The Effectiveness of Cannabis Flower for Immediate Relief from Symptoms of Depression. Yale J Biol Med. 2020 Jun 29;93(2):251-264. PMID: 32607086;
3. Soria-Gómez, E., Bellocchio, L., Reguero, L. et al. The endocannabinoid system controls food intake via olfactory processes. Nat Neurosci 17, 407– 415 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.3647
4. Maroon J, Bost J. Review of the neurological benefits of phytocannabinoids. Surg Neurol Int. 2018 Apr 26;9:91. doi: 10.4103/sni.sni_45_18. PMID: 29770251; PMCID: PMC5938896.
5. Furqan T, Batool S, Habib R, Shah M, Kalasz H, Darvas F, Kuca K, Nepovimova E, Batool S, Nurulain SM. Cannabis Constituents and Acetylcholinesterase Interaction:
Molecular Docking, In Vitro Studies and Association with CNR1 rs806368 and ACHE rs17228602. Biomolecules. 2020 May 13;10(5):758. doi: 10.3390/biom10050758.
6. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Health and Medicine. Division; Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice; Committee on the
Health Effects of Marijuana: An Evidence Review and Research Agenda. The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and
Recommendations for Research. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2017 Jan 12. 4, Therapeutic Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids. Available from:
7. Goldstein, Bonnie S. MD. Cannabis is Medicine: How Medical Cannabis and CBD are healing everything from anxiety to chronic pain. New York, NY: Hachete Book Group Inc.; 2020. pages 271-478.