Which Conditions Might Benefit Most From Delta 8 THC?
Delta 8 THC is one of the most popular products on the recreational cannabis market today. It’s a legal alternative to THC that provides users with a mild yet fun and uplifting high. But did you know that Delta 8 also offers numerous medical benefits, many of which have been studied and proven through scientific research?
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What is Delta 8 THC?
Before we talk about the medicinal benefits of this cannabinoid, let’s talk about what exactly Delta 8 THC is and how it differs from the more popular Delta 9 THC. Delta 8 THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is a naturally occurring, minor cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. While structurally similar to Delta 9 THC, there are also some key differences.
For example, Delta 9 THC is the most common psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant, while Delta 8 is only found in trace amounts. In fact, Delta 8 is not even produced by the enzymes in cannabis, but is created when Delta 9 oxidizes THC and slowly breaks it down to Delta 8. Further degradation of Delta 9 would produce the cannabinoid CBN (cannabinol).
When it comes to the chemical difference between Delta 8 and Delta 9, one molecule counts. In chemistry, “delta” refers to the double bond in the molecular structure of a compound. Delta compounds have more electrons and interact with the body in different ways than single bond cannabinoids. The difference between the Delta-THC analogs is where the double bond is on their chain of carbon atoms. Delta 9 has this bond on the 9th carbon chain and Delta 8 THC has the double bond on the 8th carbon chain. It seems like a small difference, but it can be significant.
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Much like its more dominant counterpart, Delta 8 THC is a partial agonist for both the CB1 and CB2 receptors, although it appears to have a stronger affinity for CB1. This means that despite a weaker psychotropic potency, effects can be felt in numerous different parts of the body. The National Center for Biological Information (NCBI) describes Delta-8-THC as follows: “An analogue of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetizing, analgesic and neuroprotective properties.”
Which diseases could be treated with Delta 8 THC?
Insufficient sleep can have profound health effects. In the short term, this can affect mood and judgment, the ability to learn and store information, and increase the likelihood of immediate accident or injury. Long-term sleep deprivation can lead to diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and even early death.
Extensive research shows that the activation of the CB1 receptor leads to better, longer and more restful sleep. Given that Delta 8 THC directly stimulates the CB1 receptor, it is easy to conclude that Delta 8 is good for sleep. REM sleep is an important part of our circadian cycles as it stimulates parts of the brain that are essential for learning new things and creating memories.
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Anecdotes lead to the same conclusion that many users claim that Delta 8 THC helps them fall asleep easier and sleep longer. They also report feeling refreshed and rested when they wake up.
The analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of Delta 8 THC are believed to play an important role in its ability to act as a sleep aid. There is a strong link between pain and sleep. Obviously, someone who is in severe pain will have difficulty being comfortable and therefore have difficulty falling asleep. But the relationship goes even deeper – as lack of sleep increases the perception of pain. Breaking the pain / sleep deprivation cycle is incredibly difficult, and getting a good night’s sleep with both REM and deep sleep phases is key to improvement.
While I’m not saying that smoking some Delta-8 flowers or popping some gums will cure cancer, studies have shown that pharmaceutical products containing highly concentrated doses of certain cannabinoids do the trick.
This was first observed in no country other than Israel in 1974, where a study aimed at focusing on the immune system inadvertently found that Delta 8 THC alone significantly slowed tumor growth in mice. In combination with CBN (cannabinol), the tumors began to shrink after just 3 weeks.
“Mice treated with Delta8-THC and CBN for 20 consecutive days had a reduced primary tumor size. CBD showed no inhibitory effect on tumor growth after 14, 21 or 28 days. Delta9-THC, Delta8-THC and CBN increased the mean survival time. “Antineoplastic Activity of Cannabinoids – PubMed (nih.gov)
Another 1995 study in children with leukemia showed a high rate of effectiveness in treating cancer while controlling side effects such as nausea and vomiting caused by more conventional forms of treatment. The study was conducted at Shaare Zedek Hospital, Bikur Holim Hospital, and Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The creators of the study, led by Raphael Mechulam, found that “concurrently with this research, 480 successful cancer treatments with delta-8-THC were performed”.
If you are anxiety prone, the mild and uplifting high you get from Delta 8 THC may be just what you need. Delta 8 THC offers all of the medicinal effects of THC, and even some minor psychoactive effects, without the paranoia often associated with Delta 9. The carefree high that comes with weeds is often dampened by the fearful, nervous high that some people experience.
Studies show that the endocannabinoid system, mainly the CB1 receptor, is central to the regulation of anxiety and depression. When the CB1 receptor is blocked, heightened anxiety often occurs. Many people successfully use CBD (cannabidiol) to relieve their anxiety, but for many others it just isn’t strong enough.
According to the National Cancer Institute, “This phytocannabinoid has anti-anxiety properties that are similar to delta-9 THC.” There’s little in the way clinical research has shown the potential of delta-8 THC to reduce it invested by anxiety. However, anecdotes suggest that Delta-8 products provide a nice, calm, focused, and stress-free high.
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