Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, or Delta-8 THC, is the primary psychoactive constituent found in the cannabis plant. It is a cannabinoid present in hemp and marijuana strains. The potency of Delta-8 THC varies significantly depending on the strain and the growing environment.
When consumed, Delta-1 THC produces a euphoric effect that can last for several hours. An average dose of oral Delta-8 THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) can be as low as 0.5 mg per kilogram of body weight to as high as 15 mg per kilogram of body weight. The average dose is 1 to 2.5 mg per kilogram of body weight.
Delta-1 THC can be delivered via sublingual drops or, as per Mathew Gates, founder of the International Cannabis and Hemp Expo, “The higher the concentration of Delta-8 THC, the greater the chance that paranoia will set in after use.”
Delta-8 THC is a synthetic alteration of delta-9 THC that produces more minor psychoactive effects than full-spectrum cannabis. It is an agent used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy in cancer patients. It is also used to treat migraines and anxiety. Many patients find that it does not produce the same euphoric, relaxing, or high feeling as other cannabis products. Delta-8 THC has been sold on the internet as a potent and pure cannabis extract, but it is only found in trace amounts in high-grade marijuana strains.
Delta-8 THC is one of the cannabinoids present in hemp, which can be used to make marijuana derivatives. The potency of delta 8 is also present in high-potency marijuana strains and can be produced by artificial means and naturally occurring cannabinoids such as CBD and CBN.
Delta-8 THC has a strong affinity for CB1 receptors, an endogenous cannabinoid receptor similar to an endocannabinoid found throughout the nervous system. It has been manufactured in the laboratory by fusing molecules that have been isolated from the cannabis plant.
Delta-8 THC is a lipophilic molecule that quickly penetrates the blood-brain barrier upon administration and crosses the placenta, making it a poor choice as a therapeutic drug. It is mainly used as an antiemetic to alleviate nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy.
The pharmacokinetics of Delta-8 THC is dependent on its route of administration. Intravenous administration has been reported to produce effects in just 3–5 minutes, while 80% of the drug will be bioavailable after 48 hours via rectal administration. Oral consumption may not produce any psychoactive effects for about an hour but has proven effective for relieving symptoms for at least 7 hours.
Delta-8 THC has been found to have the potential to treat specific symptoms of multiple sclerosis, including spasticity and pain. It has also been found to reduce anxiety and depression, and nausea in chemotherapy patients.
In a study by the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, Delta-8 THC was given intravenously via infusion pump to one group of patients who had failed first-line treatments for chronic pain. In contrast, a control group was assigned an infusion of saline solution. The test subjects were then asked to rate their pain and mood levels every 2 hours after treatment.