Within the last few years there has been a surge of interest in cannabis products like Delta 8 Tetrahydrocannabinol or Delta 8 THC. There are several people newer to trying out cannabis sativa plant extracts who might not be familiar with what is delta 8 THC and how it is different or similar to Cannabidiol or CBD. The aim of this blog is to discuss these similarities and differences in regards to their molecular structure, cannabinoid receptor binding, psychoactivity, legality, how they are made, and what types of products are available.
Delta 8 vs CBD (Molecular Structure)
Hearing about Delta 8 THC for the first time, it is easy to assume that it is the same as regular THC, however this is a common misconception as there are few key differences to consider. When people refer to THC more often than not they are implying the isomer that we are most familiar with as the form of Delta 9 THC. The base molecular structure between Delta 9 THC and Delta 8 THC are nearly identical, however the main difference is where the double bond is located on each molecule. Every carbon atom in the THC molecule has a designated numeral that helps chemists better understand where the functional groups are along the carbon backbone. For Delta 8 THC the double bond is in between carbon 8 and 9 whereas with Delta 9 THC the double bond lies between carbon 9 and 10.
Since these molecules are so similar in chemical structure they both interact with our endocannabinoid system (ECS) and bind to the same cannabinoid receptors CB1 (that are more along the central nervous system (CNS) and brain) as well as CB2 (found in peripheral organs and cells involving our immune system) and their potential benefits are nearly identical. Although CBD has an entirely different molecular structure it also acts as a key that can fit into both cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. Scientific research is exploring both CBD and Delta 8 THC for their potential anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, antiemetic and anticancer properties. As research progresses we are continually learning more about each cannabinoid and what medicinal value they offer.
CBD vs Delta 8 (Psycho-activity)
Before comparing the psychoactive effects between CBD vs Delta 8 THC, it may be helpful to distinguish the difference in psycho-activity of Delta 9 THC and Delta 8 THC first. From what consumers typically share and from what research suggests Delta 9 THC is more psychoactive than Delta 8 THC. Interestingly the “high” from Delta 8 THC is commonly shared as being more akin to an Indica type of high from smoking marijuana that is usually a more bodily euphoria and relaxation. One phrase that usually helps people identify the feeling of an Indica is that it will leave you feeling “in da couch” or in other words heavily relaxed to the point that you may feel like melting into the couch. However this is not always the case as we often hear from consumers functioning on a daily basis and being active in their lives using Delta 8 THC or CBD oil. One of the more common reasons people may use Delta 8 THC over Delta 9 THC in particular is that it offers much more mild intoxicating effects compared to the traditional potency of a high from using Delta 9 THC.
Although unlike either form of THC, CBD is non intoxicating and many share it also offers a calming effect that may offer a higher level of mental clarity than either Delta 8 THC or Delta 9 THC. Some consumers report feeling a mental fogginess especially at higher doses of either form of THC, but not as frequently with Delta 8 THC. When trying any new cannabinoid most people will typically start with lower doses and gradually increase as needed to find what dose gives them the potential benefits they are looking for, and when using a THC isomer this approach works best to avoid taking too high of a dose and feeling uncomfortably high. However if this ever occurs many research studies are concluding that CBD has shown to counteract the negative effects of taking too much CBD and bringing down the intensity of the high caused by THC.
Delta-8 vs CBD (Legality)
The cannabis plant is classified into two different categories thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill which defined hemp plants as any cannabis that tests at 0.3% or less Delta 9 THC per dry weight. From a technical standpoint anything greater than the trace amounts of Delta 9 THC of 0.3% is treated as a marijuana derived strain instead of hemp. Cannabis based products can be made by extracting CBD oil and other cannabinoids like Delta 8 THC from either hemp or marijuana however the main difference will be the laws and regulations for each. The 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized cannabis derived products so long as they meet the requirement of containing no more than trace amounts of Delta 9 THC. So from this reasoning, hemp derived CBD products are federally legal while marijuana derived products are illegal federally, but legal in many states in the US. Since many retail hemp stores and smoke shops are selling Delta 8 THC, which can still produce psychoactive effects, several states in the United States have already passed laws making it illegal to sell or have Delta 8 THC in your possession. You can check out our other blog “Is Delta-8 Legal in Your State” to learn more!
Delta 8 THC vs CBD (Isomerization)
Another major contrast between hemp and marijuana would be the cannabinoid profile where hemp will naturally contain significantly more CBD and trace amounts of Delta 8 THC whereas with marijuana it is typically the exact opposite. With this in mind it would take a vast amount of biomass or hemp to extract enough Delta 8 THC to make a product with. This is generally why most hemp derived Delta 8 THC products will be converted from CBD into Delta 8 THC through a process called isomerization. This is the process by which a molecule like CBD is transformed into an isomer with a different chemical structure like Delta 8 THC. For this to happen CBD goes through the following steps in a lab:
CBD is dissolved into a preferred solvent.
Conversion for Delta 8 THC requires a non-polar organic solvent such as alkanes like heptane.
Then you would add an Acid into the solvent mixture and stir.
Having different acid and solvent combinations could have different results.
It is critical to keep the temperature at 100 degrees Celsius while consistently stirring for up to 18 hours.
After the chemical reaction is complete the next step would be to wash and neutralize the solution such as sodium bicarbonate.
The final step is of utmost importance and that is to test the final product as conversion is never fully accurate and there may be a few different byproducts to look out for as well.
With hemp derived CBD, it is found naturally within the hemp plant and there is no chemical conversion process that happens in a lab. There are several different ways to extract the CBD from the hemp plant but at Discover CBD we choose to use supercritical CO2 extraction as one of the more efficient and cleanest methods to produce a higher quality product. Although Delta 8 THC is also found naturally in the hemp plant, most final products will usually go through this process of isomerization, unlike CBD. This is also considered by many to be a large contributing factor for why several states are moving to pass laws to make Delta 8 THC illegal. As a newer cannabinoid on the market there is still plenty of research needed to fully understand the risks of consuming a product that is chemically converted in a lab.
CBD vs Delta 8 THC (Products we carry: Edibles)
Here at Discover CBD we manufacture our own house brand of hemp derived CBD products called Active CBD Oil and another brand that specializes in hemp derived THC isomers such as Delta 8 THC called Strain Snobs. When it comes to trying out either cannabinoid it may be helpful to understand what types of CBD oil and Delta 8 THC products we carry as we discuss what different methods of consumption are available for each.
One of the most convenient and easy ways of taking either CBD or Delta 8 THC is by ingesting them by drinking tea or coffee or by eating an edible like a gummy or chocolate. Anything ingested typically takes longer for it to absorb which depending on your individual metabolism may take anywhere on average between an hour or two to absorb. One of the most common reasons we see people going the edible route is because although they take longer to absorb they also usually last longer and many consumers report effects lasting between six to ten hours. If you are interested in trying out an edible like a gummy we have these available in either CBD or Delta 8 THC.
Our Active CBD Oil Gummies are made using a pure CBD isolate (CBD completely removed from the rest of the plant) that is then infused into a mineral oil and coated over the gummies. We have two different dosing options between a fifteen milligram gummy or a twenty-five milligram gummy.
THC Delta 8 vs CBD (Products we carry: Tinctures/Oils)
For people looking to get a faster and more efficient absorption than taking an edible then we often hear people sharing great results using the Delta 8 THC tinctures and CBD oils. These are taken sublingually by holding the oil under the tongue for a minute or two and then swallowing. Due to all the blood vessels under the tongue this method offers a more direct highway for the CBD or Delta 8 THC to enter into our system. With that in mind most consumers report feeling the effects in around fifteen to twenty minutes and on average lasts around four to six hours.
We have several different options available in our Active CBD Oil tincture line, however one of our most popular tinctures would be our green bottled line of CBD isolate tinctures infused into a carrier oil mix of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT oil) and hemp oil. We have a variety of concentrations ranging from five hundred to three thousand milligrams and tasty flavor options include a natural (no flavor added), peach mango, pineapple smoothie and sweet grape.
We use the same base oil ingredients for our Strain Snobs Delta 8 THC tinctures and replace the CBD with Delta 8 THC distillate instead. We have three options to choose from including two one ounce bottles that yield four hundred and twenty milligrams of Delta 8 THC available in either a strawberry kush or grape ape. We also have another higher dose eight-hundred milligram Delta 8 THC tincture that offers a sixteen to one ratio of Delta 8 THC to Delta 9 THC available in a strawberry mango OG flavor. Many studies suggest that cannabinoids create what is called an entourage effect where they work synergistically to produce more potential benefits.
Delta-8 THC vs CBD (Products we carry: Vapes)
When it comes to looking for a product that allows for the fastest absorption of Delta 8 THC or CBD, then inhalation by smoking or vaping might be worth checking out! Inhalation typically absorbs within a few minutes, making this method of consumption ideal for people looking to relax or calm down higher levels of stress. However while inhalation may offer the fastest method to absorb these cannabinoids they also offer some of the shortest duration of potential effect of around an hour or two.
For CBD we have our Active CBD Oil 550 mg distillate cartridge with a standard five-10 thread so it will easily attach to most generic batteries. This is made using a broad spectrum CBD so it will have other cannabinoids and terpenes with their own potential benefits but with the Delta 9 THC removed through a process called chromatography. Terpenes are what gives plants their natural taste and smell and for this CBD distillate cartridge the flavor is an earthy hemp taste with a bit of a citrus hint to it from the other terpenes present.
For Delta 8 THC we have several more vaping options available only in store or with over the phone orders with our Strain Snobs Delta 8 THC vape carts in either a half gram or full gram. For people who prefer a more indica type of high from these we see going for the OG Kush or Grape Ape. If you enjoy more of a head high like a sativa strain then the Pineapple Express or Sour Diesel are great choices. Finally if you prefer a mix of both then the hybrid options such as Blue Dream or Chem Dawg might be the way to go.
CBD vs. Delta 8 (Products we carry: Topical Salves)
When it comes to using a product for a more localized issue such as pain we often hear success from people using a topical product such as salves and lotions. Research suggests that topical application has a minimal absorption through the skin into the bloodstream so many prefer to use topical products for surface level issues or ones that are not too deep such as muscle and joint pain.
For CBD our best selling topical would be our Active CBD Oil Salves, which are made using other great essential oils such as rosemary, arnica, and calendula which are suggested to have their own potential anti-inflammatory properties along with CBD. We have two options that are broad spectrum meaning they are made using the full hemp extract minus the THC with one at five hundred and fifty milligrams in a two ounce jar and another one that is the same concentration per volume at one-thousand and a hundred milligrams in a four ounce jar. We also have a Full spectrum salve made using the full hemp extract including the trace amounts of THC at three-thousand milligrams in a four ounce jar. We originally released the two broad spectrum salves and after releasing the higher milligram option in the full spectrum several people shared even better results with the one-thousand and nine-hundred milligram increase.
For our Strain Snobs Delta 8 THC Salve we made another ratio product with Delta 8 THC and CBD so people can get the best of both worlds. The ratio will be five to one with five hundred milligrams of Delta 8 THC and one hundred milligrams of CBD. Many users share that THC topical products tend to have a warming effect to them and the combination of CBD and Delta 8 THC makes this a popular option for people looking to increase the entourage effect of their topical product for more potential anti-inflammatory effects.
There is a lot of information to take in when learning more about the differences and similarities between Delta 8 THC and CBD so if you have any questions about finding the best cannabinoid for you our team is always happy to help if you visit any of our retail locations, chat with us at https://discovercbd.com, or give us a call toll-free at 1-844-GO-CBD-NOW (462-2366).