1/12/22 Tina Richardson
As cannabis consumers grow increasingly educated around the key components of their favorite plant, compounds like cannabinoids and terpenes are capturing an increasingly large percentage of the legal cannabis industry's impressive $61 billion net worth. Of the various cannabis extracts dominating the market today, perhaps the single most intriguing cannabinoid at the moment is delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, or delta-8 THC.
Is delta-8 different from delta-9 THC?
Delta-8 THC is an arguably synthetic cannabinoid that has been developed as an analgesic. It is an analogue of delta-9 THC in that it only has slight differences in its hydrogen and double bond structure. It was first discovered in 1988 and is currently being studied by researchers to gain a better understanding of THC's analgesic effects.
The reason delta-8 THC is considered a synthetic cannabinoid by some is that it does not occur naturally in the cannabis plant. Instead, it is created via an extraction and refinement process — using a solvent and an acid to "convert" CBD to delta-8 THC.
Delta-8 is believed to be only slightly psychoactive unlike delta-9 THC, and has not been observed to produce any physiological side effects in low to moderate doses. It's been found to be an antinociceptive which means that it helps with pain relief, giving it potential viability in use cases involving chronic and acute pain.
Delta-8 THC is most commonly sold as an oil or concentrate which can be vaporized, smoked or even eaten, making it a very fast acting compound that can take effect within minutes rather than hours if taken sublingually, as with the use of tinctures.
While delta-8 cartridges are not currently as widely available as their delta-9 counterparts, they are quickly becoming one the most popular cartridge types among cannabis vapers. In this post, we go over three different ways both retail consumers and DIYers alike can vape delta-8 THC, along with their respective pros and cons.
Vaping Delta-8 THC With Terpenes
When used with cannabinoids, terpenes don't just improve your vape experience by providing flavor and aroma; vaping delta-8 THC with terpenes also makes use of the synergistic entourage effects produced as a combined effect of two or more cannabis compounds. The Entourage Effect is well established in scientific literature, and is one of the main reasons many cannabis consumers prefer full-spectrum formulations to isolates.
As of this writing, existing research on potential entourage effects between terpenes and natural cannabinoids is significantly more prevalent than research on terpenes and synthetic ones. However, the rapid popularization of delta-8 THC may be cause for researchers to bridge the gap in the coming years.
Vaping Delta-8 THC & CBD Together
Delta-8 THC and CBD is a popular combination among cannabis consumers, given it's not too strong but very noticeable on a neurophysiological level. Their combined effects have been described as mildly euphoric with negligible psychoactivity, and thereby entirely conducive to normal levels of productivity. In fact, users report added benefit in the combination's ability to reduce the severity of symptoms tied to mood and anxiety disorders.
Many patients who suffer from chronic illnesses use delta-8 THC and CBD as a means of relieving pain and inflammation without the psychoactivity of common medical marijuana strains. As of this writing, the only reported downside to this combination involves either overuse, or the vaping of formulations with inordinately high concentrations of delta-8 — either of which can cause fits of coughing or bouts of nausea.
The combination of delta-8 THC & CBD is a favorite among vapers because it can help with anything from stress and anxiety to sleep dysfunction, all without any significant impairment from psychoactive compounds like delta-9 THC. The ability to go about the day with the additional portability of a vape mod also serves as an advantage over medical cannabis.
Vaping Delta-8 THC By Itself
Delta-8 THC is the only cannabinoid that acts as a psychoactive agonist for the CB1 receptor. While its potential therapeutic uses are already listed above, it's worth noting that the general advice for vaping delta-8 THC is to start with small doses (25-50µg), and then increasing them gradually according to individual tolerance and desired effect.
Vaping is a significantly faster way to absorb delta-8 THC compared to other methods of consumption, as it is absorbed directly into the lungs and into the bloodstream within minutes. The most notable of its beneficial properties among consumers include pain relief, mood regulation and appetite stimulation.
New delta-8 THC consumers and vaping greenhorns alike are cautioned against using high concentration e-liquids too soon, and for good reason. Vaping beyond individual tolerance can produce some undesirable side effects including sore throat, dry eyes and mouth, dizziness, and nausea.