Delta 8 THC is all the rage
Over the last few years, hemp-derived THC’s have become all the rage, with Delta 8 THC leading the way in terms of popularity.
As cannabinoid experts, we’re often asked, “what is Delta 8 good for?”. So, in this article we’re going to share just some of the reasons why people take Delta 8 THC, breaking it down by effects and benefits. Explaining what Delta 8 is good for can be split into the desirable effects it offers recreational users and the therapeutic benefits it offers to medicinal users.
Delta 8: Recreational vs medicinal use
Delta 8 is hugely popular with two very different groups of people, those taking Delta 8 recreationally for its effects and those taking Delta 8 for its therapeutic benefits.
According to a study published last year, around half of the people (51%) taking Delta 8 are using it to treat a range of health and medical conditions. Presumably this means that the other 49% of users are taking Delta 8 THC for its psychoactive effects.
Learn more about Delta 8’s effects and benefits below 👇
Delta 8 THC effects
So, for around 49% of users, Delta 8 is good for its effects. Delta 8 is a psychoactive compound that is around half as strong as Delta 9 THC. Some Delta 8 users are taking it as an alternative to Delta 9, as they’re unable to access legal marijuana in their area, but others are taking Delta 8 THC out of choice because they prefer it.
Delta 8 offers a much smoother and mellow psychoactive experience than Delta 9 THC. Users report feeling calm, relaxed, and uplifted. Depending on the dose, users may also feel focused, positive and more alert (at low doses) or experience euphoria, giggles, cognitive distortion, short-term memory problems, and loss of motor control (at higher doses).
It also seems to lack some of the unpleasant side effects that are experienced by some Delta 9 THC users, including anxiety and paranoia. At least, far less people experience these adverse effects when taking Delta 8 as opposed to Delta 9.
If you want to learn more about how Delta 8 makes you feel, then we covered this in another article here “does Delta 8 get you high?”.
Delta 8 THC benefits
For the majority of Delta 8 users, however, this cannabinoid is good for offering relief to a range of health and medical symptoms. The aforementioned study revealed that 69% of Delta 8 THC users are taking Delta 8 to relieve anxiety and panic attacks, 52% are using it for stress, 46% are taking it for depression or bipolar disorder, and 41% are using Delta 8 to help relieve and manage chronic pain.
Although the exact number wasn’t shared, the authors of the study also mentioned that a large number of the study’s respondents also revealed that the Delta 8 they were taking was, at least in part, substituting Delta 9 THC and/or prescription medications, which would suggest that it’s working, right?
1. Better sleep and relaxation (anxiety and stress relief)
There is a mountain of anecdotal evidence to show that Delta 8 helps its users to relax and unwind, both mentally, by having a calming effect, and physically, by easing muscle tension.
A 2022 study also found that 71% of Delta 8 THC users experienced a great deal of relaxation and many people are using Delta 8 THC products to help them sleep better at night.
2. Appetite stimulation
Despite the fact that Delta 8 has milder effects than Delta 9 THC when it comes to its ability to intoxicate, it’s thought that Delta 8’s ability to stimulate appetite could be twice as effective.
This makes Delta 8 an extremely promising candidate for treating weight disorders as it can increase the appetite at extremely low doses that don’t impair the user’s cognitive functions. In fact, at low doses Delta 8 actually showed a tendency to improve the cognitive function of mice in this 2004 study.
You may be surprised to find out that Delta 8 THC was administered (as an edible oil) to children, for a study published in 1995, aged between 3 and 13 years old. All of the children had various hematologic cancers and were being treated with different antineoplastic drugs for up to eight months.
The children were treated with Delta 8 THC two hours before each treatment and then every six hours for 24 hours. The result… “Vomiting was completely prevented.” The researchers also noted that the side effects observed were negligible and that Delta 8 THC could be a better candidate than Delta 9 THC for new therapeutics.
4. Relief from pain and inflammation
Cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system are responsible for regulating the sensitivity of pain receptors and it’s thought that Delta 8 THC (as well as other forms of THC) are able to reduce our sensitivity to pain by binding with these cannabinoid type 1 receptors.
Multiple scientific studies have demonstrated the pain relieving effects of Delta 8. The analgesic effects of Delta 8 THC on rats was first discovered back in 1988 by Burstein et al. Further studies in 1998 and 1999 showed that Delta 8 displayed analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Another preclinical study, published in 2018, found that Delta 8 THC can help reduce pain and inflammation in corneal injury (in mice) when applied topically.
All of this preclinical evidence is also supported by the recent consumer research published in 2022 which showed that over half of Delta 8 THC users experience a lot or a great deal of pain relief when they take it.
It also appears likely that Delta 8 may be able to help people with functional bowel disorders, such as IBS. A 2004 review in the British Journal of Pharmacology showed that compounds that are able to activate CB1 receptors, like Delta 8 THC, have beneficial effects including;
- reduction of transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxations
- increased compliance of the proximal stomach
- reduced acid secretion
- reduction of GI transit
- reduced intestinal fluid secretion in response to secretagogues
- reduced large intestinal propulsive activity
How to use Delta 8 THC
If you’ve decided that you want to give Delta 8 THC a try for yourself, then we highly recommend that you start with a low dose (around 10mg), especially if you’ve never tried THC before. Being high is a fun experience for most people, but you don’t want to feel overwhelmed by the experience by getting too high!
If you’re vaping Delta 8, then start with just a few puffs and see how you feel. Vaping is a good way to control your dose as you can just stop taking more once you’ve hit your sweet spot. But trying to translate those puffs into how many milligrams of Delta 8 you just took is next to impossible.
If you want to try Delta 8 for symptom relief, then you could work out your ideal dosage by using a tincture and following the guidelines in this article regarding CBD dosage. You can also mix the Delta 8 THC with equal parts of CBD if you want to avoid psychoactive effects as much as possible. The CBD won’t be able to completely block these effects, but it has been shown to reduce the intoxication caused by THC.
When you take Delta 8 orally it will have a delayed onset, so don’t take more until you’re completely sure that the first dose has fully kicked in. A gummy or capsule could take anywhere between 45 minutes and a couple of hours to kick in, depending on when you last ate and the speed of your digestive system.
Most people find that between 25 and 40mg of Delta 8 works best for them (for optimal effects and benefits), but the amount you need will more than likely depend on your sensitivity or tolerance to THC in general, as well as the severity of your symptoms (if applicable).
So, what is Delta 8 good for?
Around half of Delta 8 THC users will tell you that Delta 8 is good for its effects, helping to relax you and elevate your mood, while the other half will tell you how great Delta 8 is for its wide-ranging medicinal benefits. When it comes to these medicinal users, Delta 8 seems to be mostly used for its analgesic and anxiolytic effects.,
When you look at all of the reasons why people are taking Delta 8 THC, it’s easy to see the correlation between Delta 8 THC and its more potent and notorious big brother, Delta 9 THC. A lot of the reported effects and benefits from each are similar, but Delta 8 may be prove to be more useful in the medical world because it has fewer negative side effects.