Delta-8 THC: The Little Sister of Delta-9

Imagine a cannabinoid that provides you with all of the euphoria, relaxation, and pain relief that you crave, with few anxious or paranoid side effects that sometimes accompany commonly-used Delta-9 THC. That’s the marvel of Delta-8 THC, a minor cannabinoid that’s becoming a major part of some of our favorite products. 

So, what is Delta-8? Is Delta-8 safe? What is the difference between Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC? And most importantly, how can Delta-8 help me?

At Sava, it’s our goal to  help people understand the cannabinoids they’re consuming to ensure they have an ideal experience. Whether it’s Delta-8 THC, THCv, or CBN, we want to make sure our customers understand these chemicals and the effects they create.

Let’s dive in and learn more about this emerging cannabinoid!

What is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 THC (also referred to simply as Delta-8) is short for delta-eight-tetrahydrocannabinol. Just like other cannabinoids such as CBN, Delta-8 is a minor cannabinoid and occurs naturally in cannabis. In cannabis plants, the concentration of Delta-8 is significantly lower than that of the widely known Delta-9 THC, the cannabinoid most commonly extracted for marijuana products. 

Because of the low concentration and expensive extraction process for Delta-8 THC when compared to Delta-9 THC, it’s much more common to find cannabis products that feature Delta 9 THC in states where cannabis has been legalized.

In states still living under cannabis prohibition laws, Delta-8 THC products are becoming available, because Delta-8 can be extracted from hemp the same way it can be extracted from cannabis. Hemp is distinguished from cannabis under the law based on how much Delta-9 THC is contained in the plant material. As long as a product contains less than 0.3% of Delta-9 THC, it is considered hemp and is not subject to federal criminalization.

The 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized hemp cultivation, along with the extraction and production of hemp-based products. Therefore, the Farm Bill made Delta-8 products legal in states where cannabis and Delta-9 THC are still prohibited.

However, hemp is not subject to the same guidelines and restrictions that cannabis is—which means there aren’t the same testing requirements and regulations to safeguard against products that include pesticides, heavy metals, mold, and other contaminants.

In California, cannabis is legal to grow, so we’re able to source top-quality Delta-8 products that are made from legal cannabis instead of hemp. All of our partners use the highest-quality cannabis and cutting-edge technology to extract cannabinoids from the plant; and all of the products we carry are lab-tested for purity and quality, making for a safe, consistent, elevated experience.

The Difference Between Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol and Delta-9 THC

So, exactly what is the difference between Delta-8 and Delta-9, other than their extraction and production methods?

On a molecular level, Delta-9 THC has a double bond between carbon atoms 9 and 10, while Delta-8 has a bond between carbon atoms 8 and 9. This gives them their very slight difference in name.

A small molecular difference truly changes how these cannabinoids interact with our biochemical structure. Delta-9 THC more easily bonds to the CB1 receptor, giving it greater psychoactive impact than Delta-8.

Delta-8 has psychotropic effects as well, but those effects are not as intense or potent as those of its “big brother,” Delta-9. 

In the widest-ranging study available today, a survey indicated that people preferred Delta-8 over Delta-9 products because they reported high levels of euphoria, relaxation, and pain relief, but less of the anxious or paranoid side effects that sometimes accompany Delta-9.

Like most cannabinoids, more research needs to be done to scientifically identify what is Delta-8’s specific impact, and what kind of experience Delta-8 THC is most likely to create. 

The Effects of Delta-8 THC

You might be wondering, what does Delta-8 do when you consume it?

Because Delta-8 is less psychoactive than Delta-9, some people wonder, does Delta-8 make you high? The answer is yes, but not in the way you’d think of a traditional Delta-9 experience.

What is the difference between Delta-8 and Delta-9 when it comes to the effects on your body? Research has found that not only is Delta-8 safe, for many people it also has fewer negative side effects than Delta-9 THC. 

A few of the most common Delta-8 effects found in the study include: 

  • Euphoria
  • Relaxation
  • Pain relief
  • Modest levels of cognitive distortion
  • Low levels of distressing mental states
  • Less intense effects than Delta-9

Researchers found that Delta-8 had all of the benefits of Delta-9, but without some of the more intense psychoactivity that can be overwhelming.  

Here’s what the researchers had to say:

“We found that people who are utilizing Delta-8 THC feel fewer negative side effects, and they are using it in modalities that are safer, like vaping or edibles or using topically.”

“Experiences with Delta-8 were characterized predominantly by relaxation, pain relief and euphoria, with most participants saying they could perform their normal daily activities without experiencing the adverse side effects associated with cannabis use, such as paranoia, anxiety or the munchies.” 

How Long Do Delta-8 Effects Last?

A good rule of thumb is to assume that the effects of Delta-8 last as long as the effects of Delta-9. Factors impacting the strength and length of the effects of Delta-8 include consumption method and dosage; what and when you have eaten, your natural metabolism and hormones; and your tolerance for cannabis. For example, there’s a big difference in onset times and how long the effects linger when you smoke flower versus when you take an edible. 

You still might be wondering, does Delta-8 make you high in the same way that Delta-9 does? The answer is no. The onset times and length of effects are similar, but Delta-8 will provide a less psychoactive experience.

Our Most Popular Delta-8 THC Products

At Sava, we’re big fans of Delta-8 products. Sometimes we’re looking for a mellower, more relaxed cannabis experience, and Delta-8 delivers.

Just like any other cannabis product, buying Delta-8 from less-than-reputable sources can lead to a less-than-ideal experience. You want to make sure that you’re getting your Delta-8 products from dispensaries and farmers with stellar reputations and brands who carefully lab test their products. Luckily for you, all of the Delta-8 products we sell are hand-picked by our founders to meet strict standards—they are clean, lab tested for quality, and deliver a consistent experience.

Here are some of the best of the best Delta-8 products:

Wunder Higher Vibes

We highly recommend Wunder's Higher Vibes High-Dose Beverage for experienced consumers looking for a high-potency blended Delta-8 and Delta-9 experience. Each can has 10mg of Delta-8 and 10mg of Delta-9, so you can get the best of both worlds. You’ll experience a refreshing and euphoric shift in perception, followed by calming waves of relaxation.

Plus, these drinks are deliciously effervescent and perfectly flavored with all-natural fruit juice. We especially love the bright floral and citrus vibes of the hibiscus grapefruit!

Wunder Sparkling Beverage

If you’re looking for something lighter but still love the idea of sipping on something bubbly, Wunder also concocts a Cannabis-Infused Sparkling Beverage that has a lower dosage, but just as delicious flavors.

It’s a lovely, relaxing ratio of 2:1:1 CBD to Delta-9 to Delta-8 per can, precisely measured for a nice and easy dose. It’s the perfect delicious sparkling drink for when you’re craving a little euphoria and relaxation after a long day.

Level Soothe Delta-8 Tablinguals

If you’re looking for something easy, discreet, and longer-lasting than a beverage, sublinguals are a perfect way to go. From Level, one of our favorite partners, Soothe Delta-8 Tablinguals have 5mg of Delta-8 per tab. Just like the name suggests, they soothe your body and mind while reducing pain and anxiety. They also provide anti-nausea effects to soothe your belly.

Level Delta-8 Protabs

For Delta-8 devotees, Level also makes Delta-8 THC Protabs. Each sublingual tablet has 25mg of Delta-8 THC, with an onset time of 30-90 minutes and a duration of 2-4 hours. Each tablet is scored to easily split in half if you’re looking for a lighter dose. They’re designed for moderate relaxation effects of mind and body, inducing a pure Delta-8 experience.

The Studied Benefits of Delta-8 THC

Who and what is Delta-8 good for? Let’s dive a little deeper into Delta-8 benefits.

We’d still like to see more research on how Delta-8 affects us, but the results so far are extremely promising, and explain why Delta-8 is quickly gaining in popularity.

Research on Delta-8 and Pain Relief

What does Delta-8 do for pain relief? The large study we mentioned earlier found that over half of the participants experienced a great deal of pain relief from Delta-8 usage. In one participant’s words:

“It is like “lite” Delta-9. I can focus and work more with Delta-8 than Delta-9. It helps my pains and relaxation, and I feel more able.”

Another study has found that Delta-8 can also help to reduce corneal hyperalgesia—aka hypersensitivity of the eye, which causes pain—and inflammation. Further research is needed to explore how Delta-8 aids in pain relief, but the current findings show promise.

Research on Delta-8 to Reduce Anxiety

STEM Learning’s research has validated studies that found Delta-8 to be useful in battling anxiety. They also found that anxiety reduction due to Delta-8 helped induce higher-quality sleep. 

Relaxed sleep is one of the best ways to improve your health, which makes Delta-8 a wonderful addition to a healthy lifestyle. At Sava, we believe that the more research, the better, so we’re keeping our eyes on the latest research for additional validation of these Delta-8 benefits.

Research on Delta-8 for Anti-Nausea and Positive Appetite Effect

Another quality that Delta-8 shares with other tetrahydrocannabinols is its anti-nausea effects. The research is still in the early stages, but one study indicated that Delta-8 usage helped prevent vomiting in eight children suffering from various hematologic cancers. Research on mice also points to therapeutic effects of THC on treating weight disorders.

As the specter of prohibition lifts from our cannabis communities, further research will be possible and necessary to pinpoint the effects that Delta-8 has on the human body, and to help our producers optimize their Delta-8 products.

Is Delta-8 Right For Me?

Even though Delta-8 is often overshadowed by its bigger sibling, Delta-9, we know there’s plenty to be excited about.

To find out if Delta-8 THC is right for you, review these simple questions.

1. What does Delta-8 do?

Delta-8’s effects are less intense than Delta-9’s, and lack the common Delta-9 side effects of paranoia and anxiety. If you find Delta-9 overwhelming and want to try a dialed-back version, Delta-8 may be a good choice for you. 

2. What is Delta-8 good for?

There are many Delta-8 benefits, but primarily, it’s used for pain relief, relaxation, and to help settle your stomach.

So, is Delta-8 right for you? The answer is yes if you’re looking for the benefits of Delta-9 THC with an easier, lighter experience.

At Sava, we highly recommend our selection of Delta-8 products. We rigorously vet the vast world of cannabis and hand-pick the cream of the crop, tailored to your real-life needs. 

Head to our shop and place your order today. We deliver everywhere in the extended Bay area, seven days a week. If you still have any questions, we would absolutely love to answer them! Our knowledgeable and passionate cannabis experts are here to help you find the perfect cannabis experience. Give us a call or send us an email today. We’d be thrilled to help guide you on your ideal, healthy, and joyful cannabis journey!