Delta 8 differs from classical Delta 9 THC from a chemical point of view, just at first sight only in its structure. However, Delta 8 THC is currently gaining importance, largely related to the popularity of another famous cannabinoid - CBD (Cannabidiol). Recently, Delta 8 tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta 8 THC) has become very popular among cannabis extracts, which can be purchased in the US, where cannabis-infused products are lawfully available for medical or recreational purposes.
Where Delta 8 THC Has Come From?
Delta 8 THC has been a part of the cannabis plant from the very beginning. Nevertheless, our awareness of its existence did not emerge until the beginning of cannabinoid research in 1964, after doctor Raphael Mechoulam discovered Delta 9 THC, a cannabinoid that came into the public consciousness under its short name - THC. Mechoulam's discovery marked a breakthrough in cannabis research. Over time, more and more experts began to uncover the veil of secrecy and describe this remarkable plant's biochemical profile and therapeutic potential. So far, more than 60 cannabinoid substances have been found that react with the human body's endocannabinoid system (ECS). By using new knowledge, scientists have also been able to find Delta 8 in the 1970s. Yet, the recently discovered component didn't become the center of much interest because, at first glance, it seemed that it did not occur as often in nature compared to regular THC and that its effectiveness was lower in comparison. The researchers also found at the time that the structure of the two delta THC compounds (Delta 8 and 9) was almost identical and differed only in the location of one atomic bond. Nevertheless, even a minor difference may indicate that the compound will ultimately have a completely different effect on humans than would be expected.
Obtaining Delta 8
After the discovery of this cannabinoid, scientists in the United States of America were interested in it for some time. They started research to see how this compound affects the human body, the potential to stop the growth of tumors, and whether it could be used as an antiemetic (medicine against nausea). However, further research into the promising cannabinoid was soon suspended for more than 20 years. Although Delta 8 THC does not have as powerful psychoactive effects as THC Delta 9 yet, this hemp cannabinoid, like other cannabinoids, gradually began to come to the forefront of the interest. Not only the professional public were interested but the ordinary people as well. In 1995, Dr. Mechoulam's undying interest in cannabis and its therapeutic properties brought him back to Delta 8. His Israeli research team decided to deal extensively with the compound. And so they were fortunate enough to continue the work their American colleagues had to give up. Large doses of THC Delta 8 show the highest antiemetic effects without causing intoxication. One of the main advantages (of Delta 8 over Delta 9) that Mechoulam's team noted was that this hemp cannabinoid did not have such substantial psychoactive effects. As a result, researchers could safely administer large doses of Delta 8 to test subjects and achieve maximum antiemetic effects without inducing the intoxication that regular THC compound normally induces. At the time, Mechoulam and his research team had to deal with a question about the next direction of research - since Delta 8 is not very common in nature, where could a resource usable for medical plans be theoretically taken? The answer did not take long, and in 2004 Mechoulam and two other researchers had a new patent issued. They managed to find a way to get both Delta 8 and Delta 9 from another much more available cannabinoid - cannabidiol (CBD).
This method of production is called isomerization and involves a chemical reaction during which the bonds between the atoms in the molecule of CBD are broken. After this, the atoms are arranged to form molecules of other compounds, which, however, contain the same atoms as the original substance. And coincidentally, the cannabinoids Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC consist of the same particles as CBD. Mechoulam himself has known about the possibility of isomerization of cannabis compounds since the 1960s. Even regular cannabis growers have used the same process for their needs, although it should be noted that their knowledge in this area was very limited, and the results were usually not worth it.
The Future of Delta 8
Delta 8 is beginning to appear in large quantities in vaporizer cartridges. However, technological advances today have made isomerization much easier than it was a decade ago. The people can only owe today's generation of innovative herbal extraction experts, who are literally artists in their field. And the fact is that Delta 8 is now appearing more and more frequently in the cannabis market. Just how popular the other chemical methods of cannabis are today in the world of cannabis, such as distillation, should tell us how significant a role Delta 8 will play in the future in producing cannabis products. Distillation is used to obtain the main ingredients, which can be found in almost all vaporizer fillings and cannabis food. Delta 8 is beginning to appear on a large scale in vaporizer cartridges and disposable vape pens, the main components obtained by distillation. So far, it looks like the star of this compound will continue to rise, mainly due to the cannabinoid, which has dramatically increased the availability of Delta 8 and CBD. Cannabis with a high CBD content has long been grown on a large scale in numerous US states under local law, which means that the crop must contain less than 0.3% of Delta 9 THC. And then, the collected plants were used as accurately as possible to produce pure CBD extracts, which can be simply converted to Delta 9 or Delta 8 THC extracts. The total production of CBD extracts is so extensive that it is currently unknown. Nevertheless, we can assume that the potential numbers will be really stunning. Hence, it is not so challenging to imagine that we are on the point of cannabinoid production, such as Delta 8, intended for further use and sale, assuming that this era may have long begun.