For many cannabis enthusiasts, delta-8 THC is the best thing ever. Thanks to this cannabinoid, millions of people have now been able to enjoy the benefits of the Cannabis Sativa plant. Even though purchasing delta-8 THC can appear quite simple, the variety of alternatives available on the market will undoubtedly confuse.
Moreover, being a relatively new compound, most cannabis users often wonder whether all delta-8 products deliver the same effects. No, actually.
It’s critical to remember that numerous natural and hybrid hemp strains are available, each offering varying effects. Given the sheer number of hemp-derived delta-8 THC products, it is often challenging to understand the strain type, terpene profile, and THC percentage, among others.
The following part lists essential information on what delta-8 THC is, the different strains, and their similarities and differences.
What is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 is one of over 100 cannabinoids in the hemp flower but in low traces. It is a psychoactive molecule known to be less potent but chemically similar to delta-9 THC, another cannabinoid commonly referred to as THC that produces an intoxication “high.”
How Does Delta-8 THC Differ From Delta-9?
Considering delta-8 THC is just an isomer of delta-9, they feature a similar chemical structure. The only thing that differentiates these two cannabinoids is the location of the double bond on the chain of carbon atoms.
Both delta-8 and delta-9 have a double bond on the eighth and ninth carbon chains, respectively. Even though it appears like a minor distinction, it’s large enough to have marginally different effects on cognitive function and physical health.
How is it made?
Delta-8 THC is a rare cannabinoid, with only 1% concentration in a mature hemp flower. It is challenging to extract Delta 8 THC from the hemp plant and use it to create Delta 8 THC products. Instead, manufacturers derive delta-8 THC by synthesizing cannabinoid isolates using a chemical process.
There are two standard methods of extracting delta-8 and other cannabinoids from a hemp flower—Solvent extraction and CO2 extraction. Premium Delta-8 THC companies frequently employ the CO2 extraction technique, extracting cannabinoids using carbon dioxide gas.
What are the Common Effects of Delta-8 THC?
To fully understand the effects of Delta-8 THC, it’s critical to understand the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a network of cell-signaling receptors regulating processes throughout the body. This also includes functions of the immune and nervous systems.
ECS is present in all animals- both vertebrate and invertebrate- meaning it is not unique to humans.
The two primary cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, are in the ECS. CB1 receptors are typically present in brain cells and throughout the nervous system. In contrast, CB2 receptors are located in the body and immune system.
Delta-8 THC binds to these receptors and is further broken down to deliver the following effects:
It Can Alleviate Pain
Most cannabis users prefer delta-8 THC for pain treatment over other cannabinoids. Studies show that the topical use of delta-8 THC can effectively treat chronic pain. Chronic pain and inflammation are common in neuropathy, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.
It may Improve Cognitive Function
Scientists are attempting to understand more about delta-8 THC’s positive effects on the brain, which is one of the key reasons there has been so much research recently.
Numerous studies evaluate the potent neuroprotective properties of this cannabinoid. Researchers have been examining the potent neuroprotective potential of delta-8 THC. Delta-8 THC works in various ways, primarily by suppressing adenyl cyclase and controlling potassium and calcium channels in the central nervous system. This ability can improve brain health.
As per the National Cancer Institute, Delta 8 THC has been shown to have anxiolytic properties. Simply said, it can aid in stress relief and relaxation without exacerbating anxiety, as with reactive users of delta-9 THC.
The scientific research on Delta-9 THC is still ongoing and inconclusive. However, the preliminary studies are encouraging, as the cannabinoid has been shown to deliver several benefits to its users.
How to use Delta-8?
Sublingual consumption involves taking the cannabinoid beneath the tongue, bypassing the digestive system to enter the bloodstream. You must hold a delta 8 THC tincture in your mouth for up to 60 seconds to allow it to absorb.
You can also consume delta-8 THC using delicious fruity gummies. Edibles make dosing easier as each gummy has a premeasured dose of delta 8 hemp strains.
Besides, gummies are more enticing than tinctures or capsules because they also come in appealing flavors.
Even though the effects take longer than other forms — roughly 1-2 hours — they also last longer.
Vaping is the best way for users who want delta-8 THC to work quickly and deliver the highest bioavailability. You can feel the effects of vaping delta-8 THC minutes after taking a puff as the cannabinoid enters your blood through the lung tissue.
Pick the Best Delta-8 THC Strain
Like CBD and THC, Delta 8 THC comes from the cannabis plant. Cannabis comes in various strains, each with distinctive properties and chemical profiles. Even though all cannabis strains contain similar cannabinoids, the main distinction between them lies in their concentrations.
Even though many people use the term cannabis and marijuana interchangeably, it isn’t one single plant. Instead, it refers to a plant group, including Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis.
Considering the Ruderalis variety is substantially smaller and has weaker chemical profiles, breeders and growers focus more on Indica and Sativa cannabis strains.
Cannabis Indica Delta-8 THC Strains
The Indica plant is renowned for its ability to produce significantly larger yields, thicker buds, and stronger scents. It came from the Hindu Kush mountainous areas of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. These strains adapted to extreme weather by blossoming early, growing more quickly, and creating thick layers of protective resin.
Considering that exposure to cooler temperatures can make a flower of the cannabis plant (or buds) turn purple if you find a purple-looking strain, there’s a strong probability it’s an Indica strain.
Sativa Delta-8 THC Strains
Sativa strain belongs to the Cannabaceae family, which includes both hemp and marijuana varieties. Considering these delta-8 cannabis strains flourish in warmer climates, most Sativa strains originate in Colombia, Mexico, Thailand, and Southeast Asia.
Historically, Cannabis sativa strains have been cultivated for their fibre, seeds, and oil for industrial, dietary, and therapeutic uses.
The unique terpene profile of Sativa strains renders them highly pungent. These scents can range from fruity, lemony, and sweet to earthy, piney, and peppery.
Hybrid Delta-8 THC Strains
With the advancements in modern cannabis breeding and the discovery that genetics is critical in determining a strain’s potency, thousands of hybrid cannabis strains have also appeared on the market. These hybrids blend the Sativa and Indica strain properties.
Hybrid strains are categorized into three types:
• Sativa-dominant hybrid strains combine the calming effects of Indica with the intellectual high of Sativa.
• Indica-dominant hybrid offers pain relief and a calming head high.
• Balanced hybrid strain features 50/50 Indica and Sativa genetics, offering the best of both worlds in a single strain.
Difference Between Delta-8 Sativa Vs. Indica Strains
Indica is significantly thicker and more resembling a bush than Sativa. The typical height of Sativa is up to 5 feet.
Compared to Sativa, Indica plants have broader leaves that grow in a bundle. Additionally, Sativa leaves are narrower, yet they have an open-hand appearance. In popular culture, the image of cannabis most frequently represents a Sativa plant leaf.
Each species produce a very distinctive scent. The fragrance of Indica is distinctly skunk-like. In contrast, Sativa often smells like newly cut grass, although it can also have a “skunky” or beer-like smell.
In terms of THC/CBD Content
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD are two of over 70 cannabinoids present in the hemp flower. THC is psychoactive, which means it has a potent effect on the central nervous system, promoting sensations of euphoria. In contrast, CBD is therapeutic and does not cause severe psychotropic reactions.
Indica has a higher CBD concentration and a lower THC-to-CBD ratio. Hence, the Indica-dominant strain is connected with a “body” high and relaxation because CBD has fewer psychological side effects. Indica is also preferable for therapeutic use because anxiety and paranoia are less likely.
In contrast, Sativa plants have a higher THC-to-CBD ratio and can cause more potent psychological effects like paranoia, severe anxiety, and hallucinations.
Uses & Benefits
In many cultures, medical marijuana is a popular alternative to Western treatment.
Practitioners of medicinal marijuana claim that both species are used for various medical conditions.
In particular, Indica promotes sleep, reduces inflammation, prevents seizures, calms muscles, and treats migraines. It is also preferred as an alternative treatment for Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia.
Sativa is frequently used as a muscle relaxant, appetite stimulant, and antidepressant.
How to Choose the Best Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid Strains?
Considering everyone’s body chemistry is unique, it can be difficult to predict how a delta-8 strain would influence a particular person. Your body may respond to cannabis very differently from someone else’s, even if you use it as frequently as they do. A friend could be able to use the entire vape, but you might only need one or two puffs.
Flavor and Aroma
A strain’s terpene profile might produce mild or potent flavors and aromas. You can select a strain boasting the flavor, aroma, and potency levels that appeal to you based on your preferences.
Desired Mood and Effects
As mentioned, everyone reacts differently to cannabis, so there is no assurance that a specific strain will have a particular effect. However, you can experiment with strains with terpene and cannabinoid profiles that are most likely to deliver the desired result.
For instance, choosing a strain with a higher delta-8 THC content makes sense if you want to feel euphoric. In contrast, try strains that contain linalool, a terpene known to deliver stress-relieving qualities, if you are searching for a more calming experience.
The strain’s potency and the dosage—or amount—you take significantly impact your cannabis experience.
Many popular strains at dispensaries are potent, meaning a strain with 25% delta-8 might not be as pleasurable as one with 16% one. Hence, finding the proper delta-8 THC proportion for you and your desired experience is critical.
Additionally, the effects produced by a few puffs versus a whole joint will change significantly, as will the strength of the effects.
Are Delta 8 Indica and Sativa Strains Legal?
Delta-8 THC is legal at the federal level because the cannabinoid is derived from the hemp plant, not cannabis.
Delta 8 is currently permitted in several states, but not all of them. Even though some states have solely allowed it for medical purposes, others have severely limited or prohibited its use.
Additionally, some states have laws making Delta 8 possession illegal. Hence, the answer to whether delta-8 is legal depends on where you live.
Many cannabis enthusiasts use delta-8 Sativa and Indica strains for various effects and purposes. Sativa strains are an excellent choice if you enjoy consuming the cannabinoid during the day to increase your energy, attention, and concentration.
In contrast, you can use Indica strains if you want a calming and euphoric feeling. For a well-balanced high, it is preferable to use hybrid strains, which combine Sativa and Indica.
The best way to determine ideal strains is to identify what you’ll use them for. Once you know it, you can select the option that best meets your requirements.