Over the years, the use of cannabis has become increasingly popular, with 10 states in the United States have legalized its use. With scientists has proven that marijuana has medical benefits, a lot more research is going into discovering new strains, trends, and products. But how much do you know about cannabis?

The cannabis flower has a high concentration of chemicals constituents known as cannabinoids. This chemical composition is what reacts with receptors in the body to elicit the physical and mental effects associated with marijuana. There are over 124 cannabinoids in a plant, but only several strains made the study cut.

What Is Delta-9 THC?

Tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly referred to as THC, is a cannabinoid compound present in a female cannabis flower. Even though male plants do produce THC, it is in insignificant amounts. However, this form is acid in nature and does not stimulate the psychoactive effects associated with cannabis.

The chemical bonds of delta-9 make its molecular structure a good fit for cannabinoid receptors, that is, landing cells in the body. Other than medical uses, delta-9 can be used for recreational purposes such as intoxication, relaxation, altering perception, and sexual enhancement. 

What Is Delta-8 TCH?

This is a recently discovered component of the cannabis plant. In clinical terms, it can be described as an analog of tetrahydrocannabinol that offers analgesic, antiemetic, neuroprotective, and anxiolytic effects. The compound binds to the G-protein and the CB1 receptor in the central nervous system. However, the effects stimulated by delta-8 THC are significantly subdued compared to those found in the delta-9 THC strain. However, its use in the medical world is more significant than delta-9 THC.

Delta-9 THC and Delta-8 THC- Outlining the Differences

Delta-9 THC is the most popular cannabinoid, but it would be wrong to refer to it as the most powerful cannabis compound. There is also Delta-8 THC, which is similar to Delta 9 in its psychoactive. However, not all THC is equal, and there are key differences that should not be ignored. 

Compound Composition in Plant

As earlier mentioned, delta-9 is the most prominent cannabinoid, making one of the four major compounds. However, even though delta-8 makes the cut to this category, its composition is far less than the rest, taking up less than 1%

In Terms of Chemical Bond Formation

First things first, the most significant difference between these two strains lies in the compounds’ chemical formation. Delta refers to a double bond, meaning that the figures 8 and 9 are where the bonds are located. Delta-8 means the bond is on the 8th carbon atom and delta-9 bonds on the 9th atom. Therefore, the location of the double bonds determines how the carbon atoms react to the endocannabinoid system.

Compared to Delta-8 THC, delta-9 is less stable, meaning it can easily oxidize to CBN, cannabinol. Therefore, delta-8 offers a longer shelf life. 

In terms of psychoactive effects

Delta-9 THC and Delta-8 THC are the only chemicals that create the psychoactive effects. Still, since Delta-9 THC is more concentrated, these effects are largely tied to it. 

However, recent studies have named Delta-8 THC as an alternative to Delta-9, given that its effects are more gentle and enjoyable. If anything, the Delta-8 high is less intense and more manageable compared to that of Delta-9.

In terms of the endocannabinoid system, the Delta-9 strain will activate the CB1 receptors. On the other hand, Delta-8 will activate both the CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors. Simultaneous activation of both receptors triggers homeostasis. This is when the body is in a natural resting state, with flight or fight responses. CBD has similar effects on the body.

Ensemble/Entourage Effect

This principle dictates that a THC molecule has better effects if it is consumed with a combination of other cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenoids, and other present compounds in cannabis compared to consuming it as an isolated molecule. 

The entourage effect is based on the delta-9 THC strain. Due to the molecular similarity to delta-8, it is possible that if delta-8 THC is consumed as a whole, it is likely to produce amplified effects.

In regard to cancer treatment

In terms of the benefits, there are substantial differences between the two strains. For Delta-8, it is a significantly powerful activator of the immune system. In addition, it has proved quite helpful in preventing waves of nausea in chemo and cancer treatments. 

According to one study, Delta-8 was shown to reduce tumors. Even though Delta-8 by far less potent compared to Delta-9, it is 200% more effective in antiemetic.

Since Delta-8 has significantly lesser psychoactive effects and discomforting side effects, it is better suited to cancer treatment. It can serve a wider cancer demographic given it can deal with appetite loss better than Delta-9. Furthermore, a lot of cancer patients prefer not to use Delta-9 since it raises their panic levels.