Hemp, marijuana, and delta-8, oh my! The more the legal cannabis market grows the more we learn about this dynamic plant which can be confusing for new-time consumers or those revitalizing their use for improved health and wellness. To use the plant to its fullest and maximize the effects and benefits you desire – it’s best to understand the ins and outs of hemp, marijuana and derivative compounds like delta-8 that come from it. So here, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about marijuana vs hemp, and we’re exploring delta-8 as one of the newest beneficial cannabinoids to hit the block.
Hemp vs. Marijuana 101
While you might think that hemp and marijuana are two separate species of the cannabis plant, that’s actually not the case. Scientifically, the ‘cannabis’ plant is a genus of the Cannabaceae family, which has three species – cannabis sativa, cannabis indica, and cannabis ruderalis. The terms ‘hemp’ and ‘marijuana’ are only broad classifications that describe the inner compounds all 3 species of cannabis plants can produce.
Which means, to the naked eye – it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between a hemp plant vs marijuana plant. The classifications are now legally used to describe plants that primarily produce CBD and lower levels of THC, which is hemp, and plants that primarily produce THC and lower levels of CBD, which is marijuana.
In today’s modern world of cannabis, the 2018 Farm Bill classifies any product with less than .3% THC (by dry weight) as a legal hemp-derived good. But the .3% determination isn’t anything new. The classification has some history as it was published in the book, ‘The Species Problem in Cannabis: Science & Semantics’ in 1979. Marijuana of course, is any cannabis derived flower or product that has over .3% THC.
What is Delta-8 THC?
So, how exactly does delta-8 THC fit into the conversation on hemp vs. marijuana? Well, it’s just 1 of 144+ cannabinoids that hemp and marijuana plants are known to produce naturally. Due to the loophole in language surrounding that 2018 Farm Bill, it’s one type of THC that’s considered to be federally legal. Since, delta 8 can be a byproduct of extraction for legal hemp goods, and products containing this cannabinoid are now widely available for sale across the US.
Your next question may be – just how does delta 8 vs delta 9 THC differ? Scientifically, the big difference lies within just 1 double bond on the compound’s molecular chain. In delta 8 THC, the double bond is found on the 8th carbon, in delta 9 THC the double bond is found on the 9th carbon. That means, the way in which the compounds plug into receptors found in our endocannabinoid system differs too. More technically, ‘This conformational change results in Δ8-THC binding less strongly to the CB1 receptor than Δ9-THC thereby decreasing its potency relative to that of Δ9-THC.’ In translation – delta-8 THC effects are virtually the same as delta 9 THC yet not as potent, or intense in strength. Hence, the popularity of delta-8 THC amongst those who want to reap the medicinal benefits of THC without experiencing too psychoactive of a high.
The Benefits of Delta-8 THC
Beyond the major perk of delivering THC benefits without feeling overwhelmingly buzzed, there are far more delta 8 THC benefits to know. So far early research and anecdotal evidence is proving that delta 8 THC may have a variety of potentially therapeutic effects. Including –
- Appetite stimulant – Studies are showing that delta 8 THC could be a greater appetite stimulant, in comparison to that of delta 9 THC. This could be beneficial for the exploration of treatment for eating disorders, and especially helpful for patients who lack appetite due to pharmaceutical medication side-effects.
- Neuroprotective – The neuroprotective values of THC are being rapidly researched for their potential aid for degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, amongst others. Early animal studies are also showing delta 8 THC effects could be to thank. Since the cannabinoid was successful at increasing acetylcholine production, which is influential in regulating memory and cognition.
- Antiemetic – Research is showing that delta 8 THC is highly effective at producing antiemetic effects, or anti-nausea. In one study in a small group of children, vomiting was ‘completely prevented’ when administering doses of delta 8 THC.
- Analgesic – Analgesic effects is the scientific term for being ‘pain-relieving’ in qualities. Which delta-8 is proving to be. Because delta-8 primarily interacts with the CB1 receptors we mentioned earlier, it can be especially useful for preventing and reducing pain. In fact studies are classifying the cannabinoid, as a ‘a novel, orally effective cannabinoid with analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties’.
- Anxiolytic – The anti-anxiety or anxiolytic effects of THC are highly debated, as some can feel an increase in anxious feelings, while others feel relief. So far and study wise, delta 8 is shown to induce less anxiety than delta 9 and has individual anxiolytic effects.
Beyond these benefits for day-to-day aches, pains and stresses, delta 8 THC effects are also being explored for their power to reduce tumors and cancerous growths, which explains the excitement over further research to come and the potentially powerful effects that delta 8 THC products can produce.
Plugging into Wellness with Hemp & Marijuana
The more you learn about hemp and marijuana plants, and their unique characteristics – the better you can use CBD and delta 8 THC products to achieve desired effects. Even though both hemp and marijuana were stigmatized over the years – their ancient roots lie in healing. So get back to nature, and plug into optimal health and wellness today. Shop the SuperPlug collection of small-batch and specially curated delta 8 and CBD goods, now.