Delta 8 Vs. CBD: What is the difference, and which is better for me?
The health and wellness benefits of Cannabis have been well documented over the last decade and if you in any way have done a search or looked into Hemp or Marijuana products recently you have certainly come across the new hottest fad; Delta 8. But, what is Delta 8? What does it do to your body, are there benefits, and why is it so popular? How do Delta 8 and its effects on our body compare with CBD?
In this post, we will discuss all those questions and more, as we take a deep dive into the two products and compare all the available information. We hope the information will make consumers more informed and able to make the best decision for their health and wellness. So, let’s get right to the details and dive into what is Delta 8.
Delta 8, What is it?
Delta-8, also known as delta-8 THC, is a psychoactive substance found in the Cannabis plant, of which marijuana and hemp are two varieties. According to the FDA, “Delta-8 THC is one of over 100 cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant but Delta8 is not found in significant amounts, typically no more than 0.1%, in the cannabis plant. Because of this, concentrated amounts of delta-8 THC are typically manufactured from CBD making Delta8 a synthetic byproduct of cannabidiol.”
The conversion of CBD to delta-8-THC involves refluxing CBD, which involves extreme heat, in a solvent, such as toluene or heptane, with p-toluene sulfonic acid or another strong acid that serves as a catalyst. The reaction is typically run for 60–90 min. The end product is essentially synthetic, or chemical, THC.
What does Delta 8 do?
In short, it gets you high.
Delta 8 has similar effects to Delta 9, which is the natural THC produced in large quantities by the marijuana plant, though those effects are slightly less intense with Delta 8 when taken in the same amounts. The typical feelings associated with THC are body intoxication, feelings of euphoria, drowsiness, and a sense of relaxation.
Despite some companies’ marketing claims, there are no studies or data showing any medicinal or health benefits to the use of Delta 8 products aside from some consumers stating a general feeling of relaxation. There are anecdotal accounts of Delta 8 products helping with symptoms of nausea in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Is Delta 8 harmful to my body?
Similar to what Delta 8 does, there is almost no real research into the harmful effects of Delta 8 on the body but the initial signs are not good. Leading chemists from the ProVerde Laboratories have stated that the unknown chemical substances in Delta 8 products are frightening. Their Chief Scientific Officer has said, “My concern is that we have no idea what these products are… Consumers are being used as guinea pigs. To me, that’s horrific.”
There are no standard 3rd party testing companies for Delta 8, so companies have no need or way to verify what their products are or what they contain. Tests done by ProVerde Laboratories found very little concentrations of Delta 8 THC in most products and instead found a multitude of unidentifiable chemical compounds.
Last year alone the FDA received reports of over 100 adverse advents involving the consumption of Delta 8. With 55% of those reports requiring hospitalization. Adverse events included but were not limited to hallucinations, vomiting, tremors, anxiety, dizziness, confusion, and loss of consciousness. The Centers for Disease Control received 2,362 cases in that same year. Of those cases, 70% required hospital care evaluation, of which 8% resulted in admission to a critical care unit, and one death was reported.
Delta 8 products are especially harmful when consumed by children, though many of the products are made to look like candy and marketed with bright colors and cartoony characters.
Then why is Delta 8 so popular?
There is not much information on the reasons for consumer use of Delta 8 products, but looking at the retail statistics that are available and reasoning from that data, the clear reason for the popularity of Delta 8 products is that it is a loophole for THC use in states that do not allow recreational marijuana. Sales of Delta 8 products are prominent in states with restrictive marijuana laws, but the products do not sell well in states that have legalized recreational marijuana. The obvious reason for that is consumers who cannot legally purchase marijuana are purchasing Delta8 as a synthetic substitute.
How does CBD compare to Delta 8?
Unlike Delta 8, CBD is a natural product extracted from the hemp plant and can be produced organically without synthetic processes. CBD works as a gatekeeper for the body’s production and regulation of the natural cannabinoids that connect to the Receptors and signal the Endocannabinoid System in our body to do its job. The regulation of these natural cannabinoids produced by the body is important in maintaining equilibrium or balance, in our physiology. CBD helps tell the body to slow down the production of endocannabinoids when the Endocannabinoid System is being over-active, or to increase production when the Endocannabinoid System is not active enough. In this way, CBD helps maintain our equilibrium.
CBD is made by extracting the natural oil from the Hemp plant, full spectrum CBD is the extracted oil without anything removed or added to it in post-processing. There are a few methods to extract oil from the plant but one of the cleanest and the most effective currently is hydrocarbon extraction. This process is done at sub-zero temperatures which preserves the beneficial compounds of the plant in the oil.
What does CBD do?
The first major thing that differentiates CBD from products like Delta 8 is that CBD is not psychoactive and is not intoxicating. CBD will not get you high, but there are many things CBD can do.
CBD has been touted for a wide variety of health issues. The most well-documented and scientifically proven benefit of CBD is in treating epilepsy, especially in major cases that don’t respond to typical pharmaceutical medications. You can read more on the National Library of Medicine website. Studies have also shown CBD to be effective in treating inflammation, making it potentially a strong choice for pain relief and pain management, as stated by the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information). CBD has been researched for its health benefits in dealing with stress, anxiety, or ADHD. Research has also been conducted on CBD as a treatment for PTSD and sleep disorders.
It is widely accepted that CBD offers a general feeling of wellness and relaxation, as well as being great for regulating our reactions to stress throughout the day.
Is CBD harmful to my body?
CBD use, like any supplement, vitamin, or medication, does carry some risks. Though it's often well-tolerated, CBD can cause side effects, such as dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, and sleepiness. CBD can also interact with other medications you're taking, so if you are on daily prescription medications it is important to consult with your doctor before starting CBD.
Another cause for concern with CBD is the unreliability of the purity and dosage of some CBD companies’ products. A recent study of 84 CBD products bought online showed that more than a quarter of the products contained less CBD than labeled, which is why it is important to purchase from a company that provides recent 3rd party lab test results for each of their products upfront. Catoctin Hemp makes it simple to find results for each product on the product page.
As far as a solution for your health and wellness, or a potential treatment for the health issues you are facing, CBD is the better choice. Though Delta 8 may be popular and the newest trend in the market, the health benefits are minimal at best, and non-existent when compared to the potential harm you are causing your body by consuming it.
Much like the “Spice” craze from years ago, with a different kind of synthetic marijuana taking over shelves, the Delta 8 craze and Delta 8 products do not offer anything to the customer except for a high, and when regulation stops it or the fad passes Delta 8 may end up being just as harmful a synthetic product.
If you are looking for something that may help with your mood, health, wellness, and relaxation CBD is a great, natural, option. You can find all-natural organic CBD products, with easily accessible 3rd party potency and purity tests, at Catoctin Hemp.