Understanding Marijuana: What is Delta-8?

Cannabis offers a wide variety of substances for people to enjoy. The days when marijuana was a single plant grown in someone’s backyard are long gone, and we’re blessed with an industry that offers hundreds of ways to enjoy cannabis.

Many advancements in our understanding and use of cannabis are unknown to most cannabis users themselves. We’re going to talk about a substance called delta-8-THC today, opening your eyes to its uses and potential benefits.

We’ll also discuss how to use delta-8 distillate to achieve the best effects. Hopefully, the information below will inspire you to give delta-8 a shot.

Let’s get started.

The Basics of Cannabis

To fully understand what delta-8 is, we have to look at how cannabis functions within the human body. We also have to take a look at how the cannabis plant grows, producing around 100 cannabinoids other than the commonly-known THC and CBD.

A close look at how these substances interact with the systems in our bodies can help you interpret the effects you experience and fine-tune your methods to get the best results.

For example, many people experience a lot of anxiety when they use cannabis products. It’s pretty normal to have this experience, despite the fact that marijuana is known as a drug that “calms you down.” It can be startling to feel intense anxiety when everyone around you appears to be having a good time.

It might even be easy to follow those anxious thoughts into a day-long episode. Understanding that THC interacts with the amygdala in an unusual way, though, might help you to tone down those thoughts and carry on like normal.

In other words, knowing what’s going on within your body as you ingest a psychoactive substance can help you stay in control of your experience instead of letting it carry you away.

So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at what cannabinoids are and how they work within us.

What are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are the beloved chemical compounds in cannabis that produce the effects of marijuana. They’re responsible for the psychological and physical effects of the drug, and most people chalk those effects up as the result of THC and CBD.

THC and CBD are the best-known cannabinoids. THC is the one responsible for producing the intense psychological effects that go along with cannabis, while CBD is the cause of physical relaxation, pain relief, and calming effects of the plant.

In most strains of cannabis, the distribution of THC and CBD will give you a good idea of how they will affect you. For example, if a strain has 15 percent THC and 20 percent CBD, you can plan for an easy body high with some psychological effects.

The traditional way of thinking is that strains dominant in THC are Sativas, while those dominant in CBD are Indicas. It turns out that this line of thinking isn’t actually accurate because there are a lot of exceptions to that rule.

That said, strains of cannabis are usually categorized as Inidcas, Sativas, or Hybrids. Those terms have to do with the genetics of the plant, not always the distribution of cannabinoids.

So, it’s always important to look at the makeup of a strain before you purchase it.

There are Over 100 Cannabinoids

In fact, there are roughly 145 cannabinoids that have been discovered in the cannabis plant. All of these have different effects on users and can be isolated for individual use.

The reason that THC and CBD get all of the glory is that they’re the ones most present in any given strain of cannabis. It turns out, though, that there are some other cannabinoids that could give THC and CBD a run for their money.

One of those is called delta-8.

Delta-8-THC is naturally occurring cannabis, although at very small levels. It’s also produced when delta-9-THC (another name for the “THC” that everyone knows) degrades.

So, as it ages, normal THC adjusts its chemical structure and turns into delta-8-THC. The fact that it has a slightly different chemical structure means that it interacts differently with the human body and produces different effects.

The beautiful thing is that it’s so similar to the tried-and-true THC that we know and people have been consuming delta-8 in small amounts ever since cannabis was used in the first place. As a result, we know it’s safe and that the effects are very similar to THC.

The Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system is a network, predominantly in the nervous system, that works to manage equilibrium in the body. Cannabinoid receptors work through the brain, muscles, and internal organs to play a hand in things like pain management, brain function, appetite, and immune response.

The body produces a number of natural endocannabinoids that work within this system and allow it to function. Interestingly enough, cannabis is one of the few plants on earth that naturally produces cannabinoids.

These chemicals interact naturally with the receptors of the endocannabinoid system and produce the numerous effects that are common to the use of cannabis.

There are two primary forms of endocannabinoid receptors. There are CB1 and CB2 receptors.

CB1 receptors are thought to interact more with areas of the brain, while CB2 receptors are more geared toward the body. THC binds with CB1 receptors, whereas CBD binds with CB2 receptors.

While the processes involved with different receptors and their roles in the body are complex, we can generalize their function in order to understand how cannabis works in the body. It’s easy to think of CB1 as directing cannabinoids toward the brain and CB2 toward the body.

If you were a medical professional, these explanations wouldn’t quite do the trick. For our purposes, though, the description will do.

How Delta-8-THC Binds with Receptors

Delta-8 is known to bind predominantly with CB2 receptors.

The intense psychological effects of delta-9-THC may be a result of the fact that they bind with CB1 receptors. Delta-8, on the other hand, provides a different experience even though the chemical structure is very similar.

Delta-8 produces a much milder psychological high as a result. There is still a noticeable effect, though, and the user does get high to a degree.

That said, there isn’t as much effect on the amygdala as there is when someone uses delta-9-THC. This makes it a lot easier to stomach feelings of anxiety and paranoia if they even occur at all.

There are a lot of reasons that a person might experience a lot of anxiety while using cannabis. The same goes for unusual mental states and psychological effects of any kind. A person could be dealing with difficult life experiences, have general anxiety already, the situation could be uncomfortable, or a number of other things.

Those factors can’t be controlled, but there is something to be said about the fact that delta-8 won’t stimulate your amygdala and contribute to anxious thoughts.

How to Use Delta-8 Distillate

Distillates are concentrates of any particular cannabinoid. There are distillates available for CBD, THC, CBN, Delta-8, and more.

It’s a concentrated version of the cannabinoid, typically sitting somewhere above 90 percent of the desired cannabinoid. It’s just a way to isolate the specific substance you desire and consume it almost exclusively.

Distillates look like can be hard and look like glass or be relatively viscous. The way that they look depends on how well they’re made and what they consist of.

In any case, though, it is nothing like the plant matter that it originally grew from. Putting distillate into a bowl and trying to smoke it would be incredibly difficult, and probably wouldn’t work at all.

Instead, you should look to vape or dab distillates.

Methods of Using Delta-8

Vaping is a relatively easy process. You simply need a vaporizer and a cartridge with delta-8 juice inside. In some cases, you can buy a single-use cartridge that’s pre-loaded with delta-8 or you might have to buy a refillable cartridge and container of distillate.

Then you just use the vape as you would otherwise. When it comes to dabbing, the process is a little more complicated.

A dab rig is typically a piece of glass that has a base, chamber, mouthpiece, quartz banger, and nail. The quartz banger is an area of the piece that’s similar to a bowl, except that you heat it with a torch until it’s bright red.

Once the banger is hot enough, you can put some of the distillate onto the nail and press it to the hot metal as you pull in through the mouthpiece. These are the most common methods of using concentrates, shatters, and distillates.

Intensity for Those with Low Tolerance Levels

If you’ve ever used cannabis regularly you’ve probably asked “when do you need a tolerance break?”

You can tell that cannabis starts to have less of an effect and you have to use more when your tolerance builds up. The more you’re exposed to a substance, the higher the tolerance you have for it because your body adjusts to accommodate it.

If you take a tolerance break, you come back to the substance and it affects you like it did when you first started. When you’ve never used the substance at all, your tolerance is at an absolute zero.

It’s going to hit you as hard as it can, so it’s important to take things slow when you’re first starting out. Just because delta-8 is a milder high than THC doesn’t mean that it can’t be powerful.

The strength of the experience depends on how much you do, and the percentage of the product that you’re using. It also depends on your method of use.

Anyone who has used a dab rig or vape pen will tell you that those two methods can be extremely powerful. A distillate has high concentrations of whatever cannabinoid it contains, and the effects will set in almost immediately.

Suggestions for Getting Started

If you’re new to cannabis and hemp derivatives, there are a few things that you should do when you’re getting started.

First, set aside a period of time for yourself to try delta-8. Try to make it a time period close to when you would normally go to sleep. Give yourself about three hours to enjoy the experience and see how long it lasts, and allow yourself to go to bed if it makes you too tired.

You should also try to make the environment as comfortable and risk-free as possible. Get yourself some food ready, make sure that you don’t have any other responsibilities, and let the effects set in.

It isn’t as if delta-8 is going to be too overwhelming, but it’s important to give yourself a test run with a controlled environment the first time. You never know how your body is going to react to a new product like this one.

If you’re one of the people who experiences a lot of anxiety when using cannabis, you wouldn’t want to find that out with a group of people you’re not close with. Further, you don’t want to get called into work while you’re seeing how a psychoactive drug works for you!

Creating a comfortable and safe environment to try these things allows you to make small mistakes and not suffer any consequences. For example, taking a little too much of a distillate could have you in a very unique state of mind.

Remember that distillates are strong, and it’s important to take slow steps and assess how you’re feeling before you take more. There aren’t any adverse health effects that come from taking too much, but getting “too” high is an uncomfortable experience that can be avoided.

Once you have everything in place, you can sit back and relax. You might find that you really enjoy delta-8 and could see yourself incorporating it into your life.

Want to Learn More about Delta-8?

If you’re interested in finding out more about delta-8 distillate or other hemp derivatives, we’re here to help. There are so many cannabis products available to you that there are bound to be a few options that suit your needs.

Explore our site for more insight into ideas on cannabis, food, travel, and more.


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