How effective is hemp-derived Delta-8 THC for pain?
Pain is an expensive medical issue affecting more than a third of Americans. Pain is not a disease—it’s a symptom that announces something’s going on with your body. Because it has many causes, it’s often a complex problem to treat.
Are cannabinoids like Delta-8 THC effective for the treatment of pain? Although more research is needed, both anecdotal and scientific evidence point out the potential therapeutic benefits of Delta-8 THC for pain.
According to the National Cancer Institute, Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol possesses potential pain-relieving (analgesic) properties. Delta-8 binds to CB1 receptors involved in pain regulation and has the potential to offer potent effects on pain.
Can you use Delta-8 to reduce pain? If so, let’s look at where to buy quality products and how to use (and dose) to maximize effectiveness.
What Exactly is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 THC is the most popular cannabinoid introduced by the hemp industry after cannabidiol (CBD). This minor cannabinoid is found in trace amounts in the hemp plant, making its natural extraction difficult and expensive. To combat this issue, manufacturers use hemp-derived CBD and convert it into D-8 THC.
Delta-8 is mildly psychotropic. Studies show that the compound is half as potent as Delta-9 THC and does produce a mild, clear-headed high that makes the user calm yet productive. That said, you will still get intoxicated, so driving and similar activities should be avoided.
Chemically speaking, D-8 THC is a THC isomer, meaning it has a similar molecular structure to Delta-9 THC, Delta-10 THC, Delta-7 THC, etc.
All these molecules stand out from one another thanks to the placement of the double bond on the chain of carbon atoms. The double bond is thought to determine how these cannabinoids interact with CB1 receptors that are located in the brain and cause the THC intoxication.
In general, they share similar properties and can stimulate appetite, reduce nausea, and act as pain-relievers—but they are also inevitably different when it comes to potency.
Delta-8 for Pain Management
In general, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is an effective way to lessen pain. Substances like Delta-8 THC work with the cannabinoid system that naturally occurs within the body.
This system regulates vital functions like pain, inflammation (which is often related to pain), mood, sleep, appetite, learning and memory, etc. The receptors that this compound interacts with (and are part of the body’s cannabinoid system) play an important part in pain regulation.
Medical scientists have studied the analgesic properties of cannabis and its compounds, but more research is needed in this area. Different types and sources of pain affect the way you can use this compound.
Therefore, if you’re dealing with chronic pain, back pain, arthritis, etc., make sure you discuss using D-8 THC with your doctor. If you are already on pain meds, check in with your physician on how to proceed. While Delta-8 can be an alternative to other medications, like opioids, getting off of them is a complicated subject and requires thoughtful consideration.
Types of Delta-8 THC Products for Pain Relief
There are different reasons companies offer a range of D-8 THC products, including delivery methods and how they affect each type of pain. This cannabinoid can work for pain if inhaled, taken orally, and topically. Let’s look at different methods of delivery and how they work in the body:
Delta-8 Tinctures & Oils
These OG products are taken sublingually, aka under the tongue. The dropper cap makes it effortless to portion out the dose and administer the oil. They are fast-acting—30 minutes to an hour—and promote long-lasting effects of up to 6 hours.
Delta-8 Edibles & Capsules
They represent the fun world of the popular, delicious, and extra effective Delta-8 THC gummies and capsules. Edibles are perfect for chronic pain because they are absorbed through the digestive system and offer a long-lasting effect. Though it may take them an hour or two to kick in, once they do, they can last up to 8 hours.
Crazy8s Delta-8 Gummies bring you a premium D-8 distillate and the classic, juicy gummy flavor and texture you’ll love. They make taking each dose effortless because you can ingest them wherever you are.
Delta-8 Inhalable Products
Like CBD, you can also inhale Delta-8 THC through vape cartridges, hemp flower, and similar inhalable products. This delivery method is the most fast-acting because inhalation delivers the compound directly into the lungs.
When inhaled, D-8’s effects are felt within minutes, but they are short-lived and last around an hour. The silver lining? If you need fast and potent relief, this delivery method is the one. Our 1 gram Delta-8 THC hemp flower pre-roll is made with high-quality CBD flower rich in terpenes and other phytocannabinoids and rolled in premium D-8 THC oil. When it comes to pre-rolls, these are the best you can find around.
Topicals are an essential product for people dealing with chronic back pain or knee pain because they provide targeted relief. By permeating the body’s deep tissue, the cannabinoid aims to bind with cannabinoid receptors in the muscles and joints.
These products come in various forms, including creams, gels, and salves, serving the purpose of delivering this cannabinoid to the affected area and soothing the painful spot.
Delta 8-THC for Pain: What We Know So Far
Like every cannabinoid, Delta-8 THC also binds to cannabinoid receptors found in the body. The role of the receptors is to balance out the functions of individual bodily systems—each cannabinoid group in its own distinctive way. Like other forms of THC, D-8 binds primarily with CB1 receptors located throughout the brain and nervous system.
The CB1 receptor is strategically located in nervous system regions that control pain signaling. This receptor group plays a significant role in learning and memory, appetite, energy metabolism, and especially pain regulation. The ability of D-8 to bind to this receptor offers a uniquely potent effect on pain.
Studies show that D-8 offers analgesic properties and may desensitize the nervous system to pain and increase pain tolerance. Cannabinoid receptors play a significant role in regulating the sensitivity of pain receptors, so we can feel pain in a less acute way.
Research shows that Delta-8 may be anti-inflammatory, which means it can regulate the body’s inflammatory response and reduce pain and other symptoms associated with inflammation.
The idea of using THC for pain is not a new one. Medicinal cannabis was added to the US Pharmacopeia in 1850 and was used to treat pain, among other things.
The Dіffеrеnсеѕ Bеtwееn Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC
The main thing you need to know about these compounds is that chemically, they are sister molecules or isomers. This means that they have a similar molecular structure, with the only difference being the placement of their double bond. In Delta-9, the double bond is located on the ninth carbon on the chain, while in Delta-8 on the eighth carbon.
We know that as cannabis’ main compound, Delta-9 THC starts to age, the double bond moves to the eight carbon creating Delta-8 THC. This molecule is a degraded form of Delta-9 THC because it’s made as this compound ages. Yes, they are both naturally present in cannabis but in vastly different percentages.
The main differences between the two? In the words of Dr. Peter Grinspoon from Harvard Medical School, “Delta-8-THC is an intoxicating cannabinoid, but it has only a fraction of the high that THC causes — and much less of the accompanying anxiety and paranoia. It can alleviate many of the same symptoms that cannabis can, making it a potentially attractive medicine for people who want little to do with the high of cannabis.”
Because it’s mildly intoxicating, D-8 THC is an excellent option for anyone struggling with sleep and relaxation. This compound has the ability to calm the person down and reduce anxiety.
How is Delta-8 THC Different from CBD?
The main thing that stands out is that CBD is non-intoxicating and doesn’t produce euphoric effects. Delta-8 is a tetrahydrocannabinol and as such possesses psychotropic properties that get the user “high.”
But, like D-8, CBD has been reported to help with sleep, appetite stimulation, anxiety, pain relief, stress relief, etc. Delta-8 is the middle ground between CBD and Delta-9 because it’s more potent than CBD and less potent than Delta-9 THC.
How to Get the Most Out of Delta-8 THC
Before you take Delta-8 for pain relief, speak with your doctor. This is important because your doctor understands the unique nature of your pain condition and can guide you to finding proper relief.
For best results, you should take D-8 daily. Choose a product that reflects the severity of your situation and can be dosed in milligrams, like CBD. Daily use allows the product to accumulate in your endocannabinoid system and be used more effectively over time. The best approach is to start low in the beginning and increase the dose gradually.
Dosage Chart – How to Dose Delta-8 THC for Pain
- Minor pain (low tolerance): 5mg-15mg per use. This is a starter dose for people who haven’t used this cannabinoid and haven’t developed tolerance to it. It’s also the perfect dose for people who experience minor pain.
- Intermediate pain (medium tolerance): 15mg-50mg per use. If you’re experiencing intermediate pain, but haven’t used D-8, it’s wise to start with the lowest dose of 5mg. Because that may be too low of a dose for the pain you’re experiencing, start low and build your way up to 50mg per use.
- High pain level (high tolerance): 50mg-100mg per use. If you’re experiencing a high level of pain but just starting with D-8, start with the lowest dose of 5mg and gradually increase. Please don’t rush into a high dose if you’re a beginner because this compound is intoxicating and will get you stoned if you push it. But if you’re experiencing severe pain, a high dose may be necessary to reap its benefits.
Delta-8 Side Effects
Is D-8 THC safe to use for pain? The answer is yes. This is a pressing question considering most products are sold by hemp retailers and don’t undergo the regular “cannabis” quality checks. So, the danger comes from using untested, low-quality D-8 products. To avoid it, always buy from an established brand that’s in it for the long run and tests every single item displayed, like Crazy8s.
Another thing is that research on this cannabinoid is scarce. So, if you plan on taking it for pain while using other pain medication, make sure you consult your doctor to avoid potential drug interactions.
These two animal studies showed potential cardiovascular side-effects of this compound:
- Slowed heart rate in animals, increased heart rate in humans – A 2018 systematic review revealed that D-8 THC significantly slowed heart rate in animals. It also had a completely opposite reaction in humans, where it increased the heart rate.
- Increased blood pressure – Another animal study found that Delta-8 THC increased blood pressure. After its initial effects, the researchers noticed a drop in blood pressure and a slower heart rate.
These studies show that a compound can have drastically opposite effects when tested on humans and animals. Anecdotal evidence shows that top-shelf, pure D-8 THC products don’t cause significant side effects. If the user experiences side-effects from D-8 use, they report feeling:
- Mild anxiety
- Increased or slowed heart rate
- Low blood pressure
Delta-8 THC is a unique hemp cannabinoid with pain-relieving properties expressed through its affinity for the cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system. At Crazy8s, we’re in it for the long run. We specialize in D-8 extracts and concentrates and offer safe, tested, and genuine items.
If you’re interested in using D-8 THC for pain, have a heart-to-heart conversation with your physician and make a plan. Consider the various types of Delta-8 products available to find the product type that best suits your needs.
According to the National Cancer Institute, yes, D-8 THC does have potential pain-relieving properties.
It depends on the dose and your tolerance to cannabis. If you’re a new user, then, yes, you will definitely feel a mild, “clear-headed” high.
Hemp-derived D-8 is a naturally occurring cannabinoid legal under the 2018 Farm Bill.
For best results, it’s recommended to take it daily. Be careful with the doses, though, as high doses can be sedating.
Depending on the type of product you’re consuming it. Delta-8 pre-rolls, flower, vapes, etc., are safe to smoke as long as they’ve been tested and come from a reliable supplier.