OCT 18, 2021 10:00 AM PDT

Emerging Research on Delta 8 THC

WRITTEN BY: Kerry Charron

Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol is a cannabinoid derived from the hemp plant. It is one of the more prominent compounds, but it only accounts for 1% of the total of all cannabinoids. Delta 8 offers many potential health benefits, and has a less powerful psychoactive effect than Delta 9 THC. Current research on Delta 8’s benefits and risks is limited, but key findings suggest that Delta 8 may be effective in treating various conditions including nausea, anxiety, inflammation, and pain. The National Cancer Institute’s definition of Delta 8 reflects the medical field’s belief that Delta 8 has anti-emetic, anxiolytic, and analgesic uses. 

Delta 8 may have properties that support efficient gastrointestinal processes. One seminal study published in 1995 that found Delta 8 diminished nausea in pediatric cancer patients. A 2004 study discovered low doses of delta 8-THC stimulated appetite and improved cognitive function in rats. Researchers also documented that the rats’ neurotransmitter levels increased with use of Delta 8, suggesting Delta 8 may be useful in treating weight-related and eating disorders.

Delta 8 can also be used to treat addiction behaviors as one study highlighted Delta 8’s potent anti-nicotine effects in rats. In this 2019 study, Delta 8 significantly lessened nicotine withdrawal. Based on positive indicators in this rodent model, Delta 8 has potential anti-addiction efficacy with a broader range of addictive substances with specific attention to Delta 8 alters neurotransmitter levels involved in managing substance use behavior.  

Other studies have pointed to Delta 8’s capability to manage discomfort and inflammation. Dalhousie University researchers found that topical application of Delta 8 decreased corneal pain and inflammation in mice. Future research on Delta 8 in pain management therapy may reveal the most effective modes of Delta 8 consumption different types of pain.

The confusion and curiosity about Delta 8’s potential benefits and risks highlight the urgent need for further scientific cannabinoid research. The few research studies discussed in this article serve as a strong base for developing a more robust research agenda on Delta 8’s potential for alleviating nausea, appetite loss, pain, and inflammation.


Sources: AP NEWSDiscover, Life Sciences, Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior

About the Author
Bachelor's (BA/BS/Other)
Kerry Charron writes about medical cannabis research. She has experience working in a Florida cultivation center and has participated in advocacy efforts for medical cannabis.
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