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Delta 8 for Pain Management

Delta 8 for Pain Management

Published by BigCommerce on Apr 01, 2021

Anyone out there who has been following news surrounding the hemp industry as of late, has surely come across delta 8 THC by now, with its rapidly growing popularity and sudden availability in virtually all places in which cannabidiol (CBD) is sold. Delta 8 THC is short for delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, and it is a minor cannabinoid in the hemp plant. While CBD can make up as much as 25% of the hemp plant’s chemical composition, there is only about 0.1% delta 8 that naturally occurs in the plant material.

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Delta 8 is the newest cannabinoid to add to the value of the hemp plant, recently isolated so that we can offer it in concentrated forms for more advanced effects associated with the compound. So, what can delta 8 be used for? Well, as it turns out, lots of things. Although delta 8 is very new to the scene, there have been some studies emerging recently that have indicated that like all cannabinoids, delta 8 offers specific properties to the body that can be extremely useful. One of those specifically is its potential effects on pain, based on the properties that have been researched since the compound was first isolated.

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What is Delta 8 THC, and How is it Unique from CBD?

Before we get into using delta 8 THC for pain relief, it’s important to understand exactly what delta 8 is, and what makes it stand out from other compounds of the hemp plant.

Delta 8 THC, as it turns out, is the natural result of aged delta 9 THC. When the delta 9 compound ages in the plant material, it’s converted into delta 8 THC, which is why the compounds share some similarities. The most notable similarity is delta8’s mildly intoxicating effects, which produce a high fairly similar to that of delta-9, only in a gentler way that is less consciousness-altering.

Delta 8 THC for Pain: What We Know So Far

Because delta 8 is a cannabinoid, its objective is to bind to cannabinoid receptors found throughout the body, which have the roles of balancing the functions of individual bodily systems. Each cannabinoid in the hemp plant binds with cannabinoid receptors in its own distinctive way to offer specific properties. Delta-8 is unique in that it binds primarily with CB1 receptors located throughout the nervous system, binding with them twice in a way that can increase the regulatory properties for which cannabinoids are known.

Because delta 8 binds to CB1 receptors in the nervous system, it has the potential to offer uniquely potent effects on pain. The nervous system consists of a series of pain receptors that are attached to the body’s nerve endings, which register pain and send signals to the brain to let it know that it has been injured. Cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system are largely responsible for regulating the sensitivity of these pain receptors, so that we can feel pain in a less acute way.

As we said, delta 8 is still being studied for its effects on the body, and since it’s incredibly new to the scene, there just aren’t as many studies out there as there are pertaining to CBD. However, there are few studies that we already see look quite promising.

Basically, multiple studies have suggested that delta 8 offers analgesic properties, meaning that it may be able to desensitize the nervous system to pain, thus acting as a way for increasing pain tolerance.

Adding to that, research is showing that delta 8 may also offer anti-inflammatory effects which can regulate the body’s inflammatory response, reducing pain, swelling and other symptoms associated with inflammation.

Types of Delta 8 THC to Try for Pain Relief

If you wish to use delta 8 for pain relief, it’s important to know the different delivery methods and how they can each affect pain levels. The studies cited above show that delta 8 can work in this manner when taken orally, but other methods exist that as well may be equally promising.

  • Delta 8 Inhalable Products: Inhalable products like delta 8 flower and vape cartridges allow us to inhale this compound into the lungs. This delivery method promotes very fast-acting effects which are often felt within minutes. The effects are particularly potent as well due to the nature of lung absorption. Effects are also short-lived, usually lasting for around an hour, but this type of delivery method is a good option for someone looking for fast and potent relief.
  • Delta 8 Tinctures: Taken sublingually, which means below the tongue. They come in bottles with dropper caps that make it easy to portion out each dose and administer it to the sublingual tissue. Tinctures can take 30 minutes to an hour to become effective and promote effects that last for up to 6 or so hours. Being available in an array of milligram strengths gives pain sufferers more control over their potency levels.
  • Delta 8 Edibles and Capsules: Work almost in the same manner, in which the delta 8 compound is processed through the body’s digestive system before getting released into the bloodstream. Many pain sufferers prefer edibles and capsules because of the long-lasting effects that they provide. This delivery method is the longest-lasting of all, with effects typically lasting for 8 hours, and sometimes more. The effects can take 1 to 2 hours to kick in, but many will tell you that the wait is well worth it.
  • Delta 8 Topicals: Not as widely available on the market as the other delivery methods listed above, but with the new research showing potential pain-relieving effects, we expect to see more topicals produced in the near future. We know that cannabinoids efficiently absorb through the skin and permeate the deep tissue of the body in order to bind with cannabinoid receptors in the muscles and joints. Delta 8, in theory, is no different. Topicals come in various forms, such as creams, gels and salves, and all serve the same purpose of delivering delta 8 directly to the affected area for targeted relief.

Quick Tips for Getting as Much Out of Delta 8 THC as Possible

If you want to use delta 8 for pain relief, speak with your doctor first, who understands the unique nature of your pain condition, and appreciates your particular needs. It is also wise to buy a delta-8 product with a milligram strength that reflects the severity of your situation, as delta8 varies in milligram strengths just like CBD.

For the best results, it is recommended that you take delta 8 on a daily basis. Like CBD, delta 8 accumulates in the body’s endocannabinoid system to be utilized more effectively and efficiently over time. If you’re a delta-8 beginner, best to start with a small dose in the beginning to get used to the unique psychoactive effects of this compound.

A Potentially New Holistic Approach to Pain Relief Has Arrived!

Delta 8 THC is a unique cannabinoid in hemp that shares a lot of properties with CBD but has a unique means for potentially providing pain relief through its affinity for receptors in the nervous system. Like cannabidiol, delta 8 can be found in many delivery methods that can each produce the desired results in their own way.

If you’re interested in addressing pain with delta 8, again, as we cannot stress this enough, you should have a conversation with your doctor, and then consider the various types of delta-8 products that are available in order to find the product type that suits your specific needs.