As countries in North America and the world continue to legalize cannabis products, people (and scientists) have begun to pay more attention to the plant's unknown qualities. Most notably, the discovery that different cannabis compounds can treat anxiety and sleep problems has caused a major buzz in the health and wellness industry.
One of the cannabinoids that have attracted a lot of attention in the recent past is Delta-8 THC. The compound has been particularly popular among athletes and fitness enthusiasts, with some even touting it as the best form of THC.
If you've been wondering what the fuss about Delta-8 THC is about, the following sections have the full lowdown:
What is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 THC is basically the less common form of THC (the other being Delta-9 THC, which is present in relatively larger quantities in all cannabis plants). Due to its relative scarcity, Delta-8 has until recently been largely ignored by cannabis enthusiasts.
The turning point came when a few friends experimented with the compound and discovered that like Delta-9, it triggers relaxation of the body and mind. However, the high from Delta-8 is smoother and comes without some of the negative effects of Delta-9.
How Delta-8 THC Differs from Delta-9 THC
Delta-9 is mostly found in actual cannabis plants and produces most of the known psychotropic effects of the plant. Its high potency and relaxing effects make it a hit among many cannabis enthusiasts, although most don't like the hunger and paranoia it causes.
On its part, Delta-8 is mostly extracted from hemp-derived CBD and is also a psychotropic compound.
The main difference between the two compounds is in their molecular composition. In Delta-8, the double bond is on the 8th carbon (hence the name), while in Delta-9, the double bond is on the 9th carbon.
In simple terms, the placement of the double bond in a psychotropic substance defines how your endocannabinoid system responds to the said substance. Hence, Delta-8 is known to have a lesser effect on the brain than Delta-9. So, while both give focus and relaxing effects, Delta-8 does so without triggering brain fogginess, paranoia, or impairment. And while this may not go on well with recreational users, fitness enthusiasts may appreciate the high level of functionality it offers.
Working Out with Delta-8 THC
Focus and concentration are vital when working out and some fitness enthusiasts have been using CBD oil and other topical treatments to keep their brains clear when at the gym.
With it being evident that Delta-8 THC is as "clean" as a cannabinoid can be, there are questions around its suitability as a training aid. And yes, you can actually increase your performance when working out with Delta-8. For one, it gives you improved mental clarity which helps you power through intense exercises. Its relaxing effects can also help you unwind and recover after a workout.
Things to Keep in Mind When Using Delta-8
If you indeed plan on incorporating Delta-8 into your exercise plan, there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind:
- It is a form of THC, which is still illegal in most states while some states put restrictions on the amount you can possess at any time.
- Even in countries and states where THC is legal, it could still be categorized as a performance-enhancing substance so you need to be cautious if you participate in competitive fitness sports.
- Yes, Delta-8 THC is said to give a milder high, but it is strongly recommended that you first use it during your rest day to see how it impacts you personally. Trying it on a gym day could affect the whole workout if there are any unforeseen reactions.
- Last but not least, it is important to always remember that Delta-8 is quite rare and will therefore cost you more than regular THC or CBD oils.
As the cannabis industry continues to receive more research and investments, Delta-8 will undoubtedly become more common, and popular. And this will be for the better. Its performance-enhancing qualities and focusing effects can be very useful to both athletes and ordinary people, whether taken before or after training.