Delta-8 THC research summaries and links
Delta-8 THC Research

What is delta-8 THC? Delta-8 is a rare form of THC. It has the same chemical formula as common delta-9 THC, but the atoms bond differently.

Is delta-8 natural? Yes! Nature makes delta-8 from sunlight and delta-9 THC. Sunlight weakens delta-9’s atomic bonds… and with enough exposure, the molecule relaxes into the delta-8 formation.

What are effects of delta-8 THC? Research suggests that delta-8 on its own isn’t psychoactive. The compound seems to support immunity, prevent nausea and stimulate appetite.

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Delta-8 THC Research

Peer-reviewed studies of delta-8 THC and pain, cancer, memory & more


Delta-8 THC molecule sketch


Delta-8 THC Fights Pain

Cannabis Cannabinoid Research. February 2018. The Cannabinoids Δ8THC, CBD, and HU-308 Act via Distinct Receptors to Reduce Corneal Pain and Inflammation.

Scratched corneas tend to be very painful. This study with mice reports that topical delta-8 THC reduced their pain sensitivity and inflammation.

A contributor to the study is Panag Pharma, a Canadian biotech company focused on new approaches to pain management.

Delta-8 THC Stimulates Appetite

Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior. 2004 April. “Very low doses of delta 8-THC increase food consumption and alter neurotransmitter levels following weight loss.”

This study from Hebrew University reports that microdoses of delta-8-THC seemed to encourage appetite in mice.

Over nine days the delta-8 rodents’ daily food consumption increased 16 percent. Over 50 days it increased by 22 percent.

The researchers studied delta-9 too. Delta-8 was the more effective appetite stimulant.

Delta-8 THC Fights Cancer

Journal of the National Cancer Institute. September 1975. “Antineoplastic Activity of Cannabinoids.”

A classic and suppressed research story! With sponsorship of the US government in the 1970s, researchers studied cannabinoids in mice and Petri dishes. The government expected to find that cannabinoids were harmful. Overall it was a study of immunity. The researchers included mice with cancerous lung tumors and leukemia.

In the delta-8 THC treatment group, male and female mice ate 50 to 400 mg of THC per pound of body weight. At 12 days all doses were associated with inhibited tumor growth of 40 to 60 percent! Immunity improved, plus the mice lived an estimated 36 percent longer than if they hadn’t been treated.

Mice in the delta-9 group also had improved immunity against cancer, but they seemed more confused in a maze… so further delta-8 THC research seemed most promising.

President Ford soon restricted public research about THC. Today most delta-8 THC research is done outside the US.

Delta-8 THC Helps Protect Memory

Many researchers have reported that delta-8 seems to improve memory and other cognitive functions in mice. It seems to help boost acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that supports learning and memory. Low levels of this neurotransmitter are associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia.

One source reporting this correlation is the US government study mentioned above. Another study is from Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School.

Delta-8 THC Prevents Nausea

Life Sciences. May 1995. “An efficient new cannabinoid antiemetic in pediatric oncology.”

This study comes from an Israeli hospital. Eight children with leukemia were undergoing chemotherapy, and the treatment was making them vomit. Doctors gave the children delta-8 oil to prevent nausea. The youngest child was age three and the eldest was 13.

Researchers found that edible delta-8 THC oil correlated with a complete absence of vomiting from chemotherapy; it seemed to prevent sickness. Also, high doses of delta-8 did not seem psychoactive.

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