The Farm Bill of 2018 (and the subsequent legalization of recreational marijuana in several states) has given rise to constant innovation within the burgeoning legal cannabis industry. Cannabinoids like CBD have grown into a multi-billion dollar market in themselves, while research into cannabis terpenes has invigorated several markets with new products including the fragrances, hygiene and beauty industries.
One of the most noteworthy trends in the legal cannabis space is the popularization of synthetic cannabinoids like delta-8 THC. Growers and DIYers alike are taking delta-8 a step further, and creating delta-8 THC flowers that can be smoked, vaped or processed into concentrates. In this post, we go over what delta-8 flowers are, the benefits of delta-8, and important considerations to make before vaping them.
Setting The Record Straight On Delta-8 THC Flower
You can buy delta-8 THC in many forms, including isolates and broad-spectrum formulations. But it's worth noting that delta-8 THC flowers do not occur naturally, and must instead be made by refining CBD. After delta-8 distillate is produced, it is then infused onto hemp flower via a process of dusting or spraying over its buds.
Benefits of Delta-8 THC
Delta-8 THC is a homologue of THC, differing from it only by the substitution of a hydrogen atom for a carbon atom in its chemical structure. Delta-8 THC is typically produced from quality hemp flowers via a process of solvent extraction followed by a refinement step, wherein an acid is used to essentially "convert" CBD to delta-8 THC.
Delta-8 THC doesn't produce a so-called "high" nor does it possess any sedative properties; instead it has been shown to reduce the severity of symptoms of health conditions characterized by acute and/or chronic pain and inflammation. This suggests potential utility in convalescent individuals and others diagnosed with chronic inflammatory systemic diseases (CIDs) like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis or lupus erythematosus.
Studies have also shown that delta-8 THC functions as an appetite stimulant, which makes it a viable course of natural treatment from patients undergoing chemotherapy. Its observed anti-tumoral activity over multiple laboratority tests makes it doubly promising as an addon therapeutic for conventional treatments in cancer patients.
Everything to Know About Vaping It
Delta-8 THC flowers (i.e. CBD hemp flower misted, frosted or sprayed with delta-8 distillate) can be vaped with the use of a dry herb vaporizer. As of this writing, vaping delta-8 in the form of a concentrate or distillate within a pod or cartridge is seen as a far more straightforward process, but for those looking for a more authentic cannabis experience, dry vaping delta-8 flower is still a better alternative to smoking it. The reasons for this include:
Maximizing Therapeutic Potential of cannabis compounds — whether it be cannabinoids like delta-8 and CBD, or terpenes like myrcene and linalool — is much easier when vaping because the plant matter is heated to significantly lower temperatures when compared to combustion. This substantially lowers the risk of any cannabis compounds being destroyed or degraded as they are in the burning process associated with smoking.
User Experience relates to the scent, taste and therapeutic potential of different cannabis strains and, in this case, delta-8 THC flower during consumption. Because of the controlled heat levels involved in vaporization, terpenes within the cannabis flower or mixed into the dry herb vaporizer remain intact and enhance the flavor and aroma experience throughout the process of vaping. This also preserves the ability of cannabinoids and terpenes to work together via a series of synergistic interactions known as the Entourage Effect.
Long-term Lung Health is another factor to consider, as vaping is increasingly established to be a safer alternative to smoking. The combustion process involved in smoking tobacco or cannabis is known to produce carcinogens, which can irritate the throat and lungs in the short term, and cause cancer or cardiovascular disease in the long run. Damage over time to lung tissue also lowers overall oxygen intake, and eventually becomes prohibitive to strenuous or even mild physical activity.
Conversely, while vaping is not 100 percent risk free, proper usage of quality products that comply with existing FDA regulations is seen as much safer than smoking.