February 02, 2023

Can you take Delta-8 and Delta-9 together?

Between 2020 and 2021, Google searches for “Delta-8” grew by more than 850%! Many factors drive the increasing popularity of novel cannabis compounds like Delta-8. On the top of that list is legality – Delta-8 is a legal cannabinoid thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. As a result, a recent survey showed that roughly 16 percent of regular cannabis users prefer Delta-8.

But what is Delta-8, and why are so many users turning to it? Even though Delta-9 (Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) may still be the most popular cannabinoid, it is a position that’s certainly under real threat. 

The emergence of THC compounds considered “safer” than ∆9-THC is no doubt welcome news to many cannabis users, but moving on can be difficult for people who’ve always enjoyed good old Delta-9. That’s why the notion of combining cannabinoids is an appealing alternative. 

Mixing herbal extracts is an age-old practice with known benefits. When it comes to cannabis, combining compounds is thought to be beneficial thanks to the “entourage effect.” So, yes, you can take Delta-8 and Delta-9 together for a better experience. But there’s more you should know.

Key takeaways 

  • Delta-8 and Delta-9 are psychoactive cannabinoids with a wide array of potential health benefits.
  • Due to its more “toned down” effects, Delta-8 is popularly known as Delta-9’s “nicer” sibling!
  • The practice of combining cannabinoids leverages the “Entourage Effect” theory. It hypothesizes that cannabinoids work better together than alone.
  • You can mix Delta-8 and Delta-9, but there are important factors to consider, e.g., tolerance, metabolism, potency, and consumption method.

What Is Delta-8?

Delta-8-THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid derived from hemp (and cannabis). Popularly regarded as Delta-9’s “nicer” sibling, it naturally exists in extremely low quantities, which makes commercial extraction infeasible.

So, synthesizing it from CBD is a less cost-prohibitive method to get sufficient amounts of Delta-8 for commercialization. Delta-8 and Delta-9 are near-identical structurally apart from the position of a double bond in their cyclic carbon chains. 

Because their chemical structures are near-identical, Delta-8 and Delta-9 produce almost similar physical and mental effects. That’s because they bind to similar protein receptors in the body identified as CB1 and CB2. 

However, they do so differently, with Delta-8 seemingly bindingly less firmly than Delta-9. This explains why its effects are not as intense as those of Delta-9. As a result, Delta-8 is becoming a preferred choice for many due to its milder effects and legal status.

After the passing to law the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp was legalized. The only condition was that its ∆9-THC concentration levels did not exceed 0.3 percent by dry weight. Since the language of this bill does not touch on Delta-8, its concentration in hemp products is not regulated. 

This effectively means getting hemp products with high enough Delta-8 concentration to induce a “high” is possible. And, for users after a “high,” Delta-8 is an enticing legal alternative because you get the “high” minus the paranoia and anxiety.

What Is Delta-9?

Delta-9 (∆9-THC) is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis. When people talk about cannabis strains with high THC levels, they usually refer to ∆9-THC. 

Delta is most abundant in landrace Sativa strains, usually in the 15-20% range. Hemp, as per the 2018 Farm Bill provisions, should not have more than 0.3% THC levels. So, ‘industrial hemp’ is selectively bred to ensure low THC and higher CBD levels.

Extensive research on other non-psychoactive cannabinoids, like THCV, CBG, CBC, etc., has highlighted their potential therapeutic benefits. Therefore, growers typically invest in developing strains rich in these non-psychoactive cannabinoids.

Delta-9 interacts strongly with cannabinoid receptors, hence its characteristic intense effects. As an agonist at the CB1 and CB2 receptors, ∆9-THC produces a broad array of pharmacological effects. As a result, it’s a potential therapeutic agent in managing chronic pain, reducing stress and anxiety, and treating insomnia, among others.

But its intense effects are among the reasons cannabis connoisseurs continue exploring ways to make Delta-9 more palatable. Due to their differing binding affinities to receptors, mixing cannabinoids is a nouveau cannabis practice rapidly gaining traction among users.

However, is the practice really beneficial?

Why Combine Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC

Cannabis has been used for many years to treat a wide variety of illnesses and health problems. There’s little doubt that ∆9-THC, as the main ingredient in cannabis, is responsible for many of these therapeutic effects. 

Even though researchers have done a great job trying to figure out the different effects of cannabinoids, their work is far from over. So, mixing cannabinoids may be a great idea for anyone trying to harness the complete range of benefits of cannabinoids.

Here are some areas where combining cannabinoids might be hugely beneficial.

Pain Management

The use of cannabis as a pain reliever is nothing new. Ancient Chinese texts, some dating to 2900 BC, show that cannabis was widely recommended for treating various health conditions, including rheumatic pain. Now, research reveals that Delta-9 plays a prominent role in this function, and we even know a thing or two about how it does so.

Delta-8 and 9 bind to CB1 receptors, mainly in the central nervous system and the brain. Incidentally, these receptors abound in regions in the brain involved in pain processing and the affective aspects of pain.

The effects of cannabinoids usually depend on the location of the activated receptor. For example, in the amygdala and thalamus, activated CB1 receptors can alter pain perception or cause hallucinations. Whether the effect is positive or negative is dose-dependent – higher doses tend to cause negative side effects. 

Most users claim that Delta-8 gives similar effects to Delta-9 without the negative effects. This is why they consider it a “nicer” Delta-9. Some publications contend that mixing these two cannabinoids might help neutralize the unwanted side effects of Delta-9. 

Entourage Effects

Another reason users swear by the effectiveness of full-spectrum cannabinoids comes down to the “entourage effect.” Though this phenomenon is still considered “hypothetical,” there is a growing belief that cannabis compounds work better together than alone.

For example, CBD synergizes quite well with THC because it excites different receptors. It binds partially to the CB2 receptor but exhibits little affinity for the CB1 receptor. 

As a result, CBD produces markedly different pharmacological effects from THC. That’s because the CB2 receptor is predominantly found in the peripheral nervous system. Here, their work mainly revolves around mediating immune system functions and anti-inflammatory responses.

A drug marketed under the brand name Sativex is made from CBD and THC. It is a botanical medication approved in the UK and the US for treating pain in conditions like neuropathy and muscle spasticity.

Besides mitigating the negative effects of THC, it is not clear how CBD and THC combine to produce a better overall outcome. Indeed, the pharmacology of cannabinoid action on receptors is complex, so more research is undoubtedly needed to elucidate such matters.

We cannot talk about the “entourage effect” without mentioning the class of cannabis compounds called terpenes. A recent paper published in Scientific Reports suggested that some terpenes could be able to mimic cannabinoid activity. These compounds are thought to enhance the effectiveness of cannabinoids and contribute to an overall positive experience.

Though they naturally exist in extra small amounts, their contribution to the “entourage effect” cannot be downplayed. 

Is Mixing Delta-8 and Delta-9 Safe?

So far, there’s no evidence that mixing Delta-8 and Delta-9 is unsafe. So the risks involved are those that may accompany the use of each cannabinoid. For example, though rare, Delta-9 is sometimes accused of causing:

  • Increased heart rate/blood pressure
  • Poor coordination
  • Dry mouth
  • Anxiety
  • Memory loss (short-term)
  • Thirstiness
  • Red eyes

Delta-8 has no known side effects, but this does not mean it doesn’t have its downsides. It simply means they haven’t been identified. 

Obviously, a key consideration is that these two cannabinoids exert very similar effects. So taking an equal dose of each might lead to stronger effects than normally experienced when only one is used. It is like overdosing, and as we always advise, more is not always better with cannabinoids.

Delta-8 vs. Delta-9 Effects

Delta-8 and Delta-9 essentially have the same pharmacotherapeutic effects. However, it is argued that since Delta-8 binds to the CB2 receptor, it contributes to significant bodily effects. This notwithstanding, if you take both “Deltas,” the effects of Delta-9 are likely to overshadow Delta-8’s because the former is more potent.

And since the adverse effects of Delta-8 are not well-established, Delta-9 will probably take the blame for any untoward experience. 

But if taken in recommended doses, the potential health benefits could include the following:

  • Pain relief
  • Relaxation
  • Anxiety reduction
  • Improved sleep quality

Remember that a major reason for Delta-8’s soaring popularity is its lack of adverse side effects. So, with it, you can derive the same benefits as you would from Delta-9 without the unwanted side effects.

Delta-8 vs. Delta-9 Potency

No contest – Delta-9 is the more potent of the two cannabinoids. The consensus is that Delta-9 is twice as powerful as Delta-8. It’s unclear whether the differing position of the fourth double bond in their respective cyclic carbon chain is responsible. 

So, if you’re thinking about mixing these THC variants, it’s advisable to work with potency levels you can handle. The ratios in which you combine them also matter. For example, if you’re going for deeper relaxation, you could have more Delta-8 than Delta-9. If you’re dealing with pain, equal ratios might be more helpful. 

Things to consider before taking Delta-8 and Delta-9 together 

For an awesome overall experience, there are factors you should keep in mind. In general, cannabinoids affect people differently, so pay particular attention to the following:

Consumption Method

How you consume cannabinoids dictates how they affect you. The different consumption methods also determine how fast the effects kick in and how long they last. 

Inhales kick in faster, but the effects wear out sooner. However, it may take longer to feel the effects of cannabinoids with edibles, but you’ll like it when they eventually kick in. They will last much longer (even up to 12 hours!) and be more impactful on your health problem. 

Dosage Amount

This goes without saying, doesn’t it? THC’s half-life is roughly 14-38 hours. Therefore, the more you consume, the longer it will take to be completely eliminated from your system. So, as long as some THC metabolites are still in your system, you will feel its effects.

Remember – you don’t have to take higher doses of cannabinoids to harvest their health benefits. 

Metabolism

Our bodies function differently, and perhaps nowhere is this truer than in metabolism. How fast your body processes Delta-8 or Delta-9 depends on your metabolic rate. Delta-8 is less potent than Delta-9, so it may be metabolized much faster than Delta-9.

Also, edibles take longer to be broken down by the digestive system compared to inhales and sublinguals. 

Tolerance

How well your body tolerates THC also determines how the cannabinoid will affect it. People with low tolerance typically need lower doses than those with a higher tolerance. Newbies are also advised to consume THC in small quantities to avoid potential adverse effects.

Where to buy quality Delta-9 edibles online 

Are you excited about trying a natural method to address a disturbing health problem? Well, it may be time you tried cannabinoids. Their therapeutic potential is the subject of many research inquiries, and so far, it’s looking good. They hold so much promise!

That said, Dragon Hemp develops a range of natural products made with hemp-derived cannabinoids worth considering. Just click on this link and check them out; we are certain there’s something for everyone!

So, if you’re looking for the perfect way to end your workday, these ∆9-THC Chill Gummies are the real deal. With up to 5 mg of Delta-9-THC and a super-concentrated blend of natural cannabinoids like CBD, CBDV, CBC, and CBG, these edibles are designed to help you chill out or elevate your mood depending on the occasion. Throw in the terpenes, and you have the perfect ensemble for a true-to-form cannabis experience!

Delta-9 is legal across many states, but it still helps to research and learn the laws that govern its use in your state. For people from Florida, Georgia, and Wisconsin, we’ve done this for you already!

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