February 01, 2023

Is Delta 9 Good for Pain?

So much has been said about the medicinal properties of cannabis. From our great-great grandparents' times, this herb has been a critical ingredient in decoctions used to treat various illnesses. From treating depression to inflammation to loss of appetite and arthritis, the actual medicinal potential of cannabis remains unknown.

That said, a good deal of research has been carried out on cannabis. There is a need to understand the science behind its extensive range of effects on people. So far, we know that different compounds are responsible for these effects.

The most known cannabis compound is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (∆9-THC). As the most abundant chemical in cannabis, it is believed to instigate most of cannabis' psychological and physical effects. 

Our attention, therefore, focuses on this unique cannabinoid. What is it? And, can it help reduce pain? Plus, given its checkered history, is it legal? What is its safety profile? These are some of the questions we address in this article.

Key takeaways

  • Delta 9 is the primary psychotropic ingredient in cannabis.
  • It exerts its therapeutic effects via cannabinoid and non-cannabinoid receptor pathways.
  • Widely used for its recreational effects, ∆9-THC is increasingly finding application in mainstream medicine in areas like pain relief.
  • Its safety depends largely on use – lower doses are more beneficial.
  • Hemp-derived ∆9-THC is federally legal. 

What is Delta 9 THC?

Delta-9-THC is a cannabinoid – one of the three main classes of naturally occurring cannabis compounds. Others are terpenes and flavonoids. 

It is the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, widely responsible for the famed "high." Although there are other forms of THC, Delta 9 is what people typically have in mind when talking about THC. 

Besides its psychoactive properties, this cannabinoid also possesses a handful of health benefits. It exerts these effects via cannabinoid (CB) receptors in the body. The two most common CB receptors within the mammalian endocannabinoid system are CB1 and CB2. 

Delta 9 displays an affinity for both receptors hence its broad range of pharmacological effects. For example, its binding activity to the CB1 receptor is the reason it induces a "high" and increases appetite ("the munchies"). 

Beyond the ECS, ∆9-THC targets the GPRs, TRP channels, PPARγ, GlyRs, mu, and opioid receptors. Delta 9 displays varying functionalities at these molecular targets, i.e., agonist, antagonist, allosteric modulator, and inhibitor.

What is Delta 9 typically used for?

Delta is hugely popular for its recreational effects, i.e., relaxation, sedation, and euphoria. However, it has also become a go-to remedy for stimulating appetite, enhancing sleep, and alleviating pain.

With emerging research findings now supporting these uses, the therapeutic relevance of ∆9-THC appears to be on the rise. Certainly exciting times ahead!

Does Delta 9 help with pain? 

Well, since time immemorial, cannabis has been used as a pain reliever. But newer studies are proving that Delta 9 may have been playing a central role in enhancing the pain-relieving effects of cannabis.

For example, a 2009 study investigated the effects of ∆9-THC in patients with chronic central neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia. It found that Delta 9 treatment (7.5 mg for 7 months) significantly reduced pain. 

But another beneficial effect of Delta 9 was the change in patients' mood that corresponded with pain reduction. This was attributed to the activation of CB1 receptors in the brain, especially in the amygdala and neocortex regions. 

These two regions regulate various cognitive functions, including memory, mood modulation, pain perception, and emotional processing. As a result, ∆9-THC therapy also improved the patient's overall quality of life.

In another experiment, rats with artificially-induced chronic pain were separately given CBD and Delta 9 to assess their efficacy in treating persistent inflammatory pain. The findings revealed that ∆9-THC alleviated pain-related behavior dose-dependently but did not ease edema. 

CBD demonstrated minimal effects on inflammatory pain but reduced the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. These results suggest that ∆9-THC may be more effective in decreasing inflammatory pain than CBD.

Obviously, these findings are exciting and highlight the potential use of ∆9-THC in managing chronic pain.

So, if you are looking for a perfect way to end a hectic workday, these ∆9-THC Chill Gummies by Dragon Hemp are an excellent choice. They contain ∆9-THC and a blend of natural cannabinoids like CBD, CBDV, CBC, CBG, and terpenes to deliver a super authentic cannabis experience. 

If you want a chilled-out experience, go with the mojito-flavored gummies. But if you want to elevate your mood with a euphoric buzz, the grapefruit-flavored types are the go-to.

Is Delta 8 or Delta 9 better for pain?

Delta 8 is a THC variant with properties similar to Delta 9. The only difference is the position of a double bond in their cyclic carbon chains. Probably reflective of their nomenclature, this bond is at the 8th carbon in Delta 8 and the 9th carbon in Delta 9. So, in effect, Delta 8 is a positional isomer of Delta 9.

Effects-wise, Delta 8 produces similar effects to Delta 9. However, they are not as intense as ∆9-THC's mainly because it does not bind strongly to CB receptors as Delta 9. Researchers contend that Delta 8's binding ability is three times weaker than Delta 9.

∆9-THC's higher potency explains side effects like paranoia, anxiety, elevated heart rates, and blood pressure. Coincidentally, Delta 8 provides a much more mellow high with none of Delta 9's side effects.

Moreover, Delta 8 binds more strongly to CB2 receptors, which are found mainly in immune cells. On its part, Delta 9 binds firmly to CB1 receptors, which predominate the central nervous system and the brain.

Pain processing and perception take place in the brain. Incidentally, this is where CB1 receptors are primarily found, so ∆9-THC may be better for pain.

How long do the effects of Delta 9 last?

The duration of the effects of Delta 9 depends on the method of administration, potency, and body characteristics.

The four methods of using Delta 9 are inhalation, oral, sublingual, and topical. Each has its inherent advantages and disadvantages on effect longevity. 

For example, inhalation offers the fastest response time of the four methods. The effects can be felt within 10-15 minutes and last up to 2 hours. 

The sublingual method is also ideal for persons who want rapid results. Like inhalation, the effects kick in within minutes (10-15 minutes) and can last 2-4 hours. In these two methods, the fast response time is attributed to the direct entry of the cannabinoid into the bloodstream. 

These methods are the most ideal for ∆9-THC aerosols, oils, and tinctures.

As for ∆9-THC edibles like gummies, capsules, pills, and homemades, they are typically eaten. This takes them through the digestive system, where the ∆9-THC is broken down in the small intestines and liver. 

This process takes time, so the effects take longer to be felt, usually 30 to 60 minutes. Most users claim to feel peak effects three hours after consumption. The residual effects can last 6 -12 hours. 

∆9-THC topicals are also becoming increasingly popular, especially in sports. These are absorbed into the lower tissues through the skin but seldom reach the bloodstream. For this reason, they are ideal for low-level pain and inflammation. The effects kick in within minutes and can last up to three hours.,

Does delta 9 show up on drug tests?

Yes, Delta 9 shows up on drug tests. However, this depends on a host of factors, such as the time of last use, the quantity taken, body characteristics, and test type.

Drug tests typically detect the presence of ∆9-THC metabolites in your system. A urine test is the most established method and can sniff Delta 9 metabolites for up to 30 days. 

Blood tests can also be used, but they usually have a shorter detection window of 2 to 12 hours. Hair tests are the most sensitive and can detect ∆9-THC metabolites for up to 12 months. However, they are expensive and unlikely to be accurate in single-use or low-level cases.

Other tests used to detect Delta 9 are oral fluid and sweat tests. But like blood tests, oral fluid tests have a short detection window (24-48 hours). Sweat tests have the advantage of being less tamper-proof and, like hair tests, are ideal for detecting cumulative drug use.

Is Delta 9 legal?

A straightforward yes or no answer would suffice, but it is not as easy as it seems. That is because ∆9-THC can be sourced from hemp or non-hemp cannabis (marijuana).

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp farming across the United States and, by extension, permitted the production of hemp-based products. As such, ∆9-THC derived from hemp is legal, while that obtained from non-hemp cannabis is illegal.

What distinguishes hemp from non-hemp cannabis? Simple, their ∆9-THC content. The Farm Bill defines hemp as: 

"the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis."

Keep in mind that marijuana is a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. So, Delta 9 obtained from non-hemp cannabis is obviously illegal. By law, possession of such ∆9-THC attracts penalties and fines.

Is Delta 9 safe?

Yes and No. 

Yes, because you can use ∆9-THC and fail to experience negative effects. This can happen when ∆9-THC is consumed in little to moderate proportions. Research shows that ∆9-THC's health benefits (e.g., stress relief) are typically achieved at lower doses.

This finding is corroborated by animal studies such as this 2014 study which found that ultra-low doses of Delta 9 can prevent cognitive damage in the brain due to neuroinflammation. These findings are echoed in a 2019 review that showed that ultra-low doses of Delta 9 restored cognitive function in mice with brain injury due to hypoxia, seizures, neurotoxicity, anesthesia, and neuroinflammation.

However, if you get excited and take more than the recommended dose, Delta 9 can produce deleterious effects. The most commonly observed short-term effects of this cannabinoid are:

  • Severe anxiety (paranoia)
  • Short-term memory loss 
  • Panic
  • Increased heart rate 
  • Slow reaction time 
  • Poor coordination
  • Failure of the sense of time
  • Hallucinations 

Prolonged chronic use of Delta 9 can severely impair your mental and physical health. Studies link it to chronic effects such as:

  • Neurocognitive impairments
  • Withdrawal syndrome
  • Cannabis use disorders
  • Psychotic disorders
  • Respiratory and cardiovascular diseases

As cannabis experts frequently advise, more is not always better with regard to cannabinoids. These substances should always be taken in moderation and preferably with guidance from a cannabis expert.

Final thoughts: is Delta 9 good for pain?

Yes, there is evidence that Delta 9 could offer people dealing with pain substantial relief. However, it is still unclear how ∆9-THC alleviates pain besides activating CB1 receptors in regions in the brain where pain is processed. 

Also, the overall therapeutic effect of cannabinoids is much better when they are used together rather than in isolation. This probably explains why many hemp products typically contain several cannabinoids and other medicinal herbs.

If you are to choose between Delta 8 and Delta 9 for pain, other factors may come into play. For instance, if you are averse to the side effects of Delta 9, then Delta 8 is a logical option. Also, if your tolerance is low, it may be prudent to keep off ∆9-THC. 

Overall, both cannabinoids have significant therapeutic benefits.

Where to buy Delta 9 gummies online 

So if you are looking for a more natural way to deal with chronic pain, you could try cannabinoids. At Dragon Hemp, we manufacture a range of high-quality Delta 9 products ranging from edibles to balms, oils, and capsules. All our products are third-party tested to ensure they are safe and meet industry quality standards.

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