Delta-8 THC Scientific Information, Studies, and Research

Warning: Psychoactive properties and experiences are different for each person. Just because some people and research points to a less intense set of psychoactive results, a user of Delta-8 can experience a "high" that is similar to Delta-9.

Tetrahydro-cannabinol (THC) is the main cause of marijuana’s high, but not all THC is the same. Multiple forms of THC are found in hemp and marijuana with all of them being slightly different than from one another. This difference, although minor chemically, has a big impact in how it is used by and affects the body. This article focuses on Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8-THC) and will cover:

  • -          Differences and similarities between delta-8-THC and delta-9-THC.
  • -          Current status of published research on the delta-8-THC.
  • -          Ways our nano-treated delta-8-THC differs from other companies’ versions.
  • -          Benefits of our nano-treated delta-8-THC for individuals with various conditions.

THC in marijuana plants is produced almost entirely as delta-9-THC. The U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) describes it as what gives marijuana its “antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties.” The NCBI describes delta-8-THC as an “analogue” form of THC and states that it “exhibits a lower psychotropic potency” than delta-9-THC.

 The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) does not allow companies to make any medical claims for delta-8-THC, even though its sister government agency NCBI does.

 Conversely, delta-8-THC is not found in significant quantities in normal hemp or marijuana plants, although plants have been shown to be able produce it in an unusual circumstance. This has occurred when, in response to an approaching forest fire, the owners of a marijuana field sprayed fire-retardant on the developing plants. When it came time to harvest the field, they tested for delta-9-THC and found none. Rather, they found high levels of delta-8-THC, suggesting that the normal enzymatic production of delta-9-THC from cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) was changed to produce delta-8-THC. This raises the possibility that future genetic plant research may develop a form of hemp or marijuana that can yield significant amounts of delta-8-THC.

 At present all commercial delta-8-THC is made from other cannabinoids, however, most of it is made using cannabidiol (CBD) as the base.. Because of the 2020 farm bill, Delta-8-THC derived from CBD from marijuana is illegal in the US, however, delta-8-THC derived from CBD-rich hemp oil is legal.   Therefore, all of the delta-8-THC being used by American Shaman is derived from our CBD-rich hemp oil.

Chemistry of Common Phytocannabinoids Cannabinoids

 Delta-8-THC and delta-9-THC, have the same chemical formula with only 1 difference (see Figure 1).   Cannabinol (CBN), another cannabinoid, has a slightly different chemical formula, but is structurally similar to Delta-8-THC and delta-9-THC.   CBD also has the same chemical formula delta-8-THC and delta-9-THC, however, it’s molecular structure is slightly different.

Figure 1


These differences in chemical composition between Delta-8-THC and delta-9-THC are important for several reasons. Their binding to receptors will probably be very similar and only vary in affinity (that is, how tightly they bind to the receptor). So, the effects produced by both compounds will probably be similar but differ in intensity.

CBN may bond to similar receptors delta-8-THC and delta-9-THC will not. This may result in some similar and some different effects than the three compounds. CBD’s molecular structure differences may also result in binding to different receptors and having very different effects than the other three compounds. The liver’s metabolism of delta-8-THC, delta-9-THC, and CBN produce similar, if not identical, compounds, and will produce a positive urine test for marijuana. CBD will not.

Comparative Potency of the Tetrahydro-Cannabinoids


Previous studies

 As previously mentioned, the U.S. NCBI recognizes that delta-8-THC is less potent psychically than delta-9-THC.

In 1973, a study directly compared the differences in physical, perceptual, and psychic effects of delta-8-THC and delta-9-THC. Six men were given two oral doses of delta-8-THC (20 mg and 40 mg) and one oral dose of delta-9-THC (20 mg). Three men were given delta-8-THC intravenously (1 mg initially, with various amounts, more being given over time), and four received delta-9-THC (4) in a similar manner. The effects they reported are shown in Table 1. The participants reported that similar symptoms between the two compounds, but the intensity and the duration of the symptoms were greater with delta-9-THC: delta-9-THC reportedly was 50% more potent than delta-8-THC.

Table 1

Physical Effects

Perceptual Effects

Psychic Effects


Blurred vision


Dryness of mucous membranes




Visual distortions



Altered perspectives

Difficulty in thinking

Increased body awareness


Difficulty speaking


Enhancement of colors or contrasts

Difficulty reading

Muscle tension or tremor

Time distortion

Difficulty in remembering


Decreased discrimination of hearing

Unusually rapid flow of thoughts



Dreamy, introspective states

Increased heart rate & red eyes




In a 1984 study, men who habitually smoked marijuana for at least two years were given 20 mg of delta-9-THC and two doses of delta-8-THC (50 mg and 75 mg) on different days. All doses increased the participant’s heart rate: by 35% with delta-9-THC, by 21% with 50 mg of delta-8-THC, and by 28% with 75 mg of delta-8-THC. Blood pressure was not affected. The 20 mg dose of delta-9-THC produced a mean peak high of 4.3 [WHAT?], while the 50 mg and 75 mg doses of delta-8-THC produced mean peak highs of 2 and 2.8, respectively. The researchers concluded that, at these doses, delta-8-THC did not induce significant dose-related physiologic effects in experienced marijuana smokers.

Our studies on Delta-8 THC

Interestingly, in our initial studies of our nano-treated delta-8-THC product, those who also used marijuana never got high. Marijuana users reported that 10-20 mg worked well, and this amount caused no physical, perceptual, or psychic effects except tranquility and relaxation. Several stated that, with delta-8-THC, the feeling was similar to what they felt just before they got high with delta-9-THC, but the high never came. However, with 40 mg or more of delta-8-THC (40+ mg), they reported becoming so relaxed and tranquil that they developed transient abulia (that is, a lack of motivation worse than apathy but not as bad as akinetic mutism).

For non-marijuana users, our findings indicate that participants usually prefer to take between 5-10 mg, with 10 mg the most common. This amount does not produce a high but only a warm, fuzzy feeling in most individuals. Heart rate changes have not been measured, but no one has reported any feeling of tachycardia. One individual who had smoked marijuana in the past had begun to experience severe paranoia with marijuana use. He was reluctant to try our nano-treated D-8-THC; however, when he did, he experienced no paranoia and stated that he felt better than he had for years and that he wanted to start using it regularly.

Two individuals with extreme anxiousness tried our delta-8-THC and responded that they experienced a “happy high” that lasted for a couple of hours. Their anxiousness resolved completely and both state that this was the best they had felt in years. Because most individuals taking this amount did not experience a “high,” it is unknown whether these two individuals with extreme anxiousness were experiencing a “high” or if, for the first time in their life, they were experiencing what it felt like to not be anxious.

Why Less Likely a “High”

While both bind to CB1 receptors, delta-8-THC has less affinity for this receptor than delta-9-THC; that is, it does not bind as tightly or readily to the receptor. Yet, if this were the only difference, giving more delta-8-THC would ultimately produce a high just like delta-9-THC, and research does not seem to support that.

Since delta-8-THC is less potent and since marijuana smokers’ responses tend to be blunted, they would understandably want to use more delta-8-THC than non-users. In addition, delta-8-THC would not produce a “high” in non-marijuana smokers at usual intake levels and not at all in marijuana users at any amount of intake.

Similarities and Differences of Tinctures and Nano-treated Delta-8-THC

All published data on the effects of delta-8-THC has been on tinctures that were not nano-treated. Other nano-treated cannabinoids compared to those that are not nano-treated, have consistently: exhibited all the positive effects of reported in tinctures; exhibited effects never reported in tinctures; and produce these effects at significantly lower doses. In addition, most of our nano-treated cannabinoids exhibit fewer and less severe adverse side effects..

These differences may occur because a significant percentage of our nano-treated cannabinoids appear to be absorbed into the lymphatic system, rather than into the blood system. Since blood goes from the gut to the liver (portal system), where the blood is cleaned, much of the non-nano-treated cannabinoid is lost. That is, when non-nano-treated cannabinoids are metabolized and thus inactivated by liver enzymes, it leaves mostly metabolites for the body’s tissues. On the other hand, our nano-treated cannabinoids are absorbed primarily into the fluid in the lymphatic system, which bypasses the liver and empties directly into the right ventricle of the heart, thereby distributing the serving size throughout the body as pure cannabinoid.

Therefore, our nano-treated delta-8-THC is far more beneficial to individuals than non-nano-treated tinctures. In addition, the amount and dosage required to produce the desired effects will be significantly lower than the amount and dosage needed for non-nano-treated tinctures – and we have found this to be true.   Marijuana users do not get high with our nano-treated delta-8-THC, and non-marijuana users experience very mind highs, if at all. In addition, individuals with pain report that our nano-treated delta-8-THC is substantially better at reducing their pain, even post-cancer therapy pain (the most resistant type of pain to treat medically). Nearly everyone taking our nano-treated delta-8-THC have reported experiencing greatly improved sleep.