Delta-8 is a hallucinogenic drug that acts as a cannabinoid agonist, primarily with the CB1 receptor. Delta-8 was first synthesized by JWH in 1995 and its full name is 1-Pentyl-3-(1-naphthyl) indole. It was one of the first synthetic cannabinoids to be discovered and has been available since 2007, sold as a grey market research chemical through online vendors. In its pure form, delta-8 is described as an off-white powder that may be dissolved in ethanol or acetone and then sprayed on plant matter such as damiana to be smoked. Its effects are similar to those of other cannabinoids such as THC, including, decreased short-term memory recall memory loss, and euphoria. In addition, users may experience some suppression of memory and cognition due to the inhibition of acetylcholine in the hippocampus region of the brain. These same effects have been reported with other cannabinoids, particularly THC from cannabis.
Delta-8 is a synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist which binds to the CB 1 receptor with a slightly higher affinity than Delta-9 THC. The binding affinity for each receptor is measured by its “Ki” value, which represents how strongly it binds compared to a reference agonist. Delta-8 has a relatively high Ki value of 10nM at CB 1, which means that it binds equally well to both receptors. In contrast, Delta-9 THC has a much lower Ki value of 45nM, so it binds much better to CB 1 receptors than CB 2.
Delta 8 online has been shown to have an analgesic potency comparable with that of Delta-9 THC but is significantly less effective at inducing the “high” associated with cannabis use. For this reason, interest in its pharmacological applications has waned since the late 1990s when scientists discovered that JWH-018 was equally potent in comparison and had similar efficacy, but produced a far stronger subjective high. This may be due to the fact that delta 8 THC reduces activity on the cingulate cortex while increasing activity on the posterior insula causing anxiety on CPZ dosage; whereas JWH 018 does not change activity in either area (bilateral increase in activity on cingulate cortex with a unilateral decrease of activity on the posterior insula).
Can you legally order Delta 8 online? Yes. Delta-8 THC is said to have been sold as Spice, an herbal incense product. Subsequently, many jurisdictions have passed laws banning synthetic cannabinoids and it appears that JWH-018 is more widely used now instead of Delta-8 THC. In any case, because these two compounds are very similar in structure and effects, they will both be covered in this profile.