Can Delta-8 Be of Medical Use At All?

Written by Lisa Rennie

The medical benefits of Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the cannabinoid that is more commonly associated with cannabis — are well-known, but what about Delta-8 THC? Are there any medical benefits to this lesser-known version of THC?


What is Delta-8?

Like Delta-9 THC, Delta-8 is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in cannabis and hemp plants, though in very small amounts. Recently, Delta-8 THC has rapidly gained in popularity, particularly because of its more subdued mind-altering effects compared to the more traditional Delta-9 THC. The “high” that’s experienced with Delta-8 THC is much milder in comparison.


Does Delta-8 Offer Any Medical Benefits?

Besides the psychoactive properties that recreational cannabis users look for when consuming THC, the cannabinoid also has a medical aspect to it. Studies have associated THC with a host of medical benefits, including alleviation of pain, inflammation, anxiety, insomnia, and nausea. [1] THC can also help improve appetite and concentration.

But what about Delta-8?

Like its Delta-9 cousin, Delta-8 also possesses medicinal properties.


Pain and Inflammation

Both oral and topical Delta-8 THC can help to alleviate pain and inflammation. [2] The effects of the cannabinoid seem to occur thanks to its interaction with the CB1 receptors of the endocannabinoid system, similar to the activity of Delta-9.



Delta-8 THC may also have antiemetic properties. Researchers have found a link between the use of the cannabinoid and the relief from nausea experienced by cancer patients from treatments like chemotherapy. Further, side effects from the use of Delta-8 to treat nausea came were negligible.



Studies have found that Delta-8 can be an effective anti-anxiety supplement. While it may cause mild mind-altering effects, Delta-8 has not been shown to cause excess anxiety that may be associated with Delta-9.



Those who may suffer from a lack of appetite as a result of medical conditions and the treatments used — such as cancer and chemotherapy — may find Delta-8 useful in increasing appetite.



While further studies are warranted when it comes to Delta-8’s role as a potential cancer treatment, current research suggests that Delta-8 may play a positive role in this realm. [3]

An older study from 1975 by the National Cancer Institute regarding Delta-8 as a cancer treatment showed that tumor sizes in rodents infected with lung cancer decreased in size after consuming Delta-8. Further, their survival time increased.

More research on Delta-8 and its medicinal benefits and properties is needed, but the information currently available about the cannabinoid suggests that it shows great promise as a supplement or even an alternative to traditional treatment protocols.

Image source: NickyPe from Pixabay



1- Webb, C.W. & Webb, S.M., “Therapeutic Benefits of Cannabis: A Patient Survey“, Hawaii J Med Public Health, April 2014, Vol.73(4): 109–111.

2- Thapa, D., et al, “The Cannabinoids Δ8THC, CBD, and HU-308 Act via Distinct Receptors to Reduce Corneal Pain and Inflammation“, Cannabis Cannabinoid Res., February 2018; Vol. 3(1): 11–20.

3-  Munson, A.E., et al, “Antineoplastic Activity of Cannabinoids“, Journal of the National Cancer

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Lisa Rennie

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