Many long-time smokers tried delta 8 THC for the first time in 2020. This fast-growing cannabinoid has become one of the hottest products in the industry thanks to its unique and unbeatable set of effects, and its federally legal status has allowed it to reach huge parts of the country that ordinarily wouldn’t have access to THC. If you are a frequent cannabis user making the switch, or a first-time smoker looking for relief, know that delta 8 has a lot to offer everyone. However, there are better and worse ways to try it for the first time. Here are a few ways to help ensure your delta 8 experience is a positive one, and fully maximize the sensations this incredible cannabinoid offers.
How Delta-8 Works
From a scientific perspective delta 8 interacts with your body a lot like cannabis — with one major difference. The active compound in cannabis, delta-9, binds to a single set of receptors called the CB1 receptors. Delta 8 is much broader in its approach. This THC analog binds, not only with the CB1 receptors, but also a second set known as the CB2 receptors. This second set of receptors is located mostly in your deep muscle tissue, and more commonly interacts with another popular cannabinoid, CBD.
This second set of interactions results in a different active experience for the user. Delta 8 will still make you feel “high” like cannabis, but the feelings are significantly less intoxicating. Instead, delta 8 is widely reported to generate powerful euphoric and uplifting sensations. Instead of feeling foggy and disoriented, as is commonly reported with cannabis users, you will feel focused and energized. It is capable of providing soothing relief that is a true middleground between CBD and THC.
Like cannabis, the effects of delta 8 are driven in part by the strain of the plant they come from. And finding the profile that best fits your needs goes a long way towards ensuring your experience with delta 8 is a pleasant one.
Finding the Right Strain
Delta 8 has two main strains: Indica and Sativa. The two sit on either end of a wide spectrum of delta-9 effects. There are also countless hybrids that take advantage of specific interactions within a strain. Finding a blend that fits your needs is really a matter of deciding which set of sensations appeal most to you.
Sativa is known for the energy it provides. This is even more the case with delta-8, which is already an energetic cannabinoid, and Sativa strains can provide a boost that feels like a shot of espresso. The sensations are perfect for activities, social gatherings, and any outdoor occasions.
Indica is the opposite. It is most commonly used as a sleep aid, or to help glue you to the couch after a long day of work. It brings drowsy vibes that are ideal for any end-of-day relaxing. Indica Delta-8 in particular is excellent at providing targeted body relief, given its interaction with the CB2 receptors.
I recommend starting by making a list of the effects you are hoping to feel. Then, when buying products, you can cross-reference the active effects with your wish-list. You can see a list of the effects when you select a strain on our vape page. Often you’ll find a unique hybrid that checks all the boxes.
Mix with CBD for a Deeper Body Experience
Another excellent way to elevate your delta 8 is with other parts of the plant. Cannabinoids, including delta-8 and CBD, benefit from a phenomenon known as the “Entourage or Ensemble” effect. This effect causes the potency of each cannabinoid to exponentially increase when in the presence of another cannabinoid. In short, they power each other up.
This can be used to dramatically increase the effectiveness of your delta-8, simply by combining it with any CBD product. When you do, the CB2 receptor is targeted twice as much, which leads to a more robust bodily experience.
If your goal is to enhance the soothing sensations that delta-8 and CBD provide, pairing the two is the most effective way to do that. You could try this already balanced tincture!
Start with low doses and work your way up
This advice applies to nearly every intoxicant, but the same is true for delta 8. Although it is less potent than cannabis, it can still feel disorienting for first-time users and anyone with a low THC tolerance. With that in mind, the best way to maximize your delta 8 experience is by starting with small amounts and gradually building the dosage.
If you are taking edibles, which can need several hours to kick in, judging the right dosage can be especially difficult. Always start with less than you think you need, and wait and see how your body feels after the onset. Only then can you accurately begin to ramp up and find the amount that is right for you.
If you keep these simple tips in mind, you should be on your way to a pretty good time.
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