Delta 8: A New Class of Cannabinoids That May Help with Pain Management

Cannabinoids have become a popular topic lately, especially with the ongoing legalization of marijuana and its various strains. But there are many other cannabinoids besides THC that are worth knowing about. Others have called it the “hidden cannabinoid” for how many different types of cannabinoids there are in cannabis. The most well-known is THC, but it’s not the only cannabinoid. There are nine known cannabinoids so far—nine because we’re still learning about new ones all the time. Some people may feel more comfortable consuming certain substances than others, and this varies from person to person. Cannabinoids can make some people feel relaxed or sleepy, while others might experience anxiety or paranoia after using them. But what if some cannabidiol (CBD) products could help with pain management? That scenario just may be coming true sooner than we realize because cannabidiol has been found to help reduce pain sensations in animal studies. As you read on, you’ll learn about delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ-8 THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and the possible ways it could impact your health. Cannabinoid research is only just getting started, so we may see much more come of this in the future.


What is Delta 8?

Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, or Delta 8 for short, is the cannabinoid found in the highest concentration in the cannabis plant, known as the “main cannabinoid.” Delta 8 is also the only cannabinoid found in hemp. The plant has low levels of Delta 8 compared with THC, but it does contain it. It’s clear why hemp is used to make CBD products, as CBD is not psychoactive and therefore has little chance of having any kind of high. Delta 8 is not the same as CBD, the cannabinoid that is becoming increasingly popular due to its health benefits. Delta 8 (and other cannabinoids) are present in both the hemp and cannabis plants, but are in minute amounts relative to CBD.



Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis. CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that is thought to have anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antipsychotic, and neuroprotective properties. CBD is being studied as a possible treatment for various health conditions, including epilepsy, diabetes, cancer, pain, and mental health. A healthy diet supplemented with CBD oil may help improve appetite and sleep, as well as reduce pain. CBD is also used for vaping, baking, cosmetics, and food products.


New Cannabinoid Research

Research about cannabinoids is still relatively new, so there’s much more to learn about how they work. That said, scientists have made significant progress in recent years. For example, researchers are now learning more about the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in a lot of important bodily functions. It’s important to keep in mind that cannabinoids aren’t the only components of cannabis responsible for its effects—there are many other components that interact with the endocannabinoid system, too. This means that cannabinoids aren’t the only components of cannabis that are worth researching further.


What Could Cannabinoids Help With?

Research is still ongoing, but there are a few conditions where cannabinoids have shown some promise. Pain is one of them—Delta 8 has been found to help reduce pain sensations in animal studies. Another condition where cannabinoids could be useful is possibly related to pain and spasticity. Some people with multiple sclerosis (MS) or spinal cord injury have experienced improvement in their symptoms when using cannabinoid products. CBD could also be beneficial for conditions involving the immune system. For example, it’s possible that it could be helpful for reducing inflammation in conditions like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or inflammatory arthritis.


Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol

Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, or Delta 8 for short, is the main cannabinoid in cannabis. It’s also the only one that is also found in hemp, although in much lower concentrations. Delta 8 is not the same as CBD, the cannabinoid that is becoming increasingly popular due to its health benefits. Delta 8 (and other cannabinoids) are present in both the hemp and cannabis plants, but are in minute amounts relative to CBD. Delta 8 has been found to help reduce pain sensations. Delta 8 has also been found to help with nausea and vomiting, and possibly even reduce insomnia.


Future Research Needs

There are still a few things that researchers would like to learn more about. For example, it’s unclear as to why some people experience anxiety after consuming CBD. Researchers would also like to learn more about the side effects of consuming CBD, like how long it may take for people to feel the effects and if there are any side effects that are serious. Some people have reported experiencing cognitive impairment as a side effect of taking CBD. Researchers would also like to know more about how CBD interacts with other medications and how it affects the body.

This article focuses on the use of cannabinoids in medicine. It summarizes the development of cannabinoids and their medical potential in areas such as pain, nausea, cancer, and movement disorders. It then discusses some of the challenges facing the medical use of cannabinoids and possible solutions to these challenges. The article also provides a brief overview of current clinical trials involving cannabinoids for multiple sclerosis-related spasticity and cancer-related pain, nausea, or vomiting.

The cannabis plant has been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes (1). The first record about its therapeutic effects dates back to ancient China where it was used for pain relief (2). In Western medicine, cannabis preparations were commonly prescribed until the end of the 19th century (3). Today, interest in medicinal use is experiencing a resurgence due to increasing evidence from basic science and animal studies that cannabis compounds have therapeutic properties (4–6). One such compound is cannabidiol (CBD), which is currently being tested in several clinical trials in MS patients with neuropathic pain (7–9), chemotherapy-induced nausea (10), cancer pain (11), neuropathic pain due to spinal cord injury (12) and other conditions such as anxiety disorder or substance dependence disorder (13). However, not all patients respond positively to CBD treatment which suggests that individual response is a key factor in the positive effects of CBD.

Cannabinoids are a group of 21-carbon–containing terpenophenolic compounds produced uniquely by Cannabis species (e.g., Cannabis sativa L.).[1,2] These plant-derived compounds may be referred to as phytocannabinoids. Although delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary psychoactive ingredient, other known compounds with biologic activity are cannabinol, cannabidiol (CBD), cannabichromene, cannabigerol, tetrahydrocannabivarin, and delta-8-THC. CBD, in particular, is thought to have significant analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity without the psychoactive effect (high) of delta-9-THC.

The endocannabinoid system has been studied using genetic techniques and pharmacological manipulation in order to identify its molecular components and their roles in regulating various physiological processes. The endogenous ligands for cannabinoid receptors include N -arachidonoyl dopamine (NADA), N -arachidonoyl serotonin (ARA), N -arachidonoyl acid glycerol (NAGly), N -palmitoylethanolamine (PEA) and 2′-arachidonylglycerylether (2’AG). The main endocannabinoids produced by the body include 2′-AG; AEA; NADA and PEA (1). The CB1 receptor is found in the central nervous system, peripheral nervous system and immune cells. The CB2 receptor is found mainly in immune cells.

The cannabis plant contains a unique group of carbon-containing compounds known as cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds that display potent anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. They can be used to treat a wide range of conditions, including arthritis, epilepsy, nausea, chronic pain and multiple sclerosis.

Cannabinoid receptors are part of the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is involved in a variety of physiological processes including pain management, appetite control, mood regulation and memory. The endocannabinoid system also plays an important role in regulating our immune systems during periods of stress or trauma by suppressing the proliferation of certain types of T-cells (14). In addition to these effects on the immune system and our overall health status, recent studies indicate that CBD may be effective at reducing inflammation in animal models (15).

One study showed that CBD treatment significantly reduced inflammation in mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model for MS (16). Other studies have shown similar results using various animal models for MS such as EAE (17), experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (18) or collagen-induced arthritis (19). In one study on rats with EAE induced by myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein, administration of CBD was able to reduce the inflammation and progression of the disease (20).

Cannabidiol has also been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation in other autoimmune disorders, including a mouse model for Type 1 Diabetes (21). In this study, treatment with CBD significantly reduced the incidence of diabetes and increased insulin sensitivity. These results are particularly significant because Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease characterized by destruction of pancreatic beta cells that produce insulin. Currently, there is no cure for Type 1 Diabetes which requires patients to take daily injections of insulin. Therefore, any findings that suggest a possible treatment for this devastating condition would be very welcome.

In another study on rats with collagen-induced arthritis, researchers found that treatment with CBD inhibited inflammatory cytokine production (22). Cytokines are small proteins secreted by immune cells that mediate inflammation and help regulate the immune system. They have been implicated in MS as well as other autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Therefore, any potential anti-inflammatory effects on cytokine production could have positive implications in reducing MS symptoms.

3) Cannabinoids have also been shown to promote neurogenesis through increased expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptor TrkB in mice (23). BDNF has been found to protect neurons from degeneration during periods of stress or injury by promoting survival pathways within nerve cells to promote growth and repair mechanisms.



Keep in mind that cannabinoids are found in many common foods, such as the brownie you had for dessert, not just in cannabis. While the research is new, there are many reasons to believe that it could be a beneficial addition to your health. Fortunately, there are many ways to incorporate cannabinoids into your diet. CBD products are available in various forms, including CBD-infused creams, oils, drinks, and even pet products like CBD-infused dog treats. You may also consider consuming more raw foods, as many fruits and vegetables are high in CBD. Now that you know more about cannabinoids, you might be interested in learning more about the benefits of CBD products. CBD products may be helpful for improving sleep, reducing pain, lowering inflammation, lowering anxiety, and more. There are many reasons to try CBD products, so don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor to see if they’re right for you.