Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a minor psychoactive phytocannabinoid, similar to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. Recent statements released by the FDA and CDC reported around 660 delta-8-THC exposure cases. With the rise in commercially available products, it is crucial to understand the pharmacological and toxicological properties of this compound. The objective of this review is to summarize current literature regarding the pharmacokinetic, and pharmacologic properties of delta-8- THC.
The most important discoveries in pharmacology, such as certain classes of analgesics or chemotherapeutics, started from natural extracts which have been found to have effects in traditional medicine. Cannabis, traditionally used in Asia for the treatment of pain, nausea, spasms, sleep, depression, and low appetite, is still a good candidate for the development of new compounds. If initially all attention was directed to the endocannabinoid system, recent studies suggest that many of the clinically proven effects are based on an intrinsic chain of mechanisms that do not necessarily involve only cannabinoid receptors.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS), a conserved physiological system emerged as a novel pharmacological target for its significant role and potential therapeutic benefits ranging from neurological diseases to cancer. Among both, CB1 and CB2R types, CB2R have received attention for its pharmacological effects as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and antiapoptotic that can be achieved without causing psychotropic adverse effects through CB1R.