There’s a new THC in town, and it’s offering up mellow highs and smooth vibes.
Often called “marijuana-lite,” delta-8-THC is a cannabinoid close in structure to the well-known delta-9-THC. The main difference between the two is that delta-8 is characterized by a high that’s much less potent than it’s older sibling delta-9.
And users love that it lacks the unpleasantness you sometimes get with delta-9-THC.
Given its skyrocketing popularity, many are wondering how safe delta-8 really is. Let’s take a look.
Delta-8-THC (not to be confused with delta-9-THC, which is often just called THC) is one of the hundreds of cannabinoids. Just to keep things interesting, you’ll likely see delta-8-THC also parading around under a few aliases: D8, delta-8, delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, Δ8-THC….
It’s found naturally occuring in the cannabis plant, but in very small amounts. When delta-9-THC degrades, it turns into delta-8-THC. Cannabis processors can also manipulate THC and CBD to produce D8. While delta-8-THC can be sourced from the marijuana or hemp plant, only hemp-derived delta-8 is federally legal.
For CBD enthusiasts looking for a little more zing, delta-8 is a good stepping stone between CBD and THC.
The D8 experience is often described as lightly psychoactive, without a lot of the potential negative effects associated with THC. With delta-8-THC, you don’t get the paranoia, dry mouth, and intensity that can happen with THC. Think more stress relieving while remaining clear headed.
Users also report that the experience with delta-8 is more consistent.
For people who get paranoid from THC (the delta-9 variety), delta-8 is a welcome addition to the hemp-derived product lineup.
Federal regulation has thrown a wrench into cannabis research plans for decades. So, there really isn’t a lot scientists have been able to glean on delta-8 specifically.
Here’s what we currently know.
The cannabinoids found in the marijana and hemp plants have gotten a lot of recent attention as they may be able to help treat a range of health issues. In general, studies have found that cannabinoid-based products are overall well-tolerated by people and have few serious adverse effects. (1, 2)
Though the research is limited and the clinical trials are few (and so far using mostly animals and not people), we can still examine the findings. Without inferring too much, the data so far indicate that D8 is helpful, not hurtful. See for yourself:
None of the studies reported any negative effects from delta-8. Instead, delta-8-THC shows a lot of promise — like it’s fellow cannabinoids!
Many feel more at ease and comfortable with the high from delta-8. The inconsistency of the delta-9-THC experience (sometimes euphoric, sometimes anxiety-inducing) makes many reluctant to use cannabis products.
So, delta-8 users love how D8 lacks the icky paranoia aspects that delta-9-THC sometimes has. Some people say they even feel clear headed and that it helps them focus on creative activities. Since there are no anxiety-effects with delta-8-THC, you’re less likely to feel overwhelmed by the “high.”
Here’s what one of our Nano Delta 8 Infused Vegan Gummies fans had to say about the experience:
“Not only are these very tasty, they are super relaxing and calming. My sleep has been phenomenal.” — Melanie
Many users report similar effects. There’s a high — but it relaxes you as opposed to putting you on edge.
D8 is federally legal (as long as it’s derived from hemp). But that hasn’t stopped some people from making noise in several state legislatures.
Some states are looking at changing definitions of marijuana to include delta-8-THC along with delta-9-THC. Others are looking at more regulations on how cannabinoids are derived and produced in labs.
Many anti-D8 folks worry there could be hazardous unintended consequences — like accidents caused by users driving while buzzed.
But, the main concern is that, because D8’s not regulated like CBD, THC, or drugs, it’s a free-for-all. There aren’t any standards or guidelines about safe production or contaminant testing. This increases the risk of delta-8 being sold without going through any quality or purity checks.
Fair points. Which is why it’s important to go to a retailer you can trust.
For those who can’t w8 to lay hands on D8, here’s what you can do to buy it safely.
With no known significant safety issues, delta-8 products are flying off shelves. But, it’s still a new product. And not all retailers may follow stringent protocols when creating their D8 offerings.
Don’t be swindled by fakes. When buying any hemp-derived product, be sure you know exactly what you’re getting. The same is true for delta-8 products.
Purchase only from a retailer that’s transparent about its products. That retailer should use third-party lab testing to confirm that its products only contain the cannabinoids advertised. The lab report should also confirm that the delta-8-THC products are free of any unknown or harmful additives.
Lastly, read the product label and packaging. Heed the dosing and suggested use.
Everyone’s body responds to delta-8 a little differently. To see how your body reacts to D8, start with a small dose.
For example, with CBD gummies, resist the urge to take more than one gummy at a time. Actually — all y’all delta-8 newbs out there — you may even consider taking a half or a third of a gummy to test the waters.
By taking a little and waiting to see how your body feels, you won’t accidentally take too much and feel overwhelmed by the new sensations. Even though delta-8-THC is known to be less potent than delta-9-THC, it’s still psychoactive, so take it slow and steady.
Delta-8 is super new to the market and states are still trying to grapple with how to label and regulate it.
Compared to the amount of research on CBD and THC, the literature on delta-8 is scant. However, from what we know based on existing studies, there are no big red flags when it comes to safety. D8 was well-tolerated by study subjects. Moreover, delta-8 seems to be showing therapeutic promise, like many other cannabinoids.
To buy safely, purchase your D8 products from a retailer that values high-quality production standards and superior ingredients.
Now go and enjoy the good vibes!
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