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 its older sibling Delta 9.
And users love that it lacks the unpleasantness you sometimes get with regular marijuana, like paranoia or anxiety attacks. Some people also don’t have a high enough tolerance for intense THC levels, making Delta 8 far more agreeable for them to smoke.
Given its skyrocketing popularity, many are wondering is Delta 8 safe? Let’s take a look.
What Is Delta 8 THC?
Delta 8 THC (not to be confused with Delta 9 THC, which is often just called THC) is one of the hundreds of cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant, but also in the hemp plant too. 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 occurring in the cannabis plant but in very small amounts. Cannabis processors can manipulate THC and CBD to produce D8. While Delta 8 can be sourced from the marijuana or hemp plant, only hemp-derived Delta 8 is federally legal.
What Is Delta 8 Like?
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, 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.
Delta 8 Safety
Federal regulation has thrown a wrench into cannabis research plans for decades. So, there really isn’t a lot that scientists have been able to glean on Delta 8 specifically since its popularity boomed last year after the pandemic struck
Here’s what we currently know.
Cannabis, Cannabinoids & Safety
The cannabinoids found in the marijuana 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.
Delta 8 THC Research
Though the research is limited and the clinical trials are few, we can still examine the findings. Without inferring too much, the data so far indicates that D8 is helpful, not hurtful. See for yourself:
- One of the first-ever studies on Delta 8 looked into its potential for treating cancer. The 1975 study found that mice with cancer who were treated with Delta 8 THC for 10 days had slower tumor growth. The mice treated for 20 days saw reduced tumor sizes. Researchers also found that the mice who were given Delta 8 had a longer survival time compared to the other mice.
- Another animal study showed that D8 reduced seizures in rats, suggesting that it may have some anticonvulsant properties.
- Delta 8 also has shown promise in reducing nausea. One study from the 1990s found that Delta 8 helped reduce nausea and vomiting in children with various hematologic cancers. No significant side effects were reported.
- Another study found that delta-8 helped increase food consumption in mice, suggesting D8’s potential as a treatment in weight disorders. They also found that Delta 8 helped improve cognitive function as well.
None of the studies reported any negative effects from Delta 8 and no newer research has indicated that it isn’t safe. Instead, Delta 8 THC shows a lot of promise — like its fellow cannabinoids!
Feelin’ Great With D8
Many feel more at ease and comfortable with the high from Delta 8. The inconsistency of the Delta 9 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 standard 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, you’re less likely to feel overwhelmed by the “high.”
There’s a high — but it relaxes you as opposed to putting you on edge.
Delta-8 & The Legal Debate
D8 is federally legal (as long as it’s derived from hemp and contains less than 0.03% Delta 9 THC). But that hasn’t stopped some people from making noise in several state legislatures.
Several 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 recreational 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, right? This is why it’s important to go to a retailer you can trust.
How To Buy Delta 8 Safely
For those who can’t wait to get their 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 in the grand scheme of things. 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 D8 products are free of any unknown or harmful additives.
Lastly, read the product label and packaging. Heed the dosing and suggested use.
How To Use Delta 8 THC Safely
Everyone’s body responds to Delta 8 a little differently. To see how your body reacts to D8, start with a small dose or hit and wait to feel it take effect before you increase it. (Carts work best for this so you don’t waste a whole joint your first time trying it.)
For example, with Delta 8 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. Delta 8 may not be as potent as Delta 9, but that doesn’t mean you still won’t be faded af. Slow and steady wins the race, after all. So yes, is Delta 8 safe? When you buy high quality–absolutely. Shop the best Delta 8 products that you know are safe from D8 THC Shop!