Health & Wellness

What Are the Side Effects of Using Delta 8 THC?

How safe are Delta-8 THC products, really?
How safe are Delta-8 THC products, really? / Image by Erin Stone from Pixabay

Delta 8 THC has become one of the hottest, most controversial topics in all of cannabis. You see the products popping up all over the place, and because of that, people have so many questions about the seemingly new cannabinoid. 

More specifically, people are curious about how exactly Delta 8 THC’s effects feel, and what negative side effects might there be from consuming a vastly under-researched and unregulated compound.

Here are some details on the subject.

What is Delta 8 THC?

THC, short for tetrahydrocannabinol, is the cannabis compound responsible for the psychoactive euphoria, or high, you feel after using traditional cannabis products. The most natural, and common, form of THC is Delta 9 THC.

Delta 8 THC is an isomer of THC. Unlike Delta 9 THC, which is the naturally occurring version of THC that you have known since the beginning of time, Delta 8 THC is virtually nonexistent in a natural form. Because of this, Delta 8 THC is most often converted from CBD found in hemp plants. The hemp plant loophole allows Delta 8 producers to find a safety net in the Farm Bill, although many states have begun to place restrictions on Delta 8.

For context, hemp plants are defined by having less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC, the legal threshold for hemp products. Hemp-derived products became federally legal with the passing of the Farm Bill in 2018. The hemp/CBD industry has been the wild west ever since. 

As of now, Delta 8 THC has not been neither approved nor banned by the FDA, and the DEA recently clarified that Delta 8 THC does not fall under their enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act.

What are the effects of using Delta 8 THC 

Delta 8 THC is believed to be the milder, less potent version of Delta 9 THC. Think of it as the light beer version of THC.

For some people, consuming cannabis is too intense of an experience. It causes them extreme anxiety, and overall, turns them off from a plant that has confirmed healing powers. Delta 8 THC is advertised as the solution for people who want to experience the health benefits of consuming THC, but can’t really handle normal weed. 

Most people are able to consume much higher doses of Delta 8 THC than Delta 9 THC. Because of this, it has become popular amongst new cannabis consumers. Delta 8 edibles, vapes, and even beverages have started to pop up all over the place as companies rush to take advantage of the interest in a cannabinoid that we really don’t know much about.

You can also find Delta-8 flower, however these companies probably won’t tell you that a Delta-8 formulation is sprayed onto the buds.

What are the side effects of using Delta 8 THC

First of all, you aren’t going to die from consuming Delta 8 THC. Let’s get that idea out of your head immediately. However, there may be some other undesired side effects to consuming it.

For one, when using Delta 8 THC products, you’re going to feel the normal side effects of consuming cannabis. Healthline states that “Because delta-8 is so similar to delta-9 THC, it produces some of the same side effects, like: red eyes, dry mouth, rapid heart rate, trouble with coordination, slowed reaction times, anxiety, and memory loss.”

Past that, consuming untrustworthy Delta 8 products might cause some light physical ailments, or “adverse events” as the FDA calls them. According to the FDA, between December 2020 through July 2021, the FDA received adverse event reports from both consumers and law enforcement describing 22 patients who consumed delta-8 THC products. These adverse events included vomiting, hallucinations, trouble standing, and loss of consciousness.

This is why you should only buy cannabis products from companies that can prove their products are clean and safe.

In this recent Refinery29 article, writer Molly Longman reveals the story around her own Delta-8 scare.

Why is Delta 8 THC so popular

The reason Delta 8 is so popular is that it exists in a legal grey area. Because of this, you can get the product in many states that haven’t legalized cannabis. 

Unlike products with Delta 9 THC, if you want to have Delta 8 mailed to your doorstep in these states, you can do so. 

However, for as popular as the cannabinoid is, Delta 8 is still seeing a lot of pushback from certain states. 

Where is Delta 8 THC legal?

Though legalized by the Farm Bill, plenty of states have chosen to outlaw products made with Delta 8.

CBD Thinker provides a full look at where Delta 8 is legal, illegal, regulated, and in a grey area. 

If you’re going to try Delta 8 in your state, just remember that with all cannabis products, you should only purchase them from companies you can trust. Being able to purchase a product through legal loopholes does not mean that you will be getting high quality, safe, professionally vetted products. 

The only way to trust a company is to be aware of the business practices, operating standards, and goals for the community. Most of these Delta 8 companies are only focused on getting quick profits and exploiting the cannabis industry. Protect yourself from them at all costs.

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