Delta-8 THC is a cannabinoid with similar effects to delta-9 THC, but it is less potent. This has made it popular among those wishing to experience the benefits of THC without an incapacitating high.
Moreover, it is easier than ever to find delta-8 for sale due to the 2018 Farm Bill legalizing the cultivation and processing of industrial hemp. Hemp-derived cannabinoids such as delta-8 are now flying off the shelves. But are they safe to consume? Let’s take a look.
What Is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 THC is a compound that can be found in cannabis or synthesized from industrial hemp.
It has become popular in recent years due to the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized cannabinoids from industrial hemp so long as they contain less than 0.3% delta-9 THC. Delta-9 is the main form of THC found in cannabis and is responsible for the plant’s intoxicating effects.
Delta-8 THC differs from delta-9 THC in the placement of a double bond in its molecular structure. In delta-9 THC, the double bond is on the ninth atom in the molecule’s carbon chain. In delta-8, it is on the eighth carbon atom, hence the name.
Although this structural difference may seem small, it significantly alters how delta-8 binds with cell receptors in the brain. Therefore, its effects are similar to delta-9 THC but around half as strong. Those who use the cannabinoid suggest it has a subtle, relaxing effect without causing any of the anxiety that high doses of delta-9 can.
This has made delta-8 products a popular choice for individuals hoping to experience the benefits of THC with minimal adverse effects.
Delta-8 THC Benefits and Side Effects
There is currently not much research on delta-8 THC. However, a few scientists have begun studying its effects with promising results.
The existing evidence suggests it could help with issues such as vomiting due to chemotherapy, inflammation, and pain. Some have also suggested it may help to relieve the symptoms of anxiety.
Side effects are less common than they are with delta-9 THC. However, delta-8 products could cause issues for some people, especially when consumed in excess. Reports of side effects include:
- Loss of consciousness
Therefore, individuals considering delta-8 products should exercise caution, especially when using them for the first time. Start with a tiny dose and wait a few hours before deciding whether to increase it. Remember that products like gummies can have a delayed onset of up to two hours, so don’t be lulled into a false sense of security and take a second dose too soon.
Are Delta-8 THC Products Safe to Consume?
There are concerns over delta-8’s safety, and some states have already banned the cannabinoid. This is primarily due to a lack of research on how it affects the body and the prevalence of side effects.
Furthermore, most delta-8 products are created from industrial hemp. Delta-8 does not exist at high enough concentrations in hemp to extract it in its natural form. Therefore, manufacturers extract CBD from hemp and convert it into delta-8 using a chemical reaction. If the chemicals used in the process are not appropriately purged, they could pose a risk to consumers’ health.
Reputable companies will provide lab reports for their delta-8 products to prove they are safe and free from contaminants. However, since the compound is not FDA-approved, the industry is not regulated, and many brands are getting away with selling low-quality goods.
Choosing the Best Delta-8 Products
The lack of industry oversight means it is essential to be cautious when purchasing delta-8. Aside from lab testing, brands should be clear about their manufacturing processes and use clean ingredients in their products.
For example, vape products should not contain harmful thinning agents such as propylene glycol or PEG 400. Gummies should not contain artificial colorings and flavorings and should rely on natural additives instead.
Choosing delta-8 products that are both safe and effective can feel like an overwhelming task. However, by following the guidelines above and reading plenty of customer reviews, it is entirely possible.
Once you have found a suitable brand, decide which products fit your lifestyle best, check that delta-8 is legal in your area, and make your purchase. If you have questions or concerns regarding whether delta-8 THC is safe for you, consult your healthcare provider for further advice.