If you are interested in cannabis products, then you have probably heard about Delta-8. Here is a guide to Delta-8 THC and its benefits.
Healthy Living

What Is Delta-8 and What Are Its Benefits?

If you’ve had negative experiences with Delta-9 or are looking for something with milder effects, Delta-8 is a great option for you. Many people avoid CBD products because of certain side effects and don’t realize there’s another option.

They also aren’t aware of all of the Delta-8 benefits or the variety of Delta-8 uses. In this article, we explain what is Delta-8 and all of the benefits that come along with it. Continue reading to see if Delta-8 is the right product for you. 

What Is Delta-8?

What is Delta-8? Delta-8 THC is one of many cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids bind with receptors in the body and affect mental, emotional, and physical processes. This relationship has medical benefits as well.

Delta-9 THC is the most common cannabinoid, which is known for its psychoactive properties. Delta-8 is chemically similar to Delta-9. However, the few molecules that differentiate the two make a big difference in the effect, which we will discuss later.

While Delta-8 occurs naturally in cannabis, it only exists in very small amounts per plant. For this reason, it’s often produced in a laboratory:

Going From CBD to Delta-8

The process of creating Delta-8 starts with either CBD or Delta-9 THC. Most believe that starting with CBD is simpler. There are several methods to achieve the desired result. 

One procedure, in particular, is a relatively simple process:

  • Dissolve CBD into a non-polar solvent
  • Maintain a temperature of 100°C and add an acid (Lewis acids are a popular choice)
  • Stir continuously until the chemical reaction occurs (1 to 18 hours)
  • Once the reaction occurs, neutralize, wash, and dry the solution

The most important part of the process is the chosen acids and solvents. Using different components produces different results. A process called liquid chromatography is used to analyze the product before it’s used. 

Is Delta-8 Legal?

Technically speaking, Delta-8 is not federally illegal. The 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized hemp products, including CBD. This law also legalized products containing <0.3% of Delta-9 THC derived from hemp. 

So, if Delta-8 is derived from natural hemp, it’s federally legal. However, the majority of Delta-8 is derived from synthetically generated CBD. For this reason, many legal professionals believe its future is uncertain. 

States also have the ability to regulate Delta-8. Currently, 15 states have outlawed the product.

Be aware that the legality of Delta-8 is not related to the legality of THC in your state. For example, Delta-8 is illegal in states like Arizona and Colorado even though the recreational use of THC is allowed. 

To be safe, we recommend checking your state laws before purchasing any Delta-8 products. This will help you avoid any legal issues at the state level. 

The Delta-8 Experience

Part of answering the question, ‘what is Delta-8,’ is understanding what kind of experience it offers. As we said earlier, the difference between Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC is only a few molecules. However, these few molecules have a big impact on the effects of each cannabinoid. 

Most users agree that the effects of Delta-8 are similar to those of Delta-9, but with a reduced impact. The most common effects include euphoria, relaxation, and appetite stimulation. So, you’ll experience the ‘high’ of Delta-9 without the anxiety, paranoia, or tiredness. 

Delta-8 is often recommended to users who are sensitive to the psychoactive effects of Delta-9. They experience what is called a ‘body high’ while still maintaining a level of mental clarity, meaning you feel in control of your body more so than with Delta-9.

Delta-8 Benefits

There are several benefits afforded to users of Delta-8 including improved cognition, pain management, anti-anxiety effects, and more. These benefits are even more significant considering the lessened side effects compared to Delta-9:

Improved Cognition

Delta-8 is thought to increase the levels of acetylcholine in the body. Acetylcholine is a chemical that acts as a messenger between the body’s cells. This chemical is responsible for contracting muscles, dilating blood vessels, and other bodily functions. 

Because of the increase of this chemical, Delta-8 can also encourage cell regeneration. This includes the regeneration of brain cells, which leads to improved cognition.

Pain Management

Pain management is another of the Delta-8 benefits. This occurs through the product’s influence on the body’s cell-signaling system (the endocannabinoid system or ECS). The ECS is meant to maintain homeostasis, meaning it keeps the body in a balanced state. 

This system oversees operations in the body involving pain, memory, digestion, mood, and more. While many report pain management as a result of using Delta-8, most experts agree that more research is needed to understand the true effects and pain management possibilities it has to offer. 

Anti-Anxiety Effects

Similar to Delta-9 THC, Delta-8 has anxiolytic (or anti-anxiety) properties. More research is still needed in this area as well, but many users report feeling calm and worry-free.

Many people who suffer from anxiety avoid the use of THC products altogether because of the side effect of paranoia and anxiety. However, there’s anecdotal evidence that these are among the side effects not associated with the use of Delta-8. 

Cancer-Fighting Properties

There’s only been one study on the effects of Delta-8 as a potential cancer treatment. It was conducted in 1974 on researches studying lung cancer in mice. Delta-8 reduced the size of the tumors in treated mice after only 20 days. 

No further research has been conducted since cannabis is not yet federally legal in the United States. More research is needed to determine its effectiveness in cancer treatment.

Appetite Stimulating

While more research is needed to find out if Delta-8 can treat cancer, we do know that it increases the user’s appetite. This makes it a great option for those with chronic illnesses who struggle with finding their appetite. In fact, some argue that the appetite-stimulating effects are stronger in Delta-8 than in Delta-9.

Is Delta-8 Safe?

One of the top questions about Delta-8 has to do with whether or not it’s safe to use. The way this product works is by mimicking natural compounds in the body. It interacts with the body’s natural receptors. 

So, what is Delta-8 in terms of safety?

Short-Term Effects

There is no evidence that the consumption of Delta-8 is harmful. The effects of the product dissipate after a few hours. So, in the short term, there seem to be no severe effects.

However, there are certain side effects you can expect. The most common are anxiety, dry mouth, dry eyes, tiredness, and temporary feelings of numbness. These effects, while they may seem alarming, are typically a result of an overdose.

This is especially true for the side effects of anxiety and temporary numbness. These relate to the idea of a “mind high” and a “body high,” respectively.

The mind high relates to feeling stuck in your head. It can affect your ability to stay focused and be aware of what’s going on around you, which causes some to feel anxious. This is more common of Delta-9 THC than Delta-8.

The body high relates to feeling too aware of physical sensations. This type of high is more common with Delta-8 cannabis than a mind high. To avoid these and other side effects, we recommend starting at a lower dose (see below).

Long-Term Effects

But what about long-term effects? There is little data available about the long-term effects of CBD products in general. There’s practically no data about Delta-8. 

What we do know is that CBD products are addictive, though Delta-8 seems to be less addictive than Delta-9. It’s more common for someone to crave the feeling of being high rather than being physically addicted to the product. 

Prolonged use seems to be anecdotally linked to a decrease in motivation. Others also claim having felt lethargy, irritability, and lack of appetite after discontinuing use.

While more research is needed in this area, the product does appear to be overall safe. Consider the long-term effects and the effects associated with prolonged use before deciding to use it. 

Using Delta-8 Safely

If you use Delta-8 cannabis safely and responsibly, you can enjoy a positive experience. For example, you should never operate a vehicle or other potentially dangerous equipment while intoxicated. Even though some people report a sense of mental clarity, it’s not safe to operate heavy machinery.

Use Proper Dosing

If you are new to cannabinoid products, be careful about your dosing, which we will discuss below. The effects of Delta-8 are less potent than Delta-9, but these can still be significant if you’ve never used THC products before. New users may feel overwhelmed by the experience or may even feel unwell, though there have been no known cases of death from overdose.

Only Buy From Reputable Sources

Also, make sure you are buying from reputable sources. One prevalent issue with illegitimate products is contamination. In recent years, cartridges contained high amounts of pesticides, which resulted in several severe health issues.

To avoid this, buy from reputable sellers. These sellers should disclose any test results from third parties, which often include pesticide screening.

Read the Label

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has labeled certain ingredients found in cannabis products as safe. However, these products may have a negative impact on health once inhaled. 

These ingredients are polyethylene glycol (PEG), propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), and vitamin E acetate. PG may potentially worsen symptoms of asthma or allergies.

Additionally, PG and PEG break down into carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) when subjected to high temperatures and vaporized. 

Delta-8 Cannabis Products

It’s not surprising that there are many different Delta-8 uses, just like there are many different Delta-9 uses. These products are found online as well as at local dispensaries. Among the most popular are: vape concentrates, tinctures, oils, and edibles.

Check out this link to find a variety of Delta-8 cannabis products:

Determining Dosage

Determining the right dosage can help you enjoy the Delta-8 benefits. Just like with any drug, there is what’s called the least effective dose. This means the minimum amount you need to receive the benefits of the drug.

This is where many medical professionals start with dosing. It’s where you should start when it comes to Delta-8 cannabis, too. If you use too little, you won’t feel anything, but if you use too much, you could experience negative side effects.

Keep in mind, dosing depends on the product used. When using more potent methods of delivery, such as vaping, smoking, or dabbing, we recommend taking 1 to 3 hits. Then, allow 30 minutes to pass before taking any additional hits.

In contrast, capsules and edibles can take an hour to take effect. Take the lowest dose, allow the hour to pass, and then take more as needed. 

First-time users should limit their intake to 5-15mg. Regular users can increase to 15-45mg. Advanced users can typically handle 45-150mg or more.

As you become more comfortable with the dose, you can gradually start to increase it. We recommend no more than 5mg per week. Keep in mind, your body will eventually build up resistance over time, so you may need to increase the dose to maintain the same experience level.

Consider the Benefits of Delta-8

Delta-8 can be a great product for those that get overwhelmed by Delta-9 THC. They can get the same positive benefits without the harsh side effects. The most important thing is to make sure you are using safe practices and proper dosages. 

While Delta-8 is not yet been illegal at the federal level, make sure to check your local laws. Several states have outlawed the use of Delta-8. By being proactive, you can avoid any negative outcomes in your state.

For more articles on healthy living, head to our blog. 

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