the side effects of delta-8 thc, cannabis sativa plant. marijuana addiction treatment

Delta-8 THC, also known as “cannabis lite” or “diet weed,” is an analog of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with potential anxiolytic, analgesic, and neuroprotective activities. While associated with producing milder effects compared to delta-9 THC, delta-8 THC may still cause hallucinations, tremors, severe anxiety, and loss of consciousness.

What is Delta-8 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)?

Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a psychoactive substance similar to that of delta-9 THC, found in the Cannabis sativa plant. The primary psychoactive compound in cannabis (marijuana) is delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is illegal. Delta-8 THC, while not evaluated or approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is legal at the federal level.

delta-8 thc from cannabis plant

The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp, which is part of the class of Cannabis sativa, from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Derivatives of cannabis with significantly low concentrations of delta-9 THC, as well as hemp-derived CBD products, were made legal in the United States. Delta-8 THC is manufactured from hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD), which allows it to remain legal in several states in the U.S.

Common Side Effects of Delta-8 THC

While delta-8 produces milder psychoactive effects compared to delta-9 THC, the side effects and risks of delta-8 are still intoxicating and potentially dangerous. These side effects typically include:

  • Dry mouth and eyes
  • Drowsiness
  • Euphoria
  • Relaxation
  • Increased heart rate
  • Coordination impairments
  • Severe anxiety and panic
  • Severe paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Cognitive impairment

Since delta-8 has not been regulated or approved by the FDA, it poses several health risks and concerns. Delta-8 THC products are typically unregulated, which means the contents are not always consistent or entirely accurate. Some may contain harmful contaminants or significantly higher doses than listed.

woman struggling with mental health risks and delta-8 thc

The Rising Concern of Delta-8 in the Cannabis Industry

The limited research on delta-8 THC, alongside its unregulated nature, increases its risk for misuse and adverse effects. Delta-8 products often vary in potency and content purity, which can lead to increased intoxication and unknown side effects and symptoms. Users can develop a psychological and physical dependence on delta-8 and delta-9 THC’s psychoactive and therapeutic effects. Delta-8 THC misuse can lead to unpredictable side effects and health risks, including psychosis, suicidal ideation, and loss of consciousness.

While delta-8 THC may be considered a legal product at the federal level, it does not mean it is safe for consumption.

Delta-8 THC vs. Delta-9 THC

Delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC are both derivatives of the cannabis sativa plant. However, the plant contains more delta-9 contents than delta-8. Both delta-9 and delta-8 THC produce psychoactive effects that leave users feeling “high,” such as euphoria, altered perception, and relaxation. Delta-9 THC has undergone extensive research and tests for several years, whereas delta-8 still has limited research.

With such minimal research and regulations on a psychoactive product like delta-8 THC, this leaves room for manufacturers to tinker with its contents, dosage, and quality. Although delta-9 THC is reported to have more immoderate psychoactive side effects, both delta-8 and delta-9 THC remain unpredictable, with a high risk of adverse health consequences.

Is Delta-8 THC Addictive?

Delta-8 THC products have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA for safe consumption, as many products have inconsistent cannabinoid and terpene contents. Since delta-8 products remain unapproved, the addictive potential varies amongst products with inconsistent concentrations. Repeated use of delta-8 THC, like delta-9 THC, can lead to tolerance development, dependency, and withdrawal.

The psychoactive effects of delta-8, such as euphoria, relaxation, and altered sensory perception, can lead to chronic use. While some users may develop a physical dependence and experience withdrawal symptoms when stopping use, there is a higher risk of psychological dependence.

Many users begin using delta-8 THC to cope with distressing emotions such as stress or anxiety. Self-medicating with psychoactive substances like delta-8 can lead to developing a psychological dependency on the substance. Every time users experience feelings of anxiety and high stress, they’ll create a habit of using delta-8 to relieve those emotions. Much like delta-9 in cannabis, delta-8 interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the brain, specifically the receptors responsible for mood, memory, and reward. Regular use and abuse of delta-8 can alter mood and worsen symptoms of anxiety, potentially leading to the development of other mental health conditions.

man struggling with the side effects of delta-8 thc

Health Risks and Concerns of Delta-8 THC

Although delta-8 is famous for producing milder effects than delta-9, this does not mean it does not carry severe health risks and concerns. Delta-8 products are primarily sold in unregulated markets, which leads to unpredictable product quality and potency. These products may contain harmful contaminants that users are unaware of and can significantly harm their health.

The inconsistent potency of delta-8 THC makes it challenging to accurately control their dosage and intake, which can result in overconsumption. Accidental overconsumption of unregulated substances is not uncommon and can lead to more substantial psychoactive effects and potential health risks.

Some users may experience memory impairments and slow reaction times, affecting motor function and daily activities. While some users may experience reduced anxiety, others may experience heightened anxiety, paranoia, and panic with delta-8. These products can cause elevated heart rate, respiratory issues, lasting psychiatric conditions, and loss of consciousness.

The health risks are unpredictable with delta-8 THC products. However, some users have reported severe psychosis, lasting depression, and suicidal ideation. Delta-8 THC consumption has resulted in several emergency room visits and calls to poison control centers with unresponsive and unconscious patients.

If you are experiencing adverse side effects from delta-8 exposure or any other substance, don’t hesitate to call 911 or go to the emergency room—your health and life matter. Don’t let substance abuse take that from you. Call Coastal Detox today for South Florida drug and alcohol detox in Stuart, FL.