Stay Safe: What Is Delta-8-THC?

There is an increased interest in the use of plant medicine to treat many mental and physical ailments. Cannabis and its derivatives are one such plant. Delta-9-THC is the most recognized derivative and is associated with the “high” that marijuana is known for.

Key takeaways:
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    Delta-8-THC is one of many active chemical compounds found in marijuana.
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    Delta-8 is about half as potent as Delta-9, the derivative known for marijuana’s “high”.
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    Delta-8 is available in 29 states currently.
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    The FDA has not endorsed the use of Delta-8.

Delta-8-THC, on the other hand, is an isomer of CBD and is about half as potent as delta-9-THC regarding psychoactive effects. In addition, it is not illegal to use in most states, although there are concerns about its use and manufacturing practices here in the United States.

Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids are the active compounds found in cannabis (Marijuana). These chemicals interact with the human body's endocannabinoid system, which regulates various functions, including pain, appetite, mood, and memory. There are over 100 different cannabinoids. However, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are the two most well-known. THC is the cannabinoid that gives cannabis its psychoactive properties, while CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid with a variety of potential medical applications. Cannabinoids can be consumed in several ways, including smoking, vaporizing, eating (edibles), and using topical products.

Delta-8-THC

As of late, delta-8-THC has gained popularity due to its legal status. Delta-8-THC is an isomer of CBD and is about half as potent as delta-9-THC regarding psychoactive effects. And in many states, it is legal. Delta-8 THC is one of about 100 naturally produced cannabinoids found in marijuana.

Currently, delta-8-THC is available in 29 states plus Washington DC. Other states, including Alaska and California, highly regulate or have banned this substance. Delta-8-THC contains 0.3% of delta-9-THC—the limit under federal law—making it legal. However, the DEA has not yet formally ruled on the matter.

Delta-8-THC vs. Delta-9-THC

Users have reported that Delta-8-THC has unique effects that some people find more desirable than delta-9-THC. For one, delta-8-THC is less likely to cause anxiety or paranoia than delta-9-THC. Additionally, delta-8-THC is said to provide a clear-headed high that is more functional than the typical THC high. Because of these properties, delta-8-THC has gained popularity among those wanting the benefits of THC without the negative side effects. But is it without negative effects? Not according to the FDA, National Poison Control Centers, or the CDC.

Delta-8-THC as a cure?

Many people who manufacture delta-8-THC market it as a treatment for medical conditions. It is important to be aware that the FDA has not evaluated nor approved delta-8-THC for consumer use, nor is there any solid evidence to support medical uses of delta-8-THC.

Delta-8-THC side effects

While delta-8-THC is not as well-known as THC, it is still important to be aware of the potential risks associated with its use. For example, delta-8-THC can cause anxiety and paranoia in some people. Additionally, it may be addictive and could potentially lead to dependence. It is strongly recommended that if you use delta-8-THC to keep it out of the reach of children and pets.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Since its inception, the FDA has received reports of adverse events regarding the use of Delta-8-THC, including hallucinations, gastrointestinal upset, anxiety, confusion, dizziness, and loss of consciousness.

The National Poison Control Center received 2,362 exposure cases between January 1, 2021, and February 28, 2022. One pediatric case was coded as a death.

The Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) recently issued a health alert on September 14, 2021, about the use of delta-8-THC based on the lack of research into its properties, the use of harsh chemicals and solvents when synthesizing the drug, and reports of adverse health effects after using this substance. The health alert is based on insufficient labeling of the product.

What's in Delta-8-THC?

Delta-8-THC is synthetically produced by extracting it from cannabis plants. The tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the plant is converted into delta-8-THC, which is then isolated and purified. This process can be done using different methods, but the most common involves using a solvent like ethanol or hexane. Additional chemicals are used to change the color of the product, and there is very little knowledge about the conditions in which delta-8-THC is synthesized.

If you're interested in trying delta-8-THC, you can find it in various products, including oils, edibles, and vape cartridges. However, because delta-8-THC is still relatively new on the market, it can be difficult to find high-quality and consistent products. In addition, please be aware of limitations in the labeling of the product. If you use this substance and experience any adverse effects, seek local medical attention or call your local or national poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.