Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta 8) is a less psychoactive cannabinoid that is closely related to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Delta 8 is not naturally present in large amounts in the cannabis plant (marijuana or hemp) but it can be created through the chemical conversion of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD). While THC will get you high, and CBD won’t get you high, delta 8 can get you a little high. Let’s dive in further on what to expect when taking delta 8 for the first time.
What is it Like to Take Delta 8 THC?
When trying delta 8 for the first time start slow and only take a small amount before trying a full dose. Remember that you will likely feel “high” and you may experience drowsiness, dry mouth, and dry eyes.
If you vape delta 8 or smoke hemp sprayed with delta 8, it will work fast (within 30 minutes). Delta 8 tinctures that are taken sublingually generally also work pretty quickly. If you are taking delta 8 in the form of an edible like a gummy or capsule it can take up to two hours to feel the full effects.
Anecdotally, delta 8 users describe the experience as being less intense than THC with less anxiety and paranoia. They also note that it is cheaper than marijuana.
A 2018 mouse study observed that delta 8 was helpful in relieving pain and inflammation [THAPA]. It is worth noting that this was a study related to corneal injury of the eye, but some delta 8 users anecdotally report pain relief as a reason for using the product.
Just like delta-9-THC, delta-8-THC can lead to the munchies. A 2004 mouse study observed that small doses lead to increased appetite, an effect that could be medically significant [AVRAHAM].
More recent research from 2020 found that delta 8 help reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea . Delta-9-THC and CBD have also been linked to nausea reduction.
Medical Uses of Delta 8 THC
Historically, delta 8 has been of interest in treating eye pressure from glaucoma [HIPP]. Most of the study around delta 8 has been for that purpose so not too much is currently known about it. Researchers are interested in delta 8 because it is not as psychoactive as THC and may be more suitable for medical use with children and older adults. However, it is currently marketed alongside CBD products and should not be given to children. Before using delta 8, be sure to talk to your doctor to make sure it is a safe option and check local laws to make sure it is legal where you live. Be aware that you can fail a drug test from taking delta 8!
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- Avraham, Yosefa, Dikla Ben-Shushan, Aviva Breuer, Olga Zolotarev, Avital Okon, Nir Fink, Vered Katz, and Elliot M. Berry. (2004). Very low doses of Δ8-THC increase food consumption and alter neurotransmitter levels following weight loss. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 2004;77(4):675-684. Retrieved 3/29/2021 from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0091305704000280?via%3Dihub
- Hippalgaonkar K, Gul W, ElSohly MA, Repka MA, Majumdar S. Enhanced solubility, stability, and transcorneal permeability of δ-8-tetrahydrocannabinol in the presence of cyclodextrins. AAPS PharmSciTech. 2011;12(2):723-731. doi:10.1208/s12249-011-9639-5 Retrieved 3/29/2021 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3134676/
- Serafimovska, T., Darkovska-Serafimovska, M., Stefkov, G., Arsova-Sarafinovska, Z., & Balkanov, T. (2020). Pharmacotherapeutic Considerations for Use of Cannabinoids to Relieve Symptoms of Nausea and Vomiting Induced by Chemotherapy. Folia Medica 2020;62:668. Retrieved 3/29/2021 from https://foliamedica.bg/article/51478/download/pdf/
- Thapa D, Cairns EA, Szczesniak AM, Toguri JT, Caldwell MD, Kelly MEM. The Cannabinoids Δ8THC, CBD, and HU-308 Act via Distinct Receptors to Reduce Corneal Pain and Inflammation. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2018;3(1):11-20. Published 2018 Feb 1. doi:10.1089/can.2017.0041 Retrieved 3/29/2021 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5812319/
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