Move over CBD, delta-8 is on the rise. Gummies, vape cartridges, and tinctures containing the isomer are now available in gas stations, convenience stores, tobacco shops, and cannabis dispensaries across the country and beyond.
However, many consumers remain unsure of the safety of these products and claim medicinal benefits hold up to scientific scrutiny. Choosing a brand that prioritizes purity and safety is vital for your health.
What is Delta-8?
Delta-8 is a chemical compound found in cannabis and hemp plants that produces a similar high to delta-9 THC. It is also a type of cannabinoid that is able to produce therapeutic effects, such as reducing stress and anxiety, relieving pain, and improving sleep. Delta-8 products can be purchased online, in weed dispensaries, vape shops, holistic health stores, and even at some convenience stores.
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Some people use delta-8 to achieve relaxation or an uplifted mood, but it can also cause adverse side effects like slowed reaction time and loss of coordination. The FDA warns that consuming too much can be dangerous, especially for teens and young adults.
Experts are concerned about the unregulated nature of the delta-8 industry and the lack of oversight. They also worry that the products are being marketed in ways that are appealing to children and teens, including in the form of gummies, cookies, chocolates, and other candy-like treats.
This may increase the risk of accidental exposure or poisoning. Many of these products are sold at retailers that don’t have age restrictions, making them accessible to younger consumers.
This could lead to increased levels of abuse and addiction. If you suspect your teen is abusing or addicted to delta-8, seek treatment. Many treatment centers offer inpatient and outpatient services, depending on the severity of your teen’s addiction.
How is Delta-8 Different from Delta-9 THC?
Delta-8 is a more subtle cannabinoid than Delta-9. While Delta 9 can cause paranoia, anxiety, and panicked thoughts, Delta 8 is known to create a calm and focussed high that’s ideal for productive use. Delta-8 can also help with pain, nausea, and insomnia without the euphoria associated with Delta-9 THC.
The onset of Delta-8 is slower than Delta-9 and can take up to 12 hours to reach full effect. It can be smoked as a flower, vaped as a concentrate, or consumed in edible form. It can also be found in tinctures, capsules, and topicals.
While pure Delta-8 is safe for most healthy adults, it should not be used by people in recovery from a substance use disorder. It’s possible for people in recovery to experience adverse side effects like vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration if they consume too much.
Legal Status of Delta-8
Delta-8 is not fully legal in the US, though the situation is changing. The federal government considers all compounds that are similar to THC, whether isolated from Cannabis sativa or synthetic, Schedule I controlled substances, which means they have no accepted medical use and have considerable potential for abuse.
Most of the Delta-8 on the market is not sourced from the marijuana plant, but instead synthesized from CBD that occurs more plentifully in hemp. The process involves chemical reagents that can leave residuals in the final product, which can have dangerous effects.
Some states, including Vermont, have banned the sale of synthetically-derived Delta-8 products due to their Schedule I status.
Others have enacted legislation to regulate it. Kentucky passed a bill that requires health officials to regulate the production and sale of Delta-8, ensuring proper labeling and testing procedures.
Potential Benefits and Risks Associated with Delta-8
When it comes to Delta-8, the cannabis industry has mixed feelings about its sudden rise in popularity. While some believe that it is the result of a CBD backlash, others suggest that it may be more due to the fact that Delta-8 is legal in most places and produces a less intense high than delta-9 THC.
Because Delta-8 is produced from hemp, it is not subject to the same strict federal regulations as THC, making it easier for consumers to access.
However, this also means that Delta-8 products are not rigorously tested for safety and could contain heavy metals, pesticides, and other chemicals. This could lead to a variety of adverse side effects, including confusion, anxiety, drowsiness, fast heart rate, and low blood pressure.
Although Delta-8 does not produce the same psychoactive effects as THC, it is still a Schedule I drug under federal law.
As such, it is not recommended for use by minors or pregnant women. In addition, it can cause a variety of unpleasant side effects, including loss of coordination, blurred vision, and drowsiness. It can also trigger seizures in people with a history of them.
Lastly, if someone takes too much Delta-8, they may experience severe sedation and even a coma.
How to use Delta-8 Products Safely and Responsibly
The most important thing to remember when using Delta-8 products is that they should always be stored out of reach of children and pets.
Delta-8 products are often marketed as gummies and candies, and many of them are sold at stores like gas stations and convenience stores that have no age restrictions on who can purchase them.
As a result, there have been a number of calls to poison control centers involving children who accidentally ingested Delta-8 products.
Delta-8 products are typically unregulated and may be contaminated with chemicals from the manufacturing process. This is why it is so important to only buy from reputable manufacturers and to read the COAs (Certificate of Analysis) closely, looking for results that indicate there are no harmful contaminants in the product.
If you are going to try Delta-8, it is also recommended that you start with a small dose and work your way up. It is not possible to overdose on Delta-8, but consuming too much can lead to an unpleasant experience.
If you do experience any of the symptoms of overdose, seek medical attention immediately. There are a variety of treatment options for people who have trouble controlling their use of Delta-8 or other psychoactive substances, including inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment.
Future of Delta-8 in the Cannabis Industry
Delta-8 products have become popular in states that don’t allow marijuana and offer a safe, low-cost alternative to consuming the plant. They can be found in gummies, oils, and vape pods.
While they are legal in some states, others have banned their sale. The FDA has warned consumers to be careful, citing that poison control centers have reported an increase in calls related to these products.
Many cannabis companies have chosen to steer clear of delta-8 THC products. They can be easily tainted with other chemicals that the consumer may not know about, and there is very little research on the compound itself.
Some cannabis entrepreneurs, however, have decided to embrace delta-8 and related synthetic cannabinoids. They believe that it is an excellent way to get regional brand exposure and build a customer base before full legalization occurs.