How safe is Delta 8 THC?
By Dharma D8 | May 25, 2021
These days, it’s not hard to find products made with delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta 8 THC or D8). With its increasing popularity, Delta 8 THC has caught a lot of people’s attention. But what is it exactly? And how safe is it really? These are great questions! We here at DharmaD8 want to help you answer them, along with a few others. After all, you wouldn't buy any D8 if you aren't comfortable using it.
The basics of Delta 8 THC
To begin with, let’s make sure that you thoroughly understand what Delta 8 THC is, where it comes from, and what it does.
Cannabis plants, including hemp, contain a special group of chemical compounds called cannabinoids. You may have heard of these compounds before. They have caught the eye of multiple different researchers because they are able to interact with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). This system is made up of cellular receptors that help your body control various functions. As a result, cannabinoids are able to interact with the ECS and have different effects on the human body. There are over 100 different cannabinoids found in cannabis plants, one of which is D8. But there is another that you more than likely are already aware of.
This well-known cannabinoid is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta 9 THC). This name probably doesn’t seem quite as familiar because it is normally referred to as just “THC”, because it is the main form of tetrahydrocannabinol found in cannabis plants. But Delta 8 THC is also part of the THC family. It and Delta 9 THC are actually quite similar to each other. They only have one small difference in the way they are built. This difference, though small, is quite significant, and creates diverse effects.
As you likely already know, Delta 9 THC is famous for creating the psychoactive feeling of euphoria that is also called a high. It does this by binding directly with the ECS receptors. Delta 9 THC grabs onto these receptors nice and tight, much tighter than any other cannabinoid. D8, being built so similarly to Delta 9 THC, also binds directly to the ECS receptors. But its hold isn’t as tight as Delta 9 THC’s. Although Delta 8 THC grabs on tighter than most other cannabinoids, it still can’t quite match its sibling. As a result, D8 also causes a feeling of euphoria, but this high is often described as less intense and a little more bodily than that of Delta 9 THC.
However, this connection to Delta 9 THC does lead to a different question. Is Delta 8 THC legal? After all, Delta 9 THC’s legal status is not exactly positive. So, what does this mean for D8? Well, there is some good news in regard to D8’s legal status. Back in 2018, the newest version of the Farm Bill was signed into law. This version of the bill federally legalized industrial hemp in the United States.
This meant that everything made from hemp (including Delta 8 THC products) was from that point federally legal. But it's not that simple, there is a nuance to understand. “Federally legal,” as all-encompassing as it sounds, does not mean it is legal in every state. It means that each state is able to make its own laws regarding hemp and hemp products. So, D8 is legal in most states, but you should still do some research to make sure that it’s legal in yours.
So, now that we’re all on the same page about Delta 8 THC, let’s talk about its safety.
How safe is Delta 8 THC?
The most important thing to understand is that D8 is still very new to the mainstream market, and people are still trying to fully understand this compound. That being said, it, in general, has not shown to be any more dangerous than Delta 9 THC (which is considered to be pretty safe). Let’s get into more detail, shall we?
Important information you should be aware of is that if you take too much D8, you could have some adverse effects. There aren’t many studies on what happens if you take too much Delta 8 THC. But since they are built in such similar ways, it’s fairly safe to assume that it wouldn’t be unlike the effects of taking too much Delta 9 THC. These effects include things like fatigue, a major change in appetite, and some mild paranoia. Because D8’s effects are considered to be less intense than Delta 9 THC, it is possible that these adverse effects may be slightly less intense as well. But that can’t be said for sure.
The reason this is difficult to be sure about is that cannabinoids, especially Delta 8 THC, affect everyone that uses them differently. Some people use it and only experience a feeling of euphoria and not much else. Others will try it and not notice anything. There are the few who will give it a try and feel somewhat paranoid. This all seems to vary, meaning that each person can experience something different depending on how much D8 they take. This is why it’s important to figure out the right serving of Delta 8 THC for you. But how do you do that?
What is the best way to find the right serving of Delta 8 THC for me?
As mentioned above, everyone is going to have a different experience with D8 and requires a slightly different amount of the cannabinoid to get their ideal experience. But what is the best way to do this without having to deal with negative side effects?
The best way to find the perfect serving of Delta 8 THC is to start off slow. If you’re already experienced in taking Delta 9 THC, you probably already know your limit. In this case, it is likely that you could take the same amount of both cannabinoids, respectively, and not feel adverse effects. You won’t need to worry about testing the waters of D8 quite as much as those who are new to it.
Contrastingly, if you’re new to the world of THC, start out with a small amount of Delta 8 THC. Wait for a while after you take it (this amount of time can differ depending on what product you use, as we’ll go over later) and see if you notice anything. If you’re not feeling any effects, then you can try taking a bit more. You can keep repeating this until you find the exact amount that works best for you. Once you find that perfect amount, stop there. If you keep adding on and taking more and more, you may get those negative side effects that we’ve been talking about. The key here is starting low and slow and being honest about how you’re feeling. Just be sure to write it down someplace, so that you remember.
This process will take time, but it is definitely worth it. It helps to ensure that your D8 experience is the most pleasant possible. So, to be sure that you are getting the experience you want, be patient and be willing to experiment.
What kind of Delta 8 THC products are out there?
Now that you know how to use Delta 8 THC in the best, safest way, let’s talk about what options you have in how to use it. Remember that each product can change how you experience the D8, but we’ll talk a bit more about why that is later. For now, here are the main categories of Delta 8 THC products.
In general, this is one of the more common and traditional ways of using hemp. Smokables include blunts and vapes, so anything you smoke. These can be as involved as you want, as there are pre-rolled Delta 8 hemp joints and Delta 8 hemp flower that you grind and roll yourself. Smokables will have the fastest effects. Once the smoke hits your lungs, the D8 can enter your system and start going to work. With smokables, there’s no guesswork about how much longer you have to wait until you can try using some more. You’ll either feel the effects immediately or you’ll need another hit.
The one downside to smokables is that their effects wear off rather quickly. Meaning that you’ll likely need to keep taking hits to keep up the high. If you’re looking for something immediate, smokables could be perfect. However, if you would rather have something that takes less maintenance, you may want to look elsewhere.
These are definitely the most popular kind of Delta 8 THC products out there, and it’s not very surprising. They are foods made using D8 extract as one of the ingredients. They are popular because they are easy to use and help people avoid that distinctive hemp flavor. Edibles are often found in the form of candy (especially gummies), but they are also readily available as baked goods, salty snacks, and drinks. This variety appeals to a lot of people, as they can find their favorite snack with a hit of Delta 8 THC.
Edibles are the products that you have to pay careful attention to in regards to the quantity you consume. This is due to the fact that edibles take the longest amount of time to start working. The food needs to digest a bit before the Delta 8 THC can really hit your system. It can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour before you notice any effects. So, when eating edibles you need to be especially patient before you take any more. The serving you took could be perfect for you, the food may just need a minute to break down before it can release the D8.
It’s easy to see why the other products are as popular as they are. But some people don’t like having only one option in how to use their products. Some people prefer having flexibility in their products. This is where Delta 8 THC oils come into play. These are simple products, just the D8 extract, and a carrier oil, that allows you some freedom in how you use them.
The most direct way to use a Delta 8 THC oil is by placing the oil right into your mouth. This way works best if you place it under the tongue. This is pretty fast because the skin in your mouth (especially under the tongue) is thin. It allows for compounds, like D8, to enter the bloodstream hassle-free. This will be faster than an edible, but not quite as fast as a smokable. Another way to use Delta 8 THC oil is by making your own edibles. It’s not uncommon for people to buy these oils and use them in their cooking, baking, and meal prep. But, like with pre-made edibles, these will take longer to start working than taking the oil directly. So, you will need to be patient if you cook with D8 oil.
So, these are the main categories of products that you’ll find. As you can see, each has its benefits and drawbacks. You just have to figure out which one will work best for you. You also need to remember that each one has a different length of time before it will start working. Some take a while (edibles) and others are almost immediate (smokables). This could play into your choice of the right product for you. Just make sure that you’re using it safely.
So, how safe is Delta 8 THC? Just about as safe as about any other similar product as long as you use it correctly. If you make sure you are taking the right amount of D8, it shouldn’t be an issue. Plus, most manufacturers put serving size suggestions that work for most people. For example, here at DharmaD8, we also have serving size suggestions for all of our products, so you can feel confident about what you’re using. Check out our shop page here to see what we have to offer.
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