Delta-8, also known as “lite-weed,” could benefit people in their everyday lives. If you want to learn more about these benefits and consider whether or not delta 8 products could be useful for you, check out our article below.
What is Delta-8?
Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the most well-known molecules in cannabis. However, the cannabis plant contains over 100 different cannabinoid molecules, each with its own distinct properties.
One of these is delta-8-THC.
Delta-8 and delta-9 are both technically THC, and both cause intoxicating effects by acting on the CB1 receptor. However, their variation in chemical structure means delta-8 is less intoxicating and doesn’t have as much risk for unwanted psychological effects, such as paranoia.
In fact, one research study referred to delta-8 as “THC’s nicer younger sibling,” and most users describe the delta 8 experience as “dream-like,” “relaxing,” and “mildly euphoric.”
Is Delta-8 Legal?
Compared with delta-9-THC and CBD, the legality surrounding delta-8 is much less clear.
On a federal level, delta-8 originating from marijuana is illegal since the plant itself is illegal. In contrast, because the 2018 Agriculture and Nutrition Improvement Act removed hemp and its by-products from the list of controlled substances, delta-8 extracted from industrial hemp containing >0.3% THC is legal.
The unclear legal rules on the cannabinoid mean the unregulated market has seen the sale of many impure and falsely-labelled delta 8 products.
As such, in recent years, an increasing number of US states have placed individual-state bans on delta-8 distribution, possession, and consumption. To date, 21 different US states have restricted the use of delta-8.
In the UK, delta-8 also has unclear legality since there’s no mention in the UK’s drug licensing factsheet. However, because of its psychoactive effect, it’s safe to assume delta-8 is classified under the UK Psychoactive Substances Act.
Why Do People Use Delta-8?
Users have described the high from delta-8 as “much more chilled out” than delta-9-THC. For this reason, people may use delta-8 to help them feel more at ease in tense situations, find relief from stress, or unwind at the end of a busy day.
In one study, researchers used open-ended questions in an online questionnaire to learn how delta-8 affected users. In a sample of 521 participants, 79% reported that delta-8 made them feel more relaxed. However, 26% of participants reported experiencing some degree of anxiety, and 17% reported paranoia.
Appetite and Weight Management
In one study, mice who were given delta-8 increased their food intake by 16%, implying that delta-8 may be able to help increase appetite for people struggling to eat.
However, although the mice ate more food in the study, they actually lost weight. Therefore, using delta-8 for eating disorders in people with low weight may be problematic.
Nonetheless, it could suggest that delta-8 increases metabolism (energy production from food) and, therefore, could be helpful for people needing to reduce their weight for health reasons.
Improvement of Mental Health
The relaxing and euphoric effects of delta-8 suggest it could help manage anxiety, stress, and low mood.
In a 2021 experiment, researchers used online surveys to assess some of the reasons people used delta-8. Their results showed that over half of the participants used delta-8 to treat mental and physical health conditions, 69% of whom used delta-8 to treat anxiety and panic, and 45% to treat depression or bipolar.
However, there’s currently a lack of evidence to determine delta-8’s symptom relief in mental health. Moreover, in certain instances, its psychoactive effects could potentially exacerbate mental health symptoms.
Managing Chronic Pain
With several studies showing its role in pain relief, medical cannabis is becoming increasingly prescribed for chronic pain management.
In the study mentioned previously, 41% of participants used delta-8 to manage their chronic pain. Previous animal findings have also shown that applying delta-8 to the skin can decrease pain levels and inflammation.
Many users of delta-8 have reported that the cannabinoid helps sleep better. Delta-8 may not only help manage insomnia by decreasing pain and anxiety, but it could also affect how brain waves change during sleep.
Delta-8 is an antiemetic, meaning it can stop nausea and vomiting.
One study from the late 90s investigated the effects of delta-9 in cancer patients and found it could completely prevent any vomiting caused by the patient’s anti-cancer drugs.
What Delta 8 Products Are Out There?
So, with many different reasons to try delta-8, how do you know which is the right product for you?
Delta-8 is sold in many forms. Popular product types include:
The type of product you choose will depend on your preferred consumption method, for example, whether you enjoy smoking or not and what purpose you want to serve. If you’re looking for rapid effects, vaping might be your best option. Or, if you want a carefully controlled low dose, then perhaps you might choose to eat a gummy or two.
In places where delta-8 is legal, products can be bought online, at weed and vape shops, and in some places, even in convenience stores and gas stations. If you’re looking to buy delta 8 online store, check Trust Pilot and customer reviews to ensure the vendor is trustworthy and reputable.
Are There Risks to Using Delta 8 Every day?
Although delta-8 might have lots of practical everyday uses, consuming cannabis products day in and day out could be harmful.
Long-term risks associated with frequent cannabis use include:
- Mood disorders
- Increased risk of psychosis
- Cannabis addiction
- Impairments to cognition
- Cardiovascular disease
- Respiratory disease
Since delta-9 is one among many of the molecules within cannabis and often has very low concentrations inside the plant, it’s unknown whether delta-8 has the same risks.
However, because there’s currently a lack of scientific evidence to support its long-term safety, we advise exercising caution when using delta 8.
Delta 8 Products and Everyday Life: A Summary
With positive mood effects and potential uses for managing health, delta-8 could benefit people’s everyday lives and serve as a more accessible, less risky alternative to cannabis and THC. However, because there is still lots we don’t know about the long-term risks of delta-8, we advise people to use it carefully and in moderation.