Delta-8: What It Is, Benefits, Legality, & Alternatives

Delta-8 Benefits
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Cannabis and its derivatives such as cannabinoids have been attracting interest for many years for treating a range of common health issues from anxiety and arthritis to serious illnesses like cancer and auto-immune disorder. Delta-8 THC is a new variant on the market that is marketed for its effectiveness, but it is essential to understand the legal perspective and how beneficial or not it may be, depending on the illness you are looking to treat.  Delta-8 benefits can be amazing, but it isn’t for everyone.

Introducing Delta-8

Delta-8 is a THC product that is derived from hemp and cannabis plants. The THC in Delta-8 stands for Tetrahydrocannabinol and THC is a psychoactive substance so Delta-8 is not as harmless as plain CBD oil for example which is largely free of THC and is used both orally and topically. Delta-8 may be derived from natural sources in some cases but it is not purely a natural product since some of its varieties do come from synthetic CBD or cannabidiol rather than regular hemp plants that are used to manufacture CBD. 

How Effective Is Delta-8?

Cannabis has had medical applications for a range of diseases and disorders for many years now but the kind that is used as well as the mode of administration greatly determines the intensity of the effect. Understanding the Delta-8 benefits compared to its risks is key to making informed decisions about how to use this form of THC. Delta-8 and its lesser-known counterpart Delta-9 both have a fairly high chance of eliciting a ‘high’ so micromanaging the doses is super important if anyone is using this compound to manage an illness. Even snacks like doweedos can have a considerable concentration of THC depending on the company. 

Delta-9 is a much stronger version of Delta-8 so it should generally be used with caution as it can cause a greater intoxicant effect unless that is the intention of the user. The user should pay attention to the strength mentioned on the product’s packaging before they begin a routine in which they are consuming either Delta-8 or Delta-9 THC. 

The Legalization Behind Delta-8

The legal status of Delta-8 is tricky which is common with cannabis and cannabinoid-related products in most countries. Importing or exporting them is also difficult due to the different regulations and taxes or laws that might be placed on products and cannabis concentrations of this kind. If the THC level in Delta-8 falls below 0.3% it will be legal in most countries that allow this product as an option for alternative medicine or lifestyle. 

A concentration above 0.3% is considered to have a high intoxicant power and therefore is more likely to not be legal. Cannabis products however have a similar FDA profile as other natural or supplement products as in that the FDA does not greatly monitor their ingredients the way it would for a pharmaceutical drug. For that reason, there are high chances that the concentration may be inaccurately written by a less established company with next to no legal consequences. 

As a potential Delta-8 user it is useful to always double check local laws because they will vary from city to city and state to state. Since Delta-8 products are mostly made using synthetic CBD, the laws and allowances given to regular CBD products like CBD oil do not really apply, further complicating the legal status of Delta-8. 

Why Should You Use Delta-8

Delta-8 like most cannabis products does promise certain benefits for patients suffering from chronic pain or other chronic health conditions. In terms of research, there is no absolute truth or certainty to be found but like many common health supplements or natural remedies, it does provide a level of relief from pharmaceutical options that many people globally are turning away from in favor of more ‘natural’ solutions. 

Some of the benefits that can be expected with a controlled use of Delta-8 and its products is that it creates a lower level of feeling ‘high.’ The effects are still potent enough to cause considerable intoxication. Delta-8 can be used sparingly for anxiety, depression, high levels of stress or cortisol, nausea, and chronic pain, and it can also help fight anhedonia or melancholia in which feeling happiness becomes difficult. Research is ongoing on its effects but at the moment due to the lack of high-quality research studies to fill the gap, there is no certainty or generalizability attached to the benefits associated with Delta-8 although there are remarkable individual success stories. 

Side-Effects/ Risks/ Cons 

Delta-8 and its usage does not come without its risks although the risk profile is believed to be higher if an individual is using a product with Delta-9 THC in it rather than the milder Delta-8. Excessive or incorrect use of Delta-8 and sometimes normal use as well can trigger feelings of immense confusion and difficulty concentrating. Short term amnesia or memory issues, paranoia, and feelings of fear can also be expected but if someone reacts poorly to a Delta-8 product they should discontinue and then monitor the situation. 

With higher concentrations more serious side effects can be expected such as hallucinations, depression, confusion, fainting, as well as irregular heartbeat such as tachycardia. Apart from its own side effects there is always the possibility that some people may simply be allergic to it for no other reason than its synthetic origins or the general lack of standardization in the cannabis industry. 

Incorporating Delta-8 

Whether or not you should try or incorporate Delta-8 into your life depends on a careful consideration of multiple factors. For sufferers of chronic pain Delta-8 can make the difference between a tolerable life and a very painful one. For people with diseases like cancer or other degenerative disorders, traditional pain management may not be the preferred option so Delta-8 can play a role when prescribed in a certain dose. 

The other important factor is time. Some people consider trying Delta-8 for a short-term goal such as reducing anxiety during a difficult time or to appear more relaxed at a life-changing event for example. Since the use is not intended to be over a long period of time, it can offset many of the potential side effects leading to overall safer usage. 

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Brenda Coles
I'm an elementary school teacher who became a stay-at-home mother when my first child was born. I love to write about lifestyle, education, and news-related topics.