Are you a regular consumer of cannabis-derived products? Then you must have heard of Delta 8 THC. But have you ever wondered if it is safe for consumption?
If you have, then read on.
Until recently, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) were the only two cannabis derivatives we knew about. If you have been using cannabis-derived products for a while, then you must remember that formerly, THC only meant Delta-9 THC.
However, with the discovery of the Delta-8 THC compound, it’s now important for us to label a THC compound differently.
The counterpart, after all, is subjected to a lot of regulation.
Many brands are keenly interested in the newer compound because of its promising effects and few legal predicaments. However, some users of cannabinoids are understandably puzzled whether Delta-8 THC is safe. So, let’s delve deeper into the subject.
Overview of Delta 8 THC
Delta 8 THC is a chemical analog or isomer of the Delta-9 THC compound. They differ in terms of bonding properties. Delta 8 THC is a derivative of THCA, which is found in the marijuana plant. The Delta-8 compound is found in a very small quantity in nature.
Making it commercially available is impossible if manufacturers depend on its natural extraction method. Hence, the producers of the compound use a chemical synthesis process.
Delta-8 THC has nearly the same effects as the Delta-9 THC compound. However, it has fewer side effects than the latter. Users who have a liking for D-9 THC will inevitably love Delta-8 THC.
The D-8 compound is known to have antiemetic, orexigenic, and anxiolytic properties, unlike its other counterpart.
What Do Manufacturers Claim About Delta 8 THC?
Well, to begin discussing what the Delta-8 manufacturers say, let’s take a look at what users say.
You must have come across a lot of positive reviews on the compound. These are mostly anecdotal reports that have positively evaluated its potency and given a thumbs up even to daily consumption. No wonder, the manufacturers boast about this compound, especially about its medicinal properties and therapeutic uses.
Have you ever wondered where it all started from? It was the American cannabinoid product manufacturer 3Chi that pioneered the research and developed the compound under laboratory settings. Naturally, the brand leaves no chance of making claims about its D-8 THC products’ efficiency in a wide range of uses.
Most of the claims made by the companies are around the smoother experience and fewer psychological complications of Delta-8 THC products. These claims also support the fact that the compound is a potent psychoactive agent with nearly the same properties as Delta-9 THC.
Another strong backup for their claims is the fact that the milder version of D-9 is legal in many US states and several other jurisdictions. Unquestionably, no government would allow a harmful product to be sold in the market.
The lab synthesis of the compound is time-consuming and resource-intensive. Nevertheless, it also fetches equally profitable results due to the compound’s hype in the market.
Although only limited research has been conducted in this field, they have shown promising results in patients with a range of problems. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the results were focused only on short-term effects and not on long-term ones.
Not to miss the point, the researchers were centered only on the drug’s potency against certain medical conditions and not on its side effects. Hence, we can say for sure that we lack research data in this aspect.
What Do We Know About The Safety Of D8 THC?
Undoubtedly, the only way to know whether a drug is safe for use is to have enough clinical trials—either controlled or randomized.
However, due to a lack of research data, we have to glean the information from general information available on the internet from published sites.
One of the sites displays the report of a single clinical trial that was conducted on Delta-8 THC’s safety. Scientists are reluctant to conduct tests and trials on humans to verify this compound’s safety parameters. The only trial that was initiated was aborted prematurely in 2009.
Numerous papers have been written and published on D-8 since the 1970s. Of these nearly 200 published scholarly works, only a few focused on the drug’s medical application and effects on users. But none of them delved into its safety concerns.
A study conducted in 1995 and published in the Journal of Life Sciences, titled ‘An efficient new cannabinoid antiemetic in paediatric oncology’ is one of the few research materials available on the compound.
Unfortunately, it is the only oft-cited report on Delta-8 THC.
In the report, the authors stated that out of the eight children, only two experienced some side effects. Irritability was one of the most widely reported side effects. One of the two children reported ecstasy. However, the compound was observed as tolerable in the subjects.
A datasheet on the Delta-8 THC compound revealed the report on studies that were conducted only on animals. In the trial, the dosages used on the animal subjects were variable, i.e., as low as 97mg/Kg to as high as 3150mg/Kg. It was through various modes of administration, namely intra-peritoneal, oral and intravenous.
The report conclusively stated that the dosages only induced depressing activities in the subjects. Therefore, they displayed reduced mortar activities and signs of tranquility. Respiratory movements were the most noticeably depressed or slowed-down activity.
No response to pain was another reported behavior that was common after taking the drug.
Another 1973 study, published in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics— ‘Delta-8- and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol comparison in man by oral and intravenous administration’—was meant to explore the different effects of both the THC compounds (D-9 and D-8) through oral and intravenous administration. It was conducted on male subjects.
According to the report, the qualitative experiences of the subjects after the intravenous administration of Delta-8 compound were almost the same as those with Delta-9, though with milder effects. The potency of the tested compound was roughly 66% of Delta-9’s impact.
In the case of an oral administration trial of the same report, it was noted that the Delta-8 THC compound, which was the focus, produced several effects as with Delta-9 THC. They were in terms of coordination, dizziness, drying of the mouth, vision distortion, etc.
Our Understanding Of Whether Delta 8 THC Is Safe
The lack of evidence is the biggest impediment in directly concluding whether Delta-8 THC is safe (or not). However, even with the limited research data, it is clear that the drug has promising results on both human and non-human subjects.
In general, the manifestation of THC properties without the nasty side effects is the biggest reason why users have come to like this compound. It has few complications if consumed over a short period.
Besides, it does not have any legal concerns.
Nevertheless, it cannot be concluded that a user will not develop any side effects after long-term use. Only sufficient research data will be able to prove that.
Meanwhile, due to the compound’s growing popularity, it is expected to attract more scientific analysis.
However, with fewer complications, potent psychotropic properties, and lax regulations, the Delta-8 compound can be regarded as a better alternative to Delta-9 THC (a Schedule I substance).
Apart from the general lack of research on the Delta-8 THC compound, crucial issues, such as the drug’s interference with other pharmacological medications, and also other drugs, is still a mystery.
Many manufactures have introduced a range of products like tinctures or D8 gummies loaded with Delta 8 THC. Most of these manufacturers pack the drug along with CBD and other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. However, some also offer pure D-8 products, and the users usually have no complaints. Apart from that, we have no idea how it reacts when consumed as edibles or vapor.
Maybe with time, the results will be supportive of the compound’s long-term effects on the human body. But for now, our take on the drug is that it is a better and milder alternative to D-9 and has fewer short-term side effects.
However, we strongly suggest that you do not use other psychoactive drugs such as caffeine and alcohol along with D8 THC or any other cannabinoid.