Can Delta-8 THC Cause Harm to the Body?

By: 
Steve Trevino
September 27, 2021

The popularity of Delta-8 THC has been rising in the past few years. According to Headset, the sale of delta-8 grew by 144% between April 2020 and April 2021. However, just like any other new product in the market, actual and potential users of Delta-8 products are anxious. They want clarity on whether the products are safe for their consumption or not. This blog post will dig deeper into the Delta-8 THC safety profile and effects of THC.

What is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 is a type of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that occurs in small amounts in the Cannabis sativa plant. This compound has some properties similar to those found in delta-9 THC, an active constituent of marijuana. However, those who use delta-8 THC do not get the psychoactive effects as experienced by consumers of delta-9 THC. The high concentration of THC in delta-9 is what makes its users experience a high feeling.

Delta-8 THC commonly exists inform of:

  • Edible gummies
  • Tinctures
  • Vape cartridges
Delta-8-THC-products-safety-psychoactive-effects-medical-marijuana

Is Delta-8 THC Dangerous?

There are no sufficient studies to evaluate the impact of Delta-8 THC consumption on human beings. Thus, there is no proof that the use of this substance has any potential benefits or medicinal value to its users. The reports circulating on social media posts regarding its potential benefits can be misleading.

Most Delta-8 THC products vendors trade these products outside the state-controlled cannabis industries. Since they are operating in an unregulated environment, nothing stops the producers from making toxic products. If no action is taken to control the production and consumption of this substance, it may present a public health risk

Other reasons why Delta-8 THC is dangerous for human consumption include:

  • Unlicensed Delta-8 products were found unsafe for human consumption: A research study commissioned by U.S Cannabis Council in April 2021 revealed dangerous levels of THC and the presence of metals in the samples. The samples also were found to contain traces of chemicals used in the extraction of THC from hemp. 
  • Most retail sources sell untested THC and CBD products: Every cannabis product sold in licensed stores has undergone potency and purity testing. Thus, buyers are sure of consuming what is written on the description; for instance, a 50mg of delta-8 THC product will strictly contain the 50mg of delta-8 THC. However, this is different when buying from unlicensed online or offline vendors. There is no way to prove whether the writings on the package are true or not. There is no quality assurance on the delta-8 products sold outside the state-regulated cannabis system.
  • Lack of adequate information: Numerous clinical studies have been done on medical marijuana. As for delta-8 THC, the only known research was about 50 years ago. We can’t, therefore, tell how effective delta-8 is today. The lack of adequate information about the substance also poses a challenge to healthcare professionals to handle patients with severe side effects.
  • The substance is not FDA approved: Despite the presence of delta-8 products in online and offline stores, FDA has not tested nor approved them. Using such substances can lead to adverse health side effects, especially when taken as a therapeutic substance. 

Medical experts continue to discourage the consumption of this variant form of THC. The uncontrolled market of delta-8 products qualifies it to be categorized as a dangerous substance to purchase. 

Is Delta-8 THC Legal?

Delta-8 THC is federally legal across different states in the U.S. through a loophole created by the 2018 Farm Bill. The bill legalized hemp because of its low concentration of THC. The legalization made hemp products such as Delta-8 THC legal to be sold and consumed on a federal level.

However, the lack of research on the effects of Delta-8 THC on human consumption has made 14 states illegalize the sale and consumption of this compound. These states include; Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, and Utah. Other states like Michigan, North Carolina, and Virginia have cautioned the public about using the compound.

What are the Effects of THC?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, smoking marijuana with THC as an active element can have immediate side effects. However, these effects may vary from one person to another. They may also depend on how one consumes the substance containing THC. The common side effects include:

  • An increased appetite
  • Altered perception of time
  • Memory loss
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations and delusions when taken on high doses
  • Continuous usage can lead to addiction.

Since delta-8 has certain percentages of THC, consuming it may also result in similar side effects as those listed above. Users of these products have reported other effects such as:

  • Drowsiness
  • Numbness
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
marijuana-cannabis-edibles-Delta-8-THC-safety-gummies-candy-not-for-kids

The absence of research data on the adverse effects of delta-8 does not mean the substance doesn’t have serious side effects. In 2020, the Poison Control Center in North Carolina recorded about 109 cases of individuals recording severe reactions to delta-8. 

Delta-8 products packed as fruit-flavored can be tempting to kids who like confectioneries. If you have toddlers in your home, keep any of your cannabis products away from them. 

Factors to Consider Before Buying Delta-8 THC

Before buying delta-8 from any vendor, this is what you need to know.

  1. FDA has not approved any delta-8 product as a safe substance for human consumption. 
  2. FDA has received reports on severe negative effects surrounding the use of delta-8 products. The effects include loss of consciousness and trouble in standing. 
  3. The process of extracting and making concentrates of delta-8 THC uses harmful chemicals, sometimes traced back to the delta-8 products.
  4. Delta-8 THC products have psychoactive and intoxicating effects.
  5. If you have to buy them, ensure you are sourcing them from a licensed vendor, and you should keep them out of reach of children. 

Just because THC products are legal in different states, it does not mean they are safe for consumption. Delta 8 THC and other forms of THC are dangerous and can become addictive when used uncontrollably. If anyone around you is already struggling to free themselves from the consumption of THC products, reach out to us for help. 

About The Author: 
Steve Trevino
Steve Trevino is married to Julie, his high school sweetheart and they have two daughters. He is the founder and executive director of CrossCentral Church and Recovery Center. With experience in both non-profit and for-profit treatment, he has helped thousands find freedom from addiction through residential programs, recovery workshops and consulting around the world.

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