Is Delta-8 THC Safe?
Cannabis retailers love Delta-8-THC or THC-8 or Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol because it skirts around the strict regulations placed on its cousin – Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol or Delta-9-THC. Cannabis producers love the substance since it is synthesizable from CBD oil – providing a lucrative return to the producer. But consumers may not get enough of it because of its intoxicating properties. However, is THC-8 safe?
Although delta-8 was discovered in the early 20th Century, it didn’t gain the attention of regulators and consumers until recently. We still don’t know much about delta-8’s safety profile, especially for vape pens and edibles.
A COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF DELTA-8 THC
One hundred cannabinoids found in cannabis plants is delta-8. It is not possible to extract delta-8 from THC rich strains. The substance is only found in small quantities. Instead, delta-8 can be extracted from CBD oil. The 2004 discovery of an innovative isomerization method that allows extractors to transform hemp-derived CBD oil into two types THC has allowed them to transform the oil into two different forms. These are delta-8 THC, and delta-9 THC. This allows the CBD molecules to rearrange their carbon atoms, transforming a non-toxic substance into one that is intoxicating.
PRODUCERS OF DELTA-8 CLAIM WHAT?
Delta-8 is a potent cannabinoid that has a lot to offer. Pot Guide describes the substance as a “weedlight” and claims that it offers a smoother and more enjoyable experience than delta-9 THC. Delta-8 is a lesser-powerful “high”, but it has the same effects as its cousin, Delta-9 THC.
Is Delta-8 Safe? Both consumers and retailers agree that delta-8 edibles, vapes and concentrates are safer than delta-9. It has less side effects. Extractors are able to make a lot of money from this substance. The industry is full of claims about health benefits from delta-8. However, most of these claims have not been supported by scientific research.
WHAT DO WE KNOW CONCERNING DELTA-8’S SAFETY?
Clinical and randomized controlled trials are the only way to verify safety of cannabis products. ClinicalTrials.gov only reported one delta-8 clinical trial as of the writing of this article. PubMed also reported that the clinical trial was terminated prior to its completion in 2009.
Are there any preliminary information available on the safety profile for delta-8? Since the 1970s, there have been more than 200 peer-reviewed papers on delta-8. In the 1990s, delta-8 was the subject of a most cited study. Its authors, Aya Abrahamov and R.Mechoulam, reported that only two of eight children who were part of the research had ever experienced side effects from delta-8 THC. One case of mild irritability and euphoria were the most notable side effects. The doses of THC-8 were well tolerated by these children.
Another 1973 study, “Delta-8 & Delta-9 -THC: Comparison In Man by Oral and Intravenous Administration” examined the effects of THC-9 and THC-8 in male subjects. This was done via intravenous and oral administration. THC-8 oral administration produced a variety of “high” effects, including somatic effects. Side effects included dry mouth, incoordination and dizziness. These effects were similar to THC-9.
Researchers noticed that subjects experienced qualitative symptoms similar to THC-9 after intravenous administrations of delta-8. However, the overall effects of delta-8 were somewhat weaker than those of delta-9. The relative potency was approximately 2:3. PubChem’s Data Sheet for THC-8 does not reveal side effects that were observed in animals such as rats, monkeys and mice. This describes the general depressive activity, which is basically the intoxicating effect many people seek out from cannabis. The animal studies used a large dose – equivalent to 58g per subject weighing 68kg.
Is THC-8 SAFE?
THC-8 can’t be confirmed to be 100% safe for human consumption as there have been very few studies. Some evidence suggests that delta-8 is less harmful than its cousin, delta-9. However, long-term effects are not known for delta-8.
What does delta-8 do when it is ingested, smoked, or chewed? Further research is needed before sound conclusions can be drawn.