Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, simply known as delta-8 THC, is a compound found in cannabis that has risen in popularity over recent years. It is known to be less potent than delta-9 THC but can produce similar effects even in its milder form. Since the 2018 Farm Bill that federally legalized hemp-derived cannabis products with less than 0.3% of THC, most delta-8 products are considered federally legal. However, some states have made this extracted compound illegal to sell due to lack of research.
What we do know about the side effects are typically from consumer reports and, like any product, everyone can react to ingestion differently. If it’s your first time trying delta-8 THC, you’ll want to be prepared for the experience, including understanding the common side effects, especially if you are smoking the flowers.
To help you stay in the know, here are 10 side effects to be aware about.
1. Psychoactive Effects
Delta-8 THC is not like CBD because it does contain THC and can result in a head-high on top of feeling relaxed. Many users report having increased focus and euphoric feelings at low dosages. Purchasing different strains of delta-8 flowers from a reputable vendor such as CBDHemp Direct will also provide varying effects depending on the strain’s CBD and THC ratios.
It is not recommended for anyone who doesn’t want to experience a head high or is sensitive to THC. However, a study on animals suggests that vaping delta-8 THC can be less psychoactive than delta-9 THC, which most users also report.
2. Dry Mouth and Dry Eyes
Temporary dry mouth and dry eyes are common side effects of delta-8 THC but only last as long as the cannabinoid is active in your body. It is typically not a sign of dehydration. However, increasing your water intake can help with dry mouth since it results from effects on your salivary glands. For dry eyes that look red, use moisturizing eye drops to remedy the side effect.
3. Failed Drug Tests
Since delta-8 THC contains a type of THC and drug tests identify all versions of THC, you can fail a drug test. Even though it is different from delta-9 THC, it still triggers the same metabolite breaking down delta-9 THC in marijuana.
4. Anxiety with High Dosages
Too much of anything can be a bad thing. Although delta-8 THC is a calming strain that can be used to combat anxiety, if you take too high of a dosage, it can have an anxiety-inducing effect. It’s best to go slow, start with small dosages, and see how sensitive your body is to this cannabinoid.
Having said that, delta-8 THC is a milder strain compared to delta-9 THC. If you are prone to panic attacks or paranoia with high THC strains, taking low dosages of delta-8 rarely causes those effects. Most people prefer vaping to ingest delta-8 THC since only a little is needed per dose, and you can better monitor your intake.
5. Irregular heart rates
Smoking delta-8 THC can lead to elevated blood pressure and irregularities in your heart rate. Some people will experience increased heart rate that progresses to slowed rates. While this side effect may not be dangerous for most, it can lead to unsafe complications for those with cardiovascular diseases.
6. Inability to Drive
While small doses of delta-8 THC can help you focus and get tasks done, too much of it can impair your reaction time, cause uncoordinated movements, and prevent you from driving safely. Overall, you should never drive after ingesting THC and adopt similar precautions and responsibilities as drinking alcohol or using delta-9 THC.
7. Intense Body High
While delta-8 flowers are known to help with relaxation and muscle pain, similar to CBD, too much can give you an intense body high. When the body is stronger than you expect, it can lead to twitching or feelings of numbness. Some people also experience what is known as “couch-lock,” where they have difficulty moving. Make sure to take small dosages and wait a period of time for the effects to hit you before taking more.
8. Brain Fog or Fatigue
Too much delta-8 THC can lead to temporarily feeling groggy, tired, or lightheadedness. Some people find that higher doses can make them have a strong urge to take a nap. However, this side effect typically doesn’t occur with smaller doses and will go away once the delta-8 THC has worn off.
Since you can end up in a high-level trance state or have brain fog, it is best to consume it during your spare time and not when you are busy at work. These effects can interfere with your work productivity by impacting your cognitive ability, levels of concentration, and ability to think clearly.
9. Risks Associated with Combustion
Whether you are smoking tobacco or delta-8 THC flowers, you expose your body to by-products of combustion such as tar and carcinogens. Vaping with delta-8 can be a safer alternative because you ingest fewer toxins compared to combustion when smoking.
You can purchase vaping products that take ground-up flowers or delta-8 carts with oils. However, make sure you avoid carts with ingredients such as synthetic cannabinoids, natural preservatives, and propylene glycol since these compounds can cause negative health effects when heated.
10. Negative Reaction with Medications
Just like how different medications can cause negative reactions when combined, you want to be careful if you are taking certain prescription medications. Medications that can interact negatively with THC include:
- Cholesterol medications
- Blood thinners
- Diabetes medications
Not everyone will experience all these side effects, still, it is best to start slow with small dosages to understand how your body reacts to delta-8 THC. Most people also prefer vaping over smoking since it’s easier to control dosages and reduces the risks related to combustion. Whichever way you choose to try delta-8 THC make sure you give time for the side effects to hit you before ingesting more and use it responsibly to stay safe.