Up until recently, not many people had heard of delta-8. Since the cannabinoid space is based chiefly on CBD and delta-9 THC, there is a ton of information about these two cannabinoids. However, you may not be able to find much research regarding delta-8.
As a result, delta-8 has become the target for misinformation and scrutiny as many people seek to advance their purpose. The main concern about delta-8 is not its legality but rather its safety. Most people who have never dealt with delta-8 want to know what to expect with the substance, especially if they have ever found themselves in a bad headspace with THC.
It is important to note that currently, there are no studies on the long-term effects of delta-8. So, even if you have had a good experience before, is it safe for long-term use? That is what we are here for. We will show you what the experts say and where you can get the safest products.
A Review of Delta-8’s Safety
Delta-8 is one of the many cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. But, it only exists in minimal amounts. The natural extraction of delta-8 from hemp (cannabis with less than 0.3% delta-9 THC) is a complex process, which is why companies waste money on resources and equipment for just a tiny amount of delta-8.
All companies producing delta-8 are using the chemical synthesis process where delta-8 is derived from CBD oil. Manufacturers use the innovative isomerization process to transform hemp-derived CBD oil into delta-9 THC and delta-8 THC. Professionals experienced with isomerization and extraction manipulate the carbon atoms of CBD to convert it to an intoxicating compound.
What the Delta-8 Producers Say
The delta-8 business is booming as producers offer this substance in different forms for a recreational high. This drug is promoted as the less potent version of delta-9 THC that is powerful enough to get people high. The resulting compound targets users looking for help with anxiety and stress. It also targets those who want to avoid the adverse side effects of THC like severe anxiety and paranoia.
In short, it is regarded as the happy medium between CBD and THC. Moreover, the current research about the immediate effects of delta-8 shows this drug can offer the psychoactive effects of delta-9 plus other innumerable benefits such as immense relaxation and clear-headedness.
Now, with the concern about backroom mixing, delta-8 companies are taking lessons from CBD producers. Brands like Exhale Wellness offer broad-spectrum products where THC is removed entirely from the final extract, making it safe and legal.
Cannabis producers are also pushing state and federal regulators to block the sale of unregulated delta-8. This is because its absolute legality is only possible if the product does not jeopardize consumer safety. Manufacturers continue to advocate for safe synthesis techniques, intense lab testing, and maintaining the therapeutic impact of delta-8.
Delta-8 THC’s Safety Studies
Currently, safety studies surrounding delta-8 are relatively limited. Some of what we know is from a 1995 study on children undergoing chemotherapy. This study showed the delta-8 derivative prevented nausea associated with the treatment. Side effects like ‘euphoria’ and irritability were only seen in two children. However, the authors, Avraham Abrahamov, Aya Abrahamov, and R.Mechoulam, noted it is hard to quantify ‘euphoria’ in children.
The only recent safety study of the drug was in 2005 but was halted in 2009 at phase two of the clinical trial. Since then, there have not been any concrete results based on clinical trials. This is because the government restricts rather than promotes studies about cannabis and the hemp plant. In this trial, the clinical study was also comparing the use of delta-8 THC for preventing nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing moderately emetogenic chemotherapy. Since the analysis was stopped midway, the results were not published. Research papers did not have much to say about the clinical trial, and only a few wrote about its effects on humans. The critical aspect of delta-8 THC, which is its safety, was never discussed.
Based on its 1995 study, delta-8 THC is being explored as an anti-nausea application. In addition, scientists noted delta-8 THC is less sedating, more energetic, and has lots of potential for improving appetite. Still, all of the claims of delta-8’s potential seem speculative since they are not based on solid scientific ground.
An older study comparing delta-8 and delta-9 THC in 1973 (L.E Hollister, 1973) compared the effects of these two derivatives on adult men through oral and intravenous administration. The oral administration of delta-8 THC produced different cannabis-like effects, including perceptual and bodily effects. The side effects seen were incoordination, dry mouth, dizziness, and visual distortions.
Upon intravenous administration, the side effects were similar, although slightly weaker, to those reported with delta-9 THC. As such, the researchers estimated the potency of delta-8 THC as 2:3.
So, Is Delta-8 Safe?
When we look at the safety profile of delta-8 THC, a majority of the evidence comes from personal experiences. No long-term studies exist on the derivative or its effect. This lack of studies makes it even harder to make a concrete conclusion about the safety of delta-8 THC. However, delta-8 appeals to many people, including cannabis companies, medical scientists, and cannabis users.
A New York company that recently launched vaporizers says delta-8 THC has a wide therapeutic window. The product has positive effects, and the side effects are too common to be noticeable. When comparing it to delta-9 THC, the founders noted that delta-8 binds to the CB1 receptors and prevents it from making users paranoid.
Delta-8 is also delivering on its safety since it is still legal on a federal level. This means more research needs to be conducted to give a final verdict on the product. Nevertheless, there is research to support that delta-8 is not strong enough to overdose on. Although it can get you as high as delta-9 THC, delta-8 may have no harmful effects on the body following its use.
Your body will quickly build a tolerance that makes delta-8 less addictive due to the high effect wearing off after a few hours. As such, we cannot quantify the long-term effects of the substance. Furthermore, the brand noted that users only develop a habitual addiction, where they crave the high feeling but not how one becomes an alcoholic.
This means that users will never depend on the drug in a way that affects their finances, relationships, and mental state when not using the medicine. Moreover, the only side effects of quitting the habitual use of delta-8 are short-term irritability, feelings of lethargy, and a loss of appetite.
What we advocate is for users to take delta-8 responsibly. It is best not to use it with other drugs, and remember not to drive or operate heavy machinery.
Top 2 Best Delta-8 Brands to Buy Online
- Exhale Wellness: Highest-Quality, Best Overall & Editor’s Pick
- BudPop: Premium Quality Brand with Exotic Flavors
#1. Exhale Wellness: Highest-Quality, Best Overall & Editor’s Pick
Exhale Wellness is one of the most respected brands in the delta-8 industry. This company believes in harnessing the therapeutic benefits of delta-8 in its purest form. As such, it has dedicated tremendous research and development to producing hemp extracts that contain cannabinoids that help the body.
Exhale Wellness sets itself apart from the others since it uses 100% natural ingredients. Its lineup of products includes cartridges, delta-8 THC-infused flowers, cigarettes, edibles, and pre-rolls. Their delta-8 goods are also non-GMO and gluten and dairy-free.
Exhale Wellness’ capsules and gummies are loved for their incredible flavors, delicious taste, and long-lasting effects. Delta-8 carts are also high in demand, thanks to their high potency. This results from the formulation without PG, MCT, PEG oil, or VG, which sets standards for other companies in the industry.
In addition, the brand conducts thorough third-party tests on all delta-8 extracts. These lab results are readily available on their website so that anyone can analyze them.
- Variety of excellent strains and flavors
- Ships to all delta-8 legal states
- Wide range of products
- Third-party lab tested
- 20% off on first purchase
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Chosen as the #1 delta-8 brand for its strong-quality products
- Only available online
Exhale Wellness has quickly become a favorite among its customers due to its quality of products. It has numerous positive reviews of users attesting to how their products helped with conditions like amnesia and anxiety — all while providing a comfortable high.
This brand provides a lot of information about delta-8 THC. It is also easy to reach the company via email, postal mail, phone, and a web form.
#2. BudPop: Premium Quality Brand with Exotic Flavors
BudPop is one of the top companies in the hemp industry, bringing safe and better alternatives to traditional, steroid-based relaxants and antidepressants. Led by a team of young professionals in their 20s, this brand has the making of a company that will soon be hard to beat.
Why do we say this? One, this brand first committed to the research of the hemp plant. Its manufacturers boast 30 years of experience experimenting and developing cannabis-based products before specializing in delta-8. This company finally perfected the formula for three products — delta-8 cartridges, gummies, and flowers.
If you want a good buzz, you will like indulging your taste buds in the Northern Lights and Cookies-flavored flowers. The gummies also have exotic flavors of strawberry and blueberry due to the natural terpenes used to bring out their unique and delicious taste.
- Delivers within 48 hours
- 14-day return policy
- Exquisite taste & vegan-friendly
- Competitive prices
- Free shipping is available only on some orders
- Internationally shipping not available
BudPop is slowly but surely making it to the top-tier of the best delta-8 brands. Customers are reporting a satisfying experience after discovering this brand. Several of these reviews are regarding their gummies, which are hard to resist thanks to their unique flavors.
This company also makes its lab reports public. This aspect makes it trustworthy, as more people look to buy from credible brands.
What to Look for in a Delta-8 Brand to Know It Is Safe
- Laboratory Testing
Independent testing is paramount when determining the safety of delta-8 offered by a particular brand. You do not want to use any form of delta-8 without ensuring you are consuming a safe product. A third-party test is one of the crucial ways of gauging whether a brand is transparent and honest.
You will be able to see the potency of delta-8 and other cannabinoids along with additives that could be allergic.
- Ingredients List
A top brand avoids any of the common allergens and also skips harmful additives. This is especially true in delta-8 carts, where some companies use potentially toxic ingredients when heated to a high temperature.
Also, look out for brands that use low-grade strains. They can lead to adverse side effects, including health issues like heart arrhythmia.
- Thinning Agents
It is just as important to know about additives as it is about thinning agents. For example, MCT and VG are not unsafe to use, although they often make delta-8 products less potent. You can quickly tell this because companies do not shy away from listing MCT and VG in their ingredient list.
- Amount of THC
Delta-8 products that contain more than 0.3% delta-9 THC are illegal. So, you will want to consider a company that lists individual ingredients and the amount of each component in the product. This ensures you can see the potency of delta-8 and see whether you are consuming an illegal substance.
- Hemp Source
Delta-8 can also compromise user safety concerns if it is derived from hemp grown with pesticides and chemicals. However, U.S.-based companies that source their hemp from the U.S. and Europe are considered safe because of the strict hemp regulations.
Buying delta-8 from overseas brands means you cannot verify the source of hemp, leaving you vulnerable to low-quality and potentially unsafe delta-8.
How to Dose Delta-8 Safely?
As more people discover delta-8 THC, the question now is: how much is too much? And can you overdose on delta-8? The correct dosage depends on the form of delta-8 and the purity and other compounds used in the delta-8 product.
Many companies offer delta-8 and CBD blends, meaning you will feel intoxicated with delta-8 but also enjoy the medicinal benefits of CBD. However, the effects differ from person to person since we all have different levels of tolerance.
When dosing delta-8, you will want to take into account your tolerance as well as your body weight. Most companies offer delta-8 products in different strengths. For example, delta-8 oils and tinctures usually come in 30mg to 60mg bottles. A typical dose is usually one milliliter measured in a dropper. To know how much you should take, you will have to calculate how many milligrams are in each dropper. Following that, you must gauge your tolerance by starting with one to two drops per session.
As for vape cartridges, you can determine your dosage and tolerance by taking a few puffs to see how you handle the effects of the drug. On the other hand, gummies can come in a 200mg bottle of ten gummies, with each piece containing 20mg of delta-8. So, you can tell the dosage by how many gummies you need to take to get high.
Therefore, there is no specific delta-8 dosage. All you need is to adjust the dosage according to your needs.
Precautions to Take Before Consuming Delta-8 THC Products
Depending on the method of use, the effects are not always immediate. Edibles take the longest to manifest (two to three hours) since they have to go through the digestive system. This means you can accidentally take too many if you do not see results fast. Vaping and sublingual methods take a short time to see results. Vapes act as quickly as six minutes to notice results.
Although delta-8 is federally legal, state laws keep changing. Therefore, it is essential to verify your state laws before ordering delta-8. Delta-8 may interact with medication and other substances, producing unexpected results. It helps not to use delta-8 alongside alcohol because it may leave you nauseous. Furthermore, remember to consult a doctor if you are on any medication. Moreover, delta-8 will show up in a urine drug test one to six weeks after using it. So, you should abstain from the drug for three to four weeks before taking a drug test.
Using products containing large amounts of delta-8 (100mg or more) has been linked with anxiety attacks, paranoia, and irregular heart rhythm. Plus, delta-8 is unsafe when taken in any form by pregnant women. This precaution is not limited to delta-8 only but all cannabinoids. THC will pass from the mother to the unborn fetus via the placenta. It has been linked to the slow growth of the fetus and premature birth. In addition, experts advise against operating heavy equipment and driving under the influence of delta-8.
It is our hope that we have given a satisfactory answer to the question: is delta-8 safe? Research may be limited at this time, but the popularity points to a substance that is currently the best alternative to traditional THC. In addition, a lot of evidence supports its benefits, which include relaxation, sleep support, pain management, etc.
However, it is vital to research the brand from where you buy delta-8 since not all companies dedicate time and money to formulating it with natural and safe ingredients. So, do not fall prey to hyped-up products, and only buy from credible brands. Our recommendation for the best delta-8 brand is Exhale Wellness for its high-quality products.