What is Delta 8 THC? The Good and the Bad

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What is Delta 8 THC The Good and the Bad (1)

What is Delta 8 THC?

Delta-8 THC, a psychoactive substance found in the Cannabis sativa plant, is one of over 100 cannabinoids, albeit produced in small amounts. Derived mainly from hemp-based cannabidiol (CBD), Delta-8 THC resembles delta-9 THC in causing a mild high and promoting relaxation, but without the intense anxiety effects. These properties draw consumers, who use Delta-8 THC in vape or edible forms, such as gummies. However, it’s crucial to note that its safety and effects have not received FDA evaluation.



The Chemical Structure of Delta 8 THC

Delta 8 THC


  1. THC: THC, short for delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, is the predominant psychoactive component present in cannabis plants. Known for inducing a “high” feeling upon ingestion or inhalation, THC’s impact lies in its resemblance to the brain chemical anandamide. The critical element separating THC variants like delta-8 and delta-9 is a specific double bond’s position in their molecular structures. Despite this minor difference, all THC types bind similarly to brain receptors, making their effects closely alike.
  2. Cannabinoid: Cannabinoids are natural compounds found in cannabis plants, such as Delta-9 THC and CBD, which interact with your body’s central nervous system to promote various effects. A lesser-known yet significant cannabinoid is Delta-8 THC. Just like its relative, Delta-9 THC, Delta-8 is a psychoactive compound. It has a similar chemical structure, which allows it to induce several effects mimicking those of Delta-9, albeit less potent. For instance, it might give you a ‘high’ but with less intensity.
  3. Hydrogen: Hydrogen, in the chemical structure of Delta-8 THC, is among the key elements alongside carbon and oxygen. This element, together with the others, composes delta-8 THC’s molecular structure. However, it’s the arrangement of hydrogen, along with carbon and oxygen, that results in the distinctive properties of delta-8 THC. An instance of this is the psychoactive effect, or the so-called ‘high’, which is different from that caused by its close relative, delta-9 THC.
  4. Carbon: Carbon plays an integral role in the chemical structure of Delta-8 THC. As one of the core elements, along with hydrogen and oxygen, carbon forms the backbone of this compound. Its arrangement forms a difference between Delta-8 THC and other variants like Delta-9 THC. For instance, the slight modification in how carbon atoms are arranged in Delta-8 THC impacts its physical properties and user effects. Understanding this can help you appreciate the nuanced differences found in cannabis compounds.
  5. Oxygen: Oxygen plays a crucial role in defining the chemical structure of Delta 8 THC, a popular variant of cannabis. It forms part of the cyclic structure that differentiates Delta 8 THC from other cannabinoids. For instance, the oxygen atom is involved in an “oxygen ring” responsible for the psychoactive influence associated with Delta 8 THC.
  6. Nitrogen: Nitrogen does not directly play a role in the chemical structure of Delta 8 THC. However, it’s worth noting that both Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC primarily comprise carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms, with their differences lying in the arrangement of these elements. For instance, in Delta 8 THC, a double bond is found on the 8th carbon chain, giving the compound its unique properties. While nitrogen isn’t present in these compounds, it’s critical to the broader cannabis plant’s growth and development.
  7. Isoprene: While the provided research does not mention Isoprene, we can discuss its scientific context in relation to delta-8-THC. Isoprene is a fundamental building block of terpenes, which substantially influence the aroma, flavor, and potential therapeutic properties of cannabis. Biologically, it is a significant player in biosynthesis reactions responsible for creating cannabinoids, including delta-8-THC.
  8. Methyl group: A methyl group in the chemical structure of Delta 8 THC refers to an alkyl derived from methane, containing one carbon atom bonded to three hydrogen atoms – CH3. This group impacts the psychoactive properties of Delta 8 THC, as a slight shift in the position of the methyl group converts Delta 9 THC into a less potent isomer, Delta 8 THC.


The Benefits of Delta 8 THC

Delta 8 THC


1. It is considered an alternative to THC

Delta-8 THC is a hemp-derived compound with a similar structure to the well-known Delta-9 THC, offering a “milder” high. Emerging as an alternative to THC, it’s grown in popularity due to numerous factors:

  1. Delta-8 triggers relaxation and pain relief without inducing intense anxiety or paranoia.
  2. Unlike THC, Delta-8 is rarely smoked and can be consumed as edibles or vaped.
  3. It’s derived from hemp, making it more acceptable in regions where THC is illegal or challenging to access.

2. It may have fewer side effects than THC

Delving into the world of cannabis, you might have heard Delta 8 THC mentioned frequently. This is due to its reported advantages over the well-known Delta 9 THC, particularly its fewer side effects. Delta 8 THC provides similar effects— such as relaxation, euphoria, and pain relief — minus the problems often tied to high THC cannabis usage.


3. It may be more effective in treating certain conditions

Delta-8 THC, a prominent compound in cannabis, has been under exploration for its potential benefits in treating certain conditions. It’s thought to stimulate the body’s endocannabinoid system, regulating functions like pain and appetite. Though research is ongoing, some conditions Delta-8 might help manage more effectively include:

  1. Chronic pain: Studies report temporary relief as Delta-8 promotes relaxation.
  2. Mood disorders: Preliminary findings suggest potential benefits to anxiety and depression.
  3. Appetite regulation: Research indicates a potential role in managing eating patterns, useful for illnesses requiring appetite stimulation.

4. It is easier to find than THC

Delta 8 THC is becoming a popular choice for consumers seeking a milder experience than traditional THC. Originating from the hemp plant, Delta 8 THC is synthesized from CBD, making it more accessible and easier to find than regular THC. It offers similar effects, such as relaxation and pain relief, but with fewer reported side effects, making it an appealing alternative for many.


cannabis plants


5. It is believed to be safer than THC

Delta-8 THC, a cannabis derivative, is believed to be safer than traditional THC due to its milder effects. While THC can sometimes cause discomfort or anxiety, Delta-8 provides a more relaxed and clear-headed experience. For instance, research indicates those who use Delta-8 report fewer negative side effects like paranoia. Plus, many people prefer using Delta-8 through safer methods such as vaping or edibles. However, remember, your experiences may vary and what’s most important is finding a balance that suits your needs.


The Risks and Side Effects of Delta 8 THC



1. Studies have shown that delta-8-THC can cause numerous side effects, including nausea, vomiting, anxiety, and headache.

Delta-8 THC, a less potent sibling of Delta-9 THC, can still induce several potent side effects. Widely reported adverse reactions include sensations of paranoia, increased anxiety, confusion, dry mouth, and feelings of unease or dissatisfaction (dysphoria). Prolonged usage can lead to recurring nausea and vomiting, along with possible risk for severe psychiatric conditions. While some use Delta-8 THC for its soothing and mood-enhancing effects, harmful outcomes such as slowed reaction times, coordination loss, and even breathing difficulties have been reported.


2. Research has also shown that delta-8-THC can cause more serious side effects, such as seizures, psychosis, and death.

Delta 8 THC, a cannabinoid similar to Delta 9, has potential serious side effects, including respiratory distress, psychedelics, memory loss, and potential harmful overdose effects.

  1. Difficulty in breathing can be exacerbated with smoking Delta 8, which simultaneously causes potential lung damage and irritation.
  2. Psychosis is a potential risk where individuals with preexisting psychotic conditions may experience heightened frequency or severity, whereas long-term consumers may encounter heightened anxiety and paranoia.
  3. Memory loss and hallucinations are notable side effects, with increased consumption risk for impaired coordination and disorientation.
  4. Ingesting Delta 8 beyond healthy levels could lead to excessive sedation, confusion, tremors, or even loss of consciousness. The lack of regulation on Delta-8 products amplifies every side regarding overdose and poisoning.

delta-8 thc products


3. Research has shown that delta-8-THC may interact with other medications and cause harmful effects.

Research shows that delta-8-THC, a product available through legal loopholes in cannabis laws, can potentially interact with other medications and lead to harmful effects. According to the U.S Food and Drug Administration, there are reasonable grounds for concern this compound could negatively impact consumer health. One key issue is the potential use of harmful chemicals during the manufacturing process of delta-8-THC, which can be inhaled or consumed, posing risks like liver damage and breathing difficulties. Another issue is unapproved delta-8-THC products marketed for medical uses, which can mislead consumers. Finally, reactions with other medications can potentially elevate risk. Therefore, prudence is paramount with delta-8-THC use.


4. There is currently no medical treatment for the side effects caused by delta-8-THC.

Despite the widespread use of Delta-8 THC, treatment for its side effects remains uncharted territory. This is greatly due to the evolving legal landscape and a lack of robust research. Possible adverse effects of Delta-8 THC use include intoxication and potential reactiveness from contaminants. Currently, there’s no scientifically approved medical treatment for these side effects. The medical community emphasizes the need for a methodical study to understand Delta-8 THC better, warranting caution before therapeutic usage. High import lies on more rigorous trials and FDA approval for safe consumer experiences.


thc droplet


5. Delta-8-THC may cause dependence and lead to the development of a substance use disorder.

Delta-8-THC, slightly less potent than its cousin Delta-9, can lead to dependence and potentiate the development of a substance use disorder. Regular use can impair normal functioning, with withdrawal symptoms like irritability and depression surfacing upon abrupt cessation.

The risks of Delta-8 include the potential for permanent mental health damage and effects on physical health, with reported side effects including breathing difficulty and possible damage to the liver or heart. The synthetically produced Delta-8 can feature harmful chemicals posing further risks. The increasingly needed higher doses may introduce a more potent substance like Delta-9 THC. Particularly for teens, Delta-8 is likely to impair healthy coping skills, inviting more substance use as a solution to life’s challenges. Seek help if a loved one presents with such patterns.


6. Delta-8-THC may cause harmful side effects in certain populations, such as children, the elderly, and those with certain medical conditions.

Be aware of the potential harmful effects of Delta-8-THC, especially for children, the elderly, and those with specific medical conditions. Delta-8-THC may cause liver damage, difficulty in breathing, lung irritation, and even accidental poisoning. The appeal of products like gummy bears can pose severe risks to children. For the elderly and those with certain health conditions, the synthetic chemicals used in producing Delta-8-THC might exacerbate existing medical issues. Additionally, regular use may lead to mental health problems, depression, and social anxiety. Always watch out for these hazards and to exercise caution when considering products containing Delta-8-THC.


Delta 8 THC: The Final Verdict

man holding a cannabis leaf


Delta-8 THC is heralded for its possible relaxation and pain relief benefits, yet scrutiny arises due to a lack of conclusive research and regulatory oversight. On one hand, user anecdotes attest to fewer anxiety-ridden highs compared to delta-9 THC. However, you must balance this with the FDA’s warning over companies illegally selling CBD and Delta-8 THC products.


If you’re interested in learning more about Delta 8 THC and exploring high-quality products, I encourage you to check out Leaf Alleviate. They offer a wide range of Delta 8 THC products, backed by rigorous testing and quality standards. Shop now.



Q: Can Delta 8 THC be used for medical purposes?

Some individuals may use Delta 8 THC for medical purposes, but it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before using it as a treatment option. Medical use should be guided by professional advice.


Q: Where can I find Delta 8 THC products?

Delta 8 THC products can be found in certain cannabis dispensaries and online stores. Ensure you purchase from reputable sources that adhere to quality and safety standards.


Q: Is Delta 8 THC suitable for everyone?

Delta 8 THC may not be suitable for everyone. It’s recommended to consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications.


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