When most people think about cannabinoids, both CBD (Cannabidiol) and 9-THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) are likely to be the first things that come to mind. Although these are the most well known, there are well over 100 different cannabinoids in the hemp plant, each with different properties and uses which are still being discovered and researched.
While most of these lesser known cannabinoids are not psychoactive, there are exceptions, one of which is Delta-8-THC. You may have heard about Delta-8-THC recently, with many North American and European businesses beginning to advertise Delta-8 products in the past year or so - particularly over social media, podcasts and YouTube. Having grown in popularity so quickly, now’s the perfect time to understand the current trend of Delta-8.
Is Delta-8 legal in the UK?
While there is no legislation which refers to Delta-8-THC specifically (and it’s not mentioned in the UK government’s cannabinoid licensing guidance), it is generally understood that Delta-8-THC is an illegal substance, to the same degree that regular Delta-9-THC is in the UK.
It’s very important to understand that UK law prohibiting Delta-9-THC also covers THC derivatives and analogues. Simply put - any substance that is very chemically similar to 9-THC is illegal by default. This is why Delta-8 is increasingly popular overseas but not in the UK. Derivatives and analogues are not commonly prohibited in many countries, where UK law is quite unique in its strictness. This is why Delta-8 has been so heavily marketing to US audiences in recent years - only Delta-9-THC is prohibited under their federal law.
When speaking to journalists in 2021, the UK home office stated: “Delta-8 THC is a cannabinol derivative that is controlled as a Class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.” Make no mistake, just because Delta-8 is freely traded abroad does not make it legal to possess or trade in the UK.
What effects does Delta-8 have?
Delta-8 will generate similar psychoactive effects regardless of how it is consumed, however there are a few differences, particularly regarding onset (how long it takes to work) and duration (how long it works for):
|Cannabinoid||Known Effects||Effect Duration||Known Side Effects|
|Delta-8-THC (Smoked)||Potential anxiety reduction, pain relief, racing thoughts, euphoria, relaxation||
Onset: 1-2 minutes
Lasts: 1-2 hours
|Potential dizziness, anxiety, paranoia, headaches, dry mouth, red eyes|
|Delta-8-THC (Vaped)||Similar to smoked: slower onset.||
Onset: 5-15 minutes
Duration: 2-4 hours
|Slow onset is believed to minimise side effects compared to smoking.|
|Delta-8 (Edible)||Slowest onset. Deep relaxing effects, supporting sleep. Appetite enhancement.||
Onset: 1-2 hours
Duration: 4-8 hours
|Slow onset is believed to minimise side effects compared to smoking and vaping.|
|Delta-8-THC (Sublingual)||Similar to edibles: faster onset.||
Onset: 5-30 minutes
Duration: 3-5 hours
|Potential dizziness, anxiety, paranoia, headaches, dry mouth, red eyes|
Delta-8-THC is psychoactive, meaning it affects how a user feels in much the same way as 9-THC. Users report similar effects like euphoria, relaxation and improved appetite. These effects are generally regarded to be milder than 9-THC and wear off more quickly.
This isn't to say that Delta-8 is “weak” however. In high doses it is capable of heavily inebriating a user and producing side effects like dry mouth, dry eyes and drowsiness. While these side effects can be significant, users report that they are comparably no more intense than those found with Delta-9 products.
How do people use Delta-8-THC?
Delta-8-THC, just like CBD is consumed in legal markets in a wide range of forms. Different products will offer different experiences, both in terms of effects and their duration:
☁ Vaping: Vaping involves heating Delta-8-THC vape oil to a point where it evaporates and can be inhaled. This method is often chosen due to its quick onset of effects, usually within minutes. Vaping can be an easier method on the lungs compared to traditional smoking, and the strength of the effect can be controlled by the amount you inhale.
🚬 Smoking: Smoking Delta-8-THC is done by burning a product (like a pre-roll or flower infused with Delta-8) and inhaling the smoke. The onset of effects can be rapid, usually within 1 minute. However, smoking can have negative impacts on lung health and may not be suitable for everyone.
👅 Sublingual: Sublingual use involves placing Delta-8-THC oil under the tongue and allowing it to be absorbed into the bloodstream through the mucous membranes. This method avoids the digestive system, providing a relatively quick onset of effects (15-30 minutes). Sublingual use allows for easy dosage control and doesn't involve inhaling any smoke or vapor.
🥘 Edibles: Edibles are food products infused with Delta-8-THC. They have to be digested and metabolised by the liver, which leads to a delayed onset of effects (1-3 hours). However, once they kick in, the effects can be more intense and longer-lasting compared to inhalation methods. Edibles offer a smokeless option and a wide variety of product choices, from gummies to baked goods.
💅 Topicals: Topical products, such as creams, lotions, or balms, are infused with Delta-8-THC and applied directly to the skin. This method is typically used for localised relief of issues like pain or inflammation. The Delta-8-THC doesn't typically enter the bloodstream, so psychoactive effects are unlikely. However, onset times and effectiveness can vary greatly.
💊 Capsules: Capsules containing Delta-8-THC offer a controlled dosage and an easy, discreet method of consumption. Similar to edibles, capsules need to be digested, so the effects take longer to onset (1-3 hours) but tend to last longer. Capsules can be an excellent choice for those seeking prolonged effects and those who prefer not to smoke or vape.
🧪 Concentrates: Concentrates are highly potent forms of Delta-8-THC, like wax or shatter. These can be vaporised ("dabbed") using specific equipment called a dab rig. The effects are very intense and almost instantaneous, but this method requires some experience and isn't typically recommended for beginners.
- 🌷 Flower Spray: Flower sprays are Delta-8 distillates, usually mixed with other ingredients, intended to be sprayed onto hemp flowers to make them more potent.
Can I take a Delta-8 edible with food?
On an empty stomach it may take up to 90 minutes before the effects of a Delta-8 edible is felt, and this can change dramatically if the user has eaten recently:
|Delta-8 Edible Dose||Onset time|
|Taken 30 minutes before food||Expect quicker onset. (-30 minutes)|
|Taken 30 minutes after food||Expect longer onset. (+30 minutes)|
|Taken on empty stomach||Normal onset (1 hour)|
As with any cannabinoid edible, practice safety by leaving 2-3 hours between doses, allowing you to fully gauge the effects - not redosing before the edible has fully been digested and metabolised.
Is Delta-8 natural?
Yes, Delta-8-THC is one of hundreds of cannabinoids which are naturally found in the hemp plant - it is not synthetic and occurs in plants via decarboxylation of Delta-8-THCA. However the amount of Delta-8 in a plant is usually very low, much lower than the other cannabinoids which people are interested in.
Because it only arises naturally in small amounts, when Delta-8 is produced for commercial products, it is most often not extracted from the plant. Instead, it is created by a chemical process from CBD, called isomerisation.
This process often involves use of industrial equipment, powerful acids and other chemicals which are anything but natural. For this reason, it’s best to assume that any Delta-8 products available outside of the UK have a very low chance of using “natural” Delta-8.
This isn't to say that "synthetic" Delta-8 produced for legal markets is inherently dangerous; however producers have a very high-level of responsibility to demonstrate that their products are safe and 100% free from the potentially dangerous chemicals used in their production.
Are there different strains of Delta-8?
No. A strain usually refers to a particular genetic variation of the cannabis plant. For commercial Delta-8 products, strains are of no importance, as plants aren't used in their manufacturing.
Why is Delta-8 popular?
Delta-8-THC has seen a massive rise in popularity in recent years due to several key factors:
Legal Status: The 2018 Farm Bill federally legalised hemp and all hemp-derived products in the United States, so long as they contain less than 0.3% delta-9-THC. Delta-8-THC is a minor cannabinoid derived from hemp, which, thanks to this legislation, is technically legal in many states where delta-9-THC is not.
Psychoactive Properties: Delta-8-THC does possess psychoactive properties, but they are generally reported to be milder than those of delta-9-THC. Users often report feeling relaxed and clear-headed without the intense psychoactive effects that some people experience with delta-9-THC. This perceived 'lighter' effect has been appealing to many users, particularly those new to cannabis products.
Novelty and Curiosity: As a relatively new product on the market, there's a certain level of novelty and curiosity associated with delta-8-THC. Consumers interested in trying something new, or who are curious about the potential effects of different cannabinoids, might be drawn to delta-8-THC for these reasons.
Regulatory Grey Area: Despite its rising popularity, delta-8-THC exists in a regulatory grey area. Some American states have specifically prohibited it due to the lack of comprehensive research, but in others, it remains a legal alternative to delta-9-THC.
What is the optimal dose for Delta-8-THC?
In legal markets, users report that Delta-8 is about half as potent as Delta-9-THC. This means that users who are familiar with the effects of Delta-9 simply "double up" their usual dosage weight. For example, a person who typically uses 20mg of Delta-9 is likely to need 40mg of Delta-8 to achieve the same effects.
However, it's important to understand that everyone's body is different and the effects of Delta-8-THC can vary greatly depending on the person, their tolerance, weight, metabolism, and other factors. If you've never used Delta-8-THC before, it's recommended to start with a lower dose (<5mg) and gradually increase until you find the dose that gives you the desired effects.
Is Delta-8 safe?
Because production of Delta-8 is only a few years old, there is very little history or research of what happens when it is used in significant amounts, beyond the trace amounts in hemp.
This means that there is little-to-no information on how it impacts a user’s health over-time, and most importantly there is very little medical and scientific research on Delta-8’s impact.
For these reasons, there’s no way of knowing what the safety profile of Delta-8 likely is. It may take several decades before adequate research has been completed which will allow Delta-8’s safety to be fully understood.
Beyond Delta-8 itself, the production process often involves dangerous chemicals that must have adequate safety controls. If the manufacturer is careless, there's a strong possibility that the product could contain a range of chemicals which are harmful to human health.
CBD remains a better choice in regards to safety. Although it has less pronounced effects in some regards, it is known to be much safer, with several decades of research indicating that CBD poses little risk to health, instead supporting a healthy lifestyle.
What safety precautions should be taken when using Delta-8?
When consuming Delta-8-THC (where legally permitted) users should consider several precautions.
First, it's crucial to start with a small dose, especially if you're new to THC or cannabis products. Monitor your body's response and gradually increase the dose if needed. Remember that edibles can take several hours before "kicking in". Never re-dose with another edible within 4 hours of your initial dose.
Secondly, avoid operating heavy machinery or driving while under the influence of Delta-8-THC, as it can impair motor skills and reaction times.
Third, ensure Delta-8 products are kept well out of reach of children. Gummy edibles are easily confused for normal sweets, so keep them well out of view.
Finally, be aware that Delta-8-THC can cause dry mouth, dry eyes, and increased appetite. Stay hydrated and have food ready to maintain consistent energy levels.
How does Delta-8-THC affect motor control?
Delta-8-THC, like other cannabinoids, can affect motor control due to its psychoactive effects and its interaction with the CB1 receptors in the brain, which play a crucial role in motor functions. This could potentially lead to impaired balance, coordination, and reaction time. However, it's worth noting that Delta-8-THC is often described as producing less intense psychoactive effects compared to Delta-9-THC, but it can still cause motor impairment, especially in high doses.
Can A person overdose on Delta-8?
Yes. If a person consumes too much Delta-8-THC, they may experience a range of negative side-effects. While these are never physically dangerous in 99.9% of cases, they can be uncomfortable and mentally distressing. Side-effects can usually be managed by following a few simple steps:
It's important not to panic. The uncomfortable feelings and symptoms are temporary and will pass as the body metabolises the substance.
Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, and consider eating something to help reduce further absorption of THC from your stomach and intestines. Resting, preferably in a comfortable and quiet environment, can help manage feelings of dizziness or disorientation.
You can also reach out to a supportive friend, family member, or medical professional for reassurance.
An interesting anecdote from cannabis users involves the use of black pepper to alleviate the anxiety or paranoia sometimes associated with THC "overdose". Black pepper contains a terpene known as beta-caryophyllene, which binds to cannabinoid receptors in the body. This terpene may theoretically balance THC's strong effects on these receptors, potentially mitigating feelings of anxiety or paranoia. However, this interaction is not extensively studied and can vary widely between individuals.
Does Delta-8 show up on a drug test?
Yes, Delta-8-THC can potentially show up on a drug test. Many drug tests are designed to detect metabolites of THC, and they do not distinguish between different types such as Delta-9-THC or Delta-8-THC. Therefore, if you've consumed Delta-8-THC, you may test positive for THC on both a hair and urine drug test.
How should Delta-8-THC be stored?
If you are in a country where it's legal to possess Delta-8, there are a few things to consider when storing it, in order to maintain its potency.
When stored incorrectly Delta-8 can quickly degrade into CBN. However, it's worth noting that Delta-8 is also more stable than Delta-9 meaning it can be stored for about 50-100% longer time before experiencing comparable degradation into CBN.
Firstly, sunlight will degrade Delta-8. Store it in a dark location, away from direct light. Secondly, heat will degrade Delta-8. Consider using a fridge of freezer for maximum shelf-life. Finally, ensure Delta-8 is stored in an airtight container in order to minimise oxygen exposure.
Most Delta-8 extracts will last over 2 years when properly stored.
How is Delta-8 metabolised?
In short... once ingested, Delta-8 is metabolised into “11-hydroxy-THC”. This might sound familiar because it’s the same metabolite which occurs when a person consumes a Delta-9 edible.
In detail... Delta-8-THC is a fat-soluble compound, meaning it doesn't dissolve well in water and is stored in fat tissue. When ingested, it is first absorbed into the bloodstream and then transported to the liver, where enzymes called cytochrome P450 isoforms start the metabolism process. These enzymes are responsible for oxidizing foreign substances to make them more water-soluble and easier for the body to excrete.
Specifically, the metabolism of Delta-8-THC involves two primary enzymes: CYP2C9 and CYP3A4. These enzymes convert Delta-8-THC into more active metabolites, including 11-hydroxy-Delta-8-THC and 8,11-dihydroxy-Delta-8-THC. These metabolites are then further metabolized into less active compounds such as 11-nor-9-carboxy-Delta-8-THC, which are more water-soluble and can be excreted by the body through urine.
The first metabolic step, conversion to 11-hydroxy-THC, increases the potency of the compound. 11-hydroxy-THC can easily cross the blood-brain barrier and is more potent than the original Delta-8-THC molecule. This explains why the effects of ingested Delta-8-THC can be intense and long-lasting, similar to those of Delta-9-THC.
Although the metabolism of Delta-8-THC is generally understood, individual responses can vary due to factors such as genetic variations in the cytochrome P450 enzymes and interactions with other substances that may inhibit or induce these enzymes. Further research is needed to fully understand the implications of these factors on the metabolism and effects of Delta-8-THC.
What is the half-life of Delta-8-THC?
A half-life is the time it takes for half of a dose of a substance to be eliminated from the body. It varies depending on several factors, including the method of consumption, the individual's metabolic rate, body mass, hydration, physical activity, and the overall amount consumed.
It is generally thought that Delta-8-THC has a similar half-life to Delta-9-THC, which ranges between 4 - 20 hours.
- Edibles will fall on the longer end of this scale, between 10 - 20 hours.
- Vaping and smoking will fall on the shorter end, between 4 - 8 hours.
It's essential to note that even after the effects have worn off, Delta-8-THC can be detectable in body and hair drug tests for up to several weeks, depending on the frequency and quantity of use.
How are Delta-8-THC & Delta-9-THC different?
Delta-8-THC and Delta-9-THC are quite similar to each other in terms of their chemical structure. In fact, the only difference between them comes down to the location of a certain double bond.
A double bond is a type of chemical bond where two pairs of electrons are shared between two atoms.
In Delta-8-THC and Delta-9-THC, this double bond is located in a slightly different position on the molecule. In Delta-8-THC, the double bond is on the 8th carbon atom in the chain, while in Delta-9-THC, the double bond is on the 9th carbon atom.
This may seem like a minor difference, but it has a significant impact on how the body interacts with these compounds.
Does Delta-8 need to be "decarbed" (decarboxylation)?
Decarboxylation is a chemical process that activates the cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, making them more readily available for the body to use. The most widely know decarboxylation reaction is THCA into Delta-9-THC.
This process involves heating the cannabis plant, either with cooking, smoking or vaping, which removes a carboxyl group from the cannabinoids and releases carbon dioxide.
In the case of Delta-8-THC, no decarboxylation is required. Delta-8 can be smoked, vaped, eaten or absorbed sublingually, and is bioactive and psychoactive in all cases. This makes Delta-8 incredibly easy to use in almost any form!
What is the History of Delta-8-THC?
Before the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill came into effect, most of what we knew about Delta-8-THC came from scientific research. In 1941, a scientist named Roger Adams and his team at the University of Illinois were the first to partially create Delta-8-THC in a lab. A year later, they conducted experiments to understand how this compound affected the body and mind when consumed.
Fast forward to 1965, and scientists had figured out how to fully create Delta-8-THC in the lab. A year after that, in 1966, researchers at the University of Delaware were able to map out the exact chemical structure of Delta-8-THC found in the cannabis plant. By 1967, Raphael Mechoulam and his team at the Weizmann Institute of Science reported a specific method to create Delta-8-THC using two other compounds, olivetol and verbenol.
How do terpenes interact with Delta-8-THC?
Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in many plants, including cannabis. They contribute to the distinctive, intense smell of different cannabis strains.
Some terpenes might also interact with cannabinoids like Delta-8-THC to create more potent effects, in what's known as the "entourage effect". This theory suggests that the different compounds in cannabis, including cannabinoids and terpenes, work together to produce a stronger effect than they would individually.
The terpene myrcene is thought to enhance the psychoactive effects of Delta-8-THC, while the terpene pinene might help counteract memory issues associated with THC use.
Can Delta-8-THC be taken sublingually?
Yes. Delta-8 can be metabolised from the bloodstream, after being absorbed sublingual. Sublingual doses are typically felt more quickly than edibles, making it an attractive method for users who don't like the long onset of Delta-8 edibles.
Are Delta-8 and CBD similar?
Both Delta-8-THC and CBD are cannabinoids, but they exhibit very different effects due to how they interact with the body's endocannabinoid system.
Delta-8-THC, much like Delta-9-THC, interacts with the CB1 receptors found mainly in the brain and central nervous system, leading to psychoactive effects. It's believed to offer a more subdued and clear-headed high compared to Delta-9-THC.
On the other hand, CBD has a more indirect action on the CB1 and CB2 receptors and is not psychoactive. CBD has been reported to have several therapeutic effects such as reducing anxiety, inflammation, and pain. It can also counteract the psychoactive effects of THC. Because of its non-intoxicating nature, CBD is legal in many places, including the UK. Meanwhile Delta-8 is not legal to possess in the UK.
Can Delta-8 be used with other cannabinoids?
Users of Delta-8 often discuss the "entourage effect", which is when other cannabinoids and terpenes are mixed with Delta-8 to enhance its potency. CBG (Cannabigerol), CBC (Cannabichromene), and of course CBD (Cannabidiol) are all popular choices to achieve this effect and are fully legal products.
When used together, these compounds may work synergistically to enhance the effects and reduce potential side effects of Delta-8-THC. This synergistic interaction is thought to occur throughout the body at various targets within the human endocannabinoid system.
It's important to note that while the entourage effect is widely discussed, practiced and theorised, it is still not fully understood scientifically, and more research is needed to fully comprehend how these different components interact with each other and the human body.
Does Delta-8 get a user as "high" as Delta-9?
Delta-8-THC is said to be about half as potent as Delta-9 when smoked, leading to nicknames like the "little brother" of THC. However there's not any medical or scientific research that backs this up - it is simply what people believe.
When consumed as an edible, Delta-8's potency is slightly higher than when it is vaped or smoked - owing to the fact it is readily metabolised by the body into 11-hydroxy-THC - exactly the same as when Delta-9 is metabolised.
This has led to the growth of users in legal markets; who want to get the most out of their Delta-8 products, so purchase edibles as a result.
Is it safe to use alcohol and Delta-8?
Mixing Delta-8-THC with alcohol can enhance the effects of both substances and could potentially lead to negative side effects.
Alcohol is known to increase the bioavailability of both Delta-8 and Delta-9-THC, meaning it can intensify their psychoactive effects. This combination might cause dizziness, nausea, or potentially risky impairment. Therefore, it's advisable to use caution when consuming Delta-8-THC with alcohol (where legal).
Can Delta-8-THC be used topically?
Delta-8 skincare and cosmetic products are very rare even in legal markets and it is not a preferred method for consuming Delta-8 amongst users.
As with sublingual methods, there's no reason why Delta-8 wouldn't be bioavailable and readily metabolised once absorbed through the skin. Yes, it is entire possible to use Delta-8 topically.
However, the effects might differ compared to other consumption methods. It's important to note that while the skin can absorb cannabinoids, the skin has a relatively "low and slow" absorption rate for substances in general, so the efficacy and overall effect might be less pronounced (and longer lasting) than with other methods of consumption.
What does it mean if Delta-8 is red/pink/brown/black?
Pure Delta-8-THC is usually clear coloured, cream, lightly pink or faintly yellow, however it doesn't often stay this colour for long...
Delta-8-THC, like many organic compounds, undergoes various chemical reactions that can cause changes in its physical properties, such as colour. These changes are often due to oxidation reactions and the presence of impurities or by-products from the production process:
🟥Red/Pink: The appearance of red colour in Delta-8-THC distillate can be a result of the presence of impurities, changes in pH or modest oxidisation. Light exposure can also cause photo-oxidation, which can lead to red-ish colour changes. This colour is very common and not usually a concern.
🟫Brown: The appearance of a brown colour may suggest significant oxidation. Oxidation is a chemical reaction involving the loss of electrons, and in the case of Delta-8-THC, it can lead to the formation of quinones and CBN. These compounds often have a darker colour and can cause the mixture to appear brown. A brown colour could also potentially be the result of residual solvents or other impurities that were not fully removed during the distillation process. This colour is typical in older extracts and often doesn't indicate anything "wrong".
⬛Black: A black colour strongly suggests the presence of significant impurities or severe degradation. This could be due to improper storage conditions (such as excessive exposure to light or heat), advanced oxidation, or contamination. If Delta-8-THC appears black, it is likely not safe for consumption.
- ⬜White/Cream/Clear: Delta-8 of these colours is likely fresh, pure and hasn't experienced much oxidisation.
It's important to note that these colour changes can also affect the potency and safety profile of the product. Therefore, it's crucial that consumers in legal markets purchase Delta-8-THC products from reputable sources that use proper production, purification, and storage methods to maintain the quality and safety of their products.
Is it safe to purchase Delta-8 online?
Purchasing Delta-8-THC online in the UK is not legal. Delta-8-THC is considered a Class B drug under UK law. This means it's illegal to possess, distribute, or produce it. While some vendors from Europe or the United States might be willing to ship to the UK, they are doing so in violation of UK law.
If you're found in possession of a Class B drug in the UK, penalties can be severe. For possession, the maximum penalty is up to 5 years in prison, an unlimited fine, or both. For supply and production, the maximum penalty goes up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine, or both.
Moreover, purchasing any illegal cannabinoid online, including Delta-8-THC, can carry significant risks, irrespective of the legal context. For example:
Quality Assurance: There's no guarantee about the quality or purity of the product you receive. Unregulated products might contain harmful contaminants or not contain the advertised amount of Delta-8-THC.
Personal Information Security: When you purchase from an online vendor, particularly one operating illegally, you're entrusting them with your personal and financial information. There's a serious risk that this information could be misused or stolen.
In summary, even if Delta-8-THC is legal in other countries, its status in the UK is clear. It's classified as a Class B drug, making it illegal to buy, sell, or possess.
So, purchasing Delta-8-THC online in the UK is neither safe nor legal. Always adhere to local laws and regulations regarding controlled substances. CBD, CBG, CBC and H4-CBD and fully legal cannabinoids in the UK.
Alternatives to Delta-8-THC?
Because Delta-8 is illegal in the UK, users interested in cannabinoids should explore legal cannabinoids as an alternative, which includes:
Does Delta-8 interact with other drugs or medications?
Research suggests that Delta-8 and Delta-9 may interact with other substances. Both of these cannabinoids share metabolic pathways with many common classes of prescription drugs. This means they have the potential to affect each other's absorption. For instance, many prescription medications use the CYP3A4 metabolic pathway, which Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC heavily rely on for absorption. This can impact the absorption of both the drug and the cannabinoid, leading to potential drug interactions.
Some of the medications that Delta-9 THC can interact with include:
- Blood Pressure Medications
- Blood Sugar Medications
If these medications are taken alongside THC, it's possible that they may break down more slowly due to a lack of available enzymes, which THC may suppress. In some cases, this might cause a drug to become less effective or accumulate to high levels in the body, which can be dangerous. THC can also sometimes amplify the effect of certain medications. For example, it may increase the sedative-like effects of benzodiazepines.
Is Delta-8 Addictive?
Based on the available research in 2023, Delta-8-THC is not considered to be addictive - users can't become "dependent" on its use. It's important to note, however, that this doesn't mean it's risk-free.
Using Delta-8-THC can lead to the development of a habit (habituation), particularly among heavy users. Research has shown that the overall dependence potential for cannabis-products is less than that for other substances like caffeine, tobacco and alcohol.
How does tolerance to Delta-8-THC develop?
Over time, regular Delta-8-THC use can lead to increased tolerance, meaning that users need to consume larger amounts of Delta-8 to achieve the same effects they previously did with smaller amounts. This tolerance can build up over time with prolonged and repeated use.
This process involves changes in the body's endocannabinoid system, including a decrease in cannabinoid receptor density and changes in metabolic enzymes. However, everyone's body responds differently, and the speed at which tolerance develops can vary.
What does the FDA say about Delta-8?
As of 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is worried about the use of Delta-8 THC, and has said that Delta-8 products aren't approved for safe use, meaning they could be a risk to public health.
Delta-8 products can vary a lot in terms of ingredients and how strong they are, which the FDA believes could confuse consumers and make it hard for them to select safe products. The FDA is also worried that some products are being sold for medical use without being proven to be safe or helpful.
What does the CDC say about Delta-8?
As of 2023, the US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a warning about the rise in products containing delta-8 THC. The CDC is concerned about the increase in these products, because the health effects of Delta-8-THC are not fully understood.
They note that these products are often sold with insufficient labelling, which may mislead consumers about their content and potential effects. This is especially problematic as these products are often sold online and outside of regulated cannabis dispensaries, which could lead to confusion with non-intoxicating hemp or CBD products.
What do businesses need to know about Delta-8?
While we’ve discussed a number of barriers for Delta-8’s use in the UK, it remains an interesting topic. Hemp and cannabinoid laws around the world are developing at a rapid pace and show no signs of slowing, as the public becomes more aware of their benefits from products like CBD. It’s unlikely that demand for Delta-8 in countries and territories where it is legal will slow down any time soon.
Because it is so chemically similar to CBD and Delta-9-THC and involved in many industrial processes in the cannabis industry it is likely to be an important consideration for many years to come, in legal countries.
If research concludes that Delta-8 is safe for human consumption, like CBD, it is likely to be sought after as a milder form of traditional 9-THC where legal; wearing off more quickly, creating less pronounced effects.
This blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not promote or endorse the illegal use of Delta-8-THC or any other controlled substances. While we aim to provide accurate and up-to-date information, the content presented here should not be used as a substitute for legal advice or guidance.
Please be aware that Delta-8-THC is classified as a controlled substance in the United Kingdom, and its use, possession, and distribution are illegal under UK law. Any discussions or descriptions of Delta-8-THC in this blog are for educational purposes only and are not meant to encourage or facilitate its illegal use.
We strongly advise our readers to comply with their local laws and regulations regarding controlled substances. If you are unsure about the legal status of Delta-8-THC or any other substances in your area, please seek advice from a legal professional or your local authorities.
Please remember that any form of substance use carries risks, and if you choose to use Delta-8-THC or any other substances, you should be aware of these risks and take steps to mitigate them. If you need help with substance use, please reach out to a healthcare professional.