Delta-8 THC has been gaining traction as an alternative to delta-9 THC for those seeking a milder “high”. While research is still ongoing, it appears that delta-8 produces similar levels of relaxation and pain relief as delta-9, but with fewer cognitive distortions such as an altered sense of time, memory problems, and difficulty concentrating. Participants in studies have also reported feeling less anxiety and paranoia when using delta-8.Many users have found that they can consume delta-8 THC and remain productive, while using delta-9 THC products for recreational purposes due to their more potent effects. Jessica Kruger, PhD, adjunct clinical professor of community health and healthy behavior at the UB School of Public Health and Health Professions, has called for more research on the psychoactive effects of delta-8-THC, as well as on the risks and benefits.
Children are especially at risk of poisoning due to the consumption of delta-8 products due to their small body size and the fact that the products usually come in the form of gummy bears and peach rings. The Farm Bill effectively legalized delta-8-THC hemp-derived products in areas where recreational use of cannabis was prohibited or medical marijuana required medical authorization. A 1973 study found that the effects of delta-8 THC mimicked those of THC, but were not as intense. CBD Oracle conducted an independent analysis of 51 products and found that 77% had lower THC delta-8 than advertised and three-quarters of the products had higher THC levels than allowed by federal law.
Of the 14 states that have banned delta-8-THC, six allow recreational use of cannabis, 10 allow medical use and three have decriminalized recreational use. Kruger and his colleague have partnered with a Buffalo-based manufacturer of cannabinoid (CBD) products in an effort to learn more about the benefits and potential disadvantages of delta-8-THC and to better inform legislators, public health officials, consumers and others.