Delta 8 is one of the new cannabinoids available in the market, and a lot remains unknown. Consumers have various concerns about this compound, including side effects. This article highlights everything you need to know about delta 8, including its legality, safety, and benefits. Herein, you will also learn if delta 8 can cause psychosis.
THC is one of the major cannabinoids in cannabis plants. This chemical compound has intoxicating effects and is known to make its consumers’ high.’ THC is available in variants such as delta8, delta9, and delta 10. These variants differ in the location of the double bond, leading to different effects. Delta 8 is gaining popularity and is infused in gummies, vapes, tinctures, and topical products. Research is still ongoing concerning this cannabinoid, and many questions are arising. One of these questions is whether delta 8 can cause psychosis. Being a THC isomer, some consumers believe that delta 8 can cause hallucination, uneasiness, lack of focus, and poor judgment, all signs of psychosis. This article discusses the relationship between consuming delta 8 products and psychosis.
What Is Delta 8?
Delta 8 is one of the many cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. In recent years, this cannabinoid has been gaining popularity among its users. Since it is a cannabinoid, delta 8 can be present in marijuana and hemp plants since they are subgroups of the cannabis plant. Delta 8 combines with the cannabinoid receptors, leading to the effects one feels after consuming it.
Delta 8 has a similar biological structure to delta 9, which also gives its consumers a psychoactive effect. Although its effects are milder than delta 9 THC, the FDA has warned about the safety of its products.
What Is the Difference Between Delta 9 And Delta 8?
The main difference between delta 8 and delta 9 is the location of their double bonds in the carbon chain. The location of delta 8 is in the 8th position while delta 9 is in the ninth. This small difference leads to the varying effects they produce (Helander et al., 2022). If you are sensitive to delta9, you may prefer using delta 8. This is because the latter can boost your mood, contains pain-relieving effects, and helps increase the appetite, as suggested by Kruger & Kruger (2022).
Bhattacharyya et al. (2017) stated that a little delta 9 could reduce anxiety, while too much can lead to anxiety. However, delta 8 relieves its users from anxiety. Even though data 8 is less powerful than delta 9, it can still give its users a high effect.
What Is THC-Induced Psychosis?
Some signs of psychosis include hallucinations and delusional thoughts. These symptoms occur after consuming high levels of THC, mostly from 15%-30%. It can sometimes be misdiagnosed to be schizophrenia.
Some Symptoms of THC-Induced Psychosis
This psychosis has symptoms similar to those of schizophrenia. If the symptoms go away quickly, then they are acute symptoms. This happens when someone can wake up feeling normal. If one abstains from highly concentrated THC products, the symptoms may fade off immediately. If the symptoms persist after abstaining, you should seek treatment immediately. Symptoms of THC-induced psychosis include
Losing Touch with Reality
This means one cannot differentiate between what is real and what is not. This can also be referred to as dissociation. This may also make one forget things easily and find it difficult to interact with others. An individual suffering from psychosis becomes out of touch with their body and location.
One of the most common symptoms of psychosis is hallucinations. This is when a person sees something that is not real. People can also hallucinate sounds and smells. (Heilbrun et al., 1984).
One may feel they are being followed, but if asked, there is no evidence to prove that. One always feels as if they are always in danger.
Lack of Sleep
According to Barrett et al. (2020), most people who experience psychosis find it difficult to sleep. This is because of the various symptoms that one faces. Disturbing thoughts may interfere with their sleep and also the feeling of anxiety. One wakes up after a couple of hours and never feels relaxed entirely.
Here, one finds it difficult to form words and may talk gibberish since their thoughts are disorganized. Others may be unable to speak because their thoughts are disorganized.
Can Delta 8 Lead to Psychosis?
Since delta 8 is derived from the hemp plant, it cannot lead to psychosis since its THC levels are less than 0.3 percent. Malone et al. (2010) noted that consuming products whose THC levels are between 15% to 30% may lead to psychosis. If you may be having depression, you should avoid consuming THC products. This is because it can increase depression symptoms. Signs of psychosis may include delusional thoughts, hallucinations, suspicion, and paranoia. If you experience these signs after consuming delta 8, you should stop using it immediately and consult your doctor.
Is Delta 8 THC Legal?
Federally speaking, delta 8 is legal according to the 2018 Farm Bill. However, some states have taken it upon themselves to ban its use. Bloemendal et al. (2020) suggested that since this cannabinoid interacts with CB1 receptors, it may give its users health benefits. You should be aware that consuming delta 8 products can lead to a positive drug test. You should also be aware that these products are unregulated; hence you should be cautious when purchasing them.
While Delta 8 THC has several health benefits, consuming high levels of THC may lead to health risks. Before purchasing your delta 8 product, check its THC levels and ensure it is less than 0.3 percent. Consuming high-quality delta 8 products may lead to benefits such as pain relief, boosting one’s mood, increasing one’s appetite, and relieving anxiety. Also, ask for third-party test results to ensure your delta 8 products are safe for consumption. Consulting your doctor before taking delta 8 products is also important. The doctor can advise on the correct dosage and the possible side effects.
Barrett, E. A., Aminoff, S. R., Simonsen, C., & Romm, K. L. (2020). Opening The Curtains For Better Sleep In Psychotic Disorders-Considerations For Improving Sleep Treatment. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 103, 152207.
Bhattacharyya, S., Egerton, A., Kim, E., Rosso, L., Riano Barros, D., Hammers, A., … & Mcguire, P. (2017). Acute Induction Of Anxiety In Humans By Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Related To Amygdalar Cannabinoid-1 (CB1) Receptors. Scientific Reports, 7(1), 1-15.
Bloemendal, V. R., Van Hest, J. C., & Rutjes, F. P. (2020). Synthetic Pathways To Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): An Overview. Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, 18(17), 3203-3215.
Heilbrun, A. B., & Blum, N. A. (1984). Cognitive Vulnerability To Auditory Hallucination Impaired Perception Of Meaning. The British Journal Of Psychiatry, 144(5), 508-512.
Helander, A., Johansson, M., Andersson, A., & Villén, T. (2022). Analytical And Medico‐Legal Problems Linked To The Presence Of Delta‐8‐Tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta‐8‐THC): Results From Urine Drug Testing In Sweden. Drug Testing And Analysis, 14(2), 371-376.
Kruger, J. S., & Kruger, D. J. (2022). Delta-8-THC: Delta-9-THC’s Nicer Younger Sibling?. Journal Of Cannabis Research, 4(1), 1-8.
Malone, D. T., Hill, M. N., & Rubino, T. (2010). Adolescent Cannabis Use And Psychosis: Epidemiology And Neurodevelopmental Models. British Journal Of Pharmacology, 160(3), 511-522.