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What is delta-8 THC and is it a safe cannabis alternative?

Over the last couple of years, a novel cannabinoid has quietly grown in popularity. Delta-8 THC is similar to its more commonly known psychoactive cousin, delta-9 THC, but a legal loophole has led to its broad use across the United States despite safety warnings from regulatory authorities. New research has now offered the first large-scale insights into what kinds of effects people are experiencing with this unique drug.

What is Delta-8 THC?

The primary psychoactive molecule in cannabis most people would be familiar with is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9 THC). This cannabinoid is primarily responsible for the “high” felt after consuming cannabis but is just one of hundreds of unique cannabinoids found in cannabis plants.

Delta-8-THC, often shortened to delta-8, is an intoxicating analog of delta-9 best used for pain, inflammation, sleep, and appetite stimulation. CBD is a popular non-intoxicating cannabinoid best used for pain, depression, PTSD, appetite suppression, and general health and wellness.

CBD is better for mild anxiety symptoms, while Delta 8 is better for moderate anxiety. They’re also useful for anxiety when combined. CBD has no known side effects or addictive properties, whereas Delta-8 research is TBD on its longer term effects for regular use.

What is delta-8 THC good for?

Similar to delta-9 THC, delta-8 is good for many health and wellness benefits. While scientific research on delta-8 is lacking, some preclinical studies and lots of anecdotal stories suggest delta-8’s effects are good for the following:

Anxiety and stress reduction (with CBD and CBG)
Pain relief and anti-inflammation (with CBD)
Nausea and vomiting (on its own or with THC)
Appetite stimulation (with or without THC)

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