Using cannabis products as a way to manage anxiety is nothing new. In fact, there are numerous studies that back the anti-anxiety effects of cannabinoids.
Although, you may have also heard that a little too much cannabis can turn a blissed-out day into a stuck-in-a-fog bout of anxiety. Too much THC (aka delta-9-THC) is generally to blame here.
But what if we told you there's another cannabinoid that's basically THC, but without the potential for anxiety? Hello delta-8-THC!
D8 offers a more predictably-pleasant high and may be a more effective anxiety-buster than THC.
Too good to be true? Let's find out.
Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, aka delta-8 or D8. Chemically, it's a close relative to delta-9-THC — the most common form of THC. When people say "THC," they're usually referring to delta-9.
You can think of delta-8 as another form of THC — a lighter version. It comes as no surprise that delta-8 is often referred to as "marijuana lite." While D8 has psychoactive properties, it's generally milder than THC.
Delta-8-THC occurs naturally in both the hemp and marijuana varieties of the cannabis plant. But, it’s in such small quantities that commercially-used D8 is generally produced in a lab (derived from CBD).
For you curious minds wanting to know all about D8, check out the Delta-8section of our blog.
Much of D8's popularity among CBD enthusiasts is the promise of something with a bit more pizazz than CBD, but without some of the downsides that can come with THC. A best of both worlds. Does it deliver?
Delta-8 is most commonly associated with a feel-good, chill high without paranoia or anxious thoughts creeping in. And, correspondingly, many people who've tried delta-8 gummies describe the experience as more consistently relaxing than the ups and downs of a THC high.
Even though delta-8 was discovered decades ago, there hasn't been much research into D8 treatments for anxiety disorders. What we’re finding is that cannabinoids in general can impact our overall mood and have anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) qualities.(1)
What we know about D8 so far is that it offers much of the same effects and benefits of cannabis — mood boosting, stress relieving, easing pain, reducing nausea — but with fewer of the potential drawbacks.(2) And, research has shown that D8 doesn't cause anxiety.
Given the known benefits of cannabinoids and the excitement around D8, we can probably expect more research to come — stay on the lookout for new studies that emerge on delta-8 and anxiety disorders!
Clinical evidence suggests that delta-8 might help you calm down and feel reduced anxiety. And anecdotal information supports this as well. Here's how a couple of real delta-8-THC users put it:
“I take one as I climb into bed. Shortly thereafter, I feel it working, like my body took a deep breath and relaxed enough that I simply drift right off! Which is rare for me. So glad I tried it.” — Elken
“Delta-8 is a great option for anyone looking for the health benefits of THC without the head high. These gummies are amazing!! Taste and texture are good, effect is a subtle shift to feeling calm and overall well-being.” — LeoGirl
People tend to love the feeling of serenity and wellbeing that washes over them. It seems to help your mind and body relax through the unique way D8 interacts with your ECS.
There are plenty of reasons to consider delta-8 instead of regular THC if anxiety is a concern.
Many of the cannabinoids found in hemp and marijuana are known to have anti-anxiety properties. However, research around THC (the delta-9 variety) shows that low doses decrease anxiety while higher doses can heighten anxiety.(3)
D8, on the other hand, hasn't demonstrated these anxiety-inducing effects. On the contrary, it's much milder and less likely to cause a "bad" high. For these reasons, delta-8 may be a more effective anxiety-crusher than THC.
While the THC experience can be hit or miss, D8 is much more predictable. It isn’t like a game of chance every time you take delta-8.
This is because you're simply less likely to have the not-so-nice side effects of THC when you use delta-8-THC. (Symptoms like paranoia, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, and even dry mouth are not associated with D8.) And, the nature and magnitude of the D8 euphoria is a known entity.
You can have greater concentration on delta-8. There's a reason why we call D8 gummies the “functional” person’s gummies. Some people report increased levels of focus on creative activities. In contrast, delta-9-THC is known to cause feelings of drowsiness, and a potent dose of THC can leave you in a lazy, hazy state of mind for hours.
You can stay more “in the zone” and motivated throughout your day when taking D8.
Unlike THC products, which are not legal federally and may not be legal depending on your state, D8 made from hemp-derived CBD is totally federally-legal.
Due to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived products with no more than 0.3% THC content are legal across the nation. This means that delta-8-THC products are a great option for accessing the wellness benefits of cannabinoids.
Some individual states may have restrictions on delta-8, though — so be sure to check the laws in your area.
CBD has also earned a rep for easing stress and anxiety. So why would you opt for Delta-8-THC in lieu of your fave cannabidiol product?
While there are many possible reasons, the most obvious one is that you might want that little zing! that CBD lacks and THC gives.
You can find delta-8 products over the counter at your local dispensary or easily online. Whether you buy D8 products in store or via the internet, make sure you buy them from a place that specializes in cannabis-based products.
The most widely available delta-8 products today include edibles, like delta-8 gummies, delta-8 oils, and delta-8 vapes.
If you're new to trying delta-8 products for anxiety, it's always a good idea to take it slow and see how your body reacts. Due to the way cannabinoids interact with one's own endocannabinoid system — everyone has their own unique responses to cannabis products. Things like dosage and frequency of use will vary from person to person.
Definitely follow the suggested use instructions on the packaging. And it's fine to start out with a smaller dosage. For instance, if a single dose of D8 gummies is one gummy, you can always start out with half a gummy.
Many people prefer delta-8 to THC for helping to address anxiety. This is because the D8 experience could provide all the benefits of THC without the intensity or paranoia/anxiousness associated with THC. The D8 ride is likelier to have you feeling more chilled out and level headed.
Research on D8 is still pretty thin. But, with the massive interest in delta-8-THC — don't be surprised if you see new findings popping up in your feed soon.
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