First, marijuana began to be legalized in several states. Then you started to see ads for CBD. Lately, something called delta 8 has been receiving increased publicity. But you don’t know much about this substance, other than that it is somehow related to marijuana, but it’s not really marijuana. Understandably you have questions. What, exactly, is delta 8? Is it legal? Are there dangers? Is delta 8 addictive?
What is Delta 8?
Before we explore the question, “Is delta 8 addictive?” let’s spend a bit of time to understand what this substance actually is.
Delta 8 is a shortened version of delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol. It is also sometimes called delta-8 THC. Regardless which term you use, delta 8 is a psychoactive compound that is naturally produced by the cannabis sativa plant. This is the same plant that used to produce marijuana, hemp, hashish, and several other substances.
Here are a few quick facts about delta 8 and other elements of the cannabis sativa plant:
- In marijuana, the primary psychoactive element is delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, which is typically referred to simply as THC.
- Delta 8 and THC are categorized as cannabinoids. There are more than 100 cannabinoids that occur naturally within the cannabis sativa plant.
- In addition to delta 8 and THC, the other most widely recognized cannabinoid is probably cannabidiol, or CBD.
- Unlike delta 8 and THC, CBD does not have psychoactive properties, which means that people who ingest CBD will not experience the high that is usually associated with cannabis use.
Is There THC in Delta 8?
Yes, there is some THC in delta 8.
While some states have legalized or decriminalized marijuana (with delta 9 THC), its sale, possession, and use is still illegal in other states, and in the eyes of the federal government. However, hemp (which is also produced from the cannabis sativa plant) was declared legal by the U.S. federal government in 2018.
By law, hemp contains less than 0.3% THC. It is used in the manufacture of many products, including rope, paper, clothing, and insulation.
Delta 8 is typically synthesized from CBD that has been extracted from hemp. Thus, delta 8 is a derivative of a legal product. However, unlike hemp, delta 8 can be added to edibles or ingested via vaping. And while the amount of THC in delta 8 is far less than in delta 9, it is enough to produce certain psychoactive effects.
Capitalizing on the fact that delta 8 is derived from legal hemp, several retailers began to sell delta 8 in states where marijuana (THC) was illegal.
In May 2022, a federal appeals court ruled that delta 8 is legal because it fits into the definition of hemp as established in the 2018 Farm Bill (which legalized hemp throughout the United States). The court’s decision was based in part on the fact that delta 8 is derived from hemp and delta 8’s THC content does not exceed 0.3%.
Is Delta 8 Addictive?
Marijuana is typically viewed as having a low risk of addiction. Since delta 8 has much less THC than marijuana does, it is common to wonder, is delta 8 addictive?
The answer, as ads often say, may surprise you.
Yes, delta 8 is addictive. Delta 8 addiction is not common, but that doesn’t mean it is impossible to become dependent on this marijuana derivative. People can, and do, become addicted to delta 8. Some will also need proper treatment to overcome this addiction.
Does Delta 8 Have Withdrawal Symptoms?
Withdrawal refers to the distressing physical and/or psychological symptoms that a person experiences when the suddenly stop using the drug they have become addicted to.
If you develop delta 8 addiction, and then you either can’t acquire the substance or you try to quit using it, you may develop withdrawal symptoms such as:
- Anxiety and irritability
- Depressed mood
- Abdominal pain
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- Fever or chills
- Heavy sweating
Dangers of Delta 8 Addiction
Addiction is, in part, by a loss of control. When you become addicted to delta 8, you will not be able to control how often you use the drug, or how much you use.
The compulsion to use delta 8 can expose you to considerable dangers, including:
- Physical harm due to impaired behaviors and/or poor judgment
- Strained or ruined relationships with friends and family
- Using delta 8 in increasingly dangerous ways, such as in combination with other substances
- Being arrested or injured in a car accident because you were driving while under the influence of delta 8
- Health problems due to using illicitly manufactured delta 8 that has been cut with other substance
- Diminished performance in school or at work
- Job loss and unemployment
- Development of a co-occurring mental health disorder
What to Do if You Become Addicted to Delta 8?
If you have become addicted to delta 8, consult with your doctor or another healthcare provider. Delta 8 addiction is a treatable condition. The professional that you consult with can assess your needs and recommend appropriate treatment options.
During treatment, you can address the issues that led to your delta 8 addiction. You can also learn how to manage stress and handle other difficult situations without falling into delta 8 abuse.
If your delta 8 addiction is accompanied by anxiety, depression, or another mental health concern, you can also get help for these issues while you’re in treatment. When you get the care you need, you can learn to manage your behavioral compulsions and co-occurring concerns, so that you can live a healthier life.
Begin Treatment for Delta 8 Addiction in Los Angeles, California
Sanctuary Treatment Center provides effective care for adults who have become addicted to delta 8, marijuana, and other substances. Our treatment center in Los Angeles, California, offers personalized services at several levels, including detoxification, inpatient rehab, and outpatient programming. If you have been struggling with delta 8 addiction, the Sanctuary Treatment Center team can help. Contact us today to learn more.