Some people reach for THC to take the edge off of nausea or curb a poor appetite–and rightfully so since appetite stimulation and anti-emetic effects are at the top of the list of THC’s potential medicinal benefits.
Now that hemp-derived THC is gaining traction, these potential benefits are more accessible than ever, including to people in states where cannabis has not been approved for recreational or medical use.
But some others claim the opposite–that they experience an upset stomach after using certain hemp-THC products, like Delta-10. How is that possible? Can Delta-10 upset your stomach?
First and foremost, it's important to note that everyone reacts to Delta-10-THC differently. When used responsibly, Delta-10 side effects are rare and its effects are more mild than other hemp THC products.
Still, you should know everything there is to know about Delta-10's potential side effects, including why it could cause an upset stomach (in rare cases) before you experiment with D10 dosing.
Luckily, there may be a simple explanation. We'll dig right in:Table of Contents
Delta-10-THC is a THC isomer that's derived from hemp through a process called "isomerization." Contrary to popular belief, it is not synthesized from mysterious chemicals in an underground laboratory. Instead, Delta-10 is a naturally occurring molecule that can be made from its isomers just by shifting around a few molecular components. In the end, it functions just like other THC molecules and ultimately has similar effects and side effects.
There isn't a lot of research to help us understand the specific advantages and drawbacks of Delta-10-THC compared to other THC formulas, but Delta-10 is much less potent. In fact, it’s thought to be only 25-50% as potent as traditional Delta-9-THC, which is why Delta-9 and Delta-10 are sometimes taken together. This lower potency is often linked to a lower risk of adverse effects.
The most common side effects associated with THC, in general, include:
Although these side effects are possible, they are very rare when taking a reasonable dosage of a high quality THC product. To stay within the scope of this article, however, we want to unpack some possible reasons that people may experience an upset stomach when using Delta-10.
To learn more, read “How Much Delta-10-THC Should I Take?”
Delta-10, like other THC products, may stimulate appetite, albeit not as much as Delta-8 or Delta-9, both of which are known for potent hunger-inducing effects.
A 2004 study, for instance, found that Delta-8 caused a 22% increase in food intake in rats compared to the control group. There's not as much evidence to help us understand this effect from Delta-10, but many people report a case of the "munchies" after using Delta-10.
If this appetite increase causes you to accidentally overeat, it could upset your stomach. This is especially true if you're consuming lots of snack foods, many of which are enriched with fiber and contain added preservatives that can upset your stomach.
As we mentioned, this is less likely to happen with Delta-10 than it is with other more potent forms of THC, but you may consider keeping some healthy, easy to digest snacks on hand just in case the munchies strike.
Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS) is a condition that causes excessive vomiting and abdominal pain, and it usually occurs after long-term, chronic cannabis use. Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome has generally been linked to cannabis products that contain a high concentration of Delta-9-THC.
Of course, since Delta-10 interacts with the body in a similar manner to Delta-9, it's fair to say that Delta-10 could induce the same symptoms–but it's definitely not as likely.
The exact cause of this condition is unknown, but we do know that it usually only affects people who use cannabis for extended periods of time. One study found that only 3% of people who have symptoms that qualify as CHS were considered "infrequent users," while the other 97% of people who experienced symptoms were chronic users (meaning they used cannabis more than 20 days a month). The study also found that 93% of people experienced relief from all symptoms after stopping cannabis use.
We don't recommend using Delta-10 chronically unless it's used for therapeutic reasons as recommended by your doctor. For those who use Delta-10-THC recreationally on occasion, Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome is a very rare possibility.
An anxious stomach is quite possibly the most common reason that new THC consumers may experience an upset stomach after trying Delta-10. Taking too much THC is associated with increased anxiety. Anxiety is known to cause stomach pain, diarrhea, and even vomiting in some people.
Of course, this is also a very rare possibility, especially since Delta-10 is known to be much less likely to cause anxiety than traditional Delta-10 products.
Some sources actually list hemp-derived THC, especially Delta-8, as an anxiolytic substance, which means that it may actually help to reduce anxiety. Still, it is possible that those who are extremely sensitive to THC may experience some anxiety after using hemp-derived THC, and the possibility of experiencing anxiety increases with the dose.
If you start to feel symptoms of anxiety after using Delta-10, like a lump in the throat or tightness in the chest, it may explain any stomach upset that arises.
While it is possible that Delta-10 could upset your stomach, we think it’s unlikely to happen for most people. That’s because Delta-10-THC may actually have a few benefits that make it useful for managing an upset stomach. In some cases, THC isomers like Delta-8-THC may mimic Delta-9, which is known to help alleviate nausea and is even approved in some areas for treating chronic stomach conditions, like Irritable Bowel Disease.
There's not yet much research regard Delta-10's health benefits, but here’s what we know about using other hemp-THC products, like Delta-8-THC, for upset stomach:
Like other cannabinoids, Delta-8-THC interacts with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), a bodily system that controls many body functions, including hunger, sleep, and pain. Unlike Delta-9, Delta-8-THC interacts with both the CB1 receptors located in the central nervous system and CB2 receptors located in the peripheral nervous system.
Delta-8-THC's interaction with the Endocannabinoid System is known to have an impact on gastrointestinal regulation, hunger sensation, intestinal inflammation, and the regulation of nausea and vomiting. For this reason, Delta-8 is thought to be useful for managing stomach upset in many of the same ways that Delta-9-THC is known to be useful. Because it interacts with both portions of the ECS, it may even have more balanced and widespread benefits than traditional THC products.
Delta-8 THC is known to have strong antiemetic properties. One study found Delta-8-THC to be 100% effective at reducing nausea in pediatric cancer patients who were undergoing chemotherapy. Even better, Delta-8-THC was said to have far fewer side effects than traditional Delta-9-THC therapeutics that may be used to control nausea and vomiting.
Because Delta-8-THC is believed to possess various analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, it may help reduce the sensation of gut pain. It could also help manage inflammatory conditions that cause an upset stomach. Research is ongoing, but researchers are interested in Delta-8's potential for managing conditions like Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome, Crohn's Disease, Colitis, and more.
As we mentioned, research has not yet caught up with the flurry of hemp-THC markets that have become available in the last decade. There's no research on Delta-10 to help us understand its unique impact on the Endocannabinoid System and symptoms like upset stomach or nausea.
What we do know, though, is that Delta-10 interacts with the same endocannabinoid receptor, the CB1 receptor, which is responsible for inciting psychoactive effects. It is also CB1 activation that's thought to help mediate nausea and other stomach-related symptoms. In other words, it's safe to assume that Delta-10 could have similar benefits, albeit with fewer drawbacks thanks to its lower potency.
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