September 13, 2021 5 min read

Some people reach for Delta-8 to take the edge off of nausea or curb a poor appetite, but others claim to experience an upset stomach after using Delta-8-THC. How is that possible? Can Delta-8 upset your stomach?

First, it's important to note that everyone reacts to Delta-8-THC differently. When used responsibly, Delta-8 side effects are rare, but it's still possible that some people may experience an upset stomach after using Delta-8-THC.

Luckily, there may be a simple explanation. Here's what you should know:

Table of Contents
Potential Delta-8 Side Effects
Rare Reasons Delta-8 Could Upset Your Stomach
Delta-8 Benefits for Upset Stomach
Resources

Key Takeaways

  • It's possible that Delta-8 can cause an upset stomach, but it's not a common side effect.
  • Everyone experiences Delta-8-THC's effects differently, and some people find that Delta-8 is useful for soothing an upset stomach.
  • For those who do experience an upset starch after using Delta-8, there may be a simple explanation, like anxiety.
  • Make sure that you understand how to recognize potential Delta-8 side effects before using Delta-8-THC.

Potential Delta-8-THC Side Effects

A selection of Delta-8-THC oil and flower, two products that may be used therapeutically to soothe and upset stomach.

There’s a lot we still don’t know about Delta-8-THC, but research has yet to identify any severe side effects linked to the cannabinoid. Anecdotal reports do give us some idea of possible side effects, however, and it’s true that some people report feeling sick to their stomach when using Delta-8. In some cases, Delta-8-THC use has also been known to cause diarrhea, but both of these occurrences are rare.

Based on anecdotal reports, some other potential side effects could include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry eyes
  • Excessive hunger

Although these side effects are possible, Delta-8 is generally believed to have far fewer side effects than traditional Delta-9-THC products. 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-8.

Rare Reasons Delta-8 Could Upset Your Stomach

Appetite Stimulation

One reason Delta-8-THC could cause an upset stomach is because it stimulates appetite. It's ability to stimulate appetite is actually one of the primary reasons that Delta-8 is used therapeutically, since it may be able to induce appetite in those suffering from severe nausea or disordered eating.

A 2004 study found that Delta-8 caused a 22% increase in food intake in rats compared to the control group. The way that Delta-8 impacts the appetite in humans is still being studied, but many people report a serious case of the "munchies" after using Delta-8.

If Delta-8-THC causes a severe increase in appetite, it could influence you to overeat, which can definitely cause an upset stomach. To avoid this, try to keep an eye on how much you are snacking after using Delta-8. You may consider keeping healthy, light snacks around, like fruits. If you're going to snack frequently after using Delta-8, also pay attention to your fiber intake, since eating too much fiber can cause diarrhea.

Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome

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-8 interacts with the body in a similar manner to Delta-9, it's fair to say that Delta-8 could induce the same symptoms.

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-8 chronically unless it's used for therapeutic reasons as recommended by your doctor. For those who use Delta-8-THC recreationally on occasion, Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome is a very rare possibility.

Anxious Stomach

One other reason that Delta-8 could possibly cause an upset stomach is by causing an anxious stomach. Of course, we think this is also a very rare possibility, especially since Delta-8 is known to be much less likely to cause anxiety than traditional Delta-9 products.

In fact, some sources list 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 Delta-8, and the possibility of experiencing anxiety increases with the Delta-8 dose.

It's well known that anxiety can cause an upset stomach, including symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, and even vomiting. If you start to feel symptoms of anxiety after using Delta-8, like a lump in the throat or tightness in the chest, it may explain any stomach upset that arises. If you find that you are sensitive to THC, you may want to learn about using CBD for anxiety instead.

Read:Delta-8-THC or CBD for Anxiety: Which is Best?

Delta-8-THC Benefits for Upset Stomach

A bottle of Delta-8-THC oil near the hemp plant it's made from.

While it is possible that Delta-8 could upset your stomach, we think it’s unlikely to happen for most people. That’s because Delta-8-THC may actually have a few benefits that make it useful for managing an upset stomach. In some cases, 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.

Here’s what we know about using Delta-8-THC for upset stomach:

Delta-8 Interacts with the Endocannabinoid System

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 May Soothe Nausea

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.

Delta-8 May Soothe Gut Pain

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.

Looking for High-Quality Delta-8 Products?

If you’ve determined that you’re at low risk of stomach upset and want to try Delta-8 for yourself, you’ll be happy to know that you can buy it online. In fact Delta-8-THC is federally legal and legal in most states, so you can have it shipped right to your door.

Check out our Elev8 Collection to find a variety of Delta-8 edibles, vapes, hemp flower, and more. You may also want to read The Ultimate User Guide to Delta-8-THC.

Vida Optima Elev8 Hard Candies

Resources

  1. “Very low doses of delta 8-THC increase food consumption and alter neurotransmitter levels following weight loss” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15099912/
  2. “Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome: Diagnosis, Pathophysiology, and Treatment—a Systematic Review” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5330965/
  3. “Mechanisms of CB1 receptor signaling: endocannabinoid modulation of synaptic strength” https://www.nature.com/articles/0803273
  4. “An efficient new cannabinoid antiemetic in pediatric oncology” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7776837/

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