February 26, 2021 4 min read

Delta-8-THC has entered the scene, and it’s legal and accessible across the U.S. Of all the questions buzzing around about this new hemp-derived cannabinoid, one stands at the forefront— Will Delta-8-THC get you high like Delta-9?

The answer is yes...and no.

Confused? No worries! We’ll clear up everything you need to know about Delta-8’s psychoactive effects below:

Table of Contents
IS Delta-8 Psychoactive?
How Much Delta-8 to Get High?
How Long Does a Delta-8 High Last?
Delta-8-THC Safety and Precautions
Resources

Key Takeaways

  • Delta-8-THC is psychoactive, but it isn’t quite as strong as Delta-9-THC. For many people, the effects are less haze and more uplifting than traditional THC products.
  • Delta-8-THC effects vary depending on the type of product you use. Vaporizers and edibles are the most popular way to dose.
  • Like any psychoactive substance, Delta-8 should be used responsibly and are only meant for adults.

Is Delta-THC psychoactive?

A model showing the similarities between the Delta-8-THC molecule and the Delta-9-THC molecule

Simply put, yes, Delta-8 is psychoactive, but it may not be quite what you think.

Like Delta-9-THC, the main psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis, Delta-8 has a strong affinity for the CB-1 receptors that affect the brain and central nervous systems. In fact, the Delta-8 and Delta-9 molecules are nearly identical save for one atomic bond. So, in all aspects of the phrase, Delta-8 will get you high.

Those who have tried it generally agree that Delta-8’s high can’t be directly compared to what you may experience with Delta-9. Instead, Delta-8 is thought to be about half as potent and it’s actually known as a degraded form of THC. Many people suggest that the high is still prominent, but milder and less hazy or sedating.

There hasn’t been much research regarding Delta-8’s effects, but some theories suggest that its mild psychoactivity may make it a better option for certain therapeutic uses where Delta-9’s potency is a disadvantage.

Still, the euphoric effects from Delta-8 are nothing to overlook. Users report feeling clear-headed, relaxed, uplifted, and balanced after using Delta-8-THC products.

How Much Delta-8 to Get High?

After learning about Delta-8-THC’s reduced potency compared to Delta-9-THC, many people incorrectly assume they need to take much larger doses to experience the same psychoactive effects. If you’re more experienced with Delta-9, or if you’ve never tried THC at all, you may also be wondering how much Delta-8 to take.

There’s no cut and dry answer, but you probably don’t need copious doses. Although similar, Delta-8 and Delta-9 have different effects, and doubling your Delta-8 dose won’t offer you a Delta-9 experience. Just like with dosing CBD, individual dosing needs vary.

A person using a Delta-8-THC vaporizer, known for fast acting, short-lived psychoactive effects.

Many people take doses of 5 mg (and sometimes lower) to reap the benefits of a gentle high. Other products offer doses at 10 mg and higher. The best technique may be to start low and increase your dose as needed until you better understand your personal dosing threshold.

Also like CBD, different products absorb in different ways.

Delta-8-THC vaporizers take effect quickly, so they are a great way to gently stack doses until you reach the desired effects. Delta-8 edibles offer a convenient pre-measured dose that may help you keep track of how much THC you’ve ingested. Either option is fine so long as you start slow and don’t overdo it.

How Long Does a Delta-8 High Last?

The effects from Delta-8-THC can last anywhere from 2 to 8 hours, and the duration of effects depends on a number of different factors, like weight and metabolism.

It also depends how you take Delta-8-THC. Vaporizers, which have fast-acting effects that you can feel in a matter of minutes, may wear off in only a few hours. Edibles, on the other hand, may take over 2 hours to take full effect and the high may last 6 hours or more.

Delta-8 Safety and Precautions

Because it is newly legal, researchers have not yet put much emphasis on Delta-8, and we don’t know everything there is to know about how it works or it’s safety profile. Instead, many people piggyback off of the safety profiles of CBD or Delta-9 to determine if Delta-8 is safe.

Delta-9 does pose a few drawbacks for some people, like paranoia or haziness, but Delta-8 isn’t known to impose these same effects. Like other cannabinoids, Delta-8 has not been linked to any serious adverse reactions.

Still, you should always proceed slowly with any psychoactive substance. Just like with Delta-9, Delta-8-THC should only be used by adults, and it should always be used responsibly. Although the impact of overindulging may not be life-threatening, it’s hardly comfortable to be “too high.”

Take Delta-8 consumption seriously and do not attempt to operate heavy machinery while intoxicated.

Delta-8-THC is also not FDA approved to treat or manage any conditions, but many people report various health benefits similar to that of Delta-9. If you intend to try Delta-8 as a therapeutic supplement, talk to your doctor first.

Resources

  1. “Delta8-Tetrahydrocannabinol”https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/delta8-Tetrahy
  2. “An efficient new cannabinoid antiemetic in pediatric oncology” http://www.druglibrary.net/olsen/HEMP/IHA/iha02210.html
  3. “Cannabis: From Cultivar to Chemovar II—A Metabolomics Approach to Cannabis Classification” https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/can.2016.0017

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