Delta-8 & Delta-9 Facts

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What is Delta-8 THC? 

Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is found in the cannabis plant. It’s less potent than Delta-9 THC, which is the form that’s considered illegal on a federal level. Many states have chosen to legalize Delta-9 for medical and adult-use purposes. 

Delta-8 has many of the same psychological and physiological effects as Delta-9. In fact, Delta-8 has the same chemical formula as Delta-9 THC, except for the location of one double carbon bond. This difference increases the stability of Delta-8 and increases shelf-life. Delta-8 THC binds to cannabinoid receptors less efficiently than Delta-9 THC. 

Delta-8 Products and Effects 

Delta-8 THC is available in many of the same forms as Delta-9 THC. This includes e-cigarettes, edibles, tinctures, oils, and pill forms. In Kentucky, Delta-8 THC is being sold in e-cigarette devices and cartridges in alcohol and tobacco outlets, but as it continues to gain popularity, the other forms will become more available. 

The effects of Delta-8 THC are like that of Delta-9 THC. Users of Delta-8 THC can experience: 

  • Increased heart rate 
  • Fatigue 
  • Sleepiness 
  • Difficulty in thinking and memory issues 
  • Red, dry eyes 
  • Dizziness 
  • Reduced motor coordination 
  • Changes in visual perception 

Delta-8 THC can be detected on most drug tests, as drug tests are looking for all THC metabolites. An employer may have the right to deny or terminate employment based on a positive drug screening for THC. K-12 schools and universities may also enforce consequences if a student or staff member tests positive for Delta-8 THC. 

Health and Safety Concerns 

Delta-8 THC products are nearly as impairing as Delta-9 THC but may be sold online and in stores without regulation and oversight. These intoxicating products are concerning due to youth access and risks to consumer and public safety. Delta-8 THC products have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA for safe use and may be marketed in ways that put public health at risk. 

Information provided by the Regional Prevention Center at Seven Counties Services, dedicated to preventing and reducing substance misuse and suicide within our communities. View or download our Substance Misuse Resource Toolkit for additional prevention resources.

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