Are Delta 8 Gummies Safe?

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As states across the country continue to loosen restrictions on marijuana, more and more things related to the plant are becoming available. One of those is Delta 8 gummies. Delta 8 is a type of THC product commonly used in marijuana edibles such as gummies. A Delta-8 THC gummy will get the user high just like smoking any other THC product.

In this article, we’ll discuss whether Delta-8 gummies are safe, the gummies’ effects, the differences between Delta-9, and other things you might like to know.

A New Age of Marijuana

Marijuana laws have changed drastically over the last decade. No longer are edibles something made exclusively at home, with uncertain ingredients. Beginning with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which removed restrictions on hemp, the US has seen an explosion in cannabis-based products.

These include:

  • Vapes/Vaporizers — Vaporization allows for cannabis to be heated without burning, vaporizing the active compounds. A disposable vape or vape cartridge is the most common form. 
  • Edibles and Beverages — Cannabis-infused food and drinks provide a smokeless option for consuming cannabis. This includes edibles like Delta 8 gummies.
  • Tinctures — These are cannabis extracts dissolved in alcohol or another solvent, taken sublingually, or added to food/drinks.
  • Topicals — Infused creams, balms, and lotions applied directly to the skin for localized relief of pain, soreness, and inflammation.
  • Capsules/Pills — These are ingested similarly to traditional medication, often used for systematic treatment of medical conditions.
  • Dabbing — A method of flash-vaporization where concentrated cannabis is applied to a heated surface and inhaled.

Among the prominent developments is the rise in popularity and availability of Delta-8-THC and Delta-9-THC. These are highly potent cannabinoids that are sold openly in head shops across the US now. They usually take the form of edibles, however, they can also be consumed in the forms mentioned above.

In What States is Marijuana Legal?

Here are the states where legal recreational marijuana has been approved:

  • Colorado
  • Washington
  • Alaska
  • Oregon
  • Washington, D.C.
  • California
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Nevada
  • Michigan
  • Vermont
  • Guam
  • Illinois
  • Arizona
  • Montana
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Virginia
  • New Mexico
  • Connecticut
  • Rhode Island
  • Maryland
  • Missouri
  • Delaware
  • Minnesota

Here are the states in which you can buy Delta 8 products without any restrictions:

  • Alabama
  • Texas
  • Florida
  • Wyoming
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • New Jersey
  • Illinois
  • New Mexico
  • Wisconsin
  • Maine
  • Washington D.C.
  • Nebraska
  • Virginia
  • Missouri
  • Pennsylvania
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • West Virginia
  • Oklahoma
  • New Hampshire
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee

Some states also allow the purchase of Delta 8 and Delta 9 products but with a 0.3% limit of THC content.

These include:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Idaho
  • California
  • Oregon
  • Michigan
  • Delaware
  • Iowa
  • Mississippi
  • Louisiana
  • New York
  • Nevada
  • Kentucky
  • Hawaii
  • Montana
  • Rhode Island
  • Washington

As you may have noticed, some states allow for recreational marijuana, but not Delta-8 THC products, such as California. This leaves these products in a sort of legal grey area in some cases. The lab testing done on these products can also be unreliable. The patchwork of laws surrounding Delta 8 edibles is complex and continues to evolve.

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Delta 8 vs Delta 9: What’s the Difference?

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-9-THC) is the primary psychoactive component of cannabis and is responsible for the “high” that users experience. It has been widely known and studied for decades. 

Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-8-THC) is a similar compound but with slight chemical differences. It is made from the same THCA flower as Delta 9. Specifically, it has a different placement of a critical chemical bond. Taking Delta 8 THC gummies offers a similar higher as any other product made from a marijuana plant.

While less potent than Delta-9, Delta-8 also produces psychoactive effects, though they are reported to be smoother and less intense with a lower incidence of anxiety or paranoia. Delta 8 is also thought to induce more of a “body high” than Delta 9, which is thought to be more euphoric in its effects.

Both of these strains have been known since the 20th century and both show up in drug tests. Delta 9 has been the primary focus of marijuana-related research. Interest in Delta 8, on the other hand, is more recent but has been growing.

Delta-9-THC is most often accessed through the direct cultivation of marijuana and hemp plants, being naturally occur in larger quantities in marijuana.

Delta-8-THC is typically present in only very low amounts in the cannabis plant and is often produced through the processing or conversion of CBD or Delta-9-THC, using specific chemical reactions, particularly isomerization, to shift the molecular structure. Delta-8-THC gummies have grown in popularity as the drug becomes more available. 

How Long Does a Delta 8 High Last?

Most reports indicate that a high from a Delta 8 gummy will last around eight hours. Be aware that it can take up to two hours for the effects to kick in. Many people mistakenly will take more edibles when they don’t initially feel any effects.

Is It Safe to Use New Forms of Marijuana?

The safety of using new forms of marijuana, particularly emerging products containing compounds like Delta-8-THC and Delta-9-THC, is a topic of both interest and concern.

It is unclear at this time whether Delta 8 or Delta 9 is significantly more dangerous than marijuana. 

To start, the Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved the use of these compounds as safe. Between December 1 2020 and February 28, 2022, the FDA received 104 reports of “adverse events” associated with Delta 8 consumption. This includes things like hallucinations, vomiting, and anxiety, among other symptoms.

We should note that consuming marijuana of any kind brings with it certain risks. These include a heightened risk of mental health issues, breathing problems, impaired brain development in younger people, and, yes, the potential for addiction.

While marijuana is often touted as non-addictive, chronic users can develop a condition known as cannabis use disorder, characterized by dependence and withdrawal symptoms upon cessation.

Is Marijuana Addictive?

The question of marijuana’s addictive properties is nuanced. It’s essential to understand that while marijuana may not cause physical dependence in the same way substances like opioids or alcohol do, it can indeed lead to psychological dependency in certain individuals.

When people use marijuana, the psychoactive component, THC, triggers the brain’s reward system, releasing chemicals like dopamine and creating a sense of relaxation and euphoria. Over time, repeated use of marijuana can change the way the brain’s reward system operates, leading individuals to seek out that experience persistently, despite any negative consequences on their personal or professional lives.

This condition is known as “cannabis use disorder” (CUD). CUD is characterized by a problematic pattern of cannabis use leading to a negative impact on a person’s life. Symptoms might include cravings for marijuana, recurrent use in situations in which it is physically hazardous, and failure to meet obligations at work, school, or home.

Those with CUD might find that they need to use more marijuana to achieve the same effect they once did, or they may struggle with withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug.

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Drug Addiction Treatment at South Coast Behavioral Health

Who knew you could do so much with marijuana plants? This new form of weed that comes from the same cannabis plants is not a safe alternative. Those struggling with weed withdrawal symptoms should call South Coast Behavioral Health. We are a Southern California-based series of treatment centers that offer a variety of levels of care.

The first step before treatment for delta-8 gummy abuse can begin is going through a medical detox. Our medical detox program in California is staffed by caring and compassionate professionals who can provide you with medications to manage your withdrawal symptoms and prevent any diseases from happening. 

At South Coast, we take pride in offering care that is closely tailored to specific issues. To that end, we offer gender-specific detox programs, with medical detox for men in Irvine, CA, and medical detox for women in Huntington Beach, CA.

After detoxing, proper treatment can begin.

Treatment for substance abuse takes place along an entire spectrum of care. Along that entire spectrum are various behavioral therapies, support groups, and the use of medically-assisted treatment (MAT).

These levels of treatment are, in order, as follows:

Residential Treatment in California

After completing medical detox, you’ll move to inpatient treatment in Orange County California. There, you’ll receive medically-assisted treatment and dual diagnosis treatment to deal with any cravings or co-occurring mental health issues you may be battling.

We also offer residential treatment facilities in Costa Mesa, Irvine, and Huntington Beach for those who desire gender-specific treatment. There, patients get round-the-clock medical attention and monitoring while living at the institution full-time.

In addition to individual and group counseling and medication management, you’ll also have access to leisure activities and family support services.

Partial Hospitalization in California

Most clients start substance abuse treatment with South Coast in our residential treatment program. After completing that, many desire something that still provides structure and support, but with extra space and time to oneself. For that, we offer Partial Hospitalization in Newport Beach.

A step down from inpatient care but with more structure than conventional outpatient programs, partial hospitalization offers a good balance for those looking to ease back into normal life. Clients can receive care five to seven days a week for several hours each day, returning to their homes in the evening.

This way, they can recover without putting their daily lives completely on hold, receiving intense therapeutic interventions like group and individual therapy, skill development, and medication management as necessary.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment in California

For those leaving inpatient residential treatment or partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient programs (IOP) are yet another gradual step forward on the road to recovery.

With a focus on group therapy, individual counseling, and education, clients undergoing Intensive Outpatient Treatment in Newport Beach can meet three to five days a week. Each session lasts three hours.

This level of care requires the least amount of attendance at a facility.

Start Today

If you or a loved one are struggling with using Delta-8 THC gummies or disposable vape products but wonder how long treatment takes or have other questions, call us at 866-881-1184. Our highly qualified staff will be happy to help give you an idea of what to expect from your addiction recovery timeline, help verify your insurance, and assist with any other questions you may have.

Pierce Willans
Kelly McIntyre
Medically Reviewed by Kelly McIntyre, MS, LMFT
Read More About addiction Treatment & Recovery
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