Cannabis Science

Is Delta 8 THC Safe To Use?

weed plant

Have you ever heard of delta 8 THC? It’s a psychoactive cannabinoid that is formed when THC is degraded in the plant. Delta 8 THC is described as a positional isomer or analogue of delta 9 THC. Delta 8 has a double bond on the 8th carbon while delta 9 THC has a double bond on the 9th carbon. That small difference means they’re pretty similar but have some differences. Delta 9 THC, while controversial, is believed to be relatively safe to consume. Is Delta 8 THC also safe? Let’s find out. 

Photo: Unsplash

Is Delta 8 THC Safe?

Yes. Delta 8 THC is pretty safe but we should note that there hasn’t been much research on it. Adam Rahman, the CEO of Fresh Bros Hemp Company said in an Insider article that, “It’s just like the perfect balance between THC and CBD. CBD doesn’t always give you an effect you can feel, but I think delta-8 has the medicinal benefits and shows the effects.”

This cannabinoid is now widely popular and people have been enjoying it in its many forms. As a matter of fact, many people have been documenting their experiences online. 

The writer of this Insider article got the cannabinoid in a latte. Other people on the internet have spoken about their positive consumption experience with delta 8 THC. As a matter of fact there are some aspects of Delta 8 THC that may make it more favorable than delta 9 THC.

Delta 8 and Anxiety

Delta 8 THC is said to be milder than delta 9 THC. While delta 9 THC can make people anxious, delta 8 THC seems not to possess that same effect. The writer of the Insider article had a similar experience. They said, “Luckily, I didn’t feel anxious or paranoid, which may be a unique benefit of delta-8.” 

That’s great news for people who want to use cannabis for its benefits but are negatively affected by the anxiety inducing effects of delta 9 THC. Dr. Peter Grinspoon, a cannabis specialist and a primary-care physician at Harvard Medical says in the Insider article, that he has patients that had have this same issue. He said, “I can’t tell you how many patients I have who say, ‘I’d love to use medical cannabis instead of opiates for pain, except it makes me anxious”.

A writer who wrote on Life Hacker,who had taken 2 gummies, said they had similar effects using delta 8 THC and delta 9 THC, minus the confusion and brain fog. The writer said, “I felt some familiar weed-adjacent effects—lightness in the body, heightened focus, increased appetite, increased hilarity of Spongebob Squarepants—if with less intensity and none of the confusion or brain fog that can result from getting hit with a heavy lid, so to speak.”

Is Delta 8 THC as Potent as Delta 9 THC?

First of all, yes, delta 8 THC can make you high. However, the effects are said to be milder. According to Pub Chem “This agent exhibits a lower psychotropic potency than delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9 THC)”. 

Grinspoon says that delta 8 THC, while isn’t as potent won’t make you less high. “It’s less potent, but that doesn’t mean it gets you less high. It’s sort of like you can’t argue that beer gets you less drunk than vodka,” he explained. The article went on to say that enough of the less potent cannabinoid can make you feel the effects like the most potent one. 

The general consensus is that if you use delta 8 THC you won’t get too high so if that’s what you’re looking for it’s better to use weed with delta 9 THC. 

Where is Delta 8 sold?

It’s sold at places that sell cannabis and can also be ordered online. It may come in the form of or used in:

  • Gummies
  • Nano drops
  • Drinks
  • Chocolate
  • Flowers
  • Vape cartridges
  • Joints

Is it Safe to Use Delta 8 THC Before a Drug Test?

If you have a test coming up it’s best to avoid use of delta 8 THC. The reason is simply that delta 8 THC may show up on your drug test. There are a number of reasons for that. Firstly, the product you use may have delta 9 THC in it which the test is definitely checking for. The test may also just pick up delta 8 THC metabolites. If you have a test, stop using weed way in advance because THC tends to be stored in fat cells. It’s therefore present for a long period of time. 


There isn’t a whole lot of research done regarding delta 8 THC but it’s widely believed to be safe. The effects seem to be similar to delta 9 THC without some of the more unpleasant side effects delta 9 is known for.


About Trevann

Trevann is Stoner Rotation’s Jamaica-based lead writer for the Science section of our cannabis blog. She graduated with honors receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from the University of West Indies, Mona. For the last three years, she has covered some of the biggest questions around cannabis and health underpinned with research from supporting studies, medical journals and scholarly articles. Got something on your mind? You can reach her at [email protected].