How Long Does Delta 8 Last
Statistics show that in 2020, there were 3.43 million recreational cannabis users in the US, and based on these trends, researchers expect the number to double by 2025. Meanwhile, research shows that cannabis use in the US largely remains recreational. The trend also points to the increased availability of different products containing cannabis and hemp-based ingredients. A study by NYU shows that over half of cannabis users take edibles, with this trend being more common among younger users.
If you’ve never used cannabis products before and are considering trying them, it’s possible that you’ve come across things like edibles and tinctures labeled ‘Delta 8.’ Or, someone may have offered one, but you’re unsure about what kinds of effects it causes. And if this substance works in a similar way to other cannabis products, you may be wondering how long its effects last.
The answer depends on numerous factors, such as the potency of the product, what form it’s in, and your body’s metabolism. Even if you’re not interested in trying cannabis-based products, it’s possible to have them by accident or on certain occasions. Therefore, it’s worth taking a look at how long Delta 8 lasts, what the side effects are, and how it differs from Delta 9.
What Is Delta 8?
According to the FDA, Delta 8 THC, which stands for Delta 8 tetrahydrocannabinol, is a psychoactive compound found in the cannabis sativa plant. The two most common varieties of the plant include marijuana and hemp. Delta 8 is only one out of 100 other cannabinoids that are naturally produced by the cannabis sativa plant. However, it’s not found in significant amounts, unlike its more psychoactive cousin, Delta 9. Therefore, manufacturers produce concentrated Delta 8 products using hemp-derived cannabidiol.
Compared to other compounds, Delta 8 lacks strong psychoactive properties, so even though it’s categorized as a cannabinoid, its effects are mild. In the US, Delta 8 is a federally legal substance because of where it’s sourced from. Since the hemp plant doesn’t even contain a 0.3 percent concentration of Delta 9, Delta 8 extracted from hemp is legal.
How Delta 8 Works
Though Delta 8 is made up of the same elements as Delta 9, their molecular structure varies. This affects how the compound interacts with the body. So, even if both compounds activate the endocannabinoid system’s CB1 and CB2 receptors, the effects are different.
Delta 8’s Psychoactive Properties
Chemical structure-wise, delta 8 THC, which is sourced from hemp, is most similar to delta 9 THC, which comes from marijuana. The main difference in their structure is the bond between two carbon atoms. This difference changes how Delta 8 interacts with the body’s cannabinoid receptors. Specifically, it leads to lower attraction between Delta 8 THC and the body’s cannabinoid receptors. It explains why taking Delta 8 results in a less intense high compared to that of Delta 9.
How Delta 8 Interacts With Cannabinoid Receptors
Your body’s endocannabinoid system is a complex and active cell signaling network. It comprises various enzymes, endocannabinoids, and cannabinoid receptors that work together to regulate various functions.
The brain had the highest concentration of cannabinoid receptors, particularly CB1 receptors, which help in controlling central nervous system functions. When endocannabinoids interact with your CB1 receptors, it leads to changes in alertness, sense of pain, body temperature, hunger, and mood. And when they interact with CB2 receptors, they cause anti-inflammatory effects,
Endocannabinoids are naturally occurring neurotransmitters, and they’re the only compounds that can interact with CB1 receptors to regulate CNS functions. However, Delta 8 has a chemical structure that’s quite similar to that of endocannabinoids.
While the structure of Delta 8 isn’t the same as an endocannabinoid, it’s similar enough to interact with CB1 receptor cells and cause the mild effects associated with taking Delta 8. Delta 9, on the other hand, is even more similar to the body’s endocannabinoid structure, which explains its more potent effects.
What To Expect When You Take Delta 8
When you take Delta 8, it leads to feelings of euphoria, but these are milder in comparison to Delta 9. Moreover, you’ll need to take higher doses to experience euphoria of greater intensity. People who regularly take Delta 8 report feeling clear-headed and have a reduction in mental fog. This makes it easier to concentrate on certain activities or thoughts.
Alertness With Mental Calmness
Despite an increase in alertness, users experience higher levels of relaxation. That means you may report feeling more productive without the usual physical tension. Most users rely on Delta 8 to enhance relaxation, help with pain management, and provide anxiety relief. In some cases, it can lead to improved sleeping patterns.
You Can Perform Day-to-Day Functions
A common concern among people taking Delta 8 THC for the first time is whether they’ll be able to continue functioning. Studies indicate that most Delta 8 users are able to perform day-to-day functions as usual. So, despite its mild euphoric effects, it won’t leave you incapacitated as long as you take an appropriate dosage. That being said, if it’s your first time taking Delta 8 THC to relax, make sure you do so in a safe environment. It’s recommended against taking your first dose while you’re at work, driving, or performing any task that requires your full attention.
Side Effects of Delta 8
Just like any other compound, taking high dosages of Delta 8 THC can lead to short-term adverse effects. The severity of these side effects varies depending on the dosage, so taking an appropriate dosage is crucial. Some of the side effects of Delta 8 overconsumption include:
- Disorientation: At high dosages, Delta 8 can cause psychological effects such as disorientation. This refers to being in a state of confusion where you’re unaware of things like where you are and what time it is.
- Dry eyes: Many people report experiencing dry eyes when they take Delta 8. This happens when THC activates the CB1 receptors in the lacrimal gland.
- Dry Mouth: Heavy cannabis users often report experiencing a dry mouth. It’s linked to the effect that CB1 and CB2 receptor activation has on the regulation of saliva secretion.
- Rapid heart rate: Because of THC’s biphasic effect, low doses cause an increase in sympathetic activity, resulting in tachycardia and increased cardiac output. This explains why your heart rate speeds up once Delta 8 starts taking effect.
- Lethargy: While low to moderate doses of Delta 8 can increase alertness, excessive consumption can contribute to feelings of sleepiness. Some THC products also contain terpenes, which can induce feelings of lethargy.
- Anxiety: Like other adverse effects, anxiety can also occur because of Delta 8 overconsumption. This happens because large amounts of THC can disrupt the functioning of your body’s innate endocannabinoid system, which regulates cognition and anxiety.
- Poor coordination: When taken in excess, Delta 8 binds to receptors in parts of the brain that affect posture, reaction time, coordination, and balance. This, in turn, affects your ability to learn and perform complicated tasks.
Bear in mind that these effects occur as a result of Delta 8 overconsumption. So, if you experience any of them, stop taking Delta 8 until they subside. If and when you decide to take Delta 8 again, it’s best to lower your dosage to reduce the risk of experiencing these adverse effects. If you find that this doesn’t help and your side effects have worsened, consult with a medical professional for expert guidance.
Other Risks of Delta 8
In addition to concerns surrounding Delta 8’s adverse effects, public health advocates have raised safety concerns regarding the synthesis of Delta 8 THC. This is linked to the use of potentially harmful chemicals during the extraction process. Because the manufacturing process is largely unregulated, Delta 8 products can contain contaminants such as heavy metals, mold, pesticides, and residual chemicals.
How Long Does Delta 8’s Effects Last
When you consume Delta 8, how long its effects last can depend on various factors, but the most significant is the dosing style. This refers to the type of product you’re consuming. It’s the most significant factor because each product is absorbed into the bloodstream differently. For example, if you take a Delta 8 edible, the effects will last for a different duration compared to using a Delta 8 vaporizer.
Here are the most common ways to take Delta 8, along with information on how long the effect lasts.
As mentioned above, edibles are the most common way of consuming Delta 8 THC. But even edibles fall into two main categories: digested and dissolved. If you’re taking digested edibles, such as brownies or cookies, you need to swallow them in order for the digestive tract to start breaking them down. That means the edibles must go through the digestive process before you start feeling their effects.
Because this process takes quite a while, it can take about an hour or two to start feeling their effects. And because the effects begin later, they last longer as well. Users typically expect the effects of digested edibles to last as long as 8 hours. You can expect the effects of Delta 8 to peak around 3 to 4 hours after consumption, after which they slowly taper off.
Compared to edibles that need to be broken down completely, gummies and chews are dissolved in the mouth. Since absorption begins in the mouth through the mucus membranes, these edibles take effect within 30 minutes. Because they absorb faster, their effects wear off about 2 hours earlier than digested edibles.
These are alcohol-based extracts that work in the same way as dissolved edibles. When using a Delta 8 tincture, you can add to foods. The most effective way, however, is sublingual administration, which refers to placing it under the tongue.
The tissues under your tongue absorb substances quickly, so taking Delta 8 this way allows it to reach the bloodstream much more quickly. So, you can expect to feel the effects of a tincture about 30 minutes or less, with the effects lasting about 3 to 5 hours.
Inhalation products such as vaporizers are the most efficient way to administer Delta 8. When you inhale cannabinoids, they’re absorbed through the lungs and enter the bloodstream directly. Therefore, you can expect to feel the effects within 15 minutes or less.
Usually, inhaling cannabinoids like Delta 8 allows your body to metabolize them faster. Consequently, the effects last for a shorter duration of about 3 to 5 hours.
Overall, the high from taking Delta 8 THC products, whether you inhale, digest, or take it sublingually, can last anywhere between 3 to 8 hours. Ultimately, it depends on the method you use, as well as your body’s metabolic rate.
How Long Does Delta 8 Stay In The Body?
In terms of how long it stays in your system, Delta 8 is similar to Delta 9. When you take Delta 8, whether it’s through a vaporizer, tincture, or edible, tests can detect THC in your saliva for about 48 hours.
Meanwhile, blood tests can detect THC in your bloodstream for as long as 36 hours. However, some people may metabolize Delta 8 THC much more slowly, causing traces to remain in the body for a longer time. In some cases, this can last for up to a month or more.
Does Delta 8 Appear On Drug Tests?
If your current employer conducts drug tests on a regular basis, or if you’re applying for a new job, you may want to know whether Delta 8 THC appears on drug tests. Most tests involve using a typical drug screening panel, which is able to detect the presence of THC metabolites, which aren’t limited to Delta 9.
Even if you take Delta 8, your body will still produce THC metabolites. However, tests can only detect these metabolites if they’re still in your system. The amount of time it takes for the body to metabolize and release residual THC can vary because of factors such as body fat and metabolism. If you have a slower metabolism, urine drug tests may be able to detect residual THC.
Moreover, how often you take cannabinoids can affect the amount of time it takes for your body to metabolize and eliminate them. For instance, taking Delta 8 regularly can increase this duration. That means you can get a THC-free urine sample much sooner if it’s your first time taking THC, as compared to taking it regularly over a long period of time.
Difference Between Delta 8 and Delta 9
Delta 8 and Delta 9 are both common THC cannabinoids that share certain chemical properties. But despite being made up of hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen, their chemical structures are different. And that’s not all. Currently, there’s much more scientific literature on the effects of Delta 9 compared to Delta 8.
Perhaps the most obvious difference is in terms of regulation. For starters, on the federal level, Delta 9 is illegal, while Delta 8 is legal. That being said, Delta 9 is still technically legal since numerous states have legalized cannabis use for medicinal and recreational purposes. Therefore, Delta 9 is highly regulated in US states where cannabis use is legal. This means manufacturers must follow specific rules on extracting, testing and labeling their products.
In contrast, manufacturers making Delta 8 products aren’t following such regulations. That’s because, legally, Delta 8 lies in a gray area. Even though it’s federally legal, each state has its own laws.
Another major difference between the two cannabinoids is potency. If you have equal amounts of Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC, a properly labeled Delta 8 product will be about one-third less potent. If you’ve taken Delta 9 before and are switching to Delta 8, this means you’ll need to take a higher dosage to feel a similar effect.
Though Delta 8 and Delta 9 are extracted from the same cannabis sativa plant, the latter is present in much higher concentration. Because of this, you can smoke or vaporize Delta 9 in bud form without the need for extraction. On the other hand, Delta 8 THC is synthesized and extracted from cannabis-sourced CBD.
Similarities Between Delta 8 and Delta 9
Both Delta 8 and Delta 9 can activate the body’s CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, which include the ones present in your central nervous system. This can lead to certain benefits and adverse effects. For instance, activating the CB1 receptors helps you sleep better, calms your nerves, enhances relaxation, and alleviates pain.
Meanwhile, activating your body’s CB2 receptors reduces inflammation by calming an overactive immune system, something that contributes to a variety of chronic conditions. On the other hand, overconsumption of Delta 8 THC or Delta 9 THC can result in lethargy, anxiety, increased heart rate, poor concentration, or dry mouth.
Is It Possible To Develop a Delta 8 Addiction?
While it’s not very common, developing a Delta 8 addiction is still possible. If you consume large amounts of Delta 8 THC for a prolonged period, you’re likely to become addicted. Most users aren’t aware of this risk since Delta 8 is legal under federal law and is largely unregulated.
While it’s true that it induces feelings of happiness, relaxation, and calmness, negative side effects like lethargy and anxiety are still possible. Similarly, overconsumption can cause adverse effects like mood swings, and hallucinations are still possible, although it’s less common than in marijuana users. Because of this, most users view the cannabinoid as safe, or at the very least, harmless.
The Risk of Tolerance
Sure, the effects of Delta 8 are less potent than stronger cannabinoids like Delta 9, but it’s not that simple. Just like marijuana, Delta 8 consumption can potentially lead to addiction. With repeated use, your body can develop a tolerance, which is when a certain amount of a substance no longer induces the desired effect. Once you’ve developed a tolerance, you’ll need to take a higher dosage of Delta 8 to experience its pleasurable effects.
With time, this tolerance can give way to dependence, which happens when you can no longer function normally without taking Delta 8. Yes, when compared to marijuana, it’ll take longer to develop an addiction, and it’ll be less severe. Even so, regular consumption of Delta 8 can contribute to tolerance, dependence, and, ultimately, addiction.
Signs of Delta 8 Addiction
When your body is dependent on taking a substance like Delta 8, you can no longer function without it. This can lead to certain behaviors and symptoms, such as:
- Consuming Delta 8 products to prevent withdrawal symptoms
- Not being able to perform basic functions like eating or sleeping until you’ve taken Delta 8 THC
- Needing to take a larger and larger Delta 8 dosage to experience a similar effect
- Having a lack of control over the amount you use.
If you’re concerned that you or a loved one is showing signs of addiction to Delta 8, it’s best to reach out to a professional or dedicated treatment facility.
Delta 8 is a cannabinoid that is found in the cannabis sativa plant and has mild psychoactive effects. It’s available in different forms like edibles, tinctures, and vaporizers. Studies have linked it to benefits like feelings of calmness, pain relief, and improved sleep quality. You can start experiencing its effects about 15 minutes or an hour after consumption. Once you start experiencing these effects, they can last for up to 8 hours, depending on the method used to consume Delta 8. It can remain in your bloodstream for up to 36 hours, but this can depend on your metabolic rate and tolerance to the substance. Delta 8 can also show up on drug tests, and depending on whether it’s your first time taking the substance, you may be able to get a THC-free urine sample sooner. Despite its benefits, Delta 8 can still cause unpleasant side effects and increase your risk of tolerance and, consequently, dependence.