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Do you use Delta-8 because you like the effects but aren’t sure if it can be potentially dangerous? The use of Delta-8 has become popular over the past several years, in part due to the appealing packaging it comes in that includes edibles. However, this drug and similar ones come with risks much like marijuana. This includes both products that are illegally manufactured and sold or ones that people purchase for recreational use in states where it has become legalized. If a person uses this product, do they risk experiencing Delta-8 withdrawal symptoms if they stop? Tampa Bay Recovery explores the dangers of Delta-8 and how it can negatively impact a person’s life just like any other drug.
Understanding Delta-8 THC
Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly referred to as Delta-8, is found in trace amounts of the Cannabis sativa plant or can be synthetically produced. Delta-8 THC is one of over 100 cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant but is usually manufactured from hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD). Its effects are similar to that of marijuana, although not quite as potent, which can mean a person will take larger dosages in order to achieve the high they want. Delta-8 products include gummies, cookies, chocolate, candies, oils, and vape pens. These products have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA, which means they can be dangerous.
The Effects of Delta-8 THC
It can be easy for some people to believe that using Delta-8 products isn’t harmful, but they actually do carry a risk. Because they are not federally regulated, there is no way to oversee the environments in which they are manufactured. This can mean people obtain products that are created in unsanitary places and have potentially dangerous ingredients not listed on the packaging. Some studies have shown that a sampling of Delta-8 products contained ingredients like acids, heavy metals, mold, and other harmful items.
Side effects of using Delta-8 can include:
- Loss of consciousness
In fact, national Poison Control Centers reported 2,362 cases of exposure to Delta-8 products from January 1, 2021, to February 28, 2022. Just over 40% of the cases involved someone younger than 18, and 40% happened to people who had unintentional exposure to the drug.
Regardless of whether a drug like Delta-8 is classified as legal in a state or not, the risk of dependence remains a reality. In fact, many people who become habitual users, whether they use edibles, oils, or vaping, find themselves addicted. Even when they try to stop using it on their own, they typically are not successful because of the overwhelming challenges that come with Delta-8 withdrawal symptoms.
How Do I Know I'm Addicted to Delta-8?
Delta-8, regardless of whether it’s available legally in a state or not, is a drug that provides narcotic effects. This means a person can become physically and psychologically dependent on it and need professional help to stop abusing it. If you use Delta-8 but aren’t sure if you’ve become addicted to it, here are some signs to look for:
- Consistent usage
- Feeling disappointed when it’s not available
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using it
- Trying to quit using it but being unable to do so
- Relying on it to avoid feelings of anxiety, depression, or moodiness
- Developing a tolerance and needing to increase the amount taken
- Usage causes difficulties performing well at work, in school, or while participating in hobbies
- Wanting to get high before doing many activities
Delta-8 Withdrawal Symptoms
Someone who has used the products regularly and then stops often experiences Delta-8 withdrawal symptoms. What kind a person has, how severe they are, and how long they last depends on how often they use Delta-8, their typical dosage level, and their current physical and mental health. The withdrawal symptoms last from a few days to several weeks.
The most common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Lack of appetite
- Difficulty sleeping
- Cravings to use Delta-8
The initial phase lasts three to five days and can include any of the above physical symptoms. As well, the person often feels anxious and irritable. After five to seven days, the physical symptoms begin to subside, while the emotional ones may linger for a longer period of time. In fact, some people feel anxiety and depression for several weeks after they last use Delta-8.
How Long Does Delta-8 Stay in Your System?
How long Delta-8 stays in your system depends on how often a person uses it. Someone who only uses it occasionally typically finds it leaves their system within two to five days. It can remain in the system of moderate users for five to seven days. Chronic users, which means using Delta-8 daily or almost daily, can expect it to stay in their systems for ten to fifteen days.
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Tampa Bay Recovery Center is a premier leader in the provision of addiction treatment services. If you or someone you love is in need of professional care to address a substance use disorder, reach out to us right now at (813) 733-8774 to speak with an admissions specialist who can get you started on the road to recovery.
What States is Delta-8 Legal in?
While it might be surprising that Delta-8 is legal in many places, this came about because of a loophole on the federal level in the 2018 Farm Bill. The bill removed hemp with trace amounts of THC from being defined as marijuana. This made it legal to use and sell cannabis products derived from hemp on a national level. However, several states have enacted laws to declare the use and sales of Delta-8 illegal, and many more are following suit.
As of 2023, Delta-8 is legal in the following states:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- West Virginia
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Have you been using Delta-8 and found you can’t stop using it on your own? For many, Delta-8 withdrawal symptoms make it difficult to stop using the drug, and they need professional support to stop getting high. Tampa Bay Recovery offers access to a Tampa detox program and several follow-up outpatient rehab programs that help people stop abusing substances and rediscover their ability to live a sober life. Our highly skilled staff of clinicians understands that it takes time to overcome withdrawal symptoms, so we provide medical and psychological support to minimize them.