Marijuana has been a hot political topic across the United States in the 21st century. Multiple states have moved to legalize marijuana, others have restricted its use to medically-valid situations, and still, others continue to treat marijuana as just an illicit substance. Whatever your stance on marijuana, it is worth staying in the know about the role it plays in society and what impacts it can have on you or the people you love. The same goes for one of its offshoots, Delta 8. Delta 9 THC is the main compound in marijuana that causes people to get high when smoking or otherwise ingesting marijuana. Delta 8 can be considered a close cousin of Delta 9 THC.
What Is Delta 8?
Delta 8 is a type of cannabis compound. It is similar to Delta 9 THC, the main active ingredient in marijuana. However, it is weaker and also legal on a federal level. This is because of the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized the growing of hemp and the use and sale of hemp extracts. Delta 8 can be extracted from either hemp or cannabis. Similar to marijuana, it can be smoked, ingested, or vaped.
Its wide availability makes it a popular choice for youth in areas where marijuana use and distribution remain restricted. Since it is weaker, many people also assume it has less potential for addiction compared to marijuana. But that viewpoint is not entirely valid. Like any other drug, Delta 8 can be addictive. Its legality means Delta 8 can easily be purchased in smoke shops and alternative medicine outlets across the country. Its relative weakness compared to marijuana is balanced by this wider availability, making it just as much of a danger to young users.
The Possibility for Delta 8 Addiction
Delta 8 addiction is possible. Anyone who uses Delta 8 in large quantities for a long enough period of time is likely to develop an addiction. Many users see no harm in taking Delta 8. It is true that it tends to produce a sense of calm, relaxation, and happiness. Negative side effects also occur less often in Delta 8 compared to marijuana. It is still possible to experience anxiety, hallucinations, mood swings, and paranoia when using Delta 8. But they happen less frequently than in people who use marijuana. Thus, most people see Delta 8 as safe or harmless.
The reality is a bit more complex. Using Delta 8 can lead to addiction, just like using marijuana can. Repeated use can cause tolerance to set in. Tolerance is a state where the same amount of a drug no longer produces the desired effect. People tend to respond to tolerance by taking more of a substance. Eventually, dependence can set in. Dependence is when a person’s body is no longer able to function normally without the presence of a drug. Addiction goes a step further than dependence, where someone is unable to function physically or mentally without using a drug. It may take longer and be less severe than marijuana, but Delta 8 can take people through tolerance, dependence, and all the way to addiction.
A few hallmarks of Delta 8 addiction include:
- Using Delta 8 to avoid withdrawal symptoms
- Inability to sleep, eat, or do basic functions unless high
- Continuing to use more and more Delta 8 to achieve the same high
- Inability to control the amount you use
- Rearranging your life, schedule, and finances to procure Delta 8
If you or a loved one is struggling with Delta 8 addiction, help is available. All you have to do is take the first step and reach out for addiction treatment.
Treating Delta 8 Addiction
Delta 8 addiction can be treated just like any other addiction. It may even be easier than treating marijuana addiction, as Delta 8 is a weaker substance. It is often easier to get the body to adjust back to life without Delta 8 compared to marijuana. Complicating things somewhat is its widespread availability. Overcoming a Delta 8 addiction does not involve the stick of illegality. It is also not very expensive.
These factors mean treating a Delta 8 addiction must emphasize lifestyle changes that tap into a person’s intrinsic motivation. Developing healthy coping mechanisms is another important facet of Delta 8 addiction treatment. It could be that someone was using Delta 8 as a means of filling a void in their lives. Leaving that void unaddressed during treatment will only leave the door open to a return to use when the going gets tough.
Get Addiction Help at Serenity Grove
Serenity Grove offers comprehensive treatment for a range of addictions, including marijuana and Delta 8. Call 844.904.3485 to access addiction help today. You can also fill out our online contact form and let us get back to you.