Despite its recent history, delta-8 THC has gained a reputation as the “diet” version of standard delta-9 THC. Many anecdotal testimonies and surveys suggest that delta-8 extracts don’t have the same intensity as delta-9-rich marijuana strains. Sure, delta-8 will give you a “high” sensation, but it doesn’t seem to be as “in your face” as comparable delta-9 items. 

However, just because delta-8 seems to be “weaker” than delta-9 THC doesn’t mean it’s as tame as CBD oil. Delta-8 THC will land on the brain’s CB1 receptors, which means there’s a greater potential for side effects. Customers new to THC must understand that delta-8 could provoke many “weird” adverse reactions. Although some of these symptoms may feel scary, they are commonly reported by people who are extra sensitive to THC. 

Common Delta-8 Reactions to Be Prepared for

1. Paranoia

Paranoia and panic attacks are the most severe side effects most people report when taking delta-8 THC. A few trials suggest our genetics play a role determining how we react to THC. Some people may be predisposed to experience paranoia when using cannabinoids like delta-8. Also, people with pre-existing mental health conditions like anxiety seem to be more prone to panic attacks. 

Interestingly, new evidence suggests the amount of THC a person takes could influence the odds of experiencing paranoia. For instance, a trial out of the University of Illinois found that healthy adults who took low amounts of THC had fewer anxiety symptoms than those who took a high dose. So, the dosage of delta-8 THC may affect the likelihood you will have to deal with paranoia. 

To avoid triggering a panic attack, stick with the lowest possible dose of delta-8 on your first try. If you need more tips specific to delta-8-related paranoia, check out this previous article about reducing the risk of paranoia when consuming delta-8 products

2. Depersonalization 

Depersonalization is arguably the “weirdest” feeling people report both during and after using delta-8 THC. This strange symptom makes people feel as if they’re “living in a dream,” and it’s often connected with feelings of panic and anxiety. Some people who struggle with depersonalization also experience blurry vision, memory issues, and brain fog. 

While depersonalization can feel incredibly scary, it’s a commonly reported side effect in the THC community. Also, in most cases, the feeling of depersonalization is related to an anxiety disorder

If delta-8 triggers depersonalization symptoms, it’s best to stop taking it and seek professional medical help. Many qualified therapists can help people with depersonalization better understand their symptoms and implement actionable strategies.  

3. Increased Heart Rate 

Although most people think of THC as causing a “chill” sensation, it acts as a stimulant shortly after ingestion. Those unfamiliar with THC’s stimulating effects often believe they’re having a heart attack as they notice their blood pressure suddenly ramp up. Unfortunately, this increased heart rate could contribute to the delta-8 paranoia mentioned earlier. 

Customers must know that delta-8 can cause a temporary increase in their heart rate after ingestion. If you have a heart issue, please stay away from delta-8 THC unless you have a doctor’s approval. Generally, the increased heart rate should fade as delta-8’s more “relaxing” properties kick in, but please know this is a common reaction to this cannabinoid.  

4. Shakes & Tremors 

Another delta-8 side effect that freaks new users out is uncontrollable muscle spasms. Some people refer to this symptom as the “weed shakes.” While it may feel scary to suddenly lose control of your body, please know that THC-related tremors are a common side effect. 

Why does THC give some people body tremors? There are a few theories behind this symptom, but most researchers point out that THC can lower a person’s body temperature. If you’re already in a cold environment, THC will likely increase your shivers. This is why having a few blankets nearby is a great idea to calm your “delta-8 shakes.” 

Please remember that the “weed shakes” usually don’t last too long as long as you took the minimum dose of delta-8 THC. It may feel uncomfortable to get through this symptom, but it should resolve on its own. Of course, if you have serious concerns, please have someone call 911 for assistance. 

With All These Side Effects, Is Delta-8 Even Worth It? 

After reading this list of symptoms, you may think it’s crazy to try delta-8 THC products. However, please remember many customers rave about delta-8’s ability to help them find calm or reduce chronic pain. Also, not everyone who takes delta-8 THC experiences adverse reactions. While some people may experience terrible side effects from THC, others may feel a great sense of calm and euphoria. 

If you try delta-8 THC, you need to recognize these common side effects so there are no surprises during your first session. It’s also crucial to take the minimum dosage of a delta-8 extract from a high-quality delta-8 brand. If you need help finding a legit lab-verified delta-8 company, please visit Real Tested CBD’s comprehensive Delta-8 Resource Center.

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Dr. Igor Bussel, M.D., M.S., M.H.A
Dr. Igor Bussel, M.D., M.S., M.H.A is a clinician-scientist and ophthalmic surgeon. Before attending Chicago Medical School, he worked as a Research Scientist in a Healthspan Pharmacology Laboratory at University of California, Irvine focused on investigating the impact of botanical extracts and dietary supplements that can slow the aging process and add healthy years to human life.

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