Medically Reviewed By:Nidra Sidhu, M.D. Integrative Medicine
Table Of Contents
Table Of Contents
Delta 8 Overdose Symptoms – What To Do?
Delta 8 has become the popular legal alternative to marijuana ever since it became federally legal because of its similar psychoactive effects to delta 9 THC.
Aside from being the legal choice for recreational cannabis users, it also has some potential health benefits like pain and stress relief, anti-inflammatory and antiemetic properties, and improving one's general sense of well-being.
Due to the many benefits of delta 8, it is now widely used for various reasons but is it possible to overdo it? Can you overdose on delta 8 THC, and what are the symptoms to look out for if you do?
This article closely examines delta 8 overdose and what happens if you take too much delta 8.
What Is Delta 8 THC?
Delta 8 THC is a minor cannabinoid that naturally occurs in trace amounts in the hemp or cannabis plant. It generally makes up 0.1% of the plant, so extracting it is nearly impossible, but it can be done.
Delta 8 THC can be synthesized from CBD or delta 9 isolates from hemp or cannabis. Scientific research and discoveries found different ways of transforming CBD or delta 9 into delta 8, but the most widely used method is called isomerization.
It involves changing the pH and temperature of the extracted isolate or exposing it to other chemicals like solvents and acids. This will create an environment for it to transform from one compound to another.
Delta 8 THC Vs. Delta 9 THC
Delta 8 THC is an isomer of the main component responsible for causing a high in cannabis, delta 9 THC. What this means is that it has the same chemical formula as delta 9 but a different molecular structure.
Both delta 8 and delta 9 have a double carbon bond on their carbon chain, delta 8 has it on the eighth chain, while delta 9 THC has it on the ninth chain.
The subtle difference in these compounds is responsible for their different effects on the human body.
Delta 8 has mild intoxicating effects compared to delta 9, and its high is not accompanied by the side effects often associated with delta 9.
Delta 8 THC Vs. CBD
CBD is the second most abundant cannabinoid in cannabis. It shares a chemical formula with delta 8 and delta 9 THC; they all have 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms.
The difference between CBD and THC is that they have different chemical structures. Unlike delta 8 THC or delta 9 THC, CBD is not psychoactive because its structure lets it bind with cannabinoid receptors of the body’s endocannabinoid system in an entirely different way than THC.
Delta 8 THC Overdose
An overdose is a biological response when the body receives too much of a substance or mix of substances. When you take more than the normal or recommended dose of a drug or substance, it is called an overdose.
Overdosing could be intentional or accidental; either way, it can cause harmful effects on the body, and in some cases, it could be lethal.
Can You Overdose on Delta 8 THC?
There is a limited amount of exact research on delta 8 overdose. However, available research on marijuana or delta 9 THC overdose shows that it is unlikely to have a fatal overdose of marijuana.
Based on this research, we can make the assumption that it is the same for delta 8 since delta 8 has similar properties and effects to delta 9 THC.
So yes, it is possible to overdose on delta 8, but it is very unlikely for it to be lethal just like other cannabinoids. According to research, cannabinoid receptors are not located in the brainstem areas that control respiration which makes lethal overdoses from cannabis and cannabinoids quite unlikely.
However, consuming a high dose of delta 8 THC than your system can handle can still cause unpleasant experiences such as extreme discomfort, accidental injuries, and so on.
Delta 8 THC Consumption Method And Risk of Overdose
The form in which you consume delta 8 THC can affect the risk of overdose and how long the delta 8 effects will last, so it is advisable to take precautions, especially if it's your first time and you are unsure how much delta 8 THC your system can handle.
Oral ingestion forms of delta 8 THC have increased toxicity and a higher risk of an overdose. When eating food or drinking beverages infused with delta 8, you will likely consume more as compared to smoking or inhaling.
Delta 8 edibles like delta 8 gummies or cookies take between 30 minutes to 2 hours for the psychoactive effects to kick in, so it is very likely for you to mistakenly consume more than your body can handle before you start to feel the effects.
Inhalation or Smoking
When a cannabis product is smoked or inhaled, THC is delivered to the brain quickly, and the onset of its effects is faster than oral ingestion, which makes the risk of an overdose quite small.
Potential Signs Of Delta 8 THC Overdose
These are some of the symptoms of a delta 8 overdose that you should look out for:
- Dry mouth
- Red eyes
- Impaired motor skills
- Low blood pressure
- Coordination issues
- Extreme sedation
In rare cases, it’s possible to experience other symptoms such as:
- Nausea and uncontrolled vomiting
- Psychotic symptoms ( hallucinations, delusions)
- Abdominal pain
The rare symptoms of delta 8 THC could be a sign of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, which is a very rare condition in a small percentage of heavy cannabis users.
Consuming a large amount of delta 8 can overstimulate your cannabinoid receptors and cause you to feel some of the above symptoms. However, delta 8 overdose is not considered extremely dangerous, and usually, the effects will likely wear off between 4-12 hours.
What To Do When You Overdose On Delta 8 THC
Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do while you wait for delta 8’s adverse effects to pass. Always speak with your doctor if you are concerned with a delta 8 overdose.
The first thing you can do is to drink lots of water. Delta 8 can reduce saliva production in your mouth, and this can cause you to feel dehydrated. Take regular sips of water to help with dry eyes and a dry mouth.
Try to shift your focus from the sensations of a high.
When you focus on the side effects, your brain will likely assume you are in danger and as such, will switch to a fight or flight response, causing additional fear and panic.
Find a way to distract yourself. Try watching a movie to shift your focus, listening to happy music, playing friendly games, drawing, painting, or getting some fresh air.
Grab a Bite To Eat
Eating is a good strategy for sobering up; it helps to absorb some of the effects of THC.
This might be the last thing you want to do, especially if you have a dry mouth, but some people report that it helps them sober up.
Sleep it off
If you feel like sleeping, then go with it. Sleeping or resting is a good way to pass the time while you wait for the cannabis to work its way out of your system.
Chew Black Peppercorns
Research shows that black peppercorns contain caryophyllene, which might weaken the uncomfortable effects of THC.
Many people report that black peppercorns can soothe the side effects of overindulging in cannabis, especially anxiety and paranoia.
Talk To a friend
If you are in a panic, it might be helpful to call a friend who has experience with cannabis. They may be able to talk you through the unpleasant experience and calm you down.
Try Taking CBD
CBD may potentially counteract the effects of delta 8 THC. CBD stops THC from binding with the cannabinoid receptors to produce psychoactive effects.
When To Call For Help
Delta 8 overdose mostly doesn’t put you in any immediate danger, but in rare cases where the symptoms turn out to be severe, like uncontrolled vomiting, or abdominal pains, it is advisable to call your doctor or seek medical attention immediately to avoid any health problems.
Potential Risks Of Delta 8 THC
Delta 8 is psychoactive, and it is not as potent as delta 9 THC, so it mostly doesn’t cause serious adverse effects. Unless there is the risk of an overdose which also isn’t fatal, delta 8 is a safe cannabinoid.
The biggest risk, however, is that the delta 8 market is unregulated by the FDA, which gives a chance for fake, contaminated, or mislabeled products to be released onto the market.
The delta 8 manufacturing process involves using chemicals, which leave behind toxic by-products if the purification process is not handled well.
However, if the final product is purified and all harmful by-products are removed, the product becomes safe for consumption.
The legal delta 8 or hemp product shouldn’t contain more than 0.3% delta 9 THC, but some manufacturers sell products with more than this legal limit which can land you in trouble with state laws or lead you to experience an intense psychoactive effect.
Always read a product's third-party testing results to know what exactly it contains before you buy.
Fake Products & Third-Party Testing
You can also risk buying fake products which are not delta 8 THC, and you will not get the delta 8 THC health benefits, or you might end up having negative reactions.
It is advisable to buy your delta 8 THC from a trusted source; for instance, buying delta 8 online directly from the manufacturers can ensure that you get high-quality THC products.
Delta 8 Overdose - Final Thoughts
It is possible to overdose on delta 8 THC, however, a delta 8 overdose is not typically fatal but can cause extreme discomfort, an unpleasant experience, or accidental injuries that can lead to fatalities.
Oral ingestion of delta 8, such as eating delta 8 gummies, has more risk of an overdose than inhaling or smoking because oral ingestion mostly has a slower onset of effects, so you can mistakenly consume more than you can handle.
Delta 8 THC overdose symptoms will most likely wear off on their own between 4 to 12 hours but if it persists or gets severe, seek immediate medical help.
To avoid the potential risks associated with cannabis use or delta 8 THC products, purchase your delta 8 THC products from trusted sources and be on the lookout for contaminated, mislabeled, or fake THC products.
If you accidentally consume more delta 8 than your body can handle, you can use some best practices to flush the delta 8 out of your system and speak with your doctor. Learn how to do this by reading our article on how to clear delta 8 from your systems.
Legal Disclaimer: You should still consult an attorney for the best legal advice regarding cannabis in your state, as the material shared here is for informational purposes only. Please consult with a doctor before taking delta 8 THC with any medical conditions, low blood pressure, prescription medication, or as a natural alternative to your current regime.
Clayton is a Senior Content Specialist, researcher, and holistic healthcare practitioner. Having been in the supplement industry for more than 15 years, Clayton brings a wealth of experience to the delta 8 space. His publications include alternative therapy, stress and coping, and alternative health.