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Are Delta-8 and Delta-9 Addictive?

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a plant-based chemical found in cannabis plants called cannabinoids. Delta-8 and Delta-9 are different forms of THC. Each of these components of THC has its unique effect on the body. Delta-8 can be found in trace amounts in cannabis plants, but Delta-9 typically connects to THC. 

The chemical components of Delta-8 and Delta-9 are similar, but their effects are different. While each element produces a desired high, Delta-8 has a greater public interest because people think it is a legal alternative to Delta-9. The legality of these cannabis products is different throughout the United States. Both Delta-8 and Delta-9 can produce intoxicatingly psychoactive effects.

What is Delta-8?

Delta-8 and Delta-9 are similar, but there are also distinct differences. While they are both different forms of THC, Delta-8 is less potent than Delta-9. There are slight differences in their chemical structure. Typically, Delta-8 is a synthetic conversion of CBD or Delta-9 into Delta-8. Delta-8 is generally adequate treatment for medical purposes and has fewer intense side effects than Delta-9.

Those who use Delta-8 for medical purposes treat panic attacks, stress, depression, bipolar disorder, and sometimes chronic pain. Delta-8 makes people sleepy and relaxed, while others find it stimulates appetite. Delta-8 is available in gummies, chocolate, candies, cookies, tinctures, vaping cartridges, infused drinks, and breakfast cereals. While manufacturers market these products as medicinal, the FDA has never approved Delta-8 as a treatment for any medical condition and has found some incidents of adverse consequences. 

Typical side effects of Delta-8 include any of the following:

  • Euphoria
  • Relaxation
  • Visual distortions
  • Difficulty thinking and speaking

What is Delta-9?

Delta-9 THC produces a high or intoxication, but some believe it to be a beneficial treatment for anxiety, insomnia, glaucoma, pain, nausea, obstructive sleep apnea, and low appetite. A component of the cannabis plant, a synthetic form of Delta-9, dronabinol (Marinol), is approved by the FDA to stimulate the appetites of those undergoing chemotherapy, with HIV or AIDS and anorexia. In some states, delta-9 is legal in gummies, cookies, candies, infused beverages, tinctures, vaping cartridges, topical lotions, and pre-rolled joints. The FDA also approves Nabilone to treat nausea and vomiting and increase appetite. 

Research on Delta-8 and Delta-9 is limited. Some studies show Delta-9 may have some therapeutic effects for chemotherapy, seizure disorders, chronic pain, spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis (MS), and sleep disorders. Mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, neurodegenerative diseases, autism, and autoimmune disorders have seen beneficial results. Unfortunately, some of the same conditions that show benefits have also seen adverse effects depending on the amount and quality of the Delta-9.

Typical side effects of Delta-9 include any of the following:

  • Relaxation and decreased anxiety
  • Increased appetite
  • Happiness or exhilaration
  • Heightened imagination
  • Improvement of sensory perception

Are Delta-8 and Delta-9 Addictive?

Marijuana use disorder is widespread in the United States. Legal in some states for medicinal and recreational use, the substance can still be addictive. Delta-9 THC is the chemical that produces the high in marijuana. While Delta-8 is less potent than Delta-9, it does not reduce the possibility of addictive properties. All mind-altering substances, including Delta-8 and Delta-9, can be addictive when abused. 

The addictive effects of Delta-8 and Delta-9 change how people feel, but it may take longer to develop tolerance to the drug and dependency. Chronic or excessive usage of these substances affects the brain and the body. Those developing withdrawal symptoms from abuse of the drugs experience symptoms similar to marijuana withdrawal symptoms. Those with dependence may experience irritability, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, and depression when withdrawal occurs. 

Effects of Both Substances and How They Impact the Senses

Delta-8 and Delta-9 have similar side effects to standard THC found in cannabis. The desired high from the substances induces happiness, relaxation, or calmness. Higher doses intensify the results, causing colors to appear more vivid and music sound to seem pronounced and clear. However, adverse side effects occur in some people, but most believe Delta-8 THC is safer and poses less chance of addiction than marijuana. 

The most common side effects of THC use are:

  • Red eyes
  • Dry mouth, often referred to as cottonmouth
  • Increasing appetite
  • Challenges with thinking and speaking
  • Slower than average reaction time or reflexes
  • Anxiety
  • Increase in heart rate
  • Problems with memory

Signs of Delta-8 and Delta-9 Abuse

Denial can impede the hope for treatment when abuse continues and changes to addiction. Those who cannot control usage and see their addiction often turn to rejection to protect their misuse. Once an individual’s lifestyle and relationships become affected by drug use, and the user loses the ability to stop using despite the negative consequences, abuse is most likely present. Two or more of the following symptoms can indicate abuse or addiction. 

Signs of THC addiction can include any of the subsequent symptoms:

  • Continuing to use THC or Delta-8 despite negative consequences
  • Tolerance builds, causing a flow of increasing dosages to reach the desired effect
  • Sleeping and eating habits are negatively affected
  • Withdrawal symptoms occur if the dosage is lessened or stopped
  • Obsession with the drug, finding money to buy it, and living life around using the drug
  • Denying drug use, lying to friends and family about usage 
  • Having intense cravings for THC
  • A loss of control with drug usage


A large population believes that using marijuana, THC, and Delta-8 and Delta-9 is safe and there is no danger of addiction. However, all of these substances are addictive, and it is essential to be cautious with them. Those with a history of addiction need to avoid using any form of THC. Finally, once an addiction occurs, treatment is available. 

Detoxing from the substance is typically the first step after an assessment and admission to a professional treatment center. The treatment team recommends what kind of program should follow detox, but rehab should include cognitive-behavioral therapy. Group and family therapy are critical components of a solid treatment plan, allowing for a much-needed support system. Treatment can be a life-altering experience leading to a life of sobriety and peace of mind. 

Find More Information about Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC Treatment in Georgia

Easing distressing thoughts with additional information, facts, and treatment options can lead to focusing on resolving THC addiction. The Retreat of Atlanta in Georgia offers medically managed detox from substance use disorders. Professional rehab programs can provide techniques to change habits and build self-esteem and a positive, sober lifestyle. Contact the professionals today at The Retreat of Atlanta.

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