Is Delta-8 Safe for Seniors with Anxiety?

This cannabis derivative is attracting attention for its therapeutic uses. Find out how Delta-8 can help seniors with anxiety.

A previously ignored cannabis compound is quickly gaining traction throughout the United States, especially among seniors who rely on CBD products for anxiety relief.

Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol is often simply called “Delta-8,” and it may represent a new way for people to experience cannabis safely and legally.

What Is Delta-8?

In chemical parlance, Delta-8 is an isomer of the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. The placement of a single carbon atom’s bond is the only difference between the two.

Unsurprisingly, Delta-8 has many of the same properties that people have come to associate with cannabis. It reduces anxiety and stress, increases appetite, and has neuroprotective properties. It is also psychoactive – which means using Delta-8 will get you high.

Is Delta-8 Safe for seniors with anxiety?

The best way to confirm the safety of a pharmaceutical compound is through randomized, controlled clinical trials. Delta-8 does not have many to its name just yet. The latest available study is from the 1990s, reporting the successful use of Delta-8 as an antiemetic for children with various types of blood cancers.

Many people believe that since Delta-8 THC is chemically similar to Delta-9 THC, it should be just as safe. This may be true, but the belief itself is not based on justifiable science. There simply isn’t enough evidence to make that claim with any degree of scientific certainty.

Chemistry is complex. Some chemical isomers are practically indistinguishable from one another. Others, like thalidomide, behave in radically different and dangerous ways.

Delta-8 THC shows no signs of toxicity but has only been subjected to a handful of studies. Meanwhile, Delta-9 THC has been subjected to hundreds of studies.

Is Delta-8 Legal in Hendersonville, NC for seniors with anxiety?

The short answer is: probably.

Cannabis is a federally scheduled substance that is illegal to cultivate or sell. Nonetheless, many states have flourishing legal cannabis industries. North Carolina is not one of them, which means that cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds (like Delta-9 THC) are illegal.

In terms of its legality, Delta-8 is often compared to CBD, another highly sought-after cannabis compound. Like CBD, Delta-8 is extracted from hemp, which makes it legal under North Carolina law.

Under NC state law, any compound derived from psychoactive cannabis is not legal. Any compound derived from non-psychoactive hemp – typically used for industrial purposes – is legal. Delta-8 may count in this category.

It’s worth noting that the federal DEA treats Delta-8 as a cannabis-derived compound. North Carolina’s state government may choose to change its interpretation to follow federal guidelines at some point in the future. 

As of 2021, there is no firm legal consensus on the legality of Delta-8. It’s too early for court cases to have established a precedent on how to treat Delta-8 in a consistent way. But because of the substance’s popularity, this time is certain to come in the near future.

Should We Use Delta-8 for seniors with Anxiety?

It’s still too early to recommend Delta-8 THC for general anxiety. Seniors in home care have plenty of better, more justifiable options like safe, high-quality CBD. Since research into the pharmacology and legality of Delta-8 THC is ongoing, this recommendation may change in the near future. The best thing seniors in Hendersonville, NC can do for now is pay close attention to how the cannabis industry as a whole develops in the state.


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