If there’s a cannabis trend likely to define the rest of this decade for sure, it’s experimenting with cannabinoids. No longer restricted by the old dichotomy of pure Delta-9-THC or CBD flowers, users around the world are increasingly experimenting with alternatives, from HHC to CBG and more.
By far the most widespread natural alternative to Delta-9-THC today is Delta 8. With a much higher adoption rate than nearly any other “non-traditional” cannabinoid, Delta 8 is looking to become the contemporary cannabis user’s new favorite.
Unfortunately, despite its promising effects and benefits, some users may experience unexpected side effects with Delta 8. This includes annoying, and sometimes outright painful coughing fits. Why does this happen? And how do you stop yourself from coughing from Delta 8?
What is Delta 8?
The cannabis plant gets its unique effects on the human mind and body from cannabinoids - unique chemical compounds that interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
THC is one such cannabinoid, and arguably the most notable and desirable one for many. Responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive effects, it is also associated with plenty of medical/therapeutic benefits and has been the subject of plenty of scientific studies over the years.
But THC doesn’t naturally occur in cannabis in a form that we can ingest. Rather, raw THC forms as THCa, which needs to be decarboxylated, or decarbed, to turn into useful THC. This decarbing process, usually involving the application of high heat, also creates some by-products. Delta 8 THC is one of these.
Structurally similar to the hugely popular Delta 9, it's been long neglected due to its extremely low concentration in nature. However, modern manufacturing and extraction techniques have allowed for the creation of highly concentrated Delta-8-THC products, allowing users to experience the full extent of this cannabinoid’s unique effects.
What Does Delta 8 Feel Like?
Speaking of which, how does Delta 8 feel? And what distinguishes it from Delta-9-THC? Answers to these kinds of questions inevitably differs from person to person, as the range of effects depends on small variables that are hard to generalize.
Because Delta 8 hasn’t been publicly available for sale for more than a few years, it hasn’t been subjected to much research, either. However, we can say with some degree of certainty that Delta 8 is less psychoactive than its more famous sibling Delta 9.
Delta 8 highs are often described as more dreamy, less intense, and offering more physical stimulation as opposed to mental effects. Expect a slight cerebral buzz along with a mood lift and a peaceful, tranquil feeling spreading throughout the body. Delta 8 is still very much capable of producing the same side effects many experience with Delta 9 THC. They’re isomers, after all.
The potential side effects include feelings of anxiety, claustrophobia, paranoia, or confusion, as well as physical discomfort, dizziness or vertigo. However, Delta 8 is much milder and less likely to cause any of these effects in most users compared to Delta 9, making it a much safer option.
Delta 8 vs Delta 9
So, why would you choose one over the other? Let’s do a head-to-head comparison to identify the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Compared to Delta 9, Delta 8’s effects are less psychoactive and also much less physically sedating. You won’t feel a sharp “high” from Delta 8, and the risk of severe side effects is also much lower. Delta 8 also tends to take a bit more time until the effects peak in intensity. However, coming-up period of Delta 9 is much shorter.
Perhaps the most significant difference between the two doesn’t come down to how they play out in our bodies. Instead, for most users, the choice between Delta 9 and Delta 8 THC comes down to their legality.
In many jurisdictions, Delta 9 is scarcely or not at all available legally, whereas Delta 8 enjoys a much more liberal legal status. This is due to the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized almost all recreational products derived from hemp while keeping those based on marijuana out of the reach of most consumers.
Since Delta 8 can be made quite cheaply from hemp, it is much more available and thus presents itself as a more accessible alternative to the “standard” Delta-9 THC.
Here at Botany Farms, we are strong promoters of the unique benefits of Delta 8. That is why we have made it our mission to expand and contribute to the availability of Delta 8 products with a lineup of our own!
All our Delta 8 flowers are treated using a proprietary cold-press process. Instead of spraying liquid Delta 8 distillate directly onto hemp flowers, we freeze the extract and apply it as a powder infusion. This helps retain a lot more terpenes and keeps the Delta 8 more potent.
One of our most potent favorites is Delta-8 Zombie Kush. A powerful Indica perfect for winding down in the evenings, Zombie Kush envelops you in a thick sheet of physical relaxation that lasts longer than you might expect! Its woody flavor with sweet undertones makes for an especially satisfying experience as well.
If outdoors-friendly Sativas are more of your thing, we can’t recommend Delta-8 Sour Lifter enough. With a diesel-heavy exhale and strong euphoric effects, Sour Lifter keeps you on your toes! Sweet and skunky notes combine with the kind of excellent pain relief that Delta-8-THC is known for, making it an excellent Sativa hybrid for daytime use.
On a similar note, consider Delta-8 Elektra. A pure Sativa bred from the infamous Gorilla Glue #4, this excellent daytime strain has strong hints of citrus on the inhale and lots of fruity notes in its aroma. An upbeat daytime companion with excellent pick-me-up attributes while keeping the mind awake and alert, it’s a perfect choice if you lead an active lifestyle.
In this day and age, you don’t have to limit yourself to Sativas or Indicas, you can have both! One of the best trailblazing hybrids is our longtime favorite, Sour Space Candy. Now also available as a Delta-8 flower, it lets you enjoy both relaxing and euphoric qualities, sweet and sour tastes, and physical and mental stimulation at once – you get the idea.
Why Does Delta 8 Make Me Cough so Much?
Plenty of people experience some degree of coughing when consuming Delta 8, which can sometimes get severe and require medical attention. But even if your cough is not quite so serious, you might still be wondering why Delta 8 THC is so harsh on the throat when other cannabis products might not cause the same effects.
Just like Delta 9, Delta 8 suppresses the function of our salivary glands. When Delta 8 is in your system, it may cause localized dehydration in the mouth, lip, and throat area. This is referred to as "cottonmouth" - a common problem for people who consume a lot of THC in any form (though other cannabinoids, like CBD, are also capable of causing cottonmouth). When your throat lacks saliva to keep it slick and lubricated, it becomes scratchy, which promotes coughing.
How to Not Cough From Weed Carts
So how do you deal with coughs when smoking Delta 8?
There are a few methods you can try to help restore a healthy level of moisture in your mouth and throat. Chewing on sour candy is a trick that might encourage additional saliva production. The reasons for this are twofold.
First, having anything in your mouth, especially while chewing, triggers salivation. This is why sugar-free chewing gums are also a great option to try. And second, out of all tastes, the sour spectrum is the one that has been linked with the strongest urge to salivate.
Try sucking on citrus fruits like lemon or oranges that also contain a lot of sour flavor for a similar effect. There are many more at-home remedies worth trying, but the bottom line is that coughing from Delta 8 is not something that should have to keep you from enjoying your favorite THC.