By Guest Blogger Tara Pitts

Stress? Anxiety? Sleeplessness? Between regular parenting duties and the seemingly endless pandemic, it’s hard to find any mom who isn’t struggling right now. Not being an evening wine drinker (it gives me a headache), a friend suggested that I try Delta 8, which is a hemp derivative and available in many hemp stores where you can buy CBD. A few other friends said that it had helped them with sleep and stress, so I did some research.

What It Is

Delta 8, known as D8, is a naturally occurring minor cannabinoid compound extracted from hemp. Most current research is focused on Delta 9 THC (marijuana) and CBD, which are chemically different from D8. The 2018 Farm Bill protects the manufacturing and sale of any hemp product that contains less than 0.3% THC. Because it is derived from the hemp plant, it is available legally in most states, including NC, in a variety of forms from gummies to soft gels to tinctures to vape cartridges. It is touted as helping and soothing anxiety, pain, nausea and insomnia among other things.  Usually, the label details how many milligrams of Delta 8 the product contains. A typically suggested beginning dosage of an edible is 10 mg, even though they are often sold in 30 mg pieces. While it does contain less than .3% THC, D8 could still show up on a drug test as the tests don’t distinguish between different types of THC.

My Experience

I have never been into hemp or cannabis products, with the exception of some CBD I tried a few years ago. CBD doesn’t really do anything for me to help with stress or sleep and usually gives me a stomachache. But after my research on D8, I was intrigued and decided to try it out. I found a reputable organic hemp store in Mooresville, NC and purchased some D8 gummies online. The gummies that arrived look and taste like candy – virtually indistinguishable from sour candies from the store. Since the beginning suggested dosage is 10 mg, it’s a guess as to how to cut an edible up to get the right amount, making it easy to take more than planned. I did my best to estimate a 10 mg dose and nervously waited to see what happened. After about an hour or two, I was pleasantly surprised at how relaxed D8 made me and thrilled that I had no negative side effects whatsoever. It made me feel carefree and very chill, perfect for a relaxed evening and a great night of sleep. The feeling lasted for about 3-4 hours. I would say depending on the dosage, it is somewhat similar to having a couple glasses of wine.

D8 and Kids

Delta 8 is, for me, a nice solution to nighttime anxiety and sleeplessness and I could see other adults finding it helpful as well. However, I feel it needs to be taken responsibly and because it is legal, it causes me some concern, particularly for teens and tweens. Although you do have to be 18 to purchase this product, I was not asked for my ID when I purchased it online. Many edibles are packaged and sold to look and taste like candy, making it seem very harmless. It would be easy to take more than intended, particularly since it takes an hour or two to feel the effects. Even with just the suggested beginning dose of 10 mg, there is absolutely now way I would feel comfortable driving a car, but strangely I feel I follow and carry on conversations with little difficulty. It’s not technically weed or marijuana, so the high is different and not as easily discernible to others around you. I don’t think anyone around me would know I had taken D8 unless I told them.

Final Thoughts

I feel it is important to raise awareness about D8 with parents and emphasize caution when it comes to teens and tweens. After talking with my own teen, I discovered that she knew about D8 and had friends who had tried it. I was able to share with her my concerns and hopefully she will share those concerns with others when it comes to driving and making good decisions. It will be interesting to see how lawmakers address these concerns in the future as it pertains to this and other hemp products. If you decide to try D8, it is recommended to research and purchase from a reputable source.

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