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A first-timer's guide to Delta 8: Dos and don’ts

Published Sep 8, 2023 04:00 p.m. ET
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Delta 8 THC has emerged as a fascinating and somewhat controversial compound. It offers an alternative experience that has piqued the interest of both recreational users and those seeking potential therapeutic benefits.

Navigating through the sea of information about Delta 8 can be overwhelming, especially for first-timers. Understanding the dos and don'ts is essential for a pleasurable experience and ensuring safety and compliance with the law.

This article provides comprehensive insights into the key considerations for anyone looking to try Delta 8 THC for the first time.

Do research delta 8's legality in your area

Before even considering a purchase, the first step should be to familiarize yourself with the legal status of Delta 8 THC in your province or territory.

In Canada, cannabis and its derivatives, including Delta 8 THC, are regulated under the Cannabis Act. However, the regulations can differ between provinces and territories, and it's essential to know what's allowed and what isn't in your area.

Start by exploring the cannabis regulations of your province or territory. This could include age restrictions, possession limits, and other rules governing the sale and use of cannabis products like Delta 8 THC. Penalties for violating these regulations can be severe, including fines and potential criminal charges, so it's crucial to be informed.

Don't assume all delta 8 products are the same

Like other cannabis products, the quality of Delta 8 can vary widely between brands and products. This inconsistency can lead to varying experiences and, in some cases, unexpected side effects. Choosing the first Delta 8 product you come across without scrutinizing its quality and source could lead to an undesirable experience.

When selecting a Delta 8 cartridge, edible or tincture, always opt for reputable sellers that offer lab-tested products. These lab reports will confirm the potency of the Delta 8 contained in the cartridge and ensure that the product is free from harmful substances like heavy metals or solvents.

Reading online reviews and testimonials can give you a better sense of what to expect from a specific product or brand. This due diligence will guide you toward a more informed and, hopefully, more enjoyable experience.

Do pay attention to consumption methods

The method you choose to consume Delta 8 can significantly impact your experience. The main consumption methods are edibles, tinctures, vape cartridges, and topicals, each with advantages and drawbacks.

Edibles offer a discreet way to consume Delta 8, but they also take longer to kick in due to the digestive process—sometimes up to two hours. Vaping, whether through a conventional vape cartridge or a disposable vape pen, offers almost immediate effects but may not be suitable for those concerned about lung health. Tinctures offer a middle ground, as they can be ingested sublingually for faster absorption than edibles. Topicals are mostly used for localized relief and are not psychoactive.

Choose the best method for your goals, whether you're looking for quick relief, long-lasting effects, or something in between. Also, keep in mind that each method may require different dosing considerations.

Do start with a low dose

If you're new to Delta 8 or cannabis products in general, starting with a low dose is wise. Delta 8 affects every individual differently, depending on various factors, including body weight, metabolism, and individual tolerance. Starting low and going slow is the best approach to finding your optimal dosage without overwhelming yourself.

Common starting doses range from 5 to 15 milligrams of Delta 8. Observe how your body responds for at least an hour or two before increasing the dose. This cautious approach lets you better understand your body's reaction to Delta 8 and minimizes the risk of uncomfortable or overly intense experiences.

Don't mix with alcohol or other substances

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Mixing Delta 8 with alcohol or other substances is not recommended, especially if you're a first-time user. Both alcohol and Delta 8 can have psychoactive effects, and combining them may result in unpredictable and potentially unsafe experiences. Similarly, mixing Delta 8 with other medications could result in unintended interactions.

The body's ability to process multiple substances simultaneously can be compromised, leading to stronger or prolonged effects that can be uncomfortable or harmful. If you are on any medication, consult a healthcare professional before using Delta 8 to ensure that there are no contraindications.

Do store your delta 8 properly

Proper storage of your Delta 8 products is crucial for maintaining their potency and shelf life. Exposure to air, light, and heat can lead to degradation, impacting the cannabinoid's effectiveness over time.

To mitigate this, always ensure your products are stored in tightly sealed containers and placed in cool, dark locations. Cupboards or drawers are generally good options; some users even opt for refrigeration for longer-term storage. Opaque containers are a plus, as they offer additional protection against harmful UV rays from light.

Edibles should be stored as indicated on the packaging to prevent spoilage, while vape cartridges and disposable vapes should generally be stored upright to avoid leakage. Tinctures need to be kept in a dark place with their lids securely tightened to prevent contamination, and topicals, which often contain other ingredients like oils or creams, should be kept in a cool place to prevent separation.

Always keep an eye on the expiration date, if provided, to ensure you are consuming the product while it's still effective.

Don't ignore the setting

The environment in which you choose to use Delta 8 can greatly influence your experience. Just like with any other psychoactive substance, setting matters. Using Delta 8 in an unfamiliar or uncomfortable environment may lead to increased anxiety or paranoia.

Aim for a safe, comfortable, and familiar setting, especially for your first time. Make sure you are also in a good mental state, as your mindset can influence how you react to the substance. Being in a relaxed, positive headspace can contribute to a more pleasant experience.

Do consult a healthcare professional

Consulting a healthcare professional is a wise choice, especially if you are considering using Delta 8 for its potential therapeutic effects. Although the scientific community is still researching the full spectrum of Delta 8's properties and effects, a healthcare provider can offer guidance based on your medical history and needs.

Healthcare providers can also help monitor your response to Delta 8, adjusting dosage as necessary or recommending alternative treatments. This is particularly important for individuals with pre-existing conditions or who are already on medication.

Conclusion

Trying Delta 8 THC can be a rewarding experience when done with care and consideration. From understanding the legality in your jurisdiction to being mindful of dosage and setting, the key is to approach it responsibly. By following these dos and don'ts, first-timers can set themselves up for a safer, more enjoyable experience with Delta 8 THC.

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