Is Delta 8 Addictive? Here's What You Need To Know

Table of Contents

Today’s post focuses on two compounds in marijuana: Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC. What’s the difference between Delta-8 and Delta-9? Why is Delta-8 legal in places where Delta-9 is prohibited? Are these substances safe to use? Are Delta-8 or 9 addictive?

If you or a loved one are struggling with delta 8, delta 9 or any other substance, detox programs in Atlanta, Georgia can help. Call us at 762-242-6556 or verify your insurance now.

Find Help Now

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use disorder, our detox programs in Atlanta, Georgia can help. We’re standing by ready to help you create sustained changes in your life. 

What Are Delta-8 and Delta-9?

The cannabis plant contains more than 400 naturally occurring compounds, more than 100 of which are referred to as cannabinoids. Two of the most well-known cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

The category of THC can be further broken down into several distinct substances, including Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC. (There’s also a Delta-10 THC, but for the purposes of today’s post we are going to focus on Delta-8 and 9.

  • Delta-9 THC is the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. The effects that are typically associated with a marijuana high – such as elevated mood, enhanced sensitivity to sound and light, and altered perception of time – are due to the presence of Delta-9 THC.


  • Delta-8 THC naturally occurs in a much smaller volume than Delta-9 does in a cannabis plant. While Delta-8 is also a psychoactive substance, its effects are far less intense that what Delta-9 can cause. This has caused some people to refer to Delta-8 as “diet weed.”


Since there is such a small amount of Delta-8 in a cannabis plant, many manufacturers synthesize the substance after extracting cannabidiol from hemp. 

In the United States, cannabis derivatives that contain less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC are legally classified as hemp. Federal prohibitions against marijuana do not apply to hemp, which is why you often see Delta-8 products advertised and sold in places where it is illegal to purchase or possess marijuana (meaning weed with Delta-9 THC).

The relatively relaxed regulations around Delta-8 have caused many people to believe that this is a safe substance. While it is possible to consume Delta-8 products without incurring considerable harm, it is important to understand that doing so is not a completely risk-free endeavor.

In the next section, we’ll talk about some of the problems that can result from using cannabis products that contain either version of THC. We’ll also answer the question, are Delta-8 or 9 addictive?

Are Delta-8 or 9 Addictive?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has reported that using Delta-9 THC can lead to an array of problems, including:

  • Impaired judgement or coordination
  • Memory problems
  • Diminished learning capacity
  • Hallucinations, delusions, and psychosis
  • Lung irritation
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Worsening symptoms of some mental health concerns
  • Addiction

Turning our attention to Delta-8 THC, a May 2022 warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) noted the following:

  • The FDA does not evaluate or approve products containing Delta-8, so there is no guarantee that they are being marketed in an accurate manner.

  • Between Jan. 1, 2021, and Feb. 28, 2022, U.S. poison control centers received 2,362 calls related to Delta-8 exposure. 70% of these calls required evaluation at a health care facility, 8% resulted in admission, and one case (involving a child who accidentally ingested Delta-8) ended in death.

  • Since Delta-8 manufacturing is not regulated, products that contain this substance may also include dangerous undisclosed contaminants.

In May 2023, the Journal of Cannabis Research published a study of online reports of adverse effects that had been written by people who used Delta-8. The researchers who conducted this study revealed that the list of frequently reported Delta-8 problems included:

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Panic attack
  • Chest pain
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Throat irritation



This study also reported that many chronic users of Delta-8 reported withdrawal symptoms when they ended their use of the drug. Withdrawal is one of the classic signs of addiction.

To summarize: 

  • Are Delta-8 or 9 addictive? Yes, using either drug can lead to addiction. Neither of these substances pose the high risk of addiction that drugs such as heroin or fentanyl do. But both Delta-8 and Delta-9 can cause people to become addicted. 
  • Once someone develops an addiction to either Delta-8 or Delta-9 THC, they may need professional care to help them overcome the compulsion to continue using these substances.
is delta 8 addictive

Signs of Marijuana Addiction

The clinical term for marijuana addiction is cannabis use disorder. As established in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a person who has this condition will exhibit signs such as:

  • Being unable to control their cannabis use, which may include using more then they intended to or using the drug for a longer period of time than they meant to

  • Having a persistent desire to reduce or end their cannabis use, but not being able to achieve this objective

  • Spending large amounts of time seeking, acquiring, and using marijuana, as well as recovering from its effects

  • Developing powerful cravings for marijuana

  • Failing to perform as expected in school, at work, or at home as a result of their marijuana use

  • Continuing to use marijuana even after having physical, psychological, or social problems as a result of prior use

  • Reducing or ending their participation in social, recreational, or work-related activities due to their cannabis use

  • Using marijuana in ways that are clearly hazardous, such as by combining it with other drugs (a dangerous practice that is often referred to as polysubstance abuse) 

  • Developing tolerance, which means they need to use larger amounts of marijuana to achieve the effects they could previously experience with smaller doses

  • Going through withdrawal, which refers to a variety of physical and psychological symptoms that occur when they try to stop using marijuana

Learn More About Marijuana Detox in Atlanta

If the distress of withdrawal has prevented you from ending your marijuana use, Peachtree Detox may be the ideal place to begin your recovery journey.

At our detoxification center in Atlanta, Georgia, a team of experienced professionals can help you get through marijuana withdrawal safely and with minimal distress. We can then work with you to determine which type of additional treatment will best prepare you for successful, long-term recovery. 

We understand that withdrawal and recovery pose different challenges for different people, and we are committed to providing you with the focused solutions that reflect your unique strengths, needs, and goals.

To learn more or to schedule a free assessment, please visit our Admissions page or call us today.