According to the WHO, over 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. It is also the leading cause of disability.
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the WHO notes that cases of anxiety and depression have shot by a whopping 25%. This is because stress factors like job insecurity, social isolation, and fear of contracting the virus have all taken a toll on our mental health.
With this information, the topic of the role of cannabinoids, such as delta 8 THC, in the treatment of anxiety and depression is more relevant than ever.
In this comprehensive article, we are going to explore this topic in detail. We will look at what science says about delta 8’s therapeutic potential for helping manage anxiety and depression. We will also look at the terpenes, or aromatic compounds, infused to work in synergy with delta 8 to provide even more relief.
Finally, we will give our top five product recommendations for the best delta 8 for anxiety and depression.
What is Delta 8 THC?
Delta 8 THC (D8) is a cannabinoid that occurs naturally in the hemp plant. It is one of over 100+ cannabinoids found in cannabis. Delta 8 has a molecular structure similar to delta 9 THC (D9), the main active component in marijuana. However, the double bond in the former is located on the eighth carbon chain, while in the latter it is on the ninth.
Delta 8 has a lower psychoactive potency than delta 9 THC. In other words, it produces less of a “high” or “stoned” feeling. In fact, research shows D8 is 50-66% less potent than D9. The clearheadedness and relaxation that many users report feeling may be because delta 8 does not bind as strongly to CB receptors in the endocannabinoid system as delta 9 THC does.
The endocannabinoid system is a network of cannabinoid receptors and ligands that are located throughout the body. It helps regulate many crucial functions, such as mood, appetite, pain, and memory.
There are two types of CB receptors: CB1 and CB2. THC binds primarily to CB2 receptors, which are mostly found in the peripheral nervous system and immune cells. This binding is what produces delta 8’s therapeutic effects. The higher affinity of delta 9 THC for CB1 receptors in the brain is what causes marijuana’s psychoactive effects.
Does Delta 8 Help with Stress?
To better understand if delta 8 helps with stress, it is important to understand what stress is and how it affects the body.
Stress is a response to a perceived threat. It is the body’s way of preparing to fight or flee. The stress response is mediated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.
The HPA axis is a network of hormones that help regulate the stress response. When the body perceives a threat, the hypothalamus signals the pituitary gland to release adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). ACTH is the hormone that signals the adrenal glands to release cortisol.
Cortisol (often referred to as the “stress hormone) is a steroid hormone that helps the body respond to stress. It does this by increasing blood sugar levels, suppressing the immune system, and increasing inflammation. Chronic stress can lead to high cortisol levels, negatively affecting health. These effects include weight gain, anxiety, and depression.
Chronic stress can lead to HPA axis dysregulation. This can result in a number of health problems, such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia. It can also weaken the immune system and increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
So, does delta 8 help with stress? Delta 8 has been shown to help regulate the HPA axis and reduce cortisol levels. In one study, delta 8 was found to be as effective as CBD in reducing rat anxiety and cortisol levels.
In another study, cannabinoids were found to reduce stress-induced hyperactivity in rats. Cannabinoids in general, were found to reduce the severity of symptoms in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers in a 2021 survey found that 51% of participants used delta 8 THC to help with stress, anxiety, and depression.
If these studies are anything to go by, delta 8 might be a safe, natural alternative to help relieve some symptoms associated with stress, anxiety, and depression. However, more research is needed to confirm these effects in humans.
Best Delta 8 Strain for Stress?
There are three main types of delta 8 strains: indica, sativa, and hybrid.
Indica strains are known for their relaxing, sedative effects. They are often used by those who have anxiety and insomnia. Sativa strains are known for their uplifting, energizing effects. People with depression symptoms and fatigue often use them. Hybrid strains are a mix of both indica and sativa strains and can provide both energizing and relaxing effects.
The best delta 8 strain for stress will depend on the individual. Some people may prefer a hybrid strain, while others may find an indica or sativa strain to be more effective.
However, sativa strains are highly recommended for people looking for a natural way to relieve stress. Apart from the uplifting and energizing effects, sativa strains are also known to boost mood and increase focus.
If you are unsure about which delta 8 strain to choose, ask your doctor or knowledgeable cannabis professional for advice. You can also try all three strains to see which one works best for you. Remember to start with a low dose and increase gradually until you find the desired effects.
Potential Benefits of Delta 8 THC
Below are the potential benefits of delta 8 THC:
An antiemetic is a substance that helps to control nausea and vomiting. Delta 8 THC has been shown to be an effective antiemetic in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. It could also help manage gastrointestinal disorders such as Crohn’s disease and IBS.
Anxiety and Panic Attacks
An anxiolytic is a medication that helps to relieve anxiety. Delta 8 THC has shown promise in reducing anxiety in animal studies. It may help to reduce both the physical and psychological symptoms of anxiety disorders such as PTSD, GAD, and social anxiety disorder.
An appetite stimulant is a substance that helps to increase appetite. There is evidence that low doses of delta 8 have stimulated appetite in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. It may also help people with eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. It can also help people who are trying to gain weight.
A neuroprotective is a substance that helps to protect the brain from damage. Delta 8 THC may be a potential neuroprotective, according to studies. It may help to protect the brain from degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It may also protect the brain from damage caused by strokes and traumatic brain injuries.
Delta 8 THC has analgesic properties and may help to relieve pain. It could be helpful in managing chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, and migraines.
Cannabinoids, and by extension, delta 8 has also been shown to help with neuropathic pain. This is a type of pain that’s caused by damage to the nervous system. It can lead to burning, shooting, or tingling sensations.
Delta 8 THC has anti-inflammatory properties and may help to reduce inflammation. It could be helpful in managing inflammatory conditions such as Crohn’s disease, IBS, and asthma.
There is evidence that delta 8 THC may help to suppress the immune system. This may be helpful in managing autoimmune disorders such as lupus and psoriasis. It may also help to prevent the rejection of transplanted organs.
An anti-spasmodic is a substance that helps to relieve muscle spasms. Delta 8 THC has shown promise in reducing muscle spasms. It may help to relieve the symptoms of conditions such as multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy.
Depression is a common mental disorder that can cause many symptoms. These include feelings of sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating. Delta 8 THC has shown promise in treating depression in animal studies. It may help to improve mood and increase energy levels.
Depression or Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that causes extreme mood swings. These can range from depression to mania. Delta 8 THC has shown promise in helping reduce symptoms of bipolar disorder. It may help to stabilize mood and reduce the frequency and severity of manic episodes.
Anxiety is a common mental disorder that can cause many symptoms. These include feelings of fear, worry, and stress. Delta 8 THC may help reduce anxiety symptoms like racing thoughts or uneasiness. It may help to reduce both the physical and psychological symptoms of anxiety disorders.
Risks of Delta 8 THC
According to the FDA, below are some potential risks of delta 8:
When you consume delta 8 THC, you may experience episodes of hallucinations. Hallucinating is seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there. This is especially true if you have a history of mental illness.
If you experience hallucinations after consuming delta 8 THC, stop using it immediately and seek medical help.
High Blood Pressure
Delta 8 THC can cause an increase in blood pressure. This is because it can increase your heart rate. If you have high blood pressure, delta 8 THC may make it worse.
Dizziness is a common side effect of delta 8 THC. This is because it can lower your blood pressure and cause you to feel lightheaded. The feeling can last for a few minutes to a few hours. If it doesn’t go away, seek medical help.
Drowsiness is a feeling of tiredness or sleepiness. If you are driving or operating heavy machinery, avoid excessive delta 8 THC use, as it can impair your ability to concentrate and react quickly.
Paranoia is a feeling of suspicion or distrust. This is a common feeling for those who consume delta 9 THC. With delta 8, this feeling may be less intense, but it can still happen. However, it will typically go away after a few minutes.
Child and Pet Poisoning
Research shows that THC can be poisonous to children. It can impair development and cause memory, behavior, and attention problems. THC can also be poisonous to pets, causing them to become agitated and disoriented. If you have children or pets, it’s important to keep your delta 8 products out of their reach.
Best Cannabis Strains for Depression
Sativa-leaning hybrid strains are regarded as the best cannabis strains for this as they are mood lifting. They are known to produce an uplifting and energizing effect as well as a functional high that doesn’t leave you feeling sluggish or paranoid.
These kinds of strains, like Apple Fritter, are perfect for those who need a little pick-me-up during the day. It can help to improve mood, increase energy levels, and reduce stress.
What Cannabis Terpenes Are Good For Depression
Here are some of the best terpenes for depression:
Limonene is a citrusy terpene that is known for its uplifting and mood-enhancing effects. It is also a powerful antioxidant. This terpene can help to improve mood, reduce stress, and increase energy levels. It is found in lemons, oranges, and limes.
Linalool is a floral terpene found in lavender that has powerful anxiety and depression-reducing properties. A 2022 study showed that linalool effectively reduced stress and anxiety in rats. The study found that linalool reduced stress hormone levels, such as cortisol, in the body.
Pinene is a woody terpene found in conifers like pine trees. Pinene has potent anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects. Studies have shown that it has antidepressant-like effects. It also has anti-inflammatory and analgesic (painkilling) effects.
Caryophyllene is a peppery terpene found in black pepper, cloves, and cannabis. This terpene has potent antidepressant and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects. It is a CB2 receptor agonist known to play a role in mood and stress disorders. A study found that caryophyllene had antidepressant effects comparable to imipramine (Tofranil), a tricyclic antidepressant.
Where to Buy The Best Delta 8 For Anxiety And Depression
At Delta Munchies, we produce a line of delta 8 products that will help you feel uplifted and energized. All our products are third-party lab tested for potency and safety.
If you love vaping, we stock A-class disposable vape carts such as Grape Runtz 2G Dart XL and Melonado 2G Dart XL, both fruity, flavorful, and potent. Their exhale will have you feeling relaxed, happy, and uplifted in no time.
This video shows a personal experience with delta 8 for anxiety. Watch it and get inspired!