From Queasy to Easy: Effects of Delta 8 THC on Nausea, Vomiting, and Appetite

Ashley Priest

Posted by Ashley Priest on 07/19/2023 in Medical Marijuana


With research still ongoing around the effects of delta-8 THC, new studies are emerging almost daily. Some of these studies discuss delta-8’s potential for helping nausea, vomiting, and appetite.

In short, delta-8-THC is a naturally occurring and chemically converted cannabinoid that is legal in many states, including those that strictly prohibit medical and retail cannabis. It has commonly been dubbed a legal cannabis high. It also offers potential therapeutic benefits such as antiemetic and appetite-enhancing properties.

Can Delta-8 Help with Nausea, Vomiting, or Appetite Issues

The National Cancer Institute states that “[Delta 8 is] an analogue of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties.” Various studies support the efficiency of Delta-8 in helping to stimulate the appetite as well as to help relieve nausea and vomiting. It is believed that Delta-8 is able to accomplish this thanks to its ability to attach to the Endocannabinoid CB1 receptor.

Nausea is something nearly everyone has experienced at least once. It is believed that this sensation is caused by an imbalance in the natural chemicals and hormones produced by the body, such as adrenaline or cortisol. When present in abundance, these chemicals can stimulate a nauseous reaction due to their interaction with the brain. It is believed that delta-8-THC can help to relieve nausea by balancing out your body’s natural hormone production through binding with the body’s CB-1 receptors. These receptors, a part of the endocannabinoid system, have been found to be directly involved with regulating nausea and vomiting.

In a comprehensive study from 1995, the late Raphael Mechoulam, known as the Godfather of Cannabis research, concluded that delta-8 not only helped to combat nausea in cancer patients but, when combined with traditional anti-nausea medications that it, could increase the effectiveness of both.

Delta-9-THC has also been found to offer antiemetic properties. However, this study found that Delta-8 has 200% more efficiency in relieving nausea than Delta-9.

In addition to helping relieve nausea and vomiting and increasing appetite, it is believed that this cannabinoid may also possess other therapeutic properties. These include neuroprotective, analgesic, and anxiolytic benefits, which could provide benefits for millions of patients suffering from chronic pain, anxiety, and neurological disorders.

Research Limitations

While there is research pertaining to delta-8, there is much more room to explore the potential of this cannabinoid. However, that research, like all cannabis-related research, does not come easy due to the many restrictions that researchers face working with a substance that has so much smokescreen surrounding it still at the federal level. Forbes reported in March 2023 that “studies examining potential benefits, including delta-8 THC’s ability to curb nausea and vomiting, lower anxiety, stimulate the appetite and provide analgesic and neuroprotective properties, are ongoing.”

What is Delta-8?

Now that you know more about the potential benefits of this cannabinoid, let’s dive into the topic of what delta-8 is more in-depth. Questions regarding this compound are rising in popularity as more consumers encounter this ingredient in products on shelves in gas stations, herbal stores, vape shops, and advertisements from various retailers online. Delta-8-THC, or simply Delta-8 for short, can be found in vape cartridges, gummies, drinks, and much more. But just what is this substance? Where does it come from? Is it safe?

Delta-8-THC is a compound that occurs naturally within cannabis and can also be made through chemical conversions from other naturally occurring cannabinoids within cannabis. Naturally, delta-8-THC does not occur within hemp and cannabis in large concentrations. The delta-8 utilized in the majority of products you see on the market today is made by converting hemp-derived CBD or delta-9THC into delta-8 through a process known as isomerization. This process entails CBD being dissolved into glacial acetic acid, which initially converts the CBD into a very unstable form of Delta-9-THC, which ultimately metamorphoses into delta-8-THC after roughly 72 hours. The resulting compound can then be infused into a plethora of products.

Associated Risks with Consuming Delta-8 Products

As explained, delta-8 within products on the market is not naturally derived and must undergo a chemical conversion. Because of this necessary conversion, there are risks involved with consuming delta-8, mainly due to the byproducts that can be left behind from this conversion if not executed properly. Kyle Boyar, a staff research associate at the University of California San Diego’s Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, told Chemical & Engineering News, “A lot of irresponsible production is going on in the sense that most of these people are getting their information from online forums, and many of them aren’t necessarily trained chemists.”

The FDA reports that the most common adverse effects that have been reported from the consumption of delta-8 products have included “hallucinations, vomiting, tremor, anxiety, dizziness, confusion, and loss of consciousness.”

The Difference Between Delta-8 vs. Delta-9-THC

THC, when referenced, is most commonly in association with the primary psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis, being Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol or Delta-9-THC. Knowing what you know about delta-8, it is likely you are curious about the differences between delta-8 and delta-9-THC.

While both cannabinoids produce intoxicating/psychoactive effects, it is believed that the effects produced by delta-8 are less intense. Research suggests this is because “delta-8 has a slightly weaker attachment to the CB1 receptor than delta-9.”

Delta-8-THC is legal in many states in the U.S. because it is derived from federally legal hemp CBD. However, some states have chosen to ban products with this compound. Delta-9-THC is still a federally illegal product and is only available in states that have legalized medical or retail access to cannabis.

In terms of chemical structure, they only differ in one aspect: the location of the double bond within their molecular structure. Delta-9 possesses a “double bond on the ninth carbon atom,” whereas the double bond exists on the eighth carbon atom within the structure of delta-8.

Is Delta-8- THC a Good Choice for Stomach-Related Issues or Other Ailments

Research is very promising regarding the efficiency of Delta-8 in being able to provide relief from aspects such as nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. For those that live in states that do not have access to medical or retail cannabis or who find the psychoactive effects of Delta-9 to be too intense, products containing Delta-8 may be a great option for finding relief. However, in this writer’s opinion, if you have access to a natural form of Delta-THC, I would always recommend utilizing it over any product that contains a chemically converted form of Delta-THC. This is so that you can avoid any potential risks that could be present from solvent residuals or byproducts of the conversion process it takes to turn CBD into Delta-8.

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