Edibles, topicals, tinctures, concentrates—the list of ways to consume cannabis continues to grow. That’s excellent news for those looking to tap into the health benefits of cannabis and its major cannabinoid, Delta-9 THC. Here we look closely at three THC-infused products that can benefit your health, supporting several key indicators like sleep, pain, and anxiety.
What Is Delta-9 THC?
THC (short for tetrahydrocannabinol) is the main chemical component in cannabis plants that makes you feel “high,” causing euphoria, enhanced sensory experiences, and relaxation. Cannabis plants contain several THC varieties, including Delta-8 and Delta-10, but Delta-9 THC is the most abundant tetrahydrocannabinol and the one scientists first isolated in the 1960s.
How does Delta-9 THC work in the body?
Delta-9 THC interacts with your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) receptors–primarily located in your brain and nervous system. Research shows the endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a key role in your health and how the body reacts to disease. By attaching to ECS receptors in the brain, THC activates neurons that influence pleasure, memory, thinking, coordination, and time perception.
Is Delta-9 THC Legal?
Is Delta-9 legal? The answer comes down to where you live, how the product was made, and how much THC it contains.
First, consider where you live. Although Delta-9 THC from marijuana is federally illegal, 19 states allow recreational cannabis sales, and 37 states allow medical sales.
However, if you live in one of those other states, you can still access Delta-9 THC without breaking the law. How is that possible?
Delta-9 THC products are permissible nationwide as long as they’re derived from federally legal hemp plants containing less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. Although 0.3% doesn’t sound like a lot, these products still contain enough THC to produce psychoactive effects.
3 THC-Infused Products That Can Benefit Your Health
Many people use THC to help relieve chronic symptoms and improve overall health. Sleep, pain, and anxiety are three common reasons.
1. Improves sleep: Sleep disturbances are typical, and studies show THC products can improve short-term sleep problems and decrease the time it takes to fall asleep.
2. Alleviates pain: A 2015 systematic review found THC increased the odds of pain improvement by around 40%.
3. Eases anxiety: The THC in cannabis alters multiple stress response systems, and relaxation is often its primary effect.
THC can support overall wellness, regardless of product type, but anecdotal reports and pre-clinical research indicate some may work better than others, depending on your needs.
Disclaimer: THC is not FDA-approved to treat any of the conditions mentioned in this article.
Best for sleep: Delta-9-Infused Edibles
Delta-9 THC has sedative effects, which is why research from the Sleep Foundation shows that 70% of Millennial and Gen Z consumers turn to cannabis for sleep assistance. Edible THC, including gummies, candies, brownies, cookies, and drinks, is ideal for sleep because the onset is slow, and the effects can last six or more hours.
When trying to find the right dosage for you, remember that the strength depends on many factors, including:
- Type of edible
- Body weight
A little can go a long way, which is why some experts recommend starting with 2.5 – 5 mg. Most edibles come in doses of 5-10 mg, so consider an edible that you can split into smaller portions if needed. If you still have trouble falling asleep, increase the dose to 5 or 10 mg on subsequent nights. Dosages in the 10-15 mg range, such as Qwin’s Sweet Life Super Blends D9 Gummies, may be best for experienced users who want to ensure a whole night’s rest.
Best for Pain: Delta-9 Transdermal Patches
Studies show THC can relieve many chronic pain issues. And thanks to the THC patch, you can get a full-strength product to manage pain all day without needing to smoke continually.
Transdermal patches are thin pieces of plastic coated with an adhesive and infused with THC that you wear like a Band-Aid. Once applied, your body heat activates the patch and causes it to release small amounts of THC into your bloodstream, which delivers it throughout your body. Transdermal delivery bypasses your lungs, liver, and stomach, which break down the THC, meaning you get 100% of the medicinal value.
THC patches don’t provide the typical “high” you’d expect from joints or edibles but deliver mild euphoria and consistent, reliable experiences. Patch dosage is higher than other THC products because they work slowly over long periods, lasting up to several days.
- Single-dose THC patches usually range between 10-20 mg and last 8-12 hours
- Patches in 40-50 mg dosages can last up to 96 hours
- Higher patch doses start at 25 mg or 50 mg and offer a heavier THC release
Delta-9 Flower for Anxiety
Research shows that Delta-9 THC can help relieve anxiety and counteract stress’s harmful effects, which cause between 75% and 90% of human diseases.
Delta-9 THC flower is an excellent delivery method when dealing with anxiety. Although dosing research is mixed, a study by Washington State University found that inhaled cannabis flower with higher THC levels provided the most substantial relief from distress-related symptoms over the short term, with 95% of users reporting a decrease in symptoms.
Here are a few of the many high Delta-9 strains that could help with anxiety relief:
- White Widow: This sativa-dominant hybrid with a THC content between 18% and 25% provides a potent, “spacey” high popular for relieving mood disorders.
- Sour OG: A mellow and relaxing marijuana strain with more conservative THC levels of 13% to 17% makes this an excellent choice to induce relaxation.
- Cherry Pie: An indica strain with THC levels that range from 13% to 23%, it provides deep relaxation but allows you to remain active and alert.
Potent THC products work well for many people, but too much THC can also cause anxiety and paranoia. Therefore, it’s essential to experiment with multiple strains to find what works best for you.
Products infused with Delta-9 THC offer many potential benefits, especially if you’re having trouble sleeping or dealing with pain and anxiety. Don’t be afraid to experiment with legal THC products such as edibles, THC transdermal patches, and various flower strains. Studies show these products are safe and effective at appropriate dosages. However, always talk to a doctor before incorporating THC into your health-related decisions.