If you’re dealing with nerve pain and looking for a natural alternative to Gabapentin or other similar medications, you’ve probably come across hemp-derived delta 8 THC.
Unlike CBD, delta 8 THC is psychoactive. It may render deeper mental and physical benefits for people with nerve pain than non-psychoactive options can – without being as overpowering as the classic delta 9 THC.
In this article, we’ll discuss the potential benefits of delta 8 for nerve pain. We’ll also cover how to use it to get the best results.
No more weak, ineffective, and potentially dangerous products. It's time for high-strength, American-made delta-8 THC products that have been 3rd-party lab tested.
What is Delta 8?
Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta 8 THC or delta 8) is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in the hemp plant.
Natural though it is, delta 8 is made synthetically for use in products because it only occurs in very small amounts.
Even though delta 8 is psychoactive, it is legal as of the 2018 Farm Bill, which took all hemp-derived products off the DEA’s list of Schedule I controlled drugs. Certain states have regulated it, however.
What is Nerve Pain? Causes & Symptoms
Nerve pain (also called neuralgia or neuropathic pain) is a type of discomfort that occurs when the nerves become damaged or otherwise affected.
Nerve pain is characterized as a shooting, stabbing, or burning sensation. It may also create painful sensitivity to types of touch that wouldn’t otherwise be painful. Nerve pain is often worse at night.
This pain may occur in any nerve in your body, but it commonly affects nerves in the jaw or cheek, base of the skull or back of the head, or “saddle area” between the legs.
- An injury to your brain, spine or nerves
- Poor blood supply to your nerves
- Heavy alcohol use
- Phantom pain after an amputation
- Vitamin B12 or thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency
- Certain diseases and conditions (e.g. sciatica, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, stroke, cancer)
Can Delta 8 Help with Nerve Pain?
Delta 8 hasn’t been researched for nerve pain, specifically. However, there is more general research on delta 8 for pain.
One study found that delta 8 may have anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-reducing) effects.
Another study, this one a survey, asked 521 delta 8 users to report effects they commonly experienced after taking their products. 71% experienced feelings of relaxation, 68% euphoria, and 55% pain relief, with many users noting that they did not experience anxiety (74%) or paranoia (83%).
Another survey found that chronic pain is one of the main reasons people use delta 8. The researchers concluded by saying that delta 8 seems to offer many of the same medicinal benefits as delta 9, but with fewer adverse effects.
None of the above studies are specific to neuralgia (nerve pain), but they do show that delta 8 has potential to reduce physical discomfort.
And many people are already using delta 8 for nerve pain. Some people even report that, after starting to use delta 8, they’re able to feel parts of their body that they normally can’t.
So even if delta 8 hasn’t been researched for nerve pain yet, it seems to have therapeutic potential.
How Delta 8 Works In Your Body
Delta 8 works by interacting with your endocannabinoid system (ECS), a receptor system in your body responsible for regulating your vital functions. Among many other things, the ECS regulates the pain and inflammatory response.
During times of physical or mental stress, introducing cannabinoids – such as delta 8 THC – into your system may help the ECS perform better.
There are two main types of cannabinoid receptors in the ECS:
- CB1 receptors — Located in the central nervous system and throughout the body; produce mental effects when stimulated
- CB2 receptors – Located all throughout the body, except for in the nervous system; produce physical effects when stimulated
Delta 8 interacts with both types of receptors, enabling it to create both mental and physical relaxation.
Although the exact impact of delta 8 on pain signaling is unknown, anecdotal evidence suggests delta 8 is able to positively mediate the way your body sends and receives pain signals, thereby promoting full-body relaxation and potentially addressing nerve pain.
Side Effects of Delta 8
Although delta 8 has the potential to improve the way you feel, it also may create adverse effects.
Potential side effects of delta 8 include:
- Red eyes
- Dry mouth
- Trouble with coordination
- Slowed reaction times
- Memory loss
- Rapid heart rate
To reduce the amount and severity of these effects, be sure to dose your delta 8 carefully – especially in the beginning. See the dosage section later in this article for more.
Delta 8 vs. Delta 9 for Nerve Pain
Delta 8 THC is an isomer of delta 9 THC, a more powerful, more abundant version of THC.
In terms of the head high, delta 9 is twice as strong as delta 8. However, the two cannabinoids are fairly even in terms of the physical relaxation they give.
For this reason, neither delta 8 or delta 9 is necessarily more effective than the other at addressing nerve pain. Instead, you should choose based on what type of psychoactive experience you want.
Delta 8 is milder and tends to be more energizing, while delta 9 is stronger and more sedating.
With this in mind, delta 8 might be better for daytime use, while delta 9 preferable for nighttime use.
How to Use Delta 8 for Nerve Pain: Best Products
If you’ve decided to use delta 8 for nerve pain, the next step is determining which type of product you want.
If you’ve shopped for delta 8 before, you know there are a boat-load of options out there:
Onset Time: About 1 hour
Delta 8 edibles, such as gummies, candy, and brownies, offer a great-tasting way to get your daily dose.
Gummies, in particular, allow for fixed-dose delivery, as each piece will contain the same amount of delta 8 THC.
This makes edibles a convenient option if you’re going to be taking the same amount of delta 8 on a regular basis.
Onset Time: About 1 hour
Capsules provide an alternative to edibles. They’re a quick, tasteless, fixed-dose form of delta 8.
Vapes & Flower
Onset Time: 10-20 minutes
Inhalable products, such as vapes or flower, offer a high-potency way to take delta 8.
Inhalable delta 8 products are able to bypass the digestive system and go straight to your lungs, allowing for a more potent experience.
However, dosing is difficult — it can be hard to measure how many milligrams of delta 8 each puff contains. There is also the obvious health downside to going with inhalable products.
Onset Time: 20-30 minutes
Delta 8 oils, like vapes, are a potent delivery method. Oils are taken under the tongue and absorbed through the blood vessels in your mouth, therefore bypassing the digestive system.
A delta 8 oil is a good option if you want to take a very precise dose. Using the metered dropper that comes in most products, you can measure your dose nearly down to the milligram.
Onset Time: 20-30 minutes
Delta 8 topical products are applied externally to the specific areas of your body where you’re looking for relief.
The delta 8 in topicals will reach endocannabinoid receptors near the surface of your skin, but it won’t reach the bloodstream.
In the context of nerve pain, where you might only be feeling discomfort in certain parts of your body, a topical product can be very convenient.
The downside of topicals is that you won’t feel the mental relaxation associated with delta 8 because no cannabinoids will reach the bloodstream.
Delta 8 Dosage for Nerve Pain
Starting out, we recommend taking a low dose of delta 8 for nerve pain if you’re new to psychoactive cannabinoids.
If you’re familiar with the way delta 8 works, you can start with a medium dose and work your way up from there.
To calculate a low dose, use the following formula:
(0.05) x (your body weight in lbs.) = your daily dose of delta 8 in mg.
To calculate a medium dose, use the following formula:
(0.1) x (your body weight in lbs.) = your daily dose of delta 8 in mg.
For more, see our delta 8 dosage calculator, chart, and guide.
Conclusion: Is Delta 8 THC Beneficial for Neuropathic Pain?
More research is needed on the use of delta 8 for nerve pain and for the conditions that commonly cause it.
However, based on what we know so far, it’s likely that delta 8 can promote physical relaxation for people who deal with this condition.
Delta 8 provides a stronger alternative to CBD and CBG, but it’s not quite as powerful as delta 9 THC, which many people find overwhelming. Delta 8 is the happy medium.
Delta 8 for Nerve Pain: Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some questions people commonly ask us about using delta 8 for nerve pain.
Will delta 8 show up on a drug test?
Yes. Most drug tests screen for THC due to its presence in marijuana, which is illegal in many US states. As delta 8 is a THC isomer, it will show up on a drug test.
Which delta is the best for nerve pain?
Delta 8 THC offers a head high roughly ½ as strong as delta 9 THC and is just as powerful as delta 9 on the physical side. Many people prefer it to delta 9 for nerve pain because it can promote equal amounts of physical relaxation without creating as powerful of a head high.
Can you use delta 8 for pain relief?
Research and anecdotal evidence suggest that delta 8 has therapeutic potential for pain and inflammation.
Is delta 8 or delta 9 better for pain relief?
Delta 8 and delta 9 both have therapeutic potential for pain and inflammation. They provide roughly equal physical relaxation, so the main difference you’ll want to consider is the head high – delta 9 is twice as strong as delta 8 in this regard.