Kaitlin R Ledvina, Elizabeth Suelzer, Abir T El-Alfy


September 27, 2023


Objective: Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a minor psychoactive phytocannabinoid, similar to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. Recent statements released by the FDA and CDC reported around 660 delta-8-THC exposure cases. With the rise in commercially available products, it is crucial to understand the pharmacological and toxicological properties of this compound. The objective of this review is to summarize current literature regarding the pharmacokinetic, and pharmacologic properties of delta-8- THC.

Methodology: Searches were performed in MEDLINE (Ovid), Scopus, Web of Science Core Collection, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL). The searches used database-specific advanced search techniques.

Key findings: A total of 772 references were retrieved, with 517 references identified after removal of duplicate articles. The references were imported into Rayyan (, and the retrieved articles (100) were reviewed and summarized. The scoping review is divided into sections focusing on the pharmacokinetic (12) and pharmacologic (88) properties of delta-8-THC. The majority of pharmacological studies examined the central nervous system effects of delta-8-THC. The findings suggest that it exhibits distinct pharmacological effects, and while its psychoactive profile may be milder comparted to delta-9-THC, caution should still be exercised when considering its use. Pharmacologic effects often expressed a dose-dependent relationship with the potential for tolerance development.

Conclusions: In conclusion, this review provides a comprehensive examination of the current state of knowledge of delta-8-THC. Moreover, the review highlights several gaps in the existing literature, emphasizing the need for further research to fully elucidate the mechanisms of action, long-term effects, and potential interactions with other drugs.

DOI: 10.1093/rpsppr/rqad031


Ledvina, K. R., Suelzer, E., & El-Alfy, A. T. (2023). Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol: A Phytocannabinoid on the Rise. RPS Pharmacy and Pharmacology Reports, rqad031.