Delta-8 and CBD are both hemp-derived compounds that can have powerful wellness benefits. However, they have many differences that are important to consider when you are looking into one or both.
What are Delta-8 and CBD?
Delta-8 is very similar to the familiar THC. There’s only a small chemical difference— the location of one double chemical bond— and as a result, the effects of Delta-8 consumption are very similar to the effects of THC consumption. This includes the psychoactive effects of THC; Delta-8 will produce a high. However, Delta-8 is less potent and is said to be gentler and to lead to an alert, clear-minded state free from paranoia or anxiety.
CBD, on the other other hand, is a cannabinoid that will not get you high. There are psychoactive effects from this compound, although it can help bring you to a relaxed, calm state. This occurs without any intoxicating effects. Per federal regulation, CBD must come from plants that contain 0.3% or less THC, so you can be assured that it does not lead to a high.
Differences And Similarities
One key difference between Delta-8 and CBD comes from how they are made. Some people think that Delta-8 is the same as CBD, but in reality, it’s actually usually made from CBD. Delta-8 naturally occurs in very low concentrations, so most of it is made from processing CBD that’s already been extracted from the hemp plant.
Both CBD and Delta-8 come in many forms. You can consume them as edibles, tinctures, or in vape cartridges. CBD can also be taken in capsules as well. It’s possible that Delta-8 may one day be available in more forms, but one of the biggest differences between these two products is that we know so much more about CBD.
Before 2018, Delta-8 was impossible to legally acquire in the US and many other countries. Unfortunately, this means that there hasn’t been a lot of research about it and its potential uses. We have a general idea that it’s safe for several uses, and that it can be beneficial for stress, anxiety, and even PTSD. But so far, almost all of the Delta-8 studies have focused on its effect on the brain and the mind as opposed to the body.
For CBD, we have a much better understanding of its overall effects on the rest of the body than we do for Delta-8. CBD has a fairly long research history that has led to knowledge about how CBD can reduce oxidation and inflammation.
We also know more about how CBD interacts with other compounds. For example, we know that when you combine CBD and melatonin, like we do in our Rest capsules, we know that the calming effects of CBD synergize with the effects of melatonin for better, more restful sleep.
So, in short, CBD and Delta-8 have a different production process, and we don’t understand Delta-8 as well as we understand CBD. But we do know that the two can be helpful for similar problems. The next question, then, is how do you choose?
Delta-8 Or CBD—Which Is Better?
Because the endocannabinoid system is found in lots of different parts of the body, all hemp derivatives can have broad beneficial effects. However, different products will have different effects as they bind to the various receptors. This means that even though they can be used for similar purposes, they might have their effects manifest differently.
As far as the science behind this goes, we know that CBD works with systemic inflammation and can have strong effects on long-term pain as it soothes the body’s systems. One study showed that a year of using CBD instead of opiates improved quality of life in 94% of participants and significantly improved sleep quality in the group after just eight weeks.
For Delta-8, we once again run into the problem of a small number of studies. Delta-8’s effects seem to be very similar in mice. This is very promising!
There’s also a possibility that taking both CBD and Delta-8 together could be helpful. When multiple cannabinoids are taken together, the entourage effect means that they are more beneficial than taken alone. Studies have shown that a combination of cannabinoids are more effective for treating pain, anxiety, inflammation, epilepsy, fungal infections, and cancer.
Combining cannabinoids for pain relief has been shown to make a medicine that’s more effective than any of the cannabinoids alone. And while these studies have looked at the combination of THC and CBD, we do know that Delta-8 is very chemically similar to THC. This is a very exciting field of research, and cannabinoid users everywhere should keep an eye out for further Delta-8 studies!
Ultimately, it’s hard to say that one of these products is “better” than the other. They work similarly, and can be taken together if you so choose. They have different effects, but they can both benefit your wellness and boost your mental and physical health. Both of these cannabinoids are solid options, and it truly comes down to your personal needs and preferences.