Delta 8 vs CBD: A Comparison of Effects. Which is Right for You?

So, you want to know the differences between Delta-8 and CBD, huh? Well, you’re in for a treat because these two uniquely powerful cannabinoids are nothing short of fascinating.

In this article, we review the differences and similarities between Delta 8 vs CBD. And provide some beginner tips for those looking to make the switch from CBD to Delta 8 for the first time.

Let's start out with the basics.

What is Delta-8?

Delta-8 is a unique type of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Delta-8 is similar to the THC found in marijuana. As a reminder, marijuana-derived THC is called Delta-9.

Delta 8 and Delta 9 are similar in one major way: they are naturally occurring psychoactive cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, meaning they both produce a high.

Delta 8 vs Delta 9

There is one major difference between Delta 8 and Delta 9. Due to a slightly different chemical structure, Delta 8 THC is considered by many users to be a more gentle high than the high you feel when consuming Delta 9 (marijuana).

This graphic shows the difference between Delta 8 and Delta 9's chemical structure.

Delta 8 vs Delta 9 Chemical Structure Comparison

Users that are prone to anxiety or paranoia often report a much more enjoyable experience with Delta-8, due to its gradual increase in effects and muted potency. In addition, Delta-8 is known for clarity, euphoria and calming effects often resulting in a relaxed state of mind.

Want to know more about Delta 8's high? Check out this blog where 13 users describe how their Delta 8 high feels.

Now, let's talk about how Delta 8 compares to CBD.

What is CBD?

More than 100 unique cannabinoids have been discovered in the cannabis plant.

CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is the second most abundant of active cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.

Interestingly enough, CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana. But when taken by itself, it doesn’t produce any psychoactive effects like Delta-8 or marijuana does.

Since CBD doesn’t produce a high, it is commonly used by many for its powerful reported medicinal and therapeutic purposes. Recreational use of CBD isn't common.

What is the primary difference between Delta 8 THC and CBD? 

While both Delta 8 THC and CBD are cannabinoids founds in the cannabis plant, the primary difference is that Delta 8 will get you high and appear on a drug test and CBD will not. However, many of the reported user benefits, like improved sleep, reduced pain and anxiety, and improved mood are similar. While CBD works quietly in the background, Delta-8 may work faster, allowing you to feel its effects almost instantly. 

Delta 8 vs CBD: Everything You Need to Know

1. Delta 8 vs CBD: The Effects

Both CBD and Delta-8 interact in our body with what’s called our Endocannabinoid System (ECS).

The ECS is a bodily system responsible for regulating a variety of functions such as pain, mood, energy, and stress. The ECS has receptors throughout the body, which are configured to bond with different types of cannabinoids such as Delta-8 and CBD.

Each different type of cannabinoid bonds with a certain receptor and activates a specific reaction throughout the body.

When it comes to these specific “reactions” that are triggered, CBD and Delta-8 share a great deal of similar benefits and effects.

Both Delta 8 and CBD have reported effects which may benefit:

  • Sleep
  • Relaxation
  • Fights Pain + Inflammation
  • Anti-Anxiety
  • Anti-Nausea
  • Stress Reducing
  • Neuroprotective Qualities
  • Appetite
  • Mood

One important note is that Delta 8 users have reported that Delta 8 can increase their appetite. Whereas CBD any increase in appetite is likely due to a reduction in nausea as opposed to stimulating your appetite.

After reading that laundry list of impressive qualities you might be thinking… “Yup, sign me up”.

But for which one?

Delta 8 vs CBD: Timing of Effects

In addition, CBD might be more practical to work into your everyday routine.

It can provide a consistent way to reduce pervasive pain, inflammation, and stress without any of the psychoactive feelings associated with THC.

Delta-8 seems to be used more recreationally for the high, with the other medicinal qualities being seen as an added bonus.

If you have sporadic pain or anxiety and also enjoy the psychoactive effects of THC, then Delta-8 might be your first choice.

Delta-8 is something that you can really feel, while CBD works more subtly in the background.

How to Choose Between Delta-8 & CBD

When choosing between Delta-8 and THC, it really comes down to the 3 P’s… Preference, Purpose, and Practicality.

Important: Remember, Delta-8 will get you high, whereas CBD will not.

If you’re eerie of THC and it’s intoxicating qualities but still want to reap the benefits listed above, CBD might be your first choice.

However, many users have described Delta 8 THC as a halfway point between CBD and marijuana. Making it a more approachable form of THC for new and experienced THC users alike. Delta-8 tends to produce a gentler, less intense psychotropic effect than Delta 9.

As a result, users of Delta 8 report more of a clear headed high, with less mental confusion or paranoia that is often experienced with marijuana.

CBD

Delta-8

Non-Psychoactive (No High)

Psychoactive (High)

Cannabiniol (CBD)

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

Used medicinally and therapeutically.

Used medicinally, therapeutically, and recreationally.

Most commonly taken as a pill, gummy, or tincture, or applied topically

Most commonly taken in an edible form, or inhaled (smoked)

Available in all 50 states

Available in 39 states

Lots of research and studies done on uses, effects, and benefits

Some rsearch and studies exist, but are not as comprehensive

Will not show up on a drug test May show up on a drug test

Delta 8 vs CBD: Availability by State

Now… Let’s talk legality!

Delta-8 and CBD are both federally legal under one nuanced condition: they must be derived from hemp, not marijuana.

In order for a product to be classified as “hemp” and not marijuana in the eyes of the law, the plant must contain less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. This is because of the 2018 Farm Bill.

When it comes to federal legality, It’s all about the plant origin.

So as long as these cannabinoids are extracted from hemp, they’re technically 100% federally legal.

But as always, every state has their own rule. We recommend researching your state's guidelines before purchasing Delta 8.

CBD is currently legal and available in all 50 states. On the other hand, our more frisky friend Delta-8 is only available for shipping in 39 states.

Is Delta 8 Available in My State?

Click here to see if your state is on the list!

Delta-8’s psychoactive qualities and the limited amount of research that exists around the cannabinoid, are undoubtedly the biggest reasons why it’s more heavily regulated on a state level.

If you live in a state where Delta-8 is legal, you can find the product in dispensaries, smoke shops, and online.

CBD is widely available in smoke shops, dispensaries, online, and has select availability in some curated health food stores and various retail stores.

Tips for new users switching from CBD to Delta 8

Whether you choose to go with Delta-8 or CBD, we’ve got some tips for all of our beginners out there.

1. Dosing: Always Start Small With New Products

The most common dose of CBD is usually between 20mg - 40mg. But if it’s your first time, try starting with 10-20mg and 1-2 times per day and slowly increase from there until you find the optimal threshold for you.

You can’t overdose on CBD! But if you do take too much you might begin to feel sleepy, and that’s a sign that you’ve found your upper limit.

The most common dose of Delta-8 varies heavily based on tolerance. Most beginners start with 12.5mg, while more adept users take 25mg - 50mg.

Here are some educational posts about dosing for Delta 8 Edibles and Delta 8 Vapes for beginners.

Delta 8 Edibles

There have been no fatal overdoses due to cannabis of any kind. But if you do take too much, temporary unfavorable side effects -- like paranoia, or extreme grogginess -- might start to kick in.

Whereas CBD likely won't inhibit your ability to perform daily tasks, you should never consume THC and drive. We highly recommend trying THC products when you have the time and ability to evaluate its unique effects for you on the safety and comfort of your couch.

2. Choose the Right Form of Consumption

CDB is widely available in capsule, gummy, and tincture form. If you ask us, gummies always seem to be the most pleasant way to consume CBD as opposed to swallowing tincture oil or taking a pill.

CBD differs from Delta-8 in that the method of consumption will not greatly alter the effects or your overall experience.

Here's a chart which compares CBD's consumption vs Delta 8.

CBD

Delta-8

Available in gummy, capsule, tincture, flower bud, and topical treatments

Commonly available as gummy and vape cart

Method of consumption won't greatly alter effects

Method of consumption will likely alter effects

No impact on daily activities

Psychoactive, so consider your schedule and ability to perform daily tasks while high

Effects felt more subtly in the background

Effects felt immediately (vape) or within hours (edible)

 

Delta-8 is most popularly taken as a gummy (or form of edible) or a vape cartridge.

If you want to experiment with Delta-8 but don’t like the idea of inhaling something, then edibles are your best bet.

But remember... your experience will differ depending on what form you take it in! Edibles will feel much different than hitting a vape, and vice versa.

Edibles take between 30-45 minutes to kick in, and will result in a heavier high with longer lasting effects (4-6 hours).

Read more about the pros and cons of Delta 8 Edibles here.

Smoking from a vape cartridge will result in almost immediate effects, but the high will generally be less intense and won’t last as long (30 minutes - 2 hours). In terms of what users have said, 1-3 puffs could give you the instant Delta-8 effects you’re looking for.

3. Choose a Great Company to Buy Products From

As is the case with anything you’re putting into your body, it’s always a good idea to do your own research, consult with your physician, and make sure the company you’re buying from is trustworthy.

We recommend you look for:

  • Third party lab results
  • User reviews
  • Full ingredient disclosure
  • No diluents or cutting agents (for Delta-8 vapes)
  • Made in the USA

*ahem* yes... Moonwlkr checks all those boxes and then some! Check out our line of Delta 8 products here.

Not to mention… We allow you to give our products a test run by trying it for FREE:

Try Delta 8 Edibles for Free

Whether you choose to try CBD or Delta-8, we don’t think you can go wrong. Both cannabinoids have a heck of a lot to offer.

But as always… Do your homework, start small, pay attention to how each product affects you, and enjoy the ride!