So, you want to know the differences between Delta-8 THC 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.
Understanding CBD vs Delta 8 for Anxiety
It’s true! Both Delta 8 (which is a type of THC) and CBD may have some potential benefits for anxiety. But before you dive in, it’s important to note that they have some very key differences.
The biggest difference is that Delta 8 THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid that can produce a mild high, whereas CBD is non-psychoactive and does not get you high. Depending on your experience with THC, how you feel when you’re high, and your dosage, you want to carefully consider which option may be best for you.
Which is better for anxiety – CBD or Delta 8 THC?
Delta 8 THC is reported to have a more potent effect on anxiety, as it binds to the CB1 receptors in the brain and produces a calming effect. However, the science doesn’t always align with the experience for some people. In fact, some people may experience anxiety or paranoia with high doses of Delta 8 THC.
Conversely, CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system in a different way than Delta 8 THC. CBD may help with your anxiety by indirectly regulating serotonin levels. CBD is generally considered to have a more subtle effect on anxiety, but it is also less likely to produce side effects than Delta 8 THC.
Depending on your situation, it may make the most sense to combine these two compounds together. A moderate dose of CBD combined with a small dose of Delta 8 may give you the best of both worlds.
What is Delta 8?
Delta 8 is a unique type of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), 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 hemp plant, meaning they both produce a high.
Delta 8 THC vs Delta 9 THC
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.
Users that are prone to anxiety or paranoia often report a much more enjoyable experience with Delta 8 THC, due to its gradual increase in effects and muted potency. It’s also known for clarity, euphoria and calming effects often resulting in a relaxed state of mind.
That said, you may be wondering if there is a difference between a Delta 8 THC high and a Delta 9 THC high. The short answer, depending on factors such as personal tolerance, Delta 9 has a higher chance of overstimulating the CB1 receptor.
Delta 9 THC has a biphasic nature. In low and moderate doses, it can promote relaxation, euphoria, giggly mood, and relief from tension. However, higher doses — especially in reactive individuals — can cause it to backfire, triggering anxiety and paranoia.
That’s because our brain gets fooled that more anandamide is being produced than it actually needs. Anandamide is one of the two major endocannabinoids produced by our bodies; it’s often called the bliss molecule due to its influence on our emotional well-being. Interestingly, it has a similar molecular structure to THC.
When you take Delta 8 THC, it doesn’t stimulate the CB1 receptor to such an extent as Delta 9 THC. Therefore, the risk of anxiety and paranoia is much lower. You can feel high but still in control, unlike with Delta 9.
Want to know more about the Delta 8 THC high? Check out this blog where 13 users describe how their Delta 8 high feels.
Now, let’s talk about how Delta 8 THC compares to CBD.
What is CBD?
More than 100 unique cannabinoids have been discovered in the hemp plant.
CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is the second most abundant of active cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, behind Delta 9 THC (marijuana).
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 THC 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 found in the hemp 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.
CBD vs Delta 8 For Anxiety: Everything You Need to Know
1. CBD vs Delta 8 for Anxiety: Their 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 THC 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:
- Fights Pain + Inflammation
- Stress Reducing
- Neuroprotective Qualities
One important note is that Delta 8 THC users have reported that Delta 8 can increase their appetite. Whereas with CBD, any increase in appetite is likely due to a reduction in nausea as opposed to stimulating your appetite.
CBD vs Delta 8: Their Uses
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. For example, a 2021 survey of Delta 8 consumers showed that 51% of participants were using Delta 8 THC to treat a health or medical condition. The most commonly reported self-treated conditions were:
- Anxiety or panic attacks (69%)
- Sleep issues or insomnia (40.2%)
- Chronic pain (41%)
- Depression or bipolar disorder (46%)
- Stress (43.5%)
59% of survey respondents took delta-8 to replace or stop their use of a variety of pharmaceutical drugs and substances.
On the other hand, a few other human trials have looked at CBD alone and social anxiety with promising results. However, most studies involving CBD also include THC. When CBD is in combination with THC (1:1) the synergy allows for expanded potential use in:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Psychiatric disorders
- Chronic pain
- Psychotic symptoms
- Cognitive impairment
- Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Bipolar disorder
- Tourette Syndrome
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 CBD and Delta 8 for Anxiety
It’s important to keep in mind that there is far more research on CBD use for anxiety than there is for Delta 8 THC. According to one study, “At the first monthly assessment after the start of CBD treatment, 79.2% (57/72) and 66.7% (48/72) of all patients experienced an improvement in anxiety and sleep, respectively.” This study is frequently cited, because of how big of a difference CBD made on people’s anxiety.
Delta 8 THC has been gaining more traction within the research community as well. Another recent study looked at the effects of delta 8 THC on anxiety and sleep in a group of 32 participants with generalized anxiety disorder. The study found that delta 8 THC was effective in reducing anxiety symptoms and improving sleep quality.
If you’re wary of THC and its 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.
|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 research and studies exist, but are not as comprehensive|
|Will not show up on a drug test||May show up on a drug test|
At the end of the day, 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.
CBD vs Delta 8 THC: Availability by State
Now… Let’s talk about legality!
Delta 8 THC 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 THC. 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.
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 THC is legal, you can find these products 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 THC
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 THCvaries heavily based on tolerance. Most beginners start with 12.5mg, while more adept users take 25mg – 50mg.
There have been no fatal overdoses due to hemp 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 THC 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.
|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 Delta 8 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: Whether you choose to try CBD or Delta 8 THC, 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!
How to Enhance Therapeutic Benefits by Using CBD and Delta 8 Together for Anxiety
In the world of cannabinoids and terpenes, there exists a fascinating concept known as the entourage effect. This term refers to the idea that the combination of various cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds found in the cannabis plant can work together synergistically to enhance therapeutic benefits. Understanding the entourage effect is essential when considering how Delta 8 and CBD can complement each other for a more holistic approach to wellness.
Understanding the Entourage Effect of CBD and Delta 8
At its core, the entourage effect recognizes that cannabis is more than just THC or CBD. It’s a complex botanical matrix containing hundreds of active compounds, each with its unique properties and potential benefits. Two primary components contributing to the entourage effect are cannabinoids and terpenes.
Cannabinoids: Delta 8 and CBD are just two of the many cannabinoids present in cannabis. They interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) by binding to specific receptors in the body. While Delta 8 primarily binds to CB1 receptors and CBD to CB2 receptors, their combined presence can have a more comprehensive impact on ECS regulation.
Terpenes: Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in cannabis and other plants. They not only contribute to the plant’s distinctive scent and flavor but also offer potential therapeutic effects. Terpenes can modulate the effects of cannabinoids and interact with other receptors in the body, potentially amplifying the overall wellness experience.
Synergy of CBD and Delta 8
When Delta 8 and CBD are used together, they create a complementary synergy that may lead to enhanced therapeutic outcomes. This synergy can be attributed to several factors:
CB1 and CB2 Receptor Activation: Delta 8 primarily binds to CB1 receptors in the brain and nervous system, while CBD interacts with CB2 receptors found in various body tissues. This dual-action approach can address a broader range of physiological functions and potentially provide a more balanced effect on the ECS.
Modulation of THC’s Effects: Delta 8, like Delta 9 THC, can produce psychoactive effects, albeit typically milder. CBD has been suggested to counteract some of the psychoactive properties of THC, potentially reducing the risk of anxiety or paranoia, making the combination of Delta 8 and CBD appealing to those seeking relief without intense psychoactivity.
Anti-inflammatory and Anxiolytic Properties: Both Delta 8 and CBD are known for their anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) properties. When used together, these compounds may offer more comprehensive relief from conditions like anxiety, stress, or pain.
Diverse Terpene Profiles
In addition to cannabinoids, the entourage effect also involves the interaction of terpenes. Different cannabis strains have unique terpene profiles, each contributing to specific scents, flavors, and potential effects. By selecting products that contain a wide range of terpenes alongside Delta 8 and CBD, users can tap into the entourage effect on multiple levels.
Example: The terpene myrcene, found in many cannabis strains, is associated with sedative effects and may enhance the calming properties of Delta 8 and CBD. Limonene, on the other hand, has a more uplifting and energizing profile, potentially counteracting any sedative effects.
Tailoring the Entourage Effect For Your Unique Circumstance
It’s important to note that the entourage effect is highly individualized. What works best for one person may not be the same for another. To harness the potential benefits of the entourage effect effectively:
Experiment with different Delta 8 and CBD ratios to find the right balance for your specific needs. Consider your desired effects (e.g., relaxation, pain relief, focus) and explore products with terpene profiles that align with those goals. Start with low doses and gradually increase as needed, keeping an eye on how the combination affects you.