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Does Delta 8 Help You Sleep?

May 9, 2024

A person's hand gently holding the leaf of a cannabis plant among a dense grouping of similar plants, pondering if delta 8 helps you sleep.
Table of Contents

Natural Sleep Solutions & Beyond: Does Delta 8 Help You Sleep?

Many people struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night. This can lead to daytime fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and even health problems. As a result, individuals are constantly searching for effective sleep aids. Delta-8, a cannabinoid derived from hemp, has emerged as a potential solution. However, does delta 8 really help you sleep?

Although there is limited research on this topic, here’s what we know:

  • Delta-8 THC may have potential sleep-enhancing properties due to its interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system.
  • Some studies suggest that Delta-8 THC could help regulate sleep-wake cycles and promote relaxation.
  • Individuals have reported experiencing improved sleep quality and reduced insomnia symptoms after using Delta-8 THC products.

Despite these findings, there is a need for more research to fully understand Delta-8 THC’s effects on sleep and its long-term safety profile. In this blog, we delve into the science behind Delta-8 THC and its reported benefits for sleep. We will provide a clear picture of whether it can truly help you achieve restful nights.

A glass bowl filled with a golden liquid sits on a marble surface with a nearby small dropper bottle used to consume Delta-8 to fall asleep quicker.

What is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Unlike Delta-9 THC, the primary psychoactive component in marijuana, Delta-8 has a slightly different chemical structure. It possesses a double bond on the eighth carbon chain instead of the ninth. This minor difference significantly impacts its effects.

How Is Delta-8 Produced?

The concentration of Delta-8 in cannabis plants is so low that commercially available Delta-8 products are typically manufactured from cannabidiol (CBD), another prominent hemp compound. This process uses specific conversion techniques to transform CBD into Delta-8.

The resulting product is a mildly psychoactive compound that interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, albeit with less intensity compared to Delta-9 THC. The endocannabinoid system plays a role in regulating sleep, mood, and pain.

Close-up of lush green cannabis leaves that contain delta 8 which may help you sleep.

What Are the Effects of Delta-8?

Users commonly report experiencing feelings of relaxation, euphoria, and increased appetite, although the effects may vary from person to person. So, while both Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC can produce a sense of relaxation, Delta-8 is generally considered less potent, resulting in a milder psychoactive effect. This distinction is crucial, especially when considering Delta-8 as a potential sleep aid.

What Is the Legal Status of Delta-8?

Importantly, Delta-8 THC is legally distinct from Delta-9 THC in many jurisdictions. Derived from hemp, Delta-8 THC is generally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill. However, its psychoactive properties raise questions about its classification and regulation. Some states have explicitly banned Delta-8 THC, considering it to be a controlled substance similar to Delta-9 THC. However, other states have not addressed Delta-8 THC specifically in their legislation, leaving room for interpretation.

Additionally, the federal government has not provided clear guidance on the legality of Delta-8 THC, further complicating the issue. As a result, the legal status of Delta-8 THC remains uncertain in many areas. Individuals interested in purchasing and using Delta-8 THC products should familiarize themselves with the laws and regulations in their respective jurisdictions to ensure compliance.

Person wearing blue gloves uses scissors to cut a green leafy plant, wondering, does delta 8 help you sleep.

How Does Delta-8 Impact Sleep?

The Interaction Between the Endocannabinoid System and Delta-8 THC

So, does delta-8 help you sleep? Although the evidence is still emerging, current research suggests that Delta-8 THC may have a potential impact on sleep regulation. This is because of its interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a complex system that helps regulate various functions, including sleep-wake cycles.

Delta-8 binds to cannabinoid receptors within the ECS, potentially influencing processes that promote relaxation and sleep. Specifically, Delta-8 THC may influence the production and release of neurotransmitters involved in sleep, such as serotonin and dopamine.

Research on Cannabis and Sleep

There is a lack of substantial research on Delta-8 THC and sleep. However, we can take insights from other studies investigating the impact of different cannabinoids on sleep disorders.

Studies have shown CBD might be beneficial for treating insomnia. Additionally, CBD shows potential benefits for REM sleep behavior disorder and excessive daytime sleepiness. Moreover, Delta-9 THC could help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep but might diminish sleep quality long-term.

Even synthetic cannabinoids like nabilone and dronabinol could offer temporary relief for sleep apnea. This is because of their influence on serotonin-related apneas. In addition to relieving sleep apnea, nabilone could help alleviate nightmares linked to PTSD and enhance sleep in chronic pain sufferers.

So, while there is a lack of specific research on Delta-8 THC’s impact on sleep, broader cannabinoid studies provide valuable insights.

A man wearing a white t-shirt and a black wristband is sleeping on a bed, resting his head on a pillow after having taken delta-8 to fall asleep.

Can Delta-8 Help You Sleep?

Some theories suggest Delta-8 might help you fall asleep by:

  • Regulating Sleep Cycles: Delta-8 might interact with receptors involved in regulating the sleep-wake cycle, potentially promoting a more balanced and restorative sleep pattern.
  • Promoting Calmness: By targeting receptors within the brain and nervous system, Delta-8 THC could potentially promote feelings of relaxation and drowsiness, thus facilitating the onset and maintenance of sleep.
  • Alleviating Pain: Chronic pain can significantly hinder sleep quality. Delta-8’s potential pain-relieving properties could indirectly improve sleep by reducing discomfort.

It is important to acknowledge that research on Delta-8 and sleep is still in its early stages. There is a need for more studies to definitively understand its effectiveness and optimal dosages for sleep improvement. 

Two red, delta-8 gummy squares in a wooden bowl rest on a wooden surface, with a cannabis leaf placed underneath, owned by someone who goes to sleep with delta-8.

Delta 8 THC vs. Other Sleep Aids: Weighing the Options

When considering Delta-8 THC as a potential sleep aid, it’s essential to compare its efficacy and safety profile with other commonly used sleep aids. It is important to note that the evidence supporting Delta-8 THC’s effectiveness for sleep is not as robust as that for other sleep aids. Here’s a comparison with some common sleep aids:

  • Melatonin: This natural hormone regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin supplements often help promote sleep onset and regulate sleep patterns. While generally safe, these supplements may not be effective for everyone and can interact with certain medications.
  • Prescription Sleep Medications: Stronger medications prescribed by doctors, such as benzodiazepines, can be effective for severe sleep problems. However, they come with potential risks like dependence, addiction, and adverse side effects that vary depending on the medication.
  • Over-the-counter Sleep Medications: These medications, like diphenhydramine (Benadryl), can cause drowsiness and promote sleep onset. However, they can also lead to side effects like daytime grogginess and dependence with long-term use.

Compared to these options, Delta-8 THC may offer a more natural alternative with potentially fewer side effects. Other natural sleep aids include herbs like chamomile and valerian root, which may promote relaxation and improve sleep quality. However, there is mixed research on their effectiveness.

A stack of chocolate chip cookies is placed next to two pieces of delta-8 flower on a wooden surface which helps person fall asleep.

How to Use Delta-8 to Improve Sleep

To use Delta-8 THC effectively for improving sleep quality, it’s essential to understand the proper methods of consumption. Here are some straightforward guidelines to follow:

  • Choose the Right Product: Select Delta-8 THC products specifically formulated for sleep, such as tinctures, edibles, or vape cartridges.
  • Start with a Low Dose: Begin with a small dose and gradually increase as needed to assess your tolerance and response.
  • Administer Sublingually: If using tinctures, hold the oil under your tongue for 30-60 seconds before swallowing to maximize absorption.
  • Follow Recommended Dosage: Adhere to the recommended dosage provided by the manufacturer to avoid adverse effects.
  • Time Consumption Appropriately: Take Delta-8 THC approximately 30-60 minutes before bedtime to allow for onset of effects.
  • Monitor Effects: Pay attention to how Delta-8 THC affects your sleep quality and adjust dosage or timing accordingly.
Close-up of a lush delta-8 plant with green leaves and stems.

When to Take Delta 8 to Enhance Sleep Quality

By taking Delta-8 THC before bedtime, individuals may experience a gradual onset of relaxation and drowsiness, facilitating the transition into sleep. Determining the optimal timing for taking Delta-8 THC to enhance sleep quality is crucial for achieving desired results. Here’s a breakdown on when to take Delta-8:

  • Edibles: Edibles, like gummies and baked goods, absorb more slowly into the body compared to other methods. To ensure the effects peak around bedtime, aim to consume them 1-2 hours before you intend to sleep.
  • Oils and Tinctures: These sublingual (under the tongue) applications offer a faster onset time than edibles. Taking Delta-8 oil 30-60 minutes before bedtime allows for absorption and potential sleep-promoting effects to take hold as you wind down.
  • Vaping: Vaping Delta-8 delivers the fastest onset time, with effects noticeable within minutes. However, these effects also tend to be shorter-lived. Consider vaping Delta-8 15-30 minutes before bedtime for a quick-acting sleep aid.

It’s important to note that individual responses to Delta-8 THC may vary, so some experimentation may be necessary to find the timing that works best for you.

A person wearing gloves trims a cannabis plant, possibly considering whether delta 8 might help you sleep.

Potential Risks and Side Effects

While Delta-8 may offer some sleep-promoting properties, it’s not without potential risks. For example, it may cause dry mouth, red eyes, and increased heart rate. More risks include:

  • Impaired Sleep Quality: Low doses may be sedating, but high doses can be stimulating and disrupt sleep quality later in the night.
  • Cognitive Impairment: Delta-8 can cause drowsiness and foggy thinking, potentially lingering into the next day.
  • Increased Anxiety: In some users, Delta-8 can trigger anxiety or paranoia, especially at higher doses.
  • Changes in Appetite: Delta-8 THC has been associated with alterations in appetite, with some users reporting increased hunger while others may experience a decrease in appetite.
  • Dependence and Withdrawal: Regular Delta-8 use might lead to dependence, causing withdrawal symptoms like headaches, irritability, and difficulty sleeping when stopping use.

These are just some of the potential risks associated with Delta-8. It’s important to remember that research on its long-term effects is limited. Consulting a healthcare professional is essential before using Delta-8 for sleep, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or take medications.

Frequently Asked Questions

RELATED TO: “Does Delta 8 Help You Sleep?”

How long does Delta-8 take to hit?

The onset of Delta-8 THC effects can vary depending on the method of consumption. Inhalation methods, such as vaping, may result in quicker onset within minutes, while oral consumption, such as edibles, may take longer, typically around 30-60 minutes.

What Delta-8 strain is best for sleep?

Strain preferences for Delta-8 THC can vary among individuals. Indica-dominant strains are commonly associated with sedative effects and may be more suitable for promoting sleep. However, it’s essential to experiment and find a strain that works best for your sleep needs.

Is Delta-8 or Delta-9 better for insomnia?

Both Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC have potential sleep-inducing properties, but individual responses may vary. Some people may find Delta-8 THC to be more tolerable due to its milder psychoactive effects, while others may prefer the potency of Delta-9 THC for insomnia.

Which is better for sleep, CBD or Delta-8?

The choice between CBD and Delta-8 THC for sleep depends on individual preferences and responses. CBD is non-intoxicating and may promote relaxation without causing a high, making it suitable for those who prefer to avoid psychoactive effects. Delta-8 THC, on the other hand, has mild psychoactive effects and may induce feelings of calmness and euphoria, which some individuals may find helpful for sleep. Ultimately, it’s essential to try both options and determine which works best for your sleep needs.

What is the best legal cannabinoid for sleep?

While Delta-8 THC and CBD are popular options for promoting sleep, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Some individuals may find Delta-8 THC more effective, while others may prefer CBD or other cannabinoids. It’s essential to experiment and find the best option that works for you.

Are Delta-8 edibles better than smoking?

The choice between Delta-8 edibles and smoking depends on personal preference and desired effects. Edibles typically have a slower onset but provide longer-lasting effects, while smoking offers quicker onset but shorter duration of effects.

Is Delta-8 addictive?

While Delta-8 THC may have psychoactive effects, it is not considered to be as addictive as Delta-9 THC, the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis. However, like with any substance, individuals may develop a dependence on Delta-8 THC with frequent or excessive use.

How long do Delta-8 stay in your system?

The duration of Delta-8 THC in your system can vary depending on factors such as dosage, frequency of use, metabolism, and individual physiology. Generally, Delta-8 THC may be detectable in urine tests for up to 2-7 days after consumption.

Conclusion: Does Delta 8 Help You Sleep?

The question of whether Delta-8 helps you sleep is one that continues to be explored by researchers and individuals seeking natural sleep aids. While there is growing evidence suggesting that Delta-8 THC may have potential sleep-enhancing properties, more research is needed to fully understand its effects and mechanisms of action.

Individuals interested in using Delta-8 THC for sleep should proceed with caution, starting with low doses and consulting with healthcare professionals if necessary. Factors such as dosage, timing, and individual response should be considered when incorporating Delta-8 THC into your sleep routine.

Ultimately, the decision to use Delta-8 THC for sleep should be based on individual preferences, needs, and considerations.