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What Is the Difference Between Delta-8 and CBD

April 30, 2024

A person, pondering the question "What is the difference between Delta-8 and CBD," holds a gummy candy close to their mouth, smiling and showing teeth.
Table of Contents

Weed Lite or Wellness Wonder: What is the Difference Between Delta-8 and CBD?

As the market for hemp products expands, understanding the differences between them becomes increasingly important. So, what is the difference between Delta-8 and CBD?

Delta-8 THC and CBD are both cannabinoids derived from hemp, but they differ significantly in their chemical properties and effects on the body. Delta-8 THC offers mild psychoactive effects, providing a sense of euphoria, while CBD is non-psychoactive and often used for its potential health benefits without inducing a “high.” These differences influence their legality, uses, and consumer experiences.

In this blog, we will explore the multifaceted answers to the pressing question at hand: “what is the difference between delta-8 and CBD?”. We will first review what is delta-8, its effects, and legality. Then, we’ll provide an overview of CBD. Finally, we’ll conclude the blog with a discussion on the key differences.

An open jar containing cannabis buds and colorful sugar-coated gummy candy pieces, with some items scattered outside the jar, as owned of these gummies wonder what is the difference between delta-8 and CBD.

What Are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are naturally occurring chemical compounds found within the cannabis plant. They interact with the human body’s endocannabinoid system, a network that helps regulate various bodily functions such as sleep, mood, appetite, and pain. This system includes receptors throughout the body that cannabinoids can bind to, influencing how we feel and function.

The most commonly known cannabinoids are THC and CBD. THC, short for tetrahydrocannabinol, is famous for its psychoactive effects — it’s what makes people feel “high.” On the other hand, CBD, or cannabidiol, does not cause a high and is often sought for potential health benefits without intoxication.

While they both THC and CBD share a common origin, their unique chemical structures lead to distinct effects within the body. But, what exactly is the difference between delta-8 THC and CBD?

A person wearing gloves uses scissors to trim the leaves of a cannabis plant growing indoors, pondering the question, what is the difference between Delta-8 and CBD?

An Overview of Delta-8

What is Delta-8?

Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8 THC for short) is a specific compound found in small amounts within the cannabis plant. It is similar to delta-9 THC, the primary psychoactive component responsible for the “high” associated with marijuana use. However, there’s a crucial difference in their chemical structure. This slight variation results in different effects and a lower psychoactive potency than delta-9 THC.

Delta-8 is often referred to as “delta-9’s younger sibling” because it produces milder psychoactive effects, sometimes described as a feeling of relaxation or euphoria. It is less intense than delta-9 THC. This makes Delta-8 an appealing option for those who seek the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids without the strong euphoric effects associated with traditional marijuana use.

Moreover, delta-8 is typically not found in concentrated amounts naturally. Hence, most delta-8 products on the market are derived from hemp-derived CBD through a conversion process.

A hand with manicured nails holds a rolled joint against a plain light background, smoking and wondering what is the difference between Delta-8 and CBD?

How Is Delta-8 Produced?

Delta-8 isn’t naturally abundant in hemp or marijuana plants. Therefore, commercially available delta-8 products are manufactured through a process called isomerization. This typically involves using cannabidiol (CBD), a different cannabinoid found in higher concentrations within hemp, as a starting material. Manufacturers then use chemical reactions to rearrange the atoms of the CBD molecule and form delta-8 THC. This conversion process must be conducted with precision to ensure the purity and safety of the Delta-8 THC produced. 

Since the regulations surrounding delta-8 production are still evolving, it is important for consumers to choose products from reputable companies that prioritize safety and transparency throughout the manufacturing process. At Wild Orchard Hemp, we commit to the highest standards of product quality and safety, sourcing only the finest American-grown hemp for our edibles and vape products.

Close-up of green cannabis plant leaves with pointed tips and visible veins, harvested by someone wondering what is the difference between delta-8 and CBD.

What Are the Effects of Delta-8?

Delta-8 THC offers distinct effects that differentiate it from its close relative, CBD. While CBD is non-psychoactive, delta-8 provides a mild psychoactive experience that many users find beneficial. Consider the following benefits of delta-8:

  • Psychoactive Effects: Delta-8 can induce feelings of relaxation, euphoria, and altered mood, though typically less intense than delta-9 THC.
  • Pain Relief: Some users report that delta-8 helps to alleviate pain, making it a potential option for pain management.
  • Improved Appetite: Like other forms of THC, delta-8 can stimulate appetite. This is beneficial for those needing encouragement to eat.
  • Anti-nausea Effects: Delta-8 has properties that may help reduce nausea, which is especially helpful for individuals undergoing treatments like chemotherapy.

These effects can vary depending on factors like dosage, individual body chemistry, and consumption method. In any case, such effects underscore the therapeutic potential of delta-8 THC, making it a valuable component of the cannabinoid family. However, it is important to note that research on delta-8 is ongoing. This means, scientists are still uncovering what is the difference between delta-8 and CBD.

A person with long hair exhales smoke, partially obscuring their face, as they ponder the question, what is the difference between Delta-8 and CBD?

The Legality of Delta-8

The legality of Delta-8 THC is a complex and evolving issue that varies significantly between different jurisdictions. Unlike CBD, which is widely legal following the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized hemp-derived products containing less than 0.3% delta-9 THC, delta-8 THC occupies a more ambiguous legal space. This ambiguity stems from Delta-8’s psychoactive nature and its synthetic derivation from CBD, which complicates its status under both federal and state laws.

In the United States, delta-8 THC is federally legal under the terms of the Farm Bill, as long as it is from hemp and contains less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. However, due to concerns about its psychoactive effects and the methods used to produce it, several states have specifically banned or regulated delta-8 THC. These state-level restrictions mean that the availability and legality of delta-8 THC products can vary widely depending on where you live.

Consumers interested in purchasing delta-8 THC should be diligent in researching their local laws to ensure compliance.

A person holds several pink gummy candies in their hand, while wondering what is the difference between delta-8 and CBD.

An Overview of CBD

What Is CBD?

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a natural compound found in the cannabis plant. Unlike delta-8 THC, CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not produce a “high” effect when consumed. In other words, it will not alter your perception in the way delta-9 THC does.

The difference in chemical structure accounts for the contrasting effects of CBD and delta-8 THC on the body. While delta-8 THC interacts with the endocannabinoid system to produce mild euphoria and relaxation, CBD interacts with the same system in a way that promotes overall balance and well-being without altering one’s state of mind.

Additionally, research on CBD is ongoing, but it has shown promise in areas like pain management, anxiety reduction, and promoting better sleep. Even the FDA has approved a specific CBD medication (Epidiolex) to treat certain types of epilepsy.

A black CBD dropper bottle is placed on top of several green cannabis leaves arranged on a white background, prompting one to wonder, what is the difference between Delta-8 and CBD?

How Is CBD Produced?

Unlike delta-8, CBD is naturally abundant in hemp plants. Therefore, CBD extraction from hemp plants is the primary method for obtaining this cannabinoid. This process begins with selecting high-CBD hemp cultivars that contain minimal levels of THC, ensuring compliance with legal regulations.

Then, during extraction, chemists isolate CBD from other compounds in hemp plants using various methods such as solvent extraction or CO2 extraction. These extraction methods effectively separate CBD from plant material, resulting in a concentrated CBD oil. The specific extraction method can influence the final product’s purity and potency.

Moreover, the CBD oil may undergo further refinement to remove any remaining impurities and create a pure CBD extract. Finally, manufacturers formulate the final product into various CBD products such as oils, capsules, or edibles for consumer use.

A person wearing a hat and gloves is tending to green plants, pondering the difference between Delta-8 and CBD.

What Are the Effects of CBD?

CBD offers a range of potential effects that distinguish it from delta-8 THC. Unlike delta-8 THC, which has mild psychoactive properties, CBD is non-psychoactive and does not produce a “high” sensation. Instead, CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system to promote balance and well-being. Some of the effects associated with CBD include:

  • Pain Relief: CBD may help alleviate discomfort by interacting with receptors in the brain and immune system. Research is ongoing to understand its mechanisms.
  • Reduced Anxiety and Stress: Studies and reports indicate that CBD provides calming effects. A growing body of evidence suggests it may reduce feelings of anxiety and stress.
  • Improved Sleep: CBD may promote relaxation and help individuals achieve a more restful sleep.
  • Anti-inflammatory Properties: CBD has shown promise in reducing inflammation. This may benefit conditions such as arthritis or inflammatory skin conditions.
  • Neuroprotective Effects: Researchers have studied CBD for its potential to protect brain health. They indicate that it may offer therapeutic benefits for neurological disorders such as epilepsy.

These effects highlight the versatility of CBD and its potential applications for promoting overall wellness. However, it is important to note that these effects can vary depending on factors like dosage, individual body chemistry, and consumption method.

A person in a grey shirt tilts their head back and uses a dropper to place a CBD liquid into their mouth, wondering what is the difference between delta-8 and CBD.

The Legality of CBD

The legal status of CBD is generally more clear-cut compared to delta-8. The 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized hemp-derived CBD products, provided they contain less than 0.3% delta-9 THC by dry weight. However, CBD sourced from marijuana, which contains higher levels of THC, remains illegal at the federal level.

It is essential to note that some states may have additional regulations on CBD products. These regulations can vary and may encompass aspects like production, sale, or consumption. Therefore, it is always advisable to check your state’s specific laws before purchasing or using CBD products.

A dropper releasing a drop of yellow CBD liquid into a small dark glass bottle used by person who also enjoys delta-8 for different reasons.

A Recap: What Is the Difference Between Delta-8 and CBD?

Delta-8 and CBD, while both derived from cannabis, present distinct characteristics. Most noteworthy, delta-8 THC is a psychoactive compound, whereas CBD is non-psychoactive.  Here are the key differences between delta-8 THC and CBD:

  • Psychoactivity: Delta-8 THC produces a mild high and feelings of relaxation, euphoria, and altered mood. These effects, though, are generally milder than marijuana. CBD, on the other hand, does not cause any intoxicating effects.
  • Production: Delta-8 isn’t naturally abundant in hemp plants. Manufacturers typically derive Delta-8 from CBD through a conversion process. CBD, however, is naturally found in higher concentrations within hemp.
  • Chemical Structure: Delta-8 THC and CBD have distinct chemical structures, resulting in different interactions with the body’s endocannabinoid system.
  • Legal Status: Delta-8 THC’s legality varies depending on state and federal regulations, while CBD derived from hemp is legal nationwide as long it has less than .3% delta-9 THC.
  • Effects: Delta-8’s effects closely resemble those of delta-9 THC, including euphoria and appetite stimulation. CBD offers a wider range of potential therapeutic benefits, including anxiety reduction, improved sleep, and anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, CBD provides such benefits without altering consciousness.
  • Common Uses: People commonly use CBD for various health conditions such as anxiety, pain management, and epilepsy, while delta-8 THC is emerging as an alternative for relaxation and mood enhancement.

Understanding these differences is crucial for consumers looking to choose between elta-8 THC and CBD products.

A hand holding the leaves of a cannabis plant among dense foliage prompts the question, what is the difference between Delta-8 and CBD?

How to Choose Between Delta-8 and CBD?

When choosing between Delta-8 THC and CBD, it’s essential to consider your individual needs and preferences. Both cannabinoids offer unique effects and potential benefits, so understanding their differences can help you make an informed decision. Here’s a breakdown to guide your decision:

If you’re looking for…

  • Mild Psychoactive Effects: Choose delta-8 for relaxation and mood elevation. However, remember it can cause intoxication and impair judgment.
  • Therapeutic Benefits: Choose CBD for non-intoxicating relief. You can experience improved sleep and general wellness support with CBD due to its non-psychoactive properties.

Additionally, consider factors such as legal status, availability, and personal health objectives when making your choice. Consulting with healthcare professionals can also provide valuable insights tailored to your specific circumstances.

Delta-8 THC vs CBD for Sleep

While anecdotal evidence suggests delta-8 may promote sleep, its psychoactive effects could disrupt sleep cycles for some users. CBD, on the other hand, shows promise for improving sleep quality by reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation. Additionally, it may help regulate sleep patterns without causing drowsiness or intoxication.

Delta-8 THC vs CBD for Anxiety

Delta-8 THC may offer mild euphoria and relaxation, which could help alleviate symptoms of anxiety for some individuals. However, for others, the psychoactive effects of Delta-8 THC may exacerbate anxiety or induce paranoia. CBD, on the other hand, is widely used for its anxiolytic properties, with many users reporting a reduction in anxiety and stress without the intoxicating effects associated with THC.

Delta-8 THC vs CBD for Pain Relief

Researchers have studied both Delta-8 THC and CBD for their potential analgesic properties. Delta-8 THC may offer relief from pain and inflammation due to its interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system. CBD, meanwhile, has anti-inflammatory properties and may help alleviate pain associated with conditions such as arthritis or neuropathy. Additionally, people often favor CBD for pain management because of its non-psychoactive nature and lower risk of side effects compared to Delta-8 THC.

Frequently Asked Questions

RELATED TO: “What Is the Difference Between Delta-8 and CBD?”

What is better, CBD or delta-8?

The choice between CBD and Delta-8 THC depends on individual preferences, needs, and intended effects.

CBD is non-psychoactive and valued for its potential therapeutic benefits, while Delta-8 THC offers mild psychoactive effects and relaxation. We encourage researching legality, potential side effects, and personal health objectives before deciding which cannabinoid better suits you.

Is delta stronger than CBD?

In terms of psychoactive effects, Delta-8 THC is typically stronger than CBD due to its mild psychoactive properties. However, CBD may be considered stronger in terms of potential therapeutic benefits for certain health conditions, such as anxiety, pain management, and inflammation. It’s essential to consider individual preferences and needs when comparing the strength of Delta-8 THC and CBD.

Are delta-8 gummies stronger than CBD?

Delta-8 THC gummies may be stronger in terms of psychoactive effects compared to CBD gummies, as Delta-8 THC is psychoactive while CBD is not. However, the strength of Delta-8 THC gummies can vary depending on factors such as dosage and individual tolerance.

Is delta-8 good for anxiety?

Some users report that Delta-8 THC helps alleviate symptoms of anxiety and stress due to its calming and relaxing effects. However, individual responses to Delta-8 THC may vary, and it’s essential to consult with healthcare professionals before using Delta-8 THC for anxiety management.

Is delta-8 safe?

Delta-8 THC is considered safe when used responsibly and in moderation. However, like any cannabinoid, it may cause side effects such as dry mouth, red eyes, increased heart rate, or changes in appetite. It’s essential to follow dosage guidelines and consult with healthcare professionals before using Delta-8 THC products.

Will delta-8 get you 'high'?

Yes, Delta-8 THC is psychoactive and may produce mild euphoria and relaxation, although typically less intense than Delta-9 THC found in marijuana. The degree of ‘high’ experienced can vary depending on factors such as dosage, individual tolerance, and method of consumption.

How long do delta-8 stay in your system?

The duration that Delta-8 THC stays in your system can vary depending on factors such as metabolism, frequency of use, dosage, and method of consumption. Generally, Delta-8 THC may be detectable in urine tests for up to 3 days after use, but this timeframe can vary for each individual.

Conclusion: What Is the Difference Between Delta-8 and CBD?

Understanding the differences between Delta-8 THC and CBD is essential for anyone considering the use of cannabis products for wellness or recreational purposes. Delta-8 THC offers mild psychoactive effects and relaxation, while CBD provides potential therapeutic benefits without intoxication. Each cannabinoid has its unique properties and potential uses, so it’s crucial to research and consider individual needs and preferences when choosing between them.

Whether you’re seeking relaxation, pain relief, or anxiety management, consulting with healthcare professionals can provide valuable guidance tailored to your specific circumstances.

At Wild Orchard Hemp, we offer a range of high-quality cannabis edibles and vape products crafted from premium American-grown hemp, ensuring our customers have access to safe and legal options for their cannabinoid needs.