Delta 8 vs. CBD: What's The Difference?
by Diana Gonzalez on Oct 12, 2022
Delta 8 vs. CBD: What's The Difference?
These 2 cannabinoids are both derived from a cannabis Sativa plant and can be used in similar ways, however; both have unique effects.
CBD has been on the market for a while and has exploded in popularity among many demographics for its therapeutic uses.
It has become such a widely known and used substance that even conservative grandparents who are anti-weed have experimented with CBD for aches and pains.
Delta 8 THC though is a newer molecule being extracted from cannabis, but it has technically been around just as long.
Scientists just have less research on this cannabinoid and have only started extracting it in more recent years due to its boom in popularity thanks to a legal loophole.
CBD and Delta-8 THC are both federally legal substances and can be purchased in many forms from gummies to vapes.
So unlike traditional marijuana, Delta 8 THC and CBD are sold in stores and online legally in every state in the US.
Because of this, they have both boomed in popularity.
What exactly is the difference between Delta 8 and CBD, or are they the same?
In quick summary, CBD and Delta-8 are two of hundreds of chemical compounds derived from cannabis plants.
Both Delta-8 and CBD are regularly extracted from the plants, and both can be found in both forms of the plant: marijuana and hemp varieties.
This article will explain how they are similar, how they are different, and the uses of each.
Key Takeaways About Delta-8 THC and CBD
- Delta 8 and CBD are both extracted from cannabis, but Delta 8 has psychoactive effects, whereas CBD does not.
- CBD is more widely known and has more research backing its health benefits such as effective use as an anti-seizure medication. It has also been proven in scientific studies to help anxiety, tumors, inflammation, and more.
- Delta-8 is a newer cannabinoid that is now commonly being extracted because of its mild psychoactive effects becoming known as junior weed.
- Delta 8 users often report experiencing the same benefits as marijuana but with a more clear-headed high.
- Both Delta-8 THC and CBD are technically federally legal due to legislative loopholes.
There are two varieties of cannabis plants known as Marijuana and Hemp.
To understand more about CBD and Delta-8 THC, first, you need to understand where it comes from.
Both CBD and Delta-8 THC are cannabis compounds that are extracted from the plant. There are two types of cannabis - hemp and marijuana.
Marijuana is the cannabis plant known to get users high.
Marijuana-derived strain of cannabis is the one that is illegal under federal law but is it legal in certain states such as California, Colorado, Las Vegas, and Washington.
Marijuana is known for its intoxicating effects, also known as a high feeling. Marijuana is commonly smoked, vaped, and taken in edible form.
The safety concerns over its psychoactive effects are why marijuana is considered a narcotic drug still under the federal level.
The states that have chosen to legalize marijuana have regulated the cannabis industry, setting standards for cannabis products. It brings in millions of dollars each year.
The main difference between marijuana and hemp plants is that marijuana contains the chemical structure Delta-9 THC, which is a molecule known for its high effects.
Hemp plants are the ones grown more as industrial crops.
It may be a surprise that hemp is commonly grown, but these plants are more of a crop for use, rather than a drug to get you high. These plants do not contain Delta-9 THC.
Hemp-derived products are all over - ranging in hemp clothes, hemp lotions, hemp backpacks, and hemp oil, and even can be used as insulation or biofuel.
Hemp products have been in use for a long time, but more recently are being used to extract CBD oil and Delta-8 THC, and even analyzed for other terpenes.
CBD and Delta-8 THC can be found in both hemp and in marijuana plants.
In states like Colorado, CBD products contain microdoses of THC. In states where marijuana is illegal though, these products are not allowed.
CBD and Delta-8 can be extracted from both hemp and marijuana. In fact, hemp-derived CBD or Delta-8 products are what you find for sale online and in non-legalized states.
How are these cannabis products legal?
So this is where the legal loophole is confusing and has some grey areas.
Essentially cannabis-derived products that come from hemp are legal nationwide and cannabis-derived products from marijuana are only legal in specific states.
The chemical compound that makes marijuana illegal is Delta-9 THC. Delta 9 is the one that causes that high or stoned effect and is what employers are looking for when conducting a drug test for marijuana.
Delta-9 THC products are not legal on a federal level and there is nationwide debate on its adverse reactions that can vary by user.
CBD and Delta-8 THC are both extracted and sold legally when they are hemp-derived CBD products.
What is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, shortened as Delta 8 THC, is a psychoactive chemical compound found in cannabis.
Delta-8 THC has a similar chemical structure to what is commonly known as regular marijuana THC, which is Delta-9 THC. Delta-9 THC is the one that gives users that stoned feeling.
Despite being so close in molecular structure, Delta-9 THC has more potent effects, however; Delta-8 THC still gives users euphoria.
Unlike CBD, Delta 8 THC has psychoactive effects, but on a much more mild level.
Unlike THC from marijuana plants, Delta-9 THC, Delta-8 THC products do not cause as many adverse effects.
Despite their similar molecular structure, they are different enough that Delta-9 THC is specifically what is illegal.
It is often referred to as baby weed and many users who have experienced adverse events from Delta-9 THC do not experience those negative effects from Delta-8 THC.
Why are people choosing to ingest Delta-8 THC products?
When taken in moderate doses, Delta-8 THC can provide the similar desired effects of marijuana, but without the intense couch lock, anxiety, and sometimes overwhelming feelings that can occur with Delta-9 THC.
Users claim that Delta-8 has milder effects and many are turning to it as their preference for this reason. You can learn more about the Delta-8 high feeling here.
What are the health benefits of Delta 8 THC?
Further research needs to be done to prove its usage and effects, but many suggest that Delta-8 THC has helped with pain relief, relaxation, and other health benefits.
We do know that Delta-8 THC products affect the endocannabinoid system suggesting that its usage can affect the human body in ways similar to other cannabis-based products.
Since Delta-8 THC gives a more mild high, it is more likely to be used for relaxation, de-stressing, and enjoyment in the same ways Delta-9 THC is often used for.
This may suggest that Delta-8 THC is great for those needing appetite stimulation, but without that intense munchie feeling that causes one to overeat.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, shortened as CBD, is a compound found in cannabis, except unlike Delta 8 THC or traditional THC, it is non-psychoactive, and known for its medicinal effects.
CBD is often ingested in forms such as CBD gummies, CBD oil, tinctures, and even as FDA-regulated medication. It is not addictive and when taking CBD, users will not feel high or euphoric effects, unlike Delta 9 THC.
What is CBD used for?
CBD is commonly used for managing health conditions such as seizures. Many users have struggled with certain medications and then have had success with CBD products.
There has been more scientific research on CBD and its potential benefits. Studies have shown that CBD can reduce tumors and possibly even slow down cancer.
CBD has been proven to reduce inflammation making it a popular alternative for managing chronic pain compared to prescription medications that are addictive.
Keep in mind that with any medication, the results can vary by user, so there is no guarantee that CBD will be the cure to an ailment.
CBD is approved for use in aiding seizure disorders.
Research has proven that CBD had an effect on cannabinoid receptors and can aid the nervous system of those who have seizure disorders.
The first FDA-approved cannabis product is approved specifically for rare seizure disorders called Epidiolex.
Beyond Epidiolex, any other CBD product even purchased over the counter or online is not technically FDA-approved. This does not mean that they are not effective for use though.
What is full-spectrum CBD?
While CBD has proven to have many benefits, full-spectrum CBD products may have even better results.
Full spectrum CBD means when they are creating products such as CBD gummies, they are leaving some of the other terpenes and cannabinoid extracts in the product as well.
By doing this, full-spectrum CBD products are often said to have better and more well-rounded effects when you can compare CBD isolated by itself.
More research is being done on this theory, but it is worth noting that it is suggested CBD performs better alongside other cannabinoids.
How are Delta-8 and CBD similar?
Delta-8 and CBD are typically manufactured in similar if not the same facilities. As producers extract CBD, they also extract Delta-8 and even other cannabinoids from a cannabis plant.
Both use organic solvents to extract the compounds and then produce them in new forms for ingestion. There are various types of extraction methods such as distillation, CO2, and more.
After extraction, CBD and Delta-8 THC are made into products that can be vaped, smoked, eaten, applied in a lotion, or consumed in other various ways.
From teas to tinctures, there is a form of Delta-8 THC and CBD that can appeal to everyone.
There are now CBD and Delta-8 products ranging from buds that can be smoked, to even bath bombs that can be soaked in a tub.
It is up to the user to decide how they want to ingest it, and the effects can vary by consumption, just as smoking marijuana has a different effect than eating it in a brownie.
Both CBD and Delta-8 THC have an impact on the endocannabinoid system
Delta-8 THC and CBD share some possible health effects. This is because they both affect the nervous system through the endocannabinoid system.
This is the part of the body that regulates appetite, anxiety, learning, metabolism, development, and more.
Both Delta-8 and CBD have potential benefits such as anti-anxiety, relaxation, or anti-inflammatory.
They may both aid cancer patients with appetite issues, or they may even help those struggling with debilitating anxiety have some relief other than taking lifelong prescription pills.
This is all dependent on the person and not every individual will experience the same results, just as other modern medicines can vary by person too.
Research and drug testing are being further conducted to analyze the effects of these cannabinoids, but many studies have looked promising so far.
How are CBD and Delta 8 Different?
The main difference between CBD and Delta-8 THC is that CBD is more medicinal, whereas Delta-8 THC is slightly psychoactive.
When a user takes CBD, they are not getting an instant high effect. It is more like a vitamin that compounds its effects after being taken for many days.
Delta-8 THC on the other hand gives that instant gratification of a Delta-8 THC high.
The other big difference is that CBD has much more proven research than Delta-8 does.
In fact, CBD is actually federally approved for use in an anti-seizure medication whereas Delta-8 THC was ignored as an important cannabinoid for decades.
Until more research is conducted, it is impossible to know if CBD or Delta-8 THC is more effective for certain health benefits or uses.
The preferred consumption method for CBD and Delta-8 is different.
Another difference is the way users choose to consume each cannabinoid.
Generally, CBD is often put into a CBD oil or made into CBD gummies to be ingested.
On the desired effects side, many turn to CBD for anti-inflammatory beyond the edible version too. CBD is more commonly used in lotions and muscle creams.
Delta 8 THC is more commonly vaped so users get a similar feeling when smoking marijuana, just less intense. Users can enjoy the buzzed feeling, but avoid the undesired effects of Delta-9 like feeling overwhelmed or having a dry mouth.
Users in search of a more mild and legal Delta-9 THC effect often turn to Delta-8 allowing them to have just the good side of smoking weed.
Overall, CBD and Delta-8 THC are both booming in popularity.
There are no really harmful negative effects of CBD or Delta-8 THC, even if accidentally ingested in large amounts.
Poison control centers agree there is no way to overdose and die from CBD or Delta-8 products. This is why so many demographics are giving CBD and Delta-8 a chance. They are legal, low-risk, and have potential benefits.