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CBD vs. Delta-8 THC: Health Benefits Comparison

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CBD, or cannabidiol, is the calm, unassuming hero of the cannabis plant, celebrated for its potential therapeutic benefits without psychoactive properties. And if you've dabbled in the world of CBD and are interested in moving into other cannabinoids, you may have come across delta-8 THC.

Both are riding a wave of popularity but for very different reasons.

Delta-8 is known as a subtler version of the more renowned delta-9 THC (the primary psychoactive cannabinoid in the cannabis sativa plant). While it shares the family name with delta-9 THC, it offers milder, more approachable psychoactive effects.

Let’s unpack their stories to help you decide which of these cannabis compounds could deliver the experience you're looking for.

CBD vs Delta-8 THC: Differences and Similarities

CBD VS Delta 8 Comparison

Origins: Where They Come From in the Cannabis Plant

CBD is predominantly the pride of the hemp plant, a cannabis species known for its tall stalks and low THC content.

Think of hemp as the sober cousin in the cannabis clan. It's loaded with CBD, a compound praised for potential therapeutic effects without the heady euphoria commonly linked to cannabis. This makes hemp-derived CBD products a favorite for those seeking potential relief without the 'high.'

Delta-9 THC, meanwhile, is more elusive. Label it the 'rare gem' of the cannabis world. Unlike CBD, which is bountiful in hemp, delta 8 THC is a minor cannabinoid. This means it's present only in trace amounts in both hemp and its more psychoactive relative, marijuana.

Extracting delta-8 often requires sophisticated techniques, given its limited presence in the plant.

Research and Uses for Delta-8 THC vs CBD

Many users testify to CBD's efficacy in potentially managing symptoms of anxiety, pain, inflammation, and even conditions like epilepsy.

Many users attest to the effectiveness of CBD gummies for anxiety and CBD gummies for inflammation, as well as their potential to manage conditions like epilepsy.


Its non-intoxicating nature is its key feature, allowing consumers to potentially reap its benefits without the disorienting "high" often associated with THC-rich traditional cannabis products.

While the anecdotal testimonies are abundant, it's important to underline that the most rigorous scientific research on CBD primarily revolves around its potential anti-seizure properties [1]. However, preliminary studies have explored its potential anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anxiolytic effects, among others [2, 3, 4]. This robust body of research is unsurprising, given that CBD, alongside delta-9 THC, is among the most abundant cannabinoids in the cannabis plant.

Delta-8 products promise a more tempered psychoactive experience compared to delta-9 THC.

For those who find the effects of delta-9 THC too overpowering, delta-8 offers a gentler alternative. It's been described as providing a clear-headed high, potentially paired with mood elevation and a sense of calm.

However, it's worth noting that the limelight has historically been on CBD and delta-9 THC due to their prevalence in the cannabis plant. These cannabinoids have been the focal point of most cannabis research, clinical trials, and medical discussions.

But times are changing. As the entourage effect theory (which suggests that cannabinoids work better together) gains traction, and as the nuances of cannabis become more appreciated, minor cannabinoids like delta-8 are gradually entering the research forefront.

Chemical Differences: How CBD vs. Delta 8 THC Work

CBD's unique molecular arrangement makes it stand out from its cannabinoid relatives. While it resembles the chemical formula of THC, the slight variation in atom arrangement grants it its non-intoxicating nature.

CBD Molecular Structure

Regarding the human endocannabinoid system (ECS), CBD doesn't bind directly to primary cannabinoid receptors like CB1 and CB2. Instead, it operates more subtly, playing a modulating role, which might contribute to its purported therapeutic effects without producing intoxicating effects.

Delta 8 and Delta 9 Molecular structure

Delta-8 THC is almost a mirror image of its more famed counterpart, delta-9 THC, save for a minor difference in the location of a double bond. This tiny distinction plays a massive role in its interaction with our bodies.

Unlike CBD, delta-8 actively binds to the CB1 receptor, mainly in the central nervous system, producing psychoactive effects. However, these effects are typically described as less intense than those triggered by delta-9 THC.

Legal Status: Delta-8 THC vs. CBD Products

CBD's legal standing is relatively straightforward at the federal level. Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived CBD products are legal across the US, provided they contain less than 0.3% delta 9 THC. This legislation essentially distinguishes hemp from marijuana based on THC concentration, making products derived from the former legal.

When it comes to delta-8 THC products and other cannabinoids with psychoactive effects, the legal waters become murkier. 

As of October 2023, Delta-8 THC has been declared illegal in the United States by the FDA, reflecting the evolving regulatory stance on specific cannabinoids.

Up until now, delta-8 THC's federal status teetered on the edge of ambiguity. While it's technically derived from hemp (and can comply with the 0.3% delta 9 THC rule), the debate centers on its production methods. Some delta-8 is produced synthetically, altering CBD into delta-8 THC. This synthetic derivation can sometimes clash with state definitions of controlled substances.

The legal debate intensifies when discussing THC isomers. While the federal law mentioned delta-9 THC specifically, some state laws encompass all THC isomers, regardless of their type or origin. Even if delta-8 THC is derived naturally from cannabis plants and contains less than 0.3% delta-9 THC, it might still be considered illegal in certain states.

Most states followed the federal law's lead, basing the legality on the 0.3% delta-9 THC threshold.

However, with nuances in definitions, particularly concerning synthetic cannabinoids and THC isomers, some states had chosen to outlaw delta-8 explicitly before the October 2023 changes. Recently, the FDA pronounced delta-8 made through a chemical reaction of transforming CBD into delta-8 illegal, making this version illegal in all states. As always, it's crucial to consult state-specific regulations before acquiring or consuming delta-8 products.

Drug Testing: CBD vs. Delta-8 THC

Navigating the waters of drug testing can be tricky regarding cannabis-derived products.

CBD products are legal when derived from hemp and aren't typically what drug tests are searching for. This means that even if a person consumes CBD, it won't trigger a positive result for the compounds most drug tests are designed to detect.

However, it's important to note that some CBD products might contain trace amounts of THC, which could, in theory, accumulate and show up on a drug test if consumed in large quantities.

Here's where it gets more intricate. Delta-8 THC, even when derived from legal hemp, can be problematic. Most drug tests aim to identify the presence of THC, particularly delta-9 THC, which is the more widely known and restricted variant.

The challenge arises because many drug tests can't differentiate between THC isomers, meaning delta-8 and delta-9 might look the same to the test. Consequently, consuming delta-8 THC products could lead to a failed drug test, even if your consumption was legally derived from hemp.

The Main Potential Benefits of CBD and Delta-8 THC

CBD and delta-8 THC have emerged as two prominent stars, casting their unique glow upon the health and wellness horizon. Both have been linked with many potential benefits, but their individual characteristics set them apart in significant ways. Let's explore the potential benefits and the reasons consumers might gravitate towards one over the other.

Delta-8 and CBD Similar Benefits

Both compounds have been associated with potential benefits in managing pain, inflammation, and stress. Preliminary studies and a wealth of anecdotal evidence suggest that these cannabinoids might offer relief in these areas. This shared potential has paved the way for many products targeting similar concerns, from topical creams to edibles.

Choosing CBD vs. Delta-8

Now, while the therapeutic profiles of CBD and delta-8 overlap in some respects, their psychoactive properties (or lack thereof) set them worlds apart.  

Delta-8 THC, unlike CBD, is psychoactive.

This means that while both can potentially help with pain or anxiety, delta-8 might also alter one's mood, perception, and cognition. However, it's worth noting that its psychoactive punch is typically less potent than its close relative, delta-9 THC. So, for those venturing into the realm of psychoactive cannabis but seeking a gentler experience, delta-8 might be the go-to.

When it comes to choosing between CBD and delta-8 THC, it often boils down to personal preferences and desired outcomes. Those inclined towards CBD usually seek the potential therapeutic benefits of the cannabis plant without any accompanying high. This makes CBD attractive for individuals keen on integrating cannabis into their daily routines without disrupting their cognitive functions.

On the flip side, delta-8 THC caters to an audience looking for more than just therapeutic effects. Delta-8 bridges the non-psychoactive CBD and the more intense delta-9 THC for someone seeking mild euphoria or mood elevation alongside potential relief.

Potential Side Effects of Delta-8 and CBD

Both CBD and delta 8 THC are generally well-tolerated by many individuals, but they aren't without their potential drawbacks. Let's delve into what users might experience when consuming these compounds.

Adverse Events with CBD

  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Changes and appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Potential drug interaction

Adverse Events with Delta-8 THC

  • Euphoria or altered mood
  • Red eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Coordination issues
  • Increased heart rate
  • Anxiety or paranoia

In both cases, starting with low doses and gradually working up is essential, allowing your body to acclimate and better understand your personal tolerance levels.

Navigating Product Quality

Hemp-derived products are typically safe and non-toxic. However, not all CBD or delta-8 THC products are made with the same standards for quality and safety.

Low-quality CBD and delta-8 products might contain pesticides, heavy metals, or solvents, which can be harmful when consumed. This is often due to subpar hemp cultivation or extraction methods.

Additionally, some products don't contain the advertised amount of CBD or delta-8 THC. In some cases, products might even contain substantial levels of delta 9 THC, leading to unexpected psychoactive effects.

Particularly in the world of delta-8, there's a risk of encountering products containing synthetic cannabinoids, which can be harmful and induce unpredictable effects.

Vigilance is your best ally when navigating the CBD and delta-8 market. A high-quality product will provide the best potential benefits and ensure safety and peace of mind. Always prioritize transparency, testing, and trustworthiness.

CBD vs. Delta-8 THC for Anxiety

While anecdotal evidence suggests that delta-8 THC and CBD Gummies might help manage anxiety, the FDA has not endorsed or approved either of these compounds specifically for anxiety relief. Most of the knowledge in this arena comes from user experiences and preliminary research.

Many users have reported a calming and relaxing effect after consuming CBD, attributing it to reduced anxiety levels. Its non-psychoactive nature can be advantageous for those apprehensive about mind-altering experiences but still wish to explore the potential benefits of cannabis-derived products.

Some users find delta-8's gentle euphoria beneficial in unwinding from stress and alleviating anxiety.

However, it's worth noting that the very psychoactive effects that some find beneficial might not suit everyone. For certain individuals, especially those sensitive to THC, delta-8 might induce heightened anxiety or feelings of unease. It's crucial to approach delta-8 with an awareness of its psychoactive nature and to start with low doses if considering it for anxiety management.

CBD vs. Delta-8 THC for Pain Relief

Neither CBD nor delta-8 THC have been approved by the FDA specifically for pain relief. That said, the scientific community has been abuzz with the potential of these compounds.

Several studies have hinted at the potential benefits of CBD for managing pain. A key point of interest is its anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation often plays a role in pain, particularly with conditions like arthritis or muscle sprains. By potentially mitigating inflammation, CBD might help address the root cause of such pain for some individuals.

Furthermore, many users appreciate that CBD does not produce a psychoactive effect, allowing them to remain clear-headed. This lack of "high" can especially appeal to those who want to maintain their daily routines, responsibilities, and cognitive clarity while seeking pain relief.

Delta-8 THC, though lesser studied than CBD, has also shown promise in early research for pain. However, it's essential to recognize that while delta-8's psychoactive properties might benefit some in managing pain (through relaxation or distraction, for example), others might find them undesirable.

The euphoria or altered mood might be soothing for some but might deter those who prioritize maintaining a sharp, unaltered mental state. The debate over the therapeutic benefits of THC vs CBD for pain continues to be a topic of discussion among researchers and healthcare professionals with some users reporting significant relief when using these cannabinoids.

Delta 8 vs. CBD for Sleep

Choosing between delta-8 THC and CBD for sleep support largely boils down to personal preferences and individual reactions to these compounds. Some might prefer CBD's non-psychoactive properties, hoping for a clearer-headed relaxation. In contrast, others might lean towards delta-8 THC's mild euphoria to drift into sleep.

While anecdotal evidence suggests potential sleep benefits from delta-8 THC and CBD, the FDA has not approved them for this use, so consumers should proceed with caution.

Where to Buy CBD and Delta-8 THC Products

Thanks to its legal status under the federal Farm Bill — as long as it's derived from hemp and contains less than 0.3% delta-9 THC – CBD products have become widely available.

You'll likely find CBD products on the shelves, whether it's your local health food store, pharmacy chains, or even some supermarkets. Additionally, many online retailers, dedicated CBD boutiques, and wellness websites offer a broad range of CBD products.

Delta-8 THC, being in a more complex legal landscape, isn't as ubiquitously available as CBD products and Delta 9 THC oil and edibles.

As a semi-synthetic cannabinoid, delta-8 is increasingly challenging to obtain due to evolving regulations making it illegal in many jurisdictions. 

In regions where delta-8 is legal, specialized stores, wellness centers, and even some dispensaries might carry it.

Direct Purchasing Benefits:

Buying directly from reputable brand websites is a growing trend and often a savvy choice for consumers.

Brands like ours, for instance, offer a diverse range of products, including delta-8 THC, CBD Products, CBN Products, CBG Products, and other niche hemp-derived cannabinoids.

There are a few perks to this direct approach:

  1. Cost Savings: Direct purchases can often save you money. Without the middlemen or the overhead costs associated with brick-and-mortar stores, we can offer more competitive prices and exclusive online discounts.
  2. Product Authenticity: Buying directly ensures you're getting genuine products. There's less risk of counterfeit or diluted products, which can sometimes sneak into less reputable outlets.
  3. Comprehensive Information: We can provide extensive product details, usage guidelines, lab results, and customer reviews — invaluable resources for making informed choices.

The Takeaway: CBD vs. Delta-8 THC — Which Should You Choose?

Remember, when diving into these products, quality is paramount. Not all products are created equal, and a discerning eye, backed by research, can guide you to safe and effective options. Always look for third-party, lab-tested products, transparent ingredient lists, and reputable brands.

For those ready to embark on a journey of discovery with hemp-derived products, Neurogan offers a range of high-quality options, from CBD to delta-9 THC and beyond. Dive into a world of wellness confidently, and let Neurogan be your trusted guide in this exciting cannabis landscape.

We prioritize compliance and customer safety. Currently, we offer only CBD products and Delta 9 THC. To align with the evolving legal landscape, we have chosen not to stock Delta-8 or other semi-synthetic variants of psychoactive substances. Our commitment is to provide reliable and transparent products for our customers.

FAQs on CBD and Delta-8 THC

1. Delta-8 vs. CBD for anxiety?

CBD and delta-8 THC have been explored for their potential role in managing anxiety. CBD, being non-psychoactive, might offer a sense of calm for some users. On the other hand, delta-8 THC has a mild psychoactive profile, which some individuals describe as relaxing. It's important to note the FDA hasn't specifically approved either for anxiety treatment.

2. Delta-8 vs. CBD for pain?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that some people find relief using them, with CBD offering potential anti-inflammatory properties and delta-8 being described as having analgesic effects. Before making a choice, one should discuss it with a healthcare professional.

While there's ongoing research regarding CBD and delta-8 THC's potential in pain management, the FDA has not yet approved them for this specific use.

3. Which should I choose between CBD vs. delta-8 vs. delta-9?

CBD doesn't produce a high and is pursued by those seeking potential wellness benefits without psychoactivity. Delta-8 THC offers a more moderate psychoactive experience than delta-9 THC. And delta-9 THC products, even those hemp-derived and legal on a federal level, offer the typical marijuana experience. Your choice should be informed by your desired outcomes regarding cannabis compounds for recreational or therapeutic use.

4. CBD oil vs. delta-8 oil?

CBD oil, derived from hemp, is often chosen for its potential therapeutic properties without psychoactivity. In contrast, delta-8 oil provides a milder psychoactive experience when compared to delta-9 THC oil or gummies. Which product you choose will depend on the type of cannabis experience desired.

5. What is delta-8 vs. CBD?

Delta-8 THC and CBD are cannabinoids from the cannabis plant but differ in effects. While CBD is non-psychoactive and has been researched for various potential benefits, delta-8 THC offers a milder psychoactive profile with some potential benefits to relieve stress, support sleep, and manage discomfort.


  1. Gray, R. A., & Whalley, B. J. (2020). The proposed mechanisms of action of CBD in epilepsy. Epileptic Disorders, 22, S10-S15.
  2. Burstein, S. (2015). Cannabidiol (CBD) and its analogs: a review of their effects on inflammation. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry, 23(7), 1377-1385.
  3. Boyaji, S., Merkow, J., Elman, R. N. M., Kaye, A. D., Yong, R. J., & Urman, R. D. (2020). The role of cannabidiol (CBD) in chronic pain management: an assessment of current evidence. Current pain and headache reports, 24, 1-6.
  4. Skelley, J. W., Deas, C. M., Curren, Z., & Ennis, J. (2020). Use of cannabidiol in anxiety and anxiety-related disorders. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, 60(1), 253-261.
Nicklas Brandrup

BSc International Business, Copenhagen Business School Nicklas is the co-founder of Neurogan and a serial entrepreneur with a proven track record in the health and wellness space.  Nicklas has generated more than $250M in sales on Amazon with brands that he owns and operates. He is passionate ab...

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