Delta 8 vs. CBD: Which Is Right For You?

Delta 8 vs. CBD: Which Is Right For You?

When it comes to Delta 8 vs. CBD, new users may be confused. After all, they do have a lot in common, and both are highly popular within similar communities. But beyond the surface similarities, these two natural compounds are very different, and knowing what each offers is the key to ensuring you have a positive cannabinoid experience.

This article gives you the run-down on all things delta 8, CBD, and more. From their origins and effects to a side-by-side comparison of what they have to offer, we give you everything you need to know to decide whether Delta 8 or CBD is the right pick for you.

Delta 8 vs. CBD: The Similarities

Delta 8 and CBD have many similarities, both in their origins, how they are marketed, and the communities that make them popular. Here are some of the most important similarities:

  1. Both Delta 8 and CBD are botanical compounds, known as cannabinoids, found naturally in the cannabis plant.

  2. Both are legal in the US under the 2018 Farm Bill. However, there are some restrictions on legality, especially for Delta 8, which will be covered below.

  3. Both are extracted from raw cannabis plants using cutting-edge technology, most often using supercritical CO2 extraction.

  4. Both CBD products and Delta 8 products come in various types of extracts. Some will contain a pure, isolated form of that cannabinoid (appropriately referred to as 'isolate'). Others include a blend of some other natural cannabinoids (referred to as 'full spectrum' or 'broad spectrum').

  5. Both are used for some combination of therapeutic and enjoyable effects, though Delta 8 is often used more for recreation, while CBD is often used more for wellness benefits.

Delta 8 vs. CBD: The Important Differences

Despite their similarities in origin, production, and product types, Delta 8 and CBD are very different, and users should be careful to choose the cannabinoid that best suits their individual needs.

Here are some of the most important considerations that should help guide whether CBD or Delta 8 is the right choice for you.

Differing Effects

Both CBD and Delta 8 offer some blend of enjoyable and therapeutic effects. However, CBD is generally regarded as much more therapeutically effective, while Delta 8 is most often taken for recreational enjoyment.

Delta 8's Effects

  • Is mildly intoxicating in a manner similar to traditional THC (more properly known as Delta 9 THC)

  • Can produce feelings of mild euphoria

  • May offer mild anti-anxiety benefits, depending on dosage

  • May promote appetite

CBD's Effects

  • Does not produce any form of intoxication and generally has only mildly noticeable effects

  • Has proven anti-anxiety effects

  • Can mildly improve sleep

  • Has proven anti-inflammatory and pain fighting effects

From this list, it's clear that you shouldn't confuse Delta 8 vs. CBD, as the two cannabinoids are very different. Users looking for recreational enjoyment may be better suited to Delta 8, while those seeking benefits to mental health or pain will almost certainly have better effects with CBD.

US Legality

Generally speaking, both CBD and Delta 8 are legal throughout the United States. That's thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, an important piece of legislation that recognized a legal difference between the two types of cannabis plants: hemp and its intoxicating cousin, marijuana.

In effect, the 2018 Farm Bill made hemp and products derived from it legal while leaving marijuana as an illegal, scheduled substance.

So, CBD and Delta 8 are legal as long as they come from hemp, not marijuana, and as long as products made from them contain only the tiniest amounts of intoxicating THC (that is, Delta 9 THC).

Hemp and marijuana are treated differently because hemp, generally speaking, cannot get users "high" or otherwise cause intoxication.

But here's the thing: as mentioned above, Delta 8 does cause intoxication, no matter if it comes from hemp or marijuana. It's just that raw hemp contains such small amounts of Delta 8 that you'd never notice any form of intoxication, so the Farm Bill didn't cover it.

Because of this, some states have enacted local bans on Delta 8. As it stands, Delta 8 is banned or restricted in the following US states, even when it is compliant with the 2018 Farm Bill:

  • Alaska

  • Arizona

  • Arkansas

  • Colorado

  • Delaware

  • Idaho

  • Iowa

  • Mississippi

  • Montana

  • Rhode Island

  • Utah

For users living in any of the above states, Delta 8 is not legally accessible. However, for the rest of the United States, both CBD and Delta 8 are 100% legal for purchase, possession, and use under the 2018 Farm Bill.

Drug Testing Results

Not all users will care about this factor, but for those who do? Well, it's one of the most important factors guiding your health and wellness choices.

CBD will not show up on traditional drug tests. However, many CBD products (full spectrum ones) do contain trace amounts of THC, the compound for which traditional marijuana drug tests screen. With heavy use of full spectrum CBD products, this trace THC could be enough to trigger a positive result. If you're worried about your CBD use triggering a drug test, you should consider using a THC-free CBD product.

Delta 8 is more likely to appear on a traditional drug test. That's because, structurally speaking, Delta 8 is almost identical to traditional THC, so tests looking for the latter will often be triggered by Delta 8. Users who are regularly subject to drug testing for THC should avoid Delta 8 products.

Delta 8 vs. CBD, In Closing

Despite their many similarities, Delta 8 and CBD offer very different effects and applications. Given this, users should be careful to select the right compound to match their desired effects and individual needs.

Generally speaking, CBD offers more therapeutic potential and can benefit anxiety, pain, sleep, and more. Delta 8 may offer some limited benefits in this arena, but reports are varied and research is lacking.

On the other hand, users looking for a noticeable psychoactive effect will be better served with Delta 8. Delta 8's effects are similar to those of THC, the intoxicating compound found in marijuana. CBD, on the other hand, has zero intoxicating effects and is generally ill-suited for recreation.

Despite these differences, users often find merit in at least occasional use of both Delta 8 and CBD products.

If any of the above sounds appealing to you, be sure to give one of our carefully curated products a try. And, as always, don't hesitate to reach out to our knowledgeable customer support staff with any questions you might have!

Back to blog