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Delta 8 vs CBD – What’s the Difference & Which One is Better?

Delta 8 vs CBD – What’s the Difference & Which One is Better?

Delta 8 THC is gaining popularity, and more people are beginning to tilt toward using it for recreational purposes. Should you switch to using it or stick to the more popular and widely studied CBD?

What’s the difference between both compounds, anyway? Can you get the same benefits from both cannabinoids? Isn’t Delta 8 the same as CBD since the compound is synthesized from CBD?

These are some of the questions many cannabis users would like to get answers to. Whether you have been vaping and consuming edibles for a while or you’re a newbie, understanding the difference between Delta 8 and CBD can help you improve your cannabis experience.

Keep reading to learn the uniqueness and differences of these compounds.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (or CBD for short) is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in hemp and marijuana. 

What is it like to consume CBD? 

To a novice, consuming “hemp,” “marijuana,” or anything extracted from these will definitely result in a “high.” But that’s not always the case, at least not with CBD. By the way, not everyone is looking to get stoned from consuming cannabis or cannabis-infused products.

CBD has a calming effect without being overly intense. In addition, consuming the CBP products won’t result in feeling high because CBD is not a psychoactive compound.

This is why many users turn to CBD for health issues, especially in connection to physical and emotional relief. 

What is Delta 8?

When people use the term THC, they are most likely referring to a Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol or Delta 9 THC. That’s because it is one of the main psychotropic ingredients in marijuana or cannabis.

However, Delta-8 THC is another psychoactive compound that occurs naturally in cannabis, although it is less prominent. It is found in smaller concentrations, making it more valuable due to the complex process of extracting large quantities. 

Unlike CBD, Delta 8 is a potent chemical compound that can cause a “high.” In addition to recreational uses, some people use Delta-8 products for health benefits, too. However, it is important to point out that the FDA has not approved any Delta-8 medication for now.

Is Delta 8 Legal?

Thanks to the 2018 US Farm Bill, cannabis is no longer criminalized. However, many people are still not too sure about the legality of Delta 8. 

Delta-8 is not technically illegal in many states. The law makes it legal to use isomers and derivates from hemp as long as the end product contains not more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. 

That notwithstanding, it is important to note that federal and state regulations are not cast in stone; they can change at any time. For this reason, it is always best to check your state laws before using any psychoactive or cannabis product. 

Delta 8 vs CBD: The Major Differences

Delta 8 vs CBD: The Major Differences

Image source: Pixabay

Although Delta 8 and CBD are both found in the same cannabis plant, the former has not been thoroughly studied as much as the latter. But from available research, they product dissimilar effects. 

Here are some of the major differences between these two:

Psychoactive Properties

Delta 8 is a naturally occurring psychotropic chemical, meaning it can affect the function of the brain and nervous system and change a person’s mental state. Keep this in mind if you want to consume any Delta 8 product and plan accordingly. 

On the other hand, CBD is non-psychoactive. That means it does not have an intoxicating effect and won’t alter behavior, perception, or cognition. 

Probability of Showing Up in a Drug Test

Drug test typically do not screen for CBD, so there is little to no chance of the chemical showing up in a test. 

Conversely, there is a high probability of Delta-8 THC showing up in a drug test. Therefore, you will probably fail a drug test if you consume the chemical within a few days or weeks before the test. 

Note that some CBD products contain trace amounts of THC that can be detected in the bloodstream during a drug test. CBD can remain in the bloodstream for around two to five days, depending on how frequently it is consumed and the dosage.  

If you are concerned about failing a drug test, whether for career or legal purposes, consider ingesting only CBD isolate products long before the test. If you’re not sure, it is best to stay away from cannabis products completely, at least until after the test.


In terms of usage, Delta-8 tends to serve more recreational purposes due to its psychotropic properties. However, some people may also use it medicinally. CBD is commonly used medicinally, and that’s not surprising considering its calming effects. 

In any case, it is important to consult a doctor or healthcare provider if you plan to use any cannabis product medicinally. While there is anecdotal evidence of what these compounds can do, there are not enough scientific data to back up many of the claims.

Substance Concentration

CBD in cannabis is found in higher concentrations in hemp than Delta-8 THC. Delta 8 is only found in very small amounts in most commercially grown hemp in the US.

To answer the question: “Isn’t Delta-8 the same as CBD since the compound is synthesized from CBD?” 

Indeed, Delta-8 THC can be formulated from CBD, and that’s what happens in some cases. In other instances, the compound can be synthesized from the widely popular Delta-9 THC – a more potent psychoactive chemical.

But Delta 8 can also be extracted naturally from hemp, and some companies use only this type of Delta-8 THC to make their products.

In a nutshell, Delta-8 is not the same as CBD, even if it is sometimes derived from CBD. If anything, Delta-8 is similar and closely related to Delt-9 THC. The real difference is that many people find Delta-8 THC more tolerable than Delta-9 THC. 

Delta 8 vs CBD: Which Is Better?

Delta 8 vs CBD: Which Is Better?

Image source: Pixabay

Is vanilla ice cream flavor better than chocolate flavor? The answer depends on who you ask, and that’s because everyone has their preferences. 

The same applies to cannabis; some people prefer CBD over Delta-8 THC and vice versa. Again, there is simply no right or wrong with these things. It all depends on the experience you want to get from smoking or eating cannabis. 

But what if you’re entirely new to cannabis and you’re trying to figure out which one is better? The surest way to find out what works for you is to try them out. However, it is helpful to first figure out what you want or how you want to feel.

Do you want mild euphoria with a sense of delight? Consider giving Delta-8 a shot if that’s the case. If you prefer a more calming effect, perhaps to get over some bodily or emotional pains, you may want to try CBD.

Here are some of the effects consumers look for when trying to decide between Delta 8 vs CBD products:

  • Delta-8 THC: These types of products will get you high but typically not as intense as Delta-9 THC products. This makes it great for someone who prefers to stay in their senses while enjoying the benefit of getting high. 
  • CBD: Consider CBD products if you prefer to have the non-psychoactive benefits of cannabis. The effect of CBD is best described as calming. While it can help you feel relaxed, CBD does not make you drowsy or excessively sedated. Most importantly, it does not produce a euphoric feeling. 

Regardless of which cannabinoid you think is right for you, there are several ways you can consume them. CBD products are available as edibles, vapes, oils, tinctures, and even topicals. You can also find Delta-8 edibles, vapes, and more.

Can You Combine Both Compounds?

Yes, you can!

Many people mix Delta-8 with CBD, especially when they want the calming effect of CBD to curb the psychoactive result of Delta-8 THC. It’s like getting the best of both worlds!

The important thing to keep in mind is to take baby steps when trying new things with cannabinoids. Consider micro-dosing if you want to mix both compounds, especially if you’re new to cannabis.

This will help you figure out how you react to the mixture without necessarily having a whole-body effect, which can be unpleasant. 

It is also possible to switch from one chemical compound to another, depending on what you’re looking to achieve at any given moment.


Comparing Delta 8 vs CBD shouldn’t be about which compound is better. Of course, they occur in the same plant, but these are two distinct chemical compounds with different effects. One is not better than the other – just different.

To figure out which one to choose or even whether to combine them, it is super important to first decide what you’re trying to achieve. 

Consider Delta-8 if you want to get high but prefer to avoid the high intensity of Delta-9 THC. On the other hand, CBD may suit you best if you’re looking to get some form of relief or for medicinal purposes.

Cover photo Image source: Pixabay

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