Differences between Delta-8 and CBD – Which One to Choose and Why?

Differences between Delta-8 and CBD – Which One to Choose and Why?

With the rise in online shops selling hemp-related products and the passing of the Farm Bill of 2018, more and more people have started using Delta-8 and CBD. The two compounds are added to different products, starting with oils and going as far as gummies and pet products.

However, new users or those interested in the perks of CBD and Delta-8 have a dilemma – which one should they choose?

Both Delta-8 and CBD can change your life and bring multiple benefits, but they are not the same. Some might prefer one or the other, depending on the advantages they are looking for. So, how can you tell which one is suitable for you?

We’re going to break down the differences between Delta-8 and CBD, helping you make a decision. Let’s get started!

How Are CBD and Delta-8 Made?

The first step towards understanding the difference between CBD and Delta-8 is to learn how they are created. Let’s start with CBD.

CBD or cannabidiol is extracted from the buds and flowers of the hemp plant. There are different ways to extract it. One of the oldest methods is oil infusion, which requires heating the material from the plant to a particular temperature, then adding it to a carrier oil, such as olive oil. Afterward, the mixture will be heated at 100 degrees Celsius for several hours.

Another extraction method is the one that involves the use of liquid solvents such as isopropyl alcohol, hexane, or butane. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always make it possible to get rid of impurities.

Perhaps the most popular extraction methods for CBD involve the use of ethanol and carbon dioxide.

Ethanol works as a solvent that makes it possible to separate CBD from hemp and its other compounds. The benefit of this method is that it is time-efficient and can be performed at multiple temperatures.

Lastly, there is carbon dioxide extraction, a technique that is most commonly used today in the manufacturing of CBD products.

A sturdy CO2 piece is added to a chamber and then pumped into another chamber where the cannabis material is found. The CO2 then maintains a liquid-like form due to the pressure of the chamber, allowing it to absorb all the flavors and oils of the plant.

Next, a third chamber will receive the mixture of cannabinoids and CO2, where it transforms into a gas state again. The flavors and oil of the cannabis plans are left behind as a result. [1] As this method is so easy and effective, it has become a standard practice in the industry. The only downside is that it can be quite pricey.

Now, when it comes to Delta-8, things are a bit different. Sometimes, this compound may be found in cannabis in very small concentrations. But as the demand for it grew, brands started preparing it artificially.

Depending on the case, manufacturers will either use Delta-9 or CBD and convert them into Delta-8. The process used in its creation is called “isomerization”.[2]

Do They Have the Same Benefits?

People use CBD or Delta-8 for the benefits they can bring.

The two compounds share some similarities in the benefits they have to offer, but the intensity of these benefits might be different. At the same time, one might be able to give you something that the other cannot.

One example of a benefit brought by Delta-8 THC is appetite stimulation, which can be great if you are having a hard time with your daily nutrition. According to studies, Delta-8 is great at stimulating one’s appetite. [3] At the same time, CBD is not the best in this aspect, as it has the opposite effect on appetite, but this makes it more suitable for people who wish to lose weight.

Delta-8 is also great for people who need relief from nausea. According to a study from 1995, the compound can reduce nausea while having no bad effect on the user. This study was done on children who were going through chemotherapy and experienced nausea, and who saw improvements following their Delta-8 consumption. [4]

Similarly, CBD can also relieve nausea and vomiting. Of course, this applies as long as the right dosage is administered. [5]

Not only that, but the two compounds can improve one’s memory and focus. Some clinical studies have shown that CBD can help improve executive function and attention among others.

Do They Have the Same Side Effects?

Both CBD and Delta-8 can be very effective in dealing with certain conditions and even concentration problems. But are the two as similar in side effects as they are in benefits?

Well, they also have a few side effects in common. For instance, both Delta-8 and CBD can interact with some medications, making them unsuitable during certain treatments. For this reason, people who intend to use one of the cannabinoids should consult their doctor first.

Another side effect is caused by the fact that the two are psychoactive substances. They could impair your memory and affect your decisions when consumed in higher amounts. As a result, they might lead to dangerous situations.

In some individuals, Delta-8 consumption led to anxiety, particularly when the amounts used were too large. This is contrary to CBD, which is known for its anxiety-relieving properties.

If you are inexperienced with the Delta-8 compound and you use huge quantities, it can get you high. With CBD, you do not get this downside.

Explaining the Differences Between Delta-8 and CBD

Now, let’s address the big question: how are Delta-8 and CBD different? They are two of the over 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis sativa plant, yet they have unique qualities. If the differences are not obvious to you, we are going to break them down below and make them easier to understand:

·      Drug Tests

CBD does not show up on drug tests unless the product contains traces of Delta-9 THC. Delta-8, on the other hand, will cause you to fail a drug test.

·      Legality

Both CBD and Delta-8 THC are legal on a federal level. The products must have less than 0.3% of Delta-9 THC in order to be legal, though.

At the same time, Delta-8 is banned in multiple states, [6] while CBD is legal in most places.

·      Availability

As CBD is legal in more states compared to Delta-8, CBD products are more readily available. For instance, it is easier to find CBD gummies than Delta-8 THC gummies.

·      Cannabinoid Receptor Interaction

When CBD or Delta-8 THC enters your system, they have to interact with your endocannabinoid system. Their interaction with the different receptors is what ultimately influences the effects of the substances on your mind and body.

When it comes to Delta-8 and CBD, they both interact with the ECS differently.

Delta-8 interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors. While CB1 receptors are more widespread and are responsible for mediating the cannabinoids’ potential psychoactive effects, the CB2 receptors are not as numerous. They can be found in various neurons and some immune cells. [7]

Meanwhile, CBD is a FAAH inhibitor and ECS modulator. [8]

·      Benefits

CBD is known to relieve anxiety, and for this reason, it is commonly used in treating panic disorders, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and similar conditions. [9] In high amounts, this does not apply to Delta-8.

CBD can also reduce one’s appetite and encourage weight loss while relieving one’s muscle pain and nausea. Not only that, but it can also regulate sleep.

On the other hand, Delta-8 works as an appetite stimulant.

·      Side Effects

Unlike CBD, Delta-8 might cause anxiety, especially when it is used in higher quantities. Also, it can be intoxicating and result in someone getting high. CBD does not cause such effects.

Besides, Delta-8 might have sedative effects on the user.

Mixing Delta-8 and CBD

Delta-8 and CBD are used for different purposes, and you will get different results based on how used you are to the substance and how much of it you consume. Knowing this, some users decide to mix the two, attempting to get the best of both worlds. But can CBD and Delta-8 be mixed?

Well, the truth is that the compounds can be mixed. According to some users, CBD can improve Delta-8’s effects, and it can even help some people achieve better results.

Still, you should be careful. Although it is possible to combine these two cannabinoids, this is not something that everyone should attempt. Beginners might not react well to the mixture, so it is best to take it easy if you are just getting started with any of the two.

Do They Show Up on Drug Tests?

What happens when you want to use CBD or Delta-8 THC, but you fear that these might show up on a drug test? Will both of them cause you to fail a test and get in trouble? This depends on a lot of factors.

Generally speaking, CBD shouldn’t show up on a drug test. These tests are looking for the Delta-9 compound, a type of THC known to cause the famous “high”. So, you should be safe if you are using CBD products before a drug test – as long as the CBD is pure.

You have to keep in mind that many of the CBD products you see in shops may contain small traces of THC. Some of them will contain up to 0.3% of THC, more specifically the intoxicating Delta-9 THC that you might want to avoid. Sure, the amount is extremely small, but it is more than enough for a drug test to detect it. Would you put yourself at risk knowing the consequences?

However, there are also CBD products that do not contain any Delta-9 THC. Therefore, they are safe to use and will not make you fail your test. Isolate products or broad-spectrum ones are the ideal picks if you want to consume products without THC.

Let’s switch to Delta-8 THC now. Delta-8 is a type of THC, and it is known to be similar in structure to Delta-9 THC. At the same time, it is less potent. Thus, you might be inclined to believe that it will not be detected by a drug test.

Delta-8 products may contain up to 0.3% of Delta-9 THC, so a test will detect this. Besides, Delta-8 can show up in urine. So, if you take a urine drug test, you will not be able to pass it.

If you have a drug test coming up and you do not want to fail it, it is recommended to abstain from hemp-derived products for guaranteed favorable results – whether you are a fan of CBD or Delta-8 THC.


Delta-8 and CBD have various health benefits, and people everywhere use them for different reasons. When used right, they can be strong allies against different conditions.

But between the two, CBD is the preferred option. To begin with, it will not show up on drug tests as long as you use products with pure CBD. At the same time, it is not intoxicating – therefore, you will not have to worry about possibly getting high. Also, it is much easier to take advantage of it, as its legal status makes it more widespread.

Therefore, if you want to enjoy the advantages of hemp but do not want to risk getting intoxicated, CBD is the safest alternative.