delta-8 thc vs cbd

Delta-8 THC vs CBD: Cannabinoids Compared

by | Aug 15, 2022

After the Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp in 2018, hemp-derived CBD products took the cannabis industry by storm. Consumers sought out therapeutic benefits promised by this legal cannabinoid, readily found online and in various retailers. Although high-quality CBD products boast plenty of efficacy, they just don’t get you high. 

It’s no surprise that there has been a bit of consumer skepticism in regards to other novel cannabinoids like Delta-8 THC. However, this THC analog will produce more noticeable results than CBD. As we explore Delta-8 THC vs CBD, you’ll find out exactly how they work and what to expect from D8 products.

Delta-8 and CBD Overview

Both Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-8) and cannabidiol (CBD)  are phytocannabinoids found in both types of cannabis plants. However, in marijuana, their presence is often negligible. There are some strains of marijuana that contain a fair amount of CBD, but Delta-8 tends to be much less present. Hemp is much more CBD-rich and is easily extracted to infuse various types of products. 

Delta-8, or D8, is also found in hemp, but it’s still not present in significant amounts. That said, scientists and extractors discovered a simple way to produce enough Delta-8 to create vast product lines. 

Delta-8 is made with either Delta-9 THC or CBD. Although almost all Delta-8 products are made from CBD for legal reasons, we’ll get into that a bit more below. All cannabinoids start as cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) and convert to their final forms throughout their life cycle. Genetics, environmental changes, and of course, chemical tinkering can change a cannabinoid from one to another. 

This is how Delta-8 is made. Except, rather than a natural process, Delta-8 begins with CBD. First, the CBD is completely isolated from the hemp plant and dissolved into a solvent. Next, a series of steps involving acids occur to create a chemical reaction. Finally, the solution is washed, dried, and tested for purity. This isomerization process is nothing new, although it recently opened up a new world of possibilities for cannabis manufacturing.

Keep reading to learn more about Delta-8 THC vs CBD, how they work inside our body, and what effects each produces. 

Delta-8 THC vs CBD Compared

You might think that they behave similarly because D8 forms from CBD. Yet, that’s hardly the case. Despite their close relations, there are plenty of tangible differences when comparing Delta-8 THC vs CBD.

Chemical Compound Structure

When examining the differences between any THC variants, you must look at the carbon chain. The main chemical difference between Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC is the location and number of bonds on the carbon chain. Delta-9 has a double bond on the 9th carbon chain, and Delta-8 has a double bond on the 8th carbon chain. Although seemingly insignificant, this is enough of a difference to change the effects each cannabinoid has on the endocannabinoid system. 

CBD and THC have the same molecular structure—21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and two oxygen atoms. The biggest difference between these two cannabinoids is how they interact with the endocannabinoid system. 

The Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is made up of cannabinoid receptors located throughout the entire body. It’s divided between two groups of receptors called CB1 and CB2. The CB1 receptors are primarily found throughout the central nervous system inside the brain and spinal cord. The CB2 receptors are found in white blood cells and generally regulate immune function. 

The ECS is complex and there is still so much to learn. We do know that it works to maintain homeostasis by governing many important bodily functions. This includes:

  • Appetite
  • Mood
  • Pain
  • Memory
  • Inflammation
  • Metabolism
  • Motor control
  • Sleep
  • Stress
  • Nerve function
  • Reproductive health

This is just the tip of the iceberg! Many cannabinoids have a particular affinity for one of the two receptors. CBD bonds more closely to CB2 receptors, while Delta-8 prefers CB1. This is what determines the unique effects and benefits of each. 

Effects and Benefits

Does Delta-8 get you high? Yes, it absolutely does. This is the biggest difference between Delta-8 THC vs CBD. It’s not that CBD doesn’t have any effect, but it’s not psychoactive in the same way THC variants are known to be. 

For example, CBD may promote deeper sleep and reduce inflammation, but you generally don’t feel “high” while it’s in full effect. It can make you feel more relaxed, reducing stress and anxiety levels, but you still do not experience the fullness of intoxication like you might from THC.

Delta-8 THC is incredibly similar to Delta-9 THC, but we like to call it “weed light” because it feels like Delta-9, but with milder results. Consuming Delta-8 will give you a light buzz with slightly sedating effects. Much like Delta-9, you feel physical relaxation as muscular tension decreases. Delta-8 is the perfect option for anyone interested in trying THC with less chance of overdoing it. It has medicinal, therapeutic, and recreational value.

That’s not to say that D8 won’t get you incredibly high when consumed in excess. IT is still psychoactive, but to a lesser extent than Delta-9. Its legal status makes Delta-8 readily accessible to many people, which is a substantial benefit to those who live in states without a recreational or medicinal marijuana program. 

Legality

Legally speaking, the source of origin is the most critical factor when comparing Delta-8 THC vs CBD. It may seem like anything associated with THC would be federally illegal unless sold through a licensed dispensary channel. However, that only applies if the D8 is sourced from marijuana. Since that’s rarely the case, most Delta-8 is hemp-derived and protected under the Farm Bill. 

Still, there are some rules. To sell it commercially, the final product must contain less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. There are the same rules for all CBD products. It’s true that some CBD products have the allotted amount of THC and give you more of a buzz than CBD isolates or broad spectrum products. 

As of now, several states still have their own regulations surrounding CBD and Delta-8, so they may not be available in all locations. Be sure to keep your eye on legality when traveling.

Shopping for Delta-8 Products

Dimo is pleased to offer a wide selection of Delta-8 products to meet every desire. Our Delta-8 pre-rolls are perfect for lighting up anytime, and with less psychoactive properties, you may even enjoy a smoke all to yourself. For those who prefer the convenience of a vape pen, we offer multiple amazing strains of cartridges and disposables

When you want to dab, reach for a Delta-8 distillate and get your mind right with one of our premium strains of rocket fuel. This is the most potent Delta-8 you’ll find. Lastly, if you would like to forgo smoking and vaping altogether, we’ve got you covered with our Delta-8 gummies. We have multiple flavors and potencies to appease every palate. Shop online today and see why so many people are loving the effects of Delta-8.

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