What is the Difference Between CBD and Delta 8?

CBD and delta 8 are not the same thing, nor are they similar in terms of structure or effect. The only similarity they share is that CBD can be converted into the synthetic chemical known as delta 8. In fact, delta 8 can be converted from delta 9 and other cannabinoids. There is a world of difference between the two. In this article, we will be highlighting these differences and taking a closer look at the pros and cons of each compound.

by: Anthony E. | 05/31/22 1:30PM


What is Delta 8?

Delta 8 is a synthetic cannabinoid that is reportedly less potent than delta 9 THC in terms of its high. Many users report similar experiences with delta 8 that mirror those with conventional cannabis from a dispensary. Delta 8 is not extracted from the cannabis plant, however. Instead, it is converted from cannabinoids already present within the plant.

The process for doing so is not well understood but to a few chemists, though it is arguable that delta 8 THC is as safe as delta 9 in terms of its long-term use. No studies have been conducted to measure the long-term or even short-term effects of delta 8, leaving it within a gray area of the market that is all but experimental at this time.

Users who have tried delta 8 report that it is milder and does not last as long, while other users have been hospitalized from its use. This is thought to be caused from contaminants and chemical by-products made from the conversion process and not the delta 8 itself. This remains to be seen and is highly speculative, however.


What is CBD?

Unlike delta 8, CBD is not converted but extracted from the cannabis plant itself through a much more natural process, such as Co2 extraction. CBD has an accumulative effect and is responsible for mitigating the negative effects of taking too much THC, such as anxiety and paranoia. CBD is legal in all 50 states, though acquiring it in some states may be more difficult than in others.

This is because CBD requires a doctor’s recommendation in some states. Delta 8 falls under a gray area where it is somewhat legal to possess and use, but the process to make it is illegal. Nonetheless, you can still legally purchase delta 8 in some states for the time being. CBD on the other hand does not suffer from any of these potential issues and is much more well understood.

It has been established in the medical community that CBD has very powerful therapeutic properties that many use to relieve themselves of migraines, epilepsy, anxiety, PTSD, pain, and other debilitating conditions. CBD is quite expensive compared to delta 8, and not many use delta 8 for medical purposes.


How Are They Similar?

Chemically and structurally, delta 8 and CBD are nothing alike. The only common denominator that the two potentially share is that delta 8 can be converted from CBD. What is relevant is the fact that you can easily pair CBD with delta 8 and have a much more pleasant high since delta 8 is not that strong to begin with.

Keep in mind that this is only true if the delta 8 is made correctly and does not contain any other chemicals or by-products. If delta 8 is converted from CBD, it is possible that there could remain a residual effect of CBD in the actual high, providing a milder and longer lasting effect. In terms of how else they could be similar; CBD is on equal footing with delta 8 in terms of legality.

While some states have chosen to ban the use of delta 8 altogether, other states have also made it hard to get a hold of CBD without a doctor's recommendation, placing it in a category that it does not belong in. CBD does not get you high and it should therefore be available to all without having to go through a doctor just to be able to use it.

How Are They Different?

As previously mentioned, CBD and delta 8 do not share similar chemical structures or effects. While they are compatible with each other, they are different in every possible way. CBD will not get you high whereas delta 8 will, albeit a much milder one. Delta 8 can be converted from CBD but is no longer the same compound and will not produce the same effect.

Delta 8 is converted and then either sprayed onto weak flower or other oils and even food ingredients to make delta 8 products. Another stark contrast is in their price points. Delta 8 is notoriously cheaper than CBD, making it much more available and budget friendly. CBD is medicinal and used by many for pain management and symptom relief.

Delta 8 is mainly used as an alternative to delta 9 THC to get high. While some users use delta 8 as a medical alternative to delta 9, it is more of the exception and not the rule. Most people are using delta 8 to get stoned. Until more research is conducted, there are no other similarities between delta 8 and CBD.

Pros and Cons of Each

CBD is very good at treating a wide variety of symptoms and conditions, whereas delta 8 is a weak version of delta 9 and is not effective in treating cases of cancer or other ailments. In fact, delta 8 can even have the potential to do harm if derived from adulterated chemicals or made improperly.

CBD is more widely available but more expensive than delta 8. Some people prefer the milder form of THC and use delta 8 exclusively, making it legitimate for the cannabis market to some users. Each person will have to evaluate delta 8 and CBD to determine if they want a mild high or some CBD before taking some stronger stuff.

If you have access to a safe and high-quality product for delta 8, combining it with CBD can be a very good idea as you will likely experience a very mild and manageable high devoid of any anxiety. In any case, it is up to the user to weigh the benefits and risks of each to know what method he or she wishes to pursue.

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