What’s the difference between buying delta 8 and buying CBD?
Delta 8 THC is the hot new cannabinoid on the wellness scene. As was the case with CBG a couple years ago, cannabinoid vendors and manufacturers are now devoting products and entire lines to delta 8 THC to keep up with the increasing buzz.
If you want to buy delta 8 THC online, the experience will be somewhat different from buying CBD.
Sure, important factors like third-party testing and quality sourcing are shared by both delta 8 and CBD. However, the two cannabinoids vary greatly when it comes to their effects and their legality in the US.
For example, while delta 8 is legal at the federal level, certain states have outlawed it entirely; whereas buying and selling CBD is less restricted by state laws.
The good news is that knowledge of what makes a CBD product a premium one can be imparted to the delta 8 shopping experience. So, if you’re already familiar with cannabinoids like CBD, you’ve got a head start.
Discover the difference between buying delta 8 THC and buying CBD oil, especially online. We’ll describe what the process is like and what positive indicators to look for to make sure you’re getting a quality product.
What’s the difference between delta 8 and CBD?
First off, let’s explain the fundamental difference between delta 8 THC and cannabidiol aka CBD oil or CBD. Both delta 8 THC and CBD are classified as cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. The mammalian body has built-in receptors to receive cannabinoids and use them to maintain homeostasis. This network of receptors regulates numerous processes in the body and is referred to as the endocannabinoid system.
While delta 8 THC and CBD both act on the receptors in the endocannabinoid system, you can see below that the two hemp cannabinoids have stark differences:
||Delta 8 THC
||Legal in all 50 states
||Illegal in certain states
Delta 8 vs CBD: Mental effects and psychoactivity
While CBD has been heavily studied to contain no psychoactive properties, delta 8 THC is considered a psychoactive substance. Like delta 9 THC, the star cannabinoid of traditional marijuana, users of delta 8 may experience euphoria, paranoia, and the other symptoms of a traditional ‘high’. Contrastingly, CBD has not been shown to promote any psychoactivity whatsoever, even in extremely large doses.
Delta 8 vs CBD: Studies and reliable research
One of the biggest differences between CBD and delta 8 THC is the amount of scientific study (or lack thereof) that has historically been applied to both. CBD has a wealth of research regarding everything from its application to acne to its use as an aid to quit smoking. Simply searching for CBD studies online will yield a trove of peer-reviewed material.
The situation is practically the opposite with delta 8. Currently, there are just a few published studies to support delta 8 THC as a potential therapeutic. And unfortunately, specific conclusions for delta 8 THC use in humans cannot necessarily be supported by these studies. Until more research is done specifically on delta 8 THC in humans, as an isolated cannabinoid (not in conjunction with other cannabinoids), its therapeutic prowess trails that of CBD oil by a longshot.
Delta 8 vs CBD: Side effects
In that same vein, CBD has been observed in countless studies to have minimal and relatively harmless side effects. The same cannot be said for delta 8 THC. Any relevant information on the side effects of delta 8 THC is largely anecdotal and seems to vary from person to person…
Delta 8 vs CBD: Which is naturally found in higher quantities in hemp?
Perhaps a reason why so little scientific scrutiny has yet to be applied to delta 8 is that it naturally is present in very low quantities in hemp. While CBD and delta 9 THC are some of the most abundant phytochemicals in the hemp plant, delta 8 doesn’t usually show up in high quantities on lab results. Like CBG before it, we therefore may see more people investing in the development of hemp genetics with higher concentrations of delta 8.
Delta 8 vs CBD: Legality
Finally, CBD and delta 8 THC are extremely different when it comes to their legality in the US for consumers. The 2018 Farm Bill dictates that all hemp products with 0.3% delta 9 THC or less are legal for sale and consumption, meaning technically, both CBD and delta 8 THC products are legal under federal law.
However, CBD is legal in all 50 states and by and large receives little pushback from state legislatures; whereas delta 8 THC has been outlawed altogether by certain states, including:
- New York
- Rhode Island
Bottom Line- The legality of delta 8 THC is still evolving, largely due to insufficient data on psychoactive effects. Be sure to stay on the right side of the law.
Shopping online for CBD vs shopping for delta 8
Since delta 8 is an up-and-coming cannabinoid in the nutritional supplement world like CBD years ago, it makes sense to use a similar methodology to evaluate delta 8 products. Like CBD, shopping for high-quality delta 8 will require the following checklist:
When shopping for a quality CBD product, sourcing and extraction are two important pieces of information to help you make an informed decision. The same goes when shopping for delta 8. Make sure to know where the brand sources the hemp used to make their delta 8 products. States like California have highly regulated hemp industries and in some cases, strict organic rules. The further abroad you go, the higher the carbon footprint of the decision, and the market for CBD, delta 8, and other cannabinoids for therapeutic use is rapidly expanding.
To make sure a CBD oil product is safe, make sure the vendor in question provides up-to-date laboratory testing. Same goes for delta 8 THC. Contaminant test results for residual solvents and pesticides should come up negative. And illegal delta 9 THC levels should also be scrutinized (should not contain over 0.3%).
This is a seemingly small, but important detail that can sometimes tip the scale when trying to choose a delta CBD product or any other up-and-coming dietary supplement. When shopping for CBD, a cohesive mission statement from a prospective brand is a good sign that they are serious about what they do. The new delta 8 market landscape is no different; and while it can be as simple as a few words, it can give you an insight into the people behind the brand. Are they interested in helping people? Are they disruptive in a positive way? What are their goals?
Admittedly, a delta 8 brand or a CBD brand being charitable probably doesn’t have a direct impact on the quality of their supplements. But it’s certainly not a bad look. If you can verify that a delta 8 brand is charitable in some tangible way, common examples include offering military discounts, donating to nonprofits, creating foundations and scholarships, it speaks volumes about their integrity. Verifiably charitable endeavors can therefore be an effective box to check when choosing a delta 8 brand or a CBD brand to buy supplements from.
*Additional step for delta 8: Legality ▢
One of the most important pieces of information to verify if you are buying delta 8 THC online is the legality status in your state. Remember that as of this article, delta 8 THC is illegal for purchase in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Utah. If you do not live in one of these states, it’s still a good idea to check out current legislation surrounding delta 8 THC in your area, since the situation is constantly changing.
**Additional step for delta 8: Precaution and microdosing ▢
Buying any cannabinoid supplement for therapeutic use should first be cleared by your doctor. However, there is exponentially more scientific research to assert that CBD is safe for consumption in large doses. Once again, the same cannot be stated for delta 8.
Delta 8 THC is not naturally present in high amounts in the hemp plant like CBD and delta 9 THC. Therefore, therapeutic use of delta 8 THC supplements is fairly new and doesn’t have a large body of reliable data to prove its efficacy nor its safety in high amounts.
When buying a delta 8 supplement, use precaution. Microdosing is becoming a popular option for people who want to see what benefits they can experience from plant compounds, especially those like delta 8 that as of yet have not been significantly studied to include widespread information on dosing. Microdosing is a process by which you take smaller amounts of a cannabinoid like delta 8 or other phytochemicals (medicinal mushroom extract is another example) on a more regular basis. The aim with microdosing delta 8 or any other natural supplement is to reap their wellness benefits without strong psychoactivity, while steadily acclimating the body to normal usage.
Buying Delta 8 vs Buying CBD: Main Takeaways
Like the structures of the cannabinoids themselves, buying delta 8 and buying CBD share commonalities as well as marked differences. When shopping for either supplement online, remember that these cannabinoid products differ in their psychoactive properties:
Delta 8 THC is considered psychoactive while CBD is not. Additionally, the science surrounding CBD’s safety and efficacy dwarfs delta 8 by a longshot.
Remember that while both delta 8 and CBD are considered legal under the federal 2018 Farm Bill, delta 8 specifically is outlawed in many states. If you live in one of these areas or another region where delta 8 is illegal, you won’t be able to order delta 8 online. On the other hand, most CBD products can be shipped legally to all 50 states, and CBD consumption in some form is legal across the entire US.
When it comes to the purchasing process, finding quality delta 8 online and shopping for premium CBD oil follows a similar methodology in the interest of:
- Quality (Sourcing and Processing)
- Safety (Testing and Transparency)
Buying delta 8 supplements has two additional steps to ensure:
Hopefully, our discussion can help shed some light on the similarities and differences between delta 8 and CBD, especially as they relate to purchasing natural dietary supplements.
+ 8 sources
Sullivan, Kaitlin. “Delta-8 Thc Is Legal in Many States, but Some Want to Ban It.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 28 June 2021
Peter Grinspoon, MD. “Cannabidiol (Cbd) - What We Know and What We Don't.” Harvard Health, 15 Apr. 2020
Erickson, Britt E. “Delta-8-THC Craze Concerns Chemists.” C&EN, Chemical & Engineering News, 6 July 2021
Morgan, Celia J A et al. “Cannabidiol reduces cigarette consumption in tobacco smokers: preliminary findings.” Addictive behaviors vol. 38,9 (2013): 2433-6. doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2013.03.011
“Delta8 Tetrahydrocannabinol.” Delta8 Tetrahydrocannabinol - an Overview | ScienceDirect Topics
United States Department of Agriculture: Farm Bill
Larsen C, Shahinas J. Dosage, Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol Administration in Adults: A Systematic Review of Human Trials. J Clin Med Res. 2020;12(3):129-141. doi:10.14740/jocmr4090
Anderson, T., Petranker, R., Christopher, A. et al. Psychedelic microdosing benefits and challenges: an empirical codebook. Harm Reduct J 16, 43 (2019).
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