CBD vs Delta-8: Which One is Better for Anxiety?

cbd vs delta-8 for anxiety

CBD and delta-8 are some of the more famous cannabinoids used by thousands of people for managing many issues including stress and anxiety. Both cannabinoids are very similar and have anxiolytic properties. 

However, CBD has many users, is widely popular, and has been around in the industry for quite some time. delta-8 is still new and needs more research, but we can’t deny the benefits. 

The benefits of both molecules are quite similar, which makes people question, what is the difference between them. And for an issue like anxiety which one is better, CBD or delta-8?

CBD and delta-8, both have been effective against anxiety. However, CBD is a safer option considering it is natural and well-researched. While delta-8 does work for anxiety, it is an artificial compound and there isn’t much research available regarding this matter.

However, few people who used both cannabinoids, found delta-8 to be more effective than CBD for anxiety. They found that delta-8 was more helpful in winding their nerve and mind down, and They also experienced a sense of calmness. CBD also offers the same benefits but the effects are comparatively milder.

To understand this clearly, let’s talk more about CBD and delta-8 in detail.

Image showing detailed comparison between CBD and Delta 8
Comparision between CBD and Delta 8

What is CBD?

CBD, short for “Cannabidiol” is one of the many non-psychoactive cannabinoids found in the Hemp or Cannabis plants that offers many benefits to the user, including ease in stress, anxiety, PTSD, chronic pain, and neurological disorders. 

CBD is very similar to delta 8 THC except, CBD does not cause the high (i.e. psychoactive effects) that usually comes with delta-8.

However, proper dosing of CBD is a tricky part that many people seem to miss. It needs to be accurate for the best results for issues like anxiety. 

How does CBD help with anxiety?

Anxiety happens due to the imbalance homeostasis of the central nervous system or endocannabinoid system. This imbalance leads our nervous system into a constant state of hyperarousal, In other words, “anxious”. 

When a person with anxiety takes CBD, the cannabinoids reach the digestive system and metabolize in the body, and further interact with the endocannabinoid system especially the CB1 receptors in the brain and help in rebalancing the wound-up nervous system, further reducing mental and physical stress and anxiety.

However, in some cases, it takes time and the right dosage of CBD to be effective against anxiety.

Learn More: CBD for Anxiety

What is delta-8?

Delta-8, short for “delta-8 THC or delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol” is also a cannabinoid that is mildly psychoactive and found naturally in hemp and cannabis plants. 

However, the quantity of delta-8 found in the plants is limited, so the commercial delta 8 you see in the market is artificially manufactured from hemp-derived CBD. 

Delta-8 also provides relief in many areas of a person’s life including ease in stress, pain, and anxiety, promoting better sleep, and appetite boost, and it makes you feel “mildly stoned”.

How does delta-8 help with anxiety?

Delta-8 works similar to CBD, it also balances the endocannabinoid system (ECS) which is centrally involved in the regulation of anxiety and fear responses, but there is a catch. 

When a person takes delta-8, the cannabinoids metabolize, reach the ECS, and bind to the CB1 receptor similar to CBD, this regulates brain function and helps balance the nervous system, In other words, reduces stress and anxiety. 

However, delta-8 also interacts with other receptors, which results in altering the prescription of mind and body. In other words, it makes you feel “high”. Although, it is milder, and you won’t feel out of control of a situation. 

The mild psychoactive effect of delta-8 can be a good thing for some people for calming severe stress and anxiety.

According to research done on more than 500 people regarding the use of delta-8 THC, It is found that 71% of users experienced a great deal of relaxation, and 74% of users did not experience any anxiety.

However, more research is needed regarding the long-term use and safety of this compound. 

CBD vs delta-8: are they safe for anxiety?

Having a safety concern with any cannabinoid is common and justified. They are fairly new and not a lot of research has been done in this area. 

Many studies have supported the safety of CBD. It is a naturally extracted and well-tested Compound. The same can’t be said about delta-8 because it is synthetically extracted from CBD. Although there are safe extraction processes, not all manufacturers are inclined to follow them.

It all comes down to the quality of the hemp and raw materials, How safely the cannabinoids have been extracted, and What kind of material has been used in preparing the products.

When shopping for CBD or delta-8, purchase from a genuine brand only, that is transparent about the manufacturing process and provides the COA (certificate of analysis) of each batch of the product that is tested by a reputable third party. 

If you shop from a genuine company with a high user satisfaction rate, both CBD and delta-8 will be safe to use.

However, the major concern is drug test. If your work requires you to occasionally take drug tests, then you certainly can’t use delta-8 products for anxiety because they will test positive in a cannabis drug test screening. While certain full-spectrum CBD products can also test positive in a drug test.

In this case, using THC-free broad-spectrum and CBD isolate products is the only option.

What are the side effects of CBD and delta-8 for anxiety?

Both cannabinoids may cause side effects like dry mouth, dehydration, tiredness, fatigue, and appetite change for a short period of time. However, CBD is fairly safe and its side effects are generally rare, well-tolerated, and passes with time. 

For delta-8, more studies are needed, However, delta-8 exhibits psychoactive effects that can be addictive for some people, but when taken as a quality product in controlled dosage, its side effects are also well tolerated. 

The major issue with these cannabinoids is they can interact with certain prescribed medicines, especially the one with “grapefruit warning”. So, if you are using any prescription medication, talk to your doctor before using CBD or delta-8.

For more information about CBD interaction with medications, Check out this article from Healthline.

How to use delta-8 and CBD for anxiety?

Most CBD and delta 8 products come with their own dosing guidelines, and following them is recommended but they don’t always work for everyone. Every person’s endocannabinoid system is different, and for an issue like anxiety, the symptoms are going to vary from person to person.

Both cannabinoids come in many forms, such as:

  • Tincture and oils
  • Edibles (gummies, capsules & soft gels)
  • Vape concentrates
  • Flowers and pre-rolls
  • Topicals

For anxiety, using tincture, oils, and edibles is recommended. 

CBD or delta-8 oils and tinctures are easy to dose and titrate, and you will feel their effects within an hour of use. However, they can have a bad aftertaste. 

If the taste is something that matters to you, then try the CBD or delta-8 gummies or Softgels. The dosages are pretty fixed and they are easy to titrate. However, it can take up to 2 hours for the effects to kick in.

If you are using CBD or delta 8 for anxiety, and don’t feel any effects. There are two things that could be wrong.

  1. The product you are using could be at fault. Make sure whatever product you are using comes from a reputable company that provides a COA and has a high user satisfaction rate.
  2. The dosing could be wrong. CBD and delta-8 come in many sizes, and the cannabinoid content of a product could vary from 100mg to 6000mg per bottle. 

The best thing you can do is use a product for which you can manually increase or decrease the dose, like a tincture or oil of a standard dosage bottle, which is between 5 mg to 25 mg of cannabinoid content per day. 

Start with the lowest amount, and gradually increase the dose within the span of weeks, if you don’t feel the desired effects. Monitor yourself as you go through and stop if you find the dose that works for you.  Remember, Self-titration is the Key.

If you are looking for decent CBD and delta-8 products, Check out Diamond CBD

CBD vs delta-8: are they legal to use for anxiety?

According to the 2018 Farm Bill, Hemp has become legal for sale and use in the United States. The CBD and delta 8 THC that are available in the market comes from hemp and contains less than 0.3% THC. That makes it a federally legal substance. 

However, the legality status of delta-8 currently lies in a gray area and needs further clarification.

To sum it up, currently, both the cannabinoids are legal in the US, but there is a certain restriction from the states:

  • Full Spectrum CBD products are restricted in the states of Idaho and Kansas. For more details check the current CBD law of your state, here.
  • Delta-8 is also technically legal in the US because commercial delta 8 is also extracted from hemp and contains less than 0.3% of THC. However, due to limited research, States like Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New York, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, and Vermont have imposed restrictions on delta-8 products. 

Final thoughts

Both CBD and delta-8 are fair options for treating anxiety. However, more studies are needed regarding the long-term use of delta 8 products. 

If you live in a state where delta-8 is restricted or have a job where you are required to test for drugs, then CBD is your only choice.

In any case, we would recommend you to try CBD for anxiety. If you don’t feel the effect, try a different, stronger product, it’s going to take time but stick to CBD. Keep in mind the side effects, and consult a doctor if you are using other medications.


The information in this article is intended for general use only and may not always be appropriate for everyone’s needs. Your health and wellness are unique to you, so before acting on anything we say, seek personalized advice from a medical professional.

We value the accuracy and editorial integrity of all our articles, and we strive to ensure that the content we publish is accurate and up-to-date to the best of our knowledge.

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