Cannabinoids like CBD and THC are the new normal. People are using CBD to deal with their stressful lives, then comes a new player in the game, Delta 8 THC. According to Forbes, there were more than 22 million Delta 8 THC searches in Google in the US alone in the year 2021.
Delta 8 or “Delta 8 THC” is available in most places where CBD is available, and it’s selling in the market as a better version of Delta 9 THC and a legal means to get “high”.
This leaves many people questioning, Is Delta 8 THC work better than CBD for an issue like Pain?
Due to limited research and resources, we accurately can’t compare every aspect of CBD and Delta 8 THC. However, in this article, we are going to talk about which one of these Cannabinoids is better for Pain.
CBD is better than Delta 8 THC for pain because CBD has the capability to eliminate pain by binding and regulating with a body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain and immune system to decrease the sensation and provides ease in all kinds of Pain. However, the commercial Delta 8 THC is artificially made and does not have a strong binding power to CB receptors, so its effects on pain are milder than CBD.
However, some people have reported that Delta 8 THC has been more effective in providing quick relief in certain kinds of pain than CBD.
Let’s understand this more clearly.
How Can CBD Help with Pain?
CBD, short for “Cannabidiol” is a natural molecule found in Hemp and Cannabis plants that is famous for its multi-level benefits. These benefits include ease in all kinds of Pain, Stress, Anxiety, Inflammation, just to name a few.
Not long ago, CBD can only be found in a Cannabis plant, and the only way to take CBD was to consume weed. Apart from all the psychoactive effects of smoking Cannabis that comes from THC, the medical benefits were mostly due to CBD.
What CBD does is, it regulates the Complex cell signaling system of a body also called Endocannabinoid System (ECS), This signaling system is majorly made up of two types of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) that are scattered throughout the body, and CBD helps balance them.
An issue like Chronic Pain is only felt when the signals from the pain-affected area are traveling through the CB1 and CB2 receptors and reach the brain, giving it the message about pain, and if untreated, these pain receptors become unstable which results in chronic or constant pain.
Now if you take CBD, it metabolizes, binds with the CB1 and CB2 receptors, and helps regulate them. It further activates a variety of biological processes in the body and provides all kinds of benefits.
While the CB1 receptor is mostly concentrated in the brain. With CBD, these receptors that were carrying the pain sensation get into disarray. It further helps regulate the receptors to reach a state of equilibrium. Meaning, with CBD, the CB1 receptors that were carrying the pain signals to the brain got disrupted and the pain sensation got diminished.
CBD further maintains the CB2 receptors that are present all over the body. Chronic pain causes the CB2 receptors to increase the inflammatory response within the body. With CBD, this inflammatory response reduces significantly, which further provides ease in nerve pain, physical pain, and phantom pain.
CBD also helps you recover better and faster from muscle soreness and various kinds of injuries.
Learn More: A Beginners Guide to CBD
How Can Delta 8 THC Help with Pain?
Delta 8 THC is also a cannabinoid that is naturally found in the Cannabis and Hemp plants in extremely rare quality (less than 0.1%) so the natural extraction for commercial use of Delta 8 is Impossible. The commercialized Delta 8 that you see in the market is artificially created from the Hemp extracted CBD, that’s the reason it is being sold as a legal means to get “High” in the US.
Talking about Pain, a Delta 8 THC molecule also has some amount of capability to interact and regulate the CB receptors. However, for an issue like pain, it works more effectively in masking the pain signals and replacing them with the psychoactive sensation, rather than minimizing the pain. Meaning, when you are in pain and you take a Delta 8 THC product, the pain you are feeling will be temporarily gone and it will be replaced by a feeling of Intoxication or “High”.
You can also get the same effects with Delta 9 THC that we typically know as “THC”, and it will be more intoxicating and more effective for pain and inflammation than Delta 8 because the artificially made Delta 8 THC has less affinity to bind with CB receptors compared to Delta 9 THC or CBD which are naturally found.
So, Delta 8 THC can help with pain and inflammation, but it’s not better than CBD or even Delta 9 THC.
Learn More: Delta 8 THC Explained
How is CBD Better for Pain than Delta 8 THC?
There are many reasons why CBD is a better choice than Delta 8 THC for Pain:
- CBD is a safer option because it is naturally made, well researched, non-psychoactive, and widely used as compared to Delta 8 THC.
- CBD has a stronger binding affinity to the CB receptors that help regulate and minimize all kinds of pain better as compared to Delta 8 THC.
- CBD products are legal in the US as long as it is extracted from Hemp and contain less than 0.3% of THC with certain restrictions on Full Spectrum CBD products in a few states. However, Comercial Delta 8 THC is only legal in the US on the technicalities and 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.
- The FDA does not regulate both the Cannabinoids products. However, the CBD industry has become smarter with time as more CBD companies have self-regulated and standardized their products to an extent that it causes an almost similar effect in every batch of the product. However, the Delta 8 THC industry is still new and evolving, so the trust for Delta 8 companies hasn’t built up yet.
- The side effects of CBD are minimal and they are generally well-tolerated and there is no potential for abuse and dependency with CBD. While Delta 8 THC may cause certain levels of dependency and it needs more research on other matters to say anything for certain.
- CBD can be taken anytime for pain, as it does not exhibit psychoactive properties, While Delta 8 THC causes you to get mildly “High” at any decent dosage so it needs to be taken with Caution.
- Delta 8 THC can test positive in a Cannabis drug test screening, However, except for Full Spectrum CBD products, CBD does not cause a false positive in any kind of drug test.
- CBD is “lipophilic”, meaning it stores in the body fat and gets more effective with time. For an issue like Pain, you may see some effects of CBD with one or two dosages, but it will take a few days or even weeks to see the best results. The same can’t be said about Delta 8. And it is safe to take CBD everyday.
- Both the cannabinoids may interact with other medications especially the ones with the “grapefruit” warning. It is advised that you consult your healthcare provider before trying any Cannabinoid product if you are on a certain Medication.
Why do Some People Prefer Delta 8 THC for Pain than CBD?
If a person has tried both Cannabinoids and prefers Delta 8 THC over CBD for Pain, there could be one of the two reasons:
- Delta 8 THC causes you to get Stoned, and in some cases, this feeling of intoxication could be helpful in eliminating or masking the feeling of pain better than CBD. This may come as bliss for some people. Although Delta 8 THC does have pain-reducing properties, it does not have a strong binding capability to the CB receptors. If you are looking for this kind of effect for pain, and Delta 9 THC is legal in your state then it’s better to try Delta 9 THC at a smaller dosage. Otherwise, if there is a legality issue, stick to Delta 8.
- The second reason why Delta 8 can be better than CBD for pain is when the dosing of CBD is not accurate. For CBD to be effective for any ailment, accurate dosing is required which, unfortunately, many people suck at finding it. Without the FDA regulation, there are no fixed guidelines that govern the CBD space, and it’s really difficult to do so. For Delta 8, the dosing is also complex but it’s more likely to get you to feel mildly intoxicated even at a lower dosage and this may feel like it’s providing relief in Pain better than CBD.
The only reason to stick to Delta 8 THC over CBD for pain is if you like the intoxicating effects that come with it. Otherwise, it’s better to try a good quality CBD product at a dosage that is more accurate to you, it will be beneficial in the long run.
Check out this article to get an idea about CBD Dosage.
How to Use CBD or Delta 8 THC for Pain?
- Tinctures and Oils: They come in a dropper bottle that needs to be sublingually administered under the tongue for a minute and then swallow. It takes 30 minutes to 1 hour for the effects to kick in and it generally lasts for up to 6 to 8 hours. The exact dosing can be a hassle and you can titrate easily, but tinctures and oils administration can be a good choice for onset pain relief.
- Edibles (Gummies, Capsules & Softgels): Edibles are one of the most preferred methods of Cannabinoid ingestion. They are easy to dose and titrate. It takes up to 2 hours for their effect to kick in and can last up to 10 hours. Edibles are also a good option for pain.
- Topicals (Cream, Balm, Roll-on): If you are suffering from Arthritis or a targeted inflammatory pain in any part of your body then Topicals products are the best option for you. In this case, finding the exact dosing is not necessary, just take a decent amount and apply it to the affected area. You will see the effects in less than 1 hour.
- Flower and Vapes: Inhaling the cannabinoids in the form of flowers or vapes is the fastest way to feel the effect, they generally kick in within 5 minutes of use. They are perfect for immediate pain relief. However, their effect also dissipates within a few hours.
If you are looking for decent CBD and Delta 8 Products, Check out Diamond CBD and Green Roads
Both the Cannabinoids have their benefits, CBD is clearly better than Delta 8 THC for dealing with Pain. CBD has better receptor binding power and is legal in most States.
However, some people may find Delta 8 THC more appealing and effective for Pain because it causes you to get High. However, Delta 9 THC is a better choice than Delta 8 THC if you prefer the Stoned sensation but it’s not legal in most States.
Cannabinoids are fairly safe, but there are some side effects like Dry Eyes, Dehydration, Fatigue, Diarrhea, Sleepiness but they are well tolerated in CBD. There is a risk of Cannabinoid in its interaction with other medications in the body, so it is better to consult a doctor before using any CBD or Delta 8 THC product for pain especially if you are on medication with a “grapefruit” warning. However, Topical products are safe with Medications.
Read More: 28 Different types of CBD products.