CBD vs Delta-8: Which is better for sleep?

a Women peacefully sleeping in a bed

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Around 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep problems and there was no natural and effective solution for it, but then came CBD.

CBD is a natural hemp-derived cannabinoid that has revolutionized the sleep industry, as millions of people are using it to get a better quality of sleep and it works.

Now comes a new player, delta-8 or delta-8 THC, which is also a hemp-derived cannabinoid that has become quite popular in the last couple of years for its benefits, which are similar to CBD. 

This leaves people wondering, which of these cannabinoids is better for promoting sleep: CBD or delta-8?

In this article, we aim to break down the sleep-promoting qualities of CBD and delta-8, helping you understand what each brings to the table and which could be the right option for you in addressing sleep.

How does CBD help with sleep?

CBD has the potential to promote better sleep while also providing relief from sleep disorders through its interactions with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).

One key way it helps is by having a calming effect on anxiety and stress symptoms which are one of the common factors that disrupt your sleep. CBD achieves this by influencing receptors, particularly CB1, in brain regions associated with anxiety, creating a more relaxed state that is conducive to falling asleep.

Additionally, CBD plays a role in regulating the body’s internal clock, the circadian rhythm, which helps establish consistent sleep patterns and improve overall sleep quality (1).

Research suggests that CBD can be beneficial for people experiencing REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD). RBD is a condition where individuals physically act out vivid dreams, often leading to disrupted sleep. CBD’s influence on the ECS can help reduce the occurrence of such episodes, promoting more uninterrupted sleep.

Moreover, CBD’s ability to relieve pain and address inflammation contributes to its sleep-promoting qualities. As a natural analgesic, it can alleviate chronic pain, which is often the reason for many people’s sleeplessness.

Collectively, these aspects position CBD as a versatile option for people seeking a natural and safe solution to enhance their sleep quality, though individual responses can vary.

Factors such as dosage, the form of CBD consumed, and the specific sleep-related issue you may have also play a role in determining its effectiveness.

How does delta-8 help with sleep?

Similar to CBD, delta-8 also offers benefits for sleeplessness through its interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). 

One way delta-8 aids sleep is through its potential to regulate sleep-wake cycles. The ECS plays a crucial role in maintaining the body’s circadian rhythm, the internal clock governing the sleep-wake cycle. Delta-8’s interaction with ECS receptors can help modulate this rhythm, promoting more consistent and restful sleep patterns.

Additionally, the hemp-derived delta-8 exhibits mild psychoactive effects, creating a sense of relaxation without the intense high associated with traditional THC.

This gentle relaxation can be particularly beneficial for people dealing with stress, anxiety, and racing thoughts which are common factors that contribute to sleep disturbances.

By inducing a state of calmness, delta-8 facilitates the onset of sleep and contributes to an overall more relaxed sleep experience.

Although there are no solid studies regarding the use of delta-8 and sleep, many users have supported its case against sleep (source).

When is CBD better for sleep than delta-8?

CBD is often the preferred option for promoting sleep over delta-8 THC in certain situations, such as:

  1. Sensitivity to psychoactive effects: CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, meaning it doesn’t produce the characteristic “high” associated with THC, including delta-8. For people who are sensitive to psychoactive effects or those who wish to avoid any alteration in cognitive function, CBD presents a suitable choice. Its calming and sleep-inducing properties can be harnessed without the risk of experiencing the more pronounced psychoactive effects associated with THC.

  2. Anxiety or stress-related sleep issues: CBD’s anxiolytic properties make it particularly beneficial for people dealing with anxiety or stress-related sleep disturbances. By interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and modulating receptors associated with anxiety, CBD helps create a calming effect. This can alleviate stress and anxious thoughts, contributing to a more relaxed mental state conducive to better sleep. 

  3. Daily functionality: For those who want to integrate a sleep aid into their daily routine without compromising their ability to function during the day, CBD is a better choice. Its non-intoxicating nature allows you to experience its sleep-inducing benefits without the cognitive impairment that may come with THC, ensuring that daily tasks and responsibilities can be carried out effectively.

  4. A better and wider range of sleep product options: CBD has a wide range of sleep product options that delta-8 lacks. While many CBD products for sleep also come with melatonin, which is a sleep-promoting compound that further compliments CBD in promoting sleep.

When is delta-8 better for sleep than CBD?

Delta-8 can be a preferred option for promoting sleep over CBD in certain scenarios, such as:

  1. Insomnia or severe sleep disorders: Delta-8, with its mild psychoactive effects, can be more effective in inducing sedation, making it a potentially better choice for people dealing with insomnia or more severe sleep disorders. The relaxing properties of delta-8 can help you transition into a state of calmness, facilitating the onset of sleep better than CBD.

  2. Need for deeper relaxation: Delta-8’s psychoactive effects, though milder than delta-9, can contribute to a deeper sense of relaxation. This can be beneficial for people who experience high levels of stress, anxiety, or restlessness that significantly impact their ability to unwind before bedtime. 

  3. Tolerance to cannabinoids: For individuals who have developed a tolerance to cannabinoids due to prolonged use, delta-8 can provide a different experience. Its distinct psychoactive profile could offer a fresh approach for those who find that the effects of CBD are no longer as impactful in promoting sleep.

  4. CBD isn’t working: CBD does not work for everyone. No matter the dosage or quality of the product, for some people, CBD just does not work. There could be various reasons but the truth is their body is having trouble adapting to this new compound or it’s rejecting it completely. In this case, delta-8 has a better chance of working due to its mildly psychoactive nature.

How to use CBD and delta 8 for sleep?

CBD and delta-8, both have varieties of products options, such as:

  1. Oils and tinctures are the widely used methods of cannabinoid consumption. They come in a dropper bottle and need to be administered sublingually under the tongue for a minute before swallowing. It can take up to 30 minutes to 1 hour for oil and tinctures to kick in and it can stay for up to 6 hours. For sleep, this method of administration can be a good option but it’s seldomly preferred.
  2. Edibles (gummies, capsules, and softgels) are the most famous and widely used method of cannabinoid consumption, especially for sleep. They are easy to dose and their effects can last somewhere between 6 to 9 hours, which makes it a perfect option for sleep. 
  3. Topicals (cream, balm, roll-on): For sleep, using cannabinoid topicals is useless. It’s just not going to help you with sleep, except if you are having trouble sleeping because of a headache or some pain in your body, then certain CBD topicals just might work.
  4. Flowers and vapes: Smoking or vaping flowers or vape oils are some of the fastest ways to intake cannabinoids. Its effects work fast, within 10 minutes, but dissipate within a few hours. 

Using edibles like gummies or soft gels is the most preferred method of cannabinoid consumption, especially for getting a good night’s sleep.  

Final thoughts

In the CBD vs delta-8 debate for sleep, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Individual responses vary based on tolerance, sensitivity, and the cause of sleep issues.

However, if you are a working professional, CBD is a better choice for sleep because of its strong safety profile. Additionally, hemp-derived CBD is legal in the US, while many states have imposed restrictions on delta-8 products.

Although for some people, CBD does not work and they may need something stronger or psychoactive, in this case, delta-8 is the way to go.

Both CBD and delta-8 offer natural alternatives to traditional sleep aids, showing promise in promoting better sleep. As our understanding of these compounds continues to grow, so too will our ability to harness their potential for improving sleep quality and overall well-being.


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.