CBD vs Delta 8 THC: Which One 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 “Cannabinoid” that has revolutionized the sleep industry, as millions of people are using it to get a better quality of sleep, and it really works. Now there is a new player, Delta 8 THC. It is also a Cannabinoid that’s become quite famous in the last couple of years for its benefits, that is similar to CBD. 

This leaves people questioning, Which of these cannabinoids is better for Sleep: CBD or Delta 8 THC?

CBD is better for sleep than Delta 8 THC because CBD is a well-researched, safer, and completely legal Cannabinoid in the US. CBD also has a better binding power to our body CB receptors, but the same can’t be said about Delta 8 THC. There are also more effective CBD products for Sleep in the market as compared to Delta 8.

While Delta 8 THC also works for sleep but rather than being a definitive sleep aid, it works more towards managing the symptoms that may be disrupting sleep.

In this article, we have covered everything regarding CBD vs Delta 8 THC for Sleep.

How Does CBD Work for Sleep?

CBD, short for “Cannabidiol” is a non-psychoactive molecule that is naturally found in the Hemp and Cannabis plants that offer so many benefits to the users, including better sleeping patterns. 

A human body has a natural cell signaling system, commonly known as the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) consists of CB receptors, majorly CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors are scattered throughout the body and are responsible for carrying all kinds of signals from various parts of the body to the brain.

CBD does more than a dozen important things in your body, but majorly, CBD is responsible for interacting, regulating, and balancing the Endocannabinoid System that makes your body’s receptors healthy and which further enables your body to have many benefits including a natural sleep cycle.

Sleep problems can happen for one of two reasons:

  • Trouble Falling Asleep.
  • Getting poor quality of Sleep.

There could be many reasons why you are having trouble falling asleep or not getting enough sleep. Like: Racing Thoughts, Mood, Stress, Panic, Anxiety, Inflammation, Pain, and more. All of these issues are related to the imbalance of the Endocannabinoid System, and we know that CBD is majorly involved in balancing that. 

Getting poor quality sleep generally happens because your body is having trouble getting into a deep sleep or can’t transition from REM (rapid eye movement) to NREM (non-rapid-eye movement). It is one of the root causes of sleep issues. 

According to WebMD, REM is a sleeping stage that happens many times during sleep, it typically happens after 90 minutes of sleep, following the NREM. In the REM stage, your eyes move rapidly in a range of directions but the brain doesn’t get any visual information. Rather the brain activities increase and you may also have intense dreams. After that the sleep transitions to NREM, where your body can get into a deep sleep to repair and strengthen the tissues, muscles, and immune system.

This constant transition from REM to NREM in a sleeping cycle is lacking in a lot of people and this is the reason for getting poor quality of sleep. According to research, CBD is effective in improving the transition from REM to NREM sleep.

CBD can help in many areas that are responsible for the decline of your natural sleep cycle.

CBD solves a lot of problems that hinder sleep. However, it does not act as an enabler that puts you to sleep or heal insomnia. 

Many CBD companies understood this and formulated CBD products that contain Melatonin (a sleep hormone). These products are specially made to solve all your sleeping problems.

Check out this awesome list of the best CBD Products for Sleep.

How Does Delta 8 THC Work for Sleep?

Delta 8 or Delta 8 THC is a psychoactive molecule found in Cannabis and Hemp Plants in extremely rare quantities, but the commercial Delta 8 that you see in the market are artificially made from Hemp extracted CBD. 

Delta 8 offers similar benefits to Delta 9 THC, commonly known as “THC”, but in a mild way.

Being similar to Delta 9 THC, Delta 8 carries the same benefits, including the ability to interact with Endocannabinoid System by binding to the CB receptors and calming down your body and mind which puts you in a relaxing mood that may induce sleep. It also puts you in a mild psychoactive state also known as “High” which could further enable you to sleep.

Delta 8 is artificially made, so it does not have a strong binding power to CB receptors as compared to CBD, so it’s unlikely that it could offer better benefits to sleep than CBD. 

However, the mild psychoactive nature of Delta 8 THC and its unique terpenes profile produces an entourage effect within the body, which acts as an enabler for some people to get to sleep and stay asleep.

There are no solid studies regarding the use of Delta 8 THC and Sleep, but many Delta 8 THC users have supported its case against sleep (source). However, CBD has a much higher number of users.

How is CBD Better for Sleep than Delta 8 THC?

There are many reasons why you should prefer CBD over Delta 8 THC for Sleep:

  • CBD is a natural compound that has a strong binding capability to your body’s CB receptors to provide maximum benefits to sleeping problems. While commercial Delta 8 is artificially made so it does not have a strong binding power to the body’s receptors as compared to CBD.
  • Except for Full-spectrum CBD products, CBD does not cause a false positive in any kind of drug screening. However, Delta 8 THC will test positive on a Cannabis drug screening test.
  • CBD extracted from Hemp is a federally legal compound that is legal in all 50 states of the US. However, Delta 8 THC is only legal on technicalities, and due to limited research and regulation, 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.
  • Taking CBD everyday for sleep is safe and it’s actually recommended for long-term results. However, there is no research done on the regular use of Delta 8 THC.
  • There is no risk of dependency or potential for abuse with CBD, but the same can’t be said about Delta 8 THC.
  • Quality CBD products for sleep also come with Melatonin for a better sleeping experience and the combination of CBD with melatonin is safe. However, there are not a lot of quality Delta 8 products for sleep that come with Melatonin and there are no studies regarding the interaction of Delta 8 with Melatonin.
  • The FDA does not regulate both cannabinoids. However, the CBD industries have become wise with time, as many CBD companies have set criteria to evaluate and standardize every batch of CBD products. The Delta 8 industry is currently far behind in this aspect.

Why do Some People May Find Delta 8 THC Better than CBD for Sleep?

If a person has tried both the Cannabinoid and prefers Delta 8 THC over CBD for Sleep, there could be one of the three reasons:

  • A dosage of Delta 8 THC’s effects are generally stronger than the same dosage of CBD, so in most cases, if a person prefers Delta 8 over CBD for sleep, it is because he wasn’t able to figure out the exact dosage of CBD that is required for him/her to work for sleep. In certain cases of Insomnia, it needs a stronger dosage of CBD to be effective, or it might take some trial and error to find that perfect dose of CBD that works for you.
  • Users of Delta 8 THC experience a mild psychoactive effect aka “High”, this may be beneficial for some people to put their mind in a state where attaining quality sleep can become easier, Rather than taking CBD that does not cause you to get “Stoned”.
  • 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 THC might be your best bet.

If CBD doesn’t work for you, or if you prefer the feeling of “High” before you go to bed then Delta 8 THC is your only Option. Otherwise, it’s better to try quality CBD products for sleep with a small amount of Melatonin. It’s a safer choice in the long run.

How to Use CBD and Delta 8 THC for Sleep?

CBD and Delta 8 THC, both have varieties of products options. However, the delivery methods can be classified into four categories:

  1. Oils and Tinctures: They are the widely used method 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 & Softgels): Edibles 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 7 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 sleep, except if you are having trouble sleeping because of a headache or some pain in your body, then Topicals just might work.
  4. Flower 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, and dissipate within a few hours. However, with this method of intake, there is no guarantee that it’s always going to work for inducing sleep.

Using Edibles like Gummies or Softgels is the most optimal method of Cannabinoid consumption, especially for getting a good night’s sleep.  

If you are looking to try good quality CBD products for sleep, Check out this really cool Sleep Collection from Green Roads.

Conclusion

CBD and Delta 8 THC are great options for Sleep. Both have their own merits, However, CBD is a better choice for sleep because of its safety profile and long-term use. 

CBD is legal in most states of the US, while more than 10 states have imposed restrictions on Delta 8 products.

CBD also comes with Melatonin which can be a great enabler for sleep, which still lacks in quality Delta 8 products.

For some people, CBD just might not work for sleep. In this case, Delta 8 THC can be a better choice.

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 for sleep if you are on a certain Medication.

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