How to Choose Between Delta-8 THC and CBD

With the benefits of medical cannabis coming to light, people are more curious about the line between legal and illegal use of the plant. Although the plant has more than eighty compounds, two of them are more prominent; CBD and Delta-8 THC. 

Both of these compounds are pretty similar in many regards since they’re derived from the same plant. However, they also have some differences due to which one is openly legal while the other can only be used under medical supervision. 

In this guide, we discuss how to choose between Delta-8 THC and CBD. Plus, we talk about the similarities and differences between these sister compounds. 

How to Choose Between Delta-8 THC and CBD?

Both these compounds are present in most CBD products you buy online. If they’re full-spectrum, they’ll surely have Delta-8 THC. On the contrary, broad-spectrum and CBD isolate-containing products do not have Delta-8 THC.

When choosing between the two, here are a few things to keep in mind. 

Chemical Structure 

Although they act slightly differently, both CBD and Delta-8 THC have similar molecular structures. They both have two oxygen atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 21 carbons.

The only difference is in the arrangement of these atoms, which is possibly why the compounds act differently in the body. 

Another similarity between the compounds is their resemblance to the body’s cannabinoids. In fact, it’s this feature that allows them to work on the endocannabinoid system. 

Their interaction with the endocannabinoid system releases neurotransmitters that are responsible for relaying information related to sleep, mood, appetite, and pain. 

So, if your choosing criteria is based on interactions, you should know that both compounds affect the same receptors. However, their effect is different in the sense that THC has a stronger influence on the brain as compared to CBD. 


Technically, both compounds are psychoactive since they have an effect on the brain. However, CBD is differently psychoactive as compared to THC. 

While Delta-8 THC produces a high in the body, CBD is not associated with such a feeling. Instead, it helps with seizures, depression, and anxiety. On the flip side, Delta-8 THC interacts with CB1 receptors, producing a sense of euphoria. 

CBD also interacts with these receptors but only weakly. Therefore, it doesn’t make you high. 

It’s preferable to use a CBD-containing product if you need something high in Delta-8 THC for your medical condition. While Delta-8 THC helps in alleviating the symptoms, CBD lowers the intoxicating effects of THC by reducing sedation and euphoria. 


You must consider the legality when choosing between Delta-8 THC and CBD because this aspect is murky for both compounds. 

At the moment, CBD is still on the Schedule I drug list federally. The legislation has removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act. However, the FDA still considers it a Schedule I drug. 

Meanwhile, more than 30 states in the country have made laws about cannabis, making it legal for medicinal purposes. Consumers can only purchase the compound if a licensed physician has prescribed it for a medical ailment. 

Moreover, some states have also legalized CBD and Delta-8 THC for recreational purposes. You must consider your state laws before buying Delta-8 THC if you do not want to get in legal trouble later. 

If you’re found in possession of Delta-8 THC without a medical prescription in a state where it is illegal, you’ll undergo legal penalties. 

Medical Benefits 

When you’re deciding how to choose between Delta-8 THC and CBD for non-recreational purposes, your medical condition should pave the way for this decision. Both compounds are useful against a range of diseases. 

However, some people might personally prefer CBD over Delta-8 THC since it doesn’t cause a high. At the moment, the FDA has approved a single CBD-based medication, called Epidiolex, which helps in managing rare forms of epilepsy. 

Although CBD and Delta-8 THC can help you in different illnesses, they have not been approved by the FDA for any ailment yet, with the exception of Epidiolex. 

You can use CBD for the following diseases: 

  • Seizures 
  • Pain and inflammation 
  • Psychosis 
  • Mental disorders
  • Depression and anxiety 
  • Migraines and tension headaches
  • Inflammatory bowel disease

On the other hand, Delta-8 THC is suitable for: 

  • Pain and muscle spasticity 
  • Insomnia
  • Glaucoma 
  • Anxiety and nausea 

Side Effects 

When choosing between Delta-8 THC and CBD, you also have to keep their side effects in mind. Research mainly shows that the side effects of CBD are due to its interactions with other drugs. Some of them include:

  • Fatigue and dizziness
  • Weight loss and appetite changes 
  • Diarrhea 

Delta-8 THC may cause the following side effects: 

  • Dry mouth 
  • Red eyes 
  • Accelerated heart rate 
  • Problem in coordination 
  • Slow reaction time 
  • Anxiety 
  • Memory loss

Nor Delta-8 THC neither CBD is fatal. Plus, there aren’t any reports of overdosing either. However, using Delta-8 THC for an extended period could lead to psychiatric effects, especially for people who administer higher doses. 

Drug Testing 

If your workplace conducts monthly or regular drug tests, you should also consider this when selecting between CBD and Delta-8 THC. 

Both these compounds stay in your system for a few days, and in some cases, they may also be present after weeks of use. 

However, CBD does not show on drug tests. Although there are some CBD-sensitive tests, standard drug tests do not detect the compound. 

On the other hand, Delta-8 THC comes up in drug tests. Even if you’re using a compound with 0.3% THC, there’s a likelihood of it showing in a drug test. 


In this guide, we explored how to choose between Delta-8 THC and CBD since many people are confused about the decision. Ultimately, we recommend CBD over Delta-8 for many reasons. To see what our top-ranked CBD products for anxiety, check out this article.

Otherwise, talk to your healthcare provider as they’ll have better knowledge of the compounds and your health condition. Most importantly, never buy Delta-8 THC or CBD from shady and unreliable companies. 

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