Delta-8 vs Delta-9 THC For Sleep

Delta-8 vs Delta-9 THC For Sleep

Let’s face it: modern life isn’t exactly sleep-friendly. We’re glued to screens, juggling endless to-do lists, and family responsibilities.

Not to mention flooded with dopamine while being bombarded with endless information on a constant basis.

Sounds like you? Unfortunately, it probably does.

According to the American Psychiatric Association – over 70 Million Americans have trouble sleeping.

That’s why more and more people are turning to hemp based solutions for their sleep troubles.

Our 2019 survey showed that sleep was the third most frequent reason why Cannovians buy our CBD + CBN oil for sleep.

But if you’re looking for something stronger, while still natural – that’s where THC options come in. Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC are both naturally found in cannabis and hemp plants.

The big difference though is Delta-9 THC is found in abundance where Delta-8 only exists at trace levels1

Since Delta-8 only exists in extremely small amounts, it must be produced by converting CBD through a synthetic process2. Delta-9 THC on the other hand is readily available in abundant amounts in the plants.

A woman sleeping comfortably in her bed with a little bit of sunlight gracing her.

Unlike our CBN oil for sleep, our Delta-9 THC Products are psychoactive and will get you buzzed, while also promoting deep, restful and uninterrupted sleep.

But hold on…which THC is actually a better option for sleep?

With so many options in different cannabinoids, extracts, it’s easy to get confused. 

Let’s compare Delta-8 THC vs Delta-9 THC for sleep and which one would work best for you.

Key Takeaways
  • Delta-8 THC: Milder, calming, less sedating, okay for daytime use, promotes creativity and focus.
  • Delta-9 THC: Potent, euphoric, deeply relaxing, good for nighttime use, helps with pain and insomnia.

What Is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 THC is an isomer of Delta-9 THC, which is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis and hemp plants. 

An isomer means it has a similar molecular structure to Delta-9 THC, with a slightly different arrangement of atoms.

It is called a minor cannabinoid like CBG, CBN and CBC. Minor cannabinoids are those which are found in smaller quantities compared to CBD and Δ-9-THC.

Due to its low natural occurrence in cannabis plants, Delta-8 THC is usually produced through chemical processes to extract commercial quantities.

It requires isomerization, where CBD is subjected to a chemical reaction which converts it into Delta-9 THC.

This process is not considered entirely natural due to the human intervention involved. That’s why Δ-8-THC is generally considered semi-synthetic.

It is known to have milder psychoactive effects than Δ-9-THC, because it is less potent, meaning you need more of it to achieve similar effects.

What Is Delta-9 THC?

A cannabis bud close up.

Delta-9 THC is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis and hemp plants. It’s responsible for the “high” we associate with cannabis.

Unlike Delta-8 THC, it is produced in abundant quantities naturally by the cannabis plants, primarily in their flowers (buds). 

It’s the most famous and most well-studied cannabinoid along with CBD.

Δ-9-THC is naturally abundant and most often associated with  recreational usage and marijuana, which has higher THC levels (over 0.3%) and is federally illegal. 

However, Delta-9 THC derived from hemp (with under 0.3% THC) and used in products that adhere to the 0.3% limit is federally legal, and has many potential benefits.

Thanks to the 2018 farm bill and new extraction methods, you can now enjoy legal and natural delta-9 THC derived from hemp. 

As long as it’s under 0.3% THC, it’s federally legal and offers a lot of potential benefits.

Effects Of Delta-8 THC vs Delta-9 THC

While both of them are psychoactive, have sedative properties and give you the “high” feeling, there are stark differences in how they affect people.

Delta-8 can be called diet THC, as it’s about half as potent as Delta-9 THC3.

Delta-8 is euphoric and calming, it is known to provide a milder, more mellow experience. 

It provides a similar experience, but is a less natural alternative to Delta-9 THC.

It’s not as sedative, and often requires higher doses to achieve a similar effect compared to Delta-9.

Delta-9 THC delivers a more potent and euphoric high, accompanied with deep relaxation and a sense of happiness.

It is twice as strong and more sedative than Delta-8 THC, and can alleviate discomfort, making it a preferred choice for nighttime use.

Some research also suggests that users may experience temporary side effects like anxiety, paranoia, and dry mouth with Delta-9 THC.

Anecdotal experiences suggest that Delta-8 THC might have stronger unwanted side effects compared to delta-9 THC. The extraction process also makes Delta-8 more prone to contaminants.

However, more research is required to confirm this.

Benefits Of Delta-8 THC For Sleep

Delta-8 THC is still in early stages of research and hasn’t been studied as well as Delta-9 THC. 

Researchers from University Of Michigan surveyed 500 people for Delta-8 THC’s effects and the participants reported:

  • Relaxation (71%)
  • Euphoria (68%)
  • Pain Relief (55%)

This suggests that Delta-8 THC might be helpful in promoting restful sleep by making people relaxed and alleviating discomfort.

Benefits Of Delta-9 THC For Sleep

A man sleeping in his bed on a white pillow.

Delta-9 THC has been studied for a longer period of time than Delta-8 THC and is more researched. It is the main psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis that has been used for centuries by different civilizations for promoting deeper, more restful sleep and enhanced comfort.

A survey conducted by researchers of University at Buffalo and University of Michigan surveyed 1200 people for effects of Delta-9 THC. More than half of the participants reported that it helped them sleep more deeply by relaxing their body and mind.

Another study found that Delta-9 THC can decrease sleep latency – the time it takes for you to fall asleep.

People report falling asleep quicker, and staying asleep longer when they take Delta-9 THC.

Delta-9 may also help in easing and alleviating discomfort, which is another reason a lot of people have a hard time sleeping.

Delta-9 THC and Restless Leg Syndrome

One study suggested that Delta-9 may help promoting sleep in Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)4, a condition which often contributes to sleep problems. However, more research is needed to confirm these effects.

Delta-9 THC and Circadian Rhythm

Delta-9 THC might help stabilize circadian rhythm according to some studies which monitored elderly people and their sleep cycles.

Your circadian rhythm is your body’s natural internal 24-hour cycle. It helps you feel sleepy at night and wakeful during the day, promoting a healthy sleep-wake pattern.

When your circadian rhythm is out of balance, the same happens to your sleep schedule.

How Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC Work

Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC both work by interacting with your body’s endocannabinoid system, which plays an important role in regulating your mood, sleep cycle, pain management, inflammation, stress and more.

A woman running towards the sunset on sand.

The ECS makes sure that all your body’s internal systems operate in harmony and balance. This state of optimal functioning is called homeostasis, which a healthy ECS promotes.

There are two types of cannabinoids:

  • Endocannabinoids: The cannabinoids produced by your own body.
  • Phytocannabinoids: The cannabinoids we find in plants like cannabis and hemp.

When your endocannabinoid system is out of balance, phytocannabinoids can lend the much needed support to bring you back into homeostasis.

Your ECS has two receptors:

  • CB1: These receptors are located predominantly in your central nervous system (CNS) – your brain and spinal cord.
  • CB2: These receptors are mainly found in your peripheral nervous system and immune system.

While both Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC interact with these receptors, the former interacts strongly with CB2 receptors – resulting in a stronger physical buzz compared to the latter.

Delta-9 THC activates your CB1 receptors and binds to them more strongly, which explains why it is more psychoactive and has more intense effects than Delta-8.

Researchers have found that “the activation of the CB1 receptor leads to an induction of sleep”, which may be why most people report sleeping better with Delta-9 THC.

Which Is Better For Sleep Delta-8 Or Delta-9 THC?

Cannovia's Delta-9 THC Gummies - Black Cherry

Delta-9 THC has an edge over Delta-8 THC when it comes to promoting better and more restful sleep.

Your choice would depend on your preferences.

Delta-8 THC is fairly recent and its extraction isn’t completely natural as it is usually synthesized from chemical solvents. Delta-9 THC can be extracted using chemicals like ethanol, CO2 extraction or solventless extraction methods.

Another thing to consider is your tolerance, if you’re new to THC it’s likely your tolerance is going to be low.

For a mild, clear headed high, some people may want to opt for Delta-8 THC.

If you’re looking for something stronger to take at bedtime which helps you drift off to sleep effortlessly, consider Delta-9 THC.

With all-natural, federally legal Delta-9 THC now readily available, you no longer have to settle for the less potent and less natural Delta-8.

If you’re worried about potency, start with lower doses of Delta-9 gummies or our 20mg CBD + 5mg THC gummies, designed specifically for those seeking a gentler introduction to THC.

We extract our Delta-9 THC through Cellular Deconstruction Technology™, which extracts cannabinoids by gently applying energy and breaking down the cell walls.

Meaning our extracts never come in contact with any harsh solvents or extreme temperatures.

So if you’re looking for the best Delta-9 THC Gummies available, check out our collection made with the highest quality ingredients.

  1. Jami D Reber, Erin L Karschner, Joshua Z Seither, Jessica L Knittel, Katherine V Dozier, Jeffrey P Walterscheid, An Enhanced LC–MS-MS Technique for Distinguishing Δ8– and Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Isomers in Blood and Urine Specimens, Journal of Analytical Toxicology, Volume 46, Issue 4, May 2022, Pages 343–349, ↩︎
  2. Nachnani, R., Raup-Konsavage, W.M. & Vrana, K.E. The Rise and Risk of Delta-8 THC (Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol). Curr Addict Rep 9, 622–629 (2022). ↩︎
  3. Bergeria, C. L., Strickland, J. C., Spindle, T. R., Kalaba, M., Satyavolu, P. U., Feldner, M., Vandrey, R., Bonn-Miller, M., Peters, E. N., & Weerts, E. (2023). A crowdsourcing survey study on the subjective effects of delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol relative to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 31(2), 312–317. ↩︎
  4. Kaul, M., Zee, P.C. & Sahni, A.S. Effects of Cannabinoids on Sleep and their Therapeutic Potential for Sleep Disorders. Neurotherapeutics 18, 217–227 (2021). ↩︎
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