Delta 8 vs. Delta 9 for Sleep: A Research-Backed Comparison

Sleep is the most common reason people use CBD (cannabidiol), but many customers who come to us seeking better sleep often want something stronger: that’s where delta 8 and delta 9 THC come in. 

But which of these THC variants is the best for sleep? Both delta 8 and delta 9 THC are psychoactive and will get you high, but they offer very different effects. 

So to help you decide, we’re going to discuss what you need to know about delta 8 and delta 9 for sleep. We’ll cover the effects, benefits, and other things you’ll need to consider so you can choose the best cannabinoid for your situation. 

Natural Ways CBD delta 8 gummies

What is Delta 8?

Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta 8) is a cannabinoid that naturally occurs in the hemp plant. However, it’s only found in very small amounts, so it has to be made from CBD to be turned into products. 

Delta 8 creates psychoactive effects and will cause a head high. However, it’s just half as potent as delta 9 THC (regular” THC). 

Delta 8 is popular among hemp users who want the head experience but don’t want something as strong as delta 9. 

What is Delta 9?

Like delta 8, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta 9) is a naturally occurring cannabinoid in hemp. But unlike delta 8, it’s naturally abundant – it’s responsible for the effects famously associated with smoking weed. It’s the cannabinoid most people have in mind when they say “THC.”

Recreational cannabis use, which is illegal in many US states, is what made delta 9 popular. However, delta 9 is legal when derived from hemp, and has many therapeutic benefits. 

Hemp is simply cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC by dry weight (likewise, hemp products are products with a THC concentration below 0.3%). Illegal cannabis contains over 0.3% THC, and is referred to as marijuana. 

This is a legal distinction; hemp is not a different “breed” of the cannabis plant. Hemp-derived delta 9 is chemically identical to marijuana-derived delta 9. 

Natural Ways CBD delta 9 gummies

Effects of Delta 8 vs. Delta 9 

When it comes to choosing between delta 8 and delta 9 for sleep, the most important thing to consider is how these cannabinoids make you feel – not just how sedative they are, but what type of experience they give. 

Delta 8 is euphoric and uplifting. Some people find it to be slightly energizing, which, if you’re using it for sleep, isn’t ideal. However, others find it has sedative effects. Delta 8 will get you high, and it’s roughly half as strong as delta 9. 

Delta 9 is also euphoric and relaxing, but it’s typically more sedative than delta 8. It’s also twice as potent. 

Another key difference between these cannabinoids is in how they distribute their effects: delta 8 tends to spread its relaxing effects across the mind and body, whereas delta 9’s effects are noticeably stronger in the head. 

Benefits of Delta 8 for Sleep

Delta 8 THC isn’t naturally occurring in hemp in large amounts as delta 9 is. Manufacturing it from CBD, and therefore enabling it to be used in products, is a fairly recent trend.

Accordingly, it hasn’t been researched all that much, and there is no research specifically looking at delta 8 for sleep. However, there is a small amount of research on delta 8, in general. 

Research shows delta 8 has effects that are beneficial for sleep

Scientists surveyed 500 delta 8 users to find out the commonly experienced effects and benefits of these products. 

Surrey participants reported feeling relaxation (71%), euphoria (68%), and pain relief (55%) after using delta 8. 

While not specific to sleep, this research indicates that delta 8, for most people, creates effects (relaxation and euphoria) that may also be beneficial for sleep. 

This survey also shows that delta 8 may have some benefits for pain and anxiety – given that these are common contributors to sleep problems, it’s clear that delta 8 has therapeutic potential as a sleep aid. 

However, it will need to be researched further before we can draw any surefire conclusions about how well it works. 

24webp
Real, effective delta-8.

No more weak, ineffective, and potentially dangerous products. It's time for high-strength, American-made delta-8 THC products that have been 3rd-party lab tested.

Benefits of Delta 9 for Sleep

Compared to delta 8, delta 9 has been studied quite a bit as a sleep aid

Given delta 9’s natural abundance in cannabis, and given that cannabis has gained increasing amounts of attention for its medically beneficial properties, this makes sense.

Some studies show that delta 9 promotes sleep, while others indicate it does little to nothing. Here’s an overview of the research. 

Research shows delta 9 may promote restful sleep

One study found that delta 9 creates sedative effects in moderate doses, suggesting it may be beneficial for sleep. Other studies have found delta 9 to have similar sleep-promoting properties.

Research on the use of delta 9 for dysregulated sleep cycles in elderly people found that delta 9 may help stabilize the circadian rhythm. This suggests that delta 9’s sleep-supporting properties may go beyond just creating certain effects, a strong indication of its therapeutic potential. 

Research shows delta 9 may help with Restless Leg Syndrome and Pain

Like delta 8, delta 9 may promote sleep from multiple angles. Research has found that delta 9 may help with restless leg syndrome (RLS), a disorder that often creates or worsens sleep problems. 

Other research has looked at the benefits of delta 9 for pain, which, again, is a contributor to (and sometimes a result of) sleep problems. 

Research shows that in some cases, delta 9 may do nothing or worsen sleep

Although many studies suggest delta 9 is beneficial for sleep, others find that it does little for sleep. 

 A research review, that examined several studies on cannabis for sleep, found that cannabis, in general, created better sleep (21% of studies), worsened sleep (48%), rendered mixed results (14%), or had no impact at all (17%).

Anecdotal evidence (people who have used or use delta 9 for sleep) is mixed, too – some people report that delta 9 helps them sleep, while others didn’t find much benefit in using it. 

This shows that delta 9 may have tremendous sleep benefits for some people, while for others it does little. This reinforces the need for more clinical research on delta 9. It’s also a good reminder that cannabinoids affect everyone differently, so experimentation is often necessary. 

24webp
Finally, Delta-9 THC that works.

No weak, ineffective, or potentially dangerous products here. Only high-strength, American-made delta-9 products that have been 3rd-party lab tested.

How Delta 8 & Delta 9 Work In Your Body

Delta 8 and delta 9 THC work by interacting with your endocannabinoid system (ECS), a receptor system in your body responsible for regulating your vital functions, including mood, sleep, inflammatory response, and more. 

By regulating your vital functions, your ECS keeps your body balanced. The ECS normally functions fine on its own; healthy ECS function is associated with normal states of health. 

But during times of mental or physical unbalance, introducing cannabinoids into your system from the outside may support your ECS and help it do its job better. 

To understand how delta 8 and delta 9 work with your ECS, it’s important to know the two main types of cannabinoid receptors:

  • CB1 receptors — Located in the central nervous system and throughout the body. These receptors are responsible for regulating the effects cannabinoids have on your mind.
  • CB2 receptors – Located all throughout the body, except for in the nervous system. These receptors are responsible for regulating the effects cannabinoids have on your body.

Delta 8 and delta 9 both interact with both types of receptors, but to different degrees. This allows both cannabinoids to render physical, as well as mental, relaxation. 

However, delta 8 binds more strongly to CB2 receptors than delta 9 does, which is why its physical effects are stronger than those of delta 9. It also has a weaker bind to the CB1 receptors than delta 9, which explains why it’s less psychoactive than delta 9. 

In addition to generally understanding what each receptor does, scientists have found that the activation of the CB1 receptor “leads to an induction of sleep.” 

Given that delta 9 binds more strongly to CB1 than delta 8 does, this would suggest that delta 9 is more effective for sleep than delta 8. However, some people still prefer delta 8 because they want something less powerful.

Which is Better for Sleep, Delta 8 or Delta 9?

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing between delta 8 and delta 9 for sleep. Here’s what we recommend thinking about: 

Desired Strength & Character of Effects

If you want a milder head high and something a bit more uplifting, delta 8 is the better choice. It can help you get into a restful, calm mood without being overpowering. 

If you’re looking for a stronger, more sedative head experience, delta 9 is the way to go. Given the research on CB1 receptors, it seems delta 9’s sleep-inducing properties are more powerful than delta 8’s. 

Desired Spread of Effects

Delta 8 tends to spread its effects across the mind and body – you’ll get a “head high” and a “body high.” This makes it a good choice if you’re struggling to sleep due to physical discomfort. 

Delta 9, on the other hand, is much more focused in the head – better if you’re looking for something to calm you down and help you drift off. 

Your Tolerance

If you’re new to cannabinoids that get you high, such as delta 8 or delta 9, you’ll likely have a lower tolerance for them. In this case, you’ll want to opt for delta 8, which isn’t as strong as “classic THC.”

Conversely, if you’re a more experienced user, you might want the more powerful delta 9.

Delta 8 flower prerolls on flower

Conclusion: Which Cannabinoid Is Better?

Given that we don’t have a lot of clinical research on delta 8 and delta 9 for sleep, and we certainly don’t have research comparing how effective they are for this purpose, it’s hard to say for sure which cannabinoid is better  for sleep. 

Instead, it depends on your unique situation – which set of effects is the best fit for you? If you can answer this question, you’ll know whether delta 8 or delta 9 is the better choice for you. 

Delta 8 vs. Delta 9 for Sleep: Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions our customers frequently ask us about choosing between delta 8 and delta 9 for sleep. 

Is delta 9 or 8 better for sleep?

Delta 8 and delta 9 both have therapeutic potential for sleep. Neither is “better” – it comes down to whether you want a milder, more uplifting experience (delta 8), or a stronger, more sedative experience (delta 9). 

Is delta 8 or 9 more relaxing?

Both delta 8 and delta 9 are relaxing, but in different ways. Delta 8 tends to be euphoric and uplifting – you’ll be relaxed, but not necessarily tired. Delta 9, on the other hand, is known to have sedative properties. 

How much delta 9 should I take for sleep?

Starting out, we recommend taking a low-strength dose of delta 9 for sleep, which you can calculate using the following formula: (0.05) x (your body weight in lbs.) = your nightly dose of delta 9 for sleep in mg. 

Sleep is the most common reason people use CBD (cannabidiol), but many customers who come to us seeking better sleep often want something stronger: that’s where delta 8 and delta 9 THC come in. 

But which of these THC variants is the best for sleep? Both delta 8 and delta 9 THC are psychoactive and will get you high, but they offer very different effects. 

So to help you decide, we’re going to discuss what you need to know about delta 8 and delta 9 for sleep. We’ll cover the effects, benefits, and other things you’ll need to consider so you can choose the best cannabinoid for your situation. 

Natural Ways CBD delta 8 gummies

What is Delta 8?

Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta 8) is a cannabinoid that naturally occurs in the hemp plant. However, it’s only found in very small amounts, so it has to be made from CBD to be turned into products. 

Delta 8 creates psychoactive effects and will cause a head high. However, it’s just half as potent as delta 9 THC (regular” THC). 

Delta 8 is popular among hemp users who want the head experience but don’t want something as strong as delta 9. 

What is Delta 9?

Like delta 8, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta 9) is a naturally occurring cannabinoid in hemp. But unlike delta 8, it’s naturally abundant – it’s responsible for the effects famously associated with smoking weed. It’s the cannabinoid most people have in mind when they say “THC.”

Recreational cannabis use, which is illegal in many US states, is what made delta 9 popular. However, delta 9 is legal when derived from hemp, and has many therapeutic benefits. 

Hemp is simply cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC by dry weight (likewise, hemp products are products with a THC concentration below 0.3%). Illegal cannabis contains over 0.3% THC, and is referred to as marijuana. 

This is a legal distinction; hemp is not a different “breed” of the cannabis plant. Hemp-derived delta 9 is chemically identical to marijuana-derived delta 9. 

Natural Ways CBD delta 9 gummies

Effects of Delta 8 vs. Delta 9 

When it comes to choosing between delta 8 and delta 9 for sleep, the most important thing to consider is how these cannabinoids make you feel – not just how sedative they are, but what type of experience they give. 

Delta 8 is euphoric and uplifting. Some people find it to be slightly energizing, which, if you’re using it for sleep, isn’t ideal. However, others find it has sedative effects. Delta 8 will get you high, and it’s roughly half as strong as delta 9. 

Delta 9 is also euphoric and relaxing, but it’s typically more sedative than delta 8. It’s also twice as potent. 

Another key difference between these cannabinoids is in how they distribute their effects: delta 8 tends to spread its relaxing effects across the mind and body, whereas delta 9’s effects are noticeably stronger in the head. 

Benefits of Delta 8 for Sleep

Delta 8 THC isn’t naturally occurring in hemp in large amounts as delta 9 is. Manufacturing it from CBD, and therefore enabling it to be used in products, is a fairly recent trend.

Accordingly, it hasn’t been researched all that much, and there is no research specifically looking at delta 8 for sleep. However, there is a small amount of research on delta 8, in general. 

Research shows delta 8 has effects that are beneficial for sleep

Scientists surveyed 500 delta 8 users to find out the commonly experienced effects and benefits of these products. 

Surrey participants reported feeling relaxation (71%), euphoria (68%), and pain relief (55%) after using delta 8. 

While not specific to sleep, this research indicates that delta 8, for most people, creates effects (relaxation and euphoria) that may also be beneficial for sleep. 

This survey also shows that delta 8 may have some benefits for pain and anxiety – given that these are common contributors to sleep problems, it’s clear that delta 8 has therapeutic potential as a sleep aid. 

However, it will need to be researched further before we can draw any surefire conclusions about how well it works. 

24webp
Real, effective delta-8.

No more weak, ineffective, and potentially dangerous products. It's time for high-strength, American-made delta-8 THC products that have been 3rd-party lab tested.

Benefits of Delta 9 for Sleep

Compared to delta 8, delta 9 has been studied quite a bit as a sleep aid

Given delta 9’s natural abundance in cannabis, and given that cannabis has gained increasing amounts of attention for its medically beneficial properties, this makes sense.

Some studies show that delta 9 promotes sleep, while others indicate it does little to nothing. Here’s an overview of the research. 

Research shows delta 9 may promote restful sleep

One study found that delta 9 creates sedative effects in moderate doses, suggesting it may be beneficial for sleep. Other studies have found delta 9 to have similar sleep-promoting properties.

Research on the use of delta 9 for dysregulated sleep cycles in elderly people found that delta 9 may help stabilize the circadian rhythm. This suggests that delta 9’s sleep-supporting properties may go beyond just creating certain effects, a strong indication of its therapeutic potential. 

Research shows delta 9 may help with Restless Leg Syndrome and Pain

Like delta 8, delta 9 may promote sleep from multiple angles. Research has found that delta 9 may help with restless leg syndrome (RLS), a disorder that often creates or worsens sleep problems. 

Other research has looked at the benefits of delta 9 for pain, which, again, is a contributor to (and sometimes a result of) sleep problems. 

Research shows that in some cases, delta 9 may do nothing or worsen sleep

Although many studies suggest delta 9 is beneficial for sleep, others find that it does little for sleep. 

 A research review, that examined several studies on cannabis for sleep, found that cannabis, in general, created better sleep (21% of studies), worsened sleep (48%), rendered mixed results (14%), or had no impact at all (17%).

Anecdotal evidence (people who have used or use delta 9 for sleep) is mixed, too – some people report that delta 9 helps them sleep, while others didn’t find much benefit in using it. 

This shows that delta 9 may have tremendous sleep benefits for some people, while for others it does little. This reinforces the need for more clinical research on delta 9. It’s also a good reminder that cannabinoids affect everyone differently, so experimentation is often necessary. 

24webp
Finally, Delta-9 THC that works.

No weak, ineffective, or potentially dangerous products here. Only high-strength, American-made delta-9 products that have been 3rd-party lab tested.

How Delta 8 & Delta 9 Work In Your Body

Delta 8 and delta 9 THC work by interacting with your endocannabinoid system (ECS), a receptor system in your body responsible for regulating your vital functions, including mood, sleep, inflammatory response, and more. 

By regulating your vital functions, your ECS keeps your body balanced. The ECS normally functions fine on its own; healthy ECS function is associated with normal states of health. 

But during times of mental or physical unbalance, introducing cannabinoids into your system from the outside may support your ECS and help it do its job better. 

To understand how delta 8 and delta 9 work with your ECS, it’s important to know the two main types of cannabinoid receptors:

  • CB1 receptors — Located in the central nervous system and throughout the body. These receptors are responsible for regulating the effects cannabinoids have on your mind.
  • CB2 receptors – Located all throughout the body, except for in the nervous system. These receptors are responsible for regulating the effects cannabinoids have on your body.

Delta 8 and delta 9 both interact with both types of receptors, but to different degrees. This allows both cannabinoids to render physical, as well as mental, relaxation. 

However, delta 8 binds more strongly to CB2 receptors than delta 9 does, which is why its physical effects are stronger than those of delta 9. It also has a weaker bind to the CB1 receptors than delta 9, which explains why it’s less psychoactive than delta 9. 

In addition to generally understanding what each receptor does, scientists have found that the activation of the CB1 receptor “leads to an induction of sleep.” 

Given that delta 9 binds more strongly to CB1 than delta 8 does, this would suggest that delta 9 is more effective for sleep than delta 8. However, some people still prefer delta 8 because they want something less powerful.

Which is Better for Sleep, Delta 8 or Delta 9?

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing between delta 8 and delta 9 for sleep. Here’s what we recommend thinking about: 

Desired Strength & Character of Effects

If you want a milder head high and something a bit more uplifting, delta 8 is the better choice. It can help you get into a restful, calm mood without being overpowering. 

If you’re looking for a stronger, more sedative head experience, delta 9 is the way to go. Given the research on CB1 receptors, it seems delta 9’s sleep-inducing properties are more powerful than delta 8’s. 

Desired Spread of Effects

Delta 8 tends to spread its effects across the mind and body – you’ll get a “head high” and a “body high.” This makes it a good choice if you’re struggling to sleep due to physical discomfort. 

Delta 9, on the other hand, is much more focused in the head – better if you’re looking for something to calm you down and help you drift off. 

Your Tolerance

If you’re new to cannabinoids that get you high, such as delta 8 or delta 9, you’ll likely have a lower tolerance for them. In this case, you’ll want to opt for delta 8, which isn’t as strong as “classic THC.”

Conversely, if you’re a more experienced user, you might want the more powerful delta 9.

Delta 8 flower prerolls on flower

Conclusion: Which Cannabinoid Is Better?

Given that we don’t have a lot of clinical research on delta 8 and delta 9 for sleep, and we certainly don’t have research comparing how effective they are for this purpose, it’s hard to say for sure which cannabinoid is better  for sleep. 

Instead, it depends on your unique situation – which set of effects is the best fit for you? If you can answer this question, you’ll know whether delta 8 or delta 9 is the better choice for you. 

Delta 8 vs. Delta 9 for Sleep: Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions our customers frequently ask us about choosing between delta 8 and delta 9 for sleep. 

Is delta 9 or 8 better for sleep?

Delta 8 and delta 9 both have therapeutic potential for sleep. Neither is “better” – it comes down to whether you want a milder, more uplifting experience (delta 8), or a stronger, more sedative experience (delta 9). 

Is delta 8 or 9 more relaxing?

Both delta 8 and delta 9 are relaxing, but in different ways. Delta 8 tends to be euphoric and uplifting – you’ll be relaxed, but not necessarily tired. Delta 9, on the other hand, is known to have sedative properties. 

How much delta 9 should I take for sleep?

Starting out, we recommend taking a low-strength dose of delta 9 for sleep, which you can calculate using the following formula: (0.05) x (your body weight in lbs.) = your nightly dose of delta 9 for sleep in mg. 

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