These days it’s not uncommon for people to seek out cannabinoids as a natural alternative for stress relief. Many people have turned to CBD for stress relief, while others have chosen other cannabinoids like THC. Typically, when referring to THC, most people mean delta 9 THC, but there are other forms of the cannabinoid that could be even more effective for stress relief than traditional delta 9 THC. 

Some users of delta-8 THC have said it provides a euphoric feeling more desirable than that of delta 9 THC. The effects of delta-8 have been described as less intense or milder, which could create a desirable middle ground between traditional THC and CBD. So, which one could be best for potential stress relief? Let’s take a look. 

What is CBD 

CBD is one of many cannabinoids that can be found naturally in hemp and cannabis plants. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating compound, meaning it does not have the same euphoric effects that THC can have. Still, CBD can have effects on the brain and body. Many people seek out CBD for use to help relieve things like pain, stress, inflammation, nausea and more. 

What is Delta-8 THC 

Delta-8 THC is another cannabinoid found in hemp and cannabis plants. Unlike CBD and delta 9 THC, delta-8 is a minor cannabinoid that comes in very small amounts naturally. Because of this, the majority of delta-8 products on the market today are made from processed CBD

Although many delta-8 products are made using CBD, there are still similarities between delta-8 and delta 9. From a chemical perspective, delta-8 and delta 9 share similarities, but have a major key difference. Delta-8 has a double bond on its 8th carbon chain while delta 9 has it on the 9th. This difference is what many believe creates the two distinct experiences associated with the two forms of THC, and why delta-8 is gaining more popularity for potential stress relief. 

Difference in Effects 

The structure of different cannabinoids is what many believe influences the different effects each can have. Cannabinoids have the ability to interact with the ECS, or endocannabinoid system. The ECS is a complex cell signaling system in our bodies that is responsible for a variety of vital bodily functions. Researchers are still working to fully understand the ECS, but we do know the endocannabinoid system plays a role in functions like memory, sleep, appetite, mood, pain and more. 

The ECS is a vital system that is active even without the use of cannabinoids, though cannabinoids could influence it. By interacting with receptors in the ECS, cannabinoids like CBD and delta-8 THC can manipulate the ECS’s response. There are two main receptors that cannabinoids interact with: the CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are mostly found in the central nervous system while CB2 receptors are found most in the peripheral nervous system.  

Delta-8 and CBD both interact with the ECS and its receptors, but it is believed they do so in different ways. THC is thought to bind with receptors in the ECS while CBD may not actively bind but can interact with receptors. It is also thought that delta-8 THC has a slightly lesser affinity for CB1 receptors than delta 9 THC, which could be the reason for its potential effectiveness in stress relief. CBD is also believed to have an impact on the CB1 receptors, potentially altering serotonin levels. So, which is better for stress? 

CBD For Stress

CBD may be effective for stress relief through its influence on serotonin signals. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a vital role in mental health, with low levels contributing to anxiety and in some cases even depression. 

Though more research is underway to fully understand how CBD can be helpful in relieving stress and anxiety, there are studies that point to CBD’s anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties. For those who have concerns over the “high” THC can cause, CBD is an ideal choice as a natural alternative that is not considered mind-altering. 

Delta-8 For Stress

Like CBD and delta 9 THC, it is thought delta-8 could be beneficial for stress relief because of its interaction with the ECS. There is little scientific research regarding delta-8 THC, and very little specifically about delta-8 for anxiety relief. Still, there is anecdotal evidence and user reports to refer to for now. Many users of delta-8 have reported a calm, focused, and relaxed high. Most users agree that delta-8 causes a “worry-free” feeling

User reports seem to show that delta-8 THC doesn’t have the sometimes anxiety or paranoia inducing effects that delta 9 THC can have on some users. If you are someone who may have experienced some negative side effects from delta 9 THC, delta-8 THC could be an ideal alternative. Similarly, if you are seeking effects that may be more mind-altering than CBD. Delta-8 may be a good choice. 

Turn to Trustworthy Sources 

Whether you choose delta-8 or CBD to potentially relief your stress, finding a high-quality product is key to reaping the benefits. One of the best ways to make sure you are purchasing a high-quality product is by relying on third-party lab test results. 

Third-party lab tests show you exactly what is in your product, so you know exactly what to expect when using it. Check label claims for accuracy and ensure the product of your choice has passed all solvent and pesticide tests. To find reliable delta-8 THC products or high-quality CBD products, turn to Real Tested CBD for the most transparent third-party lab tests and unbiased brand reviews.

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