Is Delta-8 or CBD Better for Pain
In-Depth Comparison & Tips

Man with neck and back pain

Have you met delta-8? Everyone knows non-psychoactive CBD with its therapeutic potential and the famous ‘high’ compound THC from hemp plants, also known as ‘delta-9.’ Delta-8 THC is like the little cousin of the delta-9 THC people are usually referring to when they talk about THC. 

Just like CBD and the delta-9 THC the general public is familiar with, delta-8 THC has potential benefits. But how is delta-8 different, and what are the perks behind why some people prefer it?

Stay with us if you’re interested in learning about delta-8 and how it compares to CBD regarding pain management, other benefits, legality, and side effects. This post explains the basics of delta-8 THC and CBD, their similarities and differences, pros and cons.

Delta 8 vs. CBD: Which is the Better Option for Pain?

Some people prefer delta-8 THC over CBD because of its higher potency. But although delta-8 has some overlapping benefits with CBD, and users report stronger effects, CBD is usually preferable overall for several reasons.

While less potent than classic delta-9 THC, delta-8 is still stronger than CBD at relieving pain. However, delta-8 also comes with more side effects and a euphoric ‘high’ because of how it interacts with the CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system. 

So users may be able to get more pain relief from delta-8 with smaller doses compared to CBD. But the intoxication of delta-8 THC is not an option for many because it interferes with cognitive and motor functioning and can introduce troubling psychological effects like paranoia. This limits the frequency at which people can rely on delta-8 for relief since it impairs the ability to work, drive, etc.

CBD interfaces with the CB1 cannabinoid receptors differently. It has fewer side effects and no psychoactive effects to interfere with users’ daily life, so it’s the more practical pain relief option for most people. 

Next up, we’re getting further into the pros, cons, similarities, and differences between CBD and delta-8.

Understanding Delta 8 and CBD

CBD and delta-8 are cannabinoids, naturally-occurring chemical compounds in hemp plants that give them therapeutic effects. CBD is present in large amounts in all kinds of cannabis plants, but hemp plants have very little delta-8 THC. Therefore, to make delta-8 products, it has to be synthesized from CBD or delta-9 THC.

We already mentioned how delta-8 has psychoactive effects and higher potency than CBD. Here are a few more pros and cons of each.




Delta 8

Strong pain relief

Potentially calming


More side effects


Pain relief

Sleep support

Calming, anxiety relief

Less potent

Delta 8

Survey respondents claim to use delta-8 for pain relief, stress and panic attacks, and depression, even saying they sometimes prefer it over traditional THC and pharmaceutical medications.

Delta-8 THC does induce a high, but users seem to experience a less intense high compared to delta-9 THC.


Though the effects of CBD are gentler, its anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, calming, and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties are more thoroughly researched and understood. CBD has fewer side effects with no high, making it a more appropriate pain remedy for many individuals.

The Main Differences Between Delta 8 And CBD

Beyond the physical and mental effects, there are other significant differences between CBD and delta-8, including the legality, chemical structure, and more.


Delta 8





THC content

Different chemical structure and potency from THC, but can be made by altering delta-9 THC

Some delta-8 products have been discovered to contain illegal levels of delta-9 THC

Does not contain THC


Not federally legal

Legal at the state level in some cases

Federally legal when derived from hemp plants

Psychoactive Effects



Potential Benefits

Potentially calming

Pain relief

Improved mood


Anxiolytic (anti-anxiety)

Sleep support


Side Effects

Rapid heart rate

Eye irritation

Dry mouth


Mental and motor impairment

Memory loss

Anxiety and paranoia

Unknown risks

Appetite changes

Stomach upset


Delta-8 THC vs. CBD: Potential Benefits

CBD and delta-8 both appear to have calming effects that may reduce stress, improve sleep and mood, and they both seem to offer some pain relief.

Since there has been more research into CBD, scientists are aware of more potential benefits. For example, there is one drug made with CBD approved for some rare childhood seizure conditions, in addition to an approved CBD-based drug for pain.

Some studies also suggest that CBD can help improve sleep, help people fall asleep faster, treat insomnia, and enhance REM. Plus, researchers are increasingly considering CBD as a possible depression and anxiety therapy.

There has also been exploration into CBD for mitigating other psychiatric disorders, nausea, skin conditions, and diabetes, with neuroprotective activity.

Delta-8 THC vs. CBD: Side Effects

Delta-8 THC is purported to have fewer side effects than delta-9. But it still has more side effects and potential risks than CBD, in addition to possible unknown risks, since it hasn’t been studied very much yet.

Even while taking relatively small doses of delta-8, users may experience rapid heart rate, eye irritation, dry mouth, grogginess, memory loss, mental and motor impairment, and anxiety/paranoia. CBD has some mild side effects like stomach upset, drowsiness, and appetite changes, which are usually avoidable by taking smaller doses.

The Similarities Between Delta 8 and CBD

Here are the main similarities between the two cannabis plant compounds, CBD and delta-8 THC, which have some people weighing which is better for them:


One of the biggest draws of both delta-8 and CBD is the calming effect. To recap, delta-8 THC likely causes a stronger feeling of relaxation than CBD, which has a more subtle calming effect. 

One survey revealed that stress, anxiety, panic attacks, and depression relief were some of the biggest reasons people cited for using delta-8. However, part of the relaxed feeling delta-8 users have could be due to the euphoric high it causes. And for some, that altered mental state may increase anxiousness- the opposite of the intended results.

CBD’s anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) characteristics are better studied and understood. It has actually demonstrated significant efficacy against anxiety without intoxication and has fewer, milder side effects.


Some studies show that delta-8 could provide satisfactory pain relief, but there’s still not much data on its analgesic effects.

In comparison, there is much more research on CBD as an analgesic. CBD may help with pain in two ways- by reducing inflammation and changing pain perception. In certain studies, many patients were even able to reduce or cease opioid use when taking CBD.

Choosing Between Delta-8 and CBD for Pain Relief

For those looking for stronger pain relief who aren’t worried about legality, intoxication, and more side effects, delta-8 may be preferable. It could help some people with anxiety and pain, but most people looking for anxiety and stress relief won’t want the intoxicating effects, especially since they might heighten anxiety.

But even among chronic pain patients, CBD works well enough to improve quality of life markedly, and it usually does so with minimal side effects. With CBD, there’s no need to worry about psychoactive effects interfering with functioning in life and at work. The legality of CBD is less murky, and there is more information on its effects on chronic pain, sleep, anxiety, nausea, and other conditions.

All things considered, we hope to see more clinical studies into delta-8 THC, so we can better understand its potential benefits and downsides. But for now, CBD is probably a safer bet for most.


Is CBD or Delta-8 stronger?

Delta-8 THC has stronger effects than CBD.

Does Delta-8 have CBD in it?

CBD and delta-8 are different hemp plant compounds, but some delta-8 is synthetically made from CBD.

What’s better for pain, CBD or Delta-8?

Though many users find delta-8’s effects to be stronger than CBD, CBD could be a better daily pain remedy for most people due to no intoxication and fewer side effects.

What amount of CBD helps with pain?

This depends on the person and the type of pain. But CBD may help manage pain even at low doses, under 5 mg.

How long does CBD give pain relief?

The duration of CBD pain relief will vary, but it should last 4-6 hours.

What did you learn about delta-8 that you didn’t know before?

Delta-8 THC is emerging as an intriguing middle-ground between classic delta-9 THC and CBD. Its legality is somewhat up in the air still, but delta-8 may have its place since it seems to hold therapeutic potential with stronger effects than CBD but a gentler high than delta-9 THC.

CBD and delta-8 have some cross-over when it comes to possible benefits, mainly managing pain and stress/anxiety. It may be because CBD has been the topic of more research, but CBD is also thought to have sleep-promoting, anti-depressant, anti-nausea, neuroprotective effects, and more.

In comparison, delta-8 THC has more side effects, from dry mouth, eye irritation, memory lapses, rapid heart rate, motor and mental impairment, anxiety, and paranoia. While CBD can have side effects as well, they are probably less common, milder, and usually manageable by altering the dosage.

If you’ve been searching for the ideal natural pain remedy that could improve your quality of life so you can get back to being you, check out Nature’s Legend’s high-quality, lab-tested CBD products for pain relief and more.