You probably know Delta-8-THC as the "legal psychoactive cannabinoid," but it's actually much more than it's mild euphoric effects. The cannabinoid has become increasingly popular as a therapeutic option for managing pain, anxiety, and sleep, although research is still working to catch up with these anecdotal benefits.
Still, many consumers find that Delta-8 can help lull them to sleep without causing any of the grogginess caused by melatonin or sleep-aids. Delta-8-THC flower may be even more effective than concentrates or edibles because of its other hidden super power—a companion dose of CBD. Plus, there are many different strains of Delta-8 flower, and some may even have boosted benefits that make them better for sleep.
So, what are the best Delta-8-THC strains for sleep? And what exactly makes them the best? Here's what we know:Table of Contents
Delta-8-THC works a lot like traditional THC, and the two cannabinoids share many therapeutic benefits. On its own, Delta-8-THC itself may help manage some of the symptoms that disrupt sleep, which means that any high-quality dose of Delta-8 may meet your needs.
With that said, certain strains of Delta-8 flower may have increased benefits for sleep thanks to their unique terpene profile.
Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in all cannabis strains that are thought to carry therapeutic benefits of their own. For instance, some terpenes are thought to help calm inflammation, which is why some strains may be better at relieving pain than others.
Alternatively, some terpenes may help induce relaxation and sleep, while others can help manage anxiety or pain that prevent sleep. The right combination of terpenes (combined with Delta-8-THC and the other major and minor cannabinoids) can provide sleep inducing effects that are more targeted than a dose of THC alone. That's the benefit of Delta-8 flower.
These benefits are commonly known as the "entourage effect," a term coined by established cannabinoid researcher Ethan Russo. In one of his most cited studies titled "Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects," Russo describes the complex synergy between cannabinoids and terpenes.
There are countless combinations, but Russo explains how each different combination may better target a different ailment. The research covers cannabinoid-terpene synergy that targets ailments like like mood disorders, addiction, insomnia, dementia, MRSA, acne, pain, and inflammation.
In other words, the strain that best helps you sleep will be unique to you. If you experience sleeplessness due to anxiety, you may be better off choosing a strain that helps lower anxiety. If pain keeps you awake at night, a pain relieving Delta-8 strain may be the best option. Some strains offer more general sleep enhancing effects, like high levels of myrcene, a terpene that's thought to help lull you into a deep state of relaxation.
Ultimately, the best Delta 8 strain for sleep depends on your preference, and you may have to try a few strains to figure out what best suits you. Here are our top recommendations:
If you're hoping to find the perfect D8 strain for sleep, the options are limitless. Still, some strains may work better than others. Here are some strains to try:
Royal Purple Kush is a potent indica strain known for its ability to melt away pain, but it also has a myrcene-dominant terpene profile, which means it may help lull you into a deep relaxation. This is a great option if pain is part of what's keeping you awake at night.
Royal purple Kush is a sweet and earthy strain with a few boosted benefits, like moderate amounts of CBG, which may help target inflammation.
Bubba Kush is an indica strain that’s known for having a sweet, earthy flavor and inducing a heavy blanket of euphoria. Many reports also suggest that it produces a particularly strong body high that helps relax muscles. This is the strain you need if you want your body to sink into your bed while your mind floats to a place of sweet serenity.
Gorilla Glue is technically a hybrid strain but is well known for its indica-leaning effects. This potent strain was named for its “glued to the couch” euphoria, which may be the type of stay-in-bed-all-night action you need for a good night’s sleep.
Delta-8-THC’s health benefits are still being researched, but many anecdotal reports suggest that it can help you relax. For those who have trouble sleeping, it very well could help calm the mind to make falling asleep easier, and it may even take the edge off of symptoms that keep you awake. But how does it work?
Well, Delta-8-THC interacts with the body in a similar manner to traditional THC, which means it carries many of the same therapeutic benefits. Delta-8 interacts via the Endocannabinoid System, a neuromodulatory system that’s known to regulate things like mood, pain signaling, metabolism, and sleep cycles.
It takes things one step further than Delta-9-THC, however. Instead of only binding with CB1 receptors in the brain and central nervous system, Delta-8 binds with both CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors. In other words, it binds with receptors in the brain and nervous system and with receptors throughout the immune system. Let’s take a look at how both pathways may impact sleep:
Research shows that activation of the CB1 receptor may help aid sleep. One 1973 study looked specifically at the impact of Delta-8-THC for sleep in cats using intravenous doses. It concluded that Delta-8 was able to induce sedation while increasing the length of REM sleep. That means that Delta-8 may enhance the sleep phase responsible for stimulating parts of the brain related to memory and other cognitive functions.
The study compared Delta-8’s sedative effects to that of Delta-9-THC, but claimed that Delta-8 did not have the same drawbacks, like paranoia. Delta-8 does act a lot like Delta-9, which has been linked to sedative properties, including the ability to help manage PTSD related nightmares.
Because Delta-8 also interacts with immune system regulators, it may help to manage some symptoms that are commonly known to disrupt sleep, like pain, inflammation, and anxiety.
There isn’t much research to specifically identify the benefits of Delta-8 CB2 activation for sleep, but the National Cancer Institute describes Delta-8-THC as having “antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties.” One study found Delta-8-THC to be effective in reducing both pain and inflammation in mice due to corneal injuries.
In other words, if anxiety or pain are what keep you awake at night, Delta-8-THC may have double-edged benefits.
Although there are many different dosing styles available, Delta-8-THC flower poses a few advantages that you won't get with other methods. First, as we mentioned previously, D8 flower offers the benefits of hemp's entourage effect. After all, Delta-8-THC flower is made by spraying Delta-8-THC distillate onto CBD-rich hemp flower that contains CBD, other minor cannabinoids, and a full range of terpenes.
The combination of Delta-8 and CBD may have boosted therapeutic benefits, and some sources claim that they balance each other's effects for a more level psychoactive experience. Plus, CBD has potential sleep enhancing and pain and anxiety reducing benefits of its own that may make it a powerful addition to your natural wellness routine.
Flower also produces effects that are nearly instant, which makes it easy to stack doses, or take small doses every few minutes until you find relief. Some people find that microdosing Delta-8 is the best dosing method, which means taking small doses that offer therapeutic benefits without psychoactive effects.
Using Delta-8-THC flower is simple. Flower is typically smoked, either by rolling it into a paper or packing it into a bowl on a pipe or other smoking device. (Of course, Delta-8 pre-rolls come ready to light up.) It can also be vaporized using a special dry herb vaping device, and some people even cook it into butter or oil in order to use it to make baked goods.
To use Delta-8-THC for sleep, we recommend dosing around half an hour before you want to fall asleep. After dosing, lie down in a quiet, dim room and try to relax—Delta-8 will do the rest.
For an extra sleep-supporting boost, you may want to consider pairing your Delta-8 sleep strain with a CBD product designed specifically to improve sleep, like our CBD + CBN Dream Tincture.
Delta-8 dosage varies for every person, so you may have to experiment with different dosages while building a routine for using your Delta-8 sleep strain. Fortunately, Delta-8-THC flower makes it easy. Because it takes effect quickly, you can easily stack on a small dose every 5-10 minutes until you reach the desired effects. Just make sure that you keep up with how much you smoke so that you’ll know the best dose next time around. For more information about Delta-8-THC dosage, you may want to read "How Much Delta-8 Should I Take?”
Perhaps you’ve chosen a Delta-8 sleep strain, but how do you find high-quality products. The truth is, the hemp industry is inconsistently regulated from state to state, so it’s important to do a little background check on a Delta-8 brand before you buy.
You want to look for a Delta-8 manufacturer that uses high-quality hemp and manufactures their products in a cGMP compliant facility. A high-quality brand will also use various testing procedures during manufacturing to ensure quality, and will outsource the final batch test to a third-party lab in order to provide consumers with an unbiased, trustworthy lab report.
You can research different hemp brands one by one, or you can just check out our Elev8 Collection, which meets all of the standards we’ve listed above. Our premium Delta-8-THC flower is made with clean, U.S. grown hemp and potent Delta-8 distillate for maximum enjoyment and fast-acting relief.
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