The cannabinoid industry is bursting with opportunity, and targeted cannabinoid therapy is the way to go for most natural wellness needs. People are mixing CBD with CBN for sleep support or with CBG for help balancing mood. But what about on the other end of the cannabinoid spectrum—Can you mix Delta-8 and CBD?
The answer is yes! Yes you can, and you'll get a uniquely balanced set of effects that many users prefer over the effects of Delta-8 alone. Let's talk about what happens when you take CBD and Delta-8-THC together:
Many people refer to the increased effects of specific cannabinoid mixtures as a product of the "entourage effect." We think the ensemble effect is more at play, but we'll dive into the evidence behind THC and CBD synergy first.
To truly understand the complicated benefits behind the entourage effect, we look to the work of Ethan Russo, a neurologist who serves as Director of Research and Development at the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute in Prague.
Russo's infamous study, titled "Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects" explains the synergistic interactions between THC and CBD, and also the synergistic relationship between cannabinoids and terpenes. In this article, Russo describes CBD’s ability to alter THC’s effects in a positive manner, including by negating some of its potential drawbacks. Although the article does include other cannabinoids and terpenes, Russo points to CBD as having the biggest impact on THC.
Russo points to various studies to make this point. A 2010 study looked at the impact of THC and a mixture of THC and CBD on intractable cancer pain. The study found that THC alone showed no significant reduction in pain levels compared to placebo. However, twice as many patients in the group taking the CBD and THC mixture experienced more than a 30% reduction from their base level pain score.
A 2019 study describes how CBD may negate some of the drawbacks of THC. The study, which involved mice, found that a combination of THC and CBD produced less anxiety behaviours than THC alone. The study also concluded that “CBD was also able to reverse the...addictive-like behaviour caused by the THC."
While these results are promising, they do all focus on Delta-9-THC, which is more commonly used in therapeutic formulas. Since Delta-8 and Delta-9 are very similar, it's fair to say that Delta-8 could follow the same pattern. We'd also like to point out that the "entourage effect" more accurately refers to the synergistic effect between many different cannabinoids and terpenes, like you'll find in a true full spectrum CBD oil.
When CBD and Delta-8-THC are combined on their own, the effects may be more accurately described as a product of the "ensemble effect."
While much of the hemp industry is focused on the entourage effect, many experts point to a more specific approach as being more beneficial. The ensemble effect refers to the increased benefits of specific combinations of cannabinoids, as opposed to the more general combination of cannabinoids found in full spectrum CBD.
This approach allows you to fine-tune your cannabinoid experience to better meet your therapeutic needs. The Vida Optima line is built on this concept, which is why we offer specific cannabinoid formulations that target specific wellness needs like the Dream and Clarity collections.
So, what happens when you intentionally combine CBD and Delta-8-THC? Let's talk about it.
We'll start by pointing out that everyone's experience with Delta-8 is different, and the same is true for CBD. That means that we can't exactly narrow down the specific experience you will have when you combine CBD and Delta-8, but we can key you in on two specific benefits you can expect:
One of the primary benefits of CBD and THC synergy is that CBD often makes THC more effective. This may be true when using THC for pain, relaxation, or sleep. Most of this evidence is based on Delta-9-THC when combined with CBD, but the effects have to do with the way that CBD alters cannabinoid receptors in the body, so this benefit should also apply to Delta-8-THC.
One benefit of the CBD and THC combination that is supported by research is the reduced likelihood of adverse effects. In other words, CBD may be able to modify the effects of THC to reduce the chance of negative side effects. In many cases, people find that taking CBD with THC eliminates any anxiety they may typically feel when taking THC alone.
In short, combining CBD and Delta-8 is often a good idea. Combining cannabinoids is completely safe. After all, natural cannabis and hemp material contains a massive combination of cannabinoids and terpenes. There’s no wrong or right way to combine the two, either. The best way to combine Delta-8 and CBD depends completely on your preference. Here are some things to keep in mind while you decide how to combine your cannabinoid doses:
As always, the quality of your hemp products matters. This is especially true for Delta-8, since illegal synthetic cannabinoids can be disguised as Delta-8 products. In all cases, you should look for a hemp manufacturer that uses clean hemp material, high-quality extraction techniques, and a third-party testing process to prove quality. If you can't find this information easily while shopping for Delta-8 or CBD, we recommend choosing a different brand.
If you're new to cannabinoid therapeutics, it can be difficult to know how much Delta-8-THC or CBD to take. That's even more true when you're combining the two.
Luckily, since CBD is not psychoactive (and may even modify the psychoactivity of Delta-8), you don't have to worry much about "overdoing it." You may want to take the same Delta-8-THC dose as usual, followed by a similar dose of CBD for a 1:1 ratio. Or, you may choose to do a smaller dose of one or the other to get a feel for the effects.
Since CBD can potentiate the effects of THC, less may be needed when using Delta-8 for therapeutic effects. You may have to experiment with different dosages to find your sweet spot. Not sure where to start? Read:
Because different dosing methods are absorbed differently, it's important to consider your dosing methods of choice and how they mesh. For instance, a Delta-8 vaporizer dose will take effect much more quickly than a CBD edible dose when the two are taken at the same time. If you're looking to combine the effects (meaning you want them to take effect at similar times), we recommend using similar dosing styles. A CBD tincture may pair well with a Delta-8-THC tincture, for instance.
If you choose to use two different dosing methods, consider the onset time for each product. Sublingual products take effect more quickly than products that need to be digested. Inhaled doses, whether it's from a vaporizer or Delta 8 flower, take effect almost instantly. Make sure you understand how your two doses will line up and adjust your timing accordingly.
If you think that Delta-8 and CBD sound like a promising match, you'll be happy to know that you can buy both online. Check out our Vitality CBD Collection and our Elev8 Delta-8-THC Collection to find a variety of products that you can pair up to best meet your dosing needs.
At Vida Optima, all of our products are 100% Farm Bill compliant and third-party tested, so you never have to second guess the legality or quality of any product you choose.
"Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects" https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165946/
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