April 05, 2021 6 min read

If you're suffering from lack of sleep, you aren't alone. Experts suggest that roughly 60 million Americans suffer from insomnia every year. Many are discovering the benefits of Delta-8-THC for sleep—a psychoactive cannabinoid that may lull you to dreamland without the groggy after effects of common sleep aids.

And it's far more accessible (and has fewer drawbacks) than it's cannabinoid cousin, Delta-9-THC. That means you can likely find Delta-8 products for sleep near you, but first we urge you to take a look at the research below.

Looking for Delta-8 gummies, tinctures, or flower to add to your sleep routine? Check out our Elev8 Collection!

Table of Contents
What is Delta-8?
Research About Delta-8-THC for Sleep
Delta-8 for Pain, Anxiety, and Other Sleep Disruptors
How to Use Delta-8-THC for Sleep
Is Using Delta-8-THC for Sleep Safe?
Where to Buy Delta-8-THC for Sleep
Resources

Key Takeaways

  • Delta-8-THC is a natural endocannabinoid, meaning it can impact the body’s Endocannabinoid System, which regulates sleep and other functions.
  • Delta-8 stimulates the CB1 receptor in the brain, a function known to incite sedation.
  • The effects from Delta-8 are euphoric, relaxing, and mildly sedating, but they won’t leave you with a heavy, groggy feeling the next day.
  • Delta-8-THC is legal and accessible online from most U.S. states.

What is Delta-8-THC?

Delta-8-THC is a hemp derived cannabinoid that interacts with the body through the Endocannabinoid System, a system of neurotransmitters and neuroreceptors that plays a role in almost all of the body's regulatory functions.

An image showing Delta-8-THC's molecular model.

In fact, research shows that the Endocannabinoid System directly impacts sleep cycles and that various cannabinoids can impact the unique balance of your circadian rhythm.

That's not all! The Endocannabinoid System also plays a major role in regulating other functions that may indirectly affect sleep, including pain signaling, inflammation, digestion, anxiety, and more.

In fact, the Endocannabinoid System's main role is to help maintain homeostasis, which relies heavily on maintaining healthy sleep cycles. After all, your body does quite a bit of important work while you sleep, like healing and producing chemicals that strengthen your immune system.

So what does all this mean? And how does Delta-8-THC help with sleep?

Here's what we know:

Research About Delta-8-THC for Sleep

Research regarding Delta 8 THC is limited, but we do have some evidence to help us understand how the endocannabinoid system, or rather the activation of certain endocannabinoid receptors, may impact sleep. These receptors are split into two main categories: CB1 and CB2.

The CB1 receptor predominantly resides in the brain and central nervous system, while the CB2 receptor is found in the tissues of all major organs and functions as part of the immune system.

A woman sleeping peacefully after a regular Delta-8-THC dose

Research shows that activation of the CB1 receptor may help incite drowsiness and aid sleep. We know that Delta 8 interacts with both the CB1 and CB2 receptors, but most of the evidence we have regarding Delta-8-THC for sleep is preliminary and based on animal studies.

One 1973 study looked at the impact of Delta-8-THC for sleep in cats. The study relied on intravenous doses, but found that Delta-8 concentrate was able to induce sedation while increasing the length of REM sleep.

In other words, Delta-8-THC enhances the portion of the sleep cycle responsible for dreaming, and for stimulating parts of the brain related to memory and other cognitive functions. The study also concluded that Delta-8-THC was able to provide sedative effects similar to Delta-9-THC, but without the same drawbacks, like paranoia.

These interactions mostly have to do with Delta-8-THC's impact on CB1 receptors in the brain, which is the same reason that Delta-9-THC has been linked to sedative properties and the ability to manage certain sleep ailments, like PTSD related nightmares.

Still, Delta-8’s interaction with the immune-regulating portion of the Endocannabinoid System may also be important for understanding how Delta-8-THC helps with sleep.

Delta-8-THC for Pain, Anxiety, and Other Sleep Disruptors

Delta-8-THC's mild sedative effects are far from it's only selling point for those suffering from sleep disorders and other ailments that disrupt sleep. The cannabinoid also interacts with immune system regulators, meaning it may help calm pain, inflammation, and other discomforts that keep you awake at night.

In fact, the National Cancer Institute describes Delta-8-THC as an “analogue of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties.”

Delta-8’s analgesic properties are of significance for those who lose sleep due to pain. One study showed Delta-8-THC to be effective in reducing both pain and inflammation in mice due to corneal injuries.

The reverse may also be true: Delta-8-THC may help reduce pain by improving sleep. The two are actually closely related, and studies show that pain signalling is significantly decreased during periods of sleep.

Additionally, experts frequently describe Delta-8-THC as "anxiolytic," meaning it may help quell anxieties that keep you awake at night. Delta-8-THC’s benefits for anxiety haven’t yet been proven, but are heavily supported by anecdotal reports.

Delta-8 is also thought to be much less likely to induce anxiety and paranoia than traditional THC, which is a limitation for some people seeking THC's well-known sedative properties.

How to Use Delta-8 THC for Sleep

In order to effectively use Delta-8-THC for sleep, you'll need to adjust your routine to best address the sleep issues you encounter.

A Delta-8-THC tincture, a popular method chosen for using Delta-8-THC for sleep.

Since Delta-8-THC is generally considered to be at least mildly sedating, most people find that dosing before bed is the best method for combating sleep ailments. There's more to the story, though, like the amount you take and the type of Delta-8-THC product you choose.

Also understand that there are significant differences between delta-9 for sleep and delta-8 for sleep. Delta-8-THC is much milder, so you may need to adjust your dose accordingly if you have a high THC tolerance.

Here are some things to consider when choosing the best Delta-8-THC products for sleep:

Consider the Benefits of an Indica Strain

Some Delta-8 products may include added terpenes from cannabis strains with unique targeted properties. In general, indicas are relaxing and calming, while sativas are uplifting and energizing. Indica strains are most frequently chosen for use as a sleep aid, since they often contain terpenes like myrcene and linalool, which are both thought to have sedative properties.

Choosing a Dosing Method: Vaping vs Edibles

Vapes and edibles are the two most common types of Delta-8 products available, but they are significantly different. To put it briefly, vaporizers take effect quickly and make it easy to stack microdoses until you feel at ease. Edibles take effect slowly, but they often last much longer and are pre-measured, which is good for users who need consistency.

Ease into a Dosing Routine

Every person's dosing routine will vary, so it's always best to start low and slow. In some cases, microdoses may be just what you need to help combat ailments that impact sleep. Others find that a 5-10 mg dose is most effective. Just work your way up slowly, allowing adequate time to evaluate the effects in between each dose.

Consider Adding Other Cannabinoid Therapeutics

Many people find success when using a tailored combination of cannabinoid products. For instance, some prefer to take their Delta-8-THC alongside a regular CBD dose, which may have it's own benefits for regulating sleep cycles and promoting endocannabinoid balance. CBN is another cannabinoid thought to help manage sleep, and sleep-enhancing CBN products may be the perfect pair for an indica Delta-8-THC vaporizer.

Is Using Delta-8-THC for Sleep Safe?

As we mentioned before, research regarding Delta-8’s benefits and drawbacks is still limited, but Delta-8 is thought to have a similar safety profile to Delta-9, but with even fewer drawbacks.

One study regarding the use of Delta-8-THC as an anti-nausea treatment for pediatric cancer patients addresses the issue, suggesting that children were able to better tolerate larger doses of Delta-8-THC without experiencing adverse reactions.

Generally speaking, the safety of a Delta-8-THC product may have more to do with the brand and manufacturing process. Delta-8-THC is a hemp-derived, natural cannabinoid, but the manufacturing process is pretty involved. To play it safe, look for a brand that offers third-party test results and is transparent about their manufacturing process. You can also talk to your doctor about the benefits of Delta-8-THC for sleep and how it may affect you.

Where to Buy Delta-8-THC for Sleep

Luckily, Delta-8-THC is a hemp product that can be made from CBD, a readily available cannabinoid that's legal in the U.S. That means that Delta-8-THC is legal in most states and is far more accessible than Delta-9-THC products in many areas.

Looking for Delta-8-THC for sleep? Check out "Where is Delta-8-THC Legal?" to learn more about your local laws, and then shop our full collection of Delta-8-THC edibles and vaporizers.

All of our Delta-8-THC products are 100% Farm Bill compliant and third-party tested, with results you can view on page before you buy.

Vida Optima Elev8 Dleta-8-THC Oil

Resources

  1. “Can't Sleep? Neither Can 60 Million Other Americans” https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90638364
  2. “Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5877694/
  3. “The Emerging Role of the Endocannabinoid System in the Sleep-Wake Cycle Modulation” https://www.researchgate.net/publication/51644654_The_Emerging_Role_of_the_Endocannabinoid_System_in_the_Sleep-Wake_Cycle_Modulation
  4. “The role of the CB1 receptor in the regulation of sleep.” https://www.med.upenn.edu/cbti/assets/user-content/documents/The%20role%20of%20the%20CB1%20receptor%20in%20the%20regulation%20of%20sleep..pdf
  5. “The effects of delta8-THC on the EEG, reticular multiple unit activity and sleep of cats” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/4358207/
  6. “Effect of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol on nocturnal sleep and early-morning behavior in young adults” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15118485/
  7. “Cannabinoid modulation of corticolimbic activation to threat in trauma-exposed adults: a preliminary study” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32162103/
  8. “Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol” https://ncit.nci.nih.gov/ncitbrowser/ConceptReport.jsp?dictionary=NCI_Thesaurus&ns=NCI_Thesaurus&code=C61312
  9. “The Cannabinoids Δ8THC, CBD, and HU-308 Act via Distinct Receptors to Reduce Corneal Pain and Inflammation” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5812319/
  10. “Review Article: Sleep, Pain and Cannabis”https://www.longdom.org/open-access/review-article-sleep-pain-and-cannabis-2167-0277.1000191.pdf
  11. “An efficient new cannabinoid antiemetic in pediatric oncology” https://druglibrary.net/olsen/HEMP/IHA/iha02210.html

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