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CBN vs Delta-8: A Comprehensive Comparison

Written By Ellese Symons May 22nd 2024
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Hemp extract has an impressive list of phytonutrients, multiple terpenes, and more than 113 potentially beneficial cannabinoids.1 Once considered little more than supporting players in full spectrum (and broad spectrum) CBD products, several minor cannabinoids have risen through the ranks and taken center stage. In retail spaces nationwide, consumers are eagerly embracing products featuring enhanced concentrations of CBG, CBN, CBDA, and Delta-8 THC. 

Each cannabinoid featured in today's expanded and continuously evolving list of product options contributes to your overall experience in different ways. If you're having difficulty navigating the differences between CBN and Delta-8, keep reading. We'll explore their origins, potential for intoxication, and several other factors you'll want to consider before choosing between them.   

Exploring the Origins of Hemp-Derived CBN  

CBN is the commonly used abbreviation for cannabinol, a cannabinoid first identified long before CBD. Initially, researchers believed they found the plant element responsible for the state of euphoria marijuana is known for. Although that hypothesis was ultimately disproven when researchers identified and isolated Delta-9 THC (Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), they weren't too far off track. CBN is a naturally occurring byproduct of THC degradation, cannabinoid that forms when heat, sunlight, and oxygenation alter its molecular composition.

Exploring the Origins of Hemp-Derived Delta-8 THC  

Delta-8 THC (Δ-8-tetrahydrocannabinol) is a Delta-9 isomer. It has the same chemical composition as Delta-9, but a slightly different structure. Although Delta-8 is technically a naturally occurring cannabinoid, hemp extract contains only minuscule amounts, if any. Of more than 18,000 samples tested for Delta-8 THC, more than 98% had no measurable concentrations.3 Product manufacturers overcome that obstacle by using chemicals and solvents to convert CBD to a synthetic form of Delta-8.4 Their efforts ensure a stable, relatively low-cost supply. 

CBN vs Delta-8: Comparing Their Potential for Intoxication  

The intoxicating effects of Delta-8 THC are the direct result of the cannabinoid's ability to bind with a specific endocannabinoid system (ECS) receptor in the brain, CB1. But the slight variation in the location of a double bond on its carbon atoms renders its impact 50-70% less potent than naturally occurring Delta-9 THC.5 Most consumers comparing their effects describe Delta-8 as smoother and milder but not as long-lasting as Delta-9. 

Like Delta-8 THC, CBN also has an affinity with the ECS receptor CB1. But the changes the cannabinoid undergoes as Delta-9 THC degrades alters the molecular structure of the cannabinoid in a way that inhibits its ability to fully connect. Instead of leaving you feeling uplifted, euphoric, or intoxicated, hemp-derived products made with enhanced concentrations of CBN are well-known for having a calming, relaxing, somewhat sedating effect. 

Delta-8 vs Delta-9: Comparing Their Potential Side Effects and Possible Risks 

Researchers have been studying the impact of Delta-9 THC on the body and brain for decades. In moderation, the cannabinoid is generally well-tolerated and safe for most adults.6 But even mild Delta-9 intoxication can heighten sensory awareness, alter time perception, increase your appetite, or cause drowsiness. Overconsumption could cause memory lapses, loss of coordination, panic attacks, paranoia, or hallucinations.7 

Since Delta-8 is considerably less potent than equal amounts of Delta-9, multiple sources suggest the cannabinoid is less likely to cause unpleasant side effects.8 But the cannabinoid is not well-studied. For now, researchers have yet to determine how synthetic cannabinoids are metabolized or stored in the body, and the processes used to convert CBD to Delta-8 create unidentified synthetic reaction byproducts that evade detection in third-party test results.3

But those aren't the only factors cannabis experts find alarming. The FDA has received more than 100 reports of Delta-8 causing potentially serious reactions, with more than half of those affected (55%) requiring emergency intervention or hospitalization. National Poison Control has received more than 600 similarly concerning reports.

Exploring the Overall Appeal and Accessibility of the Minor Cannabinoids   

The THC in hemp begins to degrade naturally when crops are harvested. The longer the cannabinoid is exposed to oxygen, the more CBN. Reputable product manufacturers use food-safe extraction and processing methods to isolate cannabinol from the extract's fatty acids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other unwanted plant components. All that remains after processing is a flavorless, odorless powder. That pure, potent powder is then used in precise amounts to optimize the sleep-promoting potential of full spectrum hemp extract in products sold just about everywhere. 

Although there's considerably less research investigating the possible impact of enjoying the effects of Delta-8 THC compared to many other cannabinoids, anecdotal evidence suggests similar advantages for rest and relaxation. Consumer access, however, varies by state. Currently, Delta-8 products can be purchased in 22 states with limited restrictions. Several states, however, limit sales to cannabis dispensaries, and 17 have banned the sale and possession of Delta-8 entirely. Most sources suggest those decisions are based on the lack of research and reports of adverse effects.10

Expanding Your Horizons with CBN and THC Products from CBDistillery® 

Instead of losing sleep over the potential risks of ingesting synthetic THC or low-quality CBN, consider expanding your horizons with CBDistillery® hemp derived CBN, THC, and THC+ CBN products. Our THC-infused gummies are made with naturally occurring Delta-9 THC from non-GMO, naturally cultivated hemp flower. We rely on the cleanest extraction methods available, and every product we offer is rigorously tested and quality-assured. If you're still not sure which combination of cannabinoids would be the best fit for the goal you're hoping to achieve, browsing the following product descriptions is a great place to start. 

CBDistillery® shhh distilled CBN + CBD Oil Tinctures 

CBDistillery® shhh distilled CBN + CBD Oil Tinctures are available in two potencies. Our 150mg CBN + 450 mg CBD formula gives you 5mg of CBN and 15mg of CBD per serving. Our more potent tincture delivers the same 1:3 CBN to CBD ratio but gives you 300mg of CBN and 900mg of CBD in every 30ml bottle. The bulbed dropper makes it easy to customize your serving sizes.   

CBDistillery® shhh distilled CBN + CBD Gummies  

CBDistillery® shhh distilled CBN + CBD Gummies have a delicious elderberry flavor, just enough to complement the terpene profile of our full spectrum hemp extract. Each flavorful serving gives you 5mg of CBN and 15mg of CBD. Since the mixing and measuring are already done for you, they're convenient and portable – the ideal choice for home use and travel. You'll get 30 supplements per jar. 

CBDistillery® shhh+ distilled THC + CBN + CBD Deep Sleep Gummies  

CBDistillery® shhh+ distilled THC + CBN + CBD Deep Sleep Gummies are specifically formulated for deep, restorative sleep. They have an enticing dreamberry flavor and a perfectly balanced blend of cannabinoids that work synergistically. As the 5mg of naturally occurring Delta-9 helps you drift off to dreamland, the 5mg of CBN and 25mg of CBD help you get the rest you need to wake feeling refreshed. 

CBDistillery® ommm+ distilled THC + CBD Gummies  

CBDistillery® ommm+ distilled THC + CBD Gummies are berry-flavored. They could be just what you need to unwind at the end of a busy day. Each vegan gummy gives you just the right amount of Delta-9 THC for relaxation, an enhanced entourage effect, and an uplifting yet mellow buzz. You'll get 25mg of CBD and 5mg of THC per piece, the 5:1 CBD to THC ratio selected by our expert botanist. 

CBN vs THC: Which Minor Cannabinoid Is Right for You?  

Hemp-derived CBN and naturally occurring Delta-9 THC are generally well tolerated and considered safe for most adults. In a 2021 CBDistillery® sleep study, 82% of our participants said they were (somewhat to definitely) likely to recommend our CBN + CBD Oil Tinctures to others. The majority of participants in our 2023 CBDistillery® sleep study reported sleeping an average of 36 minutes longer per night using our THC + CBN + CBD gummies. But they may not be right for everyone. 

CBD, CBN, THC, and other plant-derived cannabinoids are not ideal for people with certain medical conditions. They can also interact with or impair the absorption of several over-the-counter treatments and prescriptions. Consult your doctor if you have health concerns. 

Based on a 2019 CBDistillery® survey of 1,900 customers, most report positive results using our hemp-derived CBD products for pain, stiffness, and inflammation after physical activity, mild or temporary anxiety, relaxation, and better sleep. If you want to continue exploring your options but aren't quite sure where to start, consider scheduling a personal consultation. Our hemp-derived products are made with 100% clean ingredients, formulated by expert botanists, and backed by our hassle-free 60-day satisfaction guarantee.   

References 

  1. Rudd J. (2023) CBD vs THC – What Are the Main Differences? Analytical Cannabis. 

  1. Mechoulam R, Hanus L. (2000) A Historical Overview of Chemical Research on Cannabinoids. 108(1-2) Chem Phys Lipids 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0009-3084(00)00184-5 

  1. Long J. (2021) Some Experts Are Beginning to Raise Concerns About the Synthetic Compounds in Delta-8 THC Products That Have Not Been Studied to Determine Whether They Are Safe or Toxic To Humans. Natural Products Insider. 

  1. Beedle A. (2022) What the Cannabis Industry Needs to Know About Novel Synthetic Cannabinoids. Analytical Cannabis. 

  1. Julia N. (2023) Delta-8 THC Benefits: What Made It So Popular? CFAH.Weil M. (2022) What is THC? Here's Everything You Need to Know. The Cannigma. 

  1. Weil M. (2022) What is THC? Here's Everything You Need to Know. The Cannigma. 

  1. Ferguson S. (2023) What Is Delta-9? Healthline. 

  1. Kruger J, Kruger D. (2022) Delta-8-THC: Delta-9-THC's Nicer Younger Sibling? 4(1) J Cannabis Res 4. https://doi.org/10.1186/s42238-021-00115-8 

  1. US Food & Drug Administration. (2022). Five Things to Know About Delta-8 Tetrahydrocannabinol. FDA. 

  1. Johnson L. (2021) Is Delta-8 THC Legal? A State-by-State Analysis. Oracle.