We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

Medical News Today only shows you brands and products that we stand behind.

Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site. To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we:
  • Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm?
  • Fact-check all health claims: Do they align with the current body of scientific evidence?
  • Assess the brand: Does it operate with integrity and adhere to industry best practices?
We do the research so you can find trusted products for your health and wellness.
Was this helpful?

Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, or delta-8 THC, is a compound of the Cannabis sativa plant. Research shows that it may provide some benefits, such as promoting relaxation and reducing pain.

However, there has not been enough research to determine the effectiveness and safety of this compound.

This article explores what delta-8 is, its risks and benefits, and how it compares with cannabidiol (CBD). Then, it provides a selection of full-spectrum CBD products that people may wish to try instead of delta-8.

Is CBD legal?The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3% THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them federally illegal but legal under some state laws. Be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.

Delta-8 is one of the more than 100 compounds that naturally occur in the Cannabis sativa plant. Concentrated delta-8 commonly comes from hemp-derived CBD.

Learn more about CBD here.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that delta-8 has similar psychoactive and intoxicating properties to delta-9 THC, the compound that causes euphoria, or a “high,” that people may experience from consuming or smoking cannabis.

Delta-8 has a slightly different molecular structure to delta-9 THC, which some might call “regular THC.”

Learn more about the difference between THC and CBD here.

Due to this difference, delta-8 may not affect a person’s mind in the same way as regular THC. Research suggests that the effects of delta-8 are less intense than those of delta-9. The effects that people do feel last for about the same amount of time.

However, the research is observational and relies on the participants’ self-reporting. Overall, there have been too few studies to understand the psychoactive differences between delta-8 and delta-9.

A 2022 study found that delta-8 THC may:

  • promote relaxation
  • help reduce pain
  • lead to less anxiety and paranoia than delta-9 THC

A 2018 animal study found that delta-8 THC may decrease pain and inflammation in corneal injuries.

However, more research is needed to investigate the benefits of this compound.

The FDA has not evaluated or approved any delta-8 products for use. This means that it has not determined their safety. The agency has, however, noted these risks:

  • It is likely that delta-8 products are more concentrated than raw hemp or cannabis products. This makes establishing a safe dosage difficult.
  • The manufacturing process may use unsafe chemicals and take place in unsanitary facilities.
  • Delta-8 may cause adverse reactions in children, such as vomiting or hallucinations, and require hospitalization.
  • It may also cause adverse reactions in pets.

The legal status of delta-8 has changed in recent years and may change again.

Originally, the compound was not subject to federal law due to a loophole in the 2018 Farm Bill. This bill made it legal for farmers to grow industrial hemp that contained less than 0.3% THC, but it did not specifically mention delta-8 or other cannabinoids.

In August 2020, the DEA released new regulations. These classify delta-8 and other forms of THC as Schedule 1 controlled substances.

While delta-8 has this classification at the federal level, however, its legality varies by state. It is important to check current local laws.

The following table compares the benefits, risks, and legality of delta-8, delta-9, and CBD.

BenefitsThis helps promote relaxation and relieve pain, and causes less anxiety and paranoia than delta-9.This helps relieve anxiety, pain, stress, depression, and chemotherapy-induced nausea.This helps relieve pain, prevent insomnia, and reduce anxiety and inflammation.
Risks• It is difficult to determine a safe dosage.

• Manufacturing may take place in unsanitary conditions and involve toxins.

• It can cause serious side effects in children.
It may affect brain, heart, and lung health, as well as impair judgment.It may cause liver damage and affect how other drugs work.
Causes euphoria?yesyesno
LegalityIt is a Schedule 1 controlled substance at the federal level but may be legal in some states.It is a Schedule 1 controlled substance at the federal level but may be legal in some states.It is legal at the federal level, but it may be illegal in some states.

How we chose products

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Ingredients: MNT chooses products containing safe and high quality, clearly labeled ingredients. They should also confirm they are free from pesticides, heavy metals, and mold.
  • Dosage: MNT chooses products that must clearly state the CBD dosage and THC content.
  • Serving size: MNT selects products in which manufacturers recommend a dosage and how to take it.
  • Third-party labs: MNT chooses products that undergo third-party testing for contaminants by an ISO 17025-compliant laboratory.
  • Available certificate of analysis: MNT chooses companies that demonstrate transparency and share a product’s certificate of analysis (COA) after receiving its third-party lab results.
Was this helpful?

Full-spectrum CBD contains a wide range of cannabis compounds, including up to 0.3% THC.

Learn more about full-spectrum CBD here.

Below, find some full-spectrum products that a person might take instead of delta-8.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information is purely research-based and was correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for different strengths:
CBDMD Full-Spectrum CBD Oil Tincture Chocolate Mint

  • List price: from $89.99
  • CBD strength: 1,500 milligrams (mg), 3,000 mg, or 6,000 mg per bottle
  • CBD per serving: 50 mg, 100 mg, or 200 mg per serving
  • Size: 30 milliliters (ml)

This tincture contains terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids from hemp plants that have not been genetically modified and grown in the United States. It is available in chocolate mint or “natural” flavors.

The company states that its CBD is third-party tested, and it recommends using this tincture in recipes and beverages or by placing it under the tongue.

Best for gummies:
Charlotte’s Web Daily Wellness CBD Gummies

  • List price: $44.99
  • CBD strength: 15 mg per gummy
  • CBD per serving: 30 mg (two gummies)
  • Size: 60 gummies
  • Flavors: raspberry lime

One serving of these gummies contains 30 mg of CBD from hemp grown in the U.S.

The company states that these gummies may help people fall asleep easier, and it recommends taking two a day.

These gummies may be more convenient for people who prefer to take CBD on the go, as gummies may be more transportable and easier to consume than oil.

Best for non-GMO hemp:
CBDistillery Full-Spectrum CBD Oil Tincture

  • List price: $70
  • CBD strength: 1,000 mg per bottle
  • CBD per serving: 33 mg
  • Size: 30 ml
  • Flavors: unflavored, mango, peppermint, and peach ginger

This tincture has 1,000 mg of CBD per bottle and 33 mg of CBD in every serving.

The company states that it uses only U.S.-grown hemp that has not been genetically modified. Additionally, it says that a third party lab-tests its products to ensure purity and safety.

The company recommends holding 1 serving under the tongue for 10–20 seconds before swallowing.

This tincture is available in several flavors. However, some flavors are limited editions and may not always be available.

Best organic:
Lazarus Naturals Full Spectrum CBD Tincture, High Potency

  • List price: from $40
  • CBD strength: 1,500 mg or 6,000 mg per bottle
  • CBD per serving: 50 mg
  • Size: 30 ml or 120 ml
  • Flavors: classic, chocolate mint, and strawberry lemonade

This tincture is available in strengths of 1,500 mg and 6,000 mg. Each 1-ml serving contains 50 mg of full-spectrum CBD.

Lazarus Naturals states that this hemp is USDA-certified organic and Kosher. It recommends people start with 1 ml of oil and adjust the dosage as necessary after 2 hours.

This tincture contains organic coconut oil, so it is not suitable for people with a tree nut allergy. Additionally, Lazarus Naturals recommends people consult with a healthcare professional before using this product if they should not eat grapefruit.

Best for dosage options:
Zatural Full Spectrum CBD Oil Drops

  • List price: from $27.50
  • CBD strength: 300 mg–12,000 mg per bottle
  • CBD per serving: 10 mg, 50 mg, or 100 mg
  • Size: 30 ml, 60 ml, or 120 ml
  • Flavors: natural and peppermint

This tincture contains 300–12,000 mg of CBD per bottle, with each ml containing up to 100 mg of CBD. The company uses organic hemp seed oil as a carrier oil.

The tincture is available in natural and peppermint flavors. Zatural recommends starting with a small dose and increasing it gradually to reach the desired effect.

Zatural offers a chart that recommends different serving sizes for different weights. For example, the company recommends people weighing 151–170 lb start with 30 mg of CBD per day.

The following table compares the full-spectrum CBD alternatives in this article on price, flavor, and more.

List priceCBD StrengthCBD per servingSizeFlavors
CBDMDfrom $89.99• 1,500 mg per bottle
• 3,000 mg per bottle
• 6,000 mg per bottle
• 50 mg
• 100 mg
• 200 mg
30 ml• natural
• chocolate mint
$44.9915 mg per gummy30 mg (two gummies)60
raspberry lime
CBDistillery$701,000 mg per bottle33 mg30 ml• unflavored
• mango
• peppermint
• peach ginger
from $40• 1,500 mg per bottle
• 6,000 mg per bottle
50 mg• 30 ml
• 120 ml
• classic
• chocolate mint
• strawberry
• lemonade
Zaturalfrom $27.50• 300 mg per bottle
• 600 mg per bottle
• 1,200 mg per bottle
• 1,500 mg per bottle
• 3,000 mg per bottle
• 6,000 mg per bottle
• 12,000 mg per bottle
• 10 mg
• 50 mg
• 100 mg
• 30 ml
• 60 ml
• 120 ml
• natural
• peppermint

Below are answers to some common questions about this compound.

Does delta-8 have THC in it?

Delta-8 is a form of THC.

However, its molecular structure differs slightly from that of delta-9, which a person might call “regular THC.” As a result, it may affect a person differently from delta-9.

Who should use delta-8?

Research suggests that delta-8 can provide pain relief and aid in relaxation. Its effects may be less intense than those of delta-9, but it is psychoactive.

Overall, there has not been enough research to gauge the safety or effectiveness of this compound.

Does delta-8 show up in drug tests?

Most drug tests screen for delta-9, or regular THC. However, it is possible that if a person takes delta-8, they might test positive for a drug.

Learn more about how long cannabis stays in the body.

Is delta-8 safe?

There is not enough research to determine the safety and effectiveness of delta-8.

The FDA observes that delta-8 products have more of this compound than occurs naturally in raw hemp or cannabis products. As a result, it is difficult to identify a safe dosage.

Also, due to a lack of regulation, there is a risk that manufacturers make delta-8 products in unsafe and unsanitary conditions.

Is delta-8 legal?

The DEA classifies delta-8 as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. However, state laws may vary. Check local legislation carefully before buying a product containing this compound.

Does delta-8 produce a high?

Research suggests that delta-8 has similar effects to delta-9. People have reported a feeling of euphoria, or a high, alongside dry mouth, red eyes, dizziness, blurry vision, and a small increase in heart rate.

Delta-8 is one of the many compounds in cannabis. It has psychoactive properties similar to those of delta-9 THC.

Some research suggests that delta-8 may have some beneficial properties. However, there has not been enough research to determine its safety and effectiveness. The DEA classifies it as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, though its legality may vary from state to state.