The emergence of legal hemp products has offered fresh hope to insomniacs seeking sleep solutions – but does the newly popular delta-8 cannabinoid have any potential? It appears so, with anecdotes about delta-8’s benefits for sleep coming thick and fast in recent times.
In this comprehensive guide, I’ll be delving into the existing body of evidence on delta-8 for sleep, analyzing what makes a top-quality product, and exploring the best way of taking delta-8. But let’s kick off with a look at the five best delta-8 products for sleep on the market.
1. 3Chi – Comfortably Numb Delta-8 THC & CBN Tincture
3Chi, the first brand to start selling legal delta-8 products, has come good with this Comfortably Numb Delta-8 and CBN Tincture. A well-known sedative in its own right, cannabinol (CBN) pairs beautifully with delta-8, helping you to relax and go into a deep sleep.
Indeed, the CBN works to moderate the more energizing aspects of delta-8, making it a better option for sleep than most delta-8-isolate products. 3Chi also adds in a smattering of cannabichromene (CBC), another secondary cannabinoid with sleepy properties.
3Chi’s Comfortably Numb Tincture contains MCT oil for added bioavailability but has zero-detectable THC!
Sizes: 300mg (150mg delta-8 / 150mg CBN), 600mg (300mg delta-8 / 300mg CBN), 1200mg (600mg delta-8 / 600mg CBN)
2. ELYXR – Delta-8 Cartridges (Indica)
ELYXR LA’s indica delta-8 vape cartridges deliver the blast of relaxation needed to banish your insomnia. The highly potent 94% delta-8 e-liquid combines with soothing terpene profiles to bring you mental peace and put your body at rest.
An established delta-8 brand, ELYXR LA makes delta-8 products from California, Colorado, and Oregon-grown hemp. They also make sativa and hybrid delta-8 carts, but I’m recommending the indica line specifically for sleep. Third-party approved by Verde Testing.
Strains: Blackberry Chill, Cake Kush, ELYXR OG, Mochi, Tahoe, Skywalker OG, ZKITTLEZ
3. Pure Xen – Delta-8 THC Gummies
Last up, we have Pure Xen’s delectable full-spectrum delta-8 gummies. Mixing psychoactive delta-8 extract with a sprinkling of CBD, CBC, and calming CBN, this is an excellent all-rounder that maximizes the entourage effect.
Choose between the 16-gummy pack (35mg per serving) or the more intense 20-gummy pack (50mg per serving). For newbies, 35mg is already pretty potent, so perhaps start with that one before debating whether you need more. This product contains less than 0.3% THC.
Flavors: Grape, Tropical, Pina Colada, Strawberry Banana, Green Apple, Blue Raspberry, Watermelon, Strawberry, Berry Blast, and Mixed
4. CBD Genesis – Delta-8 THC Gummies
If you keep waking up during the night, look no further than the gradual and sustained relaxation offered by these delta-8 square gummies. Made with hemp extract, pectin, and tapioca syrup, gummies are as delicious as any!
With 25mg delta-8 per serving, these edibles have impressive potency for the cheap price tag and promote deep relaxation and a sense of euphoria.
Each 3-gram gummy contains just 10 calories! Third-party tested and approved delta-8 gummies have less than 0.3% THC.
Sizes: 25-count (500mg), 50-count (1250mg), 100-count (2500mg)
5. CBD Genesis – Delta-8 THC Tincture
If getting to sleep is your issue, the fast-acting effects of delta-8 tincture could solve your problems. Providing more immediate relief than gummies, tincture oils are ideal if you have difficulties winding down the evenings. They’re also safer than smoking and vaping products.
Delta-8 Tincture contains 1000mg delta-8, equating to a shade over 33mg per serving (full dropper). Newbies may find this a little intense, so feel free to lower the dose accordingly. Made with organic, non-GMO hemp and MCT oil. Third-party tested.
Flavors: Blueberry, Watermelon
What is Delta-8?
In simple terms, delta-8 is the legal but slightly less potent version of THC. A natural phyto-cannabinoid and THC isomer, delta-8 mostly functions in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) as a partial CB1 and CB2 receptor.
Studies show that delta-8 is around 50 to 75% as strong as its THC counterpart. While that means the high and euphoria isn’t quite as intense, it also means side effects are less of an issue, with fewer anecdotal reports of anxiety.
Delta-8 products are most popular among recreational users, with the intoxicating and euphoric effects almost identical to regular marijuana. However, delta-8 has also aroused interest as a possible therapeutic, with some products being touted as potential sleep aids.
Does Delta-8 Help You Sleep?
Delta-8 products may be effective for sleep despite the common characterization as an uplifting and energizing substance. However, if you do plan on taking delta-8 for sleep, steer clear of sativa strains and go for indicas or Indica-dominant hybrids instead.
Scour the web, and you’ll find story after story from devoted delta-8 users singing the praises of edibles, tinctures, e-liquids, and more. It sure seems like delta-8 can help with sleep, but so far, scientific research is thin on the ground.
That’s not to say delta-8 isn’t effective for sleep – cannabis and its compounds are under-researched in general. We don’t even have an in-depth understanding of THC and CBD, never mind delta-8 and other minor cannabinoids.
But what we do know about THC may give us some insight into delta-8’s effects, given that the cannabinoids are so similar. In 2008, Sleep Medicine Reviews published a study showing that THC reduces time spent in the rapid eye movement (REM) phase of sleep.
REM sleep is the dreaming phase of sleep, but it’s also when people experience nightmares – this can be triggering for those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Limiting REM sleep may increase time spent in deep sleep, which is the most restorative and rejuvenating period of sleep.
However, a 2017 scientific review published in Current Psychiatry Reports, which looked at all the existing literature on cannabis for sleep, reported mixed results. However, the paper’s authors noted the relative lack of research and a need for more high-quality studies.
Types of Delta-8 Products for Sleep
There is no “best” type of delta-8 product for sleep – indeed, much comes down to the kind of sleep issues you are experiencing. Here’s what you can expect from different products.
Edibles and capsules: Delta-8 in this form lasts for several hours and may help if you keep waking up in the middle of the night. The slow release of delta-8 with orally taken products ensures your dose stays active for longer than with other methods.
Tincture oils: The relatively fast-acting nature of delta-8 tinctures is ideal if settling down and unwinding is challenging for you. If your mind races in the evening and you struggle to relax, the rapid and intense onset of effects can help put you in a sleepy state.
E-liquids: Vape juices (freestanding e-liquids, cartridges, and disposables) kick in even more powerfully and speedily than tinctures. I recommend vaping just before bedtime, as you won’t want to do anything once the effects start hitting!
Flower: Suitable for smoking and vaping, the versatile delta-8 flower offers a similar experience to e-liquids. Smoking does come with additional health risks, but there’s no denying the authenticity and delicious flavor that comes with sparking up a soothing indica joint.
The Legal Status of Delta-8
Delta-8 must come from hemp to be legal in the United States. Delta-8 extracted from cannabis (i.e., cannabis plants with more than 0.3% THC) is illegal and classed as a Schedule 1 substance. Hence why delta-8 companies always make clear that their products contain less than 0.3% THC.
It doesn’t matter that delta-8 is psychoactive. The hemp legislation in the 2018 Farm Bill legalized all parts of the plant, with only delta-9-THC remaining controlled. Delta-8’s legality has attracted controversy.
But at a town hall event in November 2022, a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) spokesman clarified that hemp-derived delta-8 is neither controlled nor restricted.
While legal at the federal level, some states have tweaked their hemp legislation to ban delta-8 – these states include New York, Colorado, Iowa, Washington, Utah, and Arizona.
What to Look For When Buying Delta-8 For Sleep
Not all delta-8 products will help you sleep, and even finding genuine delta-8 can be tricky. Rather than trusting to luck and picking a brand and product that “sounds good,” let me share some tips on finding top-quality delta-8 for sleep.
Of course, you can avoid the hassle by just purchasing a product from my top five list! But it’s important to know what makes an excellent delta-8 e-liquid, tincture, or edible and how to protect yourself from scams.
Third-Party Lab Testing
Give yourself peace of mind about the purity and legality of your delta-8 products by only buying from third-party tested brands. Independent laboratories bring quality assurances to the delta-8 market in lieu of regulation from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Common tricks from scammers include overstating how much delta-8 is in a product and cutting e-liquids and tinctures with dangerous ingredients. Third-party testing gives customers a lowdown on the contents of a product and the honesty of hemp brands.
Never rely on a company’s word that they conform with third-party testing. If you are at all skeptical about a product, always ask the vendor for the relevant certificate of analysis.
Delta-8 Products with CBN
Cannabinol (CBN) products for sleep have become popular in their own right. Therefore, delta-8 products that incorporate CBN extract should be more effective than those without it.
Like delta-8, there’s little solid evidence that CBN works for sleep, just tons of glowing anecdotes. However, we do know that CBN is a sedative, and the cannabinoid’s relaxing effects complement delta-8 well and can help you get into that elusive sleep mode.
When shopping for delta-8 products for sleep, look for tinctures, vape juices, and concentrates with indica terpenes. These compounds, which may be added separately or come as part of a full-spectrum hemp extract, serve to enhance a product’s relaxing effects.
The most sedative experience comes from indica terpenes, but indica-dominant hybrids should also do the trick. But avoid delta-8 products with sativa terpenes – the stimulating effects of these compounds are the total opposite of what you need when trying to get to sleep
How to Store Your Delta-8 Products
Whatever type of delta-8 product you have, always store it in cool, dry, and dark conditions. Delta-8 flowers should also be kept in an airtight container or resealable bag to stop oxidation and potency loss.
For other forms of delta-8, sunlight and ultraviolet (UV) degradation are usually the biggest risks, hence the need to keep products away from direct sunlight. I also recommend storing delta-8 gummies in the fridge to prevent melting.
As delta-8 products are psychoactive, you must store them out of reach of children. Some products come with child-resistant caps, but stopping your kids from accessing them in the first place is your safest bet.
How Long do Delta-8 Products Last?
The effects from vaping or smoking delta-8 last for up to three hours, while the high from sublingually-absorbed tinctures endures for up to four.
In contrast, delta-8 capsules and edibles can keep you high for between six to eight hours. Some users have reported concentrate and moon rock experiences lasting for up to 16 hours!
Purchasing Delta-8 Online vs. Shops Near Me
Delta-8 has a skyrocketing profile, so we shouldn’t be surprised that retailers are so keen to stock it. But brick-and-mortar stores, and especially convenience stores and gas stations, come with multiple concerning drawbacks over buying online.
These stores have a reputation for stocking sketchy products, whether it’s CBD, delta-8, or nicotine vape juices. Conversely, respected online vendors are a lot more careful about the delta-8 products they choose to sell – knowing one bad choice could bust their business.
Moreover, with lower operational expenses, online vendors can afford to sell the same delta-8 e-liquids and edibles at a better price than brick-and-mortar stores. Not to mention, online stores often have a much greater variety of products.