You’ve tried everything and still can’t get a good night’s sleep? Delta-8 is here to challenge that.
Long-term sleep deprivation causes detrimental effects on your body. It affects your immunity, memory, concentration, and blood pressure. You might not be familiar with hemp-derived delta-8 and its impact on sleep because it’s not a commonly recommended insomnia remedy. But, with the rise of cannabidiol (CBD), many people started to use cannabinoids to reduce pain and improve sleep. For those who have tried delta-8 for sleep, this cannabinoid is now high on their list of natural sleep remedies.
Should you try delta-8 THC for sleep? Let’s weigh the pros and cons of this cannabinoid and its effectiveness on sleep.
Exploring delta-8 THC? Check our comprehensive user guide on delta-8 THC.
Delta-8 for Sleep — How Does it Work?
Delta-8 THC helps with sleep by affecting the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is the body’s cell-signaling system that regulates vital functions, including: 
- Sleep and maintenance of sleep-wake cycles
- Learning and memory
- Chronic pain
- Appetite and digestion
- Reproductive system function
How delta-8 THC interacts with the endocannabinoid system to induce sleep?
The endocannabinoid system helps the body maintain a state of balance or homeostasis. And sleep is the epitome of homeostasis, essential for survival and health. Research shows that the endocannabinoid system plays a direct role in maintaining sleep and may affect dreaming. The ECS consists of three parts, including cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), endocannabinoids (cannabinoid-like components produced by the body), and enzymes .
The CB1 receptor is one of the ECS’s main cannabinoid receptors located throughout the central and peripheral nervous system. This receptor helps regulate pain, sleep, energy metabolism, anxiety, and appetite. Scientific evidence shows that the activation of the CB1 receptor leads to an induction of sleep. Delta-8 THC binds to the CB1 receptor, likely activating its sedative properties  .
What the Research Says About Delta-8 THC and Sleep
Researchers have yet to explore the direct effects of delta-8 THC on sleep. The impact of delta-8 THC on sleep and or brain activity have been examined only in animal studies.
A 1973 study examined the effects of delta-8 THC on sleep in cats, showing promising results. The study found that intravenous delta-8 THC induced sedation in cats, causing fewer and longer paradoxical sleep or REM episodes. This means that delta-8 caused longer REM (rapid eye movement) episodes, which are important to the sleep cycle because they stimulate parts of the brain essential for learning and memory. The researchers conclude that delta-8 might have clinically useful sedative-hypnotic properties. The study also found that delta-8 THC did not elicit inappropriate behavior because it lacks the “psychotomimetic effects” (paranoia) commonly produced by delta-9 THC .
Sleep, Pain, and Delta-8
Anecdotal evidence shows that delta-8 THC helps users fall asleep more easily. Not only that, but users also report staying asleep longer and waking up feeling refreshed. Delta-8 expresses its effects on sleep through its analgesic (pain-relieving) and anti-inflammatory properties. This is an essential aspect of delta-8 because of the relationship between sleep and pain or anxiety.
The connection between sleep and pain is major — lack of sleep increases the perception of pain. Also, chronic pain leads to lack of sleep, which is the most frequent complaint of acute and chronic pain sufferers. Studies show that pain and sensations are drastically reduced during both REM and non-REM sleep episodes. Meaning, having a good night’s rest is key to relieving pain. However, breaking the pain/lack of sleep cycle is incredibly hard .
How can delta-8 help? Delta-8’s analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects combined with its sedative effects may contribute to sound, restful sleep. Studies show that the CB1 receptor plays a vital role in pain regulation because it’s strategically located in the parts of the nervous system that control pain signaling. One animal study found that delta-8 THC showed pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects in mice suffering from pain caused by corneal injury. As we mentioned earlier, delta-8 binds to the CB1 receptor, mediating sleep and pain  .
Lack of sleep makes us groggy and irritated, increases heart rate, and exacerbates anxiety symptoms. On the other hand, anxiety keeps the body and mind alerted and unable to relax, which affects sleep. Delta-8’s anti-anxiety and sedative effects may also help with sleep in people with anxiety. Delta-8 THC doesn’t produce the common anxiety feelings associated with THC, and will instead calm racing thoughts and worries.
How to Use Delta-8 THC for Sleep
Because of its sedative and mildly psychotropic effects, using delta-8 THC before bed allows you to enjoy this cannabinoid at the optimal time. After a long day, you can wind down and relax with some delta-8. One of the crucial differences between delta-9 for sleep and delta-8 for sleep is that delta-8 won’t make you feel heavy the next morning.
Delta-8 comes in different forms, and the most common are:
- Oils and tinctures
- Vape concentrates
- Edibles (such as gel capsules)
- CBD-rich hemp flower sprayed with delta-8 THC oil
- Delta-8 pre-rolls
People prefer vaping or smoking delta-8 THC over other methods of consumption. This can be particularly useful right before going to sleep because inhalation acts faster than other methods. Vaping delivers delta-8 THC into your system faster than if you’d eat edibles or take delta-8 oil. But, feel free to experiment with different options before choosing what’s right for you.
If delta-8 THC is a new addition to your sleeping routine, it will take a while to see which dose works for you. It’s normal to spend some time in trial and error when starting with delta-8. That said, remember to start with the lowest dose possible and increase gradually as you build up tolerance.
Disclaimer: Before taking hemp cannabinoids for sleep, please consult your doctor. This is especially important if you are taking sleep medications. Keep in mind that some medications interfere with hemp cannabinoids. Your doctor can help you dose properly and adjust based on the medicine you have been using.
Side Effects and Safety Concerns of Delta-8 THC
So far, several human studies show that delta-8 THC has a generally safe profile. A study on the effects of delta-8 THC on children undergoing chemo showed promising results without significant side-effects. The researchers concluded that the side-effects were negligible, noticing only slight irritability in the youngest children .
That said, we need more research on delta-8’s effects in adults as most of what we know comes from animal studies. One 2018 systematic review found that delta-8 increased heart rate in humans and had the opposite effect on animals where it slowed heart rate .
Another animal study found that delta-8 and delta-9 THC cause an increase in blood pressure, followed by a sudden drop and a slower heart rate .
Anecdotal evidence of adults who use delta-8 THC in low to moderate doses shows that this cannabinoid doesn’t cause major adverse effects. Before using delta-8 THC for sleep, make sure you check the labs of the products and do a little background check on the company you are purchasing from.
Where to Buy Delta-8 THC for Sleep?
At Mr. Hemp Flower, we offer a line of top-shelf delta-8 THC products. Our products are made using organic hemp sourced directly from vetted U.S. farmers. We offer premium CBD hemp flower sprayed with delta-8 THC oil. We’ve found that strains like Stormy Daniels and Elektra work great with delta-8 oil because of their high CBD and terpene content.
If you are not a fan of rolling your own hemp flower, we offer high-grade delta-8 pre-rolls. Our 1 gram Stormy Daniels Delta-8 Pre-Rolls are a blend of Stormy Daniels hemp flower + delta-8 oil sprayed on the flower + added kief. For an extra flavor, these pre-rolls are coated in strain-specific hemp terpenes derived from real hemp flower strains. We offer lab tests for each delta-8 product, so you can see for yourself that you are consuming a safe item.
The biggest difference between delta-8 and delta-9 is in their psychotropic potency. Meaning, delta-8 will get you a little high without the anxiety effects produced by delta-9.
Anecdotal evidence shows that delta-8 helps with sleep.
Delta-8 effectively reduces pain, anxiety symptoms, stimulates appetite, and prevents nausea and vomiting.
In the U.S., synthetically produced delta-8 is illegal, while naturally occurring delta-8 is legal.
In urine, THC’s byproducts can be found from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the frequency of use and metabolism.