Pick Your Poison: Delta-8 vs. Delta-9 THC

Marijuana use is legal in some US states, which has opened the floodgates to cannabis derivatives and their products. This article is for you if you hear all the online chatter about Delta-8 and Delta-9 without any idea what they mean. 

What is Delta-9?

Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol or Delta-9 THC is the primary psychoactive component of cannabis. When most marijuana users want to experience a euphoric high, they search for delta 9 THC, which is what most people mean when they say “THC.” You can get anything from premium Delta 9 gummies to vaping cartridges, topical lotions, and flowers. This variety offers enthusiasts a host of options to enjoy this classic. 

Delta-9 THC offers health benefits like relaxation, decreased anxiety, increased appetite, improved cognition, and even pain and inflammation relief.

What is Delta-8?

While Delta-9 makes up most of the THC content of Cannabis, Delta-8 is a minor cannabinoid. It is present in lower concentrations than Delta-9 and is less potent. Due to the low delta-8 THC content of cannabis Sativa, it is typically manufactured from hemp-derived CBD. The Delta-8 present in the hemp plant is minimal and takes too much time, effort, and money to extract. Thankfully, pure Delta-8 can be gotten from CBD.

Delta-8 THC products are available in many forms, from vapes to edibles. That said, Delta-8 has many health benefits. It is not as intoxicating as Delta-9, making it a preferred choice for people looking for a little less excitement. 

How are Delta-8 and Delta-9 similar?

Delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC interact with the endocannabinoid system to activate the body’s CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, including those in the central nervous system. They have similar psychoactive effects for this reason and are both effective in relieving pain and insomnia and stimulating your appetite to various degrees.

How are they different?

Their Chemistry

While they’re both THCs, Delta-8 and Delta-9 have slightly different chemical structures, which makes all the difference in how they interact within our bodies. The position of a specific double bond on the chain of carbon atoms on Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC is the only chemical distinction between them. In its chemical structure, Delta 8 has a double bond on the eighth carbon atom, and Delta 9 has a double bond on the ninth carbon atom.

Comparing these two substances side by side may not reveal any apparent differences, yet even a tiny chemical variance impacts the body and the mind. When you choose between Delta 8 and Delta 9 are selecting between two distinctly different products.

Their Effects

The seemingly insignificant differences in their structure make the potency of each THC different. Delta-9 will undoubtedly get you high because it forms a stronger bond with the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Delta-8, on the other hand, is said to have a milder psychoactive effect than Delta-9. 

Consequently, experts say that Delta-9 is about twice as potent as Delta-8. But don’t let that scare you. The kind of high Delta-8 offers a calm buzz like a body high. The same dose of Delta-9 THC will give you a more intense euphoric high. 

Delta-8 and Delta-9 can also be distinguished by how long it takes to feel the effects. Delta-8 eases people into a more relaxed mood as it operates gently and gradually. The onset of Delta-9 is quicker and more abrupt. The onset time depends on many factors, including the type of the product consumed, your metabolism, and your personal preference. 


Delta-8 THC is federally legal in the US but is also banned in a few states. Delta-9 THC, on the other hand, is technically illegal at the federal level but is legal in many states. However, these laws are constantly evolving.

Since marijuana use is not legal at the federal level in the United States, Delta-9 is affected by this fate. So far, 34 states have made marijuana for medical and recreational use legal. Meanwhile, Delta-8 is still technically legal because of the ambiguities of the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalised hemp production. Nothing within the bill prohibits deriving Delta-8 from hemp and creating products with the compound.

The 2018 Farm Bill also allows the purchase of Delta-9 gummies as long as they contain less than 0.3% hemp-derived Delta-9. So, if you have a gummy that weighs about three grams, that gummy can technically contain 9 milligrams of Delta-9 and remain compliant with the Farm Bill.

Wrapping Up

Your unique requirements and preferences ultimately determine whether you should choose Delta-8 THC or Delta-9 THC. Despite having some similarities, they are distinct from one another due to enough significant distinctions.

No doubt, Delta-8 is widely popular right now. While some cannabis users might regard Delta-8 as a more tolerable strain, Delta-9 is still a staple for cannabis users who want a little more excitement from the traditional strain.

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