Delta 8 THC vs Delta 9 THC - Everything You Need to Know

Delta 8 THC vs Delta 9 THC - Everything You Need to Know

The majority knows much about delta-9-THC (commonly THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), right? 

Yes, they are the two hot cannabinoids in the current market. They are just one subset of the hundreds of chemicals found in cannabis. The public is also now starting to take notice of other cannabinoids too. Some of the top examples are delta-8 THC, CBN, and THCA.

Delta 9 THC is an essential psychoactive component of marijuana. It is often referred to as just "THC." However, with the entry of Delta 8 THC-based products in the cannabis market, more users have realized that Delta 9 isn't the only or most important kind of THC. 

One of the most exciting things about Delta 8 and Delta 9, created from hemp, is that it is legal at the federal level. That means you can buy them even in states where cannabis and cannabis-based products are illegal.

But before you make any such purchase, especially for the first time, it is essential to learn the basics. By this, we mean; how similar or dissimilar are Delta 8 and Delta 9? If you are all set and excited to learn the right thing, this post is for you!

This post will explain the basics, molecular, dosage, effects, availability, and legal differences between these cannabinoids. You will also discover how they originate from cannabis and, more significantly, how their effects vary. 

Let’s dig in!

Beginner’s Introduction – Delta-9 vs Delta-8

Delta-9 THC

An important chemical component that can be found in certain cannabis and hemp plants is called delta-9 THC. Following in the footsteps of its ancestors, d9 can make a person feel intoxicated. On the other hand, Delta 9 THC can be found in relatively high concentrations in a variety of cannabis plants, unlike Delta 8 THC, which is only found in extremely limited quantities.

Delta-8 THC

Hemp and marijuana are two types of the Cannabis Sativa plant. Both contain the psychoactive cannabinoid delta 8-THC. While it is one of more than a hundred cannabinoids found in nature, its occurrence cannot be neglected at any cost.

The Origin

Both Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC are naturally present in cannabis but in extremely different quantities. However, both can be found in the plant. The industrial hemp that is utilized for the extraction of CBD contains trace amounts of delta 9 THC at concentrations that are lower than 0.3 percent.

However, Delta 9 quantity varies widely. It is as high as 15% in some marijuana samples, which is astonishing. 

It is possible to produce Delta 9 THC from cannabis by only extracting the plant's essential oils. This process is all that is required to get the famous Delta-9 content. This extraction brings us to the beginning of making your favorite CBD products.

However, everything is a different story when it comes to Delta 8-THC, a cannabinoid that can only be found in extremely trace amounts in various types of cannabis. Although it is not physically impossible to get Delta 8 from a straight extract of cannabis, doing so is not practical. 

Credit goes to the extremely large amount of plant material necessary to complete the process successfully. 

This brings up a point that many cannabis enthusiasts and experts have discussed, and that point is; that CBD and THC are two different isomers of the same compound. If you shift the double bond from one place of the carbon chain to another, you will end up with a molecule completely different from the one you started with. This is how we get the world-famous Delta 8 THC.

Yes, we get it from CBD through a chemical conversion method!

The Chemical Makeup

The molecules of Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC are extremely close to one another. It won't be wrong to say; that they are isomers, as both are made up of the same atoms. Well, the only difference in their chemical makeup is that the atoms in each have different numbers of double bonds in various parts of their carbon chains. 

If you consider each carbon atom a link in a chain, Delta 8 possesses a double bond at the eighth link of the chain, unlike the ninth link in Delta 9. 

It would be a mistake to assume that Delta 8 and Delta 9 are the same or even very similar simply because they are isomers of one another. A molecule's behavior can be drastically altered by even an insignificant change, such as the formation of a double bond between two carbon atoms. 

CBD is an isomer of Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC as well; however, CBD does not have the same psychoactive effects as THC when you consume it.

The Availability

By luck, if you are a resident of a state where you can legally purchase and use Delta 9 THC, you should be proud of it. We suggest visiting your neighborhood dispensary right away. However, you might find a minimal selection online as there is a ban on interstate delivery.  

But things are very different in the case of Delta 8 because of its legal status on the federal level. It's great to know that Delta 8 can be transported between states. 

As a result, you have many online options to buy your favorite Delta 8 items online. However, there are some obvious reasons why most reputable cannabis businesses cannot export to states where Delta 8 is still illegal.

Avoid getting it from random places like gas stations or unknown shady stores. Remember that Delta 8 products, like other supplements, are not governed by the FDA. Because of this, a plethora of low-quality items on the market could include a wide variety of harmful substances.  

It is highly recommended to buy Delta 8 items from reputable manufacturers. Only shop from a brand if you can find information regarding their production process or lab findings on their website. Always look for third-party lab testing results and CoAs on the website.

The Practical Feel

You've probably experienced Delta 9 THC's effects before if you've ever consumed any product made from marijuana. While it has a comparable effect, most individuals who try Delta 8 describe it as more subtle. 

The power of Delta 9 is more than that of Delta 8. Because of its potency, users frequently take more than they should and become sick. 

Consuming excessive Delta 9 causes deep relaxation called a "couch lock." It is also linked to feelings of restlessness, worry, anxiety, and paranoia. Delta 8 users are statistically far less likely to report experiencing those adverse effects.

If you're familiar with the effects of Delta 9, you'll recognize them in Delta 8 too. The difference is that the intensity of the impact is much reduced in the case of d8. Many users describe feeling mildly relaxed or drugged, while some express mildly uplifting or euphoric experiences. 

Although Delta 8 has milder effects than Delta 9, it's crucial to remember that everyone reacts differently to cannabinoids. Also, how you feel after taking Delta 8 may be somewhat determined by your tolerance to THC. 

We recommend avoiding driving or dealing with heavy machinery after using Delta 8 or Delta 9 THC. You might feel sleepy and too calm to drive or lift. 

The Effects

When comparing Delta-8 and Delta-9, the effects of each would constitute the majority of the discussion. Even if these two cannabinoids were somewhat identical in every respect, the impact each had on the user would typically determine which one was eventually sold. 

It is well known that delta-9 THC has a better strength than its counterpart, which results in it being substantially more powerful and having the worst adverse effects. These negative effects can range from a decrease in one's ability to see to a heightened sense of anxiousness.

On the other hand, Delta-8 delivers a more subtle and gradual sensation when it hits your mind, making it an excellent choice for new users. People who take Delta-8 report feeling "high" even while going through the experience. 

Moreover, Delta-8 offers its users an experience that is less toxic and more soothing than that of Delta-9.

The Legal Status

We all know that it is against the law to buy or sell marijuana in the United States. Different states are taking additional steps to allow pot. At this time, marijuana is allowed in either medical or recreational forms in about 34 states.  

This has immediate implications for Delta 9 THC's legal status. The federal government prohibits any levels of THC over 0.3%. Also, individual states' rules regarding marijuana's legality vary widely.  

However, according to current federal law, Delta 8 is legal. This is because the wording used in the 2018 Farm Bill about legalizing hemp is unclear. Nothing in the bill stops people from getting Delta 8 from hemp or making things that contain Delta 8.  

However, due to its psychotropic properties, some states ban Delta 8. Currently, legal actions are pending in 6 states, raising the total number of states with restrictions on Delta 8 products to 15.  

Consequently, while Delta 8 is currently more common than Delta 9, we don’t know how long this trend will continue.

The Drug Test

Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC will appear identical in nearly all of the drug tests you take. A drug test doesn't look for THC in your body. Instead, it searches for the metabolites that are left over after your body breaks down the cannabis. 

No matter what kind of THC was used, the molecules are identical. Also, they may be produced through the digestion of cannabinoids that do not include THC. 

Most of the time, a drug test will not be able to tell whether you took Delta 8 or Delta 9 THC. If you have to take a drug test, it is highly recommended that you don't use any sort of THC.

The Dosage

The amount of THC that you should consume is referred to as the "dosing," and it varies based on the cannabinoid that you select. Between 10 and 60 milligrams of Delta-8 THC is the correct dose, as per the experts. Because this cannabinoid makes you feel calm and relaxed, it will take you longer to notice any unwanted side effects.

On the other hand, experts say that the ideal range of doses for Delta-9 THC is between 5 mg and 30 mg.

Despite these suggested dosages, it is of the utmost significance to know the individual's tolerance to these drugs. So, the person using it needs to understand that the effects of 60 milligrams of delta-8 THC can sometimes hit them harder than they would hit someone else.

On the other hand, some research suggests beginning with a lower dosage and gradually increasing it to determine the maximal tolerance. This would ensure no serious adverse effects come your way, as it could take several weeks in some cases.


Ultimately, whether you choose Delta 8 THC or Delta 9 THC depends on your needs and preferences. Even though they have some things in common, there are enough differences between them that we've already talked about.

Although some members of the cannabis community may regard Delta 9 as the "classic" option, Delta 8 has been swiftly gaining favor because it has less intense effects and is more readily available in legal settings. It is possible that over time, Delta 8 will become the form of THC that most consumers will prefer.

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