Delta 8 vs Delta 9: What is the Difference?

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THC has become increasingly popular for its medicinal benefits and also recreational use. However, there still exists confusion on the different types of THC available and their potential benefits.

The main types of THC available are Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC. Most of the CBD products in the market today either contain Delta 8 THC or Delta 9 THC. These products are both derived from the Sativa cannabis plant and also share a few similar features and structures. They are also quite similar in terms of the product; they can be smoked in flower form, inhaled through vaping or taken as edibles.

However, as similar as they seem, they are quite different in many ways. This article will help you clearly distinguish between Delta 8 and Delta 9. We will also look at the potential benefits of each compound. Let us first look at what Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC are.

What is Delta 8 THC?

Delta 8 THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid manufactured in concentrated amounts from the hemp-derived cannabis Sativa plant. It is an isomer of Delta 9 THC, which has similar psychoactive effects. Delta 8 is less potent than Delta 9 THC.

You can find Delta 8 THC products in many forms, such as gummies, vape cartridges, tinctures, capsules, cookies, chocolate, and even breakfast cereal. These products are taken for different purposes and have a lot of medicinal benefits. They are also not without risks; certain adverse effects come with overindulging on Delta 8 THC.

Delta 8 Benefits

Delta 8 THC, when taken in the right manner, has quite the benefits for its users. To ensure you get to benefit from Delta 8 THC, you have to consider a few things first:

  • The dosage you take
  • The constituents of the product
  • The frequency of consumption
  • The production methods - cultivation, extraction, and formulation of the product
  • Your health status

Considering these factors will help you get the maximum benefits from delta THC. Here are some of the benefits;

  • It may help in pain relief
  • It may improve your appetite
  • It may help to improve sleep quality
  • It acts as an anti-inflammatory
  • It may help to reduce stress and anxiety
  • It may prevent sensory overstimulation

Delta 8 Side Effects

While Delta 8 THC has many benefits, it can lead to some adverse effects when abused. We have mentioned some things one needs to consider before using delta THC. If these factors are overlooked, they lead to certain negative reactions.

Here are some of the potential risks;

  • It can cause disorientation
  • It can lead to lethargy
  • It can induce anxiety and panic attacks
  • It can cause impaired coordination
  • It can result in dry mouth and eyes
  • It can cause an increased pulse rate

However, these side effects normally resolve on their own after a couple of hours. Pre-existing conditions can increase the severity of these side effects, so speak to your doctor before self-medicating on Delta 8 THC.

What Is Delta 9 THC?

Delta 9 THC is the main psychoactive ingredient in the cannabis plant. This is the substance that gets you high. Delta 9 THC is highly regulated compared to Delta 8 THC because it is more potent.

Like Delta 8 THC products, it comes in many forms, such as gummies, tinctures, cookies, vaping cartridges, topical lotions, infused beverages, and joints.

Delta 9 THC also has a few benefits that come with taking it and also some potential risks.

Delta 9 Benefits

Most of the benefits of Delta 9 THC are similar to that of Delta 8 THC. The potential benefits of Delta 9 THC include:
  • It may help to calm the mind and induce relaxation
  • It may help to increase appetites, especially in patients with AIDS
  • It may heighten imagination
  • It may help to improve sensory perceptions
  • It may help to reduce anxiety and stress
  • It has therapeutic benefits

Delta 9 Side Effects

The amount and quality of Delta 9 THC consumed can have adverse effects. There are increased negative side effects with Delta 9 THC compared to Delta 8 THC because it is more potent.

Here are some of the potential side effects of taking Delta 9 THC;

  • It can cause recurring nausea and vomiting
  • It can lead to panic attacks and increased anxiety
  • It can lead to a dry mouth
  • It can cause low blood pressure
  • It can cause dehydration, especially for avid users
  • It can cause confusion and disorientation
  • It can cause dysphoria
  • It can cause abdominal pains
  • It can also increase the risk of certain mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, depression, and even psychosis
  • It can lead to someone feeling sedated

Difference Between Delta 8 and Delta 9

While Delta 8 and Delta 9 are all extracted from the same cannabis plant, these compounds are very different from one another. It is important to understand the differences in molecular structure, legality, production process, and the effects they have on the body.

Delta 8 vs Delta 9: Chemical Structure

Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC may look like they have the same chemical structure; however, the double bond on the carbon atom is placed at different levels between the two cannabinoids.

In Delta 8 THC, the double bond is placed on the eight carbon atoms, while with Delta 9 THC, the double bond is placed on the ninth. The double bond placement is why they are called Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC. This also makes a difference in how they interact with the CBI receptors in the body.

Delta 8 vs Delta 9: Production and Extraction

The extraction process for Delta 9 THC is different from the process for Delta 8 THC. This is because Delta 8 THC is found in trace concentrations, while Delta 9 THC is the primary cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. The extraction of Delta 9 is fairly cheap as it can be easily derived from marijuana plants. The buds are then harvested, dried, cured, or flash frozen. It can then be extracted using the CO2 technique, ethanol, or light hydrocarbon extraction.

Delta 8 THC, on the other hand, requires a great deal of effort in its extraction process. Delta 8 THC is only a minor cannabinoid found in trace amounts. The cannabis plant produces so little natural Delta 8. Its extraction from hemp plants takes more time and effort. It is synthesized entirely from a CBD isolate using solvents, reagents, and acid to convert into Delta 8 THC.
This chemical synthesis process may involve the use of potentially harmful chemicals to create the concentrations of Delta 8 THC.

The acid reagent stimulates the conversion of CBD into Delta 8 THC. Delta 8 THC is considered more of a hemp-derived product than marijuana.

Delta 8 vs Delta 9: Potency

Delta 9 THC is highly potent compared to Delta 8 THC. Delta 9 THC is the primary psychoactive ingredient in the cannabis plant. It has intense, intoxicating effects. This is what gets you high when you smoke or ingest THC products. The side effects are also more considerable with Delta 9 THC.

On the other hand, Delta 8 THC is less potent and provides a much easier experience. Delta 8 THC is also metabolized differently when consumed or inhaled. While the effects of Delta 9 THC are more rapid and instantaneous, Delta 8 works slowly and gradually. These effects have been tested and proven through oral and intravenous administration, where Delta 8 was found to be half as potent as Delta 9.

Delta 8 vs Delta 9:

Dosage Generally, dosage normally depends on the consumer's needs and other factors such as body mass, gender, and other attributes. That said, Delta 8 THC is normally given at a higher dosage than Delta 9 THC because it is less potent.

Most Delta 8 products are sold at doses two to three times more than Delta 9 products. Delta 8 products have less intoxicating levels because of the olivetol byproduct that inhibits intoxicating effects.

Delta 8 vs Delta 9: Legality

Industrial hemp-derived products have been legalized under federal law as long as the products contain less than 0.3 % of THC. However, marijuana is not legal on a federal level in the United States. Legality is left up to individual states; only 34 states have made it legal for recreational use.

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp production, which makes Delta 8 THC legal on the federal level. However, due to concerns with the chemical synthesis process of Delta 8 THC, it has been banned by several states.

Delta 9 THC is a Schedule 1 controlled substance under the Controlled Substance Act. It is illegal on the federal level due to its high potential for abuse.

Delta 8 vs Delta 9: Potential Benefits

Medical cannabis provides a lot of benefits as mainstream medicine. Various studies and cannabis research have proven that Delta 8 and Delta 9 products share many medical benefits. The Department of Community Health and Health Behavior has noted many positive attributes of Delta 8 and Delta 9 products.

Here are some of the benefits of Delta 9 vs Delta 8:

Benefits of Delta 8 THC:

  • Effects of euphoria
  • Helps to relax
  • Relieves pain
  • May have anti-inflammatory properties
  • May reduce nausea
  • May stimulate appetite
  • May have neuroprotective properties
  • May reduce anxiety
  • May facilitate increases or decreases in blood pressure

Benefits of Delta 9 THC:

  • May help with Insomnia
  • May reduce stress and anxiety
  • May relieve pain and soreness
  • May reduce inflammation
  • May relieve muscle soreness
  • May reduce intraocular pressure
  • May reduce seizures in epileptic patients in low doses
  • May reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease
  • May relieve depression
  • May have antioxidant properties
  • May promote brain cell growth and is also neuroprotective
  • May stimulate appetite

How to Select the Best Delta 8 and Delta 9 Products

There are many Delta 8 and Delta 9 products on the market. It is easy to get confused about which one best suits you. Here is what you should look at when choosing the best delta products:

  • Brand reputation - Look at how long the brand has been in business and if they have ever been involved in any controversy concerning their product.
  • Third-party lab testing - The best products have passed through third-party lab testing to test for different contaminants and toxins.
  • Customer reviews - Positive customer feedback means the product is effective and that the brand treats its customers well.
  • Ingredients used - Check the ingredients used to make the product. Do not introduce any substance that is illegal or toxic into your body.
  • Transparency - You need to go for a trustworthy brand. This means they can provide all the information about their products for consumers to review. This includes information about the ingredients used, THC levels, extraction methods, and hemp source.
  •  Cost - Compare the prices of the products in the market to make an informed decision. The price of the product should match the product quality. Get quality for your money.
  • THC concentration - You need to pick a product that sticks within the legal THC concentration. The federally legal THC concentration is less than 0.3 %, and the product should not exceed this amount.

That said, we outlined a list of the best delta products to make your work easier:

Best Delta 8 and Delta 9 Products


We hope the difference between Delta 8 and Delta 9 is now more apparent. The key differences are that Delta 9 is more potent than Delta 8. Delta 9 also has more effects and works faster on the body than Delta 8. Delta 8 is legal on a federal level, while Delta 9 is considered illegal due to its high potential for abuse. Delta 9 is derived from marijuana plants, while Delta 8 is hemp-derived. Delta 8 is also sold in higher doses than Delta 9 because it is less intoxicating.

Ultimately, the choice between Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC comes down to your preference, need, and desire. Both products share a few similarities and work effectively. Most avid users within the cannabis community opt for Delta 9 due to its potency. Delta 8 is also increasingly gaining popularity because of its legality and milder effects.

Harness all the benefits of these THC products and be well on your way to a healthier life and body wellness.

The statements made in this sponsored post are those of the paid sponsor and not those of San Antonio Current, and are not intended as medical advice. Consult your doctor before undertaking any changes to your physical, mental or dietary health.