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Delta 8 Vs. Delta 9

March 7, 2021BlogNo Comments »

Delta 8 Vs Delta 9

Until recently, when most people said THC or thought about it, they were referring to delta-9 THC. In recent years, however, delta-8 THC has increased in prevalence and popularity. But what is the difference between these two? And how are they similar? Take a closer look at delta 8 vs. delta 9 THC.


Both Are Cannabinoids

As you compare delta 8 vs. delta 9 THC, you will notice that both substances are cannabinoids. The term cannabinoid refers to a compound that occurs in cannabis. The best-known cannabinoids are delta-9 THC and CBD.

When we consume cannabinoids, they produce effects on our body via interactions with receptors. These interactions can lead to physical and mental effects.


Chemical Differences

The differences between delta 8 and delta 9 THC mostly come down to their chemical structure. They have very similar chemical structures but with a few variations in atomic bonds.


Where They Are Found and at What Concentrations

When discussing delta 8 vs. delta 9 THC, it is important to mention that both can occur in cannabis, but only delta 8 can occur in hemp. Delta-9 THC cannot occur in hemp at a concentration higher than 0.3%, as that would automatically lead to the plant being classified as cannabis instead.

It is also worth noting that delta-9 THC tends to occur in much higher concentrations than delta-8 THC. Delta-9 THC can be present in cannabis at concentrations above 30%. By contrast, delta-8 THC will only occur in hemp or cannabis at fractions of a percent.


Science Lets Us Create Delta 8 Concentrates

To overcome those small concentrations of delta-8 THC, scientists have developed methods of extracting and concentrating it. This allows for oils, tinctures, and vape cartridges with higher concentrations.



Another major difference between delta 8 and delta 9 is whether they are legal at the federal level. Most laws regarding and restricting cannabis focus on the concentration of delta-9 THC. This comes from the fact that it is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis.

Only hemp, not cannabis, is legal at the federal level in the United States. As mentioned, to qualify as hemp, it must have less than 0.3% delta-9 THC. This means that any product with more delta-9 THC than that is not legal federally. However, states are free to create their own laws, and many have legalized marijuana, legalizing delta-9 THC in the process.

By contrast, delta 8 THC is legal at the federal level. The caveat is that it must have less than 0.3% delta-9 THC for it to be federally legal. In other words, it must be hemp-derived.

Essentially, delta-8 THC is legal at the federal level, while delta-9 is not and is only legal in states that have legalized marijuana.


State Laws

Keep in mind that while delta-8 THC is federally legal, some states have made it illegal. These are states with “total THC” laws. Those laws require that the total THC content, regardless of the type of THC, is less than 0.3%. These laws do not specify delta-9 THC, which is the case in other states and federally. Instead, they combine delta-9 THC, delta-8 THC, and THCa.

This makes delta 8 illegal in Alaska, Delaware, Arkansas, Montana, Missouri, Idaho, and Iowa. Of course, delta-9 THC is not legal there either.


Delta 8 Vs. Delta 9


The Effects

Remember that everyone reacts slightly differently to each cannabinoid, so your reaction may not match that of your friends or neighbors. That being said, there tend to be differences in how delta 8 and delta 9 THC affect people.


Psychoactive Effects and Highs

Delta-9 THC is known for its psychoactive effects. By contrast, delta-8 THC has reduced psychotropic effects. Delta 8 also tends to deliver its effect more gradually, compared to the quicker onset with delta 9.

People who are prone to anxiety tend to enjoy the effects of delta 8 more than those of delta 9. There is not usually any paranoia or mental confusion linked to delta 8, both of which are somewhat common with delta 9.

That being said, both delta 8 and delta 9 deliver the feeling of being “stoned” via a strong body high. The big difference is that many people report feeling clear headed enough with delta 8 to use it during the day.



It is a well-accepted fact that smoking marijuana gives you munchies, and this is from the delta-9 THC content. Delta-8 THC not only delivers a similar effect, but many say that the munchies are even more intense with it.


Nausea and Vomiting

There is also some early research for both delta 8 and delta 9 that they may reduce nausea and vomiting. Therefore, people in search of this effect can choose either THC.



Although the cost of delta 8 and delta 9 THC will depend on where you live and the type of product you buy, delta 8 tends to be cheaper. There are some estimates that buying delta 8 will cost you about 50 to 80 percent as much as delta 9.

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