Walk-ins Welcome! 21+ With Valid Government Identification

Delta 8 vs. Delta 9: Here’s All You Need to Know

Over the past few years, the cannabis scene has exploded in popularity. New states are legalizing cannabis every year, bringing classic delta-9 THC products to the market across the country. 

But another cannabinoid has emerged — one that’s accessible almost everywhere, thanks to a loophole in the 2018 Farm Bill

Delta-8 THC is a cannabinoid legally treated like hemp, but it still has a psychoactive effect similar to the kind of THC found at most dispensaries. So what’s the difference between the two? 

Let’s dive into the world of delta-8 vs delta-9 THC, exploring the differences in chemical structure, legal status, and effects. 

What is Delta-9 THC? 

To understand the delta-8 vs delta-8 THC comparison, we have to first understand each cannabinoid separately. Let’s start with delta-9 THC, the most abundant and well-known cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. 

As the main psychoactive compound in most legal cannabis products on the market today, delta-9 THC is classified as a Schedule 1 substance in the U.S. While still illegal under federal law, more and more states are beginning to legalize its use for both recreational and medicinal purposes.  

Benefits and Effects 

Delta-9 THC is the most studied tetrahydrocannabinol form, so we know the most about how this compound works. 

While it’s one of more than 100 cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant, this naturally occurring cannabinoid is by far the most common. Most legal cannabis products on the market today contain delta-9 as their main psychoactive ingredient. 

Delta-9 THC interacts with the endocannabinoid system to produce its potent psychoactive effects. The “high” it creates typically comes with a rush of euphoria, altered perception, and increased appetite. Depending on the strain, you can experience a different effect. But generally, delta-9 THC is known to have a potent impact on the mind and body. 

 Studies show that delta-9 can have measurable health benefits, if it’s used correctly. According to 2021 research, delta-9 THC may have beneficial effects when used to treat:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Glaucoma 
  • Insomnia and sleep issues 
  • Low appetite problems
  • Muscle spasticity 
  • Chronic pain 
  • Nausea 
  • Sleep apnea 

Potential Risks 

Delta-9 has been well-studied and is generally considered safe to use. With that being said, the use of delta-9 THC — just like any intoxicating compound — can have potential side effects and risks. 

Common side effects include: 

  • Dry mouth 
  • Dizziness 
  • Headaches 
  • Sleepiness
  • Increased heart rate

Taking too much delta-9 THC can lead to more serious, but still short-term, side effects

  • Disconnected thoughts 
  • Anxiety 
  • Paranoia
  • Panic reactions

What is Delta-8 THC? 

Now, let’s move on to the less well-known cannabinoid on the market: Delta-8 THC. 

Delta-8 occurs naturally in cannabis plants, but typically in very small amounts. So to make delta-8 products, manufacturers typically synthetically convert hemp into delta-8 THC. 

While hemp has no intoxicating effect, the process of converting it to delta-8 THC makes it psychoactive. Delta-8 THC is structurally similar to delta-9, separated by just one chemical bond of difference. However, the “high” produced by delta-8 is less potent than delta-9. 

As long as delta-8 is extracted from legal hemp and CBD, it’s technically still classified as a hemp product. This makes it legal in most states, and it can be mailed over state lines without the involvement of regulatory agencies. Just keep in mind that some states have passed laws specifically banning delta-8, with more planning to introduce restrictions over the next few years.

Benefits and Effects 

Even though delta-8 is derived from hemp, it’s still far more similar to delta-9 THC than it is different. With that being said, it has a slightly different chemical structure, which can mean slightly different effects. 

Studies show that delta-8 THC creates a similar high to delta-9, with effects like relaxation, euphoria, pain relief, and altered perception. However, delta-8 is generally less potent than delta-9. Some users also report that it creates a gentler, more mellow high 

Just like with delta-9 THC, many people turn to delta-8 for its mood-boosting and pain-relieving effects. Consumers report that it helped to alleviate mental health symptoms, boost appetite, relieve nausea, ease pain relief, and even prevent vomiting during cancer treatments. They also report that some common THC side effects like paranoia, anxiety, and drowsiness are less intense with delta-8 than with delta-9. 

Potential Risks 

Just like with delta-9 THC, delta-8 users report typical cannabis side effects, from dry mouth to altered perception. When taken in moderate doses, delta-8 is considered safe. However, higher doses can always lead to the same adverse effects as delta-9, including an increase in paranoia and anxiety. 

Unlike delta-9 THC, it’s important to note that delta-8 THC isn’t regulated. No delta-8 THC products have been evaluated or approved by the FDA for safe use. 

While there are still reputable retailers you can buy from, not all products have a guarantee of safety. The manufacturing of delta-8 THC products may occur in uncontrolled or unsanitary settings. During the synthetic conversion process, some manufacturers can use unsafe chemicals. The final product may therefore contain potentially harmful contaminants. 

Delta-8 vs Delta-9 THC: Comparing the Two 

Both delta-8 and delta-9 THC products activate the same cannabinoid receptors in the body, which produce effects on your central nervous system. That’s why both forms of cannabinoids can produce the same benefits — pain relief, help with sleep, increased relaxation, improved appetite, and more. 

However, there are still key differences to consider. Delta-9 is known for its potency, but some users prefer delta-8 for its milder high and fewer adverse side effects. The complex legal landscape can also make it harder to buy one form of the cannabinoid or another in any given state. 

Delta-9 THC has been extensively studied, with legalization measures passing based on specific testing, extracting, and labeling rules. There are still ways to source safe and high-grade delta-8 THC, but the lack of strict safety regulations has created an uncertain market. It’s important to ensure that the products are free of contaminants, containing only what’s stated on the label before you buy. 

Safely Buying Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC 

As the landscape of cannabis laws continues to evolve, it’s important to stay updated about all the cannabinoids on the market. Both delta-8 and delta-9 come with unique benefits and drawbacks. 

Ultimately, the key to enjoying the benefits of all forms of THC lies in responsible use and sourcing. If you’re buying THC in-person or online, make sure you work with a trusted and reliable retailer. 

At DDM Cannabis, you’ll find an unbeatable selection of cannabis products — all from the best and most reputable brands in the business. From edibles to vaporizers, we’re a one-stop shop for top-quality, well-regulated cannabis products. Explore our online selection or visit us in person today.

You may also like these articles

join our newsletter

you must be 21+ to explore ddm cannabis