You might be wondering what the difference is between Delta 8 THC vs Delta 9 – why is the former sold in stores and the latter highly regulated?
Cannabis sativa plants produce many cannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD, terpenes, CBG, CBN, and more. D8 and D9 are two naturally occurring types of THC found in sativa and indica hemp plants.
Because of the 2018 Farm Bill, cannabis sativa plants with Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels under 0.3% are classified as hemp and therefore considered legal in most places. The low quantity of D9 makes it 100% legal to sell these products in many States.
WHAT IS DELTA 9?
Delta 9 THC is the most abundant cannabinoid found in cannabis plants, among over 100 others. It is the main cannabinoid that gives cannabis plants their euphoric, mood-altering effects. It’s considered psychoactive and mind-altering. Because of this, cannabis containing more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC on dry weight basis is considered “marijuana” and is unlawful under the Federal Controlled Substances Act. Nevertheless, people around the world enjoy using Delta 9 products recreationally and even medically, despite its legal status.
Is Delta 9 THC the Same as THC?
Delta-9 is what most people think of when weed or THC is discussed. For a long time, there was no reason to mention any other types of THC, as D9 is way more abundant than the others. Because of the 2018 Farm Bill, the lesser-known Delta 8 is more popular than ever, raising questions as to Delta 8 vs 9 differences and similarities.
WHAT IS DELTA 8?
Delta-8 THC is found in cannabis plants at much lower levels, which is why it never received much attention in the past. Like Delta-9, Delta 8 is psychoactive, with mood-boosting and relaxing effects.
We’re able to harvest D8 and remove D9 from our products to make them 100% legal! The rest of this article will explain everything you need to know about Delta 8 compared to Delta 9. This includes the question ‘is Delta 8 safe’, what side effects you can expect, and the legality of both.
Is Delta 8 Stronger Than Delta 9?
Delta-9 has far more powerful effects than Delta-8 at the same doses. Most people describe Delta 8’s high as being similar to Delta 9’s but less intense, less overwhelming, and with less paranoia. We’ve found our customers to enjoy D8’s more mellow, functional high.
The difference between Delta 8 and Delta 9 is in their molecular structure. You might be wondering how the two got their names – Delta-8 and Delta-9 are named after the double bonds on their carbon atoms. Other than this small distinction, the two are nearly identical.
Physically, D8 and D9 are almost identical forms of THC. Their molecular formula is C21H30O2 with atoms in the same configuration and shape. When the two interact with our endocannabinoid systems via our CB1 receptors, they produce relaxation, happy feelings, laughter, and an overall more chilled mood.
The difference between Delta 8 and Delta 9 is that Delta 8 has a double bond on the 8th chain of carbon atoms, whereas Delta 9’s double bond is on the 9th chain. This seemingly small detail makes Delta 8 a more stable molecule and is the reason that Delta 8 is slightly less psychoactive in the human system. Though it seems insignificant, the difference means that taking Delta 9 vs Delta 8 has more impactful euphoria, but is more likely to be accompanied by negative side effects like paranoia or restlessness.
HOW IT’S PRODUCED
Delta-8 and Delta-9 are naturally occurring cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Delta-8, however, is not naturally expressed in significant quantities. This means that regardless of what THC product is being made, there’s an extra step involved to collect enough Delta 8 for a desirable product. Let’s dive into the differences between the Delta 8 and Delta 9 production processes.
Both Delta-8 and Delta-9 are naturally occurring in cannabis and hemp plants. When it comes to producing edibles, oils, and concentrates, there isn’t a huge difference in producing Delta 9 vs Delta 8 products. The desired cannabinoids are extracted into a carrier oil and combined with whatever product you desire. For example, THC gummies combine THC oil with gelatin and natural sugar to make the tasty treat we know and love!
When looking at Delta 8 compared to Delta 9, Delta-8 is much less abundant. This means producing products with high amounts of it takes time and labor – you won’t find Delta-8 flower in a field ready to be smoked! The process typically involves changing other cannabinoids, usually CBD or Delta-9, into Delta-8 using isomerization.
Because Delta-9 cannabinoids are so numerous, producers usually find enough in cannabis flower for a marketable product. Oftentimes, cannabis plants are genetically modified to have more Delta-9, making them more potent when consumed.
DELTA-8 VS DELTA-9 HIGH
Once the lawful status of Delta-8 was confirmed via the Drug Enforcement Administration and a Ninth Circuit court case, the uptick in D8 flower, gummies, and vapes allowed users to compare Delta 8 vs Delta 9 effects and highs. Smokers noticed that D8 made them feel slightly different than what they’d been using before.
Delta 8 High
Delta-8 is ideal for those who enjoy marijuana but don’t want to get overwhelmingly high. D8 users report a relaxed mood, calmness, and less paranoia than with D9. It’s said to be more manageable and less intense. Depending on the strain, you may feel silly, talkative, energetic, focused, or insightful. Some people explain it as feeling like CBD’s benefits with a touch of THC’s fun.
Because the D8 molecule is more stable, it’s less psychoactive and therefore leads to a less mind-altering high. The delta-8 vs Delta-9 high is milder and less intense. Because of this, medical THC users or people prone to paranoia might be more likely to reach for Delta 8 if given the option!
There isn’t much of a difference in Delta 8 and Delta 9’s duration of effects. Depending on the dosage, method of ingestion, and individual metabolism, Delta 8 can last anywhere from 3 to 8 hours – with the most intense effects lasting for 1-2 hours.
Delta 9 High
Does delta-9 get you high? Of course it does.
Because Delta-9 is the main cannabinoid in cannabis and hemp plants, the high is typical to what an experienced user could expect. Like Delta 8, the high depends on what strain you’ve chosen. In general, users report euphoria, laughter, introspection, munchies, or relaxation.
In recent years, producers have made D9 products more potent than some smokers desire. Extremely potent products or overconsumption can lead to unwanted side effects like paranoia, restlessness, and dry mouth.
When comparing the effects of Delta 8 v 9, many people who have used both claim that the effects of Delta-9 are more potent. Additionally, some users report that Delta-9’s effects are more psychoactive. It’s not uncommon to report mild visual hallucinations or losing track of time.
When comparing Delta 8 vs 9 duration, some say that Delta 9 lasts longer because it’s so much more potent. Depending on the quantity consumed, method of ingestion, and individual metabolism, Delta 9 can last anywhere from 3 to 8 hours with the most intense effects for 1-2 hours.
WHAT’S STRONGER, DELTA 8 OR DELTA 9
Delta 9 is thought to be twice as potent as Delta 8. When comparing the Delta-8 vs Delta-9 high, users report Delta-9’s to be much more intense for the same dosage. Also, the molecular makeup of Delta-9 is less stable.
DELTA 9 VS DELTA 8 DOSAGE*
Dosage depends on your desired effect. Generally speaking, the usual Delta 8 dosage ranges from 10mg – 60mg. Because Delta 9 is stronger, 5mg – 30mg is typically sufficient.
It’s recommended to start with a small dose (5mg, for example) and slowly work your way up each session to determine the best dosage for your body and mind. Check out our THC mg Dosage Chart for more details.
*Keep in mind that this information and chart is based on independent research and not a substitute for medical and/or legal advice. Everyone reacts differently to THC serving sizes, so exercise caution when consuming any type of THC.
DELTA 8 TOLERANCE VS DELTA 9
Since D8 products are relatively new, there isn’t much research into tolerance formations. We do know that D8 and D9 react with the same cannabinoid receptors, so it’s thought that you can form a cross-tolerance between the two. If you have a tolerance to D8 or D9, you will probably have a tolerance to them both and need to take a t-break.
A t-break is when an experienced user refrains from THC for a specified period of time. This is thought to break tolerance levels and allows the user to experience more of an effect when they resume THC intake.
OVER-CONSUMPTION: ADVERSE EFFECTS
Overconsumption happens. You may have heard of “greening out,” a negative experience that happens when people consume too much THC. This comes along with a slew of unwanted side effects, including:
- Increased heart rate
- Dry mouth
- Memory loss
- Slow reaction times
- Red eyes
THC should provide an uplifting and positive experience – these negative effects are a sign that you’ve over consumed and need to take it down a notch.
Since D9 is so potent, it’s easier to get to the point where you’re feeling restless or have a dry mouth. However D8 is a gentler beast, so feeling this way would be an indicator that your ideal dose is lower. When comparing Delta 9 vs Delta 8 adverse effects, it depends on the individual and how their body reacts to THC.
No matter how experienced you are with THC, it’s always important to use it in moderation. Different strains have different potencies, and some are more intense than others. If you feel like it isn’t kicking in, wait at least an hour before taking more. Sometimes effects are delayed, especially when taking edibles.
Only buy from accredited, trusted sellers, and enjoy responsibly!
*The statements offered herein should not be construed as medical advice. As with any new product, consult with your physician before consuming any hemp-derived product.
There’s a lot of confusion as to how Delta-8 became legal, and why.
Hemp is used for a number of things, including manufacturing, cooking, and grooming products. The Farm Bill of 2018 classified hemp as a cannabis plant containing less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC on a dry weight basis. The difference with Delta 8 is that it comes from hemp-qualifying plants, it is legal on the federal level to buy, grow, and sell it! As long as the plant/product has under 0.3% of Delta-9 THC on a dry weight basis, it’s completely legal in the eyes of the Federal government.
Delta 9 Legal Status
The arguably most important difference between Delta 8 and 9 THC is the legal status. Unlike D8, D9 is still scheduled as a class I controlled substance. Plants with more than 0.3% of D9 are considered illegal at the federal level.
Some states allow D9 medicinally, and some allow it recreationally, too. In most places, if not everywhere, you can only get small amounts of D9 in hemp-derived products from approved sellers.
Delta 8 Legal Status
Delta 8 and 9 THC have very different legal statuses. Most states have allowed Delta 8 to remain legal, and it’s common to find at convenience stores and gas stations. The problem is that there’s still a lack of regulation in the Delta 8 market, and not all sellers are trustworthy and legitimate. Due to this, some states made Delta-8 illegal. These include:
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
If your state allows Delta-8 and you want to find a reliable seller, check out our shop page here!
WILL DELTA 8 SHOW UP IN A DRUG TEST?
Because Delta 8 is so molecularly similar to Delta 9, it can show up on drug tests as the same. The test can’t distinguish Delta 8 vs 9. Even if you use legal Delta 8 products that technically should be classified as hemp, it could show up as cannabis. Remember, Delta 8 hasn’t been consumed on this level for very long, so no one has come up with a way to distinguish it on drug tests yet.
Your best bet is to avoid all THC products if you see a drug test in the near future.
HOW LONG WILL DELTA 8 STAY IN YOUR SYSTEM?*
How Long Does Delta 8 Stay In Your System? Delta 8 and 9 THCs are metabolized the same way and stay in the body for similar lengths of time. This is why Delta 8 and 9 tolerance breaks are roughly the same lengths. How long the THC would show up on a drug test depends mostly on the frequency of consumption and metabolism.
THC is thought to have a 30-minute half-life, so half of the THC you consume should be cleared in 30 minutes. Then, half of the remaining amount dissipates every 30 minutes until none is left. Because the halves get smaller and smaller, it can remain in your system for quite some time.
The system of a one-time user should be clear of THC within 3 days. Frequent users could go 30 days without smoking and still show a positive test.
**Keep in mind that this information and chart is based on independent research and not a substitute for medical and/or legal advice. Everyone reacts differently to THC serving sizes, so exercise caution when consuming any type of THC.
SO, IS DELTA 8 BETTER THAN DELTA 9?
That depends on you! If you want to get totally stoned, Delta 9 might be your best bet (remember that Delta 9 isn’t legal in all 50 states yet). If you prefer a mild, energy-boosting high, you might be a Delta 8 person.
If you’re a Delta 9 lover on the fence about giving Delta 8 a try, you may be pleasantly surprised. Our customers report a distinct feeling from Delta 8 vs Delta 9 that isn’t just a watered-down version like you might expect. It’s a unique, uplifting experience that’s similar to but not the same as the traditional Delta 9.
TOP DELTA 8 PRODUCTS
Delta 8 comes in all forms and potencies. Mood offers high-quality, third-party-tested D8 products you can trust. We hand-select strains with particular terpene profiles to promote different moods, from relaxed to social to focused.
Edibles are a nice introduction to Delta 8 because they’re easy to consume and delicious. Our THC edibles come as gummies, cookies, and crispy treats.
Remember to check the potency of your edible and split it in half or quarters if necessary. How long for delta 8 gummies to kick in? It’s best to start with 10 mg and wait around 2 hours for the effects to kick in. Yes, that says 2 hours. Digesting THC is a slower process and usually takes a good while to feel the effects. There’s no difference in this timing whether you take Delta 8 vs Delta 9 edibles.
Whether you enjoy the social aspect of smoking or the rolling ritual, you’ll be happy to know that Delta 8 comes in flower form, just like D9 THC.
Mood Delta 8 Flower comes in indica, sativa, and hybrid options. We’ve hand-selected special strains to promote the best moods, like focus, sleep, social, energized, erotic, or creative. We’ll even roll it for you – try our convenient Delta-8 Pre-Rolls.
Vapes work by heating Delta 8 THC oil into a vapor for inhalation. Unlike joints or pipes, no flame is required, so they’re a bit more convenient and less smelly. You can easily take them with you with no extra equipment required.
Mood Delta 8 vapes use an entire gram of live resin, the most sought-after concentrate there is. With strains like OG Kush, Sour Tsunami, and Pink Panther, our vapes have something to offer everyone. See the Delta 8 difference for yourself with our quality, 3rd party tested Vapes.
WHICH DELTA IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
Personal preference plays a huge role when discussing the difference between Delta 8 and Delta 9 choices and how users experience them. Some people find that Delta 9 is overwhelming or just plain don’t want the legal risk. Like many others, you’re probably looking for a legal high — Delta 8 is the choice for you, and we’ve got you covered.
Wrapping Up Delta 8 Vs Delta 9
We’ve learned a few things by comparing Delta 9 THC vs Delta 8 THC:
- Delta 8 has a double bond on its 8th carbon atom. Delta 9’s double bond is on its 9th carbon atom.
- Delta 9 has a more intense, more psychoactive high.
- Delta 8’s high is milder and more mellow.
- Producing Delta 8 products typically involves turning other cannabinoids like CBD into Delta 8.
- Delta 8 is legal on the federal level, but Delta 9 is not. Both have varying legal statuses from state to state.
Mood offers vapes, flower, edibles, and concentrates that are all third-party tested for quality and safety. We’re the perfect first step for those looking to enter the world of Delta 8!