Delta-8 vs Delta-9: What Is the Difference?
You’ve decided to try a hemp-derived THC product only to realize that there are different types you can choose from. Some of these classifications or levels of THC products consist of delta 8, delta 9, and delta 10 THC.
Today, we’ll talk about all things delta 8 and delta 9. We will compare the two and do a deep dive into which one you should choose and why.
What Is THC?
THC is a cannabinoid that comes from the cannabis plant. A cannabinoid is a chemical compound that makes up the plant. There are believed to be more than 100 cannabinoids found in hemp.
The THC cannabinoid contains psychoactive properties that cause the user to feel high. When referencing THC, the most common THC isomer is trans-delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol or delta 9 THC. Many THC products contain delta 9 THC because it is the most abundant THC isomer. It is considered a major cannabinoid of hemp.
Delta 8 THC is considered a minor cannabinoid of hemp because the hemp plant produces so little of it. Delta 8 THC has to be extracted more carefully than delta 9 THC because so little of it is found in the plant.
What is Delta 8 THC?
Delta 8 THC is a chemical compound that is found in hemp. What makes it delta 8 is the double bond located on the 8th carbon chain in the compound. The location of the double bond on the 8th carbon chain makes the effects of delta 8 THC milder than delta 9 THC.
What Is Delta 9 THC?
Like delta 8, delta 9 THC is a chemical compound found in hemp. It has a double bond located on the 9th carbon chain in the compound. Because delta 9 THC is a major THC isomer found in hemp, many of the THC products you see will contain delta 9 THC.
The Effects of Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC
Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC both produce similar effects in the body. The most common effects that consumers feel when using delta 8 and delta 9 products include the following:
- Elevated mood
- Increased happiness
- Increased appetite
- Increased laughter or “the giggles”
The primary difference between delta 8 THC and delta 9 THC lies in the intensity. Delta 8 THC is less intense than delta 9 THC. If you’re looking for an introduction to THC products, we recommend starting with delta 8 THC to see how your body will react.
What Is the Legality of Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC?
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the cultivation and production of on a federal level. The law legalizes hemp products as long as they contain no more than a 0.3% concentration of delta 9 THC on a dry weight basis.
Unfortunately, the 2018 Farm Bill doesn’t mention any language about delta 8 THC. This causes a gray area to surround the legality of delta 8 as opposed to delta 9. Because there is no language about delta 8 THC in the Farm Bill, it’s difficult to determine its legality, whereas delta 9 THC is explicitly listed as being federally legal if there is no more than 0.3% concentration of THC on a dry weight basis.
This has caused some state lawmakers to take the initiative to pass local legislation to define the legality of delta 8 and delta 9 products in their state. Some states have legalized both delta 8 and delta 9 THC products in their state while others have banned them completely. It’s important to know if delta 8 THC or delta 9 THC is legal to purchase in your state.
Are Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC Products Safe?
Delta 8 and delta 9 products are safe if you use them responsibly. Because delta 8 is a minor cannabinoid, it requires a more intricate extraction process. Sometimes delta 8 THC is synthesized with other substances. While delta 8 THC in and of itself is safe, the additional synthetic substances that delta 8 is mixed with may not be.
While delta 8 and delta 9 THC are safe cannabinoids of hemp, each person can react to a product differently. Some users can experience an adverse reaction to delta 8 and delta 9 THC products.
Adverse reactions are rare but can include the following:
- Fear or nervousness
To avoid an adverse reaction, you should only take the recommended dosage of the delta 8 or delta 9 THC product. Taking more than the recommended dosage can increase the intensity of the effects and cause them to last longer than normal.
The recommended dose of THC products will typically create an effect that lasts between 3 to 5 hours. Taking more than the recommended dosage can cause the effects to last 6 to 8 hours.
Some users have experienced adverse reactions to delta 8 THC instead of delta 9 simply because it is a synthesized product. Unlike delta 9, which is abundantly found in hemp, delta 8 THC has to be synthesized. This means it can be mixed with impurities, increasing the chance of an adverse reaction.
We also recommend taking delta 8 or delta 9 THC products with food so that it can be better absorbed in the body. Taking hemp-derived products on an empty stomach can cause the effects to be more intense or unfavorable.
If you feel like you are having an adverse reaction to delta 8 or delta 9 THC, it’s completely normal. The adverse reaction will only last the duration of the effects, which will be 3 to 5 hours if you have taken the recommended dosage. To pass the time, you should try to sleep, relax, watch TV, listen to music, or read a book until the effects wear off—and they will!
Finally, both delta 8 and delta 9 THC products should be taken in a safe environment. We recommend using THC products in the comfort of your home to enjoy the effect. You should never drive or operate machinery after taking delta 8 or delta 9 THC products.
Where to Buy Delta 8 and Delta 9 Products
You should only purchase THC products from a reputable retailer or online store. Avoid purchasing THC products secondhand as you never know where the product has come from or what it was potentially mixed with.
Delta 8 and delta 9 products can come in different forms—from vapor cartridges to drink mixes to edibles. You will generally feel the effects sooner after vaping THC products than by ingesting them.
Vapors can be felt within just a few minutes after inhaling, while edibles can take as many as 90 minutes to feel. You shouldn’t consume an additional edible until 90 minutes have passed and no effects have been felt.
We hope that helps you understand the difference between delta 8 and delta 9 THC! There is no wrong choice when deciding which hemp-derived product you should choose. If you want a milder experience, you should choose delta 8 products. If you want a more intense experience, we recommend choosing delta 9 THC.