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Delta 8 vs Delta 9: Everything You Need to Know About These Two THC Variants

Delta 8 vs Delta 9: Everything You Need to Know About These Two THC Variants

Posted by The Weed Warlock on Jul 03, 2023

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What are Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC?

Let's start with the basics - THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. It's the stuff responsible for the psychoactive effects, or the 'high'. But did you know there are different types of THC? Enter, Delta 8 and Delta 9.  

Delta 9 THC, the most well-known variant, is the star of the show when it comes to cannabis. It's prevalent, powerful, and packed with psychoactive punch. 

Delta 8 THC, on the other hand, is kind of like Delta 9's less intense cousin. It's still psychoactive, but to a lesser degree. 

Delta 8 vs Delta 9: A "High" Level Overview 

While the names Delta 8 and Delta 9 might sound similar, they are different in some fundamental ways. Sure, they are both forms of THC and both have psychoactive effects, but the intensity and experience can vary significantly. 

Delta 8 Delta 9
Less potent psychoactive effects More potent psychoactive effects
Said to produce a clear-headed high May lead to paranoia or worry
Derived from hemp or CBD Derived from marijuana or THC
Legally available in more states
  • Marijuana derived is restricted to dispensaries.
  • Hemp derived legal where cbd is legal.
Milder and smoother flavor Stronger and more pungent flavor

Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC: How They Are Obtained 

Both Delta 8 and Delta 9 are naturally occurring in the cannabis plant, but Delta 8 is present in much smaller concentrations. This makes it more challenging to extract and thus often more expensive. On the other hand, Delta 9 is more abundant and easier to extract. 

Fun Fact: Delta 8 is often derived from hemp plants, while Delta 9 is more commonly associated with marijuana plants. Currently though, Delta 9 can legally be derived from hemp if specific guidelines are followed.

When it comes to extracting Delta 8, the process typically involves using CBD isolate or hemp-derived CBD oil as a starting material. This is then treated with a chemical reaction or a series of processes to convert the CBD into Delta 8 THC. 

On the other hand, Delta 9 THC is usually obtained from cannabis (hemp or marijuana: explained below) plants through various extraction methods such as solvent extraction or CO2 extraction. These methods allow for the isolation and concentration of Delta 9 THC from the plant material.

Live rosin extract is a type of cannabis concentrate that is gaining popularity among cannabis enthusiasts. It is made by using a solventless extraction method, which involves applying heat and pressure to freshly harvested cannabis buds. This process helps to preserve the terpenes and cannabinoids, resulting in a flavorful and potent concentrate.

Hemp Vs Marijuana: Whats the diff?

We go into this in great depth in our article: What is hemp Flower?

However to sum it up quickly:

Hemp Marijuana
Hemp is a variety of cannabis plant that contains a low concentration of THC (typically less than 0.3%). Marijuana is a variety of cannabis plant that contains a high concentration of THC (typically more than 0.3%).
Hemp is primarily cultivated for industrial purposes, such as fiber and seed production. Marijuana is primarily cultivated for its psychoactive properties and medicinal use.
Hemp-derived products, including Delta 8 THC, are legal in many states and can be purchased online. Marijuana-derived products, including Delta 9 THC, are only legal in states where marijuana is legalized.

So, hemp and marijuana are both types of cannabis, but they differ in their THC and CBD content and the purposes for which they are cultivated.

The Legality of Delta 8 vs Delta 9: What You Need to Know

Delta 9 THC: Known for its psychoactive effects, Delta 9 THC is the main compound in marijuana causing the 'high' sensation. It's federally illegal in the United States under the Controlled Substances Act. However, some states have legalized its medicinal and recreational use, creating a patchwork of laws across the nation. The one exception to this is when it is derived from hemp, as we describe below*.

Delta 8 THC: This lesser-known sibling of Delta 9 is found in much smaller concentrations in the cannabis plant. Its legal status is a bit of a gray area. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and all its derivatives, including Delta 8, as long as it's derived from hemp and the final product contains less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC. However, the legality can vary from state to state, so it's crucial to check local regulations. 

*You may be wondering how The Green Nursery is able to sell Delta 9 since it is Federally illegal? Well, due to the way the current Farm Bill is written, Delta 9 is legal if it is derived from hemp and the finished product does not exceed 0.3% Delta 9 THC of the finished product. For example a 5 gram gummy can contain upto 15mg Delta 9 THC, which is a potent dose. Read: 5000mg x 0.3% = 15

Remember, knowledge is power. Be sure to understand your state's specific laws regarding Delta 8 and Delta 9 before deciding which might be a better fit for you. 

A couple quick ways to make sure your purchases are compliant with your State:

  • For Delta 9 from hemp, like we sell, if CBD is legal in your State you're probably good.
  • For Delta 9 from Marijuana this is only available in dispensaries. So this one is pretty obvious.
  • For Delta 8, unless your State has specifically outlawed it you're probably good. One quick way to tell is if it is available in gas stations and/or vape shops in your area. If so, you're State has most likely not outlawed it.

What Are the Benefits of Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC?

Delta 8 and Delta 9: They're a bit like fraternal twins in the cannabis world. Both have their perks, but their effects can be as different as night and day. Let's dive a little deeper and see what these cannabinoids bring to the party. 

The Benefits of Delta 8 THC 

Delta 8, the quieter sibling, is often associated with a smoother, more manageable high. It's the perfect companion for those seeking to dip their toes into the THC world without getting overwhelmed. Think of it as the 'gentle THC'. As well, Delta 8 THC may be less likely to cause negative side effects compared to Delta 9 THC. Here are some of its notable benefits: 

  • Mood Enhancement: Users often report feeling uplifted and motivated.
  • worry Relief: Delta 8 could be your stress-busting ally, offering a calm and relaxed state of mind.
  • Improved Sleep: Struggling with insomnia? Delta 8 might just be the Sandman you're looking for.

The Benefits of Delta 9 THC 

Delta 9, the life of the party, is known for its potent psychoactive effects. If Delta 8 is the introvert, Delta 9 is the extrovert, bringing about strong euphoric feelings. That's not to say one works better for introverts or extroverts!

Here's a glimpse into what it offers: 

  • discomfort Relief: Suffering from chronic discomfort? Delta 9 may help alleviate discomfort.
  • Stimulated Appetite: Got a case of the munchies? Delta 9 is renowned for boosting appetite.
  • Anti-nausea: If you're feeling queasy, Delta 9 could help settle your stomach. In fact, some of the earliest legal uses of cannabis were for managing chemo related nausea.

Ultimately, the choice between Delta 8 and Delta 9 will depend on your desired effects and personal tolerance. Remember, everyone's experience is unique, so take the time to see what works best for you!

What are the Similarities Between Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC?

Delta 8 and Delta 9 are siblings in the world of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), both boasting a distinct character yet sharing a familiar genetic blueprint. They are cannabinoids, naturally occurring compounds found in the cannabis plant. But how similar are they really? Let's dive into the common ground between these fascinating compounds. 

  • Chemical Structure: Both Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC share a similar molecular structure with slight nuances. They have a similar chemical formula but differ in the placement of the double bond; hence, they're chemically akin to fraternal twins.
  • Psychoactive Properties: Both compounds are psychoactive, which means they interact with the brain's receptors to produce varying effects. They can alter mood, perception, and cognitive function, albeit with differing intensities.
  • Natural Occurrence: Both Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC occur naturally in the cannabis plant. However, Delta 9 is typically more abundant.
Note: It's worth mentioning that both Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC offer potential therapeutic benefits, though research is still ongoing to fully understand these effects.

Now, while they do have their similarities, the differences are what truly set them apart and make them unique in their own rights. We'll cover that next.

The Key Differences Between Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC

When it comes to the world of cannabinoids, Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC may seem like two peas in a pod. But despite their similarities, these compounds have unique characteristics that set them apart. Let's dive into the noteworthy differences. 

  • Psychoactive Effects: Delta 9 is renowned for its potent psychoactive effects, contributing to the 'high' feeling many associate with cannabis. Delta 8, on the other hand, offers a milder, more clear-headed high, which is often described as more functional and less worry-inducing.
  • Legality: Delta 9 THC (derived from marijuana) is federally illegal in the United States, except for some states with legalized cannabis. Delta 8, while still a gray area, is considered legal in many states if derived from hemp.
  • Availability: Delta 9 is commonly found in cannabis, while Delta 8 is present in smaller amounts, making it harder to extract and less readily available.
  • Medical Benefits: Both Delta 8 and Delta 9 offer potential medical benefits, but they vary in their applications. Delta 9 is often used for discomfort relief and appetite stimulation, while Delta 8 is touted for its anti-nausea and anti-worry properties.

The choice between Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC will largely depend on your personal preference and the benefits you seek to obtain. Always remember to use responsibly and in accordance with local laws and regulations.

Which Is Right for You? Choosing Between Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC

Deciding between Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC really comes down to personal preference. Think about it like choosing between a light beer and a strong ale. The former offers a more subtle buzz, while the latter provides a stronger effect. If you're new to the cannabis world or prefer a lighter, more relaxed vibe, Delta 8 could be your perfect match. On the other hand, if you're after a more potent experience, Delta 9 might be your buddy. 

Remember, both cannabinoids offer therapeutic benefits, including discomfort relief and worry reduction. Even the FDA admits  Delta 8 THC may have potential therapeutic benefits. So, your decision can also depend on your medicinal needs. 

Whatever your choice, ensure to start low and go slow. After all, both Delta 8 and Delta 9 are siblings in the same potent family.

What do you mean by start low and go slow?

When we say "start low and go slow," we're referring to the approach you should take when using either delta 8 or delta 9 THC. It's important to begin with a low dosage and gradually increase it over time to find your optimal level. This method allows you to gauge your tolerance and prevent any overwhelming effects. 

By starting with a low dose, you give your body a chance to acclimate to the substance and observe how it affects you. This approach also helps you avoid taking more than necessary, ensuring a more controlled and enjoyable experience. 

Ultimately, the goal is to find the right balance that suits your individual preferences and needs. Some people may require higher doses to achieve their desired effects, while others may find that a lower dose is sufficient.

Any seasoned THC user knows the hard lesson that too much at one time can be like. Honestly, it can feel really unsettling to say the least. So really take your time and don't add more within 2-3 hours, it will just sneak up on you and ruin your day. Try increasing doses in small increments on different days altogether for the safest way of avoiding overdoing it.

Can Delta 8 and Delta 9 be used together?

The simple answer is "yes", but let's dig a little deeper, shall we? 

These two cannabis compounds, despite being siblings in the cannabinoid family, each bring their own unique personality to the party. Delta 9 THC, the most commonly recognized form, has a more intense effect on the body and mind.  On the other hand, Delta 8 THC is the mellow cousin, known for its smoother, less worry-inducing effects. It's like Delta 9, but without the sharp edges. 

Using them together, then, is sort of like mixing a spicy margarita with a cool cucumber gin: you get an interesting blend of intensity and chill. The Delta 9 brings the heat, while the Delta 8 cools things down. 

The important thing to remember is that everyone's body chemistry is different. So, while one person might enjoy the combined effects, another person might feel overwhelmed. 

We can't reiterate it enough, start with a smaller dose of each, and gradually increase until you find your "sweet spot". And, of course, always consume responsibly. 

Which One Is Right for You? 

Choosing between delta 8 THC and delta 9 THC ultimately depends on your personal preferences and desired effects. If you're new to THC or have had negative experiences with delta 9 THC in the past, delta 8 THC may be a more suitable option due to its milder effects. However, if you're seeking a more intense high or have a higher tolerance, delta 9 THC may be the better choice. 

It's always recommended to start with a low dosage and gradually increase it to find your optimal balance. Consulting with a healthcare professional or a knowledgeable budtender can also provide valuable guidance and help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

The Future of Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC in the Cannabis Industry

Let's gaze into the proverbial crystal ball. The future of Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC in the cannabis industry is nothing short of exciting and simultaneously unsure.

First off, let's talk about Delta 8. Lesser known but certainly not less important. Its popularity is skyrocketing. Imagine a world where you can enjoy the benefits of THC without the paranoia or worry. Sounds dreamy, right? That's the charm of Delta 8. It offers a smoother, milder high, perfect for those looking to unwind without getting too 'unwound'. 

Next up, our well-known friend Delta 9. The headliner of the cannabis world. It's the compound most people are referring to when they talk about THC. While it's been a long-standing favorite, the future holds even more promise. The potential therapeutic benefits of Delta 9 are being explored more and more, which only adds to its allure. 

So, Delta 8 vs Delta 9? It seems like the stage is big enough for both to shine!

But, let's not forget the regulatory landscape. It's like walking a tightrope, with the DEA on one side and State laws on the other. It's a tricky dance, but the industry is learning the moves. For Delta 8, the legal status is a bit murkier. Delta 9, on the other hand, is federally illegal but legal in certain states. 

So, where are we headed? 

  1. For Delta 8, the future could be bright if legislation becomes more favorable. Also, revisions to the Federal Farm Bill are right around the corner at the time of writing this (2023).
  2. For Delta 9, the spotlight could get even brighter as research continues to uncover new therapeutic uses. Legally we need to see what the Farm Bill revisions bring as well as State laws.

One thing's for sure - the cannabis industry is budding (pun absolutely intended), and Delta 8 and Delta 9 are at the forefront of this exciting journey. So, whether it's Delta 8 vs Delta 9, there’s no doubt that both will continue to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of cannabis.

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