Delta-8 THC vs Delta-9 THC: A Comparative Guide

CBD on mental health

Congress passed rules in 2018 allowing for 0.3% of a Delta-8 supply to contain Delta-9.

Since then, everyone has been asking questions about what these two substances are. People want to know the differences between Delta-8 THC vs. Delta-9 THC and how they affect the products they might buy.

Read on and we will elaborate on what both of these forms of THC are, as well as how you can determine which is right for you. This is especially important when the legality of either may not be clear-cut, depending on where you live.

What Is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as Delta-8, is a new entry into the market. While it and other types of cannabinoids have seen a lot of research, people have not openly traded in it for very long.

It first entered into public knowledge in the mid-’70s when papers suggested it could shrink cancer cells in rats. It has since slowly entered the public consciousness. Many companies are now offering oils, gummies, and other therapeutic products that make use of Delta-8 THC.

Delta-8 is legal on a federal level if derived from hemp. Congress passed this into law in 2018 with the Farm Bill, which stated that if the substance is less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC it is legal. Since then, several wellness brands have started to include Delta-8 THC in their products.

While this extract contains a psychoactive substance, it is very weak compared to that used at home by many individuals. This means you will not find it giving you a distinct “hit,” but that you can still use it for various other therapeutic purposes.

Many people enjoy the properties of traditional marijuana but wish to avoid potential legal trouble and the effects the plant can give you. For these people, Delta-8 can allow you to reach that balance.

Some feel a distinct paranoia after more classic THC products or marijuana experiences. Those in this situation are likely to have a much better time after making use of Delta-8.

In a similar vein, Delta-8 may have a therapeutic reaction to anxiety. This allows people to gain a level of relief from its negative mental effects.

Delta-8 Studies

In 1995, Delta-8’s most prominent study was released. This oncological study investigated the use of Delta-8 THC by children who had just come out of chemotherapy.

The study by Abrahamov and Mechoulam discovered that Delta-8 THC had a positive effect. It reduced the nausea of these cancer patients to the point of completely stopping their vomiting. Also, the side effects of the use of this cannabinoid were negligible, showing patients could use it safely.

This study turned the perception of cannabinoids at the time on its head. It showed that there was an explicit positive medical use for Delta-8.

It assisted in allowing several individuals access to the substances they needed to have a comfortable life. This was especially true for those suffering from cancer or other illnesses.

Other medical uses that are being researched include its use as an:

Analgesic: This means the drug can act as a painkiller, either by blocking the pain or some other method of pain relief.

Antiemetic: Like the above study, this means that the drug can prevent vomiting or more generally nausea.

Anti-Inflammatory: This phrase means that the drug can reduce inflammation in a particular area of the body. When applied to the skin, this may have localized benefits rather than reducing inflammation over the entire body.

Anxiolytic: This means a compound that can combat feelings of panic and anxiety.

Appetite Stimulant: This phrase suggests the drug can increase the feeling that the user wishes to eat. If the individual gets diagnosed with a condition that decreases appetite, this can be very useful. Otherwise, the wish to eat more can be enjoyable when in moderation.

See also  Augmented Reality in Online Casinos: The Next Big Thing?

Neuroprotective: This means the compound protects nerve cells. Or, it can prevent further degradation of these cells.

Not all the above areas of ongoing research have proved to be therapeutic yet. You should perform your own investigation into which have proved true at any time.

Also, you should talk to your physician about whether Delta-8 THC is going to be a good choice for you.

How Can I Take Delta-8 THC?

There are several methods of taking Delta-8 THC products by 3Chi and other reputable brands. Many of these are available via online shops or through custom creations.

Vaping: Using vape cartridges is a very common method of taking Delta-8 THC. The oil can infuse into vape smoke to allow it to enter the lungs fast and from there to enter the bloodstream.

Smoking: Some people smoke Delta-8 THC along with other substances they may smoke.

Edibles: It is very common to take Delta-8 THC as an edible. Some restaurants even offer this as a legal dish, although this is not common.

Dabbing: This is a method of burning the oil with something else, such as wax, to inhale the smoke. It is not a common method and can be uncomfortable for new users.

Oral Tinctures: Some people make oils that contain Delta-8 THC that they can then place under the tongue in small amounts. You should leave it underneath the tongue for upwards of one hundred seconds for the body to absorb it.

What Is Delta-9 THC?

Scientists discovered Delta-9 THC in 1964 and isolated it in 1969. While it was in use before that, in 1970 it became a Schedule I drug. This change to its status was a significant part of the following “war on drugs” perpetuated by the American government.

These days it remains a controlled substance and is not yet legal at the federal level. Several states have individuals approved of cannabis and THC for medical and recreational use. Despite this, you can still face prosecution on a federal level for its use.

Delta-9 has similar positive therapeutic properties as the above Delta-8. But it does have much more significant psychoactive properties.

Some publications have reported its use leads to “disturbing changes in perception”. This has led to Delta-9 not receiving the same protections in the law as its alternatives.

In addition to the above, due to the way Delta-9 bonds with the body, it is known to give a sudden, instant high. This can be shocking to those not used to it but is also able to save time and give people fast relief from not being under the effects.

In low doses, this can have a significant stress-relieving effect on individuals. Reports by its users have shown that using Delta-9 THC either directly or through marijuana can be a relaxing or soothing experience.

Researchers have noted that much higher doses can have a very different effect compared to low doses. Those who take a large dosage of Delta-9 THC have been shown to have negative moods and be less able to cope with stressful situations.

This is one of the reasons that Delta-9 THC remains a substance that is under the control of the federal government. Until these effects prove to be easily-reversible or avoidable, Delta-9 will keep this status. It will remain out of reach of many individuals outside of the medical industry.

Delta-8 THC vs. Delta-9 THC

There are several differences between Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC that could impact your interest in these substances. They encompass science, legality, and several other areas of cultural impact.

Here Comes the Science Part

First of all, science states that Delta-8 THC has extra electrons in its chemical makeup. This different form allows it to interact with the body’s receptors in a different matter to Delta-9 THC. Delta-8 is so-called because it contains a specific chemical bond on its eight carbon chain, while Delta-9 does so on the 9th.

This has several effects.

See also  Promoting Kidney Health

First of all, Delta-9 is less stable as an element and oxidized in a far easier way, whereas Delta-8 is stable and does not become cannabinol. This makes Delta-8 more acceptable in medical contexts where you wish to always be aware of how strong a particular drug is.

Other than that, Delta-8 is less strong than Delta-9 due to how it interacts with the body’s receptors. The different molecular structure prevents the substance from affecting the body as quickly. It does not provide as strong of a “high” and is not taken up by the body as fast.

This allows people to use Delta-8 without the psychotropic and other side effects being as strong.

Comparative Side Effects

While Delta-9 has a much stronger effect in regards to the “hit” one gets from it, Delta-8 THC has a much stronger appetite stimulant. This can have an effect on any diet plans one has and you should take it into account before using it.

If someone is undergoing cancer treatment, Delta-8 is much better for boosting the appetite. This can both support those who are feeling nauseous as well as those who are having trouble keeping food down. It can increase the body’s willingness to retain ingested food.

Delta-8 THC is also known to be able to reduce stress or abate feelings of sadness in individuals who take it. While Delta-9 can also do this, it is sometimes described by its users as being too strong or sudden.

This makes Delta-9’s use as part of ongoing therapy more difficult. If you are looking for support to help manage your therapy, Delta-8 is much more useful.

Delta-8 binds to CB2 receptors such as those in the brain, immune system, and gastrointestinal tract. On the other hand, Delta-9 binds to CB1 receptors which you can find much more densely in the brain’s tissue.

As there are more receptors for Delta-9 in the brain, its hit is swift and sudden. This causes Delta-8 to cause more of a “stoned” feeling over time and is far less likely to create feelings of confusion or paranoia in its users.

Additional Research

Some research has occurred on Delta-8 and Delta-9 regarding the creation of neurotransmitters. This is especially true of a transmitter called Acetylcholine in the brain. This transmitter handles several brain functions including arousal, cognition, memory, and neuroplasticity.

After receiving doses of both Delta-8 and Delta-9, mice produced large amounts of Acetylcholine. The doses required, however, were massively different. Delta-9 was only needed in amounts equal to 20 mg per kg per mouse, whereas Delta-8 needed five times this much.

These results show possible extra effects on the body that need much more dedicated investigation. This must occur before lawmakers will allow its use in more medical contexts. It also shows that Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC both have effects on the body that are distinct from one another.


Delta-8 is currently legal in:

  • Alabama
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
  • Alaska
  • Arkansaw
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Mississippi
  • Montana

Delta-9 (and cannabis) are currently only legal in:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • Oregon
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Washington D.C.

In several other locations, the use of both cannabis and Delta-9 THC have been decriminalized but federal law still prohibits its use.

NB: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Delta-8 and Delta-9 are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Delta-8 and Delta-9: Where Can I Go to Learn More?

This article has presented you with as much detail on both Delta-8 THC vs. Delta-9 THC as possible. It has delved into the legal, scientific, and social statuses of both substances as well as offered a detailed guide on their use.

You may wish to continue investigating how to best go about using these chemicals in therapy or for recreational use. If so, we recommend checking out the rest of our blog for more interesting information.