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Delta 8 vs Delta 9 : What Is The Difference?

delta 8 vs delta 9

Delta 8 vs Delta 9 is the ultimate showdown between two naturally occurring chemical compounds found in cannabis plants. When people hear THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), it is usually in reference to Delta 9 THC. Delta 8 THC was first discovered in 1965 by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, a.k.a. “The Father of Cannabis,” but it only recently started getting attention from hemp enthusiasts and researchers.


If you have not heard of either of these cannabinoids, you have come to the right place. There are plenty of similarities and differences when comparing Delta 8 THC vs Delta 9 THC. Read on further to see what these compounds are exactly, their benefits, effects, and more!



What Is Delta 8?

Delta 8 THC is one of over 100 different phytocannabinoids in cannabis plants, including marijuana and hemp plants. Delta 8 THC is produced in the trichomes, the little shiny white hairs visible on hemp plants. The trichomes are glands where Delta 8 THC, other cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds are created and held.


Although Delta 8 THC is found in cannabis plants, it only makes up around one percent of the total cannabinoid content in these plants. Therefore, companies have to use alternative methods to obtain Delta 8 THC from hemp plants.


If you are curious how long does Delta 8 stay in your system then you can read about it by clicking on it.


Some hemp brands use a chemical conversion process to transform cannabidiol (CBD), another popular cannabinoid, into Delta 8 THC. This is usually made with CBD isolate as the starting material followed by meticulous washes to remove all chemical residue from the process. The Delta 8 THC is then added to various products for people to experience its soothing benefits and euphoric effects.



close up of crazy rich trichomes



What Are The Benefits Of Delta 8?

When people consume Delta 8 THC, they will experience plenty of physical and mental wellness benefits.


Here are the possible benefits from Delta 8 THC:

  • Provides euphoric feeling
  • Enhances mood
  • Soothes physical discomfort
  • Alleviates minor aches
  • Nourishes skin (when used as a topical)
  • Promotes natural sleep
  • Balances appetite


The rate at which these benefits take effect depends on the method of consumption. The fastest way to experience the benefits of Delta 8 is by inhaling vapor produced from concentrates,  delta 8 vapes, or delta 8 flower. The inhalation method can make a consumer feel the effects within seconds to a few minutes and last three to four hours.


In tinctures, Delta 8 THC is combined with a carrier oil like hemp seed oil to help a person’s body absorb Delta 8 easier. This is the second fastest method of consumption.


When people ingest Delta 8 edibles, it can take 30 minutes to one hour to feel the benefits. Although it takes the longest amount of time to kick in, the effects last longer when ingested. A person who eats a Delta 8 edible can enjoy the benefits for six to eight hours.



What Are The Effects Of Delta 8?

Delta 8 THC can provide its effects by working naturally with a person’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Every living mammal has an ECS responsible for maintaining equilibrium between mental and physical wellness.


Researchers have discovered that Delta 8 THC compounds bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the ECS located throughout the body. When Delta 8 binds to the CB1 receptor, it produces a euphoric feeling. The CB2 receptor is responsible for providing a feeling of relaxation when Delta 8 binds to it. Delta 8 also has very few side effects that are temporary and decrease with continuous consumption.


Here are the side effects associated with Delta 8 THC:

  • Red eyes (Delta 8 binds to receptors near the eye and increases blood flow to this area, causing redness)
  • Increased thirst due to dry mouth
  • Mild nervousness
  • Increased appetite
  • Mental grogginess


Delta 8 is also non-toxic. People cannot overdose from Delta 8 if they accidentally consume too much.



What Is Delta 9?

Delta 9 THC is, without a doubt, more popular and recognized in the cannabinoid contest between Delta 8 vs Delta 9. Delta 9 THC is the active ingredient of marijuana, the popular type of cannabis plant heavily referenced in music, art, and other forms of pop culture media.


Like Delta 8, Delta 9 THC is another naturally occurring compound in cannabis plants. Delta 9 THC is highly popular because it is found much more abundantly in marijuana plants than Delta 8. It might make up to close to half of the cannabinoid content in marijuana plants.


Delta 9 THC is produced in the glandular trichomes of different marijuana plants. Delta 9 THC starts as THCa (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) in raw cannabis plants. When heat is applied to THCa, it is transformed into Delta 9 THC through a chemical process.



cool woman in shades lighting joint



What Are The Benefits Of Delta 9?

Consumers worldwide have enjoyed the benefits of Delta 9 THC for decades. Delta 9 THC is a highly psychoactive cannabinoid that provides people with plenty of benefits.


Here are the beneficial effects of Delta 9 THC:

  • Balances natural digestion
  • Soothes upset stomachs
  • Alleviates minor physical aches and joint swelling
  • Provides powerful euphoric feeling, also known as a “high”
  • Boosts natural sleep
  • May improve libido


Similar to Delta 8, Delta 9 THC can provide these benefits at different rates depending on the method of consumption. Inhalation provides the fastest effects but at a shorter amount of time. When a consumer eats a Delta 9 edible, the effects take longer to be felt but will last longer than when inhaled.


Another thing to consider is the person’s size, weight, and past experiences with Delta 9 THC. Delta 9 THC products are available in different potencies, which may affect the strength of the benefits.



What Are The Effects Of Delta 9?

The psychoactive effects of Delta 9 THC are enjoyed by many consumers but also come with a few drawbacks. Many people enjoy the high they get from Delta 9 THC, but many first-time consumers have had unpleasant experiences with it.


A lot of consumers have described the high from Delta 9 THC as intoxicating. Plenty of Delta 9 products contain labels warning consumers not to drive or operate heavy machinery.


Here are other effects associated with Delta 9 THC:

  • Dry mouth
  • Red eyes
  • Distorted perception of reality
  • Impaired ability to make decisions
  • Increased nervousness or anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Extreme grogginess or sleepiness
  • Increased heart rate


Although the side effects are temporary, it is enough for some consumers not to want to try Delta 9 products again. Delta 9 can provide these effects and benefits by interacting with the ECS.


Delta 9 and Delta 8 products are not meant for people under 18 and women who may be pregnant. Consult with a medical doctor to see if Delta 8 and 9 products can be consumed while taking other medications.



What Are The Differences Between Delta 8 Vs Delta 9?

The comparison between Delta 8 vs Delta 9 THC shows plenty of similarities and many key differences. Here are some of the differences between these two cannabinoids.


The legal status is a big difference between Delta 8 and Delta 9. Both cannabinoids were listed on the 1970 Controlled Substances Act as derivatives of the cannabis plant. When the 2018 Farm Bill was passed, it made industrial hemp legal as long it contains less than 0.3 percent of Delta 9 THC.


On the federal level, people can purchase Delta 8 products as long as it comes from hemp plants containing less than the established 0.3 percentage of Delta 9 THC. Delta 9 THC is still federally illegal.


Some states limited the sales of Delta 8 THC and have followed the federal government’s stance on Delta 9 THC by making it unlawful. Other states have voted and passed state laws that have decriminalized or legalized medical and recreational marijuana rich in Delta 9 THC.


Chemical Structure

The chemical structure of both Delta 9 and Delta 8 are very similar, but there are slight differences. Both Delta 8 and Delta 9 have the same number of atoms. They contain a chain of carbon atoms and a double bond structure. The difference is that the double bond structure is located in different areas for Delta 8 and Delta 9.


Delta 8 has its double bond structure on the eighth carbon, and Delta 9 has it on the ninth carbon. The placement of the double bond structure also plays a role in how these molecules bind with the CB1 receptors of the ECS.


Comparing Effects

The difference in how these cannabinoids impact the ECS CB1 receptors determines the contrast in the effects of Delta 8 and 9. Both may provide people with a euphoric mental feeling, but many consumers can get overwhelmed by Delta 9.


The effects from Delta 8 are much more tolerable than those from Delta 9. Some consumers have reported fewer feelings side effects from Delta 8 than Delta 9. Delta 9 may induce a couch-lock feeling, whereas Delta 8 can be more energizing.



hollyweed d8 vape cart close up



Type Of Delta 8 Products

Companies infuse Delta 8 THC into a variety of products for different methods of consumption. The majority of Delta 8 products are sold online, but some areas offer them in-store.


Here are some popular Delta 8 THC products:

  • Edibles
  • Flower, concentrates, and vapes
  • Topicals
  • Oil


Brands usually produce and sell Delta 8 products with Delta 8 that was converted from CBD isolate. CBD extracts come from hemp plants that contain a high CBD content with less than 0.3 percent of Delta 9 THC.


The top reputable brands also provide consumers who purchase Delta 8 products with a Certificate of Analysis (COA). Third-party laboratories test Delta 8 products submitted by brands for cannabinoid content. The results are published on a COA which brands make available on their website.



Types Of Delta 9 Products

Delta 9 products can come in one of three different strains: Sativa, Indica, or hybrid (a combination of both). Sativa strains are more energizing, whereas Indica strains provide an increased feeling of relaxation. Hybrid strains can be any combination of the two.


Here are the most common Delta 9 products available:

  • Flower, vapes, and concentrates
  • Edibles (brownies, cookies, drinks, etc.)
  • Topicals
  • Oil


Obtaining Delta 9 products can be difficult unless you reside in a state where it is legalized. Medical marijuana dispensaries are the best place to find Delta 9 products.



Final Thoughts – Delta 8 Vs Delta 9

There are no losers when it comes to comparing Delta 8 vs Delta 9. Both of these cannabinoids have benefits that plenty of people seek for different reasons. Some consumers may lean towards the intoxicating effects of Delta 9, whereas others may prefer a more mellow experience with Delta 8 products. It all depends on the individual and what they are comfortable with at the moment.


Although their chemical structures and legal statuses are different, each of these cannabinoids holds a special place in the hemp community. If you want to check out more Delta 8 products, visit our Hollyweed shop! From flower, vapes, tinctures, and gummies, we have it all when it comes to satisfying your Delta 8 needs!

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