Delta 8 vs Delta 9: The Key Differences, Explained

Copy link

The cannabis plant has more than 100 identified cannabinoids. All of these cannabinoids have different effects and uses, making the cannabis plants one of the most complex plant systems out there.

One cannabinoid that has been popular as of late is the Delta-8 THC. When comparing Delta 8 vs Delta 9, there’s a lot you need to consider.

Keep reading to learn these differences, how to find out which is right for you, and other fun facts you need to know about Delta 8 THC.

What Is THC?

Before we get into the different types of THCs, it’s important to understand what THC is. THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, and it’s the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. This is what gives you the famous ‘high’ everyone talks about when they consume marijuana.

Is Delta 8 THC Legal?

It’s important to understand that Delta 8 THC is legal in most states thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. This piece of legislation states that any derivative of hemp, such as cannabinoids, are completely legal in the US as long as they don’t have more than .3% THC. This percentage requirement is specifically for the Delta-9 THC cannabinoid, making Delta-8 in any quantity completely legal.

Some states did decide to put laws into place that make Delta 8 illegal, however, most let it become legal. Wondering if Delta 8 THC is legal in your state? Check it out for yourself, you may be surprised!


What Is Delta 8 THC?

Delta 8 THC is different on a chemical level when compared to Delta 9 by only a few atomic bonds. Similar to the Delta 9 cannabinoid, Delta 8 does have psychoactive properties, meaning it does affect how your brain works and will give you the ‘high’ you hear many cannabis consumers talk about.

Some people who consume Delta 8 report that they experience a smoother high without the paranoia or anxiety that sometimes comes from consuming Delta 9. While Delta 8 is psychoactive, it’s not as mind-altering as Delta 9 is, which is why some people prefer to consume it.

Interestingly, Delta 9 can actually degrade into Delta 8, if not stored properly. As Delta 9 starts to age and get older, the double bond in the atom moves to the eighth carbon, which turns it into the Delta 9 compound.

Pros and Cons of Delta 8 THC

There are many pros when it comes to consuming Delta 8 THC:

  • Stress reliever
  • Relieves anxiety
  • “Calm” high
  • Relieves nausea
  • Natural pain reliever

There are also a few cons to be aware of when it comes to consuming Delta 8 THC as well:

  • Hard to isolate and create
  • Not legal in all states
  • Higher in price

As you can see, there are definitely more pros than cons when it comes to consuming Delta 8 THC.

What Is Delta 9 THC?

Delta 9 THC is the part of the cannabis plant that gets you high, it’s the main psychoactive ingredient. In the 2018 Farm Bill, this is the one rule that makes your plant legal or illegal. If you have more than .3% of the Delta 9 THC cannabinoid in your plant, that plant is considered a marijuana plant and is illegal on a federal level.

This intoxicating cannabinoid is capable of inducing mind-altering effects, but it also has many benefits.

Pros and Cons of Delta 9 THC

Delta 9 THC has been used in human history as far back as 5,000 years ago. Touted for its medicinal properties, Delta 9 THC has many pros:

  • Treats many conditions/illnesses
  • Stimulating appetite
  • Stress reliever
  • Relieves nausea
  • Pain reliever

Delta 9 is illegal on a federal level, so there have to be at least a few cons, right? Here are some of the cons associated with the Delta 9 THC cannabinoid:

  • Alters your state of mind
  • Can cause paranoia
  • Old and outdated stigmas against the plant

It’s true that Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC share a lot of the same properties, but each of them is right for different people for different reasons.

Delta 8 vs Delta 9: Which Is Right For Me?

When comparing Delta 8 THC vs Delta 9 THC, you may be wondering, which is right for me? The real answer is, it depends. The subtle differences between each cannabinoid mean one may be more right for you.

Use these questions to help you determine which THC variant is right for you.

Have I Tried Delta 9 THC Before and Felt Anxious or Paranoid?

If you’ve consumed cannabis that’s rich in the Delta 9 THC cannabinoid and felt extremely anxious or over paranoid consider trying Delta 8 instead. Since Delta 8 is a more degraded version of Delta 9 you can experience the benefits that come from consuming the plant without feeling overly high.

Am I Looking for a Couch-Lock High or a More Relaxed Feeling?

Consider the type of feeling you’re going for. If you want to just relax, fall asleep, or sit on the couch and binge-watch your favorite show reach for the Delta 9. If you’re trying to be productive or looking for a more fun way to clean the house enjoy your Delta 8 THC.

Should I Try Just One or Mix Them?

There’s a balance in life, and if you’re trying to determine whether you should consume Delta 8 or Delta 9, you may want to consider trying them both at once. The best way to consume cannabis is the same way it’s grown: with everything. Find a cannabis strain that has a variety of cannabinoids in them.

If you’re not sure where to start, try finding a local legal dispensary near you and ask the person working there to recommend something to you.

Do I Have Anywhere I Have to Go Today?

If you have to drive anywhere later in the day it’s best to not consume any THC. However, if you’re going to be home all day then it’s perfectly fine to consume either of these.

Delta 8 vs Delta 9 Consumption Methods

When comparing Delta 8 vs Delta 9 consumption methods, you may be surprised to learn that they can be consumed in the same way. It’s completely up to you to choose how you want to consume it!


One of the most commons ways to consume THC is by inhalation. You take the material, put it into something that heats it up and you inhale it. When you inhale THC this way you’ll start to feel the effects within fifteen seconds.

There are many tools that allow you to consume THC this way:

  • Joint
  • Bong
  • Blunt
  • Bown
  • Vape Pen
  • Dab rig

Find the way you like, and stick to it!


The second fastest way to feel the effect of consuming THC is sublingual with a tincture. Typically this is made with strong alcohol, like 190 proof Everclear, and cooked until the THC is infused with the alcohol molecules.

Then you take that tincture and drop some under your tongue, start off with less than a teaspoon. When you do this under your tongue you will feel its effects within fifteen minutes. This is because the lining in our mouth allows for the cannabis to reach our bloodstream quickly, making us high quickly.

If dropping it under your tongue is too harsh you can also mix it into any of your favorite drinks to mask the taste.

Eating It

This method takes the longest for its effects to come on completely, and isn’t recommended if you’re just trying THC for the first time. Consuming edibles can take as long as three hours to completely hit you, and it can come on very strongly without any warning. However, edibles are great for people who can’t smoke because they don’t like it, or they have a lung condition that prevents this.

If you’re looking to include THC into your diet there are actually some crazy recipes you can infuse that you may not think of. Like this vegan mayonnaise that has an extra kick. Don’t be afraid to look at a lot of recipes online and find a way to incorporate them into your diet other than in brownies or cookies.


THC has many benefits when applied as a topical or rub and won’t get you high. If you have inflammation, or localized pain, try getting a THC topical to feel the effects right on your skin.

Think of it like icy-hot that when you put it on you feel an instant relief without any type of high. This is a great introduction for people who have never consumed THC before and want to slowly be introduced to the industry.

Are There Other Types of THC?

Yes, there are! In fact, there are two other types of THC, making a total of 4 types of THC’s. The complications don’t stop there either, when you start to look at CBD and CBNs, the plant gets more and more complex. For now, we’ll just cover the other types of THC.


THCA is found in the stems, leaves, and flowers inside the cannabis plant. This THC cannabinoid is unique in that it’s the only one of the four THCs that do not have any psychoactive properties. Although THCA does not get you high, it’s the base part of all other THCs and turns into them.

When you heat the THCA cannabinoid it causes the molecule to change, allowing the body to consume and use it. This happens when you allow the product to age, or if you apply heat to it. When you cook with cannabis you have to decarb it in order to activate the THCA.

This is also why smoking cannabis works too because you’re applying heat through the form of a lighter which is instantly converting the THCA molecule.

Pros and Cons of THCA

When you extract THCA and don’t convert it with heat there are still benefits to it such as:

  • Epilepsy treatment
  • Arthritis Relief
  • Help with inflammation
  • Chronic pain
  • Diabetes
  • Lessen muscle spasms

There aren’t many cons to THCA, but it’s important to note that it’s easily converted into other THCs, even leaving it out in the sun will convert it. Take extra care when storing your THCA so you don’t have unintended results.


THCV is very similar to the Delta 9 THC, however, in low doses, it doesn’t have mind-altering properties. As soon as you find a cannabis type that’s high in THCV you experience a very clear and stimulating high. This high is very short-lived, but it comes on strong and fast.

THCV is known for its higher boiling point, which is why it’s often used in vapes or in cooking because it can take the heat without degrading.

Pros and Cons of THCV

THCV is very unique in that it actually suppresses your appetite, unlike the Delta 9 THC. This is just one of its many benefits:

  • Pain and swelling from inflammation reduction
  • Anxiety reduction
  • Reduces tremors
  • Epilepsy
  • Stimulates bone growth

The main con with THCV is that since it’s often used in vapes it can potentially be mixed with unsafe vaping ingredients. When it comes to vaping it’s best to always know where your vapes are coming from and that they use safe add-ins.

Enjoy The Effects Of Delta 8 THC Today

Now that you know everything there is to know when comparing Delta 8 vs Delta 9, it’s time to try it out for yourself. Make sure to check if Delta 8 is legal in your area and that you get it from a safe place. If it’s your first time be sure to be with some friends you trust in an area you’re familiar with to prevent any unnecessary paranoia.

If you liked this content be sure to check out the rest of our site! We post new content you’re sure to love daily!

Readers Might Also Like:

Unique Gift Ideas4 Unique Gift Ideas They’ll Love
Types of Plants5 Types of Plants to Make Room for in Your ApartmentflaxseedThe Health Benefits of Flaxseed
yoga benefits9 Life Hacks To Gain From Starting A Yoga Practice

Copy link