Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary active ingredient in cannabis and marijuana plants. The psychoactive effects of THC are well-known to most people.
What most people don’t know is that there are different types of THC!
There are a few different forms of THC, but for the purposes of this article, we will be looking at delta-9 THC and delta-8 THC.
We’ll be comparing these two forms of THC in terms of their cost, origin, effects, and regulation.
Delta-9 THC vs. Delta-8 THC: What’s The Difference?
The differences between these two cannabinoids are pretty slim. Delta-9 and delta-8 are almost identical. From a molecular point of view, the only real difference is the location and presence of double bonds in their carbon structures.
Their names actually reflect the location of the bonds: Delta 8 has the double bond at the eighth carbon chain; while delta 9 has this bond on the ninth carbon chain.
While these compounds have similar structures, the few differences between them can make one better than another in some cases.
These are the main differences between delta 8 and delta 9 THC.
- Delta 8 is legal in all 50 states and has looser regulations than delta 9.
- D8 is said to have a longer shelf-life
- Delta-8 THC is half as potent as delta-9
- The effects of delta-8 are known to be smoother and more clear-headed than with delta-9.
- Less anxiety is experienced as a side effect of delta-8 than with delta-9
- Delta 8 is shown to be a more potent appetite stimulant than delta-9
Delta-9 vs. Delta 8: Potency
Official tests have not been done to compare the potency of delta-8 THC and standard delta-9 THC products. However, this question has been raised by many experienced delta 8 users.
It is generally agreed that delta 8 is half the strength of delta 9, in terms of its psychoactive effects. This is mostly based on anecdotal evidence and user experience.
Delta 8 has other effects that are comparable to or even stronger than delta 9. For example, it’s sedative and appetite-stimulating effects can be stronger than delta-9.
To get similar psychoactive effects of delta 9 THC with delta-8, you will need to use twice the amount you would normally use with delta-9 THC products.
Delta-9 THC vs. Delta-8 THC: Cost
Delta 8 can be more expensive than delta-9, depending on where you are.
The difference in price is not substantial but generally, delta-8 can be pricier. This is because the process of manufacturing delta-8 is more involved than processing delta-9 THC. Delta-8 is less abundant in the hemp and marijuana plants than delta-9 THC. So, this makes the extraction process more intensive and expensive than extracting delta-9. Creating delta-8 products also requires a lot of testing which can be expensive.
That being said, always be sure to check for third-party lab tests when you purchase delta-8 products. Testing is the best way to avoid harsh chemicals and solvents in your D8 products.
Delta-9 THC vs. Delta-8 THC: Dosing
The dosage range for delta 8 is between 5 and 60 mg per dose. This depends on your tolerance level and what you are looking to get out of the experience.
If you want a more stimulating and clear-headed experience, take a lower dose. Or if you are looking for a more relaxing and sedative experience, take a higher dose.
Using a tincture? The dosage is usually pre-measured out so it makes it pretty straightforward to get the right dose. Capsules and gummies are usually pre-measured as well.
You can pretty much apply your knowledge of delta 9 THC to delta 8 THC. In other words, you can treat them the same. They are both forms of THC, delta-8 is just slightly different.
Delta-9 THC vs. Delta-8 THC: Side Effects & Safety
No one has ever overdosed on THC and THC alone. THC has an incredibly low toxicity. So, you don’t have to worry about anything too serious when it comes to the side effects.
With that being said, there are slight differences in the side effects between D8 and D9.
Delta 8 THC is more likely than delta 9 to cause side effects such as lethargy and sedation. This is because it takes a lot more delta 8 to make a delta 8 product than it takes for delta 9.
This milder cannabinoid occurs in much lower concentrations in the cannabis plant, so the extraction process makes for a much more concentrated and intensive extraction than when D9 is extracted. Reports also say that delta-8 has much stronger sedative properties than delta 9 THC.
Sometimes with delta-9, undesirable side effects such as anxiety and paranoia creep in. No one likes feeling panicky. This is why many people reach for the delta-8.
While delta-8 is psychoactive like delta 9 THC, it is not known to cause the same anxiety and paranoia that D9 often causes in users.
Delta 9 THC can often cause panic attacks and anxiety in users. This is one of the main drawbacks to this otherwise helpful compound. Due to the more stimulating nature of D9, higher doses are more likely to disrupt sleep rather than help with rest.
Delta-9 THC vs. Delta-8 THC and Legality
These molecules have a major difference in their legal status.
The Drug Enforcement Agency in the United States has clearly identified Delta 9 as an illegal compound. It is considered a Schedule I drug together with heroin, LSD, and cocaine.
Only a handful of states have adopted their own laws to legalize cannabis at the state level. However, delta 8 is technically federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill, as long as it is hemp-derived that is.
Delta 8 is different. It is not included in the DEA database and it is not subject to federal bans. Delta 8 has legal status throughout the United States. Some states have outlawed all THC products.
These are the exceptions:
- Rhode Island
It is notable that Colorado was included on this list. This was the first US state to legalize marijuana. They have decided to ban the delta 8 THC, which is the exact opposite of the federal rulings.
If you are in Florida and you are looking for delta-8, check out this article.
Delta-9 THC vs. Delta-8 THC: Closing Thoughts
A molecular perspective shows that delta 8 and delta 9 THC have striking similarities. The only difference between the two is the position of a single, double-bonded bond in their chemical structures. Delta 8 holds this link at the 8th carbon chain, while Delta 9 holds the same bond at the 9th carbon chain.
These compounds also offer many differences from a legal and biological perspective.
Delta 8 THC is generally preferred because of its more relaxing and clear-headed nature. It can err on the more expensive side due to its costly manufacturing process, but it is worth it. Delta-8 THC is half as potent as delta-9 THC.
D8 THC is a great option for someone looking for a milder psychoactive cannabinoid than delta-9 THC.
To shop delta-8, check out our online shop. We deliver!