Delta 8 vs Delta 9: What's the Difference?

There are many different types of THC and vaping products out there. What's the difference between Delta 8 vs Delta 9? Learn here.

 

Since its federal legalization four years ago, delta 8 has exploded onto the scene. It has emerged as an alternative to traditional marijuana––the most common delta 9 derivative--for many reasons.

What are the differences between delta 8 vs delta 9? It is important to understand the distinct facets of the two substances, in order to know how they will affect your mind and body. Also, both substances and the products that come from them may or may not be legal, depending on where you live.

The information below lays out the legal, chemical, and usage distinctions between delta 8 and delta 9. It will help you understand the advantages of each, as well as the drawbacks. Keep reading to find out more.

A Brief History of Cannabis

Human beings have consumed cannabis for thousands of years. The first documentation of its cultivation and use was in 2800 BCE, during the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung’s reign. Although, there are some mentions of its possible use in earlier Roman, Greek, Hindu, and Assyrian texts.

Cannabis has been used for myriad reasons in various cultures and civilizations throughout history. These include medical, social, religious, and recreational purposes.

Cannabis originally emerged in western medicine as a treatment for seizures in children. Since that time, its legality and accessibility have ebbed in different countries, including the United States.

During the last several decades, the movement has been toward the legalization of marijuana (delta 9) substances in the U.S. Most recently, delta 8 products were legalized as well, which has led to an abrupt uptick in consumption.

Chemical Differences

Cannabis plants contain dozens of different types of chemical compounds, called cannabinoids. Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two of the most well-known ones.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the two is that THC products create an intoxicating or “high” experience. Whereas, CBD does not.

Delta 8, delta 9, and (the lesser known) delta 10 are different types of THC. They get their names from the number of carbon atoms with double bonds in the chemical. Delta 8 has eight, for instance, and Delta 9 contains nine.

THC works by activating CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain and central nervous system. Doing so can help reduce pain, increase relaxation, and even help reduce inflammation throughout the body. It is also the source of euphoria common to cannabis use.

Note that most drug tests for employment look for the THC compound. This means that delta 8 will show up, as well as delta 9.

Differences in Legality

The ability to grow, buy, possess, and sell both delta 8 and delta 9 products differs depending on where you live. State laws are always changing, and so it is important to keep up with what is permissible in your location.

As of the end of 2023, only three states (Idaho, Kansas, and Nebraska) do not allow the possession or sale of delta 8 or delta 9 in any form. The other 47 states and the District of Columbia allow it, but that is where their commonalities end.

In total, 37 states allow the use of medical marijuana (delta 9) for qualified patients. Of those, 21 states allow products containing delta 9 for recreational purposes.

Delta 8 has had a more nuanced path to legality. Until 2018, it was lumped in with other cannabis products, including those containing delta 9-THC.

The federal Farm Bill changed that. It created a loophole whereby cannabis-derived products are legal to sell, as long as they contain less than 0.3 percent THC. 

Anything above that level is considered “marijuana.” This makes it subject to existing laws regulating its sale and possession.

Besides the 37 states that allow medical and/or recreational marijuana, another 10 permit the sale of these low-THC products. This includes CBD and delta 8.

Current Regulations

Delta 9 products are regulated by agencies in states that permit their sale and use. These include dispensaries for medical marijuana or retailers in locations where recreational use is legal.

Delta 8 and its production methods are not regulated by state agencies. That is why it is important to purchase it from a reputable retailer. This will ensure the purest possible product that is third-party tested for any signs of contamination.

Distinct Health Benefits

Both delta 8 and delta 9 products create a sense of euphoria and relaxation. For years, delta 9 has been effective at treating myriad health conditions, hence the continued move towards legalizing it for medical purposes (if not recreational ones).

Some of the most common ones include anxiety, insomnia, nausea, and chronic pain. It also is increasingly used to treat glaucoma, sleep apnea, and low appetite.

Delta 8 can yield similar benefits for the same conditions. For reasons of legality and access, delta 8 has become a popular alternative to delta 9.

There is another reason though. One of the biggest differences between delta 8 vs delta 9 is that it produces a less extreme high.

For this reason, many people find that it has fewer side effects associated with diminished psychoactive impact. These can include anxiety, panic attacks, confusion, and loss of memory.

Consumption Methods

You can consume delta 8 and delta 9 in different ways. Delta 9 is most commonly smoked or vaped in “flower” form. Although THC extraction is possible to make edibles and topicals.

Almost all delta 8 products, on the other hand, must be synthesized for consumption. For this reason, delta 8 is most often sold as some type of edible or e-liquids for vaping. In fact, if you do find delta 8 flower, it is most likely CBD bud with a coating of extracted delta 8 applied.

Learn More About Delta 8 vs Delta 9

Now that you understand the distinctions between delta 8 vs delta 9, you can determine which one is best for your lifestyle and health needs. For more information about the many benefits of these two unique substances, contact a reputable cannabis retailer. 

Smoker’s World of Hollywood has become one of the top vape distributors by offering the highest quality vapes, smoking accessories, and supplies at competitive prices. We pride ourselves on reliable service and customer care. Take a look at our online inventory or reach out to us today to discuss the best products for you.