Delta-8 vs Delta-9 vs Delta-10 – Which One Is the Best?

Delta-8 vs Delta-9 vs Delta-10 – Which One Is the Best?

Nowadays, there are a lot of options for those who want to use cannabinoids. From CBD to THC, there are different variations that an individual can use based on his or her needs or desires. But when a person is interested in THC yet they’ve never tried it before, they suddenly face an obstacle: how to choose the right type?

THC is more complex than outsiders can imagine. There are three types of THC circulating the market, more specifically Delta-8, Delta-9, and Delta-10. So, THC enthusiasts are spoiled with a bunch of alternatives that can bring them numerous benefits.

Although it’s easy to find hemp-based products containing these types of THC, it’s not as simple to choose one over the other. So, if you’re currently stuck trying to make a decision, this guide will clear all confusion. It will provide you with enough information to choose a THC type that suits your needs.

How Does Delta-8 Work?

Delta-8 THC is a cannabinoid that occurs in cannabis in small amounts. It is both a THC isomer and a natural cannabinoid. It is very closely related to Delta-9 and has a similar chemical structure, which is one of the reasons why it became so popular over the last few years. Due to its limited quantity in natural form, manufacturers often have to make Delta-8 THC from CBD.

In Delta-8, the carbon double bond in its structure can be located at its eighth chain.[1] It’s not the strongest THC type out there. While Delta-8 has been at the center of attention for a while, the public only started learning about it more recently, once the 2018 Farm Bill was passed.

How Does Delta-9 Work?

Delta-9 THC is the most common type and also the most popular one. This is THC in its truest form. When a person talks about THC and its psychoactive properties in general, chances are they are referring to Delta-9.

This cannabinoid is the main one responsible for the high in the cannabis plant. Unlike Delta-8, which is very limited naturally, Delta-9 is quite abundant. High amounts of this compound can be extracted from the plant. It is known for being very strong, which is why people opt for it if they are looking for a high.

In Delta-9 THC, the double carbon bond can be found in the ninth chain.[2] The cannabinoid works by binding to CB1 and CB2 receptors as it’s a partial agonist.

How Does Delta-10 Work?

Delta-10 THC is a more recent development in the world of THC products. It’s a THC isomer and a cannabinoid, and while it can be found in cannabis naturally, it’s not in large amounts. In fact, it’s a bit similar to Delta-8 in the way it’s obtained. Manufacturers have to extract it in the laboratory, just like they do with Delta-8.

In its case, the chemical bond is on the 10th carbon chain.

It’s harder to find Delta-10 THC because it’s newer. Also, it’s less popular and there’s less information and research surrounding it.


The legality matters surrounding these three cannabinoids can be quite confusing.

When the 2018 Farm Bill was released, it mentioned Delta-9 THC in detail. According to the bill, it’s only legal to sell Delta-9 products as long as the hemp plant has less than 0.3% THC by dry weight. [3]

However, the farm bill did not specifically name Delta-8 and Delta-10. Therefore, it took a long time for people to figure out their legal status. After various discussions regarding whether it is legal to use or not, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled earlier in 2022 that Delta-8, as well as other cannabinoids extracted from hemp are legal. [4]

At the same time, each state is free to rule over the cannabinoids. This means that you will not find the same laws in every area. Some states explicitly restrict the use of Delta-8, Delta-9, or Delta-10, so you’d be unable to use any of the cannabinoids in these states even if they come from hemp and are below 0.3% in THC content. However, there are many other states where the THC types are legal.

Despite the legal status in some states, things can change over time. New laws that ban one or all cannabinoids may be passed. So, those who consume Delta-8, Delta-9, or Delta-10 frequently should keep an eye on how things evolve.


Even though all three are types of THC, they have different potencies. This is affected by their chemical structure.

The most potent out of the three is Delta-9. It is THC in its truest form. It is similar to classic cannabis as it can accurately replicate some of its most intoxicating effects. Due to its high potency, it’s more likely to experience a more intense high with it. This makes it suitable for people who want to get all that THC has to bring.

However, this is not up everyone’s alley. So, many opt for Delta-8 THC instead. Delta-8 is weaker than Delta-9, actually being less potent by 50%. [5]

Furthermore, Delta-10 is weaker even than Delta-8. It’s the friendlier THC type out of the three. The low potency makes it safer for beginners or just people who want something less intoxicating.

Despite some of the cannabinoids being less potent than others, it’s still advised to use them with caution. This means that they should be approached the right way whether you’re a new or experienced user. You should only use them at the right time and in an appropriate dosage to avoid any risks.

Potential Benefits of the THC Types

Using any of the three types of THC can bring various advantages. This happens if you do not use them in unsafe amounts or mix them with medication. The benefits vary from one person to another. Here are the potential pros of Delta-8, Delta-9, and Delta-10.


Delta-8 is referred to as the “nicer younger sibling” of Delta-9 THC.[6] It is less potent and therefore considered less dangerous. The cannabinoid is a popular pick for individuals who want to experience part of the THC euphoria but without the risk of severe side effects.

Delta-8 also has medical uses, as studies have shown that it can be effective when dealing with specific conditions. Some of the benefits of Delta-8 include:

Anxiety and stress relief [7]

Sleep improvements

Nausea and vomiting relief

Appetite boost

Protection against damage and injury to the nervous system


Relief from pain


Delta-9 is the most potent type of THC. People use it to get high, but it can also have some advantages. Not only will it make you feel euphoric, but it can also have medical benefits, including:

Pain relief

Muscle tremor decrease

Help with autoimmune diseases

Anxiety relief

Aids with PTSD

Relief for nausea and vomiting [8]

Improvements in sleep quantity and quality


Delta-10 is a great way to feel a bit euphoric without worrying that it’ll be too intense, like in the case of Delta-9. If used correctly, Delta-10 can lead to:

A reduction in anxiety

Stress relief

A boost in energy, euphoric effects, and creativity


Potential Risks of the THC Types

All three types of THC come with some drawbacks. You must be aware of these before you use these compounds. The potential risks associated with these substances are:


While being weaker than Delta-9 THC, Delta-8 can still cause some side effects. The research is currently limited, yet it is expected for the cannabinoid to have fewer risks compared to the potent Delta-9 THC.

Still, some of the side effects one can expect when using Delta-8 include:

Red eyes

Dry mouth

An altered sense of time

A hard time focusing


Interactions with some medications


Delta-9 is perhaps the most likely to bring side effects due to its strength and its power to make one get high. So, when using Delta-9 THC, one must be on the lookout for side effects such as:





Bad motor coordination

Dry mouth

Increased heart rate


Slurred speech


There is not a lot of research on Delta-10 THC, so we do not know the full extent of its side effects. More studies are required to determine the risks of this cannabinoid.

Due to its lower potency, people might abuse it in an attempt to experience euphoria, which can lead to intoxicating effects and can be quite risky.

Can You Mix All Three Types of THC?

THC enthusiasts may be tempted to try all three types at the same time. While it wouldn’t be uncommon for someone to order products from each category, one might wonder whether they can combine Delta-8, Delta-9, and Delta-10. Would this be okay or risky?

Well, it varies from one individual to another. In some cases, mixing multiple types of THC might result in a very intense euphoria, but it might also bring some side effects. However, there are products that combine Delta-8, Delta-9, and Delta-10. So, trying them together is not necessarily dangerous as long as you know what you’re doing.

Before attempting to combine the three, you should know that you will be affected by the three types of THC together based on your tolerance, genetics, chemistry, experience, and other factors.

Drug Testing After Using Delta-8, Delta-9 or Delta-10

While some think they are safe for drug testing despite using Delta-8, Delta-9, or Delta-10, things are different in reality. All three cannabinoids can result in you failing your test and getting in trouble – particularly if your job’s policy forbids the use of such products in the workplace.

There is a THC-COOH metabolite in all three cannabinoids that can be detected by the tests. So, even if you go for something less potent such as Delta-8 or Delta-10, you can still be discovered.

It is especially true if you are trying to go for a more intense high with Delta-8 and Delta-10 by taking them in larger doses. Trying to reach the Delta-9 experience through its less potent alternatives can result in your THC-COOH levels exceeding the drug test threshold. [9]

How to Choose Between Delta-8, Delta-9, and Delta-10 THC?

It can be quite challenging to choose between Delta-8, Delta-9, and Delta-10 THC. All of them have great benefits. Still, when you’re new to this world, you will have a hard time making your pick.

Here are a few aspects to take into account when trying to settle for one of the three:

Potency – If you’re not new to THC and you think you can handle something stronger, you can opt for Delta-9, as it’s the most potent out of the three cannabinoids. But if you are a beginner or just want something less strong, you can opt for Delta-8 and Delta-10. The latter is the weakest option.

Purpose – All three types of THC can bring certain benefits. If you’re looking for medical advantages, you should pick according to this. For instance, if you want relief from stress and anxiety, you should go for Delta-8. However, if you want to reduce muscle tremors or want to treat Alzheimer’s disease, Delta-9 is more suitable.

Availability – Some THC types are easier to find than others. Delta-10 is the least common one, with Delta-9 and Delta-8 being more widespread.

Legality – Some THC types are legal in some states, while some are not. Check the legal status of the compound in your state before using it.

Final Thoughts

Delta-8, Delta-9, and Delta-10 are all amazing compounds that come with various benefits. You can use them separately or in combination, depending on your purpose. Hopefully, now you can tell the difference between them so you can choose based on the effects you wish to experience.