Delta-8 vs. Delta-9 – Which One to Choose?
If you check out any THC shop today, you will see a large variety of products. There are oils, gummies, and other different items with THC in them. However, you may also see something else: products with Delta-8 or Delta-9 THC.
People who do not mind getting a bit high may be excited at the thought of THC and probably eager to try one of these products. But not everyone knows what type of THC to choose.
Each of the cannabinoids is different, despite a few similarities. In order to determine which variation of THC is right for you, you should know what it involves and understand it properly.
This article will look at the similarities and differences between Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC – this way, you can have a legal and safe experience you want.
What Is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 THC is a cannabinoid that comes from the cannabis sativa plant. There are more than 100 cannabinoids in the plant, with Delta-8 THC being one of them. The cannabinoid is a psychoactive one.
Although it can be found in the cannabis sativa plant, it’s only in small amounts. So, to obtain it and add it to all the products you see in shops, manufacturers get delta-8 THC from hemp-derived CBD.
You can find Delta-8 THC in a variety of products, including oils, cookies, gummies, chocolate, and many others.
Furthermore, some manufacturers advertise Delta-8 THC as a medical treatment for certain conditions, but the FDA hasn’t approved the claims or even looked into them. Also, the compound is legal only in a certain number of states.
What Is Delta-9 THC?
Delta-9 THC is one of the over 100 cannabinoids occurring naturally in the cannabis sativa plant. It’s intoxicating, and it is responsible for causing the “high” that people usually experience when they consume any products with THC.
Delta-9 THC is very potent. Still, today it can be found in different products like tinctures, cookies, gummies, drinks, candies, topicals, and many others. However, it is not legal in all states.
Are They Legal?
The legal status of both delta-8 and delta-9 THC is something many people aren’t aware of. Things got confusing, especially after the 2018 Farm Bill.
But there is good news for individuals who like delta-8 THC. The compound is legal at a federal level after the 2018 Farm Bill may have legalized it without knowing. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said that since delta-8 is derived from hemp, products that contain it are “generally legal”. Federal law says that any part of the plant is legal as long as it has less than 0.3% THC. 
But delta-8 THC is legal only in a certain number of states. So, people have to look for the legal status in their state before they think of purchasing anything with delta-8 THC in it.
As for Delta-9 THC, the matters surrounding its legality are affected by the substance’s source. Under the 2018 Farm Bill, Delta-9 is legal, but only if it comes from hemp. If it comes from cannabis, it is illegal – even though we’re talking about the same chemical compound.
However, just like in the case of Delta-8 THC, all hemp products with Delta-9 THC in them must not have more than 0.3% Delta-9 by dry weight.
Many online shops advertise products with Delta-9 THC. Before ordering, it’s important to remember the distinction between legal and illegal Delta-9 THC. Check the product’s description and make sure the Delta-9 THC comes from hemp and not cannabis. As long as it’s the former and the product has less than 0.3% of the THC type, it is legal on a federal level.
There may be state restrictions on the cannabinoid, though. It may be federally legal, but each state has its own regulations surrounding Delta-9. Anyone who wishes to purchase anything that contains Delta-9 THC should check whether it’s legal in their state. Some states explicitly ban it, while others restrict its use.
The laws also keep evolving, so things may change in the future. Also, it is possible for delta-8 THC to stay in your system for a longer period if you consume larger doses to get more intense effects. 
Which One Is Cheaper?
If you are on a budget, you can still buy delta-8 or delta-9 THC products if you’re interested in the effects. However, you may want to know which one of the two is cheaper.
Well, it all depends on the demand, supply, and laws, as well as regulatory fees.
Due to being produced by the cannabis sativa plant in generous amounts, delta-9 THC is pretty cheap. At the same time, the price increased a lot as non-legal states have the compound in lower supply, plus there are some regulatory costs. As such, delta-9 can be pretty expensive at times.
On the other hand, delta-8 THC is much cheaper. It may not be produced by the cannabis sativa plant in the same amounts, but it’s not that hard to make, and it’s legal in more states compared to delta-9. This and the fact that it is less potent make it more popular, boosting its demand – this also lowers the price.
Benefits of Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC
People don’t use delta-8 and delta-9 THC just for the “high” feeling. Some do it for medical conditions, while others do it just as a way to relax.
In any case, the two cannabinoids have many benefits, some of which have been proven through numerous studies. Here are the advantages you can get by using delta-8 and delta-9 THC.
Various studies have concluded that delta-8 is the nicer alternative to delta-9 THC. Apparently, the compound can bring some of the same benefits as delta-9 THC, but with fewer side effects. 
Delta-8 may be effective in calming down anxiety, which is why it is sometimes used as an anti-anxiety medication. The NIH thinks this compound has different anti-anxiety properties, and because it is not as potent as delta-9, it is less likely to lead to anxiety itself.
Research has also proven how this cannabinoid is not as potent as delta-9. Although delta-8 can still lead to the “high” effect, it is not as intense as the one its counterpart causes, so the user will have a clearer mind. This makes it a safer alternative. 
Delta-8 may also stimulate one’s appetite. According to studies, it does a better job compared to delta-9 THC. 
Research has also shown how delta-8 THC may have cancer-fighting properties. Back in 1974, researchers used delta-8 THC on mice in an attempt to see whether the cannabinoid had negative effects on the immune system. Researchers were shocked to see that the mice treated with the cannabinoid for 20 days had smaller tumors, and the survival time of the subjects also increased. 
While being more potent, delta-9 also has some great benefits, which is why it is often used in different treatments. Some believe that delta-9 THC products can help with various diseases or conditions, but the only formulations of THC approved by the FDA are synthetic, respectively nabilone, and dronabinol.
Some of the possible benefits of delta-9 THC include decreased anxiety, increased appetite, heightened imagination, happiness, and relaxation.
According to some studies, delta-9 THC may be useful when dealing with chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting. 
Moreover, it was discovered that the compound might be useful when treating chronic pain, seizure disorders, sleep disorders, and also spasticity related to multiple sclerosis.
Risks of Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC
Just like the two cannabinoids have different benefits, they also come with a few risks. It’s essential to know what these risks are, regardless of the compound you choose in the end.
Let’s take a look at some of the potential side effects of the two cannabinoids:
Delta-8 THC may be the better and less potent alternative to delta-9, but it still carries a few risks. For instance, one of them is the fact that there may be harmful chemicals in delta-8 THC products. This is because it doesn’t occur naturally in large amounts in cannabis sativa. So, manufacturers have to create it themselves, which means they may have to use various unsafe chemicals. These chemicals can be dangerous for our bodies.
Delta-8 can also cause users to get high, even if the effect is not as great as that of delta-9. Still, in high amounts, delta-8 can also affect you a lot and make you experience intense psychoactive effects.
Sometimes, delta-8 may have a few side effects like hallucinations, confusion, dizziness, and anxiety.
The FDA has also issued warnings after hundreds of adverse effect reports have been sent to them by people who used delta-8 THC products between December 1, 2020, and February 28, 2022. Some of these cases required help from the emergency services, with more than half of the cases experiencing effects after using edible THC products, like gummies or brownies. Also, 77% were adults, 8% were patients younger than 18, whereas 15% didn’t mention their age. 
As you can imagine, delta-9 has many side effects too. Some include dry mouth, sedation, increased anxiety, confusion, paranoia, decreased blood pressure, and feeling unhappy, uneasy, or dissatisfied.
Many people who have used delta-9 THC have also reported nausea and vomiting, as well as abdominal pain and dehydration. Also, higher delta-9 THC intake may result in depression, anxiety, psychosis, schizophrenia, and many other conditions.
It’s important to know that various factors will influence these effects, such as the amount of delta-9 THC used.
Will They Show Up If You Take a Drug Test?
When it comes to drug test results, the good news is that delta-8 THC will usually not give you a positive result. Of course, this is only the case if the test doesn’t look for delta-8 THC metabolites specifically. A positive result will appear in case there are delta-9 THC concentrations in the delta-8 THC product.
Meanwhile, delta-9 THC will show up on a drug test, so you must be careful if you decide to go with delta-9 THC.
But be wary – laboratories are now working to upgrade their drug tests so they have delta-8 THC confirmation analysis. With delta-8 becoming more and more popular, this was bound to happen.
The Right Delta-8 and Delta-9 Dosage
The right dosage of delta-8 and delta-9 will not be the same for everyone. It all depends on each individual. Products that contain cannabinoids are sold in different strengths, with larger amounts of THC being more likely to cause more intense effects.
Ideally, when you’re trying to find the right dose with both, it’s best to start with lower amounts, then slowly increase the strength until you find the best one for you.
How Are Delta-8 and Delta-9 Similar?
Both delta-8 and delta-9 THC can be found in the same types of products. You can purchase tinctures, topicals, edibles, pet products, and other items that contain either delta-8 or delta-9 THC.
These cannabinoids are both psychoactive and can lead to intoxicating effects to some degree.
On top of that, they can have both positive effects and adverse effects on the user. They can have an impact on anxiety and may be used as medical treatments for specific conditions.
What Makes Delta-8 and Delta-9 Different?
One of the main differences between delta-9 and delta-8 THC can be seen in the way the two compounds work. Delta-9, for instance, binds with the CB1 receptor only, whereas delta-8 binds with CB1 and CB2 receptors. 
However, there are other things that make them different. Delta-9 is found in the cannabis sativa plant in generous amounts, whereas delta-8 is not present in such high amounts and has to be manufactured using different processes. Delta-8 is also less potent than its counterpart.
Also, delta-8 may be cheaper and can have more positive effects, making it safer most of the time.
Lastly, delta-8 is federally legal, whereas delta-9 isn’t, and delta-8 is also legal in more states.
Conclusion – Which One Should You Choose?
Both delta-8 and delta-9 THC can be great for those who decide to use them. They bring some benefits to the table while carrying some risks.
Overall, though, delta-8 is a better alternative. Not only it is federally legal and legal in more states, but it is also safer and cheaper, and it’s less potent. This makes it a better option for people who are just getting started with THC.
Before you use any of the cannabinoids, make sure you start with a low dose so you can adjust it accordingly.