Delta 8 vs. Delta 9 - What’s the Difference?

Many individuals are attracted to THC due to the number of benefits it provides. Most individuals who are accustomed to the high from smoking cannabis or consuming THC edibles can associate the high to Delta-9-THC. Recently, a new cannabinoid with milder effects than Delta-9-THC has emerged. This cannabinoid is known as Delta-8-THC.

So what’s the difference between Delta 9 and Delta 8? In this article we will be able to clarify what the difference is between these two cannabinoids.

Delta 8 Effects vs. Delta 9 Effects

One of the main differences between Delta-8-THC and Delta-9-THC is the effects they produce. The difference in effects is usually the decision factor when choosing which to consume.

Delta-9-THC is considered to be more potent than Delta-8-THC. The side effects associated with Delta 9 are known to be more extreme. For example, some individuals experience anxiety, paranoia, impaired motor skills, and more when consuming Delta 9.

On the other hand, Delta-8-THC is known for a much milder experience in comparison to Delta-9-THC. Individual who consume Delta 8 have reported experiencing a much calmer and relaxing experience. Many people experience a “high” feeling, but not enough of a high to impair their ability of thinking clearly and disrupting their ability to complete regular day-to-day activities. Rather than experiencing paranoia and anxiety, Delta 8 consumers feel relaxed and stress free.

Another difference between Delta-8-THC and Delta-9-THC is the length of time it takes to feel the effects. Delta 8 kicks in slower than Delta 9 and slowly eases the consumer into a relaxed state. On the contrary, the effects someone may feel from consuming Delta 9 are more rapid.

Types of Delta-8-THC and Delta-9-THC products

Any product existing with Delta-9-THC can also be made with Delta-8-THC. Some of the most common products include, flower, cartridges, disposable vapes, tinctures, gummies, topicals, capsules and more.


Delta-9-THC is not legal on the federal level in the United States. The decision for legality of Delta 9 for the most part has been left up to individual states. As of today, 34 states have legalized Delta 9 for either medical or recreational use.

Any amounts of Delta-9-THC greater than 0.3% is illegal at the federal level. The laws for anything more than 0.3% at the state level is dependent on the marijuana laws within that state. Many CBD products contain trace amounts of THC, however the total amount of Delta-9-THC needs to be less than 0.3% for the CBD product to be legally sold in stores and online.

Under the 2018 Hemp Farm Bill, Delta-8-THC is technically federally legal. Why is this? The 2018 Hemp Farm Bill legalized hemp at the federal level. One of the most popular cannabinoids that comes from the hemp plant is CBD. What many people don’t know is that Delta-8-THC can be extracted from CBD through chemical processes in a lab. As a result, Delta-8-THC is legal at the federal level. Many companies are capitalizing on this and are producing products with Dela-8-THC, such as gummies, vapes, tinctures, and more.

Since Delta 8 does create a mild high effect, many states have banned it at the state level. At this time, 15 states have banned Delta-8-THC. There’s another 6 states where legal action is pending.

Where to buy?

If you live in a state where Delta-9-THC is legal, congratulations to you. You can head on over to your local dispensary to purchase your Delta 9 products. Unfortunately, shipping delta 9 across state lines is illegal, so your best option is to purchase from your local dispensary.

On the other hand, purchasing Delta-8-THC products is much different. Because it is federally legal, Delta 8 products can be shipped across state lines. In addition, a marijuana license isn’t required to sell Delta-8-THC in a brick and mortar store. This means it can be carried in smoke shops, gas stations, and liquor stores. It may be a wise decision to avoid shipping to Delta 8 to states where it is banned at the state level.

Since there are no regulations on Delta 8 products, it’s important to purchase from a reliable brand. There is no telling if the Delta 8 brand your local smoke shop carries is an ethical brand. With that said, it’s important to look at the brand’s website and to verify their lab results.


The choice between Delta-8-THC and Delta-9-THC comes down to a number of factors, along with what you desire. These two cannabinoids share many similarities, however there are enough differences that set them apart.

While Delta 9 has been around for hundreds of years and is the desired cannabinoid within the cannabis community, Delta 8 presents new opportunities for individuals who can’t handle Delta 9. The mild effects and calming sensation it provides is why this cannabinoid is becoming more and more popular. Who knows, it may end up becoming the more preferred form of THC in the future.