Difference between Delta 8 and Delta 9
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Cannabis dispensaries offer a wide selection of delta-9 THC products in places where the use of marijuana for recreational or medical purposes is permitted. Several states also allow the use of delta-8 THC, a less potent cannabis molecule that has similar euphoric effects to delta-9 THC.

The cannabis sativa plant, which naturally generates more than 100 cannabinoids or active ingredients, is where delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC originate.

Delta-8 THC, a minor cannabinoid, is present in extremely small concentrations in the plant compared to delta-9 THC, which is present in considerable amounts.

Both delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC have the potential to cause intoxicatingly psychoactive effects, or a “high,” depending on quality, quantity, and other circumstances.

Despite their similarities, delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC also differ significantly, and you should be aware of these distinctions before using either substance.

Continue reading to find out more about delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC, their parallels and differences, potential advantages, and more.

What Is Delta-8 THC?

Due to the low delta-8 THC content of cannabis sativa, it is primarily produced using concentrated cannabidiol (CBD) from hemp. While CBD doesn’t have any intoxicating effects, delta-8 THC is similar to delta-9 THC in terms of its psychoactive characteristics, despite being less potent overall.

Products containing delta-8-THC come in a wide variety of forms, including tinctures, cookies, gummies, chocolate and other sweets, cereal, biscuits, vaping cartridges, infused drinks, and tinctures.

Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has neither examined nor approved these claims, some manufacturers promote products containing delta-8 THC as cures or therapies for diseases.

The FDA warned five producers of delta-8 THC products in May 2022 that they violated the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

The warning letters cover misbranding issues such as usage directions, illegal marketing of products for therapeutic or other medical purposes, and putting delta-8 THC in meals like candies, chocolate, and other consumables.

Potential Advantages

According to Dave Gordon, M.D., a double-board certified integrative and functional medicine physician with expertise in cannabis therapeutics, making general statements about whether using cannabis is good or bad doesn’t paint an accurate picture of delta-8 THC or delta-9 THC.

According to Dr. Gordon, to understand the advantages of delta-8 THC or delta-9 THC, consider:

  • The amount ingested
  • The method of administration
  • The quantity consumed,
  • And the standard of manufacture (cannabis product cultivation, extraction, and formulation)

The following are some possible advantages of delta-8 THC:

  • Pain relief
  • Improved sleep quality
  • The calming of an overactive nervous system or immune system
  • Improved appetite
  • Sensory overstimulation prevention
  • Reduced inflammation

What Is Delta-9 THC?

The main naturally occurring psychoactive compound in cannabis is delta-9 THC. Beyond a certain point, delta-9 THC consumption or smoking usually results in a “high.”

Delta-9 THC is available in many different items at cannabis dispensaries in places where it is legal, including gummies, cookies, chocolates, infused drinks, tinctures, vaping cartridges, topical lotions, and pre-rolled joints.

Some producers advertise their delta-9 THC products as having the ability to treat or lessen the symptoms of particular illnesses or medical problems. Only two synthetic THC preparations, dronabinol and nabilone, which are used to treat chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting, have received FDA approval. Patients with AIDS may also use nabilone to stimulate their appetites.

Potential Advantages

The following are possible advantages of ingesting delta-9 THC:

  • Relaxation
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Increased appetite
  • Feelings of happiness or exhilaration
  • Heightened imagination
  • Improved sensory perception

According to studies, using delta-9 THC may be therapeutically beneficial for several conditions, including chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting, seizure disorders, chronic pain, MS-related spasticity, and sleep issues in people with other chronic conditions.

Patients in structured medical cannabis programs frequently demonstrate advantages in the conditions listed above. Additionally, benefits are shown in those with symptoms of anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), seizures, autism, and autoimmune diseases.

There is a limitation of data about the long-term effects of delta-9 THC usage on sleep patterns, with some research demonstrating improved sleep patterns and others suggesting that chronic delta-9 THC use may have the opposite impact, interrupting sleep and delaying the onset of sleep.

Can Delta-8 Show Up on a Drug Test?

Contrary to delta-9 THC, delta-8 THC is unlikely to result in a positive THC test result unless the test specifically looks for delta-8 THC metabolites.

Drug tests, however, can come up positive for THC if the delta-8 THC product contains high levels of delta-9 THC. Some commercial laboratories are now including confirmatory analyses for delta-8 THC in drug tests because of delta-8 THC’s rising popularity.

In conclusion, it is impossible to say for sure that delta-8 THC won’t test positive on a drug test because it depends on the quality and composition of the particular delta-8 THC product used as well as the type of drug test performed.

Delta-8 THC vs. Delta-9 THC: Differences and Similarities

Only a small difference in the arrangement of the identical set of components (carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen) distinguishes delta-8 THC from delta-9 THC.


Since both delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC activate the body’s CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, including those in the central nervous system, they can have the favorable or unfavorable effects indicated above.

Enhancing relaxation, calming a hyperactive nervous system, increasing hunger, protecting and healing neurons, and preventing sensory overstimulation are all benefits of activating CB1 receptors. To improve many chronic illnesses, activating CB2 receptors largely decreases inflammation and soothes an overactive immune system.

Excessive use of delta-8 THC or delta-9 THC can overstimulate CB1 receptors, which can result in fatigue, confusion, anxiety (and possibly panic), dry mouth and eyes, a faster heartbeat, and lack of coordination.


Delta-9 THC has been the subject of extensive research for about 60 years, whereas delta-8 THC has received much less attention. The way they are (or are not) regulated is another significant distinction.

Delta-9 THC is highly regulated in states where legalization measures have passed with specific rules on testing, extracting, and labeling. However, many producers of delta-8 THC products don’t adhere to precise rules. For example, they might not guarantee that the final product has only the ingredients listed on the label.

Another distinction between delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC is potency. Properly labeled delta-8 THC should be roughly one-quarter to one-third less strong than a similar amount of delta-9.

Delta-9 THC in flower (bud) form does not require extraction unlike edibles, topicals, and other preparations, smoking or vaping. On the other hand, almost all delta-8 THC products are created, extracted, and refined from CBD.

Is Delta-9 safer than Delta-8?

Delta-9 THC is regulated, making it a safer alternative as compared to Delta-8, which is not governed by the same standards and runs the danger of including unidentified or hazardous components,

Although delta-8 THC is currently lawful on a federal level, not all states have legalized it. Federal law prohibits the use of delta-9 THC, however, it is authorized for recreational and/or medical use in several states.

Nevertheless, regulations governing the manufacture, distribution, and consumption of delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC are constantly changing.


While some cannabis users might regard Delta 9 as the classic choice, Delta 8 has been rapidly gaining ground due to its more tolerable effects. It might even eventually end up being the most popular THC form among users.


Is Delta-9 safer than Delta-8?

Delta-9 THC drugs are a safer alternative to Delta-8 because they have similar effects and are already heavily regulated.

Is Delta 8 as powerful as Delta 9?

Hemp made from the cannabis sativa plant contains the cannabinoid delta-8 THC. Even while it isn’t as strong as Delta-9 THC, it still has the ability to have both positive and negative intoxication effects.

What gets you higher delta-9 THC or delta-8 THC?

Delta-9 THC produces the strongest high, or euphoric state. Similar to delta-9 THC, delta-8 THC also causes a high, however, it is not as strong.

Can you take Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 at the same time?

Although the effects of Delta-8 and Delta-9 are similar, Delta-9’s effects are stronger. There are no negative side effects of taking Delta-8 and Delta-9 simultaneously, yet Delta-9 may overpower Delta-8 when combined.

How much Delta-8 is equivalent to Delta-9?

According to the average dosage chart, 5–20 mg of Delta 9 is equivalent to 10-80 mg of Delta 8.

By Rachel Stone

Rachel Stone is an experienced content marketer with over five years of expertise in cannabis science and culture writing. Her contributions have been showcased in renowned publications such as Forbes, Weedmaps News/Marijuana.com, the Wall Street Journal, and more.

Terms & Conditions