There is more to cannabis than THC, and there is more than one type of THC in cannabis.
The discovery of the THC molecule and its role in the psychotropic effects of marijuana in our brains lead to the apparition of new strains with varying degrees of potency. Nowadays, researchers have been discovering new and exciting substances hidden in the fluffy flowers that may bring with them all sorts of effects and benefits.
One of these substances is Delta 8 THC. This cannabinoid is a fairly recent discovery showing promise for recreational and medical cannabis users. A very close isomer to the widely known Delta 9, Delta 8 has a slightly different chemical structure, which gives it a different set of effects while maintaining its interaction with the Endocannabinoid System.
If you are curious about Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC isomers, we have a thorough comparison that will come in handy and solve your doubts about the dilemma of Delta 8 THC vs. Delta 9 THC.
- Difference Between Delta 8 vs. Delta 9 THC
- Why Delta 8 vs. Delta 9 Matters?
- Which Effects Last Longer?
- What is Delta 8?
- Delta 8 Benefits
- Delta 8 Effects
- Will Delta 8 Get You High?
- Is Delta 8 Legal?
- Where to Buy Delta 8?
- What is Delta 9?
- Delta 9 Benefits
- Delta 9 Effects
- Will Delta 9 Get You High?
- Is Delta 9 Legal?
- Where to Buy Delta 9?
Difference Between Delta 8 vs. Delta 9 THC
The main difference between these two cannabinoids lies in their molecular structure. The numbers of the THC isomers indicate the place where a crucial double bond occurs. This terminology tells us that Delta 9 THC has the double bond in the ninth carbon atom of its chain, while Delta 8 has the same double bond in its eighth carbon atom.
Nevertheless, this difference is not enough to block the binding of the Delta 8 molecule to the CB1 receptor of the Endocannabinoid System, the same one that binds to Delta 9.
The obtention process is very different for each of the two molecules. Delta 9 is a very abundant compound inside the cannabis flowers, particularly those of the marijuana variety. This concentration guarantees that any extraction you make from marijuana flowers will have high amounts of Delta 9 THC.
When manufacturers want to isolate it, they apply extraction processes that quickly give them a hefty yield of Delta 9. Instead, Delta 8 appears in minimal amounts in hemp and marijuana flowers. Extracting and isolating it from its natural source is expensive, so manufacturers prefer to synthesize it from CBD, which is easier to obtain from hemp flowers.
Cannabis users report some differences in the effects of both THC isomers. Delta 9 gives you a powerful psychoactive “high” and sometimes can trigger feelings of anxiety or paranoia. On the contrary, Delta 8 is milder with you, won’t give you uncomfortable sensations, and does not sedate you as Delta 9 tends to do.
Why Delta 8 vs. Delta 9 Matters?
The 2018 Farm Bill states that hemp extracts and derived products are legal in the U.S. Since this law only restricts Delta 9, which is obtainable from marijuana, it makes Delta 8 fair game for purchase and consumption, at least in theory. Some states are already putting out laws banning or regulating delta 8, so check your local legislation to ensure its legal status.
The legality and regulation of delta 8 are fundamental. Any extraction of Delta 8 THC is a manufactured substance and is subject to errors in manipulation, cross-contamination, or even deliberate tampering. Products of low quality can lead to a general distrust in Delta 8, which could be detrimental to the people who benefit from it. If you decide to try this cannabinoid, make sure to acquire it from reputable sources and check that it has external lab reports verifying its quality.
Which Effects Last Longer?
A critical point in the Delta 8 vs. Delta 9 THC debate concerns the duration of the high. Whether you prefer longer, more potent effects or a shorter, lighter experience is up to you. Remember that your body responds to both isomers depending on your tolerance level. If you are a frequent Delta 9 THC user, you probably process it more efficiently, so its effects on you will last longer.
Delta 8 THC effects take a bit longer to take hold, while Delta 9 acts upon your mind and body in a faster way. Similarly, the high from Delta 9 THC can last for a couple of hours or more, depending on your tolerance level, intake method, and dosage consumed.
For instance, edibles have more prolonged effects than smoking or vaping, whether you are using Delta 8 or Delta 9. Delta 8, however, is not as durable as isomer Delta 9, giving you a more leisurely, lighter, manageable experience.
What is Delta 8?
Delta 8 THC is a cannabinoid that all cannabis plants produce in nature, whether THC-rich marijuana or CBD-rich hemp. Despite being present in diverse sources, we can not experience its effects because the quantity of Delta 8 in cannabis flowers is too low to be noticeable.
To obtain measurable quantities of Delta 8 THC, enough to infuse oils, tinctures, or edibles, manufacturers synthesize it by isolating CBD from hemp flowers and chemically turning it into Delta 8. The obtained product will have around 60% to 70% Delta 8 THC at the end of this process.
Even hemp plants have trace amounts of Delta 9 THC, so when this process finishes, the resulting extract will have 3% to 6% Delta 9 in it. This concentration is too high to be legal since the federal limit for Delta 9 is 0.03%. Thus, manufacturers have to remove the Delta 9 from this extraction for it to be of legal use.
Delta 8 Benefits
One of the reasons for the growing popularity of Delta 8 THC lies in its variety of health benefits. Patients with anxiety, depression, and chronic pain report easing of their symptoms after using this compound. Researchers also found that Delta 8 effectively slows tumor growth and tampers down nausea in cancer patients attending chemotherapy.
Delta 8 Effects
The similarities between Delta 8 and Delta 9 go beyond its chemical structure. Their bonding with the same endocannabinoid receptor also gives them similar effects on the body. However, these effects are toned down, which many users prefer since it gives them the feeling of having a middle point between the strong effects of Delta 9 THC and the smooth action of CBD.
Delta 8 will give you a “high,” a mild intoxicating feeling that is not as strong as Delta 9. Its psychoactive properties are mellow, and some users claim not to feel them at all. This cannabinoid will make you feel relaxed yet not sedated, with a clear mind free of daily stress. You will be able to hold complex conversations and coherently interact with family and friends.
One side effect of Delta 8 you need to watch out for is its influence over your circulatory system. Delta 8 acts as a vasoconstrictor, narrowing your blood vessels. This thinning leads to a lowering of your blood pressure, which can be concerning in some cases. If you have blood circulation issues, talk to your doctor before trying Delta 8 or any other cannabinoid.
Will Delta 8 Get You High?
However mild they are, there still are intoxicating effects in Delta 8 THC. Some users call it “light cannabis” or “diet weed” due to this mellowness. Even if you take too much Delta 8 THC, its high will be uncomfortable but not harmful.
Is Delta 8 Legal?
The legal status of Delta 8 lies under the jurisdiction of the 2018 Farm Bill. According to it, hemp plant products are free to purchase and use as long as they do not contain more than 0.03% of Delta 9 THC. However, the FDA has expressed concerns about the psychotropic effects of Delta 8, and it is considering extending the Delta 9 restrictions to it.
A legal foothold for this decision is the synthetic nature of commercial Delta 8. Some synthetic cannabinoids have harmful side effects, which resulted in their banning. The FDA seeks to extend this ban to all synthetic cannabinoids, or at least to Delta 8 THC.
The DEA is also lobbying against Delta 8. The entity is trying to include it in the list of controlled substances, along with all other cannabinoids derived from marijuana. However, since Delta 8 comes from hemp, a different plant variety from marijuana, cannabis activists and companies are fighting to keep it legal for commerce.
Where to Buy Delta 8?
Depending on the legal status of Delta 8 in your state, you might be able to get it from dispensaries or order it online. Your local dispensaries might stock it or be in contact with producers.
Delta 8 is available in cartridges, edibles, or liquid dispensers, which you can use to smoke on a dab rig, vape pen, or sprinkle on your joints. In addition, you can consume it orally or add it to your food preparations. Give a try to our Gummies, Vape Cartridges, or our Delta 8 THC-infused CBD flower Bubba Kush.
Make an effort to get your Delta 8 from trustworthy sources. Some shady stores and gas stations may offer you what looks like Delta 8, but it might have dangerous impurities. Research your brands first before acquiring your products and look for independent analysis from a third-party lab.
What is Delta 9?
The first of more than a hundred cannabinoids known to humankind, Delta 9 THC is the cause that makes us flock around marijuana. The psychoactive and health effects that Delta 9 gave to our ancestors made them choose cannabis as one of their go-to medicinal plants.
The study of Delta 9 THC, along with its companion CBD and the rest of the minor cannabinoids, led to the discovery of the human Endocannabinoid System and its role in regulating pain, inflammation, mood, sleep, memory, and reproduction.
Delta 9 THC is part of the Controlled Substances Act, Schedule I, next to Mescaline, MDMA, LSD, Heroine, and other, more dangerous drugs. However, there is a multi-state effort to decriminalize it and recover its medicinal and recreational status without penalties for its producers, marketers, or users.
Delta 9 Benefits
The neurological influence of Delta 9 THC makes it fertile ground for research in this area. Studies show its high effectiveness against neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis, spasticity, and other conditions.
Contrary to popular belief, Delta 9 does not kill our brain cells, as many psychotropic drugs do. On the contrary, it protects the neurons against damage, even from traumatic injuries, while stimulating brain growth and avoiding seizures.
Delta 9 THC goes beyond the brain in its healthy quest. Cancer patients going through chemotherapy can get rid of nausea and recover their appetite with the help of this cannabinoid. Delta 9 also acts as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant agent.
Delta 9 Effects
The most known effect of Delta 9 THC is the famous high that most enthusiasts look for in marijuana. Your body feels relaxed, your perception of time slows down, your senses intensify, and you start craving some delicious snacks.
However, not everything is happiness and joy with Delta 9 THC. Some side effects go beyond the classic cottonmouth that you should take into account. Pediatricians recommend that children and teenagers avoid its use until adulthood since early Delta 9 use can lead to learning impairment, anxiety, and decreased memory formation. Chronic use of Delta 9 THC can reduce the brain’s prefrontal cortex, which controls cognitive control functions.
Will Delta 9 Get You High?
Each person’s reaction to Delta 9 THC varies slightly, depending on several factors. Among them, we find your age, intake method, dosing, and tolerance. However, most users coincide in specific signals that point to a person being “high.” A tingling in your limbs, in particular your fingertips, announces that your senses are heightening. You will also become more sensitive to sounds, colors, and smells. Then, you will feel relaxed, your muscles give out, and your mind slows down. A feeling of euphoria will take over you, often accompanied by giggling fits, not always under control.
Is Delta 9 Legal?
The legal status of Delta 9 THC in the U.S. is under the regulation of the 2018 Farm Bill, which states that any cannabis-derived substance must have less than 0.3% of Delta 9 content.
However, times are changing. For starters, many states are decriminalizing the possession, sale, and use of Delta 9 THC in quantities higher than the federal 0.3%, both for medicinal and recreational use. In other states, manufacturers are developing tinctures and edibles that comply with the law but sport a more significant weight, allowing for more Delta 9 content.
Where to Buy Delta 9?
If your state already has decriminalized Delta 9 THC, you might find dispensaries that will sell you flowers, tinctures, edibles, and cartridges without fuss. If you live in an area where Delta 9 is still restricted, you will find it challenging to acquire any product. Anyway, you can take advantage of the legal limit and purchase Delta 9 products that comply with the restriction while still delivering its effects.
Delta 9 vs Delta 8, have you made up your mind? If you still don’t know which one to choose, try them both! The only way to know which one you like better is by indulging in their effects and making an informed decision.