Delta-8 THC vs Delta-9: What Are They & How Are They Different?

Oct 21, 2021Pixel Union

Delta-8 THC vs Delta-9: What Are They & How Are They Different?


When most people think of THC, they often only consider Delta-9 as it is the most popular. However, there is another similar substance that was made legal in many states and that is found naturally in the cannabis plant and hemp - Delta-8 THC.

While they are similar, both substances differ in many ways and either may be better for first-time users or experienced ones.

This is your full guide about Delta-8 THC vs Delta-9. From the difference in effects to the legality of both and the different products, we’ve got you covered.

What is Delta-9 THC?

Delta 9 THC is a part of the cannabis plant which is present in relatively high quantities. It

binds very strongly to the CB1 receptors found in the human body and brain due to the double bond on the ninth carbon chain.

As mentioned previously, it's present at high levels in cannabis which translates to giving strong effects when consumed.

Due to its properties, Delta-9 THC is an appetite stimulant which is certainly something to keep in mind. With all this considered, the properties are the biggest reason why it is illegal in many states and countries across the world.

What is Delta-8 THC?

With less potent effects than Delta-9, Delta-8 has recently become popular because of its

similarity to the isomer Delta-9 in terms of effects. The most common effects of Delta-8 are euphoria, sedation, and happiness among other psychoactive effects.

While both substances are pretty similar, Delta-8 is nowadays much more available, legal in many more places, and more appropriate to irregular users.

There are, though, elements to note when mentioning Delta-8 THC vs Delta-9 and we’ll elaborate more about those in our next point.

Main Differences Between Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC
The similarities between the two substances are their chemical structures and names. But, as you understood, there are significant differences between both Delta-9.

The legality of Delta-8 THC vs Delta-9 THC

The legality of the substances is certainly an important factor - if not the most important. Delta-9 is federally illegal in most states of America. This includes using, buying, selling, and making products out of Delta-9 THC.

On the other hand, and this is one of the reasons why it became very popular lately, Delta-8 THC is legal in many states across America such as Florida, Illinois, or Maryland. But, Delta-8 THC is still illegal in some other states like Arkansas and Colorado.

Lastly, in some states, for example, Connecticut and Nevada, laws are unclear about the legality of the substance.

All in all, while less potent than Delta-9, Delta-8 is a much more accessible substance in terms of legality and that is a great relief for many.

Effects of Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC

Another element that makes both Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 different are the effects. While the effects of both Delta-9 and Delta-8 are similar, they happen at a much slower pace when consuming the latter.

In fact, Delta-8 kicks in gradually after consumption while Delta-9 delivers much quicker relaxation effects.

Again, for casual users, Delta-8 THC is a more reasonable option than Delta-9 and you won’t have legal repercussions buying it.

Drug Tests - Delta-8 THC vs Delta-9

Despite the misinformation that can be found online, both Delta-8 and delta-8 show up on drug tests. In fact, when ingested or smoked, both travel through the digestive system and are eventually metabolized by the liver.

Drug tests cannot differentiate between the two because their metabolites are almost the same. So, it's likely either one will give a false positive or positive result if used as evidence of recreational use.

Will Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC Get You High?

The short answer is yes for both compounds. While it depends on several factors, both

Delta-8 and Delta-9 will get the user high. It’s important to take into consideration that Delta-8 THC is much less potent than Delta-9 and it will therefore take longer to get high.

What is the Standard Dosage for Delta-8 THC?

When considering all the differences in Delta-8 THC vs Delta-9, how to know what the right dosage is? Before jumping into the topic, it’s essential to determine the type of user that you are.
In fact, as discussed previously, the standard dosage for Delta-8 THC is subjective and depends a lot on this factor alone. Do you consume cannabis on a regular basis, or do you use it for other purposes? Or you’ve only used THC once before?

These will make your standard dosage and threshold differ, so let’s elaborate on the 3 types of users and the usual dosage to feel the effects.

First-time User

If this is your first time giving a go to THC or cannabis, the dosage should be minimal in order for you to feel the effects. As a general rule of thumb, the regular dosage for first-timers should be between 5mg and 15mg per use.

Semi-regular User

As a semi-regular user, you’ll need a higher dosage to feel the effects. In general, the dose for an intermediate user would be anywhere between 15mg and 45mg per use. If you consume cannabis on a regular basis, see the point below.

Regular User

For users that consume THC on a regular basis, the dosage can be much higher as they built tolerance over time. As a general guideline, the usual dosage for a regular user would be 45mg to 150mg and more, in certain cases, per use.

Delta-8 THC vs Delta-9 - Which is Better?

Defining Delta-9 THC better than that Delta-8 wouldn’t be wise without considering all the

elements. If you’re willing to feel stronger effects more rapidly, then Delta-9 THC is indeed a better choice.

However, if you want to get high without feeling the potential stress of the substance, Delta-8 THC is better. Note that the effects are similar, you just need to be more patient and potentially consume more of the substance.

All in all, unless your tolerance threshold is above average, we consider Delta-8 THC to be a better option.


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