Delta 8 Vs Delta 9


Delta 8 has soared in popularity recently.  This cannabinoid went from virtually unknown to everywhere; gas stations, smoke shops, the internet, and the news are all full of delta 8 these days.  If you’re curious what all the hype is about, you’re probably wondering: how does delta 8 compare to “regular” THC?  Keep reading to learn the ins and outs of delta 8, and everything there is to know about delta 8 vs delta 9.

In the meantime, you can test the difference between delta 8 vs delta 9 for yourself by shopping our selection of lab tested delta 8 edibles, blunts, and prerolls.

Delta 8 vs delta 9 chemistry

The real difference between delta 8 vs delta 9 comes down to chemistry.  “Regular” THC is delta 9 THC, but delta 8 is also a form of THC.  Both cannabinoids have a double bond in their molecular structure.  Delta 8’s double bond is located on the eighth carbon in its chain, while delta 9’s double bond is on the ninth carbon.  This difference, while small, accounts for how our bodies react to both THCs.  

Delta 8 is less potent than delta 9.  This is because its molecular structure is not as compatible with our CB1 receptors.  These receptors, located primarily in the brain, influence the high that we feel or don’t feel when we ingest cannabinoids.  Delta 9, on the other hand, attaches to these receptors like a key fitting into a lock.  This perfect fit produces the high that we feel after consumption.  Delta 8 still attaches to these receptors, but not as securely as delta 9, which is why we don’t get quite as high.

Where do they come from?

Delta 9 is one of the main cannabinoids found in cannabis.  It’s naturally abundant, making it an ideal cannabinoid to work with.  Delta 8 is also naturally found in cannabis; however, it only occurs in trace amounts.  That being said, with modern advancements in chemistry, it is possible to convert other cannabinoids to delta 8.  As a matter of fact, in 2002, “Grandfather of Cannabis” Raphael Mechoulam filed for a patent for his process of isomerization.  This technique is still used today to convert CBD to delta 8.


When it comes to delta 8 vs delta 9, legality is a major factor. As we know, cannabis is legal either medicinally or recreationally in a large portion of the US.  For people in those states, that means they can enjoy delta 9 with relative ease.  But, for those in the rest of the country who don’t have access to legal cannabis, delta 8 is a convenient loophole.  The reason that delta 8 has popped up everywhere virtually overnight is due to the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill.  

This bill legalized hemp on a federal level.  Legally, hemp is defined as cannabis containing .3% or less delta 9 THC by weight.  As a result, a myriad of different cannabinoids became legal on a federal level, as long as they were derived from hemp.  Today, most, if not all, of the delta 8 on the market comes from hemp-derived CBD, which renders it legal on a federal scale.

However, not every state legislator is as enthused as we are about this legal loophole.  Individual states have since passed laws of their own.  Some states have affirmed the federal law, while others have imposed restrictions or total bans on either delta 8 specifically, or hemp-derived cannabinoids altogether.  These laws change constantly, so definitely be aware of what’s going on in your state before indulging in delta 8.

Delta 8 vs delta 9 effects

Yes, delta 8 is less potent than delta 9.  But, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  Delta 8 is an appealing option, not only for those without access to legal cannabis, but also for those looking for the benefits of THC without the overwhelming high.  In fact, respondents in this 521-person survey had positive experiences to report.  74% denied experiencing anxiety while high on delta 8, and 83% claimed they did not experience paranoia.  In case you’re thinking the delta 8 simply doesn’t hit, that’s certainly not the case.  71% reported that they “experienced a lot or a great deal of relaxation”, while 68% experienced euphoria.

The bottom line

When it comes to delta 8 vs delta 9, there’s more at play than the cannabinoids’ chemical structure.  Delta 8 has been a welcome substitute for delta 9 for those without access to legal cannabis, and those looking for relief without the same level of intensity as delta 9.  If you’re curious about trying delta 8 for yourself, check out our shop.  With an excellent selection of blunts, edibles, and prerolls, you can build your own variety pack all from the comfort of your home and have your goodies shipped straight to your door.  Truly, nothing could be more convenient.