Delta 8 Vs THC


For cannabis veterans and novices alike, delta 8 has become wildly popular in recent years.  Fans have been singing its praises as an alternative to THC.  But how does it actually stack up to THC?  How do the two compare in terms of potency, legality, and effects?  Read on to learn everything there is to know about delta 8 vs THC.

In the meantime, check out our selection of lab tested delta 8 edibles, blunts, and prerolls so you can explore delta 8 for yourself.

They’re both THC

Fun fact: delta 8 actually is a form of THC.  The THC that everyone refers to when they mention THC, is formally known as delta nine THC.  Both delta 8 and delta 9 are naturally occurring cannabinoids.  The difference between the two lies in their chemical structure.  Both forms of THC contain a double bond, and a chain of carbon atoms.  Delta 8’s double bond lies on the eighth carbon atom in the chain, while delta 9’s double bond can be found, you guessed it, on the ninth carbon atom in that chain.


While both delta 8 and delta 9 are forms of THC, delta 9 is much more naturally abundant than delta 8.  That is, cannabis will generally contain large portions of THC, in comparison to delta 8, which is found only in trace amounts, if at all.  Because of its scarcity, delta 8 was largely ignored for decades.  However, this changed in 2002 when Israeli chemist, Raphael Mechoulam, filed a patent for his process of isomerization.  This process could be used to convert more naturally abundant cannabinoids, like CBD, into delta 8.  Most, if not all, of the delta 8 currently on the market is derived from CBD found in hemp. 


When it comes to delta 8 vs THC, their difference in potency is due to their relationship with our CB1 receptors.  These receptors, primarily located in the brain, determine how we will feel after ingesting various cannabinoids.  THC attaches really securely to these receptors, and produces a high.  Delta 8 also attaches to these receptors, however, the attachment isn’t as secure, so the high is not as intense.


As I already mentioned, delta 8 is less potent than delta 9.  As it turns out, this reduced potency is actually a good thing.  For novices, delta 8 provides an accessible way to ease into weed.  For others, prone to anxiety or paranoia, delta 8 may offer the benefits of THC without these side effects.  Respondents in this 521 person survey had favorable things to say about their delta 8 experience.  74% declared that they didn’t feel any anxiety, while 83% denied experiencing paranoia.  In addition to not feeling these negative effects, 68% of respondents claimed to feel euphoria, and 71% experienced high levels of relaxation.


When it comes to legal status, there are vast differences between delta 8 vs THC.  THC is considered legal, medicinally and recreationally, in the majority of the US.  Yet, on a federal level, THC remains illegal because cannabis is not legalized on a nation-wide scale.  Conversely, delta 8 is federally legal, but has since been declared illegal in a variety of states.  This confusion is due to the legal status of hemp and cannabis.  Legally, hemp is defined as cannabis that contains .3% or less delta 9 THC.  Cannabis is federally illegal, while hemp was legalized on a federal level in 2018 thanks to the passing of the Farm Bill. 

The bottom line

Whether your state is a little behind the times, or you’re looking for a milder alternative to THC, delta 8 is a promising cannabinoid.  While delta 8 is itself a form of THC, its chemical structure differers just enough from its more famous cousin to offer a different experience.  Its reduced potency has the potential to offer a less paranoid and anxious high, without sacrificing relaxation or euphoria.  

If you’re looking to compare delta 8 vs THC for yourself, DVNT has you covered!  Peep our selection of reliable, lab tested blunts, prerolls, and edibles and find out if delta 8 is right for you.