(Last Updated On: September 22, 2021)

Since the discovery of their numerous beneficial effects, the demand for cannabinoids has been constantly on the rise. Delta-9 THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is one of the most popular cannabinoids. It is used for both recreational and therapeutic purposes. The demand for Delta-8 THC, an analog of Delta-9, has also gained momentum in the market.  

But, if you are new to these cannabinoids, understanding which is better for you can be a little difficult. This article will explore the difference between Delta 8 and Delta 9 and discuss which cannabinoid is better for you.

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Delta-9 THC vs. Delta-8 THC: How are They Different?  

Delta-9 THC:

What is Delta-9 THC? 

Delta-9 THC, commonly known as marijuana, is an active ingredient derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant. When people are talking about THC, they are usually referring to Delta-9 THC. It is one of the most researched cannabinoids, besides CBD (cannabidiol), among the 100+ cannabinoids obtained from the cannabis plant.

How does Delta-9 THC Affect the Body?

Delta-9 THC, when consumed, enters the body and binds to the receptors of the endocannabinoid system of our body. These cannabinoid receptors are found in the central and peripheral nervous systems and other vital organs of the body. 

When ingested, THC produces a feeling of “high” that lasts for a few hours. However, its presence can be detected in our body much longer (up to 20 hours after consumption) after the psychoactive effects have worn down. 

How is Delta-9 THC Consumed?

The most common form of Delta-9 THC consumption is by rolling the dried leaves obtained from the cannabis plant into “joints” and smoking them. Other ways of consuming it include inhaling Delta-9 THC-infused vape juices or by taking it in the form of capsules, tinctures, oils, and gummies. Delta-9 THC is also incorporated into balms, creams, and lotions for topical application. 

What are the Benefits of Delta-9 THC?

  1. Delta-9 THC alters the brain’s pain perception and helps treat chronic pain associated with ailments such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, and migraine.  
  1. Delta-9 can help improve the desire to eat. It is beneficial in cases of loss of appetite associated with chemotherapy and other diseases. 
  1. Tetrahydrocannabinol can help relieve anxiety and stress. It influences the neurons to stimulate a feeling of euphoria. It can also help treat insomnia and induce better sleep.
  1. Delta-9 can help improve brain function. It enhances memory, the ability to think, and time perception. It also improves coordination. 
  1. Some anecdotal evidence suggests that Delta-9 THC can have therapeutic effects on glaucoma. 

Delta-8 THC:

What is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 THC, obtained from the Cannabis Sativa plant, is a new addition to the cannabinoid family. It is a close sibling of Delta-9 THC. Though they have different chemical compositions, both Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC have a psychoactive effect. However, extraction of Delta-8 THC from the cannabis plant requires a lot more effort than Delta-9. It makes Delta-8 products rare and expensive. 

How does Delta-8 THC Affect the Body?

Delta-8 THC binds to the endocannabinoid receptors in the same fashion as Delta-9 THC. However, the bonding is much weaker than Delta-8, and thus, the effects of Delta-8 THC are less intense. Also, Delta-8 THC has more affinity towards CB2 receptors, which are present primarily in the immune system. 

How is Delta-8 THC Consumed?

Delta-8 THC is also available in various forms like CBD and Delta-9 THC. Delta-8 gummies are the most popular method of consumption. They are delicious to eat, and the effects last longer. People also prefer to smoke Delta-8 flowers, but due to their low availability and high price, it is not very popular. Delta-8 infused vape juices, capsules, and tinctures are also gaining popularity in the market due to their ease of use.  

What are the Benefits of Delta-8 THC?

  1. Delta-8 THC is believed to help improve appetite and boost the absorption of nutrients. It also helps to improve the metabolism of your body. 
  1. Delta-8 THC has anxiolytic properties and produces a relaxing effect when consumed. It can be helpful when dealing with anxiety and depressive behavior. 
  1. Delta-8 also has a stimulating effect on the body and may help to relieve fatigue. It can also contribute to improved sleep quality. 
  1. Delta-8 THC can impact the nervous system of our body and block the pain perception of the brain. It can help to relieve chronic pain associated with different ailments. 
  1. Some studies show that Delta-8 THC has the ability to reduce tumor growth. It can help restrict cancer cell proliferation and prevent its spread but laughing Buddha is the best choice..
  2. This cannabinoid has anti-emetic properties and can help reduce nausea and vomiting. It is particularly helpful to cope with nausea associated with chemotherapy.   
  1. Delta-8 THC is known to have neuroprotective properties. It can help improve cognitive function and increase the ability to focus. It can also help treat psychological disorders.    
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Delta-8 vs. Delta-9: What are the Side Effects?

Delta-8, being a new name in the cannabinoid family, has very few definitive studies to its name. Thus, not much can be said about its adverse effects. Though it is generally well-tolerated by individuals, some side effects have been reported like:

  • Confusion and paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue and drowsiness
  • Numbness
  • Dry Mouth
  • Dry Eyes
  • Low Blood pressure

The side effects of Delta-9 are usually more intense than Delta-8. Also, the effects of Delta 9 THC tend to last much longer than Delta-8. Here are the commonly reported side effects of Delta-9:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Disconnected thoughts
  • Induce Panic reactions
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinatory experiences

Delta-8 vs. Delta-9 THC: Legal Clauses

Delta-9 THC, or marijuana, is a highly regulated product legalized for medical or recreational purposes in only 34 states. At a federal level, any product containing more than 0.3% of Delta-9 is restricted for use. On the other hand, the legal clauses of Delta-8 usage are not very clear and thus it is considered legal on a federal level. At the state level, Delta-8 is banned in 15 states. So, before you buy any Delta-8 or Delta-9 product, make sure to check its legality in your state. 

The Bottom Line

Investigations conducted over the years have provided evidence that suggests both Delta-9 and Delta-8 THC are beneficial for the treatment of several diseases. However, Delta-9 is more potent than Delta-8 THC. 

After assessing the properties, we inferred that Delta-8 is a better choice as it has a milder effect. However, if you want a stronger euphoric feeling along with other therapeutic benefits, Delta-9 is a better alternative for you. We hope this article has helped you weigh the difference between Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC and choose what is best for your needs.

Written by Kathy Cooley