Delta 8 vs. Delta 9: What You Need To Know & Difference | Pittsburgh City Paper

Delta 8 vs. Delta 9: What You Need To Know & Differences

Delta 8 and Delta 9 are among the most popular cannabinoids in the cannabis market. These are two parts of the same plant that are a bit different. The main difference lies in their potency and psychoactive effects. Delta-9 THC is renowned for its intoxicating impact, commonly associated with the "high" experienced by cannabis users. On the other hand, Delta-8 THC, while still possessing psychoactive properties akin to Delta-9, is generally considered less potent. This article will deeply explore the differences between Delta 8 vs. Delta 9, covering their chemical structures, properties, legal status, and potential benefits.

Delta 8 vs Delta 9

While chemically similar, Delta 8 and Delta 9 possess separate identities in cannabinoids. Their differences give rise to distinctive effects.


Delta 8 and Delta 9 have unique effects due to slight structural variations. Both contain a double bond in their molecular chains, but Delta 8's bond is on the eighth carbon atom, while Delta 9's is on the ninth. Delta 9 is known for a more intense high compared to the milder influence of Delta 8, with psychoactive effects linked to CB1 and CB2 receptors. These differences will produce different effects on the body, as we will see below.


Despite their differences, both cannabinoids share the commonality of being forms of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient found in the marijuana plant. It is crucial to understand these shared characteristics as they provide a foundation for exploring their features.

Cannabinoids Properties & Benefits


Delta-8 THC

Delta-9 THC

Delta-10 THC

Delta-11 THC



Psychoactive Effects

Mild, Relaxing

Potent, Intense

Varied, Moderate

Varied, Moderate


FDA Approval

Not Evaluated

Not Evaluated

Not Evaluated

Not Evaluated

Epidiolex Approved


Hemp or Synthesized

Cannabis Plant

Cannabis Plant

Cannabis Plant


Use Indications

Relaxation, Pain Relief

Pain, Nausea, Anxiety

Limited Information

Limited Information


Delta 8 and Delta 9 Products

Explore a range of Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC-infused products, including chocolates, gummies, and oils. Indulge in the rich flavors of THC chocolates or enjoy the chewy goodness of gummies, available in both Delta 8 and Delta 9 variants. For those who prefer oils, there are options for both Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC, providing a versatile and customizable experience.




THC Chocolate

Delta 8 THC Chocolate

Delta 9 THC Chocolate

THC Gummies

Delta 8 THC Gummies

Delta 9 THC Gummies


Delta 8 THC Oil

Delta 9 THC Oil

CBD vs. THC: Differences Between Hemp and Marijuana

Understanding the difference between marijuana and hemp is essential, particularly in terms of CBD and THC content. According to regulations, the primary difference lies in the concentration of delta-9 THC, the psychoactive compound responsible for the "high" associated with marijuana. Federal regulations stipulate that cannabis plants containing more than 0.3% delta-9 THC are classified as marijuana, while those with less are considered hemp. This divergence in THC levels not only influences the legal status but also shapes the source of CBD, a non-psychoactive compound. This comparative table helps to understand better those disparities:




THC Content

0.3% or less

Higher than 0.3%

CBD Content




Industrial Hemp

Cannabis Sativa or Indica

Legal Status

Federally Legal

Varies by State

What Is Delta 8 THC?

Delta 8 THC is found in minute quantities in the cannabis sativa plant, specifically derived from hemp. The chemical synthesis process, legal status, benefits, and potential risks are highlighted in this section.

Chemical Synthesis Process

According to medical sources, Delta 8 THC is often synthesized from CBD or Delta 9 and undergoes a meticulous process involving a ring closure reaction. This method sparks concerns about potential exposure to harmful chemicals, urging consumers to scrutinize extraction processes.

>> See differences between Delta 10 and Delta 8

Legal Status

While federally legal, Delta 8 THC resides in a legal gray area at the state level. States such as Florida, however, permit its use without medical authorization, presenting a nuanced legal landscape that demands continuous awareness.

Benefits of Delta 8 THC

Limited research indicates significant relaxation, euphoria, and pain relief associated with Delta 8 THC. Despite its synthetic origins, this cannabinoid offers potential therapeutic benefits with fewer reported adverse effects.

>> Check some of the best Delta 8 Brands

Side Effects & Risks

Though not extensively studied, risks may include sedation, confusion, and dry mouth. It’s crucial to have cautious consideration of these risks.

What Is Delta 9 THC?

Delta 9 THC is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis and holds its own set of characteristics. Information about the chemical synthesis process, legal status, benefits, and risks in this section will paint a comprehensive outline of this cannabinoid.

Chemical Synthesis Process

Delta 9 THC occurs naturally in cannabis and is abundant. Its psychoactive effects stem from interacting with CB1 receptors in the central nervous system, allowing widespread proliferation clustering around leaves and stems.

Legal Status

While Delta 9 THC remains federally illegal, individual states have embraced varying regulations. In Florida, adherence to the 2018 Farm Bill's THC threshold allows for legality.

Benefits of Delta 9 THC

Delta 9 THC shows promise in addressing conditions such as chemotherapy-induced nausea, multiple sclerosis, seizures, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. However, FDA approval remains elusive for specific applications.

>> Check some of the best Delta 9 Gummies in the market

Side Effects & Risks

Research points to potential side effects, including dysphoria, hallucinations, paranoia, sedation, confusion, and dry mouth. These effects highlight the importance of finding a delicate balance between benefits and risks.

Delta 8 vs Delta 9 FAQs

Does Delta 9 Get You Higher Than Delta-8?

Yes, Delta 9 is associated with the "high" feeling. The psychoactive potency of Delta-9 is more than Delta-8, giving a more intense effect on the body.

Should I Buy Delta-8 Or Delta-9?

The choice between Delta 8 vs. Delta 9 depends on individual preferences and tolerance for psychoactive effects. Additionally, knowing the legal status of both substances in and around your residential area is important.

Why Is Delta 9 More Expensive Than Delta-8?

Delta 9 is more expensive than Delta 8 due to production processes, legality, and market demand. Delta 9 is more sought-after and more complicated to produce than Delta 8.


Delta 8 vs Delta 9: Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the Delta 8 vs. Delta 9 comparison reveals distinct potency and psychoactive effects characteristics. While Delta-9 THC offers a more intense high, Delta-8 THC provides a milder experience. Both cannabinoids share similarities as members of the THC family, with differences in their chemical structures and sources. The article explores their properties, benefits, and risks, emphasizing the need for caution due to limited research. As users navigate the cannabinoid landscape, the imperative is to make informed decisions, considering preferences, effects, and legal aspects.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only. The use of THC-containing products should be used only as directed on the label and should not be used if you are pregnant or nursing. It is recommended that individuals consult with their healthcare provider before using any THC-containing products. For use by adults 21+.