Delta 8 THC Vs. Delta 9 THC | What's The Difference?
Individuals all over are seeking out Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC for the numerous benefits they can provide. From recreational to medical, its popularity in an expanse of communities has significantly grown over recent years. However, with all the available information, it can be easy to confuse the different types of THC-based products available now.
So the question is, what's the difference between Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC?
In the following article, we will dive into the fundamental breakdowns of each cannabinoid compound and its associated side effects, benefits, and products available on the market.
Extraction and Definition: Effects of Delta-9 THC
To begin, Delta 8 and 9 might sound like the same thing. But in reality, they have very different effects and potency levels when it comes to their consumption and reaction.
Delta-8 THC (or Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol) is a naturally occurring chemical compound called a cannabinoid, found in small traces within cannabis and hemp plants. Because of where it lands on the biological blockchain and its extensive extraction methods, it causes lesser side effects than its neighbor Delta-9 THC.
Delta-9 THC is a primary psychoactive compound in cannabis plants. Its biological role within the plant is to protect it from the sun's harsh rays and any insect intrusion. Because of human intervention and innovation, more canna plants contain higher levels of THC. This means Delta-9 can be extracted in more significant quantities while still staying in the legal gray areas of today's regulations.
Because Delta-9 THC is a significant cannabinoid found in large quantities within cannabis, its extraction is comparably cheap and somewhat simple to gain successful results.
However, on the other side, Delta-8 THC extraction is a much more rigorous process. Due to Delta-8's compound being a minor cannabinoid, it is being produced naturally in minimal amounts, making the extraction costly and time-consuming.
This means most of the Delta-8 produced today is found and synthesized entirely from CBD using solvents. While this can still be costly and time-consuming, it has made the reality of manufacturing Delta-8 products much more manageable in keeping up with consumer demands. As a result, Delta-8 comes from hemp rather than marijuana, making it more legally acceptable.
Studies and Effects: How Long Does Delta 9 THC Stay In Your System?
The effects of both Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC lie in the varying outcomes they produce, which is typically the major weighing factor for finding the best fit product and potency. Delta-9 THC is considerably more potent than Delta-8; as stated above, consumers even claim it has double the side effects.
The most extensive study on users' experiences with Delta-8 is published in two peer-reviewed papers within, Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research and the Journal of Cannabis Research.
Jessica Kruger, Ph.D., a clinical assistant professor of community health and health behavior in UB's School of Public Health and Health Professions who worked directly on this study, stated:
"Because this is one of the first studies on delta-8-THC and so many states have changed their legislation, we wanted to explore what people felt as they were using it compared to delta-9-THC. We found that people who are utilizing delta-8-THC feel fewer negative side effects, and they are using it in modalities that are safer, like vaping or edibles or using topically,"
Kruger co-authored both papers with Daniel J. Kruger, Ph.D., a research investigator in the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan who also has a tenured affiliation in UB's School of Public Health and Health Professions.
As you can imagine, research on Delta-8 THC is limited, even with the Krugers' work gaining traction as more states push to legalize cannabis for recreational and medicinal use. However, legislation is pumping the brakes on the legalization of Delta-8 THC specifically instead of the other cannabinoids currently marketed. Of the 14 states that have banned delta-8-THC, six allow recreational use of cannabis, 10 allow medical use, and three have decriminalized recreational use.
Daniel Krugar was quoted saying, "It's paradoxical that different states and municipalities are opening up to delta-9, it's becoming more available and increasingly legalized, and yet they're putting the brakes on delta-8, even though it seems to have a better profile in terms of its effects,"
These cannabinoid studies, coupled with countless user feedback of everyday Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC consumers. It is safe to say that Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol is more potent than delta-8 and accounts for most of the THC that occurs naturally in the cannabis plant, making it easy to extract, which is why it is commonly smoked. However, Delta-8-THC is about half as potent and produced far less naturally in large quantities and thus has to be processed from a concentrate. They explain why most people consume it in edibles such as gummies or brownies or by vaping to get those relaxing effects without the psychotropic trip.
Delta-9 THC Legality: Where Is It Legal?
As stated above and through shared knowledge, marijuana is still not legal on a federal level within the United States. With the legality being mainly pushed through by individual states. At the moment, 34 states have legalized THC and hemp-based products for medical or recreational use.
However, there is still a large gray area around these regulations, legalities, and the sale of cannabis and hemp-based products. Delta-9 THC is more affected by this ambiguity because any amount of THC over 0.3% is still considered illegal on a federal level. On the flip side, Delta-8 is still technically legal on a national level because of the vague verbiage passed in the 2018 Farm Bill, legalizing hemp production. Nothing in the bill listed the veto of deriving Delta-8 from hemp and creating products with the compounded outcome. But, because Delta-8 still has a slight psychoactive nature to it. Several bans have popped on state levels. This is what Daniel Kroger, the lead researcher on the above Delta-8 studies, stated as an interesting dichotomy to see, even with backing scientific evidence research.
Where To Buy Delta-9 THC
Suppose you are one of the lucky residents living in a legal state where you can safely buy and consume Delta-9 THC. Then you can easily hop over to a local dispensary or find associated products online through a trusted retailer attached to reputable brands like Serene Tree.
However, the same vast availability for Delta-8 is a slightly different situation. Since it's federally legal, it can be shipped across state lines with no repercussions. Creating more options for consumers and online retailers with Delta-8 infused products. Although, most reputable companies will still not ship to states where Delta-8 is illegal, for obvious reasons of wanting to stay in good standing with their own permits and licensing.
Because the FDA regulations are still so open for both Delta's, you might want to stick with companies with a solid following. For instance, a product you might find at a small gas station probably doesn't have the same quality ingredients as products found through more prominent brands and manufacturing companies.
There are a myriad of Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC products available today that you can buy from stores like ours for a very reasonable price. Everything from Delta-9 THC vapes within open pod systems, all the way to disposable setups. As well as any kind of infused Delta-9 THC gummy that compliments the compound, such as gummies, brownies, oils, tinctures, and so much more. These cannabinoids are even showing up in pre-workout powders, protein shakes, pain-relieving salves, and hydrating lotions.
Conclusions About Delta-9 THC
The choice between Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC ultimately boils down to an individual's personal needs and desires. Everyone is different, and while these two compounds share a handful of similarities, there are still enough considerable differences to set them apart in their own unique categories.
While Delta-9 seems to be the more popular choice in current cannabis communities, Delta-8 has been gaining more speed through its milder effects and convenience in availability and legal status.
If you are new to consuming any cannabis or hemp-based product, always consult a medical professional first. As well as making sure you are purchasing these products through recognizable and trustworthy brands, such as (Insert company shoutouts here).
Keep your eye open for potential retailers who don't have a website with information about their production processes and lab results available to their customers. If they don't have this, it is probably safe to say their products aren't the most quality-based.
(Follow the links below to learn more about Delta-8 and Delta-9 products available at a trusted retailer near you)