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Delta 8 vs. Delta 9: What's the Difference?

There’s a reason why roughly thirty-six million individuals regularly smoke cannabis. Thanks to legalization efforts, more people are discovering the benefits that come with the substance every day.

However, despite the popularity, there are still a lot of areas of confusion for new users. One such area is the difference between Delta 8 vs. Delta 9 THC.

Though these two cannabinoids are similar in many ways, there are important distinctions that users should know about. So, to help you out, we’ve put together this article.

In it, we’ll go over all of the differences between the two substances. That way, you can decide which one is right for you.

Molecular Structure Difference

Before we dive into the molecular differences between Delta 8 and Delta 9, we need to know about cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds found in a cannabis plant.

They include hundreds of different compounds, but some of the popular ones include things like CBD, CBG, CBN, and these two types of THC: Delta 9 and Delta 8.

Now, the molecular structure of the cannabinoid is important because it determines how it interacts with the receptors in our nervous system. At first glance, the molecular structures of Delta 8 and Delta 9 are essentially the same.

But there is a crucial difference. Delta 8 has a carbon bond on the eighth chain of its molecular structure. Delta 9, on the other hand, has a double bond on the ninth chain of its molecular structure.

Now, exactly how much of a change can the placement of one double bond have? Well, as we’ll see in the next section, it can have a significant impact on the effects you feel.

Effects Difference

If you’ve ever smoked or used cannabis products, then you’ve probably encountered Delta 9 THC. Growers will typically breed strains of cannabis with a high amount of Delta 9. Why?

Because it’s the component in weed that produces a euphoric, high feeling. That being said, the effects of Delta 9 aren’t always positive. They can often be intense and uncomfortable for new users.

People also report side effects from using Delta 9, like paranoia, mental fog, anxiety, and motor skill impairment. These negative feelings can often lead people to have a bad initial experience with cannabis.

So, what's the difference between Delta-8 vs Delta-9 effects? Delta 8, because of its double bond placement, has a different effect. You can think of it as diet Delta 9 THC.

Delta 8 provides some of the high feelings that come with Delta 9, but much less potently. Many people report more mental clarity when taking it and fewer anxious feelings.

Delta 8 also works more slowly and longer than Delta 9. With Delta 9, people usually feel the effects quickly.

Extraction Difference

Delta 9 is typically found in high concentrations in many cannabis plants. So, extraction is fairly straightforward and cheap. Delta 8, on the other hand, comes in extremely low concentrations in hemp plants.

So, what typically happens is CBD is chemically altered using solvents to become Delta 8 THC. This conversion process is expensive. So, Delta 8 products tend to be a little more expensive than traditional Delta 9 ones.

Product Difference

For the most part, the products between Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC are similar. These days, growers have found a way to breed hemp plants with high concentrations of Delta 8.

So, it’s possible to enjoy flowers, just like traditional Delta 9 flowers. You can also find them in products like:

  • Vape pens
  • Edibles
  • Drinks
  • Tinctures
  • Capsules
  • Topicals

However, you’re more likely to find Delta 8 products in products like tinctures and vape pens.

That’s just because it’s easiest to extract the Delta 8 this way. Check out this resource if you want some Delta 8 instructions for how to use a vape pen.

Legality Difference

While cannabis is becoming increasingly legal on a state level, it remains illegal federally. So, where does that leave Delta 8 in the Delta-8 vs Delta-9 debate? To find out, we’ll need to consult the Hemp Farming Act of 2018.

This bill states that its legal to grow hemp plants and products as long as it contains less than 0.3% of Delta 9 THC. It’s part of the reason CBD products are legal across most parts of the country.

Well, the same goes for Delta 8 THC. Since the cannabinoid isn’t technically Delta 9 THC, it falls into a bit of a grey zone. So, at a federal level, Delta 8 is legal. That being said, fifteen states have placed restrictions on Delta 8 THC products.

And, six more have legal action pending. So, you should make sure to check your local state laws first to find out if it’s legal to use where you live.

Dosage Difference

Because Delta 8 is not as potent as Delta 9 THC you can usually start with a little more in terms of dosage. We recommend starting at ten milligrams for newcomers and sixty milligrams if you have a bit of a tolerance.

From there you can increase your dose by ten milligrams every week until you find a dosage that works for you. If you’re trying Delta 9 THC, start with a lower dosage.

Five milligrams for newcomers and thirty milligrams for more experienced users are good benchmarks. From there you can increase your dose by five milligrams every week until you find one that works for you.

Enjoy Learning About Delta 8 vs. Delta 9? Keep Reading

We hope this article helped you learn about the difference between Delta 8 vs. Delta 9 THC. At the end of the day, the right option for you depends on the type of experience you want out of your cannabis product. However, if you’re a newcomer, you can’t go wrong with Delta 8 as a starter to see if you like the experience.

Did you love this article? If the answer is yes, then odds are that you want more like it. Luckily, we’re always adding new content to our site. So, continue diving in to learn everything you can about a diverse range of subjects.

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