What Is Delta-8-THC and How Is It Different from Delta-9?

Lately, there is a lot of buzz about cannabis. And no, it is not about someone being arrested for possession. It is the emergent product Delta-8 THC. This a new cannabis product with promising medicinal and health benefits. It is so powerful that some believe that it could surpass CBD in therapeutic popularity.

Delta-8 THC is not abundant in nature, and it is not economically viable to extract it. But chemical synthesis enables scientists to synthesize it into a distillate that can produce Delta-8 THC products. So, if you want to try it but don’t know where to get it, check online or at your local cannabis dispensary, and you can learn about Delta 8 THC.

You must be wondering what’s the difference between Delta-8 THC and the regular THC that you know.

Delta-8 THC vs Delta-9 THC

1. What Is Delta-8-THC?

The cannabis plant has over 100 cannabinoids. Cannabidiol (CBD) and Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) form part of the major cannabinoids. They are more abundant and better understood. Delta-8 THC is a minor cannabinoid. It occurs in trace amounts and is hardly available to offer a significant impact.

The hemp plant does not synthesis Delta-8 THC. Instead, it occurs as a result of the oxidization of Delta-9 THC. Delta-9 THC is highly unstable and, when exposed to heat, oxidizes to Delta-8 THC.

In ordinary conversation, when you hear the term THC, it only refers to Delta-9 THC and not the entire tetrahydrocannabinol group. This is because it is the main form of tetrahydrocannabinol in the plant. Delta-9 THC and Delta-8 THC are analogues, molecules with similar structures but subtle differences.

The only chemical difference between the two compounds is the positioning of a double chemical bond. Both have molecular chains with double bonds, but the double bond occurs on the 8th chain in Delta-8 THC and on the 9th chain in Delta-9 THC. While this may not seem like a significant difference, it affects how the two compounds interact with the endocannabinoid system. The results are noticeable differences that set the two apart in terms of functionality.

2. How Do You Get Delta-8-THC?

You must be wondering how Delta-8 THC is synthesized since it occurs in trace amounts. What you’ll get when you order Delta-8 THC is CBD flower sprayed with Delta-8 THC distillate. That is how rare this compound is!

When you look at Delta-8 THC’s properties, it appears to be more of a blend between CBD and Delta-8THC. It combines the psychoactive and medicinal properties of Delta-8 THC with those of CBD, resulting in a potent medicinal mixture.

3. Differences between Delta-8 THC and Delta-8 THC

Delta-8 THC differs from Delta-9 THC in many ways. As noted before, the two have slightly different chemical structures. The double bond placement on Delta-9 THC makes it less stable and easily oxidizes to the more stable Delta-8 THC or cannabinol (CBN). This instability is what makes Delta-9 THC less desirable as a medicinal product. Since Delta-8 THC is more stable, it offers better medicinal potential.

Both Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC have psychoactive properties and can induce psychotropic effects. The difference, though, is that Delta-8 THC gives a mild high. Studies on the two potencies show that Delta-8 THC is only 50% to 70% as potent as Delta-9 THC.

The difference in potency levels gives Delta-8 THC a medicinal advantage over Delta-9 THC. The latter has an intense psychotropic with fogginess, paranoia, anxiety, and even psychosis. These side effects do not accompany a Delta-8 THC high. Its users report that it leaves them clear-headed without anxiety.

Delta-8 THC may be ideal for people who want to benefit from the psychotropic effects of THC but remain active, creative, coherent, and functional.

Delta-8 THC also has numerous medicinal and health benefits with greater strength than Delta-9 THC. It has antiemetic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, anxiolytic, and neuroprotective properties. Research shows that it also binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors, while Delta-9 THC has a high affinity for CB1 receptors. Scientists believe that this difference gives Delta-8 THC a wider therapeutic window and makes its medicinal properties stronger. CB1 receptors mediate most of THC’s psychotropic effects while CB2 receptors modulate appetite, mood, pain sensation, etc.

1. Is Delta-8 THC Legal?

Another critical difference between the two products is their legal status. CBD products are legal, and so are any other hemp-derived products with a THC level below 0.03%. Since commercial Delta-8 THC comes from hemp, it is legal as per the 2018 Farm Bill.

Marijuana products, as opposed to hemp, are illegal. The FDA classifies Delta-9 THC as a marijuana product, making it illegal. Of course, the legality of these products may differ within states and in other countries.


There is still a lot unknown about Delta-8 THC because it is a minor cannabinoid. Scientists are only starting to give it attention. Even though it shows great therapeutic potential, you should take caution if you decide to try it.

Most of the evidence for its benefits is based on animal studies. While Delta-8 THC has no known significant side effects and scientists consider it relatively safe, animal studies show that it can raise blood pressure and increase heart rate.

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