Delta 8 THC VS Delta 9 THC: What’s The Difference And Risks?

The Cannabis Sativa plant has given rise to various cannabinoids, such as delta 8 THC and delta 9 THC. Cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant are rich in medicinal properties and give their users a high. Over 22.2 million people use THC products every month for pain relief. Many marijuana consumers want to know the benefits of delta 8 vs. delta 9 to invest in products that suit their needs.

Millions of people use delta 8 and delta 9 products every month.

What is Delta 8 THC?

Delta 8 THC is a naturally occurring cannabinoid that is derived from the cannabis plant. Vaping delta 8 THC can prevent its users from inhaling potentially harmful chemicals, such as nicotine and lead, into the body. It is one of the hundred cannabinoids extracted from the cannabis plant that is used for pain relief and reducing anxiety.

Delta 8 vape juices can make you feel calm.

Many people prefer delta 8 THC over delta 9 THC for its mild intoxicating effects. Hemp-derived products that contain delta 8 THC are widely available in supermarkets, medical marijuana dispensaries, and online stores due to the substance being legal at a federal level in the U.S.

The cannabis industry is thriving on delta 8 THC products that can be used to treat chronic pain. Most farmers in the U.S. are growing hemp plants in an attempt to meet the growing demands of medical cannabis users. Cannabis research has indicated that delta 8 THC products have been integral to community health, compared to other cannabinoids, such as delta 9 THC.


How is Delta 8 THC extracted?

As a tricyclic terpenoid, delta 8 THC has a double-bond in its molecular structure. The double-bond is located at the eighth carbon atom in delta 8 THC, making it more stable than delta 9 THC. Marijuana plants are cultivated in mass to manufacture various cannabis products for medical use and recreational use. The earliest extraction method of delta 8 THC was patented by Leonard Sarna, Raphael Mechoulam, and G.R. Webster.


Structure of delta 8 THC molecule in 3D.

Isomerization process

Isomerization is the most common extraction process used to derive delta 8 THC in the cannabis market. The chemical synthesis process involved in the making of delta 8 THC can be explained in 5 simple steps.

Step 1: Dissolve CBD into an organic solvent

Cannabidiol or CBD is abundantly found in hemp. In order to convert CBD into delta 8 THC, you need to dissolve CBD into an organic solvent, such as heptane. The non-polar solvent heptane is an alkane that creates fewer byproducts.

Step 2: Add acids and stir

Once the CBD has been dissolved into a solvent, you can add acids to the mixture. P-toluene sulfonic acid, alumina acid, and hydrochloric acid are regularly used in the isomerization process. It is recommended to use a stirrer hot plate for this step and to maintain a temperature of 100 degrees Celsius for over 18 hours.

Step 3: Try different combinations of acids and solvents

There isn’t just one chemical reaction that converts CBD into delta 8 THC. You can use a bunch of different solvents with acids to achieve different results. The patented method of isomerization, prescribed by Leonard Sarna, Raphael Mechoulam, and G.R. Webster, suggests mixing hydrochloric acid in ethanol for optimum results. You can also try mixing sulfuric acid in cyclohexane.

The right combination of mixtures can take upwards of 18 hours. These chemical reactions can lead to several byproducts and residues that have to be separated and cleaned up.

Step 4: Wash and Dry

After the solvents and acids are sufficiently heated, the upper phase can be separated. You can neutralize the chemical solution and wash the equipment using an aqueous 5% NaHCO3 or sodium bicarbonate for best results.


Step 5: Test the procured product in a laboratory

You can use high-performance liquid chromatography (HPCL) to separate the converted mixture into various cannabinoids. Since converting CBD into delta 8 THC can leave some room for error, it is always good to test the cannabis products to confirm their purity.

How does Delta 8 THC work?

Delta 8 THC is a minor cannabinoid that has a vast number of health benefits. Hemp producers derive minor cannabinoids, such as delta 8 THC, for their therapeutic benefits that include improving the sleep quality of cannabis consumers.

Delta 8 THC has a number of therapuetic benefits.

The cannabinoid delta 8 THC occurs naturally and is known for its psychoactive effects. Delta 8 THC works by activating the CB1 and CB2 receptors and directly impacting the central nervous system. CB1 and CB2 are the same receptors that are responsible for regulating your appetite and mood.

The recreational use of delta 8 THC provides a mild high to its consumers, comparable to delta 9 THC. However, taking in excess amounts of the two cannabinoids, delta 8 THC and delta 9 THC, can be injurious. It may also be harmful to public health, behavior, and safety. Regular cannabis use may also require you to take higher doses to feel its experiential benefits.


Is Delta 8 THC legal?

The 2018 Farm Bill has paved the way for legalized hemp production. The chemical structure of delta 8 THC is different from that of delta 9 THC, making it federally legal in the U.S. The chemical difference between the two cannabinoids delta 8 THC and delta 9 THC is the reason why delta 8 is legal on a federal level.

Cannabinoids, such as delta 9 THC and other chemicals, have higher than 0.3% THC content, restricting the sale of delta 9 products by federal law. Delta 8 THC is not a controlled substance. You can buy products that contain delta 8 THC at any time from cannabis dispensaries, gas stations, and convenience stores.


About two-thirds of the American population is of the opinion that marijuana should be legalized. The production process of marijuana makes it fairly simple for farmers to cultivate cannabis. Legalizing marijuana can lead to reduced risk for the public health and consumers of cannabis.

A standard drug test can detect molecules of delta 8 in your body. Unlike hemp-derived CBD, the broad range of delta 8 products can display a positive result on drug tests.

What are the benefits of Delta 8 THC?

Delta 8 has an array of health benefits that make cannabis products highly sought after. A medical professional may suggest the use of delta 8 products to treat several medical conditions. The effects of delta 8 can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours to be felt. Oral and intravenous administration can bring about the effects of delta 8 faster.

Vaping delta 8 THC can help its users feel its effects immediately.

Medical authorization may be required for using delta 8 products in some states in the U.S. These products are typically manufactured along with CBD and delta 9 THC to enhance the medicinal properties of cannabis.

Here are a few benefits of using delta 8.

1. Delta 8 provides an intoxicating effect.

Delta 8 is a psychoactive substance derived from hemp. Molecules of delta 8 react with CB receptors in the central nervous system to give its users a mildly intoxicating effect. The high you feel from delta 8 is less potent than delta 9 and delta 10 THC.

The constant use of delta 8 products does not raise any safety concerns as the intoxication can be managed throughout the day. The reduced potency of delta 8 helps people stay focused on their duties without getting in the way of their cognitive abilities. It also prevents impaired motor skills that can be observed with cannabis strains of higher potency.

2. Delta 8 can relieve your pain.

Delta 8 is used in vape pens and tinctures to alleviate pain. It is commonly smoked as a dry herb to experience its pain-relieving effects within minutes. Millions of people use delta 8 products to manage their pain while treating multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease.


A medical survey included a total of 14 people to understand the use of delta 8 better. Most participants in the survey concluded that they use delta 8 to treat anxiety and panic attacks. 41% of survey participants claimed that delta 8 helped them manage their chronic pain.

The empirical evidence from the survey suggested that delta 8 users experienced fewer adverse effects compared to delta 9 THC. However, more research has to be conducted to verify the claims of adverse effects from delta 8 on its consumers.


3. Delta 8 can improve cognitive functions.

Delta 8 can help protect your brain against neurodegenerative disorders. The neuroprotective properties of delta 8 can regulate minerals, such as calcium and potassium. These minerals play a vital role in improving the functions of your central nervous system and your brain.


Products that contain delta 8 are highly effective in treating Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. The production of newly formed neurons can be increased with the regular use of delta 8.


4. Delta 8 can provide sound sleep.

Sleep is essential for living a healthy life. Many cannabis users apply CBD oils with delta 8 to get better sleep. Delta 8 is a cannabinoid that can help people get longer hours of sleep. Physicians may also recommend using delta 8 to treat sleeplessness and disturbed sleep.


5. Delta 8 can support your digestive system.

A majority of the effects from delta 8 products can be felt in the digestive tract of your body. Delta 8 can stimulate your appetite better than delta 9 THC. Products that contain delta 8 are used by people to prevent eating disorders and to fight obesity.

Cannabis users have claimed that delta 8 products have also helped them avoid vomiting. Delta 8 can also decrease nausea in people.

What are the side effects of using Delta 8 THC?

There are various side effects associated with the long-term use of delta 8. Many THC products that are on the shelves of retail stores are not regulated, causing concern over the safety of their use.

The risks involved in using delta 8 can include –

  • Dry mouth
  • Red eyes
  • Increased heart rate
  • Memory loss
  • Inability to coordinate movements
  • Drowsiness


What is Delta 9 THC?

Delta 9 THC is a cannabinoid that is found naturally in cannabis plants. It is primarily responsible for giving cannabis consumers a strong intoxicating effect. The psychoactive substance can be found in various vape juices and edibles that make it flavorful to taste and enjoy.

Structure of delta 9 THC molecule in 3D.

A small dose of delta 9 THC can be adequate to induce visuals along with a relaxing effect for its users. Delta 9 THC is prescribed by physicians for treating glaucoma, anxiety, and nausea. Similar to delta 8, delta 9 THC has a double-bond in its molecular structure. The double-bond can be found on the ninth carbon atom in delta 9 THC compounds.

The chemical structure of delta 9 THC makes it a lipophilic molecule. It can easily be dissolved in oils, fats, and lipids. However, delta 9 THC is less soluble in water.


How is Delta 9 THC extracted?

Delta 9 THC is extracted from cannabis using a process called decarboxylation. Thousands of cannabis brands use the decarboxylation method to derive pure delta 9 THC from hemp.

Here’s a step-by-step guide for extracting delta 9 THC.

Decarboxylation process

Step 1: Extract THC-A from cannabis

The first step of the decarboxylation process involves collecting THC-A or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid from hemp. Cannabis flowers are added to a non-polar solvent that is organic, such as pentane, hexane, or heptane. The mixture is filtered over Celite to remove plant material.


Step 2: Convert THC-A to THC-metal salt

The non-polar solvent is separated from the base with the help of a neutral metal salt. The addition of a neutral metal salt separates the oily layer from the primary extracts of cannabis flowers, leaving behind an aqueous layer.

The same process is further carried out using a non-polar solvent, such as ether. The non-polar solvent and water are removed from the process, providing a higher yield of THC-A from the cannabis flowers.


Step 3: Add THC-A into an alcohol

THC-A is added to a solvent, such as alcohol to achieve decarboxylation at lower temperatures. Ethanol, propyl alcohol, or butyl alcohol are the most suited solvents for this step. The alcohol is heated to 100 degrees Celsius or less for about 60 minutes.

Once the alcohol is sufficiently heated, the non-polar solvent is removed by vacuum pressure application. The resulting material that is harvested from the decarboxylation process produces high-quality THC. The final product is kept away from accidental exposure to oxygen to maintain its potency.


How does Delta 9 THC work?

Delta 9 works on the endocannabinoid system of the body. It interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors to increase serotonin levels, the hormone that is responsible for regulating your mood and appetite. The chemical activates these receptors to create an intoxicating effect that calms the mind and relaxes the body.

E-liquids that contain delta 9 can provide a stronger high than delta 8.

Is Delta 9 THC legal?

Delta 9 is considered federally illegal throughout most of the U.S. The sale of delta 9 products is not protected by the 2018 Farm Bill since it has a THC content of over 0.3%. THC is the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. Unlike delta 8, any product that contains delta 9 THC is considered a Schedule 1 drug.

Although delta 9 is a controlled substance, most states in the U.S. allow the use of delta 9 products for recreation and medicinal purposes. These states include –

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington


What are the benefits of Delta 9 THC?

Delta 9 has a plethora of benefits that can be used to improve your physical and mental health.

Vaping delta 9 can stimulate your mood.

1. Delta 9 has anti-inflammatory properties.

One of the most beneficial uses of delta 9 is to reduce inflammation in the body. It is a cannabinoid that is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Many cannabis consumers use delta 9 products to treat joint pains, muscle aches, and swelling in the body.


Cannabis products containing delta 9 are preferred by millions of people over pharmaceutical drugs. Topical creams that are rich in delta 9 are highly effective in reducing inflammation for people suffering from severe medical conditions, such as multiple sclerosis and cancer.


2. Delta 9 is used as an antidepressant.

A large portion of the population that consumes cannabis use it to treat depression. The stress from daily routine and societal pressure can dull the mind. Delta 9 is a chemical that can do wonders to stimulate your mood.

A small amount of delta 9 can reduce depression, irritability, aggression, and anxiety in people. Ingesting delta 9 edibles and vaping e-juices that contain the cannabinoid can eliminate mental fatigue.


3. Delta 9 can be used as an anti-neurotic.

Cannabis lovers use delta 9 to treat symptoms of neurotic disorders, such as nausea and vomiting. The anti-neurotic properties of delta 9 have been recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Delta 9 has also been approved by the FDA to treat nausea in people undergoing chemotherapy.


What are the side effects of using Delta 9 THC?

There are several risks involved in using delta 9 that may affect its users. The negative effects associated with the regular dosage of delta 9 may include –

  • Feelings of sedation
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased anxiety
  • Paranoia


Delta 8 Vs. Delta 9

The chemical structure of delta 8 and delta 9 are almost identical. Despite being similar in composition, there are various differences between delta 8 and delta 9. From the effects of consuming the cannabinoid to its availability, legality, and potency per dose, these distinct differences can help cannabis users choose the products that enhance their experience.


Delta 8 Vs. Delta 9: Effects

The intoxicating effects of delta 8 are milder compared to delta 9. The psychoactive substance is twice as strong in delta 9 and can give its users longer-lasting visuals and feelings of euphoria. It might take more time for the effects of delta 8 to be felt in its users than delta 9.

Delta 8 and delta 9 gummies can make you smile.

The molecules of delta 9 can be absorbed faster into the endocannabinoid system than delta 8. Cannabis consumers who rely on an immediate effect from their vape devices can purchase delta 9 products. People who enjoy a slower effect of intoxication can choose delta 8 products for their recreational purposes.

Delta 8 Vs. Delta 9: Availability

Both the cannabinoids, delta 8 and delta 9, are derived from cannabis. However, delta 8 is present in higher concentrations in cannabis plants than delta 9, making it slightly easier to harvest. Delta 8 products are also legal on a federal level. People can freely ship delta 8 products across most states in the U.S.

Delta 8 Vs. Delta 9: Legality

Delta 8 contains less than 0.3% of THC, making it legal in 38 states in the U.S. Delta 9 THC, on the other hand, is considered federally illegal throughout the U.S. However, delta 9 products can be used for recreational and medicinal uses in 16 states in the U.S.

Delta 8 Vs. Delta 9: Potency

Delta 9 THC is much more potent compared to delta 8. It may take less than 30 mg of delta 9 per dose to feel its effects. If you’re a regular consumer of cannabis, it might take more than 45 mg per dose to start feeling high.

Delta 8 Vs. Delta 9: Drug Test

A standard drug test can easily detect delta 8 and delta 9 molecules, providing a positive result. If you’re going to take a drug test, it is recommended to avoid using products with both of these cannabinoids to be safe.


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