Delta 8 THC vs Delta 9 THC: What You Need to Know

Since around 12% of American adults use cannabis products regularly, it makes sense that the industry is trying to find ways to refine and hone the quality of weed tinctures, edibles, and more. A huge part of broadening the products offered is looking into different cannabis strains. Delta 8 THC is one of the strains that experts have found and the public has begun to love.

But what is Delta 8? How is it different from Delta 9, the strain that the weed community already knows and loves?

Here, we’re going to tackle these questions and talk about the pros and cons of each strain. Read on for some insight into which type of cannabis is best for your needs.

The Run-Down on Delta 9 Strains

Tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly known as THC, is the main psychoactive component of a cannabis plant.

Delta 9 is the main type of THC in cannabis that we’ve been consuming since… well, forever. It’s the chemical compound in the cannabis plant that gets your mind high and provides you with that fun, disoriented, and relaxed feeling that you love. People usually talk about THC in contrast with CBD, the part of the cannabis plant that relaxes your body and eases pain without getting you high.

Some of the effects that people enjoy after taking Delta 9 THC include:

  • Euphoria and elation
  • Greater laughter
  • Relaxation (and, ultimately, falling asleep)
  • Memory impairment

These impacts are usually extremely pronounced since Delta 9 is a pretty strong compound. As you might imagine, those who use Delta 9 THC are often very happy with its effects. However, some people find highs to be a bit more intense than they would like and wish that they were able to dull the effects a bit.

The Pros and Cons of Delta 9

There are a huge number of advantages to Delta 9 THC. Some of the main ones include:

  • A short-term mood boost due to feelings of elation and happiness
  • An even greater short-term mood boost because THC leads to laughter and laughter has healing properties
  • Better sleep post-consumption and longer REM cycles
  • Vivid dreams that can be a lot of fun
  • The ability to experience food in a completely different way (yes, it really does taste better)
  • A completely non-addictive way to get high and have fun
  • Stronger bonds with other people who smoke alongside you

All of these are awesome reasons to smoke pot or eat weed edibles. However, they unfortunately come with a lot of side effects that users may not enjoy. Some of these disadvantages are pretty bad, including:

  • The possibility for bad highs (a rare occurrence in which you feel terror and separation rather than elation)
  • Trouble sleeping when you don’t use cannabis and have built up a tolerance to it
  • Quick tolerance buildup that makes 4-5 week breaks from cannabis products necessary so that you can have good highs again after
  • Quite expensive (especially after you’ve built up a tolerance and need to take more to get the same effects)
  • Both short-term and long-term memory loss
  • Weed hangovers that make it difficult to be productive the next day
  • Disorientation and confusion

It’s because of these downsides that people choose to utilize Delta 8 strains. They don’t have nearly as many side effects while still giving you the greatest benefits of pot use. Let’s take a closer look at what Delta 8 THC is.

How Is Delta 8 THC Different?

Scientists tried to discover how THC works and ultimately wound up discovering the human endocannabinoid system. This is a cell-signaling system that’s active within your body even if you aren’t a marijuana user and is responsible for many components of your daily life. These aspects include mood, sleep, memory, appetite, and even fertility.

When they found this system, scientists also found that there was another psychoactive compound of weed in addition to Delta 9: Delta 8.

What Is Delta 8 THC?

Delta 8 not that different from Delta 9, but rather has only a few atomic bonds that are distinct from its counterpart. It binds to a protein in your endocannabinoid system and binds to two CB1 receptors in your brain rather than just one. The binding of the compound to multiple receptors in your brain means that it only will get you half as high as Delta 9 would.

Some people understandably don’t want to invest in cannabis that’s going to get them less high than what they’re used to. However, Delta 8 still offers a pretty potent high, albeit one that’s a little different than the Delta 9 that you currently use.

Some people have noted that Delta 8 gives them the semi-sedative physical sensation that they love without a lot of mental changes. This is different from CBD oil because it makes you feel even more relaxed than CBD would. Some people do take Denta 8 THC to get high with fewer side effects, which is totally possible assuming that you adjust your dosage accordingly.

Benefits and Downsides of Delta 8

Deta 8 THC offers pretty much all of the benefits that Delta 9 does and then some. In addition to the THC advantages that we discussed earlier, some other pros of using Delta 8 include:

  • A sedative effect/better night’s sleep without any possible risk of dependency
  • Fewer memory issues
  • The ability to be productive and get work and household done while you’re high
  • Fewer opportunities for ‘bad highs’ because of fewer psychoactive effects
  • Slower tolerance buildup which ultimately means that you’ll have good highs for longer periods of time and less need for long T-breaks
  • T-breaks of only 7-8 days when they’re absolutely necessary (as opposed to over a month)

Delta 8 also resolves virtually every side effect of Delta 9 THC that we talked about before.

The only real disadvantage of using Delta 8 is that it doesn’t get you as high as Delta 9 does. If you’re smoking pot specifically to get stoned out of your mind, you’ll need to take twice as much Delta 8 to get the same effects. This is a waste of money for those who want intense highs rather than worrying about tolerance buildup and the need for T-breaks. It also can be less fun for some people who like the short-term memory loss that comes with marijuana use.

How Can You Take Delta 8 THC?

Delta 8 THC can be taken in all of the same ways that Delta 9 can. This includes:

  • Fresh flower (smoked in a bowl, hand pipe, or a bong)
  • Pre-rolled or self-rolled blunts that you light up and smoke like a cigarette
  • Vaping via a vape pen
  • Tinctures that you drop on your tongue
  • Ingestible oils that are put into easy-to-take capsules
  • Edibles such as gummies, brownies, infused chocolates, and more

Smoking and vaping tend to present more immediate effects- you’ll find yourself high within just a few minutes of smoking. Some people want to get high without the annoyance of smoking, though, and therefore prefer tinctures, oils, and edibles. These can have delayed reactions of anywhere between 30 minutes and 3 hours, so you’ll need to control your doses accordingly.

Are Both Strains Legal?

At this point, you likely are wondering: is Delta 8 THC legal?

This is actually a much more complex question than it sounds, and you’ll want to click here for all the details on Delta 8 THC regulations. However, we’re going to tackle this question in a basic and easy-to-understand way so that you understand what those in power can actually do about Delta 8 THC use.

Delta 8 and Delta 9 Regulation

As you likely know, Delta 9 regulation is the responsibility of the state in which you live. It’s illegal under federal law unless the state overrules this law. Because of its classification as a Schedule I substance, there’s a pretty hard and fast line that shows that its use is frowned upon by the federal government.

This law has made researching Delta 8 THC a challenge for organizations around the US. Many people simply imagine that it likely is illegal because Delta 9 THC is.

However, it also is clear that some cannabis compounds are 100% legal to use anywhere in the US. CBD, for example, is sold in stores and online to people over 21 all around America. This is presumably because it has no psychoactive properties (much like hemp) and therefore was never made illegal by the US government.

So, what gives?

For a while, nothing. If something isn’t explicitly illegal, then you can’t be prosecuted for it. Unfortunately, however, The DEA updated its list of controlled substances last August to include Delta 8 assuming that it’s derived from Cannabis sativa. If it comes from hemp, then it needs to be legal under the 2018 Farm Act that assisted in the legalization of hemp and CBD.

Even if it is federally illegal, however, individual states that have legalized Delta 9 strains also would classify Delta 8 as a legal substance anyway. You’re completely safe to legally consume Delta 8 in any of these locations. In other states, the waters are still pretty murky, so watch out for any updates in your area.

Delta 8 vs Delta 9 THC: Which Is Right for Your Needs?

Both Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC have their pros and cons, which makes it essential for you to consider your needs and make a decision based on what you want to get from each individual high. Also, remember that there’s no need to choose just one variety of THC- you can take Delta 8 sometimes and Delta 9 at other times. There’s no need to commit to a single variety, just as there’s no reason to commit to always taking edibles rather than smoking.

You may prefer to take Delta 8 when you want to get productive tasks done while high. Since you’ll be able to think clearly and continue to function at maximum capacity, there’s no need to worry about a muddled mind getting in the way of your daily tasks. While we don’t recommend that you take a hit before a day in the office, Delta 8 is definitely the right choice for those with a lot of household chores or independent work-from-home goals.

Delta 8 is also a good choice for those who want stress and anxiety relief without the potential for paranoia. Many people who consume Delta 9 have noted paranoia as a side effect, which can cause more stress until that part of the high wears off. If you use Delta 8, the effects on your mind will be reduced and therefore paranoia will also be.

Delta 9, on the other hand, is good if you want to have a fun, elated, and social high. If you’re with friends, this is definitely the best strain to use since it will get you all slaphappy and ready to have a good time. It has more extreme effects and therefore makes for a really fun night together.

You also may prefer Delta 9 if your primary goal is getting one good night of sleep. If you have a big event the next day and want to ensure that you sleep well so you can bring your A-game, Delta 9 cannabis might be the perfect way to ensure that you do this,

Get the Best Possible High Today

While the Delta 9 strain of THC is tried, true, and awesome, some people find that Delta 8 is a better fit for your needs. If you want to lessen the effects of THC that cause disorientation while still relieving anxiety and boosting focus, Delta 8 is definitely something that you should consider trying.

Check out the ‘wellness’ tab on our home page for more information on when you should use Delta 8 THC vs Delta 9 alternatives. Here, you’ll find articles that discuss various aspects of your lifestyle and overall healthiness so that you can determine which strain is right for you. You can also take a look at our ‘recipes’ section for some ideas on foods that you can turn into marijuana edibles.