How do Delta 8 and Delta 9 compare

By Dharma D8   |   May 11, 2021

Delta 8 vs Delta 9

If you’ve been paying any attention to the cannabis world, you’ve probably noticed that people have been talking a lot about a certain cannabinoid, delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta 8 or D8 THC). However, this has led to some confusion due to the fact that there is another cannabinoid that is far more famous. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta 9 or D9 THC) sounds very similar to D8 THC. This leaves a lot of people asking, how are they different, and what makes them the same? Here at DharmaD8, we are focused on education and wanted to go over this with you. That way, you can know what you’re getting into when giving Delta 8 a try. Let’s dive in.

What do Delta 8 and Delta 9 have in common?

Beginning with the positives, let's look at what these two have in common.

To start with, both Delta 9 and Delta 8 are found in cannabis plants, they are cannabinoids. In case you don’t know what a cannabinoid is, let’s talk about it a little. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that are found exclusively in cannabis plants. They are pretty amazing because they are able to do something pretty much no other compound can do. They can interact with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). This is a group of receptors that are found in the human body. They help your body control certain reactions and functions; two very common ones are appetite and mood. Because cannabinoids can interact with the ECS, they can have an effect on these processes. This means that both D8 THC and Delta 9 can have an effect on these processes. Let’s discuss some of the effects that they both cause. 

There are a few different potential effects that these two cannabinoids appear to have in common. This shouldn’t be too surprising when you consider that they have the same base, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). One of the biggest similar effects is the potential ability to help with pain. This is an area that has been studied a lot with D9 THC. As a result, studies like this one have been produced. The study linked looked at how Delta 9 could help with neuropathic pain, and the researchers found that D9 THC holds a lot of potential to help. There aren’t quite as many studies that have been focused on Delta 8 when it comes to pain, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any. This study, for example, looked at what kind of effect D8 THC could have on pain in mice corneas. The researchers concluded that it could help reduce both pain and inflammation by a fair amount, showing that this cannabinoid holds a lot of potential.

Delta 8 and Delta 9 have more in common, however, these similarities begin to highlight their differences. 

What about them is different?

We now need to take a look at how exactly these two differ. 

Firstly, let's discuss one of their more famous differences, a feeling of euphoria. Both D8 THC and D9 THC cause a feeling of euphoria, but the feelings differ slightly. When Delta 9 interacts with the ECS, it binds with the receptors tightly. This causes the high/feeling of euphoria that is stereotypical for cannabis. Delta 8 also binds with the receptors, but not quite as tightly as D9 THC. This slight difference in hold tightness is enough for the feeling of euphoria that D8 THC causes to be not quite as intense. Not necessarily weaker, just more bodily. This difference is caused by the fact that they have one small difference in how they’re built. You can see the differences in how they’re built through this model of Delta 9 and this model of Delta 8. As you can see, there is a double bond that is in a slightly different location in these two cannabinoids. It’s not a big difference, but Delta 8 can’t bind with the ECS receptors in the same way.

An additional difference is their legal statuses. This is where a lot of people start to get confused. Because there are so many similarities between D8 THC and Delta 9, it can be confusing figuring out which is legal and which isn’t. So, let’s talk about it. To start with, D9 THC is federally illegal. It doesn’t really matter what kind of cannabis plant it’s found in; it is considered federally illegal. But there are a lot of states that have legalized marijuana (a variation of cannabis), and, as a result, Delta 9. 

Through a technicality, Delta 8 is a little different. Back in 2018, one variation of cannabis, hemp, was made federally legal, as were all the cannabinoids found in it. This included D8 THC. While you can find D9 THC in hemp, it has been singled out as a schedule one drug, so it’s still federally illegal. But you should always remember that just because hemp is federally legal doesn’t mean that it’s legal where you live. Each state is able to create its own laws regarding hemp and D8 THC. Plus, these laws can even vary from county to county and from city to city. So, be sure to research your local cannabis laws before trying to buy any Delta 8. Also, remember that laws change. Just because hemp and/or D8 THC are illegal in your state right now, doesn’t mean that it will stay that way.

When it comes down to comparing these two cannabinoids and deciding which one you would like to try, you only have to ask yourself what you would prefer. Delta 9 can be considered the more classic THC, providing a much more intense feeling of euphoria. However, it’s likely illegal in your region. D8 THC, on the other hand, isn’t going to be as intense but is likely to be legal where you live. So, it’s a matter of effect versus availability. If D9 THC is illegal where you live, but Delta 8 isn’t, then your choice is already made. If both of them are legal, then you have some other options to weigh, and you’ll have to make a decision. Hopefully, going over all of this has helped you with that. Read here if you want to learn more about Delta 8 vs Delta 9.

Different kinds of THC products

If you’ve decided on which kind of THC you’d prefer, and want to know about the various THC products available, we've got you covered. There are many different products to pick from. Each has its own benefits and downsides. It can be kind of hard to figure out which one is the right one for you if you don’t know much about them going in. But learning about them can also be a little bit intimidating. To make it a bit easier to swallow, we’re going to break them down into overall categories to help you narrow down your search.


Most people tend to favor these products on account of the fact that they are simply foods and drinks infused with Delta 9 or D8 THC. People love them because a lot of THC products tend to have that distinct cannabis flavor, and edibles do not. While there are many people who enjoy the taste of hemp, there are also a lot of people who would rather avoid it. Edibles are a great way to do that. Another appeal is that it’s easy to keep track of how much Delta 8 or D9 THC you’ve taken. The one downside is that edibles can take up to an hour for you to feel any effects from the THC. That being said, the effects of edibles will last a lot longer than any other product. So, while you have to wait a while to get the Delta 9 or D8 THC into your system, it’ll stick around for a while once it does kick in. Delta 8 gummies are one of the most popular edibles!


Contrastingly, if you’re looking for a more conventional way to use Delta 8 or D9 THC, then you’ll want to give smokables, such as blunts and vapes, a try. You can find pre-rolled joints and all kinds of vape pens out there. Or, if you would prefer, you can also find hemp and marijuana flowers that you can use to roll your own joints. Smokables are loved products because they are easy to use and the effects start working much faster with smokables. This is due to the fact that THC doesn’t have to digest and make its way through your stomach. Once it hits your lungs it is in your system. The one downside is the fact that the effects don’t last quite as long as they would with other products. This means that you have to keep taking hits from the blunt or the vape, unlike edibles that will stay in your system for a while after you eat just one.


However, if you would rather have some flexibility and versatility in your product, then oils and tinctures are a good choice for you. They consist of just the Delta 9 or D8 THC extract, a carrier oil, and maybe another essential oil to give it a kick. These are great because there are several ways in which you can use them. One of the most popular ones is by taking it directly from the dropper in the bottle. That way you just let the oil drop into your mouth, let it sit there for a few seconds, then swallow. The THC starts to absorb through the thin skin in your mouth and then do the rest of the absorption in your stomach.

This is a simple and effective way to get some Delta 8 or D9 THC because it starts working faster than an edible and lasts for longer than if you smoke it. Nevertheless, there are a few other ways that you can use oils. You can use them in your cooking, to make an edible. Vapable oils can be smoked. You can even use it as a topical. If you’re not sure how you want to use THC, then an oil may be the perfect option for you!


Out of all of the Delta 9 and D8 THC products, this is one of the least common categories. Topicals include pretty much anything that you use on the surface of your skin, including lotions, creams, balms, and salves. The reason why these aren’t quite as common is that the THC, whether it’s D8 or D9, can’t enter your bloodstream when rubbed on the skin. Meaning that you don’t get the feeling of euphoria that you get from other products.

However, there is still an appeal to these products. The THC never enters your bloodstream but can absorb through the pores. So, it still may l be able to give you those pain-relieving effects discussed earlier. 

If after reading this you’re still having issues deciding what kind of Delta 8 or Delta 9 product you would like to try, we suggest that you experiment with oils (since they can be used in so many ways). Or you could likewise, try a few different kinds of products, to find the perfect fit for your needs. Bear in mind that each of these cannabinoids affects everyone a bit differently. Just because someone you know experienced a particular effect from D9 THC or D8 THC doesn’t mean that you will, nor does it mean that they will experience all the same effects that you do.

Finally, after knowing more about THC, and you feel you’d like to give some Delta 8 a try, look no further. Here, on the DharmaD8 site, we have all kinds of D8 THC products for you to pick from. From the basic (like whole hemp flowers) to the more complex (like green apple Delta 8 gummies), we have something for just about anyone. Therefore, if you’re over 21 and live in a state that we ship to, you can start your shopping right here. Plus, if you have any other questions about D8 THC, you can reach out to us here. Feel free to contact a DharmaD8 team member on our contact page.


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