The Ins-and-Outs of Delta-8 THC vs Delta-9 THC vs CBD

Delta-8 THC is the hot new cannabinoid on the streets. Closely related to delta-9 THC and cannabidiol (CBD), it provides balanced effects of the two cannabis molecules. 

But ultimately… What’s the difference? And is it even legal?

Before you dive into shopping for delta-8 products, better your knowledge about:

  • What delta-8 THC is
  • How it differs from delta-9 THC
  • How it differs from CBD
  • Its possible benefits and side effects
  • Legality
  • How to consume it

Keep reading for the details.

What is Delta 8?

Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a promising close relative to delta-9 THC. The latter is highly regulated while delta-8 is floating in a gray area thanks to its synthetic origins from hemp. 

Both offer a variety of potential health benefits. But delta-8 is booming in popularity as it is less intense than delta-9 THC when it comes to possible side effects like anxiety, paranoia and sedation. 

How does Delta-8 differ from CBD?

Let’s clear this up: cannabidiol (CBD) is a psychoactive cannabinoid. No, it doesn’t produce a “high” like delta-8 and its big brother delta-9. But the calming effects still are altering your state of mind. 

That aside, both cannabinoids can be consumed for similar medicinal reasons. CBD is available in much higher concentrations.

And when derived from hemp, its legal status is much less muddled than newcomer delta-8. Both can lead to the possible failure of a drug test—CBD lessens the possibility. 

Ultimately, they are inherently connected: labs use a catalyst to transform hemp-derived CBD into delta-8. If feeling high makes you uncomfortable, stay in the lane of CBD-only products.

How does Delta-8 THC differ from Delta-9 THC?

Diving into these two cannabinoids, the “high” and other factors reflect their differences. Delta-8 THC is about half as potent as delta-9 and has a stabler shelf-life. A stable shelf-life lends to future use for medications.

They both may provide ongoing help for nauseous moods, anxious moments, bodily discomfort and lack of appetite. But since higher THC content is prevalent in the United States legal market, delta-9 can be exceptionally uncomfortable for some.

So you can expect a “high.” But if delta-9 mind-altering effects are too sedating or nerve-wracking, delta-8 can be a great alternative. The terpene profile will determine if you have a more relaxed or energetic experience.

Delta-8 can be a great alternative for seniors and children who benefit from the plant. All without being “zooted” out by overwhelming effects. 

Possible Benefits & Side Effects of Delta-8

Possible benefits of delta-8 include:

  • Antiemetic
  • Anxiolytic
  • Appetite stimulation
  • Analgesic
  • Neuroprotectant

These are similar to what delta-9 THC and CBD may also provide medicinally. On the recreational side of consumption, delta-8 can offer a balanced, tolerable high that brings alertness, relaxation and/or euphoria.

Like its siblings, it’s advised that you start low and go slow with use. You can pace yourself and monitor for negative side effects like:

  • Dry mouth
  • Dry eyes
  • Grogginess
  • Drowsiness
  • Anxious thoughts

Yes, hemp-derived delta-8 THC is less potent than the highly regulated substance. But that doesn’t mean to overdo it!

Legality: The DEA Ruling on Delta-8 THC

As of August 2020, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) outlawed delta-8 THC and anticipates adding it to the Schedule I drug list. This has been contested by hemp associations and members of Congress due to hemp’s federal legal status. 

The biggest argument against the DEA ruling is that delta-8 isn’t synthetically made. They outlawed all “synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinol.” But delta-8 does occur naturally in cannabis and hemp—just in smaller amounts. Combatting the language, however, doesn’t protect the questionable nature of delta-8’s legal status.

Fortunately, there is pushback for clarification on hemp regulations. 9 members of Congress sent the DEA a letter requesting revisions. Naturally, hemp industry stakeholders and advocates don’t want to violate federal law. 

The collective feeling is that this “interim final rule” slows the growth of the hemp industry. Over 3300 public comments were submitted by October 20, 2020 for assurance. 

Overall, delta-8 may be derived from hemp. But its legal status is currently in limbo.

Different Ways to Consume Delta-8

Similar to CBD and delta-9 THC products, delta-8 is available as smokable flower, vape cartridges, gummies and highly concentrated extracts for dabbing.


Check Out of Inventory!

Delta-8 THC will continue to grow in popularity as a tolerable substitute for delta-9 THC. It hangs in a gray area of legality, but has a bright future ahead of it. 

Check out our delta-8 products here and let us know what you think! Share this blog post with your thoughts or experiences about it.

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