Delta-8 vs. Delta-9 THC: What’s The Difference? | Kootenay Botanicals (2023)

Table of Contents

  • What is the Difference Between Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC?
  • What is Delta-9 THC?
  • What is Delta-8 THC?
  • Hemp Plants vs Marijuana Plants
  • Delta-8 THC Legality and History
  • Delta-8 vs CBD
  • The Best THC Cannabis Products
  • Delta-8 vs Delta-9: Which is Better?

You’ve likely heard of Delta-9 THC. But what about Delta-8? Delta-8 recently became more in demand among cannabis connoisseurs due to its similarities to the favoured compound Delta-9.

These two cannabinoids found in cannabis plants might be similar in theory and science, but there are some important differences that every cannabis consumer should know about.

Here’s everything you need to know about the difference between the two compounds as well as where to find the best cannabis products containing these popular cannabinoids.

What is the Difference Between Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC?

Although some of the most common and well-known components of the plant, Delta-8 and Delta-9 are just two of over 140 different cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.

The two compounds are both forms of THC. Both cannabinoids interact with the body in a similar way. They also have similar chemical compounds on a cellular level.

As for what happens when consumed, both cannabinoids bond to the CB1 receptors in the body which causes an interaction with the body’s own endocannabinoid system. Although in-depth scientific research on its interaction with the body is lacking, it’s generally understood that this chemical reaction is what causes feelings of being “high” – otherwise known as psychoactive effects.

The big difference between the two compounds of THC is the placement of their double bond. For Delta-8 it’s on the eighth carbon and for Delta-9, it’s on the ninth. This difference is what causes the diverse potency and effects between the two cannabinoids.

What is Delta-9 THC?

Delta-9 THC is a chemical compound in cannabis. Simply put, it’s the cannabinoid that gets you high.

Delta-9, which is short for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is responsible for those sought-after feelings of euphoria. It’s also what contributes to the relief of symptoms like insomnia. When someone refers to THC found in cannabis, they’re most likely talking about Delta-9 THC.

Delta-8 vs. Delta-9 THC: What’s The Difference? | Kootenay Botanicals (1)

Delta-9 is the primary psychoactive compound that allows you to feel a sense of euphoria when smoking cannabis.

What is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 THC refers to the particular cannabinoid derived from either cannabis or hemp plants. The name is the shortened version of Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The cannabinoid comes from cannabis plants, but like its cousin Delta-9, it is much less potent.

This compound has a lower psychoactive potency and consumers of it are less likely to experience a euphoric high.

To get to these cannabinoids, producers extract CBD from hemp plants before synthesizing the CBD isolate.

Delta-8 Potency and Effects

Even though Delta-8 is less potent than Delta-9, users can still experience a type of “high” when consuming the cannabinoid. For states in the US that don’t allow products with THC, hemp-derived Delta-8 products are a great alternative.

It provides feelings of a gentle, uplighting high. But unlike with Delta-9 products, consumers don’t get an overwhelming feeling of intoxication. The high is much more focused and relaxed.

Many consumers prefer it for its calmer and smoother high – albeit much milder. The high is less of a roller-coaster ride and more of a low-key lazy river.

The Effects of Delta-8

One of the upsides to consuming Delta-8 products rather than Delta-9 are the levelled highs. Products with higher levels of potency can sometimes cause negative effects for consumers. Some negative effects of cannabis products can include paranoia, anxiety, and insomnia.

With it, however, these effects are less of a concern.

Another benefit is that hemp-derived products are often much more affordable for consumers. While less potent than delta-9, it still offers a psychoactive high at a lower price point.

Delta-8 consumers can get many of the same benefits as with consuming Delta-9 – even if it’s derived from hemp plants. Some common effects and benefits of it include

  • Relief of anxiety and insomnia
  • Pain relief
  • Calming feelings
  • Milder high
  • Lower, more subtle high
  • Relief of nausea
  • Increased appetite

Other than these commonly experienced effects, there’s still little research on how it interacts and affects the body compared to other cannabinoids.

Much like Delta-9, Delta-8 can also cause certain negative effects that cannabis consumers are used to. Some of these effects include things like red or dry eyes, anxiety and paranoia (milder forms), and the “munchies”.

Hemp Plants vs Marijuana Plants

Delta-8 can be derived from both hemp plants and marijuana plants while Delta-9 comes exclusively from cannabis.

There are a few differences between the plants that, in turn, affect the two different THC compounds.

Hemp Plants

  • Typically grown indoors
  • THC compounds contain less psychoactive properties
  • Absorbent of solvents and nutrients

Cannabis Plants

  • Typically grown outdoors
  • Contains cannabinoids with psychoactive properties
  • Absorbent of the soil’s nutrients

Both hemp plants and marijuana plants can be grown either organically or with the help of chemicals. Because of this, it’s important to read the fine print before purchasing THC products to make sure there are no potentially harmful chemicals present.

Delta-8 vs. Delta-9 THC: What’s The Difference? | Kootenay Botanicals (2)

Don’t like to read? Here’s an infographic on the differences between hemp and marijuana.

Delta-8 THC Legality and History

As of 2018, Delta-8 became popular in the US thanks to the Farm Bill. The bill made the growing of hemp legal in America. The “Farm Bill” from 2018 labels “Hemp products” as: “All derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent.”

Being derived from hemp plants, this made Delta-8 a popular choice in the US since it existed in a grey area of legality. Products containing it from hemp are found in many dispensaries around the US.

There are, however, still a few states such as Utah and Washington, where it can’t be shipped.

In Canada and other European countries, Delta-8 THC products and other hemp or cannabis products are, of course, legal when purchased through a licenced dispensary.

Will Delta-8 Show On a Drug Test?

We recently talked about drug testing and how to avoid cannabis showing up on a drug test.

When it comes to Delta-8, consumers should be aware that despite the lower potency and psychoactive effects, the compound will still likely show up on a drug test. So, if you know you have a routine drug test coming up, avoid any form of THC products.

Delta-8 vs CBD

While Delta-8 provides a milder, more mellow high than Delta-9, it’s still closer in chemical makeup to THC than to CBD.

It could be a good idea to try CBD products if you’re looking for CBD-specific effects such as:

  • Pain relief
  • Relief of insomnia
  • Offsetting anxiety and depression
  • Effects of calm

CBD products are also a good choice if you’re looking for the alleviation of other specific ailments and symptoms as recommended by a healthcare professional.

The Best THC Cannabis Products

There are some great cannabis products to try that either utilize the benefits and effects of Delta-9 and Delta-8 or combine these components with CBD and other ingredients.

Here are some great products to try:

  • THC:CBD Soft Gels – Made with Delta 8 + Delta 9 THC Distillate and full spectrum hemp extract, this formula brings together a balance of THC + CBD with nourishing, high-quality oils. The soft gels are also available in exclusively THC.
  • Terp Sauce by Straight Goods – With a blend of 60% high-grade solvent-less Delta-9 THC distillate and 40% HTSFE sauce, these cartridges pack a high THC punch, while giving you a smooth cannabis taste and unique psychoactive properties of each strain. Straight Goods Saucy Distillate Cartridges contain only two simple ingredients: High-grade solvent-less Delta-9 THC distillate and HTSFE(sauce). No VG, PG, PEG, MCT or any other diluent.
  • Straight Goods Disposable Vape Pen – 2 GRAM Disposable Vape Pens by Straight Goods Supply Co. Our classic blend of 95% solvent-less Delta-9 THC Distillate and 5% Organic Terpenes is available in 6 new craft flavours.

Delta-8 Vs Delta-9: Which is Better?

When choosing which cannabinoids to consume, consider your desired outcome. If you prefer a milder, even high, Delta-8 could be the perfect choice for you. If you’re looking for a more elevated euphoria high, you might want to seek out some Delta-9.

Whichever type of cannabis products you choose to consume, stick to a reputable source and a trusted cannabis dispensary for all the best cannabis products.


What Is Delta-8?

Difference Between Delta 8 THC And Delta 9 THC

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