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

Before we discuss the difference between Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC, it’s important to look at the definition of THC and the difference between marijuana and cannabis. So, what is THC, and are marijuana and cannabis the same thing?

What Does THC Consist Of?

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health:

People often use the words “cannabis” and “marijuana” interchangeably, but they don’t mean the same thing. The word “cannabis” refers to all products derived from the plant Cannabis sativa. The cannabis plant contains about 540 chemical substances. The word “marijuana” refers to parts of or products from the plant Cannabis sativa that contain substantial amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the substance primarily responsible for the effects of marijuana on a person’s mental state. Some cannabis plants contain very little THC. Under U.S. law, these plants are considered “industrial hemp” rather than marijuana. (NCCIH)

We see that cannabis can either mean marijuana or hemp, and both hemp and marijuana plants contain THC. Research has found two types of THC molecules in hemp and marijuana: Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC.

Also, it is important to note that THC is a cannabinoid, and both hemp and marijuana plants contain more than 100 cannabinoids, including CBD or cannabidiol.

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

What is Delta-9 THC?

Delta-9 THC is regular THC that is extracted from the traditional marijuana plant. It is a potent cannabinoid. Delta-9 THC produces an intense high, elevates the mood, but can also cause anxiety and paranoia. Delta-9 THC is absorbed into the bloodstream rather quickly and can induce euphoria rather quickly after it is ingested or inhaled.

What is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 THC is a minor cannabinoid native to cannabis. It is mainly derived from the hemp plant but can also be extracted from cannabis. It is a psychoactive cannabinoid and is an isomer of Delta-9 THC (regular THC). Delta-8 THC is a degraded form of Delta-9 THC. When Delta-9 THC is stored for long periods, it turns into Delta-8 THC. Delta-8 THC is a slow kicker. When it is ingested or inhaled, it gradually produces a mild high and feelings of relaxation.

How is Delta-8 Different from Delta-9 THC?

Delta-8 THC is less potent and produces fewer psychotropic effects than Delta-9 THC. It produces a much milder and smoother high than Delta-9 THC and at a much slower pace than Delta-9. Also, Delta-8 THC is said to cause much less anxiety and paranoia than Delta-9 THC.

One other big key difference is that Delta-8 THC is mainly extracted from the hemp plant while Delta-9 THC is extracted from the marijuana plant. This is why Delta-8 THC is now legal in 39 states. The Farm Bill from 2018 made it legal to grow hemp or make any cannabis-based products as long as their THC levels remained at 0.3% or less.

Delta-8 THC hasn’t been studied extensively. However, the National Institute of Health has found that Delta-8 THC is not only less potent than Delta-9 THC, but stimulates appetite better than Delta-9, induces less anxiousness, and can be up to 200% more effective as an antiemetic than Delta-9 THC.

Treatment for Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC Addiction

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