Blog | Delta THC

Delta 8 VS Delta 9: What’s the Difference Between This THC?

The legal hemp industry is booming. And with this boom, products made with other cannabinoids aside from CBD have become all the rage.

While Delta 9 THC remains the most popular cannabinoid, Delta 8 THC is making a solid name for itself.

What is Delta 8 THC, though? And how is it different from Delta 9 THC?

That’s exactly what we’ll look at here.

At Nature and Bloom, we want your cannabis experience to be the best it can be, whether you prefer mild psychoactive effects or a super potent high.

Keep reading to discover the differences between Delta 8 vs Delta 9, including their effects, potential benefits, risks and legal status under state and federal law.

D8 VS D9

Key Takeaways

  • Delta 8 and Delta 9 are both naturally occurring cannabinoids in the cannabis plant and contain a similar chemical structure.
  • Delta 8 THC is considered a minor cannabinoid, as it only occurs in trace amounts in both hemp and marijuana plants.
  • When derived from hemp plants, both Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC are legal at the federal level as long as products contain less than 0.3% THC on a dry-weight basis.
  • Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC contain similar effects, although Delta 8 THC is typically reported to contain more mild psychoactive effects.

What Is Delta 8?

Delta 8 is what’s considered a minor cannabinoid found in the Cannabis sativa plant, as it only occurs in very small amounts. Delta 9 THC, on the other hand, is the most commonly occurring cannabinoid in and is considered a major cannabinoid.

Like Delta 9 THC, Delta 8 produces intoxicating effects but the high is much more mild. This is why D8 has become a popular option for consumers seeking a more mild experience compared to traditional THC.

Like many other novel cannabinoids, there’s limited research on Delta 8, meaning potential risks, adverse effects and safety concerns aren’t yet completely understood.

That said, consuming Delta 8 products might have fewer adverse effects (think paranoia, anxiety, etc.) compared to stronger cannabinoids like Delta 9 THC.

Delta 8 is THC isomer with a very similar structure to Delta 9.

Both contain a double bond in their molecular chain, but the chemical difference is that Delta 8 THC has a bond in the eighth carbon atom and Delta 9 THC has a bond in the ninth.

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Perhaps the biggest benefit of Delta 8 is that the intoxicating effects are more mild than D9.

While research is limited, D8 contains some potential benefits, many of which are associated with Delta 9 THC. 

Like Delta 9 THC, Delta 8 may relieve stress, increase appetite, and provide uplifting effects.

Because of its interaction with cannabinoid receptors throughout the human body, Delta 8 THC may contain potential therapeutic effects and health benefits such as pain relief and inflammation. 

That said, more research is necessary to fully understand if it contains potential health benefits.


It’s important to note that there may be potential risks associated with D8, as it hasn’t been studied extensively and the FDA hasn’t evaluated or approved any Delta 8 THC products.

Considering it has some of the same effects as Delta 9, Delta 8 THC may contain adverse effects such as increased heart rate, anxiety, paranoia, dizziness and dry mouth.

Because Delta 8 THC is typically created in a chemical conversion process, it’s considered one of the semi synthetic cannabinoids.

This means D8 products may contain potential risks associated with harmful chemicals or contaminants product might contain, including chemicals used during the manufacturing or extraction process.

When purchasing Delta 8 THC or any cannabis products, we can’t stress how important it is to make sure your hemp derived products have been third party lab tested. 

Remember, the CBD market is highly unregulated and third-party lab testing is the only way to guarantee your products are safe.

Also important to keep in mind is that long-term consequences of consuming delta-8 THC haven’t been determined.

What Is Delta 9?

Delta 9 THC is the most famous cannabinoid that exists in cannabis.

Found predominantly in marijuana plants in high concentrations, Delta 9 THC is the main compound responsible for the plant’s intoxicating effects.

While D9 THC from marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, D9 THC found in concentrations less than 0.3% in hemp plants is considered federally legal.


Delta 9 THC contains an array of potential health benefits and is used extensively in states that have passed medical cannabis laws.

Some of these possible health effects include pain relief, decreased nausea and vomiting, support for insomnia and neurodegenerative disorders such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

Because of its vast array of possible benefits, D9 THC could offer potential medical benefits to those interested in consuming cannabis for medical use.

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While D9 is full of potential benefits, it’s not without its risks.

Some of the risks associated with the popular cannabinoids include anxiety, paranoia, increased heart rate, panic, altered perception and more.

When using cannabis products with D9 THC, it’s always advised to start with the lowest dose possible and work your way up until you experience the desired effects.

The adverse effects associated with D9 are typically experienced when taking high doses.

That said, cannabis affects everyone differently. If you’re new to cannabis, we recommend avoiding high doses so you don’t have a bad experience.

Differences and Similarities of D8 THC and Delta 9

Delta 8 and Delta 9 are both cannabinoids naturally occurring in the cannabis plant that interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) and influence the central nervous system.

For as many similarities they share, they also contain several key differences.

The cannabinoids both have similar chemical structures, but that double bond difference in the carbon chain makes a huge difference in their potency and effects.

Delta 8 THC contains a much more mellow high compared to D9, with most consumers reporting it’s about half as strong.

D9, on the other hand, can offer the intense, euphoric high that cannabis is famous for.

Despite their differences in chemical composition and potency, D8 and D9 THC share some similarities.

Both influence CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, which may lend to a variety of therapeutic effects and help support several medical conditions.


The legal status of both D8 and D9 can get a bit tricky.

The legality of Delta 8 THC has been widely debated on both the federal and state level. While it’s considered federally legal, it’s currently banned in 21 states.

The federal government’s stance on Delta 8 THC is a bit complex. While delta 8 THC in its natural form is technically legal, according to the DEA it’s considered illegal when produced artificially.

Because cannabis laws are constantly changing, it’s always advised to check with local, state and federal laws before consuming Delta 8 THC, D9 THC and any cannabis products that contain THC or THC isomers.

CBD products, including full spectrum, broad spectrum and CBD isolate remain legal at the federal level as long as they’re derived from hemp.

As of May 2023, the following states have banned Delta 8 THC:

  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Idaho 
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • New York
  • Nevada
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • South Carolina
  • Utah
  • Vermont

Keep in mind the legal status of delta 8 THC and delta 9 THC can vary from state to state and can change at any time.

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Delta 8 THC VS Delta 9 THC Production Methods

Remember both Delta THC and Delta 9 THC occur naturally in cannabis plants.

That said, Delta 8 is usually produced synthetically from CBD extracted from legal hemp. Regardless, Delta 8 THC still contains a similar chemical and molecular structure to Delta 9 THC.

Delta 9 THC is different. It’s found abundantly in marijuana plants, and doesn’t require any synthetic conversion.

That said, D9 THC can be extracted from marijuana plants, while delta 8 is produced in a complex synthetic conversion process.

The production of Delta 8 THC compared to D9 THC is vastly different, and often involves the used of potentially harmful chemicals.

Delta 9 is considered natural, while Delta 8 THC is known as a semi-synthetic cannabinoid. D9 is typically more cost-effective, while Delta 8 THC requires an extraction process that involves chemical solvents that are added to hemp-derived CBD in a complex conversion process.

Solvents used to create Delta 8 THC are typically butane, ethanol or CO2, all of which are widely used in various extraction methods by hemp producers.

To be considered legal, Delta 8 THC must be extracted from hemp.

D9, on the other hand, is usually extracted from marijuana plants that are naturally abundant in the psychoactive cannabinoid. Like Delta 8, butane, ethanol and CO2 are solvents commonly used in the production process to extract D9 THC.

Delta 9 THC products extracted from marijuana are not legal federally. Hemp products in the legal cannabis industry must have a concentration of less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC to be considered legal at the federal level.

Any D9 THC products extracted from marijuana are only legal in states that have established medical marijuana laws.

Wrapping Up

D8 and D9 THC are two cannabinoids naturally found in cannabis plants that share many similarities. They both influence the central nervous system because of the way they interact with the ECS.

That said, each contains their own unique differences. Especially when it comes to chemical structure, effects and legality.

Delta 8 is legal federally, as long as it’s extracted from hemp. It can be easily purchased from online retailers. Keep in mind that states still have the authority to ban any cannabinoids they deem pose a risk to public health.

Delta 9 remains federally illegal and is only available at cannabis dispensaries in states with recreational or medical marijuana laws. D9 is legal federally as long as it’s derived from hemp and products contain less than 0.3% D9 THC on a dry weight basis.

When utilized correctly, both compounds offer many potential medical benefits ranging from chronic pain relief, increased appetite and relaxation.

That being said, it’s important to ensure your products are safe by insisting on only purchasing products that have been third party tested by an independent lab.

As cannabis laws continue to evolve, individuals interested in cannabis consumption need to make sure they’re compliant with local and state regulations.

Taking D8 or D9 products across state lines, for example, could be considered illegal, which is why we always advise to know the laws before consuming or traveling with any cannabis products.

At the end of the day, the most important thing is to enjoy your experience with cannabis products, whether consuming Delta 8, D9 or something in between.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Delta 8 or Delta 9 get you higher?

D9 THC contains a more intense psychoactive effect compared to Delta 8. According to most consumers, Delta 8 is about half as potent. People typically report feeling less anxious with Delta 8 than with Delta 9.

If you’re looking for a more intense high, choose Delta 9.

Do Delta 8 and Delta 9 feel the same?

Delta 8 and Delta 9 might feel somewhat similar, but as we mentioned Delta 8 produces a milder high with less intense side effects. Both compounds have similar adverse effects, however, that can include dry mouth, anxiety, impaired coordination and more.

Because Delta 9 is more potent, its effects could be more overwhelming than Delta 8, especially for inexperienced cannabis consumers.

Why is Delta 9 considered safer than Delta 8?

Delta 9 THC has been studied more than Delta 8, making it a safer choice when it comes to choosing between the two. Lack of Delta 8 research makes it impossible to determine its long-term effects.

Does Delta 9 get you higher than Delta 8?

Yes. Delta 9 is more potent than Delta 8. This means that consuming Delta 9 products will get you higher than consuming Delta 8 products.