Many people use tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to obtain numerous associated benefits and for recreational purposes. However, there’s confusion on the legally available types of THC. So, we will cover extensively how Delta 9 THC and Delta 8 THC match up and which a user should choose.
Major Differences Between Delta 9 THC and Delta 8 THC
Delta 9 THC was the earliest cannabinoid discovered in 1964 and has been extensively researched and used. On the other hand, Delta 8 is lesser-known, though it is of great importance. Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC mainly differ because Delta 9 is more psychoactive than Delta 8.
What is Delta 9 THC?
Delta 9 THC is a cannabinoid in the cannabis plant and is the primary psychoactive substance. It induces a high feeling in its users by acting on the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain. Therefore, products that contain Delta 9 THC are potent. It is entirely safe for consumption, although it’s necessary to follow the correct dosage. Recently, people have been consuming delta 9 THC as gummies rather than smoking joints to attain an extreme euphoric effect.
What is Delta 8 THC?
Delta 8, is one of the many cannabinoids in the industrial hemp plant. It can be ingested as a pill or by smoking. It has all the benefits you can get from THC but with less stimulation than Delta 9. This less dramatic stimulation is because Delta 9 THC is more potent than Delta 8 THC. Unimed Pharmaceuticals patented it in 1985, but it was not until 2003 that it became popular. Currently, Delta 8 is legal in 32 states in the US.
Federally legal Delta 9 THC is present in hemp extracts in smaller quantities than in illegal marijuana extracts. The hemp plant should contain 0.3% or less Delta 9 THC on a dry weight basis.
Delta 8 THC, a minor cannabinoid, requires a lot of effort to extract, unlike Delta 9 THC. Therefore, its extraction is highly unfavorable. Fortunately, there exists another method to obtain Delta 8. Researchers discovered that solvents could synthesize Delta 8 entirely from cannabidiol. Although this process is expensive, it has simplified the production of Delta 8 products. Like Delta 9, Delta 8 is obtained from hemp that usually has a higher concentration of cannabidiol. The hemp plant should also contain 0.3% or less Delta 9 THC on a dry weight basis.
Molecular Structure of Delta 8 and Delta 9
Delta 9 THC and Delta 8 THC are isomers meaning they have similar molecular formulae but different molecular structures. Delta 9 has a double electron bond on its ninth carbon atom, hence Delta 9. On the other hand, Delta 8 has a double electron bond on the eighth carbon atom hence the name Delta 8. For this reason, these two cannabinoids produce different effects.
Delta 8 is legal at the federal level since it is obtained from hemp plants rather than marijuana. The 2018 Farm Bill created a loophole as it does not outlaw the extraction of Delta 8 from hemp and the production of Delta 8 products. Currently, Delta 8 is legal in 32 states in the US. However, some states only allow medical use of delta 8 while others ban its use.
States Where Delta 8 is Illegal
Delta 8 is illegal in the following states:
· Rhode Island
· North Dakota
· New York
Delta 9 THC is also legal at the federal level, as long as it is obtained from hemp. The 2018 Farm Bill permits 0.3% or less Delta 9 THC in products. Delta 9 THC is legal in 37 states in the US. Recently, many states have legalized the non-medical use of delta 9.
States Where Delta 9 is Illegal
Delta 9 THC is completely prohibited in the following states:
Start with a lower dosage of either cannabinoid. Adjust depending on your tolerance to avoid complications arising from their use. The recommended dosage for Delta 8 THC is 10 mg to 60 mg, whereas Delta 9 is lower at 5mg to 30mg. Remember that people have different body tolerances and preferences hence different dosages. Refer to dosage charts or consult a clinician to establish the correct dosage if in doubt. Beginners should buy products that have lower potency.
Delta 8 THC products are readily available in states that permit medical or recreational cannabis. With states increasingly legalizing Delta 8 THC, more products are hitting store shelves. Recently there has been a surge of delta 9 THC products after the 2018 Farm Bill guidelines. Projections suggest that this surge will increase in the future.
Delta 8 THC or Delta 9 THC-Which to Choose
Some people prefer to use Delta 9 because it causes creativity and relaxation. People affected with mood swings, low appetite, and hormonal imbalance should consume fewer Delta 9 products. Choose Delta 8 if you prefer to enjoy the benefits of THC while retaining a clear head. Moreover, Delta 8 is a good alternative against paranoia caused by traditional THC. Please consult your doctor before embarking on cannabis use.
So, the Winner is Then…
Both cannabinoids have different effects despite having the same chemical structure. Both are legal on the federal level. However, not all states have legalized their use. Therefore, you should ensure that your state has legalized their use before shopping for Delta 9 and Delta 8 products.