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

Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most potent form of THC found naturally in the cannabis plant, making it easier to extract and thus more frequently smoked. However, when it comes to adverse effects, delta-8 and delta-9 differ in their potential for intoxication and side effects. Delta-9 produces a stronger high than delta-8, making it more likely to cause overconsumption and adverse effects. That said, some delta-8 users can still feel the effects of excessive consumption if they exceed their tolerance to THC. Like other supplements, delta 8 products are not regulated by the FDA, meaning there are many low-quality products that could contain unwanted impurities.

As such, it is unclear how long the Delta 8 trend will last. Before investing in delta-8, it is important to understand the chemical differences between THC delta-8 and delta-9, which create different effects. The end result is an extract rich in delta-8 or delta-10 ready to be used as a distillate, oil or vaping product. When ingested, delta-8 THC undergoes second-pass metabolism and is converted to 11-hydroxy-THC, a metabolite of THC. According to the DEA, delta-8 THC “synthetically produced from materials other than cannabis” is controlled by the CSA as “tetrahydrocannabinol”.

Delta-8 is approximately 50-66% more powerful than delta-9, while delta-10 is considerably less powerful (approximately 20-30% less than the delta-9). Since delta-8 THC is found in lower concentrations in the cannabis plant, its extraction from hemp plants requires more time and work. Since delta-8 has approximately half the concentration of delta-9, most delta-8 products are sold at doses two to three times higher than delta-9 products. The reason why delta-8 causes a stronger high than delta-10 is due to its molecular structure, its interaction with the endocannabinoid system and its binding affinity with cannabinoid receptors, particularly cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors. An acidic reagent is added to the mixture to stimulate a chemical reaction that converts CBD to THC delta-8.Delta-9 THC is known for its intense and intoxicating effects that cause euphoria and other cognitive effects.

It has been extensively studied for almost 60 years, but little research has been published on delta-8.Delta 8 has become popular among cannabis users due to its wide availability, novelty, mild intoxicating effects and therapeutic power. Delta 9 THC is currently a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). There are currently 15 states that restrict the sale and use of Delta 8 products, and another 6 states where legal action is pending.

Elmer Purtle
Elmer Purtle

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