Monday, March 14, 2022

How Psychoactive Is Delta-8 Thc In Comparison To Delta-9?

There can be a lot of confusion these days in the brave new cannabis world. All the names of different weed strains. You’ve barely even learned indica and sativa! Then there’s the initials: THC, CBD, CBG, etc.

Plus Isolates and Terpenes. Now there’s Delta-8 flower and Delta-9 flower! What’s the difference? Bet you’d like to know!

Because of the resistance to full cannabis legalization and the decades of propaganda demonizing the cannabis plant, there is still a lot of misinformation.

This article aims to help clear up some of the confusion, at least about Delta-8 and Delta-9. Hope you like science!

Going On A Diet

A lot to unpack here. First, understand that the cannabis plant consists of different compounds - scientists estimate over one hundred - which are made to interact with the human body’s built-in endocannabinoid system through receptors named - appropriately or coincidentally - CB1 and CB2.

Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC - or tetrahydrocannabinol - are two of those compounds. The reason they have these two numerical distinctions relates to their carbon atoms. Delta-8’s carbon atom bonds to the eighth chain of command while Delta-9 bonds to the ninth chain of command.

Delta-9 THC is the one we all have heard of, the compound that produces the stereotypical ‘high’ effect. Delta-8 produces many of the same psychoactive effects without the intense side effects of 


Thus, Delta-8 is often referred to as ‘Diet’ or ‘Light’. It is a good starting point for a newcomer to cannabis, recreationally or medicinally. The differences are key and subtle. Here’s a closer look for you to compare and contrast.

A Short History

Scientists first identified Delta-9 THC in 1964, though people had plenty of on the ground experience with its effects prior to the scientific discovery.

Delta-8, on the other hand, is fairly recent. That’s because the big difference is that Delta-9 occurs naturally in much bigger quantities in the cannabis plant than Delta-8.

Cannabis producers accidentally stumbled on Delta-8 flower in the last decade and have refined an extraction process in which they can isolate and produce more Delta-8 compounds from leftover CBD and hemp flower.

So a key difference is that most Delta-9 is natural, while most Delta-8 flower has been created in a lab, chemically.

What Your Delta Can Do For You

Delta-8 can help with anxiety, pain and inflammation, nausea and appetite. It has also been shown in studies to increase the lifespan of rats and inhibit tumor growth. It also has antiemetic properties that help cancer patients cope with treatment.

What is an antiemetic? An antiemetic is any drug designed to help with disorders that cause nausea and vomiting, from motion sickness to chemotherapy.

Delta-8 has also been shown to increase appetite and cognitive function. Both Delta-8 and Delta-9 have shown potential in preventing seizures and helping with eating disorders like anorexia.

Down To The Nitty Gritty

Now that you know some basic background information on the science, history, production and health benefits of the Delta family, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. You’re here to find out how psychoactive 

Delta-8 flower is compared to Delta-9 flower. So how safe is it?

The general consensus is that Delta-8 is about fifty percent, or half, as strong as Delta-9. They both produce psychoactive effects, but the effects of Delta-8 are much milder than Delta-9.

What is the intensity of the effects or in other words, the potency? Delta-8 produces a high similar to that of Delta-9, but smoother and calmer. It takes longer to set in also.

The prolonged time to take effect helps mitigate some of the possible anxiety, paranoia or delusions a first time Delta-9 user might experience.

One way to say it is that Delta-8 ‘takes the edge off’ instead of ‘getting you zonked’ and impairing your motor skills and decision-making abilities. Rather, what follows consumption of Delta-8 is a clear head, contentment, relaxed feelings and a more positive outlook.

Is Delta-8 Legal?

That’s about as unclear as a Delta-9 induced fog. Yes, for now. Thanks to a loophole. Delta-8 is extracted from CBD, which comes from hemp, which is federally legal up to a regulated amount, according to the Farm Bill of 2018. This could change soon.

The FDA has warned against Delta-8 flower. The problem is that the process by which it is extracted is not highly regulated - no pun intended - and so you have to be careful of quality and ingredients. Make sure to carefully vet the companies from which you buy CBD hemp flower containing Delta-8.

Be advised that Delta-8 will most likely turn up on a drug test.

Don’t Discount The Dosage!

Dosage is also an important thing to consider. Especially for newbies. As noted in the early part of this article, Delta-8 is often called ‘Delta Light’ or ‘Diet Delta’ and is about half as strong as Delta-9.

If you want to experience the effects of Delta-9 using Delta-8, you will have to therefore double your dosage. Some companies even recommend three times as much. For example, 15mg of Delta 9 being equal to about 50mg of Delta-8.

It is always recommended to slowly raise your dosage until your body tells you what it is comfortable with. One risk of Delta-8 is that you can build up a tolerance quickly. However, it is recommended for people with weaker immune systems as an alternative to Delta-9.

A Word From The People

Before this article wraps up, a few words from on the ground users. Sadly, a lot of research has to be done this way since science has fallen way behind the application.

Users of Delta-8 say that they experience less of the common, stereotypical effects like manic munchies or uncontrollable giggling. Rather, they experience a general sense of well-being. They describe the Delta-8 effects as allowing them to remain functional without feeling psychedelic. 

All in all, as with Delta-9, Delta-8 flower can have many benefits if used responsibly. You are encouraged to conduct further research. Good Luck, and may the Delta be with you.
This is a guest blog entry.

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