The cannabis plant contains over 100 compounds. However, tetrahydrocannabinol is one of its most abundant products. Commonly known as THC, tetrahydrocannabinol has two derivates, delta 8 and delta 9.
Delta 9 is what you can call pure THC. In contrast, delta 8 is a derivative of delta 9 with a milder concentration of THC. There are countless debates over delta 8 vs. delta 9 THC as to which one is better or safer. If you’re wondering the same, keep reading to find the key differences between both to understand THC products better.
What is Delta 8 THC?
While delta 8 is a compound that naturally occurs in the cannabis plant, it is mostly synthesized from delta 9 THC because of its low quantity. In recent years, delta 8 THC oil, vapes, and edibles have gained rapid popularity because of their ability to produce the positive effects of THC without causing any severe adverse reactions.
What is Delta 9 THC?
Delta 9 THC is a major component of the cannabis plant and is mainly responsible for causing psychoactive results. The high that users feel after consuming cannabis products is mainly because of the presence of delta 9 THC.
Delta 8 vs. Delta 9: Key Differences
Now that you know what both delta 8 and delta 9 THC are, let’s look at the key differences between the two:
While delta 8 is naturally found in the cannabis plant, it is available in small quantities. Consequently, manufacturers synthesize it in labs using delta 9 THC. The extraction process involves numerous steps, including:
- Extraction of CBD isolates from a hemp flower
- Processing of the CBD isolate to produce a distillate
- Addition of a solvent to ensure the distillate melts
- Neutralization of the end product
On the other hand, delta 9 THC can be directly smoked in a flower form, thus requiring no extraction. However, it is important to note that extraction may be needed when creating edibles or topicals. But the process is relatively simple and inexpensive as compared to delta 8 THC.
One of the main reasons full spectrum delta 8 THC oil is popular is its milder effects as compared to delta 9. Its psychoactive effects are on the lower end, and other reactions aren’t severe either. That said, here are some common side effects of using delta 8 THC:
- Increased heart rate
- Improved sleep
- Simulated appetite
- Pain relief
While delta 9 also offers similar effects, it may be accompanied by negative effects, including:
- Poor memory
While delta 8 vs. delta 9 have many differences, one thing they both have in common is the wide range of products. You can commonly find both in various forms, including:
- Delta 9 and delta 8 THC oil
- Baked items
While the legal status of delta 8 is still under debate, it is currently legal as per federal law. According to the farm bill 2018, hemp products containing 0 to 0.3% THC are considered legal. And delta 8 THC obtained from hemp contains only a small amount of delta 9, which is within limits and doesn’t cause any major psychoactive effects. In contrast, any delta 9 product containing up to 0.3% THC is legal under federal law. But state laws for both vary, and THC products are banned in some places.
So, before you try out either delta 9 or delta 8 THC-infused edibles online, make sure you’re aware of your local state laws, or you could get into trouble with the law.
Does THC Show Up on a Drug Test?
Both delta 8 and delta 9 exhibit similar properties. So, if you ever take a drug test with either form of THC in your system, it will likely show up. Even though there is a difference in the side effects of both products, their chemical structure is almost identical. In this case, if a drug test is conducted to check for delta 9, it might pick delta 8 as delta 9.
To avoid confusion between the two, new testing methods are being developed that can specifically identify delta 8 THC.
How Long Does THC Stay In Your System
Depending on how much delta 8 or 9 THC you consume, it may stay in your system for several days to a month. It might even stay in your bloodstream for over a month for regular users. If you are to take a drug test, it is best to avoid taking any form of THC 90 days before.
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In the comparison of delta 8 vs. delta 9, it can be clearly seen that delta 8 is mellower with tamed side effects. While delta 8 aids with pain relief and insomnia and makes you experience euphoria, delta 9 causes anxiety, hallucinations, and confusion as well. Thus, it would be safe to say that delta 8 THC is the safer choice.