Is Delta-9 stronger than Delta-8 THC?

is D8 Stronger than D9
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With the emergence of the cannabis and hemp industry, delta 9 THC and delta 8 THC have become extremely popular.

These new cannabis and hemp-derived products have been reported to have potential health benefits as well as intoxicating effects.

In this article, we’re going to dive into the legal status, chemical structures, potency, and more about hemp and cannabis products.

What is delta 9 THC?

Delta 9 THC is the main active ingredient in the cannabis plant. It naturally occurs in hemp plants but in trace amounts.

In terms of the chemical structure of delta 9 THC, the double bond occurs in the 9th carbon of the carbon chain, hence the name.

Delta-9 THC interacts with cannabinoid receptors in your body. The CB1 receptors that delta 9 THC binds to are the same receptors that hemp-derived CBD binds to, but the effects are very different.


ComparisonsDelta 8 THCDelta 9 THC
Cost$0.06–$0.10 per mg$0.02–$0.08 per mg
Dosage Range10–60 mg5–20 mg
Most Common Side-EffectFeeling tiredAnxiety
LegalityLegal in Most StatesMedical-Only

How does delta 9 THC feel?

In terms of the effects, delta 9 THC has been said to reduce pain, inflammation, and stress.

Does delta-9 thc get you high? Yes, for recreational use, it has psychoactive properties.

Medical marijuana plants have been used for pain relief (for those with chronic pain or aches), improved sleep quality, and more. Delta 9 THC is also known to increase appetite.

Most of the delta 9 THC products in the medical marijuana space are produced through an extraction process.

This extraction process isolates the delta 9 THC from the cannabis plant, and the final product is pure delta 9 THC. However, in the hemp industry, hemp producers use a different extraction process to extract hemp-derived CBD. This CBD is then converted into delta 9 THC.

Delta 9 THC is not federally legal. While it may not be legal at the federal level, though, states get to decide whether it’s legal or not.

It’s important to check whether delta 9 THC is legal in your state lines. Delta 9 THC is still considered to be a controlled substance, so it’s important to know the laws in your area.

What is delta 8 THC?

There are some important differences between delta 8 THC and delta 9 THC. The main difference between difference between delta 8 and delta 9 can be found in their molecular structure.

When you look at the chemical structure of delta-8 vs delta-9, you’ll see that the double bond occurs on the eighth carbon atom as opposed to the ninth.

This chemical difference means delta 8 THC is structurally similar to delta-9 THC. The body reacts to delta-8 THC similarly to how it reacts to delta 9 THC: the THC molecule binds to the cannabinoid receptors to illicit effects.

The main extraction method for delta 8 THC is by extracting it directly from the hemp plant (or cannabis sativa plant) or by converting CBD (not to be confused with other cannabinoids) extracted from hemp.

Most hemp production facilities opt for the latter option because CBD occurs in a much higher concentration than delta-8 THC.

How does delta 8 THC feel?

Delta 8 THC feels extremely similar to delta 9 THC. In fact, it carries similar benefits as well. With delta-8 THC, you get mild psychoactive effects as well as pain relief and other possible medical benefits.

Many users report that they experience health benefits: stress relief, anti-inflammation, lowering blood pressure, better sleep quality, and more. 

However, more research needs to be done to discern if there are any adverse effects associated with long-term use.

At higher doses (a high dose is relative to your tolerance), delta 8 THC can feel comparable to delta 9 THC. Other users like to use lower doses to get a nice buzz that won’t lock them to their couches.

Delta-8 THC is federally legal. Even though it’s federally legal, some states have banned it because they consider delta 8 THC and delta 9 THC as controlled substances.

This poses the question of whether other cannabinoids like THCP or CBG (a minor cannabinoid) should also be banned. However, the federal government has not clarified their stance since the 2018 Farm Bill.

See If Delta 8 THC Is legal in your state

Comparing delta 8 vs delta 9

When comparing delta 9 vs delta 8 to start, delta 9 THC is more psychoactive and potent than delta 8 THC. The effects are about the same, though.

In terms of side effects like appetite increase, dry mouth, or memory impairment, you’ll probably experience more with delta 9 THC, but you should always consult a medical professional—especially if you have medical conditions.

Both delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC will make you fail a drug test for THC, so make sure to take note of that if you have drug tests coming up.

There are some websites and brands out there that advertise that you can pass drug tests with delta 8 THC, but this is completely untrue. A drug test that tests for THC will most definitely pick up on delta 8 THC because the metabolite for it is essentially identical to the metabolite for delta 9 THC.

Unlike delta 9 THC, delta 8 THC is technically legal at the federal level because of the 2018 Farm Bill. Delta-9, on the other hand, is not yet federally legal. Both cannabinoids’ legal status is determined, ultimately, by the states. There hasn’t been an official federal law addressing the newer cannabinoids, but we’ll keep you updated when this changes.

Both delta 8 THC and delta 9 THC are also being researched for medical use.

Cannabis vs hemp plants

Delta 8 THC and delta 9 THC both naturally occur in both the hemp and cannabis plant alongside cannabinoids like CBN (another minor cannabinoid) and CBG.

A major difference is that the cannabis plant has significant amounts of delta 9 THC, whereas hemp only has <0.3% (by dry weight). That is why delta 8 THC products note that they contain <0.3% delta 9 THC by dry weight.

Is delta 9 THC stronger than delta 8 THC?

Delta 9 THC is by far stronger than delta 8 THC. Even though you can get a similar experience at high doses, delta 8 THC is more like “diet weed.

It would take approximately double or triple (upper limit) the dose of delta 8 THC to experience an equivalent delta 9 THC dose.

Where to buy delta 9 and delta 8 THC

With all of the products out there, it’s harder to find a reputable source to buy delta 9 and delta 8 THC products.

We recommend looking for online retailers because you’ll have access to a much wider selection, better prices, and bigger discounts.

Ideally, you want to stay away from gas stations because they usually carry cheap or counterfeit products containing poor-quality THC and possibly other chemicals that might be a public health risk.

You want to make sure that there are lab reports for the products you are buying or you may be at increased risk for adverse effects or potentially harmful chemicals.

The top brands all provide proper lab testing and some even have Chain of Custody reports, which will tell you about their production process.

Final Thoughts

These two cannabinoids open up a whole new world of possibilities in the cannabis industry.

With the emergence of delta 8 THC, people living in states where cannabis is illegal now have choices to experience the benefits of the cannabis plant.

Now that you know about their similarities, differences, strengths, and whether you’d pass a drug test, go out, stay safe, and stay elevated.

Jennifer Williams
Jennifer Williams
In my early twenties, I had everything in the palm of my hand. I was a journalist, published author, and was passionate about cannabis. Quickly realizing that the cannabis industry wasn't going to take off the way I wanted it to, I decided I needed a change.After some soul searching and self-reflection, I realized that all of my passions were centered on wellness. CBD is an incredible healing tool with scientific research backing its effectiveness in alleviating anxiety and promoting restorative sleep. With CBD becoming a more mainstream topic every day (not just among the medical community), it seemed like this was something that could be well worth pursuing!