THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol is now quite popular for purely recreational purposes, with many people searching for ways to experience its benefits. But with its widespread popularity, it’s easy to confuse one type of THC with another, especially now that more and more of them are available for consumption.
Let’s take Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC as our examples. Those who aren’t familiar with any of them can easily mistake consuming the wrong product. In this article, we try to differentiate between the two cannabinoid compounds and help educate users about the benefits of the two.
Delta 9 THC Extraction
Found in abundance in cannabis, extracting Delta 9 is fairly cheap and simple. And since marijuana plants are quite abundant, it’s not uncommon to see affordable and readily available Delta 9 products in the market.
Delta 8 THC Extraction
Extracting Delta 8 THC is comparatively harder, as it requires a great deal of effort. Delta 8 is a minor cannabinoid, so it is not abundant and easily available from the common sources of THC we know of. For example, Cannabis plants produce so little natural Delta 8, it’s really not worth it to extract.
But that’s not the only way to produce Delta 8 THC. Luckily, Delta 8 can be synthesized from CBD with the use of solvents. Of course, with the extra steps in production, the process can be a bit pricey. But overall, it made Delta 8 production much easier, and instead of using marijuana, it is now more practical to extract the THC from hemp. This also keeps the concentrations under 0.3%, which is the legal threshold.
Effects of THCs
When comparing these THCs, it’s impossible not to consider the effects they bring to users. It’s not surprising how this is one of the biggest deciding factors for users, especially those who are still uncertain about which THC they want to try.
Effects of Delta 9 THC
Considered as the more potent of the two, Delta 9 is believed to bring twice the strength of Delta 8. And with strong highs come stronger overall effects, which may include the following: paranoid delusions, increased feelings of anxiety, impaired motor skills, and mental fog.
Effects of Delta 8 THC
On the other hand, Delta 8 provides a much easier experience, perfect for first-time users. Most users report a feeling of calm and clarity. Yes, you can get high from Delta 8, but not enough to vastly impair your abilities like focusing on activities or forming coherent thoughts. What you get is an overall relaxed feeling, less burdened by stressors or any stressful activity.
Speaking of ‘highs,’ the onset of the effects of Delta 8 can take hours. Users are slowly eased into a more mellow state, but it is so gradual, you barely notice a change in yourself unless you try hard enough to look for signs. Delta 9 is more abrupt or instantaneous, it’s hard not to notice these effects surfacing in the user.
What are their THC Products?
In terms of products, the two cannabinoids have pretty similar offerings. Mainly, both can be smoked as a flower, or consumed in edible forms. Smoking them through vape is also gaining popularity due to its convenience. Lastly, you can find a wide variety of topicals, capsules, tinctures, and edibles, among others, that you can choose from.
Legality of THCs
It is important to consider this fact first: on a federal level, marijuana is not legal within the United States, so the individual states are left with the burden of pushing for legality. Of the 50, 34 states have already legalized marijuana for recreational and/or medical purposes.
And since Delta 9 THC can be extracted directly from marijuana, its legal fate is directly affected as a result. So having 0.3% or more is immediately considered illegal at a federal level, and at the state level, it all depends on where you are.
For Delta 8, it’s a bit different. One, it is still technically legal on a federal level because of the ambiguities of the 2018 Farm Bill, legalizing hemp production. As mentioned earlier, it is extracted primarily from hemp, and there’s nothing in the bill that stops you from deriving Delta 8 from hemp and creating products with it.
But do note that because of Delta 8’s psychoactive nature, it has received a fair number of bans at the state level: currently, 15 states restrict the sale and use of products derived from Delta 8 THC, while another 6 states have pending legal action.
For Delta 9, the availability depends on where you are. If you are in a state where it’s safe to buy and consume Delta 9 THC, good for you. Since it is highly regulated, it is probably available at dispensaries for limited amounts per person. Purchasing a product online is almost impossible because even though there are options, shipping it across different states would be very tricky.
Delta 8, on the other hand, can be shipped across state lines since it is federally legal, resulting in more online retailers of delta 8 products. But how do you determine which ones are reputable from those who just want to make money? If the company doesn’t ship to states where Delta 8 is illegal, you’ll know they’re serious about doing the right things.
What about physical stores? Well, this is where you need to be careful when it comes to buying Delta 8 products. Since Delta 8 products are not yet regulated by the FDA, there are lots of low-quality products that contain unwanted impurities or do not follow proper dosing. You don’t want to buy anything Delta 8-related from gas stations or sketchy shops.
As a consumer, you need to be vigilant about your sources for these kinds of goods. Do your research when figuring out a trustworthy brand. Some red flags include not having a website that contains information about their production process or does not have any lab results readily available.
To wrap things up, the decision to get Delta 8 THC or Delta 9 THC is entirely up to you, the consumer. Delta 9 might be easier to extract from marijuana, but it is highly regulated and is not legal in many states. Delta 8 may be legal in more areas, but the availability is not really on the same level as Delta 9 because of the extra steps in the production process.
But while we’ve known Delta 9 THC longer, it’s undeniable that Delta 8 is getting more and more popular due to its milder effects and widespread availability. We don’t know if that increase in popularity could mean an increase in scrutiny, but for now, it has allowed more people to enjoy the effects of THC worry-free.