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Unraveling the Potent Distinctions: Delta 8 vs. Delta-9 THC Explained

delta 8 vs delta 9 thc1
delta 8 vs delta 9 thc1

In states where marijuana use is legal, dispensaries offer a variety of products containing delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9 THC). However,

delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8 THC), a less potent cannabis compound with similar psychoactive effects as delta-8 and delta-9 THC,

is also legal in some states.

Both delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC are derived from the cannabis sativa plant and are among the more than 100 cannabinoids the plant produces.

Delta-9 THC is present in larger amounts than delta-8 THC, which is a minor cannabinoid.

Quality, quantity, and other factors can impact the potency and intoxicating effects of both delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC.

Despite their similarities, there are key differences between the two compounds that make them distinct options for those seeking a “high.”

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Delta 8

Delta-8 THC is a psychoactive compound found in cannabis sativa that is typically created in concentrated amounts from hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD).

While it has similar properties to delta-9 THC, it is generally less potent. 

Delta-8 THC products come in many forms including gummies, chocolates, cookies,

tinctures, vaping cartridges, infused drinks, and even breakfast cereal. 

While some manufacturers market delta-8 THC products as treatments for medical conditions,

the FDA has neither evaluated nor approved these claims.

In fact, the FDA issued warning letters to five manufacturers of delta-8 THC products in May 2022.

Potential Benefits

Understanding the Potential Benefits of Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC**

According to Dr. Dave Gordon, a renowned integrative and functional medicine physician and board advisor for Leaf411,

it’s not as simple as labeling cannabis as good or bad.

Instead, to understand the potential benefits of delta-8 and delta-9 THC,

it’s important to take into account the following factors:

– All compounds/constituents being consumed

– The dose and frequency of consumption

– The method of administration

– The quality of production for cannabis products

– The demographics and health status of the individual consuming 

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By considering these factors, we can better understand the potential benefits of using delta-8 and delta-9 THC.

So if you’re curious about the advantages of these compounds, consider consulting with a healthcare professional to learn more.

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Benefits of Therapy Sessions

– Pain relief

– Improved sleep quality 

– Calming effect on overactive nervous or immune systems 

– Increased appetite 

– Prevention of sensory overstimulation 

– Reduced inflammation 

Experience these positive effects through therapy sessions.

Potential Risks

Dr. Gordon warns of potential adverse effects from consuming too much delta-8 THC,

ranging in severity depending on dosage levels and individual factors such as pre-existing conditions or mental health risks.

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Beyond these personal considerations, irresponsible products could also add additional risk due to potentially harmful chemicals used in the production process – prompting a need for caution when selecting an appropriate product manufacturer.

  • Lethargy
  • Disorientation
  • Anxiety (and potentially panic)
  • Dry mouth and eyes
  • Increased heart rate
  • Impaired coordination

Generally, adverse effects resolve within a couple of hours with inhalation and within several hours of edible consumption, says Dr. Gordon.

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“Individuals with preexisting conditions may have risks that others do not,” adds Dr. Gordon.

“In patients with high risk for (or already diagnosed) psychotic diseases, over-consuming delta-8 THC could increase frequency or severity of psychosis.”

Consuming large amounts of delta-8 THC,

especially when smoked, could precipitate heart damage or abnormal heart rhythms in those with significant underlying cardiovascular disease, says Dr. Gordon.

Additional risks associated with delta-8 THC consumption are linked to the product manufacturers themselves.

According to the FDA, delta-8 THC products may contain potentially harmful chemicals or contaminants,

including household chemicals used during the chemical synthesis process that yields delta-8 THC.

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When weighing the potential risks of consuming delta-8 THC, it’s important to consider that the FDA hasn’t evaluated or approved any delta-8 THC products for safe use.

Delta-8 THC manufacturers may also market their products with unproven claims of health benefits that could put public health at risk.

What Is Delta-9 THC?

Delta-9 THC is the primary component responsible for the intoxicating effects of cannabis.

This natural compound is commonly consumed through smoking or edibles and can cause a “high” when consumed beyond a certain threshold.

In states where Delta-9 THC is legal, cannabis dispensaries offer a wide range of products, including gummies, cookies,

candies, infused beverages, tinctures, vaping cartridges, topical lotions, and pre-rolled joints.

While some manufacturers market Delta-9 THC products as remedies for certain medical conditions,

the FDA has only approved two synthetic THC formulations; dronabinol and nabilone,

which are used to alleviate chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting along with increasing appetite in patients.

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Potential Benefits

Consuming delta-9 THC offers potential benefits such as pain relief, nausea reduction, improved appetite and sleep quality, relaxation, and anti-inflammatory effects.

Beyond these, it may also aid in managing medical conditions like multiple sclerosis and glaucoma.

However, it is important to always consult with a doctor before using delta-9 THC products to ensure they are safe and effective for any specific condition.

Long-term use of delta-9 THC still requires further research,

as some studies report positive effects on sleep patterns while others indicate that chronic use can disrupt sleep and delay sleep onset.

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, delta-9 THC consumption can also promote relaxation,

decrease anxiety, increase appetite, evoke feelings of happiness or exhilaration, and improve sensory perception.

Research on long-term use of delta-9 THC and its effects on sleep is limited,

with some studies showing improvement in sleep patterns and others indicating that chronic delta-9 THC use can have the opposite effect,

disrupting sleep and delaying sleep onset.

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Potential Risks

Depending on several factors, including the amount and quality of delta-9 THC consumed, adverse side effects may include:

There are increasing numbers of case reports detailing recurring nausea, severe vomiting,

dehydration, and abdominal pain in long-time delta-9 THC users.

Multiple studies have also linked delta-9 THC use with increased risk for psychosis, anxiety, depression,

schizophrenia, and other psychiatric conditions, along with substance abuse disorders.

Can Delta-8 Show Up on a Drug Test?

Unlike delta-9 THC, delta-8 THC probably won’t lead to a positive result for THC on a drug test unless the test specifically searches for delta-8 THC metabolites.

However, if the delta-8 THC product contains concentrations of delta-9 THC,

a drug test may show a positive result for THC. With the increasing popularity of delta-8 THC,

some commercial laboratories are now adding confirmation analysis for delta-8 THC to drug tests.

In short, it’s impossible to say definitively that delta-8 THC won’t show a positive result on a drug test,

as it comes down to the quality and contents of the specific delta-8 THC product used, as well as the type of drug test administered.

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Delta-8 THC vs. Delta-9 THC: Differences and Similarities

Both delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC are composed of the same set of elements (carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen),

only differing slightly in how those elements are arranged,

says Dr. Gordon. Although similarly composed, delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC exhibit many differences.

Delta-8 and delta-9 THC activate the body’s cannabinoid receptors,

including those in the central nervous system, which can produce the positive and adverse effects mentioned below. 

According to Dr. Gordon, “Activating CB1 receptors can help with sleep, reduce pain,

protect and heal nerves, calm an overactive nervous system, increase relaxation,

improve appetite, and prevent sensory overstimulation. Activating CB2 receptors primarily reduces inflammation and calms an overactive immune system,

which is crucial to chronic condition improvement.” 

However, consuming excessive delta-8 or delta-9 THC can lead to lethargy, disorientation, anxiety, and dry mouth or eyes due to the overstimulation of CB1 receptors.

Any questions, make sure to drop us an email at coach@healthyheadshop.com


Currently, delta-8 THC is legal at the federal level, but it’s not legal in every state. Delta-9 THC is illegal at the federal level but legal recreationally and/or for medical use in several states.

With that said, laws regarding the production, sale, and use of delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC are continually evolving.

From The Author

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