The spread of medical and recreational marijuana is not as quick as that of CBD, but many US states have already agreed to allow citizens to use medicinal cannabis under specific circumstances. When it comes to cannabis consumption in the form of derivatives and extracted cannabinoids, the most commonly occurring varieties are Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC – the substances typically associated with the psychoactive high many weed enthusiasts appreciate. Besides the high cannabis delivers, Delta 8 and Delta 9 may be prescribed for several medical conditions. The most widespread indications for THC use are the promotion of relaxation and anxiety relief, increased appetite, and improved imagination. Besides, THC users often crave feelings of happiness or exhilaration and seek improved sensory perception. Thus, THC-enriched products, such as edibles, oils, and vaping pens, are highly popular among over-stressed people, those dealing with chronic anxiety, those on chemotherapy, and artists seeking a creative push. Here is a detailed review of the two popular THC types and how they affect the users.
Introduction to Delta 8 and Delta 9
First, you need to remember that Delta 8 and Delta 9 are varieties of THC – a psychoactive compound in cannabis that makes users high. However, the degree of intoxication you will feel usually depends on the potency of chosen products and the delta variety you prefer. Delta 8 and Delta 9 have different origins, which determines the difference in their effects.
Delta 9 is a potent, psychoactive THC type derived from regular cannabis. That’s why it produces a pronounced effect on the consumer and is linked to considerable toxicity. Thus, the Delta 9 vape juice is recommended mostly to experienced users or those with grave health issues that CBD or Delta 8 can’t address. Though there is still little clinical research on the Delta 9 health benefits, preliminary findings from clinical trials suggest its effects on:
- Neurodegenerative disorders
- Autoimmune diseases
Along with the health benefits one can get from consuming Delta 9, there is a need to monitor the user’s state carefully and watch out for the side effects that sensitivity to the psychoactive properties of this cannabinoid or its overdosing may cause. The most frequently reported adverse reactions are:
- Paranoia and panic
- Elevated anxiety
- Excessive couch-locking sedation
- Dry mouth
- Dysphoria (an effect opposite to the expected euphoria)
Delta 8 is, as some users and even scholars characterize it, Delta 9’s younger sibling. This term became widespread because Delta 8 is much gentler in terms of effects and psychoactive properties, though its impact mechanism is generally the same. It is contained in regular cannabis in a much lower concentration than Delta 9, so it’s more commonly extracted from the hemp variety of the plant.
Since Delta 8 is found only in minimal quantities in weed, its extraction is a tedious process for commercial production of Delta 8-enriched products. To squeeze Delta 8 from hemp, manufacturers expose the hemp flower to heat and chemical catalysts. The effect of Delta 8 is generally 2-3 times milder than that of Delta 9, so users seeking a gentle effect opt for Delta 8 products instead of the strong, sometimes harsh impact of Delta 9 vapes and joints.
However, Delta 8 shouldn’t be taken light-heartedly, as it can also produce adverse reactions and side effects. You will note the following signs if your body turns out allergic to THC or you overdose on your product:
- Loss of space and time orientation
- Increased heart rate and arrhythmia
- Panic attacks and elevated anxiety
- Impaired bodily coordination
- Dry mouth and dry, red eyes
- Lethargy (in rare cases)
These effects may not manifest quickly, arriving several hours after THC vaping or cannabis smoking. If you consume Delta 8 and 9 via edibles, extra caution is needed, as you may feel the adverse effects only in several hours. Thus, it’s vital to start low with Delta 8/9 products and increase the dose only after you feel fine with the initial dosing.
Delta 9 vs. Delta 8: What’s the Difference?
Now, as you can see, both varieties of Delta are THC, and they have a similar chemical composition (including carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen). The only chemical distinction is the molecules’ arrangement. In all the rest, they are identical, which explains the similarities of their impact on the user:
- They affect the human endocannabinoid system similarly by binding to the ECS receptors – CB1 and CB2.
- By working with CB1 receptors, Delta 8 and 9 both reduce pain, calm the nervous system, and perform neuroprotective actions. Users feel more relaxed, sleep better, and have a better appetite. Besides, CB1 receptors are responsible for sensory over-stimulation, which Delta 8 and 9 THC can prevent.
- When THC works with CB2 receptors, the user feels long-term anti-inflammatory effects and immune protection, which is beneficial for healing chronic conditions.
However, the substances have some notable differences (otherwise, they wouldn’t be differentiated as Delta 8 and Delta 9). Here are some of them:
- Delta 9 is well-known and extensively studied as a component of the cannabis plant, while Delta 8 has been discovered only recently.
- Delta 9 falls under tight state and federal regulation because it is a cannabis component, while things are not that clear about Delta 8 regulations. Thus, many manufacturers skip the law today and market Delta 8 as a non-psychoactive, non-banned substance, even in jurisdictions where medicinal cannabis use is limited or restricted.
- The substances are different in terms of potency, with Delta 8 producing two-three times weaker effects on the users compared to Delta 9.
- Delta 9 can be consumed directly by smoking cannabis or vaping the weed-derived vaping extract, while Delta 8 has to be carefully extracted, purified, and synthesized from the hemp plant. Therefore, Delta 8 often comes in conjunction with another dominant cannabinoid in hemp – CBD.
A Note of Caution
As our review has shown, Delta 8 and Delta 9 are THC varieties with a psychoactive high typical for cannabis. Therefore, their manufacturing and use are tightly regulated, with legal arrangements covering medicinal and recreational weed. While everything’s clear about Delta 9, the legal landscape surrounding Delta 8 is much more ambiguous, and some users can access Delta 8 products even in jurisdictions with restricted cannabis sales. It’s up to you to choose between these two delta types for vaping, as both are THC and can get you high. Yet, the milder and gentler effect of Delta 8 may be more convenient for beginners or people seeking the medicinal value of THC instead of its high effects. The only point you should always stick with is checking the ingredients, source of THC, certificate of analysis, and safety of all ingredients. This act of due diligence will save you from potential health issues and lung damage that poor-quality vaping liquids may cause.