Delta 8 vs Delta 9: Which One is Better?

The Delta 8 variant has been taking the world by storm, but what does this mean for the Delta-9 variant we’ve all become so familiar with? 

The two names are incredibly similar, so it is understandable that there is quite a lot of confusion about which is better and whether there is, in fact, any difference between the two at all, or if it is all just a big marketing ploy. Don’t worry. We are here to settle the debate once and for all.

The Legal Argument 

As you should be aware, cannabis is technically not legal on a federal level in the US. This being said, individual states are still allowed to make their own laws. 

As of the time of writing this article, 50 states have legalized the use of cannabis for either medicinal use, recreational use, or both. 

This conflict has made the legalization of Delta-9 quite tricky. Under federal law, THC levels of 0.3% are not legal, but the state can dictate otherwise. This leaves the door wide open for confusion.

Delta-8, on the other hand, is technically legal on a federal level, as it falls under the protection of the ambiguous Farm Bill passed in 2018. 

This bill legalized hemp production. Delta-8 is derived from hemp, and nothing in the bill prohibits creating products with the variant.

This means that it is technically protected under state law in certain states, making the availability of it more widespread without fear of prosecution.

However, due to its psychoactive properties, there has been a pushback from several states. 15 states currently restrict the sale of Delta-8 products, while 6 others have ongoing legal cases.

So, while Delta-8 is backed by a legislative technicality, resulting in it being more widely available, this is not to say that it will always be the case.

Delta-8 has gained its popularity due to its milder effects, but is this because people enjoy the milder cannabinoid, or is it because of ease of access due to legal availability? Let’s take a closer look.

Different Intensity and Effect 

One of the biggest differences and legally contested points are the effects each has on the body. This is one of the biggest deciding factors buyers consider before placing their orders.  

As we mentioned earlier, Delta-9 is a considerably more potent variant, with some people claiming it is about twice as strong as Delta-8. The stronger effect means that there is a greater prevalence of side effects.

Some people report feeling more paranoid, having a foggy mind, increased feelings of anxiety, and even impaired driving abilities.

Delta 8 is said to provide a much milder experience. Most people who use it report feeling a great sense of calm and clarity. You will experience a definite “high”, but it will not impair your abilities to function.

You should be able to form coherent thoughts and should even experience mental clarity, relaxation, and less stress.  

The onset time is also drastically different. Delta-8 takes quite a while to take effect, slowly easing the user into a mellow state, while Delta-9 takes effect very quickly. If you are not expecting it, it can be quite a shock to the system.

Medicinal Use

As we mentioned earlier, some states allow the use of recreational marijuana, while others only allow the use of medicinal marijuana.

According to the folks at, both Delta-8 and Delta-9 are used for medical purposes. However, Delta-9 is more regulated as it has a greater potential to be misused.

Both are said to help with a variety of problems. This includes a few less common treatments, such as to help stop nausea and vomiting because they have antiemetic properties.

Because both Delta 8 and Delta 9 contain THC, they have appetite-boosting effects. Often referred to as “the munchies”, this is used in the treatment of people recovering from an eating disorder.

Some studies suggest that it does not only stimulate the appetite but helps with the psychological effects of anorexia nervosa, specifically. Those who participated saw significant improvements in depression as well as body care.

Both have also shown great promise in their abilities as anticonvulsants. This means that they are able to assist in the treatment of epilepsy.

In a survey conducted with the parents of children with epilepsy, most reported seeing at least a 60% reduction in the frequency of seizures. It is not the best for sleep, although it has been connected to both variants.

Delta 8 vs Delta 9

How Are They Made?

Delta 9 is found in abundance in cannabis, making it a major cannabinoid. This means that extraction is relatively simple and usually quite cheap, keeping the price pretty low and affordable. It tends to be derived from marijuana plants specifically.

Delta-8, on the other hand, is quite a bit more complicated as it is a minor cannabinoid. This means that extraction requires a great deal more effort.

The amount of Delta-8 produced by cannabis is so little that it’s not worth the immense effort to extract it. This is why it is typically not extracted from cannabis but from hemp. It can be synthesized entirely from CBD with the use of solvents.

This makes it quite a bit pricier, but it is the best way to extract it. This also ensures that the Delta-8 extraction contains less than 0.3%, making it compliant with federal law.

Product Range and Availability

Delta 8 and Delta 9 are pretty similar when it comes to product ranges. They can be smoked, inhaled through an inhaler pump or vape, or they can be consumed in edible form.

They are also available in traditional tincture form, as topicals and even capsules. When it comes to availability, you need to start out by checking whether or not the sale of Delta 8 and/or Delta 9 is legal in your state. Once you have done this, be sure to do your research and find reputable companies.

As you can see, there are a variety of differences and similarities between these two cannabinoids. At the end of the day, it comes down to legal availability and personal preference. So which one is better? That’s up to you.