Home Pop Culture Delta 8 THC vs. Delta 9 THC – How Do They Compare?

Delta 8 THC vs. Delta 9 THC – How Do They Compare?

Delta 8 THC vs. Delta 9 THC
Delta 8 THC vs. Delta 9 THC?
Delta 8 THC vs. Delta 9 THC
Researcher Taking a Few Cannabis Buds for Scientific Experiment.

Delta 8 THC vs. Delta 9 THC – Which one should you be using & How do they compare? Potency, legality and effect on user are examined. 

There are two types of marijuana/THC in existence: delta 8 and delta 9. When you compare the two, you’ll realize that on a molecular level, they are very much alike, but in many other ways, they are very different. 

The main reason why so many people now prefer delta 8 over delta 9 THC is that with delta 8, you get fewer side effects and the side effects you do get are much milder than the ones you may get with delta 9 THC. 

Keep in mind that neither of these guarantees that you’ll experience any side effects, but if you do, they are much more likely to be less severe with delta 8 than they are with delta 9. This alone is a big reason why delta 8 THC products are usually preferred over products with delta 9 THC in them.

Are They Legal Products?

If you don’t already know, both THC products are legal IF marijuana and THC are legal in your state. If they’re not legal in your state, then neither is delta 9. From our discussion with Adam Wathen of Area 52, Delta 8 THC remains a legal gray area, but it is “technically” legal even in states where THC is illegal since it has so little actual THC in it. Keep in mind that THC is much different than CBD, which is legal in all 50 states. 

While the number of states making THC legal is rising, at least for medicinal purposes and with a prescription, you still need to check the laws in your state to make sure it is legal before rushing out to buy any type of THC product. This is especially important if you buy your THC products online, although most of these companies know which states they can send products to and which ones they can’t.

However, it is always best to double-check with the company to make sure is delta 9 legal or any other THC product in your state before making a purchase.

Delta 8 THC vs. Delta 9 THC
Which Delta THC product should you be using?

The bottom line when it comes to the legality of THC products in your state is that it is your responsibility to find out what is legal and what isn’t, and you should do this before you purchase anything that has any amount of THC in it.

The Main Differences Between Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC Products

Although there haven’t been many official tests regarding the potency of the two products, it seems that delta 8 has half the potency that delta 9 does (source: Observer). What does this mean in practical terms? It means that while not everyone will experience side effects with either delta product, the side effects that are experienced tend to be much more subdued when you use delta 8 THC products. 

And while delta 8 can produce side effects such as lethargy and a sedated feel, delta 9’s side effects tend to be the opposite; in other words, they may include anxiety, paranoia, and even panic. Any way that you look at it, using delta 8 products is better for the user, especially if you use it before you go to work or have some other responsibility planned.

As far as the legality of these two goes, delta 9 THC is classified by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) as a Schedule 1 drug, which puts it alongside drugs such as heroin and cocaine. 

Oddly enough, delta 8 THC isn’t mentioned at all, which is why it is technically legal in the U.S. That being said, if your state has laws saying that anything with marijuana (THC) in it is illegal, you’ll need to check the laws carefully, especially because many states have specifically banned delta 8 THC products altogether. Delta 8 THC lands in a “gray” area when it comes to the law, so if you have any doubts, you’ll need to check out the laws in your state before purchasing any products with delta 8 THC in it.

And to help you out, below are 11 states that have specifically banned delta 8 THC products:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah

Why Colorado is on there is anyone’s guess, considering that they were the first state to make marijuana/THC legal. It doesn’t make sense, but as of this writing, it is still one of the 11 states where delta 8 THC is specifically banned.

Which One Is Better?

Since the term “better” is subjective, this question is difficult to answer, but if you’re one of these people who want the benefits of THC, including pain relief and less anxiety and depression, but you don’t want any side effects, delta 8 THC is for you. Remember that it is half as potent as delta 9, so it will take you twice as much to get the same effects as delta 9. 

Nevertheless, for people who have mild symptoms and simply don’t want to risk feeling paranoid or anxious, delta 8 THC is simply a better choice. Having said that, it will be more expensive than delta 9 THC, mostly because it takes more processing and extracting, and because it has to be tested every time, which is expensive. Keep in mind that many people who try delta 8 THC are doing it for medicinal purposes and not to get high, which is yet another reason why it is so popular.

So, while delta 8 THC is more expensive yet half as potent as delta 9 THC, it is still generally preferred over delta 9 THC, thanks to the fact that it works to curb so many physical and emotional symptoms yet doesn’t get people too “loopy.” When this is what people are looking for, it’s good to know they can find it.


Even though delta 8 and delta 9 THC are very close on a molecular level, they can differ quite a bit in many ways. Many experts are convinced it won’t be long until all types of THC are legal in all 50 states, so now is a great time to learn all about THC and its many forms, which include tinctures, vape cartridges, and tasty gummies. Other companies may offer additional products, but these three products are the most common ones found today. Before you order either of these products, it’s best to do some research first to make sure that the company you’re buying from is legitimate. If you’re interested in taking care of physical or emotional pain without the use of chemical-filled drugs, THC products might be the perfect answer for you.