Cannabis Knowledge: What’s the difference between Delta-8 THC & Delta-9 THC?

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A lot of terminology is involved when navigating the cannabis realm, but understanding each concept can help you optimally curate your cannabis experience. In this blog, we’re going to cover Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC. You’ll learn what these terms mean, how they differ, and how to choose between them.


person wearing ring and holding bluntDelta-8 THC vs. Delta-9 THC

First things first, let’s understand what delta-8 and delta-9 actually are. Both are cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, and they have similar chemical structures. However, the slight differences in their structures lead to some interesting variations in their effects on our bodies.

Delta-8 THC is present in small quantities naturally in cannabis plants, but it’s usually extracted and concentrated to make it more accessible. On the other hand, delta-9 THC, is the most abundant and well-known cannabinoid in cannabis. 

Delta-8 is legal in 36 states, while delta-9, the most prominent cannabinoid associated with medicinal and recreational cannabis, is legal in only 23 states, plus Washington DC. Delta-9, the more potent psychoactive compound, is often subject to stricter regulations. Delta-8 has gained popularity due to some legal loopholes, making it more widely available in certain regions.


The Effects

When it comes to the effects, these two cannabinoids may belong to the same family, but they each bring their own unique experiences to the table. 

Similarities in Psychoactive Effects

Both delta-8 and delta-9 interact with the endocannabinoid system in our bodies, specifically binding to CB1 receptors, which are abundant in the brain. As a result, they can induce psychoactive effects, albeit to varying degrees.

  • Euphoria & Relaxation: Users of both delta-8 and delta-9 often report feeling a sense of euphoria and relaxation. These cannabinoids may help reduce stress and anxiety, providing a more calming experience.
  • Enhanced Mood: Users often describe an uplifted mood and heightened senses, making activities like listening to music or enjoying nature more enjoyable.
  • Increased Appetite: “The munchies” phenomenon is commonly associated with both delta-8 and delta-9, increasing the desire to indulge in tasty treats.


Differences in Potency & Onset Time

The key distinctions between Delta 8 and Delta 9 lie in their potency and how quickly their effects kick in. Delta-9, the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, is generally more potent than delta-8. As a result, it can lead to a stronger and more immediate high. On the flip side, delta-8 offers a more gradual onset of effects. Users often report a smoother experience, as it takes a bit more time to manifest fully, reducing the intensity that some may find overwhelming with delta-9.

Generally speaking, many users appreciate delta-8 for its more mild and manageable effects. Some find it a great option for daytime use, providing a sense of relaxation without clouding the mind. On the other hand, delta-9, with its potent psychoactive properties, may be preferred by those seeking a more intense high or using it for specific medicinal purposes. 

Both delta-8 and delta-9 have shown potential therapeutic benefits, with ongoing research exploring their use for pain relief, appetite stimulation, and management of certain medical conditions. However, it’s important to note that while anecdotal evidence provides valuable insights, further scientific research is needed to fully understand the effects and potential benefits of both delta-8 and delta-9.


Choosing Between Delta-8 and Delta-9

Delta-8 and delta-9 both offer psychoactive effects and potential therapeutic benefits, so choosing between them may feel challenging. However, consider the following factors that will guide your decision-making between delta-8 and delta-9:

  • Individual preferences & tolerance levels

Just like picking your favorite ice cream flavor, the choice between delta-8 and delta-9 comes down to your preference and how your body responds. If you’re new to the cannabis scene or have a lower tolerance, delta-8 might be a great starting point. Its milder effects often appeal to those looking for a more gentle experience. 

Conversely, seasoned users or those looking for a more potent high may find delta-9 to be what they are looking for.

  • Intended use & personal considerations

Consider why you want to explore these cannabinoids. Are you looking for relaxation after a long day, a boost in creativity, or perhaps some pain relief? Understanding your intended use can help guide your decision. 

Delta-8’s smoother onset and potential therapeutic benefits might be your go-to if you’re seeking a subtle, functional high. Meanwhile, delta-9’s potent effects could be your choice for a special occasion or when you need stronger relief.

  • Expert recommendations & dosing guidelines

When in doubt, seeking expert advice is always a great idea. Consult with budtenders at your local dispensary or medical professionals who are well-versed in cannabis use. They can offer valuable insights based on your specific needs and health considerations. 

Also, remember to follow dosing guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Start low and go slow, giving your body time to acclimate to the effects.


There’s no one-size-fits-all answer here. Choosing between delta-8 and delta-9 is an exciting journey of self-discovery, experimentation, and learning what works best for you. Always prioritize responsible use and abide by your local laws and regulations.


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Society Cannabis Co. — Premier Clinton, MA Dispensary: Come Check Out Our Delta-9 THC Offerings!

Overall, whether you’re seeking relaxation, creativity, or therapeutic benefits, delta-8 and delta-9 each have something unique to offer. So go ahead: explore the world of cannabinoids, and enjoy the ride! Stay curious, stay informed, and embrace the magic of cannabis in all of its unique forms.

With all that being said, it’s important to note that at most dispensaries around the country, you will more than likely always find an abundance of Delta-9 THC products. Be sure to peruse our extensive selection of Delta-9 THC offerings on our online dispensary menu.

Wanna learn more about cannabinoids? Check out our previous blog on the minor cannabinoid, CBN!

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