What’s the Difference Between Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC?

Delta-8 THC is a very important cannabinoid, mainly thanks to its ability to serve as a more mellow and functional substitute for Delta-9 THC (or what we typically refer to as “traditional marijuana.”)

While there is no denying that Delta-9 THC is a powerful compound – not to mention a potent and natural healer for those suffering from a host of ailments and medical issues – it also carries with it quite a few adverse side effects. Paranoia and anxiety often top the list of undesirable side effects associated with traditional marijuana – along with sleep issues and addiction with longer-term use.

Delta-8 THC doesn’t appear to have many of these harmful properties – at least not nearly to the same extent as Delta-9 THC. This makes it a top choice for those seeking similar relaxational properties and euphoric effects to Delta-9 THC, but with far less of the adverse mental side effects.

Delta-8 THC vs. Delta-9 THC: Side-by-Side Comparison

The “8” in Delta-8 indicates the location of the chemical bond – which is only one spot over from that of Delta-9. Thanks to these structural similarities, Delta-8 also shares many of the same properties as Delta-9 THC (euphoric, relaxing, body and mind effects, etc.). However, because of the minor chemical differences between the two, there are also some notable differences.


Like Delta-9, Delta-8 THC also binds to CB1 receptors. But because it is more stable and mellow than it’s potent THC cousin, Delta-8 produces a slightly lesser effect, specifically in terms of its psychoactive properties. Many of the negative side effects of Delta-9 THC are much milder with Delta-8, and users don’t experience nearly the intense scope of anxiety, paranoia, personality issues, etc., as is common with regular marijuana.

What Does Delta-8 THC Feel Like?

Since the euphoric sensation is a bit more mild with Delta-8 than what you might experience with Delta-9 THC, users often report a clearer mind and more energetic mood when consuming Delta-8. Many of the less desirable effects of THC, like paranoia and anxiety, are also reduced, making Delta-8 the clear choice for those seeking a middle ground effect between CBD and THC.

Unlike CBD which only has medicinal uses, Delta-8 THC can be used both medicinally and recreationally thanks to its subtle psychoactive effects.

Our Favorite Delta-8 THC Products of 2021:

We are loving BudVault’s latest selection of pure Delta-8 THC buds and edibles. Not only do they offer a broad catalog of Delta-8 products, but you really can’t beat their monthly deals and special freebie giveaways.

  • BudVault offers a FREE 4g hemp flower or Space Cowboy Delta-8 with any flower purchase. They are also running a promo on Delta-8 edibles, offering a generous sample pack of gummies with any gummy purchase. And yes, you can combine both offers!

Delta-8 THC vs. CBD

Structure-wise, Delta-8 THC shares more in common with Delta-9 THC than it does with CBD. Although CBD is the second most abundant cannabinoid in the cannabis plant, it doesn’t have the same effect on the brain’s CB1 and CB2 neuroreceptors (the receptors responsible for delivering psychoactive effects) as its THC counterparts.

Here’s a quick comparison of the differences between Delta-8 THC and CBD:


  • Non psychoactive
  • Works with CB1 receptors
  • Found in high concentrations in the hemp plant
  • Mainly used medicinally (few recreational benefits)
  • Low probability of CBD showing up on drug test

Delta-8 THC:

  • Could show up on a drug test
  • Mellow psychoactive properties
  • Can be used both medicinally and recreationally
  • Much rarer than CBD, very small concentration naturally occurring in hemp plant
  • Works on CB1 and CBD2 receptors

As you have probably gathered, comparing CBD to Delta-8 THC is like comparing apples to oranges. Yes, they are both derived from the hemp plant and are both federally legal, but that is where the major similarities end. If you are reluctant to try Delta-8 because you don’t want “more of the same,” we highly recommend that you give it a try, as it is a whole different animal than CBD or hemp.

How does Delta-8 THC work?

Structurally, Delta-8 THC closely resembles that of a naturally occurring endogenous cannabinoid neurotransmitter in the brain called anadamine. Anandamide can affect areas of the brain that impact everything from pleasure and sensory perception, to memory, thinking, and concentration. Since Delta-8 THC is so structurally similar to anandamide, it can stick to and activate the cannabinoid receptors of the brain responsible for these various mental and motor functions.

Best Delta-8 Edibles and Gummies:

BudVault offers an excellent selection of Delta-8 edibles, including their entire line of best-selling 25mg gummies in various flavors and varieties.

Watermelon Rush 1500mg (25mg each) Delta-8 THC Chews:

This tried and true fruit chew has been around for a minute, and ever since we first tried it last December, it’s remained at the top of our list in terms of all-around favorite Delta-8 gummies available online.

First of all, the flavor is just fantastic. Not only is it a watermelon lover’s paradise, but the unmistakable gassy hit of diesel that emerges from the juicy core is a nice little preview for the happy and otherworldly times ahead. We love Watermelon Rush’s ability to target the areas that need it most, and the heady effect this edible delivers makes it one of the best on the market today. Not too much, but certainly not too little, you will feel the unmistakable effects of Delta-8 tingling up your spine within about 20 minutes of consumption. Not only is the onset quick and powerful, but the positive effects and mood-boosting properties seem to linger for hours after dosing – much longer than a lot of the competition out there today.

Rosé Kushy Bears 1500mg (25mg each) Delta-8 THC Gummies:

We also can’t get enough of this delicious new offering from BudVault, and we highly recommend at the very least grabbing the Rosé Kushy Bears one as your freebie – as we noticed a bit of a difference in effect between the varieties that we appreciated when comparing these bears with the other options.

We describe this gummy as “mellow and stable” – the ideal dose for when you need a reliable pick me up, but aren’t prepared to go to outer space or get stuck in a couch-lock just yet. (For a headier and more powerful effect, we suggest the Hazy Peach Rings, which is one of our favorite 1000mg Delta-8 edibles available online for those times we need a heavier hit of relaxational effects.)

Final Thoughts after Trying Delta-8 THC for 1 Month:

Delta-8 THC is a total game-changer. What started as an experiment of curiosity turned into a new obsession, and our whole team of cannabis enthusiasts was blown away by the efficacy of this budding new cannabinoid.

Not only did these Delta-8 THC edibles and hemp flowers pack a major punch, but they also “scratched the itch” of weed without bogging any of our testers down.

Here are a few of our testers’ notes after completing their 1 month of Delta-8 experiment:

  • “I’m embarrassed that it took me so long to try this! I had no idea it would actually feel like something, and I really had no idea that I would end up liking it more than weed! Mind blown!”
  • Audrey (San Francisco)
  • “This can’t be compared to CBD. If you need to compare Delta-8 to something it’s definitely Delta-9. I loved the effect and really appreciated the lack of paranoia (which is the main reason I actively avoid regular THC now.) Great substitute for the real thing!
  • Nicholas (San Francisco)
  • Great stuff! My husband and I were both blown away by the Watermelon Rush and Kushy Bear gummies we tried. They were incredibly strong and the effect hit us fast, but we never felt the dreaded “too much” anxious feeling that often accompanies regular weed edibles for the both of us.
  • Margo (Austin, Texas)


Jun. 4, 2021 12:00 a.m.