Delta 8 vs. THC

What's the Difference?

Delta 8 and THC are both cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, but they have some key differences. THC, or delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is the primary psychoactive compound responsible for the "high" associated with marijuana use. It binds strongly to the CB1 receptors in the brain, resulting in euphoria, relaxation, and altered perception. On the other hand, Delta 8, or delta 8-tetrahydrocannabinol, is a less potent form of THC that is derived from hemp. It produces a milder psychoactive effect compared to THC, making it a popular choice for those seeking a more subtle experience. Additionally, Delta 8 is believed to have a lower risk of inducing anxiety or paranoia, which can sometimes be associated with high levels of THC consumption.


Delta 8
Photo by Elsa Olofsson on Unsplash
AttributeDelta 8THC
Chemical StructureSimilar to THC, but with a double bond on the 8th carbon atomContains a double bond on the 9th carbon atom
Psychoactive EffectsMild psychoactive effects, less potent than THCStrong psychoactive effects, responsible for the "high" associated with cannabis
Legal StatusVaries by jurisdiction, legality is still being debatedIllegal in many jurisdictions, classified as a controlled substance
OriginNaturally occurring in cannabis plants, but typically found in low concentrationsNaturally occurring in cannabis plants, typically found in higher concentrations
Medical BenefitsPotential therapeutic benefits, including pain relief and anxiety reductionVarious medical benefits, including pain relief, nausea suppression, and appetite stimulation
Side EffectsPossible side effects include dry mouth, red eyes, and increased heart ratePossible side effects include dry mouth, red eyes, impaired memory, and increased heart rate
Photo by CRYSTALWEED cannabis on Unsplash

Further Detail


Delta 8 and THC are two compounds found in cannabis plants that have gained significant attention in recent years. While both substances belong to the same family of cannabinoids, they have distinct attributes that set them apart. In this article, we will explore the differences and similarities between Delta 8 and THC, shedding light on their effects, legality, and potential therapeutic benefits.

Chemical Structure

Delta 8 and THC share a similar chemical structure, with both compounds having a double bond in their molecular chain. However, the location of this bond differs between the two. In Delta 8, the double bond is found on the eighth carbon atom, while in THC, it is on the ninth carbon atom. This slight variation in structure leads to differences in how these compounds interact with the body's endocannabinoid system.

Psychoactive Effects

One of the most significant differences between Delta 8 and THC lies in their psychoactive properties. THC is well-known for its potent psychoactive effects, often associated with the feeling of being "high." This is due to its strong binding affinity with the CB1 receptors in the brain. On the other hand, Delta 8 is reported to have milder psychoactive effects, providing a more subtle and less intense experience. Some users describe Delta 8 as inducing a relaxed and clear-headed state, making it a popular choice for those seeking a more balanced cannabis experience.


The legal status of Delta 8 and THC also differs significantly. THC is classified as a Schedule I substance in many countries, including the United States, meaning it is illegal to possess or distribute. However, the legality of Delta 8 is a bit more complex. While it is derived from hemp, which was legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill in the US, the specific extraction and conversion process to obtain Delta 8 is not explicitly addressed in the legislation. As a result, the legality of Delta 8 products varies from state to state, with some states banning its sale and others allowing it with certain restrictions.

Therapeutic Potential

Both Delta 8 and THC have shown potential therapeutic benefits, although research is still limited due to legal restrictions. THC has been extensively studied for its ability to alleviate pain, reduce nausea and vomiting, stimulate appetite, and relieve muscle spasms. It is also being investigated for its potential anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. Delta 8, on the other hand, is believed to offer similar therapeutic effects to THC but with a reduced risk of anxiety or paranoia, which can sometimes be associated with high doses of THC. Some users report that Delta 8 helps with anxiety, insomnia, and pain management, making it an appealing option for those seeking relief without the intense psychoactive effects of THC.

Availability and Consumption

When it comes to availability, THC products are more widely accessible in regions where cannabis is legal for recreational or medicinal use. These products can be found in various forms, including dried flower, concentrates, edibles, and topicals. Delta 8 products, on the other hand, are less prevalent and may require more effort to find, especially in areas with stricter regulations. However, with the increasing popularity of Delta 8, more companies are starting to offer a range of products, including vape cartridges, tinctures, and gummies.


In conclusion, Delta 8 and THC are two cannabinoids that share similarities but also have distinct attributes. While both compounds have psychoactive effects, THC is known for its potent high, while Delta 8 offers a milder experience. Legally, THC is classified as a controlled substance in many countries, while the legality of Delta 8 varies. In terms of therapeutic potential, both compounds show promise, with THC being extensively studied and Delta 8 offering similar benefits with potentially fewer adverse effects. Ultimately, the choice between Delta 8 and THC depends on individual preferences and the legal landscape in each jurisdiction.

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