Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC – what’s the difference?

Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC are popular cannabinoids that are sought after for their psychoactive and medicinal properties. They have slightly different chemical structures that dictate the interaction between the cannabinoids and the CB-1 receptors. Understanding the differences between these two cannabinoids is crucial to any marijuana grower or processor.

In this article, we’ll be covering those differences and why it’s important to know them, as well as the legality of growing and processing Delta 8 and Delta 9.

Understanding the Main Differences Between Delta 8 and Delta 9

Cannabinoids such as CBD and THC both derive from the cannabis plant. There are over a hundred different cannabinoids, but CBD and THC are the main reason for marijuana cultivation. They are sought after due to their psychoactive and medicinal properties. Delta THC’s main usage is for relieving the nerve pain that cancer survivors are subject to, and it also has multiple effects such as relief of anxiety, sedation, and general pain relief.

The only difference in structure between Delta 8 and Delta 9 is where the double bond is located on a molecular level. On Delta 8 it is found on the eighth carbon atom, and on Delta 9 it is on the ninth. Even though this double bond is the sole reason for the difference between Delta 8 and Delta 9, this fundamentally changes how the two substances interact with the consumer.

Delta 9 THC

Delta 9 THC is often considered the more popular of the two. This cannabinoid is sought after mostly for its psychoactive properties. Users typically experience feelings like elation, positivity, and even tranquility, and very rarely negative side effects such as paranoia.

Delta 8 THC

The main properties of Delta 8 THC are medicinal. They include pain relief, anxiety and inflammation reduction, as well as countering insomnia. While Delta 8 does have some minor psychoactive effects, they are not as potent as they are in Delta 9. Delta 8 is also found less in plant matter compared to Delta 9, so it is more expensive to produce. Instead, most growers opt for converting CBD into pure Delta 8, which is a much more affordable and consistent method.

Why are the Differences Important?

If you’re considering investing in a Delta 8 processing business, it’s worth researching its legal status as much as possible. Currently, in the US, all hemp-derived cannabinoids are considered fully legal on a federal level, but it gets more complicated on a state level.

Delta 8 is typically considered perfectly legal due to its medicinal properties, but the marijuana-derived Delta 9 THC is prohibited. This is due to the Farm Bill that passed in 2018, though every individual state will most likely have its own set of prohibitions.

There is also a higher interest in other cannabinoids that have the same or a similar structure. Their popularity stems from the straightforwardness of the cannabinoid conversion process, and many lab technicians have started using advanced techniques to transform common cannabinoids into other rarer cannabinoids, such as CBG and THCV.