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Delta-8 vs. CBD: What’s the Difference?

Delta-8 vs. CBD: What’s the Difference?

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Whether you're a seasoned cannabis enthusiast or barely getting started, the different cannabinoids available can be overwhelming. Delta-8, Delta-9, THC, HHC... Which one is right for you?

CBD and Delta-8 are two compounds preferred by those seeking a gentler alternative to Delta-9 THC, but this doesn't mean that their effects are similar. Here, we explain what CBD and THC are so you can choose the one that best suits your needs. Read on to discover the key differences between CBD and THC.

What is Delta-8?

Delta-8 flower buds in a clear jar

Delta-8 is a cannabinoid that is naturally found in cannabis plants. Delta-8 THC is derived from hemp and is federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill, allowing it to be purchased in a variety of forms.

Chemical Process of Delta-8 THC

Delta-8 THC is often called "synthetic," which suggests that this cannabinoid is fake, but it is more accurate to say it is "synthesized." You see, Delta-8 does occur naturally in hemp, but in very small amounts. So there are two methods by which it can be extracted. One method involves converting CBD into Delta-8 THC through a careful chemical process, while the other is extracting Delta-8 THC directly from the plant.

To better understand the chemical composition of Delta-8 THC, let’s compare its formula to Delta-9 THC, which is the main psychoactive component in cannabis.

Delta-8 is an isomer of Delta-9. The main chemical difference is where the double bond is located on the chain of carbon atoms. Delta-8 has a double bond located on the 8th carbon chain. Versus Delta-9’s double bond, which is located on the 9th carbon chain. This slight difference in molecular structure may seem insignificant, but these two chemicals will produce different effects when consumed.

Effects after Consumption

Delta-8 has some properties similar to that of Delta-9- in other words, it's psychoactive- but with a different feel and less potency. Delta-8 THC can be consumed by smoking Delta-8 flower, eating Delta-8 edibles, or using a Delta-8 tincture. Enthusiasts have reported feelings of relaxation, calmness, and mild euphoria after consuming Delta-8.  Keep in mind, however, that cannabinoids affect everyone differently

What is CBD?

cbd oil tincture

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound that is extracted from the cannabis plant. Unlike Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC, CBD is non-psychoactive- it does not produce a "high" when consumed. CBD is commonly used for its potential therapeutic properties, such as reducing pain and inflammation. CBD can be consumed in various forms, including oils, capsules, edibles, and topicals.

Chemical Difference Between CBD vs. Delta-8

Although CBD and Delta-8 THC both come from cannabis, CBD and Delta-8 are very different. Hemp naturally produces high amounts of CBD but low amounts of Delta-8. When CBD is used, it binds indirectly to CB1 and CB2 receptors, while Delta-8 interacts mainly with the CB1 receptor in the endocannabinoid system. 

Effects After Consumption – Delta-8 vs. CBD

When CBD is consumed, customers have reported having a calming effect and that it even has promoted relaxation. 

The main difference between THC and CBD is their physical effects. It is rare to feel any intense effects when CBD is used, but when THC is consumed, it can affect you extremely or barely, depending on how it’s consumed. 

Delta-8 THC is generally sold as vape products, edibles, or flower products. Suppose you are looking for a more intense cannabinoid than CBD. Delta-8 THC might be the ideal choice for you. Avid Delta-8 customers described their experiences as promoting a sense of well-being, and contentedness.

Delta-8 vs. Delta-9

cannabis flower

Before we dive into the major differences between Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC, let us go over some specific things you should know about Delta-9. 

What is Delta-9 THC?

Delta-9 THC is most commonly associated with marijuana, but the scientific term is Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. This is one of the most common cannabinoids used, as seen on television and online. As of September 22, 2021 it is legal in 19 states, although it is illegal federally. 

The main difference between Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC is how our bodies handle the chemical effects of these two cannabinoids. As previously stated, chemically, they are different due to the location of the chemical on their carbon chains. But the most significant difference you will notice is their levels of potency.

Delta-9 is enjoyed by many, but due to its higher potency, some have found it to be excessive. For this reason, people prefer Delta-8 to give them a more mellow experience. 


Now that we have broken each cannabinoid down, you will fully understand the difference between CBD and Delta-8 THC.

CBD and Delta-8 THC are similar, but they have prominent differences. CBD is an excellent way for those hesitant to enter the cannabis world, but if you’re looking for a cannabinoid with a more acute effect than CBD, we recommend giving Delta-8 a try.

FDA Disclaimer: The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.

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