Delta 8 vs Delta 9 Gummies: Which is Better?
The edible world has come a heck of a long way from those funny tasting, “special” brownies whipped up in your buddy’s crockpot. Ah, the good ole days!
Now you can get Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC infused in just about any food or beverage you can imagine – from gummies, to rice crispies, to cocktails and smoothies – the options are endless.
But with so many infusion options to choose from, edible enthusiasts are left with one question:
“Which is better – Delta 8 THC or Delta 9 THC?”
What is the Difference Between Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC?
Both Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC are composed of the same set of elements (carbon, hydrogen and oxygen), only differing slightly in how those elements are arranged says Dave Gordon, M.D., a double-board certified integrative and functional medicine physician with expertise in cannabis therapeutics and advisory board member for Leaf411, an online resource for using cannabis safely and effectively.
Although similarly composed, Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC exhibit many differences.
Since Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC both activate the body’s CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, including those in the central nervous system, both can produce many of the same effects.
“Activating CB1 receptors can reduce pain, help with sleep, increase relaxation, calm an overactive nervous system, improve appetite, protect and heal nerves and prevent sensory overstimulation,” says Dr. Gordon.
“Activating CB2 receptors primarily calms an overactive immune system and reduces inflammation, both of which are crucial to improving many chronic conditions.”
Meanwhile, overstimulation of CB1 receptors by overconsumption of Delta 8 THC or Delta 9 THC both can cause lethargy, disorientation, anxiety (and potentially panic), dry mouth and eyes, increased heart rate and loss of coordination, adds Dr. Gordon.
Delta 9 THC has been studied extensively for nearly 60 years, but little research is published on Delta 8 THC, says Dr. Gordon. Another major difference is how they are (or aren’t) regulated.
“Delta 9 THC is highly regulated in states where legalization measures have passed with specific rules on testing, extracting and labeling,” he adds. But many manufacturers of Delta 8 THC products aren’t following specific regulations, says Dr. Gordon.
For example, they may not ensure their products are free of adulterants or that the final product contains exactly what’s stated on the label.
Potency is another difference between Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC.
“I think it’s reasonable to assume properly labeled Delta 8 THC would be about one-quarter to one-third less potent than an equivalent amount of Delta 9 THC,” says Dr. Gordon.
Delta 9 THC can be smoked or vaporized in flower (bud) form without requiring extraction, although gummies, topicals and other preparations do require an extraction process.
On the other hand, nearly all Delta 8 THC products are synthesized, extracted, and purified from cannabis-sourced CBD.
How to Choose Between Delta 8 THC vs. Delta 9 THC Gummies?
Say you’re edible shopping (legally, of course) and you’re trying to decide between Delta 8 THC, and Delta 9 THC gummies but you’re not sure where to start.
When making this decision, there are a few factors that need to be considered to make the best choice for you: effects, how long they take to kick in, how your body processes both Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC, and most importantly, THE VIBE!
We’ll break this down a little more, but first, check out what other Moonwlkrs are saying about their Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC edible experiences.
What are the Effects of Delta 8 THC Gummies?
Delta 8 THC has been reported to be slightly less psychoactive than Delta 9 THC.
What this means is that Delta 8 seems to produce a gentler “high” than its stronger counterpart Delta 9.
Because of this, users of Delta 8 tend to report a more enjoyable high with a gradual come up, without any paranoia, anxiety, or mental confusion that is usually associated with Delta 9.
According to thirteen Moonwlkr Delta 8 THC users, many of them experienced:
- A relaxed mind and a great night’s sleep
- A nice smooth head high
- A clear head with no panicking
- Hunger (you know, the munchies!)
- Feeling calm and relaxed
- Lots of giggles (I mean, is there anything better than a “high laugh”?)
- Control over their high
- Improvements in mood and diminished anxiety
- A body and a head high
- A quiet mind
- Positive emotions
How Long Do Delta 8 Gummies Take to Kick In?
After you’ve ingested that delightful gummy, you might be wondering when the party will start.
Well, patience is key – it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours for Delta 8 to make its grand entrance.
Think of it like waiting for the perfect wave – don’t bail too soon!
When the onset does start to occur, the high that begins to set in is often described as more gradual than Delta 9 THC.
Delta 8 THC users report that there is a longer and more pronounced “come up” period, as opposed to getting hit hard, and all at once.
Slide over to our newest article “How Long Do Delta 8 Gummies Take to Kick In?” for more information on this topic.
Delta-8 users say they tend to enjoy this come up period, saying that they feel light and productive as they inch their way to reaching the peak of the high.
Generally, the peak high will occur about 3 hours after eating, and clear from your system 10-12 hours after ingestion, depending on the dosage.
What are the Effects of Delta 9 THC Gummies?
Now on to Delta 8 THC’s stronger, big brother – – Delta 9 THC!
Delta 9 THC is considerably more potent than Delta 8 THC – – some believing it to be about twice as strong overall.
It comes in many forms such as tinctures, vaping cartridges, and infused beverages. However, gummies are by far the most popular methods of delivery due to their discretion and yummy flavors. At its core, the obvious effects of Delta 9 THC are…you guessed it…the “high” – – which may vary from person to person, and strain to strain.
Some people experience feelings of paranoia, while others have intense feelings of euphoria.
Most negative mental effects are generally experienced by new users who are just starting to get familiar with Delta 9.
Studies have shown that using Delta 9 THC may have therapeutic benefits for certain conditions, including nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, seizure disorders, chronic pain, spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) and sleep disorders in people with other chronic conditions, says Dr. Gordon.
Other potential benefits of consuming Delta 9 THC may include:
- Decreased anxiety
- Increased appetite
- Feelings of happiness or exhilaration
- Heightened imagination
- Improved sensory perception
How Does My Body Process Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC?
Chemically, Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC are very similar. They share a chemical formula, which is C₂₁H₃₀O₂.
The difference between Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC is that one of the carbon-carbon double bonds is in a different location.
Your liver breaks THC down into a completely different, and much stronger compound called 11-hydroxy-THC.
About 10x more 11-Hydroxy-THC is produced after ingestion, compared to inhalation.
This process holds true for all THC gummies, but the psychoactive effects when consuming Delta 8 THC are reportedly less intense than the ones that would be produced from ingesting Delta 9 THC in the same quantity.
How Do They Interact with the Endocannabinoid System?
Your endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a network of cell signals and receivers throughout your body. You have more cannabinoid receptors in your brain than nearly any other kind.
Called CB-1 receptors, they help control and adjust your central nervous system. That means they help control functions like your mood, hunger, body temperature, sense of pain, and alertness.
Putting the science to the side to answer the question you really want to ask.
Does Delta 8 give you the same high as Delta 9?
Delta 8 THC produces a fuzzy, euphoric high that’s said to be similar to that from marijuana, but milder. Some people also use it to ease symptoms of conditions like stress, depression, or chronic pain.
Others have reported a more “clear-headed” mindset with few instances of anxiety or paranoia due to the diminished less psychoactive high and its gradual come up.
Delta 9 THC on the other hand, doesn’t have the gradual high that Delta 8 THC has. Instead, it’s an intense high that hits you all at once that typically produces a decrease in mental clarity and an increase in confusion.
If the first set of characteristics suit you better, then you’re probably a Delta 8 THC fan.
You only want to get “lowkey” stoned. Fair enough!
But if the effects of the second set of characteristics are more your speed, buckle up and prepare for take off – – it’s about to be a wild ride!
Are Delta 8 and Delta 9 Legal?
Unlike marijuana, Delta 8 THC is federally legal under the 2018 farm bill, which legalized and protects hemp/hemp derived products.
So… What’s the difference between hemp and marijuana? It’s simple:
The defining difference between hemp and marijuana is their psychoactive component: tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
Hemp has 0.3% or less THC, meaning hemp-derived products don’t contain enough THC to create the “high” traditionally associated with marijuana.
Conversely, marijuana contains more than 0.3% Delta 9 THC – – making it federally illegal.
Thus, in order to meet the statutory definition of hemp and qualify for the exception in the definition of marijuana, a cannabis-derived product must contain 0.3% or less Delta 9 THC on a dry weight basis.
It is not enough that a product is labeled or advertised as “hemp.”
Therefore, the difference between federally-illegal marijuana and federally-legal hemp is the THC content, with the threshold divider being 0.3% delta-9 THC potency.
We do our best to keep our shipping laws page updated with the most recent state rulings. Check out your state’s shipping laws here.
Here’s a quick recap on what we’ve discussed:
Delta 8 THC
Delta 9 THC
|Psychoactive Effects||Mild & Subtle||Potent & Immediate|
|Vibe||Subtle Sophistication aka Chill Vibes||Mind-Blowing Intensity aka Whoa Vibes|
|Nausea and vomiting relief||Euphoria, improved mood state|
|Stress relief||Improved sensory perception|
|Increased appetite||Enhanced creativity|
|Analgesic effects for pain relief||Improved libido|
|Potential to protect nerve tissue||Appetite stimulation|
|Reduced insomnia||Nausea reduction|
|Appearance on Drug Tests||Yes||Yes|
|Dosage||10-80 MG||5-20 MG|
|Onset Timing||30-60 Minutes||1-2 Hours|
|Duration||Approx. 4-6 Hours||Approx. 8 Hours|
|THC Concentration||As low as 3-10%||Up to 30%|
We love Delta 8 and Delta 9 and are proud to be industry leaders in creating high-quality products.
We’d love to hear from you! Give us a shout on Instagram – it’s run by real humans (and sometimes aliens) who simply love the effects of both Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC.
Not sure where to start your Delta 8 or Delta 9 journey? We’ve got you covered.