The key differences between CBD, Delta-8 THC, and Delta-9 THC

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Marijuana laws and restrictions are slowly but surely being lifted in many states, and we will likely see a push toward federal legalization within the next decade. Consequently, this acceptance has massively increased the popularity of CBD (Cannabidiol) and Delta-8 THC. Continue reading to learn about the differences between the effects and benefits of CBD, Delta-8 THC, and Delta-9 THC.

What is THC?

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the compound responsible for the sensation that makes users feel high. This compound makes traditional cannabis illegal in many states and federally in the US. When it comes to the legality of CBD, Delta-8, and Delta-9, THC content is the main point of discussion.


Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is a chemical compound found naturally within the cannabis plant. Products that use CBD are created by adding CBD oil, which is made by extracting the CBD from the cannabis plant and then mixing it with a carrier oil to dilute it.

The key benefit to CBD oil is that it contains no THC, meaning you will not experience the sensation of feeling high while also gaining the benefits it provides. Some benefits include:

  • Pain Relief
  • Reduced symptoms in Mental Health Disorders
  • Potential benefit to heart health
  • Improved Sleep
  • Provides Antipsychotic effects

CBD oil is versatile and a part of many different products such as body washes, foods, drinks, pills, and dietary supplements.

Delta-8 THC

The new kid on the block that has risen in popularity along with CBD is Delta-8 THC. Delta-8 THC is very similar to both Delta-9 THC and CBD. The difference between Delta-8 and CBD is that Delta-8 contains the psychoactive ingredient THC. What this means is that when you use a Delta-8 THC product, you will experience the sensation of being high.

Delta-8 THC is created and extracted from hemp, which is legal to grow and farm within the United States. Because of this, Delta-8 THC isn’t under strict regulations like its Delta-9 counterpart. The main difference between this hemp-derived THC is that it provides a significantly less potent experience comparatively to Delta-9 THC. While Delta-8 THC shares many of the same benefits as CBD along with a couple more, you can still experience the negative side effects of THC consumption including:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Intense nausea and vomiting
  • Significant anxiety
  • Paranoia

The great news about Delta-8 THC is that the aforementioned negative side effects are also significantly less potent when compared to Delta-9 THC. Delta-8 THC has found its niche as a weaker, lite version of traditional THC and lends itself as a fantastic introduction to cannabis.

Delta-9 THC

Last on the list is the traditional, regulated, and potent Delta-9 THC. Delta-8 and Delta-9 both share the THC compound with slight differences. These differences cause vastly different sensations.

Delta-8 THC is referred to as a body high, while Delta-9 is referred to as a head high. The psychoactive effects are more significant in Delta-9 and as a result, creates a more potent high sensation.

Much like CBD and Delta-8, Delta-9 is also capable of significant health benefits at the cost of potentially more severe side effects mentioned earlier. As with all things, moderation is key here, and the negative side effects often come with misuse.


Legality of CBD, Delta-8, and Delta-9 isn’t a binary thing. All three have vastly different laws and regulations depending on which state you live in. Federal law only recognizes Delta-9 as illegal while CBD and Delta-8 are legal federally. Below we will provide some links to see what is and isn’t legal in your state.

Legality of CBD

Legality of Delta-8

Legality of Delta-9