Delta 8 vs Delta 9: What is There to Know?

There is tons of information across the internet comparing Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC together. They are both psychoactive cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. However, one cannabinoid is legal and the other, in large quantities, is illegal on the federal level. So what are all of the differences between Delta 8 and Delta 9? You’d be surprised what each cannabinoid has in common and what sets them apart. 

What is Delta 8 THC?

First, it’s important to define what each cannabinoid is exactly. First is Delta 8 THC. Considered the nicer, younger brother to Delta 9, Delta 8 is said to offer a more controllable and less intense euphoric experience. It’s found in small amounts within the cannabis plant stem. Unfortunately, there is such a small amount found in the stem. In order to produce large quantities, CBD is transformed into Delta 8 through a process called decarboxylation. Heat is applied to CBD, which creates an isomerization effect to convert CBD to Delta 8. This is a natural process found in nature, but is performed in a controlled lab environment for best results. 

The biggest pull most consumers report is its relaxing effects without some of the intensity or anxiety typically associated with Delta 9. Upon taking Delta 8 THC, consumers report a controllable euphoric high where they still remain in control, or cognizant, of their surroundings. This keeps them aware and keeps them functioning while also relaxing and feeling euphoric. 

Other consumers report that Delta 8 is a gentle stepping stone for those who are curious about Delta 9, but are nervous about trying for its traditional intense and potentially disorienting effects.

What is Delta 9 THC?

Delta 9 THC is the main cannabinoid found in marijuana. It’s what creates the typical euphoric high associated with marijuana plants. However Delta 9 is found in all cannabis plants, allowing for ease of access and diversity when creating Delta 9 products. It is important to make a clear distinction between the two classifications of cannabis plants – Marijuana is classified as a cannabis plant that has delta 9 content higher than 0.3% THC, while hemp is defined as cannabis that has less than 0.3% THC. Though considered federally illegal in concentrations higher than 0.3%, Delta 9 is federally legal when the concentration is 0.3% by dry weight volume. 


One of the biggest concerns when it comes to Delta 8 and Delta 9 is their legal status in the U.S. Is Delta 8 legal? Yes! Delta 8 is 100% legal under the 2018 Farm Bill, passed by Congress and signed into law by former President Trump. Under the Farm Bill, the cannabis plant was split into two definitions: industrial hemp and marijuana. Products made from industrial hemp are legal for adults 21 and over. They can be purchased online and shipped right to a consumer’s door. 

Anything made outside of the definition of industrial hemp would be considered marijuana, which remains federally illegal, despite an increase in both medical and recreational legalization laws in states across the country. Therefore Delta 8 is legal. But so is Delta 9.

Industrial Hemp vs Marijuana

So, what are the parameters of industrial hemp? How is it different from marijuana? And how can Delta 9 even be legal? It all comes down to the contents of each plant. While they come from the same cannabis plant, hemp and marijuana are separated by the amount of THC inside each. In order for the cannabis plant to be classified as industrial hemp, it must contain no more than 0.3% Delta 9 THC by dry weight volume. Any plant with more than 0.3% Delta 9 is considered marijuana. 

Products made from industrial hemp are legal to sell. Each batch is rigorously tested to make sure that at no point during the manufacturing process does the Delta 9 limit exceed that 0.3% threshold. If it does, legally the products must be destroyed. This goes for all hemp products, not just Delta 8. So, Delta 9 is technically legal as long as the products stay under that 0.3% by dry weight volume range. 

Federal and State Laws

Some politicians and lawmakers say that Delta 8 is operating in a sort of legal loophole and should be illegal along with Delta 9. However, both the DEA and the U.S. Court of Appeals have said Delta 8 is a federally legal substance. They also both agree that Delta 8 falls under the definition set by the Farm Bill. So, Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC hemp derived products with under 0.3% Delta 9 are federally legal. This allows retailers, like Skyhio, to create, innovate, and distribute our products online and ship across the country.

There is a catch, however. Since 2018, when former President Trump signed the Farm Bill, other states have looked to ban Delta 8 all together. This is, in part, because of a lack of research. The FDA has not approved research for Delta 8 and remains very limited with Delta 9. The DEA, who is in charge of approving federal research projects, has made it incredibly difficult to research Delta 9, pushing science away from the plant and even outsourcing it to other countries. Because there is a lack of research and no federal regulation regarding Delta 8 products, these are the states that have banned Delta 8:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Michigan (conflicting laws regarding legal status)
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New York (for retailers)
  • North Dakota
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • Vermont

Laws are always changing. It’s always important to research the legal status of both Delta 8 and hemp-derived Delta 9 before you make any purchases. We update our website as often as we can, but doing your own research will guarantee your purchase is legal and won’t get stopped on its way to your door. 

Similarities Between Delta 8 and Delta 9

While both cannabinoids are separate, both Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC have tons of similarities.

Positive Effects and Potential Benefits

Because both cannabinoids are THC based, they offer similar effects. Both create a sense of euphoria in the consumer and many have attributed both Delta 8 and Delta 9 as key factors to better mood, experience, and feelings. Some of the similarities Delta 8 and Delta 9 have with each other based on consumer testimonials include:

  • Mood boosting
  • Calming sensation
  • Relief from aches
  • Deeper sleep
  • Increased desire for food

To have not one, but two separate cannabinoid options to establishing a better sense of self is incredible. It’s one of the reasons there has been a huge boon in the hemp industry as well as the cannabis industry – Delta 8 and Delta 9 have been reported to help consumers and both legal on the federal level. It’s the perfect combination when it comes to cannabinoids.

Sativa and Indica 

The cannabis plant is typically divided into two subcategories: sativa and indica. These classifications indicate which type of experience a user will lean more towards after consumption. Cannabis sativa leans towards a more energetic and uplifting experience. Cannabis indica is on the opposite end of the spectrum, with a more sedative and settling experience.

The same goes for Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC. Hemp plants can lean more sativa or they can lean more indica. In this way, Delta 8 and Delta 9 are similar in how they can create an experience. Most packages are labeled with how each strain or product will lean, allowing consumers to choose the product that’s right for their personal needs.

Safety in Products

One of the most important things to learn about hemp derived and cannabis based products revolves around safety concerns. Based on federal research, the results are inconclusive. It’s hard to get research projects approved federally because comparing Delta 8 and Delta 9 would involve testing marijuana. And under U.S. federal law, marijuana is illegal. 

If you look at research conducted outside of the U.S. as well as those funded by universities and states where marijuana is legal, results show Delta 8 and Delta 9 are safe, and natural, cannabinoids that  adults 21 and over can consume. Knowing what you are choosing to put in your body, and knowing that it’s a safe product is key in understanding why more and more people are choosing Delta 8 and Delta 9 as natural, plant based products. 

Drug Testing Results

For anyone who consumes any kind of THC, whether it be Delta 8, Delta 9, or another cannabinoid, know that your drug test results will return positive. What drug tests look for in a sample is any form of THC. It doesn’t detect if it’s a specific THC, like Delta 8 THC or Delta 9 THC. It’s looking for basic THC. 

That’s why, if you know you have an upcoming drug test, make sure to not take any kind of THC product several weeks in advance, to be sure that any trace amounts of THC are out of your system. This is especially true for consumers who commonly or frequently consume THC products.

Differences Between Delta 8 and Delta 9

Though both Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC are similar in their potential benefits and consumer experiences, there are several differences. 

Side Effects

The first difference between these two cannabinoids is their side effects. Delta 8 THC consumers tend to report mild or even non-existent side effects. Because of its milder euphoric experience, consumers say they don’t get as high and therefore don’t have as extreme a crash.

One of the biggest differences between Delta 8 and Delta 9 is paranoia. A lot of times, consumers report extreme paranoia and worried thoughts after consuming cannabis products in addition to a clouded or foggy head. Response time is decreased, and some say it’s almost like being part of a slow motion movie when they try to get up and do things after consuming Delta 9. Consumers commonly reported impaired motor skills. Other side effects commonly associated with consuming cannabis products include a dry mouth and dry, red, and itchy eyes. 

Delta 8 doesn’t create these adverse effects, typically. Most users will report some paranoia or worried thoughts after consuming a large amount of Delta 8, or what each individual considers to be a large dose based on their typical consumption levels. Once this happens, many consumers say they fall asleep and wake up feeling refreshed the next day after their body has had time to process the THC out of their system. 


When it comes to potency, it refers to the relative strength of each cannabinoid when ingested or consumed. Products with higher potency mean it’s a more powerful product, compared to products with a lower potency. For example, Delta 9 THC is roughly twice as potent as Delta 8 THC. Also, HHC is reported to be four times as potent as Delta 9 THC.

To better understand potency, it’s important to understand the human endocannabinoid system. This system regulates almost every aspect of our waking experience. In the endocannabinoid system, or ECS, there are two sets of receptors: CB1 and CB2. Various cannabinoids combine to one or the other, or in some cases, both. These bonds are what create the euphoric, high sensations after consuming Delta 8 or Delta 9 products 

For Delta 9 THC, this cannabinoid only attaches to CB1 receptors, which helps create the euphoric feelings as CB1 connections are powerful and psychoactive. On the other extreme is CBD, which only attaches to CB2 to create soothing and non-psychoactive effects. Delta 8 THC attaches to both CB1 and CB2. The dual connection helps to create a lessened psychoactive feeling like CBD while also creating some lessened psychoactive feelings similar to Delta 9. Connecting to both receptors sets Delta 8 apart simply by the way the human body interacts with it. 

Chemical Structure

Even though it might not seem like a big difference, the chemical structure between Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC is what makes a ton of difference. Each molecule is made up of carbon bonds. Some of those carbon bonds are double bonds. These double bonds happen along the carbon chain. For Delta 8, the double carbon bond happens on the 8th carbon chain. Compare that to Delta 9, where its double carbon bond happens on the 9th carbon chain. It’s how each cannabinoid gets its name. By this example, Delta 10, another psychoactive cannabinoid, has a double carbon bond on the 10th carbon chain. This tiny difference is how each Delta THC cannabinoid creates different effects at different levels in different people.

Skyhio Products to Consider

Finding what product best suits your needs can be difficult and overwhelming. There are so many options and different ways to consume with different concentrations. But Skyhio has you covered. One of the first things to ask yourself is what kind of experience would you like to have? Once you can strongly answer that question, then it’s time to look at the cannabinoids themselves. 

Delta 9 THC

For Delta 9, it’s a more intense and euphoric, full body experience. With our full spectrum, hemp derived Delta 9 THC gummies, just half a gummy can send you to the moon and back. They don’t have any earthy or hemp aftertaste like some other brands have, and they are vegan and cruelty free. This could make them the perfect choice if you’re looking for a full body experience to unwind after a long day or just wanting to sit on the couch and not get up for a few hours.

Delta 8 THC

If you want a slightly more motivating and less full body experience, then Delta 8 THC is probably what you should look at. Skyhio offers several different forms of Delta 8: edibles, tinctures, distillates, vapes, and sauces. Each offers a different experience and activate differently in the body after consumption. Edibles can take a long time to feel the effects, generally one hour but sometimes up to four hours to feel it fully. But once you begin to feel your euphoric experience, it lasts for several hours. Consumers have said their effects last 3-5 hours, but some have reported up to 8 hours of euphoria. We offer both baked goods, like cereal treats and brownies, to gummies in a sweet strawberry flavor.

Other forms of consumption are less intense. Tinctures can be added to drinks or dropped under the tongue. They take about an hour to feel the effects, which last for a little while. These are great for workout recovery as well as a slow and steady unwind at the end of the day without the full body crash. Vapes and sauces are smoked, so consumers feel the effects right away, but they dissipate quickly. These are good for those who just want a quick little buzz of energy. Distillates are highly concentrated oil that can be added to food, or can be used to make your own Delta 8 products. These can be purchased in small sizes or in bulk depending on what you would like to do with your Delta 8 THC. 


At the end of the day, it’s your choice of experience. If you’re looking for a full body experience, then Delta 9 THC products may be best for you. If you’re looking for something to just take the edge off or looking for a less intense experience, then Delta 8 THC products would be a good thing to look into. To break it down even further, are you looking for an uplifting or sedative feeling after consuming your Delta 8 products? This will help determine if you should go more towards sativa products for the energy or towards indica for its calming sensation. Once you make that determination, then you can decide on your flavors. Go for something fruity like our Cereal Milk CDT vape or our chocolate chip cookies. Try something more earthy like cheetah piss, one of our top sellers. 

No matter what experience you are looking for, Skyhio has you covered with U.S. sourced, third party lab tested, organic, hemp derived products that follow all federal and state laws. We guarantee it will be your best experience. 


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