Delta-8 vs. Delta-9 vs. Delta-10: Understanding the Differences

Delta-8 vs. Delta-9 vs. Delta-10: Understanding the Differences

| Spencer Beaudreault

Cannabis has been in use for longer than most people realize. As early as 2,727 BCE, the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung made mention of it as a medicine with the proper Yin and Yang.

Humans have a long and rich history of using cannabis to treat ailments and enjoy themselves. Unfortunately, we also have a long history of trying to ban the drug. Instead of letting legality deter them, though, people found legal alternatives: Delta 8, 9, and 10.

Delta-8 vs. delta-9 vs. delta-10: what's the difference between these marijuana alternatives, and which is right for you? Let's take a look at these three THC variants in greater detail.


Delta-8 vs. Delta-9 vs. Delta-10

Cannabis is a type of hemp plant, known for producing chemical compounds known as "cannabinoids." Cannabinoids are what create the psychoactive effects that draw users to it.

The most well-known cannabinoid is THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. This is the chemical behind the scenes that makes marijuana so fun. That high you feel after smoking a blunt or taking an edible is THC working on your receptors.

Other compounds within the plant can likewise produce euphoric, analgesic, and positive effects. Popular cannabinoids include CBD, or cannabidiol, and CBN, or cannabinol.

In fact, there are hundreds of cannabinoids in cannabis. Three of the most popular are Delta-8, Delta-9, and Delta-10. These all fall under the umbrella of THC, so let's look at them individually.


Delta-9 THC

Delta-9 is the most popular and abundant form of THC. Don't let the Delta-9 throw you off too much. This is just the normal THC that you experience in marijuana bud, oils, and edibles.

Delta-9 is famously a Schedule 1 drug that was illegal in most of the US for recreational use. Fortunately, things have changed and many states have removed the scheduling. Still, some jurisdictions have strict penalties for its use, sale, or distribution.

This THC variant produces that classic high and may also help people who have the following problems:

  • Chronic pain
  • Nausea
  • Sleep apnea
  • Low appetite
  • Glaucoma
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety and depression

You can smoke, vape, or ingest Delta-9 THC. It is the most potent form of THC, producing the strongest high.

Sadly, this means that some people may have adverse side effects after taking it. If Delta-9 gave you nausea, memory impairment, or hallucinations, you might try another THC variant.


Delta-8 THC

Delta-8 is very similar in chemical structure to Delta-9. It occurs naturally in cannabis plants like marijuana, albeit in very small amounts. Even in a more concentrated and synthetic form, its effects are mild.

Further, Delta-8 does not fall explicitly under drug scheduling. For years, this created a gray area where Delta-8 was (and still is) permissible by dint of a legal loophole. Some states have disallowed its use, but others never closed the loophole, making it still a potential marijuana alternative.

Creating Delta-8 involves synthesizing it from CBD, or distilling it into larger quantities. Similar to Delta-9, it produces euphoric and relaxing effects. 

Some users report it helps treat the following issues:

  • Chronic pain
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Panic attacks
  • Stress
  • Insomnia
  • Eating disorders

Many take it simply because it doesn't have as extreme side effects as regular Delta-9.

Like normal THC, you can consume it in edible form such as with Delta-8 gummies, or vape it as an oil. Since it's typically synthetic, you can't smoke it as you would normal marijuana.


Delta-10 THC

Similar to Delta-8, Delta-10 is a cannabinoid synthesized from CBD (cannabidiol). It also appears in very, very small amounts in regular THC.

Delta-10 is even less potent than Delta-8, making it the mildest of the bunch. Those who experience negative effects from the first two might try this one instead. Or, you might use it when you want some of the benefits of THC without a big high.

Delta-10 is a bit more nebulous in terms of documentation. There's not as much research here as with the other two. Most of what we know about Delta-10 is from users' anecdotal evidence.

It may help with the following:

  • Mild stress relief
  • Mild anxiety and depression treatment
  • Low energy 
  • Lack of inspiration

As you can see, Delta-10 produces only a light high, one better treated as a mood booster. 


Which Is Best?

As you have no doubt noticed, there is a hierarchy of "potency." Delta's potent effects go in this order, rather than numerically:

  • Delta-9
  • Delta-8
  • Delta-10

Now comes the big question: which one should you choose?


Choose Delta-9 to Get High

Want a strong high with all the best that THC has to offer? Then Delta-9 is probably for you. Ideally, you should purchase bud from a dispensary and smoke or consume it for optimal enjoyment.

In other words, think of Delta-9 as the "fun" Delta. This is what you take when you want to feel good and get the munchies with your friends. It may work for severe cases of chronic pain but is mostly for recreational purposes.


Choose Delta-8 for Therapeutic Reasons

Delta-8 is best as a more "therapeutic" THC. It won't produce a high that could potentially impair you, such as while driving. Thanks to its milder effects, it serves better for longer-term, lower-dosage treatment. 

Alternatively, you can try Delta-8 if your first run-in with marijuana was negative.


Choose Delta-10 for a Boost

Delta-10 is so mild that it really only serves for light therapeutic purposes, or a stimulant "bump" to get you through the day. You might take this if you are experiencing writer's block, or need ideas for a project. It might also work for general pain or mild symptoms of a condition you have.

Are Delta-9, Delta-8, and CBD too extreme for you? Then Delta 10 is a way for you to experience THC in its most limited form.


Try Cannabinoids from Hero

Delta-8 vs. Delta-9 vs. Delta-10: what are the differences? Delta-9 is normal off-the-shelf THC. Delta-8 and Delta-10 are milder variants without as big of a high.

Not sure where to buy Delta-8 online? Hero is the place. We offer free shipping on all orders, so pick up some high-quality Delta-8 and CBD today!

Spencer Beaudreault

Spencer Beaudreault is the Founder of Hero Brands, a Business Development & Marketing Expert, and a lifelong advocate & user of cannabis, hemp, & plant-based alternatives.