Delta 8 Vs Delta 9 Vs Delta 10

Delta 8 VS. Delta 9 Vs. Delta 10 Explained

Key Takeaways:

  • The three main types of THC cannabinoids are delta-8, delta-9, and delta-10.

  • Delta-8, delta-9, and delta-10 share the same chemical formula and chemical structure but their double bond is located on its eighth, ninth, or tenth carbon respectively.

  • Delta-8 is naturally found in trace amounts in hemp plants but typically has a lower potency and produces milder psychoactive effects compared to delta-9.

  • Delta-9 is the substance that most people are referring to when they say "THC." Famous for its strong psychoactive effects, this molecule may produce some health benefits but more research would need to be conducted to confirm.

  • Delta-10 is considered to produce a more energizing "high" compared to other delta-8 and delta-9.

  • The endocannabinoid system is a network of molecules and receptors in the body. THC cannabinoids bind to the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors to regulate homeostasis.

  • Some of the side effects of consuming delta-8, delta-9, and delta-10 include eye redness, dry mouth, increased appetite, difficulty speaking, difficulty thinking, memory loss, delayed reaction times, and rapid heart rate. Some of the more severe potential side effects include anxiety, hallucinations, tremors, vomiting, nausea, dizziness, or confusion.

  • Delta-9 is federally illegal in the United States. Delta-8 and Delta-10 are not federally illegal and are legal in 41 states.

  • Due to the extremely similar chemical structure of delta 8 vs. delta 9 vs. delta 10, ingesting any of these may result in a positive drug test, so it is best to avoid these substances if you have an upcoming drug test.

Types of THC Cannabinoids

There are many different types of cannabinoid molecules that can be found in cannabis plants, each producing unique effects on the human body. The most common cannabinoid molecule is THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. When people think of THC they are typically referring to delta-9 THC, but there are other types of THC molecules, including delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC, that contain different potencies and effects when ingested.

Delta-8 THC, delta-9 THC, and delta-10 THC all share the same chemical formula and contain double bonds in their chemical structures. The location of the double bond varies in each of the THC cannabinoids. In delta-8 THC, the double bond resides on the eighth carbon chain. In delta-9 THC, the double bond is on the ninth carbon chain. In delta-10, the double bond is on the tenth carbon chain. Even though the chemical formula and main structure are the same between these compounds, the slight differences produce differences in psychoactive effects.

As different cannabinoids are becoming more popular, many questions are raised regarding the legality and effects of THC products. All three of these molecules contain psychoactive properties that make the user feel "high" when ingesting but understanding the small differences between the three can be useful if you are interested in purchasing cannabis products.

Here is a breakdown of delta-8 vs. delta-9 vs. delta-10:


Delta-8 is similar in molecular structure to delta-9, but the small chemical differences may be the cause of their slightly different effects. Delta-8 is found naturally in trace amounts in the cannabis plant but the delta-8 products you can buy in a store are usually made from delta-8 derived synthetically from CBD.

The euphoric and relaxing effects of delta-8 THC are typically milder than delta-9 THC due to its lower potency, but because this substance is federally legal, it is growing increasingly popular as a substitute for delta-9 THC. Delta 8-THC may temper the appetite compared to other cannabinoids found the in the cannabis plant.

Some of the potential benefits of delta-8 THC is the potential ability to aid in conditions such as anxiety, stress, panic attacks, depression, sleep disorders, and chronic pain. However, most of the information about the medicinal purposes of delta-8 is largely anecdotal evidence and therefore more research must be done before scientists can confidently make these health claims.


Delta-9 THC is the most abundant and potent THC molecule that can be found naturally in cannabis plants. Whenever people refer to THC, weed, or marijuana, they are most often referring to delta-9 THC. Because it has a high potency compared to other forms of THC, this substance is most famous for giving its euphoric effects that make you feel high, but there may be other benefits of delta-9. Some of these potential benefits of delta-9 THC include:

  • Reducing Anxiety

  • Aiding in Sleep Disorders

  • Improving Appetite

  • Decreasing Nausea

  • Relieving Chronic Pain

Research shows that the effects of delta-9 THC may be appetite-boosting and more calming than other THC cannabinoids, but there would need to be more evidence to confirm the efficacy of these medicinal purposes.


Delta-10 has a similar chemical structure to delta-9, but similar to delta-8, there has been little research providing conclusive evidence regarding their benefits and side effects. Delta-10 substances have a lower potency than delta-9 THC, and many delta-10 users claim that ingesting delta-10 THC makes them feel relaxed and euphoric with the mild but energizing high. Delta-10 may offer nootropic effects, which means it could be mind-stimulating and cognitive-enhancing. Interested in Delta 10? Check out our Honeyroot Delta 10 products.

THC and The Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system is a complex physiological network in the body that works to maintain homeostasis and promote overall health and wellness. Endocannabinoids are the molecules made naturally by the body that are produced to keep internal functions running smoothly. There are two main types of cannabinoid receptors that are found in the body: CB1 and CB2. CB1 is found in the brain and nervous system, while CB2 is found in the immune system and other parts of the body.

Delta-8 THC mainly binds to the CB1 cannabinoid receptors found throughout the central nervous system to enact its psychoactive effects.

Delta-9 THC binds strongly to the cannabinoid receptors that are found in both the brain and body. THC is a partial agonist of CB1 and CB2 receptors, meaning that it will bind to the cannabinoid receptors and activate them, but not as strongly as a full agonist.

Delta-10 THC is also thought to bind to the cannabinoid receptors and interact with the endocannabinoid system to produce similar effects to other forms of THC.

Side Effects and Risks of Consuming THC Products

The most common side effects that many users face after ingesting delta-8, delta-9, or delta-10 THC include:

  • Eye Redness

  • Dry Mouth or Cotton Mouth

  • Increased Appetite

  • Difficulty Speaking

  • Difficulty Thinking

  • Memory Loss

  • Delayed Reaction times

  • Rapid Heart Rate

There are some other adverse effects and risks that some people experience:

  • Anxiety

  • Hallucinations

  • Tremors

  • Vomiting or Nausea

  • Dizziness

  • Confusion

Whenever ingesting a substance, whether it is a food, drink, or supplement, it is important to address the safety concerns. One of the reasons that many of these adverse effects are speculative is that delta-8 and delta-10 products are largely unregulated. For this reason, even if you think you know what you are purchasing or ingesting, it is difficult to know if the product you bought is legitimate and doesn't contain any additives or harmful contaminants.

Which THC Cannabinoids Are Legal?

While most people are aware that delta-9 THC is not federally legal, it is complicated to answer the question of if delta-8 and delta-10 THC are illegal or not.

Delta 8+ Delta 10 THC are technically legal at the federal level due to the Farm Bill of 2018 that made hemp legal to grow, sell, and buy, as long as the hemp plant contains less than 0.3% delta-9 THC content by dry weight. Due to the fact that the Farm Bill only specified delta-9 THC in its legislation, delta-8 and delta-10 THC are a loophole.

Even though it may seem that delta-8 and delta-10 are the legal exceptions, it's important to note that due to the fact that these molecules are only found in trace amounts naturally in hemp plants, most of the delta-8 and delta-10 products on the market are produced synthetically, and there are legal restrictions for synthetic cannabinoids.

Delta-8 and delta-10 are legal in 41 states, but as certain states restrict these products, it is beneficial to check your state laws before attempting to purchase these products.

Can You Pass A Drug Test After Ingesting Delta-8 or Delta-10 THC?

The reason that delta-8 vs. delta-9 vs. delta-10 produces similar euphoric effects is the same reason that most drug tests will not be able to tell the difference between different types of THC substances in your system. Even if a product claims to contain only delta-8 THC or only delta-10 THC, there may also be trace amounts of delta-9 THC that are detectable and it may result in a failed drug test. For this reason, if you have an upcoming drug test, it is recommended to refrain from use for several weeks to several months, depending on how frequently you use hemp products and what type of drug tests you will be taking.

While most people are referring to delta-9 THC when they think about weed or marijuana, there are other types of THC cannabinoids, like delta-8 and delta-10, that produce similar euphoric effects but are not federally illegal in the United States. If you want to learn more about the different types of hemp products available on the market, check out our various products here.

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