Delta-8 vs Delta-9 vs Delta-10 THC: What's the Difference? (2023)

This article takes a closer look at the differences between Delta 8, Delta 9, and Delta 10 THC. All three compounds are analogues of the THC molecule, each with their own unique benefits and potency. You will learn all about the effects, uses, products and risks of taking different THC isomers.

THC isomers are taking the cannabis industry by storm. A loophole inadvertently created by the 2018 Farm Bill and advances in extraction methods legalized all non-Delta-9 versions of THC.

As long as Delta-8 and Delta-10 products are hemp-derived and contain less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC, they are legal federally.

But what exactly are THC isomers? How many? And most importantly, are they stronger than Delta-9 THC?

We will cover that in this article. We take a look at the main differences between Delta 8, Delta 9, and Delta 10 THC, including their effects, potency, risks of use, and legal status.

Delta-8 vs Delta-9 vs Delta-10 THC (summary)

  • Delta-8, Delta-9, and Delta-10 are THC isomers. They have similar molecular structures but produce slightly different effects due to subtle differences in their carbon bonds.
  • All versions of THC can get you high because they interact with CB1 receptors in the brain.
  • Delta-8 and Delta-10 are less potent than Delta-9 THC. This makes them good for first-time users.
  • The effects of Delta-8 are smoother, while Delta-10 THC is more uplifting and energizing.
  • You may still feel anxious if you take too much delta 8 and delta 10 THC. Always start with low doses when introducing new cannabinoids into your body.
  • Delta-9 THC is illegal federally, unlike delta-8 and delta-10 THC, which is derived from hemp. However, several states have already banned Delta 8 and Delta 10 products.

What is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 THCIt belongs to a group of chemicals called isomers, which share a similar chemical structure. They are made up of the same atoms but in a slightly different arrangement.

When it comes to delta-8 THC, it has a carbon double bond in the 8th chain, unlike delta-9 which has that bond in the 9th chain.

This difference takes away some of the potency of the delta-8 THC. It does not have as strong a binding affinity for the CB1 receptor as Delta-9. The potency of Delta-8 is roughly double that of Delta-9 THC.

What is Delta-9 THC?

Delta-9 THC is the main intoxicating compound in cannabis. It forms when cannabis is exposed to heat during drying, curing, storage, and decarboxylation (in the manufacture of edibles).

Delta-9 is the agonist of CB1 receptors; When coupled with them, it induces a variety of euphoric sensations, including elevated mood, laughter, increased appetite, altered perception of time, heightened senses, and changes in short-term memory.

Delta-9 THC is also the most abundant cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. It is cheaper to manufacture and available in more forms.

New users should be aware of the biphasic nature of THC. In low to medium doses, delta-9-THC has a relaxing effect. But higher doses of this cannabinoid can backfire, increasing anxiety or inducing paranoia.

What is Delta-10 THC?

Delta-10 THC, a relatively new cannabinoid on the hemp scene, is created by converting Delta-9. Unlike other isomers, Delta-10 produces more energizing and nootropic effects, making it a suitable choice for daytime use.

Nootropic effects refer to how a herbal substance affects our overall focus, thinking, and cognition.

However, research on delta-10 THC is still in its early stages, so most of the evidence comes from anecdotal reports.

Delta 10 potency is similar to Delta 8: 50% lower than Delta 9 THC.

How are the different versions of THC formed?

Delta-8 vs Delta-9 vs Delta-10 THC: What's the Difference? (1)

(Video) Delta-8, Delta-9, Delta-10 THC: Their Difference, High, and Legality

Cannabis is the powerhouse of cannabinoids. With so many compounds and different extraction methods, there is a multitude of ways to alter the structure of certain cannabinoids and convert them into other cannabinoids.

For example, if you heat THCA, you end up with THC.

When you convert CBD with special acids and heavy metal reagents, delta-8 THC is produced.

Delta-10 THC follows a similar isomerization process.

All of these isomers have similar but different molecular structures. Delta-8 has a carbon double bond on the eighth strand; Delta-9 has it on the ninth string; Delta-10 has a double bond on the... yes, the tenth chain.

All hemp-derived isomers of delta-9-THC are federally legal, although there has been much controversy on the subject lately.

CBD is also a compound extracted from cannabis plants, to dispel any doubts. It's a popular cannabinoid because it offers a variety of health benefits without the psychoactive effects of THC.

Because CBD works synergistically with other cannabis compounds, many manufacturers combine them into a single product to increase their therapeutic potential.

What is the difference between Delta-8, Delta-9 and Delta-10 THC?

Delta-8, Delta-9 and Delta-10 have the same chemical formula but slightly different molecular structures, but you already know that.

However, this difference leads to other differences that affect your experience with each cannabinoid.

Here's what you need to know.

how they work

Delta-8, Delta-9, and Delta-10 activate endocannabinoid (CB1) receptors in the brain and central nervous system (1).

However, its binding affinity with these receptors is not the same.

For example, delta-8 and delta-10 THC are weaker CB1 agonists than delta-9, so you won't get as high.

Its effects are not only less intense, but are also associated with a lower incidence of anxiety and paranoia, the two main reasons some people avoid high-THC cannabis.

possible benefits

Science has yet to explore the benefits of delta-8 and delta-10 THC, but since they target the same receptors in the endocannabinoid system, their health benefits are also similar.

All THC versions can help:

(Video) What is the difference between Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC?

  • Relieve Stress and Anxiety (2)
  • reduce pain (3)
  • stop inflammation (4)
  • Reduces Nausea and Vomiting (5)
  • Promotion of neurogenesis (6)
  • regulate body temperature (7)
  • Relieves Depression Symptoms (8)
  • Improves sleep (9)

Delta-9 is the more psychedelic variety, making it more suitable for experienced users or individuals who can tolerate high doses of THC without becoming anxious.

Delta-8 is called "diet herb" and induces a milder euphoria. The effects are more body focused, making the user sluggish in large doses.

The effect of Delta-10 THC tends toward focus, creativity, and energy. The psychoactive high is just as strong as delta-8 THC, but definitely not as mellow.

risks and disadvantages

Delta-8 vs Delta-9 vs Delta-10 THC: What's the Difference? (2)

Since delta-9-THC is quite potent, there are several side effects to beware of (10):

  • sleepiness
  • Dry mouth
  • euphoria
  • slurred speech
  • impaired motor coordination
  • Angst
  • Paranoia
  • high heart rate
  • lethargy
  • confusion
  • dizziness
  • headache

Like Delta-8, Delta-10 THC has not been studied for safety, so the list of side effects is unknown. However, you can expect it to produce similar side effects but with a lower risk of occurring.


Delta-9-THC is most commonly found in dried cannabis flowers. Other popular forms include edibles, sprays, concentrates, and topical products.

Delta-8 and Delta-10 THC are primarily available in vape carts, but you can also find them in tinctures and gummies.

All variants can be used for recreational or medicinal purposes.


Delta-9 THC products are the cheapest as they require less processing. They're also more widely available because delta-9-THC is the most popular cannabinoid.

Delta-8-THC derived from hemp is slightly more expensive. Not all manufacturers know how to extract it from hemp, and those that do don't have much competition so far. This in turn leads to higher prices.

Delta-10 THC follows a similar pattern. It is the least common isomer of THC. With no competition, little product variety, and no regulations, Delta 10 products are less affordable.

legal status

When you talk about themLegality of Delta-9 THC, is currently illegal at the federal level due to marijuana's Schedule I substance status. Individual states have the right to regulate marijuana within their jurisdiction. So far, 18 states havelegalized marijuanarecreational use and 38 have medical marijuana programs for patients.

Delta-8 and delta-10 THC are theoretically legal federally as long as they are derived from hemp and the end product contains less than 0.3% delta-9 THC. However, there has been some controversy surrounding the production methods of these cannabinoids; the DEA called them synthetic tetrahydrocannabinols and insisted the federal government do something about the current legal limbo.

However, the federal government has left this problem to the states. The situation is dynamic, so it's best to check your local laws for information on the legal status of hemp-derived delta-8 and delta-10 THC in your state.

How are THC Delta-8, Delta-9 and Delta-10 similar?

First off, Delta-8, Delta-9, and Delta-10 are naturally occurring cannabis compounds. They also belong to the same family of tetrahydrocannabinols.

Despite differences in their psychoactivity, all three isomers can get you high and offer the same health benefits and safety profile.

(Video) Delta 8 vs. Delta 9 THC

Another similarity between Delta-8, Delta-9 and Delta-10 is that you cannot fatally overdose. Cannabinoids do not affect the region of the brainstem that controls respiratory functions, making it impossible to die from overindulging. You would have to take 40,000 times the amount that gets you high to leave this realm.

Delta-8 vs Delta-9 vs Delta-10 THC: Which is Best for You?

The different types of high produced by Delta 8, Delta 9, and Delta 10 THC make them better for different occasions.

When to use Delta-8

Delta-8 THC is a good choice for users looking for a mild high. If you are sensitive to the psychedelic nature of THC, Delta-8 can help you avoid the ailments associated with high doses of Delta-9. It also comes with a higher body charge, so you might find it better for nighttime use.

When should Delta-9 be used?

If you want a strong high and want to experience the signature effects of marijuana, Delta-9 is your best option.

THC is most commonly used for its medicinal benefits such as pain relief, anxiety reduction, and sleep improvement.

Depending on the variety, type of product, dosage and tolerance, you can use Delta-9 in the morning and in the evening.

When should Delta-10 be used?

Delta-10 is another decent option for a mild high. Unlike delta-8 THC, however, its effects are more uplifting, energizing, and uplifting due to its nootropic nature.

The best Delta 8 THC products

Delta-8 THC is by far the most available psychoactive cannabinoid of this trinity.

They arelaw at the federal level, and more people are aware of its presence as Delta-10-THC.

However, not all delta-8 THC products are created equal. If you want to make sure you're making an informed decision, you should look for a reputable company that provides lot-specific lab reports on the purity and potency of their products.

If you don't have time to read the Certificates of Analysis and go through customer reviews, here are our top 2 picks that offer the best value for money.

1. Area 52

Delta-8 vs Delta-9 vs Delta-10 THC: What's the Difference? (3)

See lowest price

advantageIn contrast
  • Wide range of products (tinctures, vaporizers, fruit gums, pre-rolls)
  • Lot specific Certificates of Analysis
  • strong formulas
  • Enriched with minor cannabinoids for the entourage effect.
  • Does not ship outside of the US.

Area 52 offers premium Delta 8 THC products made from pure distillate. The Company's product line includes tinctures, e-cigarettes, gummies and pre-rolled joints. Pre-rolls and vape carts come in a variety of flavors, allowing you to tailor the experience to your preferences.

These products are made from organic hemp, are CO2 extracted, and are triple tested for potency and purity in an independent laboratory.

(Video) Delta 8 THC Compared to Delta 9 THC

Area 52 is known for the high terpene content of its products, which contributes to the entourage effect and provides delicious, natural flavors.

2. The best labs

Delta-8 vs Delta-9 vs Delta-10 THC: What's the Difference? (4)

See lowest price

advantageIn contrast
  • Hemp grown in the USA
  • CO2 extraction
  • Wide range of terpenes.
  • well designed formulas
  • Limited range of products
  • A single potency for tinctures and gummies

Taking the scientific approach to cannabinoids, Finest Labs offers a modest selection of hemp-derived delta-8 THC products. Despite a modest selection, Finest Labs remains focused on mastering their classic formulas, which include e-cigarettes, gummies, and tinctures.

Like Area 52, Finest Labs provides relevant third-party lab Certificates of Analysis for its phytochemical content and purity.

The company also offers an impressive range of terpenes derived from cannabis and other plants. You can use them to create your own blends and incorporate them into products like tinctures, edibles, and DIY vape carts.

Can Delta-8 and Delta-10 THC Make You Fail a Drug Test?

Yes, both Delta 8 and Delta 10 THC can do thisfail a drug test. That's because workplace drug testing isn't designed to discriminate between different THC isomers. You are looking for THC-COOH, a metabolite that is the same in all variants.

If you know of an upcoming workplace drug test, your best bet is to refrain from using delta-8, delta-9, and delta-10 THC. This is a good opportunity to take a break and drop your tolerance a few notches.

Key points about the differences between Delta-8, Delta-9 and Delta-10 THC

Delta-8, Delta-9, and Delta-10 THC are different variants of the THC molecule.

Although they share the same formula, their molecular structure is slightly different, giving them unique properties and different levels of psychoactivity.

Delta-9 is the more powerful version; It is best used in small doses or by experienced users who can handle larger amounts without becoming anxious or paranoid.

If you're looking for a smoother high that goes well with an afternoon chill, then Delta-8 THC might help.

Choose Delta-10 THC products for a productive high. But whatever your choice, make sure you get it from a reputable source that provides relevant lab reports for purity.


  1. Zou, S. & Kumar, U. (2018). Cannabinoid receptors and the endocannabinoid system: signaling and function in the central nervous system.International Journal of Molecular Sciences,19(3), 833. [1]
  2. Sarris J, Sinclair J, Karamacoska D, Davidson M, & Firth J (2020). Medicinal cannabis for psychiatric disorders: a clinically focused systematic review.BMC Psychiatrie,20(1), 24. [2]
  3. Bains S, Mukhdomi T. Medicinal cannabis for the treatment of chronic pain. [Updated April 4, 2022]. In: StatPearls [web]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 January-. [3]
  4. Nagarkatti , P. , Pandey , R. , Rieder , S. A. , Hegde , V. L. and Nagarkatti , M. (2009). Cannabinoid as a new synthesis Medication.Medicinal chemistry of the future,1(7), 1333–1349. [4]
  5. Parker, LA, Rock, EM & Limebeer, CL (2011). Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids.British Journal of Pharmacology,163(7), 1411–1422. [5]
  6. Prenderville, J.A., Kelly, A.M. and Downer, EJ (2015). The role of cannabinoids in adult neurogenesis.British Journal of Pharmacology,172(16), 3950–3963.
  7. Hanna, J.M., Strauss, R.H., Itagaki, B., Kwon, W.J., Stanyon, R., Bindon, J., & Hong, S.K. (1976). Marijuana smoking and cold tolerance in humans.Aerospace and Environmental Medicine,47(6), 634–639.
  8. Martin, E.L., Strickland, J.C., Schlienz, N.J., Munson, J., Jackson, H., Bonn-Miller, M.O., & Vandrey, R. (2021). Antidepressant and anxiolytic effects of medicinal cannabis use in an observational study.Frontiers in Psychiatry,12, 729800.
  9. Walsh, J.H., Maddison, K.J., Rankin, T., Murray, K., McArdle, N., Ree, M.J., Hillman, D.R., & Eastwood, P.R. (2021). Treatment of insomnia symptoms with medicinal cannabis: a randomized crossover study of the efficacy of a cannabinoid drug versus placebo.Sleep,44(11), zsab149.
  10. LaFrance, EM, Stüber, A., Glodosky, NCet al.Scalloped: Evaluation and prediction of acute side effects of cannabis.J Cannabis-Res2, 3 (2020).


What is the difference between Delta-8 9 and 10 THC? ›

Delta 10-THC. What is the difference in Delta 8-THC and Delta 9-THC and Delta-10? The main difference in Delta 8-THC, Delta 9-THC and Delta 10-THC is federal and state legality. Delta 8-THC and Delta 10-THC fully federally legal and legal 41 states, while Delta 9-THC is federally illegal and illegal in most states.

What's the difference between Delta-8 and Delta-9 and Delta-10? ›

The main difference between Delta-8, Delta-9, and Delta-10 is their potency. Delta-9 is the strongest; Delta-8 is weaker than Delta-9; Delta-10 is weaker than Delta-8.

Does Delta-10 get you higher than Delta-8? ›

Delta 8 has a higher potency than Delta 10. Due to the difference, it can give you mild psychoactive effects. In contrast, Delta 10 is less potent and doesn't give the same intensity of sensations, even though some manufacturers increase the levels of CBN, which is a cannabinoid that has the same effects.

What is stronger Delta-9 or 10? ›

While both Delta-9 and Delta 10 THC can get you high, they have very different effects. Delta 10 THC is considered to be weaker than Delta 9, but it also has a reputation for delivering a high with a clearer, more focused mental experience. Delta 10 is also quickly becoming popular due to its federally legal status.

Does Delta 9 get you higher than Delta 8? ›

Delta 9 is significantly more potent than Delta 8. Some experts believe it to be about twice as powerful overall. Side effects are more severe with Delta 9, including paranoid delusions, mental cloudiness, motor impairment, and anxiety.

Is Delta 9 higher than Delta 8? ›

Delta 9 is considerably more potent than Delta 8. Some believe it to be about twice as strong overall. Side effects are also more considerable with Delta 9. These can include paranoid delusions, mental fog, impaired motor skills, and increased feelings of anxiety.

What does Delta 10 do? ›

What is Delta 10 THC? Delta 10 THC is a cannabinoid that helps relieve stress and tension while not causing you to get intense feelings of paranoia, anxiety, or psychoactive effects. Delta 10 THC is commonly used in states where medical marijuana isn't legal.

Why is Delta 9 cheaper than Delta 8? ›

There are a few reasons for this:

Delta 8 requires more processing to isolate & extract than delta 9. Delta 8 is present in very small concentrations in both hemp and marijuana. There are few companies selling delta 8, so laws of supply & demand bring up the price.

Should I buy Delta 8 or Delta 10? ›

The most significant difference between Delta 8 and Delta 10 is that Delta 8 is more potent than Delta 10. Delta 8 has a higher concentration of cannabinoids, making it much stronger. Delta 8 provides psychoactive effects that last much longer, whereas Delta 10 has more of a Sativa effect.

What kind of high Does Delta 10 give you? ›

A delta 10 high is said to be less intense than delta 9 and delta 8. It's also said to be more of a head buzz than a full body high. Delta 10 THC tends to have a weaker affinity for binding to the CB1 receptors, resulting in milder effects.

Why does Delta 10 cost more than Delta 8? ›

D8 vs.

Delta 8 THC is significantly less expensive than delta 10 THC. Although delta 8 naturally occurs in hemp plants in far greater volumes, this availability isn't to blame for the cost difference — both are usually isomerized from CBD. Delta 8 THC is currently more popular, so there's a much larger market for it.

What are the effects of thc10? ›

Besides its intoxicating effect, the substance can increase alertness, focus, and energy. In that sense, it is very similar to items that are high in CBD. Furthermore, you are less likely to experience anxiety, paranoia, and raciness, which are common issues that occur after delta 9 consumption.

Is delta 9 Sativa or Indica? ›

Delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC come from the cannabis sativa plant, which naturally produces more than 100 cannabinoids, or active constituents.

What are the side effects of Delta 10? ›

Taking too high of a dose of delta 10 may result in feelings of sleepiness or grogginess, which is also a common side effect of other THC compounds. This can interfere with certain tasks such as working, exercising, and socializing.

Does Delta-9 get you stoned? ›

Delta 9 is a type of cannabis. It gets its name from the fact that it has 9 THC molecules. Unlike CBD, delta 9 THC is psychoactive, which means it can make you feel high. Cannabis plants contain many different cannabinoids, and each one has its effects.

Will delta-8 show up on a drug test? ›

Key takeaways: Delta-8 THC is a chemical found in cannabis with similar effects to traditional (delta-9) THC. Because delta-8 THC is similar to delta-9 THC, it can make you feel high and is likely to show up on a drug test.

Which is better for sleep delta-8 or Delta-9? ›

Even though the relative dose is the same, expect the effects to take longer to set in with delta-8. Because delta-8 gives a milder high and has widely been reported as relaxing, it is also likely effective as a sleep aid and has been reported to be more effective than delta-9 for reducing anxiety.

How much stronger is thc0 than Delta 8? ›

THC-O and Delta-8 are hemp derivatives and can give the user a “high.” THC-O is up to three times more potent than Delta-8 and provides the user with a borderline hallucinogenic experience, whereas using Delta-8 is more likely to produce soothing and sedative effects.

What is better for sleep Delta 8 or Delta 10? ›

We usually encourage people to use a Delta 8 product for anxiety, pain issues and trouble sleeping. While we encourage people to try Delta 10 THC for daytime use, as an alcohol alternative or if they prefer sativas in general.


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