The Difference in Psychoactive Highs Between Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC

The Difference in Psychoactive Highs Between Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC

Sometimes, we just want to hit you with some much-needed knowledge for the cannabis industry.  Our Delta-8 products are a hit - but what's the high of each product really like?  From vaping to smoking, edibles to tinctures - there are quite a variety of ways to enjoy the plant.  In this guide, we're going to break down the high you might expect based on whether your the product contains Delta-8 or Delta-9 and how each of these products are consumed.  Let's dig into the differences!


First, we want to give you an idea of what all hemp and cannabis highs have in common.  Regardless if the product was cannabis- or hemp-derived, a psychoactive high from this plant generally feels the same.  The typical experience under the influence may include an increase in:

  • Creativity
  • Amusement/enjoyment of everything
  • Laughter
  • Relaxation
  • Euphoria
  • Appetite (AKA feeling the munchies)
  • Sense of touch, taste, smell, and colors


You might be thinking, "wait, the munchies are a real thing?"  The answer is: absolutely.  The "munchies" you experience while high on marijuana are actually supported by science.  And these munchies may be stimulated by more than one mechanism.

First, THC binds to our endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for modulating the various bodily systems throughout our body.  Being under the influence of THC on the ghrelin hormone, the area of the brain that controls appetite sees an uptick in desire of food as well as the reward for obtaining and consuming it.  Hence, food being extra-delicious when you are stoned!


As great of a plant marijuana can be for all the things it helps us achieve or experience, there are a laundry list of not-so-great effects.  Adverse effects such as:

  • Paranoia / Anxiety / Panic
  • Increase in Heart Rate / Blood Pressure
  • Confusion
  • Nausea / Vomiting
  • Delusions / Hallucinations / Delirium / Psychosis

The unpleasant symptoms from marijuana can be primarily attributed to is Delta-9 THC content.  Fortunately, this is where a lot of users notice the differences between Delta-8 and Delta-9.


So, now we know that the THC in marijuana is what can cause the paranoia and other adverse effects.  If you're inexperienced or don't use cannabis products on a more than consistent basis, the chances of you experiencing an adverse reaction increases significantly.  Strong cannabis coupled with unfamiliarity in how well your body might respond to said products only increases the likelihood of experiencing an adverse effect.

Delta-8 consumers typically enjoy the psychoactive high, as most of the the benefits exist on both Delta-8 and Delta-9.  Delta-8's advantages over its counterpart are its potency with Delta-8 being less and it's non-inclusion of increased anxiety or paranoia.  Both effects of which allow a Delta-8 user to maintain overall control during the psychoactive experience.

Given the overall effects of Delta-8 and Delta-9, how intense such an experience feels comes down several factors that ultimately determined what kind of psychoactive experience you'll encounter.  And upon doing so, how quickly and how long such an experience will last.


Everyone is different, so both Delta-8 products and its Delta-9 counterparts treats everyone differently.  Several factors help determined how the psychoactive experience affects you, including:

  • Your age, gender, and body physiology (weight can play a massive role)
  • The frequency in which you consume cannabis products (and any tolerance you've built to THC)
  • What you take with the products, such as alcohol or other substances
  • The potency, dose, and strain/strain classification of the product
  • The consumption method (how the cannabis product is consumed - vaping, smoking, eating an edible, etc.)


Since cannabis strains are different breeds of the cannabis plant, it's not surprising to think that strains could trigger different effects.  There are three main types of cannabis strains in the first place: sativa, indica, and hybrid.

Most users associate sativa strains with causing more of a cerebral high while indica strains are known to give that all-too-familiar floating on a cloud feeling as your body embraces total relaxation.  Hybrids offer up something more in the middle of the two, encompassing both the body and mind high.  You can likely imagine what an indica-dominant or sativa-dominant hybrid might deliver when it comes to its effects.

These differences, however, haven't been scientifically proven.  In fact, Dr. Ethan Russo, a world-renowned cannabis and endocannabinoid researcher pointed out that "one cannot in any way currently guess the biochemical content of a given cannabis plant based on its height, branching, or leaf morphology."  Instead, "the differences in observed effects of cannabis are then due to their terpenoid content."

So yes - strains can cause different highs.  This is likely only due to its varying terpene profiles.  Terpenes are aromatic molecules that determine a strain's flavor and aroma - and with those two effects, a deeper look into the type of psychoactive experience you'd likely achieve to a certain degree.

When terpenes interact with cannabinoids and other cannabis compounds, a phenomenon called the Entourage Effect takes place.  Researchers believe that the different plant parts including cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, and the like all work synergistically to increase the effects (both positive and negative) that you experience during the high.


Now that we've gotten all that out of the way, it's time to dive into what each consumption method is like.  We're breaking down the typical high one would experience based on consumption method, or how the Delta-8 or Delta-9 product is taken.  For each method, we'll spotlight both a hemp-based Delta-8 and cannabis-based Delta-9 experience.


One of the newer consumption methods, many users now see vaping as leagues above smoking.  It's often viewed as safer, as you are inhaling an oil-based vapor instead of combusted smoke.  Vaping can also produce an incredibly strong high.

Just like with smoking, the effects are felt almost immediately.  This is caused by inhalation having the one of the highest rates of bioavailability, or the process in which a substance enters the bloodstream.  The higher the bioavailability, the lower the onset time before a substance's effects hit the bloodstream.

Upon the inhaled vapor hitting the bloodstream, one can expect an intensely strong high.  If you're using a Delta-8 Disposable or a Delta-8 Vape Cartridge, you're still in for a treat.  Despite the high not being as potent as that from a Delta-9 vape product, users appear to have no issues feeling the high.

Delta-8 vapes are much more widely accepted.  It's also much easier to find high-quality brands that push the envelope for clean and delicious strains and flavors.  With cannabis vapes, you'd have to live in a state that allows for recreational and/or medical access then find a dispensary to physically visit to obtain the product.  Even then, it can be difficult to confidently confirm the product's quality.


Ingesting cannabis or hemp, typically through the THC being infused in a food or beverage.  THC, be it Delta-8 or Delta-9 is typically delivered over a long period of time, with the psychoactive high lasting for several hours.

This is due to eaten THC as imbuing a lower bioavailability.  Since the products are ingested, the food needs to be digested and passed through the intestines and liver before it's fully broken down into the bloodstream.  The longer onset time is coupled with an intense psychoactive high that lasts for up to 8 hours off a single dose.

For a Delta-9 edible (think of the classic stoner brownie), it can take between 30 and 90 minutes for its effects to start.

With a Delta-8 edible, like our Gummies or SUGAR line of edibles, we've noticed them kick in sooner.  Depending on what time of day you eat the edible, and a few other factors, effects can be felt in as little as 15 minutes.  The high can potentially linger for as long as a typical edible would: about 8 hours.


Finally, smoking weed is the classic way to get high.  As the cannabis industry continues to grow, smoking pot seems to be taking the backburner.  Delta-8 flower and other precious legal Delta-8 products are emerging regularly.

As far as the high does, it can put your almost in a dreamlike trance.  Getting high from smoking cannabis can feel euphoric.  Maybe the room even looks a little fuzzy now.  It gives some people the giggles, and others some intense munchies.  Depending on the strain and the time of day, it could make or break your day.  Again, keep in mind the strain and other factors play a big role in how the high will treat you.

Smoking Delta-8 flower simply means a less intense high.  You can expect that funny stoned feeling, but in a less-aggressive manner.  Enjoy a lighter high than what you may be typically accustomed to.


Nowadays, there are certainly more than just pipes and bongs to choose from.  From different smoking methods to different consumption methods, in general - the world of cannabis just keeps on evolving.  As Delta-8 THC makes a name for itself in the industry, we're excited to see where it evolves to.  We were glad to be able to touch on the most popular of the various consumption methods out there.

With this knowledge, we hope you can narrow down which method feels right for you.  have you tried a Delta-8 product yet?  Maybe this is your sign to try out the method that sounds most exciting to you.  And don't forget to enjoy the high!