Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC
18th Oct 2021

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

Sometimes, we just want to hit you with some much-needed knowledge about 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 different types of highs. In this guide, we’re going to break down the high you might be able to expect based on whether each product contains Delta-8 or Delta-9 and how each of these products is 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 of if the product was derived from cannabis or hemp, a psychoactive high will generally feel the same. There aren’t many differences between them, or different types of highs to experience overall. But among all highs, the typical psychoactive effects of THC may include an increase in:

  • Creativity
  • Amusement/enjoyment of everything
  • Laughter
  • Relaxation
  • Euphoria
  • 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 cannabis are actually supported by science. And this psychoactive effect of THC may be stimulated by more than one thing.

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



As wonderful as cannabis can be, there are different types of highs that create not-so-wonderful effects. These adverse effects can include:

  • Paranoia/worry/panic
  • Increase in heart rate/blood pressure
  • Confusion
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Delusions/hallucinations/delirium/psychosis

The unpleasant effects of cannabis can be primarily attributed to its Delta-9 THC content. Fortunately, this is where many users notice the differences between Delta-8 and Delta-9.


So, now we know that the THC in cannabis is what can cause paranoia and other adverse effects. If you’re inexperienced or don’t use cannabis products consistently, the chances of you experiencing an adverse reaction can increase significantly. Strong cannabis coupled with unfamiliarity with how your body might respond to different products only increases the likelihood of experiencing an adverse effect.

Delta-8 consumers typically enjoy the different types of highs on their own, as most of the benefits of Delta-9 also exist in Delta-8 THC. Delta-8’s primary advantages over its counterpart are its lesser potency and lack of negative effects like paranoia. Both of these factors allow a Delta-8 user to maintain overall control while experiencing the psychoactive effects of THC.

Given the overall effects of Delta-8 and Delta-9, the intensity of each experience comes down to several factors.


Everyone is different, and so the different types of highs from Delta-8 and its Delta-9 counterparts have varying effects. Several facts can help determine how the psychoactive effects of THC may impact you, including:

  • Your age, gender, and body physiology (size can play a massive role)
  • The frequency with 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 classification of the product
  • The consumption method (how the cannabis product is used — vaping, smoking, eating an edible, etc.)


A girl holding delta-8 cartridge

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

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

These differences, however, haven’t been scientifically proven. In fact, Dr. Ethan Russo, 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 – different strains can cause different types of highs. But this is likely only due to their varying terpene profiles. Terpenes are aromatic molecules that determine a strain’s flavor and aroma, as well as the type of psychoactive experience you’re likely to achieve (at least 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, the like, all work synergistically to increase the effects (both positive and negative) that you experience during a high.


Now that we’ve gotten all that out of the way, it’s time to dive into what different types of highs can feel like based on each consumption method. We’re breaking down the typical high one might 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 psychoactive effects of THC are felt almost immediately. This is caused by inhalation having 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 different types of highs.

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.



Person holding Delta-8 chocolate bars

Ingesting cannabis or hemp typically means the THC is being infused in a food or beverage. Be it Delta-8 or Delta-9, the different types of highs are delivered over a long period of time, with the psychoactive effects of THC lasting for several hours.

This is due to the THC having a lower bioavailability when it’s digested. 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, we’ve noticed the effects 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 back burner. Delta-8 flower and other precious legal Delta-8 products are emerging regularly, though.

As far as the different types of highs are concerned, users claim that flower can put you 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 plans. Again, keep in mind that 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 slightly less potent. 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 altogether, the world of cannabis just keeps evolving. As Delta-8 THC makes a name for itself in the industry, we’re excited to see how it continues to grow and change.

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!

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