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  • Alternative Cannabinoids
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February 11, 2022

Delta 8 vs Delta 9 vs Delta 10 THC

Estimated Read Time: 6 min

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By Valerie Orta on February 11, 2022

Each of the three types of THC offers unique benefits. Discover which one provides the effects you’re looking for (Spoiler alert: It very likely could be all three!).

Key takeaways:

  • Delta-8, delta-9, and delta 10 THC are each naturally-occurring cannabinoids in hemp.
  • They share a similar molecular structure but interact with your body’s systems slightly differently.
  • Ranked by potency, from lowest to highest: delta-10 THC, delta-8 THC, and delta-9 THC.
  • Delta-8 THC is known for its uplifting, mood-boosting effects.
  • Delta-9 THC offers more powerful uplifting effects that are great for relaxing.
  • Delta-10 THC presents energizing, stimulating effects that can help with productivity.

There are more opportunities than ever these days if you want to reap the wide variety of rewards of hemp. Delta-8, delta-9, and delta-10 THC are three of the most popular new hemp cannabinoids.

While they share many similarities, slight differences between their chemical structures influence how they interact with your body’s systems and the types of effects they have. One is great for serious relaxation, while another can give you the charge you need to get through your to-do lists, and the other is somewhere in between.

So, if you’ve ever wondered, ‘what’s the difference between delta 8, delta 9, and delta 10?’, we’ve got you covered. Here is an overview of how the three types of THC differ so you can choose the right one for you (Spoiler alert: It very likely could be all three!).

Differences Between Delta-8 and Delta-9 and Delta-10 THC

All three types of THC are close relatives to each other. They share a chemical formula, and each of their molecular chains includes the presence of double bonds.

The difference between the three comes from the location of that double bond: Delta-8’s double bond is on its eighth carbon chain, whereas delta-9 and delta-10’s double bond is on the chain’s ninth and tenth bond, respectively.

The three types of THC interact with the body’s systems similarly. They bind directly with your endocannabinoid system’s CB1 receptors. This interaction is what triggers the noticeable effects each compound has.

The difference in double bond location, however, impacts how strongly the compound binds to the receptors, resulting in varying intensities and types of effects.

Advantages of Delta 8

You might prefer delta-8 over delta-9 and delta-10 THC if:

  • You’d like a more “manageable” THC that’s less likely to cause unwanted side effects
  • You’re seeking relaxing effects that are good for any leisurely event or preparing for bedtime

Delta-8 THC is a good choice if you’re looking for a type of THC that gives you an instant, uplifting mood boost. Those who have used it describe delta-8 benefits as providing an overall sense of happiness, so it’s not surprising that it’s skyrocketed in popularity over the past year.

This THC cousin certainly has noticeable effects that you will feel, but it’s not as potent as delta-9 THC. That’s why it’s the go-to for enhancing any leisurely event where staying present is ideal– such as relaxing with friends and family, attending a concert, or gaming at home. Many have also found delta-8 helpful for easing into a better night of sleep.

Delta 8 is safe to use, and the compound is legal federally and in most U.S. states. Whether you're looking for delta 8 gummies or delta-8 flower, you can shop for delta-8 products online, as well as find them in many local brick-and-mortar shops.

Advantages of Delta 9

You might prefer delta-9 over delta-8 and delta-10 THC if:

  • You’d like more powerful euphoric effects that calm the body and mind
  • You’re interested in unwinding after responsibilities are done for the day

Delta-9 THC is widely known as the primary active chemical in cannabis plants, including hemp. Its effects tend to be more powerful than delta-8 and delta-10 THCs because delta-9’s chemical structure allows it to efficiently bind with CB1 receptors.

Delta-9 THC is a good choice if you’re looking for more powerful relaxing and euphoric effects. Because of its potency, in most cases, it’s best for a leisurely weekend or a weekday night once you’re finished with work and personal duties and able to responsibly lounge for the rest of the evening.

Delta-9 THC from hemp that makes up no more than 0.3% of a product’s dry weight is federally legal in the United States. Delta 9 products can be purchased online, as well as in shops throughout the country.

Advantages of Delta 10

You might prefer delta-10 over delta-8 and delta-9 THC if:

  • You’d like only mildly euphoric effects with little risk of unwanted side effects
  • You’re hoping for energizing effects to power through tasks or a creative project

Delta-10 THC is unique compared to delta-8 and delta-9 because its effects tend to be highly stimulating rather than relaxing. It could be a good choice if you like the idea of energizing and mildly euphoric effects that encourage motivation and drive to get things done. Creativity can be sparked by delta-10 THC, as can productivity.

The benefits of delta 10 tend to be desired most during the daytime, such as on weekends while cleaning, laundry, and other household chores. Artists might use delta-10 THC when they need to dial in and focus on the project at hand.

Delta 10 THC is legal in the United States. Delta 10 products are available for purchase online and in many retailers.

Why Not All Three? Combining Delta 8, Delta 9, and Delta 10 THC

So far, we've discussed delta 8 vs delta 9 vs delta 10. But do they have to stand alone? It’s not far-fetched for someone to use all three types of THC – delta 8, delta 9, and delta 10 – in their routine, depending on the circumstances and the effects they’re looking for in a particular moment.

Recently, delta 8-9-10 products that combine the three types of THC have become available. This mix of delta-8, delta-9, and delta-10 offers wholly different effects than each compound on its own.

The feelings you’ll experience if you take the three compounds together can vary from someone else’s because of differences in body chemistry, genetics, tolerance, and other factors. Some have reported that delta-8 and delta-10 curb some of the intensity of delta-9, while others have said they experience more intense euphoria.

FAQ On Delta 8-9-10 THCs

Can delta 8, delta 9, and delta 10 THC cause a failed drug test?

All three THC’s – delta 8, delta 9, and delta 10 – can and likely will result in a positive drug test. Most drug tests look for the metabolite of THC, called 11-hydroxy-THC. These metabolites from using THC cannabinoids like delta-8 can stay in your system for up to 30 days, sometimes longer. And delta-9 stays in your system for just as long. If you’re subject to drug testing, it’s best to be safe and avoid any THC for a minimum of one month before the test. Learn more about delta 8 and drug tests.

Which is better– delta 8, delta 9, or delta 10 THC?

No particular type of THC is better than any other. They each offer effects that can be beneficial, depending on your personal needs and preferences.

D8 vs. D9 vs. D10: Which is Right For You?

Delta 8, delta 9, and delta 10 have a lot in common but offer distinctive experiences. The THC that’s right for you is the one that provides your desired results. As you try them, remember that everyone responds to cannabinoids like THC differently, and you may experience effects differently than described here.

Ready to discover more? Learn even more about cannabinoids like delta-8 vs delta-9 vs delta-10 by reading the Koi CBD blog. There, you can also explore topics about other cannabinoids, such as THC-O effects, THCV benefits, HHC basics, and facts about CBD.

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