The CBD landscape has been changing so fast over the few years it has been around. Remember, CBD is in its infancy here, and infancy is a big time for change!
One of the recent trends in CBD is the “plus”. You might see gummies advertised as: CBD + CBDN. Or how about these ones? “CBD + Delta 9 THC”. Or “CBD + Delta 8 THC”.
The desire for THC added into CBD products is clear and understandable. But its important for us to know exactly what’s in the products we’re consuming. So what is Delta 9 THC? What is Delta 8 THC? Is one preferable to the other? Let’s take a look.
What Is Delta 9 THC?
Delta 9 THC is the naturally occurring cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant which is most responsible for the plant’s euphoric, psychoactive effects. Often in the past we have simply shortened this term to just THC, but as science digs further and further into the cannabis plant, we are cataloguing and redefining each unique cannabinoid chemical inside. Thus, what was once known simply as THC or CBD can now be refined to many sub-chemicals: Delta 9 THC, THCV, CBDN, CBDA, and so on.
The 2018 Farm Bill which federally legalized hemp and its extracts opened the door to consideration by producers of all of these unique cannabinoids. As years have passed since 2018, producers have refined their production processes closer and closer to the legal line drawn by the bill – specifically, THC content.
As Delta 9 occurs in larger quantity than Delta 8 THC naturally, and produces more of the euphoric effect, you might naturally think Delta 9 is the preferable cannabinoid (and we’d agree). But there are production reasons to prefer Delta 9 as well.
As Joy Organics – the very trusted, transparent producer of Delta 9 THC gummies through their Budder brand – attests on their website:
Prior to a few months ago, a hemp-derived gummy with 5mg of THC would have a great deal of CBD—probably around 125mg. Using traditional extraction methods, there simply was no way around this high ratio of CBD to THC. But due to innovations in the formulation process that allow us to remove excess CBD while keeping all naturally occurring cannabinoids in tact, we’re now able to produce a fully legal and palatable hemp-derived gummy with 25mg of CBD and the option between 2.5mg and 5mg of Delta-9 THC.
The “traditional” extraction methods mentioned here involve harsh solvents. In an ideal world these would be cleaned out of the final product by benevolent companies … but that’s unfortunately not always the case, and scientists testing CBD + THC products like this OFTEN find these harmful chemicals, residues and byproducts, in final products that seem like harmless gummies.
Please note that Delta 9 THC can also be extracted with these solvents. Not all Delta 9 products are made the same. As always, the lesson is to make sure you trust the producer and brand you are buying from. Make sure they offer lab purity reports on all product – and that lab report should be available from a code or QR code right on your product packaging. This is non-negotiable!
Still, as Joy Organics shows, for the right producers, there are totally trustworthy and reputable extraction methods that can produce a safe Delta 9 gummy. The fact that Delta 9 occurs in greater quantities naturally, can therefore be extracted naturally more readily, and also produces a greater euphoric effect, to us indicates that a Delta 9 product is generally preferable.
So, Delta 9 THC is the compound most responsible for the. euphoric effects of cannabis. It’s the compound we have always generally just called “THC” and is the most abundant cannabinoid in cannabis. Through recent formulation advances by the legal CBD + THC industry, Delta 9 THC can now by extracted, refined, and dosed in a safe and natural process.
What Is Delta 8 THC?
It’s probably helpful to point out what Delta 9 THC is *NOT*, as well. Specifically I mean to say – Delta 9 THC is much different than Delta 8 THC.
You may have heard of Delta 8 THC. In CBD gummies it’s been around a little longer as an additive cannabinoid than Delta 9 THC. It too produces some euphoric effect. In some ways, there’s a lot to like about Delta 8 and there’s something laudable about the abilities producers have developed to extract and refine Delta 8.
However, there are some major drawbacks to Delta 8 THC products that the user definitely must be aware of.
The main issue with the Delta 8 THC cannabinoid is that it occurs in much smaller quantities naturally, than the Delta 9 THC cannabinoid. In fact, the Delta 8 THC that you might encounter in a gummy or extract product is not natually-occurring Delta 8 at all! Instead, Delta 8 is created synthetically, by manipulating CBD to change its chemical structure with industrial solvents.
Most Delta 8 THC products on the market were derived from CBD. The Delta 8 craze dates to 2020, when there was a severe drop in the market for CBD extract that really shook the industry. The price of CBD fell, and some producers began looking for new ways to extract unique cannabinoids from the cheap CBD glut on the marketplace. Soon Delta 8 was being derived from cheap CBD, using those harsh solvents as described above. Thus, your Delta 8 products were pushed forward as much because of chasing the last dollar in a dropping market as anything. Not exactly as enticing a ‘food story’ as I want it to be!
In a cannabis movement that has always been driven by desire for what is natural – about the natural connection between humans and cannabis – about the scientific connection between receptor cells in our brains and these chemicals under discussion! – the way Delta 8 THC is produced industrially is a giant red flag. The possibility of solvents like toluene or heptane still existing in the product you are consuming is, to say the least, antithetical to the concept of natural health and wellness.
Delta 9 THC vs. Delta 8 THC: The Final Word
In the final analysis, both Delta 9 THC and Delta 8 THC are naturally occurring. But what is in that end product you are putting in your body? Again, make sure you do your research and trust the producer and brand. Please read reviews of individual products on Soulful Cannabis and other sites to have an informed opinion. Choose only the best products.
As far as Delta 9 THC vs. Delta 8 THC, our opinion is that Delta 9 THC is likely a better option. Delta 8 THC in the marketplace is far more likely to be derived form CBD via chemical solvent refluxing. It is probably a good place to draw the line, then, and stick with Delta 9 THC which is more often naturally extracted by trusted producers and brands.
I’m Soulful Steve. I’m a writer, IT professional, and daily user of cannabis for relief and wellness. Soulful Cannabis is where I share knowledge, product info, and occasional tall tales with those of you out there considered cannabis curious! Now that I’m getting older, I’m leaning into CBD products to keep my quality of life and take the edge off daily stress. Come explore the amazing cannabis plant with me!