Delta 8 THC VS Delta 9 THC VS CBD

Delta 8 THC VS Delta 9 THC VS CBD

Phillip Stokes |

With all of the new tinctures and combination on the market today, it’s difficult to decipher which is which. Is CBD the same as Delta 8 THC, and then how do each of those legal substances compare with the still federally illegal Delta 9 THC? We’re going to get into that in the article below. Grab your pencils because Don P is about to take you to school at Cloud 9 University. 


Delta 8 THC 

When the US Government passed the Agricultural and Nutritional Improvement Bill of 2018, this allowed for the production of the hemp flower for industrial purposes as long as the Delta 9 THC content stays below %.3 THC. This opened the door for Delta 8, a naturally occurring cannabinoid from the marijuna plant, to be extracted and concentrated. A kind reminder: Delta 8 is a relatively new product and even though it has natural parts it is not a natural alternative to Delta 9 THC, and as little as we know about Delta 9 THC we know even less regarding Delta 8 THC. 

Extraction Process 

As I previously mentioned, when the US Farm Bill 2018, as it’s commonly referred to, passed in 2018 this paved a way for scientists to experiment with the different components for the hemp flower and during some of these experiments they found that Delta 8 THC produces very similar effects to that of Delta 9 THC, the active component primarily responsible for the “high” felt from smoking marijuana. 

When scientists begin, they extract all of the CBD from the hemp flower and set it aside in a purified state. After that, the concentrated CBD (around 80%) is placed into a chemical solvent in order to melt down. After this, an acid reagent is added to force the reaction. Finally, an alkaline neutralizes the reaction before it is distilled, washed, and cleaned up. 

Chemical Differences 

Chemically, the only difference between Delta 8 & Delta 9 THC is the placement of the double bonds, which scientists assume add the strength of the high to the marijuana plant. This often times leads to Delta 8 THC being referred to as “diet kush” or “lite-weed”, but that description is a little bit misleading. 


Most Delta 8 THC experiences are reported as similar to Delta 9 THC, though a little lighter than the normal high. Many people report that the high is less anxious and more euphoric. From my personal perspective I feel that Delta 8 THC is similar but different in some crucial ways. It does feel “lighter” in a sense, but there’s something off about the body feeling in every Delta 8 THC brand I’ve tried, not to mention pursuit of a stronger Delta 8 THC high often times led to a fierce headache. Now, this isn’t to say my experience is paramount to all other, in fact it’s quite the opposite, though I do have friends that share my experience. 

Will I Test Positive For THC? 

When you take the average drug test, whether that’s urine, saliva, or hair follicle, it doesn’t discriminate between Delta 8 & Delta 9 THC. During my research regarding this topic, I found that many websites where spreading false information by telling people that they wouldn’t fail a drug test. Not very surprisingly, these web-based publication usually sold Delta 8 THC in one form or the other so it makes sense that they would skew information. Ignore this misinformation, Delta 8 THC will in fact trigger 99% of all drug tests. 

Overall, Delta 8 THC is known as the calm or weaker version of Delta 9 THC with some reports showing a 50% less strength concentration when compared to Delta 8 THC. 


Photo Credit: 5th Dimension Wellness 

Delta 9 THC 

Delta 9 THC is known as the main component that fuels the high when you smoke marijuana. This active ingredient in THC has been known for years as a medical agent, naturally occurring, and potentially ONLY occurring for human consumption. While it would be an amazing synchronicity that Delta 9 THC was made just for humans, it’s not necessarily true. The trichomes on the bud of the flower are actually great at shielding the flower from damaging UV rays. 

So, with weed manifest destiny set from our minds, always consider that this plant was necessarily made for you and that its effects aren't medicinal for those that aren’t sick. 

Extraction Process 

The ways that Delta 9 THC can be extracted are a myriad, though the only process that uses solvents, acids, or thinners are in unregulated concentrate cartridges, but otherwise only heat or alcohol is used to purify Delta 9 THC concentrations. In the past, butane was used to make concentrated Delta 9 THC wax, but most manufacturers have strayed form this process because of the toxicity present in this kind of wax. Cleaner options like C02 and heat pressed rosin are the most popular options today. 


The effects of Delta 9 THC vary depending on the consumer and the strain properties, THC content, and terpenes present within the flower, oil, or edible you plan to consume. The reported effects of Delta 9 THC range from relaxed, joyful, euphoric, all the way to paranoid and anxious. Setting also always plays a crucial role in the effects presented. 

As I’ve previously mentioned, we still don’t know a lot, scientifically speaking, in regard to Delta 9 THC, as it has recently been legalized in somewhere around 34 states. Clinical trials have been happening within the medical community for decades, so we know that there are definitely medical applications with Delta 9 THC and the rest of the cannabinoids present in the marijuana plant. It’s always best to consult your doctor before consuming marijuana as a medical agent. 

Will I Fail A Drug Test? 

Yes! Smoking or eating marijuana will make you fail a drug test because Delta 9 THC is the largest concentrated cannabinoid in the plant, and therefore the main metabolite tested for in most drug tests. 


Photo Credit: Champion Hemp Farms 


Ah, CBD probably the most misinterpreted and misunderstood cannabinoid we discuss here today. I don’t know how many times I’ve suggested taking CBD to someone with a physical ailment or something of the sort and they reply with “Oh, I’d love to but I don’t like getting high”. Most of the time this is a crowd that isn’t necessarily educated on the subject matter, they just see hemp written on a bottle and interpret it as marijuana. Political doctrine and Nixon-era drug policy aside, this is an issue! CBD is NOT a psychoactive cannabinoid. 

For the record, hemp cannot get you high in the way that a marijuana plant can. This is due to the subdued levels of naturally occurring THC in the hemp plant that are paired with larger concentrations of CBD, which provides the medicinal effect. 

Pro Tip #1:  

Eat an avocado or something high in healthy fats to provide CBD a better vehicle to reach all areas of your body and maximize bioavailability. 

Extraction Process 

Just like marijuana (Delta 9 THC), CBD and hemp flower can be extracted in pretty much the same ways. Essentially, gather a couple of ounces of CBD-rich hemp flower, apply heat & oil, cook for a handful of hours, strain and enjoy. The same is said for wax or oil concentrates and edibles. 


As I previously mentioned, hemp flower does have a low level of naturally occurring THC. For this to be federally legal, the concentration must be below .3% THC, though this is not always successful because dosing, especially with edibles, can be difficult and testing is expensive. 

I must also mention that for CBD to work effectively and to its full potential you MUST have a small amount of THC in your body to insure that your Endocannabinoid System is full activated and interacted with. This is called the entourage effect. Think of it as CBD with its entourage of terpenes and cannabinoids that are working together to boost the effectiveness of the first. 

Will I Fail A Drug Test? 

In the store and in my personal experience I’ve answered this question many times for many different people and I’ve also tested it on myself. I’ve read online that some websites say that their CBD tincture won’t let you fail a drug test, but often times this is just CBD isolate, which still is thought to offer some medicinal effects. it doesn’t offer them in the same manner as a full spectrum blend, though, and each time I’ve consumed a full spectrum blend consistency for one month or more I always fail for THC. 

This varies form person to person and is largely based on your fat content because that’s where your body stores THC and CBD. 

Cloud 9’s Favorite CBD Products (delta 8 available IN-STORE ONLY) 



Healing Nation CBD Gummies 

Strength: 250mg, 500mg, 1000mg, 1500mg, 2000mg 

Cost: Starting at 14.99 

Healing Nation CBD Gummies are a well known brand with a solid reputation for providing top tier CBD rich hemp products. Their gummies come in varying levels of CBD and quantities so it’s easy to figure out which dose is best for you. We always recommend starting small and building up! This is a full spectrum blend, so if you do not normally consume THC, a larger than recommended dose could provide psychoactive effects. 


Long Beach CBD Vape Juice 

Strength: 250mg, 500mg, 1000mg 

Cost: Starting at $19.99 

Looking to cut down your nicotine content and introduce a powerful phytonutrient into your daily wellness routine? Long Beach hemp Co. has the prefect product for you! We at Cloud 9 love this product because it’s a great tool for cutting down your vaping and it’s a quick and easy way to get your daily dose of CBD. This CBD vape juice comes in three levels of strength and five different flavors so that delicious flavor also comes with the incredible medical benefit CBD offers. 


Gas House Terpene Infused Pre-Rolls 

Strength: 18-20% CBD 

Cost: Starting at $9.99 

Another great introductory product to the world of CBD These pre-rolled CBD joints from Gas House are perfect for someone that does’t know how to roll or needs a quick and convenient smoking apparatus on the go. Touting five different flavors, Gas House has created a powerful reputation for being know as THE hemp pre-roll company and our sales definitely confirm that. As I previously mentioned, this is a great product for the novice CBD consumer or the professional enthusiast and a great starting point for those just wanting to get their feet wet in the world of CBD.