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Discover our range of potent & effective Delta-9 THC products including; gummies, vapes & more! Shop Delta-9 for sale online & save up to 30% off. THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is the best-known psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Learn about the effects, benefits, and risks of THC.

Delta 9

The cannabis industry is blossoming in the United States. CBD has become one of the most popular health and wellness products on the face of the planet and Marijuana has been legalized for recreational purposes in a handful of states, but many are still left wondering; “what is Delta-9 THC”.

Whether you’re a seasoned CBD enthusiast or you’re just getting started, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Delta-9. This form of THC has become one of the most talked-about compounds associated with cannabis and many expect that it will become a staple of the industry.

Most people have a general idea of what CBD is and THC has certainly earned a reputation over the years, but what about Delta-9? If you’ve seen the words Delta-9 THC and have developed a burning desire to further educate yourself, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll explore the fascinating world of cannabis and tell you everything you need to know about Delta-9. We will take a close look at different popular cannabinoids, explain where they come from, and give you a complete definition of what Delta-9 is and the benefits it provides.

What is Delta 9 THC?

To understand what Delta-9 is and what it does, we must first take a look at the endocannabinoid system. The psychoactive effects you feel from using delta-9 start in the endocannabinoid system, so it is important for you to have an idea as to how it works.

The ECS is made up of a complex series of neurotransmitters and receptors. The CB1 receptor and CB2 receptor are the only two receptors we need to focus on at the moment. The CB1 receptor influences the central nervous system and the CB2 receptor influences the peripheral nervous system. Cannabidiol indirectly interfaces with the CB2 receptor and is believed to influence the peripheral nervous system.

Delta-9-THC directly interfaces with the CB1 receptor and influences various parts of the central nervous system, including the brain. Scientists still aren’t certain how derivatives such as Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol interact with the ECS, but new pharmacological studies are making steady progress in understanding these powerful compounds.

Hemp products have become incredibly popular and there are a ton of different formulations out there for you to choose from. The cannabis plant has proven to have many uses. Medical cannabis has been used to treat patients with seizures, and beyond its medical uses, many people find these products to be enjoyable for recreational use.

The effects of delta-9 are quite different than those of CBD. While both of these compounds originate from cannabis plants, they have very different effects on the body. The primary difference between D9 and CBD is that D9 is psychoactive. This is also the reason it is hard to find retailers of high-quality D9. The Federal Drug Administration still views D9 as a controlled substance and it is not yet legal in all 50 states.

Delta-9 is one of the major cannabinoids found in hemp and marijuana. It is believed to have many of the same benefits as CBD but also elicits a psychoactive reaction. This is great for people who are interested in using these products recreationally. There aren’t many side effects users need to worry about, but if you’re concerned about any potentially adverse reactions, you should talk to your primary physician before using D9.

How Much THC is in Delta 9?

There are few plants that have the reputation that cannabis does. This plant has been a part of the human experience for thousands of years, but aspects of this powerful plant are still mysterious to both scientists and users. Just about everyone has heard of cannabis, but many are still in the dark when it comes to the details.

Cannabis is a genus of plants that has 3 widely recognized species. Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis all belong to the same family, but they all have very different effects. This is because they each contain different concentrations of compounds. To understand Delta-9 THC, it is important to first understand some of the more widely discussed compounds that exist in cannabis. With this in mind, we are going to take a quick look at some of the most popular compounds found in cannabis.

The key takeaway here is that THC and Delta 9 THC are the same thing, just referred to by different names.

Difference Between Delta 8 and Delta 9

People often get confused between Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC. We know how difficult it can be to keep up with all the terminology associated with cannabis. Lucky for you, we’re here to help! Delta-9 THC is a highly psychoactive form of THC. This is the type of THC that is commonly found in cannabis Sativa and it has a reputation for making the user feel “high”.

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Delta-8 THC is very similar to Delta-9. The main difference between these two is that Delta8 THC is a far less psychoactive version of the compound. This means that users can enjoy the benefits of THC, but only experience mild intoxication. Delta8 THC should still be used with caution. Though it is not nearly as intoxicating as Delta-9 THC, it is still a psychoactive compound and should be used with caution and respect.

Like Delta 8 and Delta 9, CBD is a compound that exists in all species of cannabis. Though commonly referred to by its abbreviation “CBD”, Cannabidiol is one of 113 known cannabinoids that exist in cannabis. While CBD can be found in every species of cannabis, it is typically extracted from cannabis Sativa (hemp). Hemp has very high concentrations of CBD, but very low concentrations of THC. This makes hemp the perfect option for brands that manufacture CBD products.

Tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly referred to as “THC” is a powerful cannabinoid that exists in Marijuana. While trace amounts of THC can be found in every species of cannabis, it exists in particularly high concentrations in cannabis Indica (marijuana). THC is well known for eliciting an intoxicating reaction in those who smoke or consume it. Marijuana is legal for recreational purposes in some parts of the United States, but due to the intoxicating nature of THC, the FDA requires that all CBD products contain 0.3% THC or less.

Effects of Delta 9

Cannabinoids offer users a wealth of benefits, but some of them are intoxicating. THC is notorious for making the user feel “high”. This is because THC is highly psychoactive. When you consume THC, it directly interfaces with the CB1 receptor of the endocannabinoid system.

When you consume CBD, it indirectly interfaces with both the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system and is completely non-intoxicating. One of the things people really love about CBD is that it allows them to enjoy the benefits of cannabis without any worry of becoming intoxicated.

Some people prefer CBD with 0.3% THC or less, and others prefer to use products that have higher concentrations of THC than is allowed in CBD. Cannabis products affect everyone differently and it’s incredibly important to take your own preferences into consideration. That being said, if you know that you want something stronger than CBD, Delta 9 might be just the thing!

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What Is THC?

Elizabeth Hartney, BSc, MSc, MA, PhD is a psychologist, professor, and Director of the Centre for Health Leadership and Research at Royal Roads University, Canada.

Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.

Daniel B. Block, MD, is an award-winning, board-certified psychiatrist who operates a private practice in Pennsylvania.

What Is THC?

THC stands for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ-9-THC). It is a cannabinoid molecule in marijuana (cannabis) that’s long been recognized as the main psychoactive ingredient—that is, the substance that causes people who use marijuana to feel high.

THC is just one of more than 500 different substances—and 100 different cannabinoid molecules—in marijuana. Although THC is the most recognized, another important cannabinoid molecule that has received major interest is cannabidiol (CBD).

History of THC

Cannabis has a long history of use that dates back thousands of years. The first recorded use of cannabis has been traced to China, where it was used for food, textiles, and medicine. Hemp was eventually introduced to Europe and later to the Americas, where it was used for both recreational and ritual purposes.

Cannabis was introduced to what is now the United States during the 1600s. Hemp was grown to produce textiles and sometimes even used as legal tender. It was used for a number of medical purposes as well, with its recreational use beginning to grow during the 1930s and 1940s.

Around this time, anti-drug campaigns were instituted against its use and many states passed laws prohibiting marijuana. The 1936 film “Reefer Madness” portrayed marijuana as a dangerous drug that led to psychosis, violence, and suicide.

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In 1970, the Controlled Substances Act classified marijuana as a Schedule I drug, identifying it as having a high potential for abuse and making the drug illegal at the federal level. The “war on drugs” launched during the 1970s led to the large-scale incarceration of many people for marijuana possession and use.

Statistics suggest that the enforcement and penalization of marijuana laws disproportionately target people of color. While drug use has similar rates for people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, Black and Latinx people are far more likely to be arrested and jailed for drug offenses.

While it is still not legal at the federal level, many states have approved the use of cannabis and THC for medical and, in some states, recreational purposes. Always check state laws before purchasing any products containing THC.

How THC Works

THC works by attaching to the body’s cannabinoid receptors, which are found throughout the brain and nervous system. THC can be detected in the body much longer than most other drug compounds, although the psychoactive effects only last a few hours.

THC is stored in body fat and organs for three to four weeks. Hair follicle testing may identify THC after even longer periods of time, around 90 days. Urine testing is often used but has been found to be an unreliable method of detection.

Forms of THC

THC is often smoked as marijuana (dried leaves of the Cannabis plant), but there are actually a number of different ways it can be used. THC can be consumed by:

  • Inhalation: This is the fastest method of delivery and produces the quickest psychoactive effects, often within minutes. THC can be inhaled via smoking, vaping, or dabbing. Recent reports suggest that vaping THC oil may pose safety risks that warrant further investigation.
  • Oral ingestion: THC can be taken by mouth in the form of capsules, edibles, tinctures, or oils. While this method of delivery takes longer to have an effect, the drug’s effects tend to last longer.
  • Topical application: THC can also be included in lotions, balms, salves, oils, and bath salts that are then applied to the skin. The effects of this method are usually localized, which means that they are unlikely to have psychoactive effects. However, such products may be helpful for reducing pain and inflammation.
  • Sublingual administration: THC can also be consumed as lozenges, sprays, or dissolvable strips that are placed under the tongue and dissolved.

THC in CBD Products

With the popularity of CBD, there has been a major market shift toward producing a seemingly endless variety of CBD products. Some of these products may contain traces of THC (around 0.3% to 0.9%), depending on how they’re formulated.

This small concentration is highly unlikely to result in a high feeling, and some experts argue that the effectiveness of CBD is potentiated by small amounts of THC. However, if you’re looking for a CBD product without any THC, be sure to select one that uses third-party testing to certify the purity of the product.

Uses of THC

THC is used recreationally, but it has a number of medicinal uses as well. Marijuana has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, although scientific research on its use to alleviate and treat illness is still relatively recent.

Some of the ailments that THC may help include:

The FDA has also approved the synthetic THC medication dronabinol (sold under the brand names Marinol and Syndros) and a drug containing a synthetic substance similar to TCH known as nabilone (brand name Cesamet). Dronabinol is used to treat vomiting and nausea caused by chemotherapy and low appetite and weight loss caused by HIV/AIDS. Nabilone is also used to treat nausea and vomiting.

Impact of THC

THC stimulates the release of a neurotransmitter called dopamine in the brain, which is what causes feelings of euphoria. Although, the effects on the body can vary from one person to the next.

People using THC may experience:

  • Altered perception of time
  • Feelings of relaxation
  • Heightened sensory perception
  • Increased appetite

While it can cause pleasant effects, TCH can also lead to adverse reactions as well. Some of the most common include coughing fits, anxiety, and paranoia, along with chest or lung discomfort, and “body humming.” Some people also experience fainting, hallucinations, or cold sweats due to THC use.

Potential Pitfalls of THC

There is considerable research-based evidence that THC is associated with an increased risk of psychosis, both among adolescents and adults. It is also linked to increased anxiety, learning impairment, and decreased memory formation.

CBD has been found to help counter these effects, reducing anxiety, improving learning ability, and working as an antipsychotic—although much of the available research is on animals. When taken together, as is the case with marijuana use, CBD seems to reduce the negative effects of THC.

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A 2013 meta-analysis, which is a type of study that looks at the results of many previous studies, also found some evidence that THC may be neurotoxic as there are differences in the brain structure of people who regularly use marijuana (and who do not have psychosis).

One interesting point underscoring brain changes: While research has shown a reduction in gray matter volume in the prefrontal cortex of people with a history of heavy marijuana use, there is an apparent compensatory response. The density of fibrous connections among remaining neurons increases, which may cancel out some or all of the neurotoxicity.

Research into the effects of THC (or delta-9-THC) is complicated by many factors, but there is sufficient evidence that THC can be harmful, particularly to younger people whose brains are still developing. They should, therefore, avoid frequent marijuana use.

Is Delta-9 THC Addictive?

Cannabis is the most commonly used federally illegal substance in the United States. Despite the common belief that the drug is not addictive, THC tolerance and dependence (precursors to addiction) have been widely documented.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), about 30% of people who use marijuana will become addicted—and using the drug prior to age 18, when the brain is still developing, increases the likelihood of cannabis use disorder four- to seven-fold.

Similar to other types of addiction, cannabis use disorder involves a preoccupation with the drug, bingeing, and symptoms of withdrawal when it cannot be used. Additional criteria for diagnosing an addiction include experiencing constant cravings and having drug-related relationship and social issues.

Amount of THC in Marijuana

Americans are definitely not dealing with the same pot as in the past. This is because today’s marijuana is much more potent, with THC concentration levels increasing from 9.75% in 2009 to 13.88% in 2019.

For comparison purposes, the THC content of marijuana back in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s was under 2%, increasing to around 4% in the 1990s. Additionally, some strains today have an even higher content, such as a strain called “Girl Scout Cookie” that contains as much as 28% THC.

The amount of THC contained in marijuana varies by the way that the cannabis is prepared for use, such as leaf/bud, hashish, or hashish oil. THC levels may exceed 50% in products made from marijuana extracts.

How to Get Help

If you or a loved one wants to stop using THC but are finding this difficult, several options exist. Treatments for cannabis use disorder that show promise for providing positive results include:

    , which helps people identify and correct behaviors associated with drug use
  • Contingency management, a treatment approach that involves receiving rewards when a desired behavior occurs (or does not occur) , which promotes an internal desire for change and motivation to engage in treatment

While some suggest that drugs such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and anxiolytics (anti-anxiety medications) may help treat cannabis use disorder, evidence is lacking due to small study sizes and varying methods of assessing treatment outcomes.

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use or addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.

For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.

Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

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National Institute on Drug Abuse. What are marijuana’s effects?.

LaFrance E, Stueber A, Glodosky N, Mauzay D, Cuttler C. Overbaked: Assessing and predicting acute adverse reactions to cannabis. J Cannabis Res. 2020;2:3. doi:10.1186/s42238-019-0013-x

National Institute on Drug Abuse. Is marijuana addictive?.

ElSohly M, Chandra S, Radwan M, Gon Majumdar C, Church J. A comprehensive review of cannabis potency in the United States in the last decade. Biolog Pychiatry: Cognit Neurosci Neuroimaging. 2021;6(6):603-6. doi:10.1016/j.bpsc.2020.12.016

Kondo K, Morasco B, Nugent S, et al. Pharmacotherapy for the treatment of cannabis use disorder. Ann Intern Med. 2020;172:398-412. doi:10.7326/M19-1105

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