What are the Key Differences Between Delta 9 THC and CBD?

Even if Delta-9 THC and CBD come from the same plant, they have similarities but also quite a few differences but thats what makes them both amazing in their own way.

Find out those similarities and differences so you can always make an informed decision when deciding to use these cannabinoids or not.

Differences Between Delta 9 THC and CBD

Here at Wellicy, we’ve spoken at length about CBD – after all, it’s the entire basis of Wellicy

But, in reality, it’s important to shed a light on every compound in the hemp plant, because each one works together to produce the effects for which the hemp plant is known. 

CBD is an incredibly useful chemical compound in cannabis that we know from various medical studies can be helpful to those trying to improve their wellbeing. 

But, that doesn’t mean that other compounds aren’t also capable of offering effects that can potentially be therapeutic.

This piece will attempt to compare CBD to another cannabinoid that’s found in cannabis: delta-9 THC

Now, chances are that the first thing that comes to mind when you read “delta 9 THC” is its psychoactive properties that get you high. 

And maybe you think that those psychoactive properties are all that delta 9 has to offer. 

But, as you’ll see, this cannabinoid might be just as useful as CBD thanks to its properties which have been explored extensively by medical researchers in recent years.

What They Share in Common

What Does CBD and Delta-9 THC Have in Common?

Now, we’re going to be discussing at length the differences between CBD and delta 9 THC, but first, we want to get into their similarities. 


Because it’s the similarities that help demonstrate why delta 9 THC is possibly just as worthwhile as CBD. 

And, it helps us better understand what delta 9 is and how it works.

#1: Both Occur in Cannabis

CBD and Delta-9 THC Both Come From Cannabis

First, most of you know that both CBD and delta 9 THC are compounds that are only found in cannabis. 

Both hemp and marijuana contain these two compounds, although each plant has its own composition of these compounds. 

Marijuana has a high amount of delta 9, with some strains having upwards of 25 percent of it. 

Meanwhile, in hemp, only about 0.3 percent delta 9 THC naturally occurs.

#2: Each are Cannabinoids

Further, CBD and delta 9 THC are both cannabinoids. 

This means that they both belong to a unique class of compounds found in the cannabis plant. 

Cannabinoids, in short, are unlike any other plant compounds that exist in nature. 

That’s because they’re the only class of compounds that directly supports the body’s endocannabinoid system.  

The endocannabinoid system is a complex network of cannabinoid receptors that are strategically located throughout the body. 

Every bodily system, such as the digestive system, the cognitive system, the immune system and even the musculoskeletal system has its own unique cannabinoid receptors. 

When the body receives cannabinoids, they are sent to these receptors where they are most needed, to produce regulatory actions that allow our bodily systems to operate in the way that they should in order to be most conducive to our overall health.

Each cannabinoid receptor is responsible for regulating a specific bodily process, whether it be mood, immune function, pain, or something else carried out by the body. 

Both CBD and delta 9 THC bind with cannabinoid receptors to produce these beneficial regulatory effects.

#3: Contain Useful Properties

Most of you reading this article have been with us for a while and have therefore read about CBD’s unique properties on our website, and likely experienced them for yourself. 

Well, there is a big misconception that CBD is the only cannabinoid capable of offering such useful properties. 

That’s simply not the case, as all cannabinoids support the endocannabinoid system in a way that can improve the function of our bodily systems. 

Delta 9 THC has also been widely studied for its effects that can be helpful to our wellbeing.

#4: Share Many Identical Properties

In fact, CBD and delta 9 THC have many of the same properties in common, at least in the general sense. 

They both seem to potentially play a role in mood regulation, sleep regulation, pain management, digestive function and more. 

It’s the specifics, in terms of the actual binding process to their respective cannabinoid receptors, as well as the more particular actions that they produce, that makes them differ.

#5: Can Both Be Taken in Various Forms

Delta-9 THC and CBD Can Both Be Taken in Various Forms

These unique forms include: 

Each form absorbs into the body in the same manner.

Differences Between Delta 9 THC and CBD

Now that we’ve established the similarities between these two cannabinoids, let’s take a look into their differences.

Which of course, can affect your experience and even the one to take on a regular basis.

#1: One is Psychoactive

Delta-9 is Psychoactive While CBD is Not

Much of the controversy over cannabis in general comes from the psychoactive effects of delta 9 THC, which many mistakenly believe implies that cannabis as a whole is psychoactive. 

Surprisingly, delta 9 is not the only psychoactive cannabinoid that occurs in cannabis, as there are over 100 that can be found in the plant. 

However, it’s the most psychoactive, meaning that it will get you the most high. 

Meanwhile, CBD is not intoxicating in any way. 

You can take high doses of CBD and not feel mind-altering effects. 

The most that you might experience is some sleepiness, which, depending on what you’re taking it for could work out in your favor.  

#2: One is Technically Federally Illegal

Delta-9 is Still Federally Illegal

The law states that a hemp product cannot contain more than 0.3 percent THC, which happens to be about the amount that naturally occurs in the hemp plant. 

As we’ve said, there’s way more THC in marijuana, which is why the plant remains federally illegal

While hemp is legal across the country, only certain states have made marijuana legal.  

It’s important to point out that the amount of THC in hemp is simply too low to get you high. 

If you want to get high off of THC, you’re going to need to make sure that you’re in a state in which you are legally allowed to do so.

#3: They Interact with the Endocannabinoid System in Different Ways

We said earlier that while both CBD and delta 9 THC are cannabinoids, they interact with the endocannabinoid system in different ways. 

A major difference between the two is the specific cannabinoid receptors that these compounds bind with. 

THC binds with CB1 receptors in the brain, which is why this compound can get you high while CBD cannot. 

CBD binds with CB1 and CB2 receptors, but in different locations in the body.

#4: Only One is Considered Safe for Pets

CBD is Safe for Pets to Consume

We’re seeing a huge market for pet-friendly CBD products nowadays. 

Many studies have shown that CBD may be useful to all mammals, due to its gentle nature and ability to support bodily regulation. 

But bear in mind that this doesn’t mean that all cannabinoids are appropriate for our furry friends. 

While CBD seems to be fine, THC is not. 

This is largely because it’s believed that our pets’ bodies cannot handle the psychoactive properties of THC.  

#5: One is Easier to Find Than the Other, Depending on Where You Live

Because of the difference in legal status between the two cannabinoids, you’re going to have a hard time finding delta 9 THC unless you live in a state in which it is legal. 

Meanwhile, because it’s federally legal, CBD can be purchased both in person and online no matter where in the country you are.

Which Should I Take: Delta 9 THC or CBD?

So, considering both the similarities and differences between the two compounds, which is better to use? 

Well, first of all, it depends on whether or not you wish your experience to be psychoactive, and, of course, whether or not it’s legal to have that experience to begin with.

However, ultimately, we recommend going with a full spectrum hemp product to give you the best of both worlds. 

Full spectrum hemp contains every compound in hemp, including both of these cannabinoids, as they naturally exist in the plant’s chemical makeup. 

You’re only getting a trace amount of delta 9 THC this way, but its effectiveness is boosted by the synergistic properties of the hemp plant.

Overall, It’s Their Differences that Mean More than You Think

Delta-9 THC and CBD are two individual cannabinoids that both exist in the same plant material. 

They share many things in common, belonging to the same class of compounds and even sharing many of the same properties. 

But their differences are just significant enough to make it worth it to consider giving both a try, in a way that’s legal, of course.


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