Delta 8 vs. Delta 10 Tetrahydrocannabinol: What’s The Difference?

Delta 8 vs. Delta 10 Tetrahydrocannabinol: What’s The Difference? by Thea Engst at CBD Origin

When it comes to the world of marijuana and hemp-extracted compounds, it feels like there’s always something new to learn. And that feeling isn’t wrong! That’s because hemp and marijuana plants produce hundreds of compounds, and we’re all still learning about what they do and how to use them. Furthermore, as researchers study these compounds, they work to engineer plants to grow certain compounds in higher amounts. In short: we are living in an exciting time of utilizing hemp and marijuana extracts for medicinal and general healthy living purposes. 

Delta 8 tetrahydrocannabinol and Delta 10 tetrahydrocannabinol are two compounds you’re probably seeing a lot these days. Let’s talk about what these two are and how they compare to each other. 

The Main Differences Between Delta 8 THC and Delta 10 THC

Delta 8 THC and Delta 10 THC

While both Delta 8 and Delta 10 are cannabinoids, they are each unique in their properties. The significant differences lie in how they impact our minds and where they come from.

Both Delta 8 and Delta 10 are largely being produced by plants engineered to produce more of the desired THC, meaning they are produced by different plants if they are synthetic. If they are natural, they come from either the marijuana or hemp plant. 

There are two major differences between these cannabinoids:

Delta 8 users report feelings of sedation, relaxation, and reduced anxiety whereas, Delta 10 users report feeling energized, focused, and better mood.

Delta 8 is easier to find and purchase, whereas Delta 10 is hard to find and more expensive.

What is THC?

Let’s start with the basics. What exactly is THC? 

THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol. (Try saying that five times fast!) Tetrahydrocannabinol is a very common cannabinoid that is naturally produced by cannabis sativa plants (hemp and marijuana are two plants from the cannabis sativa family). THC is produced more plentifully in marijuana plants, and in very small amounts, THC also appears in hemp plants. 

Hemp is defined as being a cannabis plant that contains 0.3% or less THC, while marijuana is a cannabis plant that contains more than 0.3% THC. If you grow hemp with higher than 0.3% THC content, you are legally required to destroy it in states where marijuana is not legalized because it has now become marijuana.  

And this is all because THC is a psychoactive drug, which doesn’t mean it will make you go crazy, but it does frighten people who don’t understand that. Being psychoactive simply means that it is a drug that affects your brain. CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it affects your body, not your brain. A couple examples of psychoactive drugs which you can get from your doctor are sleep aids and anti-depressants.  

THC is also the compound responsible for the euphoric feeling of being high. But all the different variations of the tetrahydrocannabinol compound do different things. This is just one reason we live in such an exciting time right now! 

THC is also the compound responsible for giving you the legendary ‘munchies.’. That’s right, marijuana strains with high THC content are more likely to get you snacking. This makes it an excellent medicine for people who lose their appetite during medical procedures such as chemotherapy. Not looking to increase your appetite? That’s okay; you can avoid the snack attack from THC by choosing a product with a higher CBD content or no THC at all.

THC is also often attributed to being a sedative. While this is true of some marijuana strains, it isn’t true of all strains, and we will talk about that soon! Some strains of marijuana improve focus and wake you up! THC products derived from the indica plant tend to have strong sedation effects than others, while those from the sativa plant have a more perky effect. Researchers are working on ways to utilize the sedation effects of these types of THCs to create sleep-aids and, on the other hand, trying to utilize the higher-energy THCs for energy supplements. 

The Legality of Delta 8 and Delta 10 THC

Delta 8 and Delta 10 THC

Because Delta 8 can come from hemp, which is legal under the 2018 farm bill, Delta 8-tetrahydrocannabinol should be federally legally – if it’s derived from hemp –  but not if derived from a marijuana plant. (Of course, it’s legal in the states where marijuana is legal.) It’s a little confusing, considering it’s the same compound, but it’s all about which plant the Delta 8 comes from. That being said, both Delta 9 and Delta 10 exist in an ever-changing gray area of legality. If you’re interested in either of these compounds and what they can do for you, check your state’s laws to be sure. 

It’s important to note that even though this strain can come from the federally legal plant hemp because it is technically a THC, it will turn up on a drug test as simply THC, which would mean a fail. Drug tests do not have the ability to discern which plant the THC came from because Delta 8 THC from a hemp plant is the same as Delta 8 THC from a marijuana plant. 

What is Delta 8 THC?

While the THC we most commonly know of is Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol, Delta 8-tetrahydrocannabinol is a different kind of THC, closely related to the Delta 9 compound. Delta 9 THC is the THC that has appeared most plentiful in most marijuana and hemp strains. It is also, at this point, attributed to being the most euphoric-inducing of the THC compounds. 

Delta 8 is simply another cannabinoid that can be extracted from either hemp or marijuana, which produces similar effects to Delta 9 THC. Similar but not the same! 

Delta 8 is a naturally occurring cannabinoid, and yes, that means that some cannabinoids are engineered or come from engineered plants meant to produce more of one cannabinoid. It has the same formula as Delta 9 THC, but the atoms in the molecule are arranged differently with different properties. This is known as an isomer. Those different arrangements make a world of difference for those who use Delta 8 THC.

Delta 8 is a phytocannabinoid, which means that it is a cannabinoid that is produced by plants. Endocannabinoids, on the other hand, are produced by the human body. We each have an endocannabinoid system, which spans our whole body with CB1 and CB2 receptors. Those receptors are why human beings respond to phytocannabinoids; our bodies are primed to receive cannabinoids and react to them. The way we respond results from the drug, either psychoactive or non-psychoactive, how potent it is, and which receptor it binds to. 

girl smoking

Delta 8 produces euphoric effects similar to Delta 9 but not quite as potent for most people. Users have reported relaxation, reduced anxiety, and lethargy. Every response is unique, though, and you should speak to a doctor before introducing any new drug into your system.

Delta 8 and Delta 10 both bind with the CB2 receptors, which is what makes the psychoactive effects of these compounds versus Delta 9 less intense. 

While Delta 8 THC is produced naturally, it is produced in small amounts, which makes fruitful Delta 8 extractions difficult. For that reason, researchers have developed plants that produce more Delta 8 than they would naturally. For this reason, you could be using either natural or synthetic Delta 8. The difference is simply in how it is produced; Delta 8 is the compound’s name and is, therefore, the same whether natural or synthetic.  

Pros and Cons of Delta 8 THC


  • Creates a euphoric high similar to that of Delta 9 THC without being illegal in many states.
  • May reduce anxiety, depression and help with achieving high-quality sleep.
  • Mild option for those who want a psychoactive compound.
  • A great option for those who find Delta 9 THC too strong. 


  • Because it is THC, while hemp is legal federally, having this in your system will make you fail a drug test.
  • Does not have as strong of a euphoric effect as Delta 9 THC. 
  • Research is still being conducted on the effects of this compound.
  • Some users report increased paranoia and anxiety. 

What is Delta 10 THC?

Delta 10 is a less plentiful compound produced by hemp and marijuana plants. Like Delta 8, this means that any THC products with hemp-derived Delta 10 are federally legal. 

While Delta 10 appears naturally in the marijuana and hemp plant, it is produced in such small amounts that the extraction process for natural Delta 10 would not be worth the effort. For that reason, researchers engineer plants that produce more Delta 10 THC in order to experiment on its medicinal value. 

Users of Delta 10 have reported that they feel happier with Delta 10. Lethargy or sedation is not commonly reported, and many users enjoy utilizing Delta 10 for increased focus and energy. Lots of marijuana strains that have a lot of THC will stimulate the appetite and help those who otherwise might not get valuable nutrients from food. Users of Delta 10 THC specifically have reported experiencing increased appetite, which makes it a great potential drug for people who are sick or in recovery and need to be eating more. 

Pros and Cons of Delta 10 THC


  • Users report positive impacts like heightened focus, improved moods, and higher energy.
  • Being psychoactive, this compound impacts brain activity and creates euphoria. 
  • A great ‘daytime’ high. 
  • Users have reported pain relief and increased appetite. 
  • A great option for those who find Delta 9 THC too strong. 


  • Because it is technically THC, having this in your system will make you fail a drug test regardless of it being hemp-derived.
  • THC is naturally produced in such small amounts that it must be developed specially by humans to be created in larger amounts. This makes it more expensive and harder to find. 
  • Research is still being conducted on the effects of this compound. 
  • Reports of inducing anxiety and paranoia have been made. 

Delta 8 THC vs. Delta 10 THC

Delta 8 THC vs Delta 10 THC

The effects of ingesting or inhaling Delta 8 have been likened to indica, which tends to relax and sedate you. Delta 10, on the other hand, is more like sativa and has been attributed to more of ‘daytime’ appropriate high because many users have reported increased focus and higher spirits. 

Users also report pain relief from both Delta 8 and Delta 10. And since they are both psychoactive, they will both affect the brain rather than the body. Both will create senses of euphoria, but neither are terribly potent in that sense. They are both less potent than their more well-circulated and recognized cousin: Delta 9 THC. 

Delta 10 is often more expensive than Delta 8 and also less available. It will be much easier to purchase Delta 8 as it has become enormously popular all over the country. The reason is most likely being that many states consider Delta 8 THC legal if it is derived from the hemp plant. Other states don’t care to split hairs in this arena and consider both Delta 8 and Delta 10 illegal. Some states only consider Delta 10 illegal. 

The stance of considering these mellow compounds illegal is that THC is THC and therefore a Substance 1 Drug. According to The Controlled Substances Act of 1970, marijuana is one of the most dangerous drugs because they found it most likely to be abused and without any medicinal value. Fifty years later, we know that all that isn’t true. Today, we are constantly working to re-educate Americans on the potential health values of the cannabis sativa plants while conducting responsible and thorough studies.

FAQs about Delta 8 THC and Delta 10 THC

Question: Is Delta 8 THC Pretty Much the Same as Delta 10 THC?

Answer: While these compounds have a lot of similarities, they do not have the same results. Delta 8 is more of a THC to relax you and get you ready for sleep, while Delta 10 THC will help you greet the day with mental clarity and focus. 

Question: Is it Better to Consume Delta 8 or Delta 10 When They Are Naturally Produced?

Answer: Delta 8 and Delta 10 are the names of these cannabinoid compounds. If making them synthetically changed their chemical breakdown, they would be called something else. Consuming Delta 8 or Delta 10, which came from manmade plants, is no different from consuming them from naturally grown plants. 

Question: Will I Pass a Drug Test if the THC is Hemp-derived?

Answer: No. There are no tests to decipher between hemp and marijuana-derived THCs. For this reason, it makes many states hesitant to allow Delta 8 or Delta 10 THC products to be sold in their state. It makes policing the compounds more difficult. 

Question: Which THC is Best for Someone Who Had a Bad Experience with Delta 9, Making Me Anxious a Long Time Ago?

Answer: I’d start slow and low with Delta 8. Its goal is to calm and sedate so you will be easily able to rest. Delta 10 is something to take if you’re able to sort of ‘walk off’ anxiety. It won’t be the THC you want in your system if you want to rest. Again, I’d recommend speaking to your doctor before ingesting any new drug. 

Question: What Ways Can I Consume Delta 8 or Delta 10?

Answer: You can find both Delta 8 and Delta 10 THC products in a vape cartridge, as edibles like a thc gummy, and as distillate which can be smoked, turned into edibles, or added to a vape cartridge. I’ve even seen Delta 8 as a flavorless powder. Delta 8 THC gummies are some of the most popular Delta 8 THC products. 

Final Thoughts on Delta 8 and Delta 10

While we still have a lot to learn and confirm about Delta 8 and Delta 10 and how they interact with our bodies, the future is very bright. Researchers all over the world are working tirelessly to study the way our endocannabinoid systems interact with these phytocannabinoids. 

It’s important to stay up to date on new studies and FDA-approved products from cannabis sativa plants. Additionally, you should consult your doctor before introducing any new drugs into your system.

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