What is Delta-9: THC’s Use, Safety, Effect, and Legality Explained

Delta 9 THC image

Delta 9 or “delta 9 THC,” is one of the most abundant, psychoactive, and natural cannabinoids found in cannabis and hemp plants. 

The psychoactive or euphoric effects that come from consuming cannabis, also known as the “high,”  are caused by the compound delta 9 THC, which most people refer to as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Although there are other kinds of THC in cannabis or hemp plants, like delta 8 THC or delta 10 THC, their effects are milder as compared to delta 9.

You can consume delta 9 in many different ways, such as by smoking, vaporizing, eating, or drinking. It can be used for both recreational and therapeutic purposes, such as it can help you with chronic pain, inflammation, and nausea, while also producing a euphoric or relaxed state.

In this article, we have explained everything you need to know about delta 9, including its effects, legalities, safety, benefits, drawbacks, and whether you should use it or not.

Is delta 9 legal?

Cannabis-extracted delta 9 is federally illegal in the US. However, each state has its own cannabis laws. While some states follow federal law, others have decided to make the delta 9 legal in the form of cannabis products.

On the other hand, hemp-extracted delta 9 THC is federally legal in the US because, according to the 2018 Farm Bill, all hemp-derived products are federally legal if they contain less than 0.3% of delta 9 THC by dry weight, which is the standard most delta 9 companies follow, making their products legal.

Since the majority of delta 9 products on the market are derived from hemp and have a THC concentration of less than 0.3%, they are federally legal in the US. While there is no state legislation that strongly forbids its use, making delta 9 THC legal in all 50 US states.  

How does delta 9 work?

There is a complicated cannabinoid system residing in our brain and our body’s central nervous system, called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This ECS is responsible for managing all kinds of receptors that are present in our body and brain, primarily the CB1 and CB2 receptors. 

These receptors, when agitated or troubled due to high stress or certain situations, usually result in an unpleasant sensation such as chronic pain, anxiety, nausea, insomnia, and other similar problems.

However, when you consume delta 9, it interacts with the CB receptors present in in your brain and central nervous system which in result produce a variety of effects, including altered perceptions, increased appetite, relief from stress, anxiety, sleep promotion, and changes in mood and cognitive function. 

The intensity and nature of these effects of delta 9 can vary depending on the individual, the THC content, and the method of consumption. 

What are the benefits of delta 9?

According to research, delta 9 is a natural, plant-derived compound that offers a wide range of benefits, like:

  • Delta 9 can make you more relaxed and euphoric.
  • Delta 9 can provide relief from nausea, stress, anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
  • It can provide relief from insomnia and help you sleep better.
  • It can help you boost your appetite.
  • It can help you manage all kinds of migraines, chronic pain, and inflammation.
  • It can also help with seizures and sclerosis.
  • It can also help manage the adverse effects of many conditions, like chemotherapy-induced nausea, AIDS-related anorexia, and opioid-use disorder.

The benefits of this cannabinoid are such that the FDA has also approved a medicine made of delta 9 for people undergoing chemotherapy or people with anorexia to induce a healthy appetite and treat vomiting and nausea.

What is the risk of using delta 9?

Delta 9 is safe and well tolerated by most people over the age of 21, and there is no permanent risk associated with its use. Although there are some temporary risks and concerns related to it, For example, if you use delta-9 in large quantities, it may cause discomfort like dry mouth, red eye, impaired perceptions, panic, and paranoia, which can be pretty unpleasant. 

Although any discomfort from delta 9 is only temporary and passes with time and according to the WHO, delta 9 does not pose any risk to public health and safety, and its abuse and overdose are highly rare.

In short, if you use good-quality delta-9 products from a reliable brand at an appropriate dosage, they will be safe for consumption. However, if you have a low THC tolerance and are most concerned about safety, you should try a milder cannabinoid like delta-8 or CBD

How much delta 9 should you take?

There is no fixed dosage for any cannabinoid product. Although for any THC-based product, it is recommended that you start with the lowest dosage, say 5 mg or 10 mg, and see how you feel. If you are new to THC, then a dosage of as much as 5 mg will be enough to make you feel the effects and the intoxicating sensation, aka “high.”

However, if you are a seasoned cannabis user, you may require a higher dosage of delta-9 to feel any effects. 

Is delta 9 available for purchase online?

You can easily buy hemp-derived delta 9 products online and get them delivered to all 50 states of the United States. 

Hemp-extracted delta-9 is federally legal in the US, and currently there are no state-based restrictions on this natural cannabinoid. 

Although you can encounter some trouble in certain states, if you shop for cannabis-derived delta-9 products because they are federally illegal, that’s the reason you will only see hemp-extracted delta-9 products in most online THC stores.

Before shopping for hemp-extracted delta-9 products online from any brand, always check whether the brand provides service to your location or not. In most cases, they will.

What to look for when selecting a delta 9 product?

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has no authority over the delta-9 market. So it’s important that you take the necessary precautions and do your due diligence to select the right delta-9 product that will be safe for use. 

While selecting a delta 9 product, you should ask the following questions:

  • Is the delta 9 brand reputable and reliable?
  • How and where is hemp or cannabis used is grown?
  • Does a delta 9 product have a genuine COA (certificate of analysis) attached to the website that mentions the cannabinoid content of the product? A COA also mentions the other ingredients of a THC product and whether it is free from any harmful contaminants or not.

You can also read the customer reviews of a delta-9 product to get a general idea about its effectiveness. And if you are new to the THC world, then for the best experience, try a product that has been used and positively reviewed by many other people.

Is delta 9 addictive?

Delta 9 can be addictive if used in high dosages for an extended period of time. However, it does not cause an extreme physical addiction like alcohol, opioids, tobacco, or other hard substances. However, the studies on addiction to delta-9 are more associated with cannabis use rather than hemp-based delta-9, which has a much tolerable profile.

According to research, about 9% of people who use delta 9 in marijuana form will become addicted to it, and the number rises to about 17% for those who start using it in their teens. 

Additionally, withdrawal symptoms can occur when someone is using delta 9 in marijuana form and stops using it; the symptoms include irritability, difficulty sleeping, and decreased appetite, although they generally pass with time.

While there are no studies on addiction related to the use of hemp-based delta-9 products, yet.

Does delta 9 show up on a drug test?

Drug tests are designed to detect THC in your system, so whether a delta 9 product is hemp-extracted or cannabis-extracted, it will show up in a drug screening test.

There are several types of drug tests that can detect the presence of delta 9 THC, including urine, blood, hair, and saliva tests. Urine tests are the most commonly used method for drug testing in both the workplace and most legal settings. 

It is worth noting that the detection time for delta 9 can vary depending on the frequency of use, the amount consumed, and an individual’s metabolism. Generally, for occasional users, delta 9 is typically undetectable in urine after 3 or 4 days, but for heavy or chronic users, it can be detected for up to 30 days or more.

So exercise the necessary caution while using delta 9, and if you work in an environment that requires periodic drug testing, then avoid using THC products. Instead, you can try CBD isolate or broad-spectrum CBD because they are THC-free cannabidiols that will not come up in any kind of drug test.

Final thoughts

Delta 9 is one of the most famous and popular forms of THC that offers a lot of therapeutic benefits while also making you intoxicated, aka “high.” 

While cannabis-extracted delta 9 is illegal in the US, hemp-extracted is legal. However, it is still not regulated by the FDA, so exercise the necessary caution while shopping for a delta-9 product, and don’t forget to check the COA. 


The information in this article is intended for general use only and may not always be appropriate for everyone’s needs. Your health and wellness are unique to you, so before acting on anything we say, seek personalized advice from a medical professional.

We value the accuracy and editorial integrity of all our articles, and we strive to ensure that the content we publish is accurate and up-to-date to the best of our knowledge.