Delta 10 vs Delta 8: What’s the Difference?

Illustration of Delta 8 and DElta 10 tincture bottles with their chemical structures
Written by Livvy Ashton | Last updated: January 19, 2023

This article provides a complete overview of the differences between delta-8 THC vs. Delta-10 THC. We elaborate on the effects, benefits, safety, risks, and legality of delta-8 and delta-10 THC so that you can use them responsibly and biohack your cognitive performance. We also provide the list of the best delta-8 and delta-10 THC brands in 2023. After reading this article, you’ll be ready to make a well-informed decision on your next purchase.

When you ask about the differences between delta-10 vs. delta-8 THC, most people will tell you that one is more potent than the other — end of the story, right?

Not exactly.

For most people, that’s a major difference. However, there are many factors that affect your experience with THC.

Take, for example, the total amount of cannabinoids and terpenes in the source strain; or your tolerance level to these compounds, which may change over time.

The type of extract also matters and can have a significant effect on your product’s potency too.

If you use THC for getting the psychoactive buzz, delta-8 might be a better choice than delta-10 THC, but as I said, the devil lies in details.

In the past, people were more focused on delta-8 THC. But as manufacturers discover new ways of extracting minor cannabinoids from hemp, the focus shifts to other “deltas,” such as delta-10 THC.

This article will give you everything you need to know about the differences between delta-8 THC vs. Delta-10 THC.

Let’s jump into it.

Delta-8 THC vs. Delta-10 THC: Summary

  • Delta-8 THC and delta-10 THC are two different variants of the THC molecule. They can be extracted from hemp, using a specialized conversion process.
  • Delta-8 THC is stronger than delta-10 THC. Delta-8 is more likely to produce a buzz redolent of the classic cannabis high, while delta-10 THC induces a milder buzz that can make you feel relaxed and relieved from stress.
  • Both cannabinoids are legal at the federal level. However, 14 states have banned delta-10 and delta-8 THC.
  • You can combine delta-10 THC and delta-8 THC with CBD oil to create the entourage effect and balance out the psychoactive properties of THC.
  • Delta-10 THC and delta-8 THC both show up on a drug test. Drug screenings don’t distinguish between different isomers of THC; they look for its metabolite, which is the same across all variants.

What Is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 THC is a cannabinoid that comes with calming and euphoric effects without creating intense feelings of anxiety and unease in high doses. Delta-8 THC can be extracted from hemp and interacts with the CB1 receptors in your brain.

This interaction is what creates the signature cannabis high. While delta-8 THC can get you high, it’s about 50% as potent as delta-9 THC from marijuana (1).

Delta-8 is legal in most states, but before you take it on a plane, make sure your destination also allows such products. 14 states have banned delta-8 THC and delta-10 THC.

What Is Delta-10 THC?

Delta-10 THC is a milder version of delta-8 THC. It helps relieve stress and tension without the edgy cerebral stimulation associated with larger amounts of delta-9 THC. Delta-10 is commonly used in states that don’t have a medical marijuana program.

Delta-10 THC has been touted for its uplifting and relaxing effect that doesn’t backfire on the user in high doses. Research is still in its early stages, but current findings suggest that delta-10 THC can be used for similar health benefits as delta-9.

Similar to delta-8 THC, delta-10 is legal in most states.

Delta-8 THC vs. Delta-10 THC: What’s the Difference?

Hemp oil and cannabis buds

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get down to breaking down the differences between delta-10 THC and delta-8 THC.

What Do Delta-8 and Delta-10 THC Feel Like?

Both cannabinoids are psychoactive, meaning they affect your mind and behavior. In higher doses, delta-10 and delta-8 can get you high — creating effects similar to what marijuana feels like.

However, unlike delta-9 THC from marijuana, delta-8 and delta-10 THC are low-potency intoxicants.

When you take delta-8 THC or delta-10 THC, you can expect mild to moderate euphoria, followed by elevated mood, improved focus, sharpened senses, and relief from physical tension.

Your appetite will also increase, so make sure to have something to eat at hand (or train your willpower so as not to indulge).

High doses of delta-8 and delta-10 THC can make you feel sleepy and more stoney, but not in a couch-locking way.

Related: What Does Delta 8 High Feel Like?

How Do Delta-8 THC and Delta-10 THC Work?

THC is the acronym for tetrahydrocannabinol. It’s a cannabinoid that mimics the actions of your natural endocannabinoid (anandamide) that regulates essential physiological and psychological processes (2).

Each version of THC — delta-8, delta-9, and delta-10 — activates the CB1 receptors in the brain and central nervous system, hence their psychoactive effects.

However, both delta-8 and delta-10 THC have a lower binding affinity than delta-9 THC. That’s why they don’t get you as high.

What’s the Difference Between CBD and THC?

CBD (cannabidiol) and THC are major cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. However, unlike THC, CBD doesn’t have intoxicating properties; it’s impossible to get high off it.

That’s because CBD doesn’t directly affect the CB1 receptors. Instead, it signals the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to produce more of its natural cannabinoids and slows down their breakdown. With more cannabinoids circulating in your system, your body can return to homeostasis and optimize the functions mediated by the ECS (3).

CBD is known for its ability to relieve stress, anxiety, and inflammatory pain. It’s a potent antioxidant and neuroprotectant, meaning it can protect cells from oxidative stress and help prevent neurodegenerative conditions (4).

CBD also counteracts the psychedelic effects of THC by binding to the site of the CB1 receptor and blocking THC’s full potential (5). Health professionals recommend adding CBD to your delta-8 THC products to balance out the high and reduce the risk of anxiety and paranoia.

Where Can You Buy Delta-8 and Delta-10?

Delta-8 THC and delta-10 THC are legal in most states. You shouldn’t have a problem finding a store that sells such products in your state. Delta-8 and delta-10 THC are sold in specialized CBD stores, cannabis dispensaries, wellness centers, and even at gas stations.

If you don’t live in a state where marijuana is legal, you can buy delta-8 and delta-10 THC from online retailers and have it delivered to your house (if your state accepts hemp-derived psychoactive cannabinoids).

Online stores offer several benefits, such as:

  • Lower baseline prices
  • Seasonal discounts, coupon codes, reward programs, subscription orders, and other ways to save even more money on high-quality products.
  • Greater convenience (you can shop in the comfort of your home)
  • More transparency (third-party testing and customer reviews)
  • Larger product selection
  • Fresher products (they don’t stay on the shelves for weeks or months before being sold)

Best Delta-8 THC and Delta-10 THC Brands

  1. Area 52
  2. Finest Labs
  3. 3Chi
  4. Delta-8 Pro
  5. Diamond CBD
  6. Everest
  7. Moonwlkr
  8. Binoid
  9. Delta Effex
  10. Exhale Wellness

Delta-8 THC vs. Delta-10 THC: Which One Will Get You Higher?

Cannabis joints with marijuana leaf on yellow background

Delta-8 THC is more potent than delta-10 THC. It creates psychoactive effects that you might not find in other cannabinoids.

If you’re looking for a similar experience to the high from regular weed, delta-8 THC is going to yield the best results in terms of strength. Some companies enhance the potency of delta-8 THC by adding CBN to the formula, which is another mildly psychoactive cannabinoid with alleged sleep-inducing effects.

Delta-10 THC creates a less potent high, making it even more popular among cannabis users who are sensitive to the biphasic nature of THC.

Why Is Delta-8 THC Stronger Than Delta-10 THC?

Delta-8 and delta-10 THC have different binding affinities to the CB1 receptors. Delta-8 THC induces greater stimulation of these receptors, making it stronger than delta-10 THC.

The formula of your product also plays a major role in its strength. Depending on the overall cannabinoid and terpene profile, the effects of delta-8 and delta-10 THC products can lean more toward energizing, sedating, or psychedelic.

How Are Delta-8 THC and Delta-10 THC Made?

Both cannabinoids can be extracted either directly or through a process called isomerization.

The direct extraction of delta-8 THC and delta-10 THC is cost-prohibitive due to their trace amounts in mature flowers.

Isomerization requires converting CBD into delta-8 or delta-10 THC using specialized catalysts. The isomerization process costs less and yields more material. However, isomerization must be conducted by skilled professionals who will be able to purify the hemp extract from the said chemicals.

Related: How Is Delta-8 THC Made

How Do Delta-8 and Delta-10 Interact With the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)?

Delta-8 and delta-10 THC can interact with the ECS in your body. THC produces its signature effects because CB1 receptors in your brain are activated when it enters your bloodstream.

All effects created by cannabinoids are mediated by the ECS. However, some cannabinoids have a stronger binding affinity to CB1 receptors than others. That’s why different isomers of THC come with different potency levels.

Some manufacturers of cannabis extracts infuse their delta-8 and delta-10 THC distillates with terpenes and other cannabinoids, such as CBD, CBG, CBC, and CBN, to provide unique effects and health benefits.

Some of these compounds can intensify the psychoactive effects of delta-8 THC, while others tend to level them out.

Combine Delta-8 THC with CBD Oil for Enhanced Relaxation

As mentioned earlier, CBD is an ingredient that often goes hand in hand with delta-8 THC to help with stress and anxiety.

Other cannabinoids, such as CBN, can enhance the sedating properties of delta-8 and delta-10 THC.

CBC, on the other hand, provides your body with adrenergic effects, increasing alertness, focus, and motivation.

Is Delta-8 THC or Delta-10 THC Better for Pain and Inflammation?

Delta-8 THC and delta-10 THC affect not only CB1 but also CB2 receptors. The latter occurs mostly in the peripheral nervous system, immune system, and blood.

When it comes to relieving inflammation, delta-8 THC is a stronger pick, but it doesn’t rise up to delta-9 THC’s potential.

Again, it’s worth adding some CBD oil to your delta-8 or delta-10 routine if you want to get the most out of your product’s anti-inflammatory effects.

CBD activates the CB2 receptors in the immune system, reducing systemic inflammation and improving communication between your immune cells so that they can properly identify pathogens and protect the healthy cells.

Can Delta-8 THC and Delta-10 THC Show Up on a Drug Test?

Urine test strips and urine sample on gray background

Yes, both cannabinoids can show up on a drug test, meaning you can fail your urine or blood screening if you’re consuming too much delta-8 THC and delta-10 THC.

Related: Can Delta-8 THC Show Up on a Drug Test?

Does Delta-10 THC and Delta-8 THC Balance Each Other’s Effects?

The concept of “delta-10 THC vs. delta-8 THC” should rather be perceived as “delta-10 THC AND delta-8 THC.”

When you take these cannabinoids together, you can unlock the entourage effect, which draws out the best from both compounds.

Some people mix delta-8 THC with delta-10 THC to mitigate the side effects of both compounds. Delta-10 THC is touted for its stress-relieving properties, which can help you feel calmer when you use delta-8 THC to relieve pain.

The two compounds also influence different regions of your brain, so they might produce well-rounded effects when combined.

It’s also a good idea to consult your doctor if you want to take delta-8 THC and delta-10 THC. Your doctor can help you understand the benefits and risks of each compound, making it easier for you to decide which treatment works better for your health goals.

Which Is Better: Delta-8 THC or Delta-10 THC?

The differences between delta-8 THC and delta-10 THC don’t make either compound better or worse.

Whether delta-8 THC or delta-10 THC is better for you depends on what you’re looking for.

Delta-10 THC may be better if you want a relaxing experience that can make you feel calm and relaxed — making it a decent pick for people looking to improve mental health.

Delta-8 THC, on the other hand, is better for pain and inflammation, which is why health professionals recommend it as an alternative to medical marijuana.

When it comes down to sheer potency, delta-8 THC is a better choice. But if you want to reduce stress and unwind after a hard day, delta-10 THC has the upper hand.

The Safety of Delta-10 THC vs. Delta-8 THC

Delta-10 THC has a slightly better safety profile than delta-8 THC because of the way it activates CB1 receptors in your brain. Thanks to its milder potency, delta-10 THC is a better choice for reducing stress, which can be helpful if you’re struggling with anxiety, depression, and lack of focus.

The effects of delta-8 THC are longer-lasting, but its safety raises some concerns. Delta-8 THC is more intoxicating than delta-10, so if you’re particularly sensitive to THC, I suggest taking the latter.

Both compounds are safe if you use them responsibly and are aware of the potential risks caused by abusing them. I recommend talking to your doctor or a medical professional before you start taking delta-8 THC and delta-10 THC.

Delta-8 THC vs. Delta-10 THC: Which One Should You Choose?

To wrap it up, delta-8 THC and delta-10 THC both provide therapeutic effects, but delta-8 THC is going to create a more intense psychoactive experience due to its higher strength. Delta-8 THC is more common than delta-8 because of its potency.

Delta-10 THC doesn’t have the same medical potential as delta-8 THC because of its lower potency. The risk of experiencing anxiety or paranoia with delta-10 is reduced compared to other THC isomers.

Being aware of all these differences will help you make a well-thought-out decision on your next choice. You can also blend delta-8 THC and delta-10 THC with different cannabinoids and terpenes to create unique effect profiles and address different health needs.


  1. Kruger, D. J., & Kruger, J. S. (2021). Consumer Experiences with Delta-8-THC: Medical Use, Pharmaceutical Substitution, and Comparisons with Delta-9-THC. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 10.1089/can.2021.0124. Advance online publication [1].
  2. An, D., Peigneur, S., Hendrickx, L. A., & Tytgat, J. (2020). Targeting Cannabinoid Receptors: Current Status and Prospects of Natural Products. International journal of molecular sciences, 21(14), 5064 [2].
  3. Corroon, J., & Felice, J. F. (2019). The Endocannabinoid System and its Modulation by Cannabidiol (CBD). Alternative therapies in health and medicine, 25(S2), 6–14 [3].
  4. Rapin, L., Gamaoun, R., El Hage, C., Arboleda, M. F., & Prosk, E. (2021). Cannabidiol use and effectiveness: real-world evidence from a Canadian medical cannabis clinic. Journal of cannabis research, 3(1), 19 [4].
  5. Russo E. B. (2011). Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. British journal of pharmacology, 163(7), 1344–1364 [5].

Livvy is a registered nurse (RN) and board-certified nurse midwife (CNM) in the state of New Jersey. After giving birth to her newborn daughter, Livvy stepped down from her full-time position at the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. This gave her the opportunity to spend more time writing articles on all topics related to pregnancy and prenatal care.