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The Delta 9 Experience: What Does it Feel Like?

The health and wellness industry has experienced a massive shake-up with the introduction of cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD). Now, we have a variety of isolated compounds to choose from, including CBG, CBN, delta-8, delta-10, and beyond. 

Of course, anyone prior to the flood of CBD products remembers just one compound: delta-9 THC. 

These compounds have always been present in marijuana, but the sole focus in decades past has been on the star of cannabis. Interest in delta-9 THC hasn’t waned, especially as much of the U.S. continues to push for legalization. However, the way that products are formulated and plants are cultivated and bred certainly has. 

Today’s consumers have an important question to ask themselves: what does the delta-9 experience feel like? More importantly, what factors impact this experience? Why might delta-9 be something I should be interested in trying? 

In this guide, we will explore the science behind delta-9, the potential benefits and risks associated with its use, and what factors can affect how you feel after taking it so you can make an informed decision when you decide to try delta-9 for yourself. 

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What Is Delta-9 THC?

Delta-9 THC is the primary psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants. It is the most abundant cannabinoid in the plant and is responsible for the “high” that people experience when they consume cannabis. How? Delta-9 binds to CB1 receptors (and CB2 receptors, which don’t produce psychoactive effects) in the brain, which leads to the characteristic effects associated when the compound is inhaled or ingested. 

Delta-9 THC is produced in the trichomes of the cannabis sativa plant and is found in both hemp and marijuana. The amount of delta-9 THC in a cannabis plant will vary depending on the strain and growing conditions, but it is typically present in concentrations ranging from 0.3 to 30 percent, with hemp having much lower amounts and marijuana having higher amounts. 

Delta-9 THC is known to produce a variety of effects, including feelings of euphoria, relaxation, altered perception of time, and increased appetite. It can also produce a variety of physical effects that accompany the mind-altering experiences cannabis is known for, including dry mouth, red eyes, increased heart rate, and slowed reaction time. Some perceive the effects of delta-9 to be beneficial, while others may not enjoy how they feel after they smoke marijuana.


Delta-9 Potential Benefits

Delta-9 has long been touted as a potential treatment for a host of ailments, something that users of other cannabinoids are quite familiar with. Some of the potential benefits offered by delta-9 include:

  • Pain Relief: Arguably one of the most popular applications of delta-9 is for pain relief. Some studies suggest that THC can be an effective alternative to other pain medications, especially for those looking to limit or eliminate opioid use. (1)
  • Anti-Inflammatory Benefits: Inflammation is a common characteristic of autoimmune disorders where chronic pain is also present. Beyond potentially treating pain, some research points to THC being a means to reduce inflammation. (2) For those with arthritis or similar conditions, this may be a seamless way to find relief. 
  • Mood Support: The endocannabinoid system is responsible for regulating a host of bodily functions, including mood. It’s believed that the introduction of cannabinoids like THC can positively impact mood and help those with stress, depressive symptoms, and feelings of nervousness better navigate daily life. However, it’s important to note that THC is not a viable replacement for traditional mental health treatments. In some cases, it may instead exacerbate symptoms of mental illness, so this is important to keep in mind. (3) 
  • And More: Delta-9 is one of the more heavily researched cannabinoids, but more research is still needed to fully understand exactly how delta-9 functions in the body and whether or not it can provide consistent benefits and results.

What Is The High Of Hemp-Derived Delta 9 Like?

Most people know what being high is, but the reality is that this high can vary from person to person. Some describe being high as a calm, euphoric experience, whereby they experience couch lock and are somewhat disconnected from their bodies. 

For others, taking delta-9 can be energizing, and there are many out there who may use delta-9 in their daily routine while working out, doing chores, and otherwise engaging in normal activities. 

Everyone experiences cannabinoids differently, so how you feel after taking hemp-derived delta-9 may be vastly different from another person’s experience. But why is this? There are several factors that play a role in how you feel when you take delta-9. 

This brings us to our next point…


CBD Drop with Delta 9 THC

What Factors Affect How You Feel After Taking Hemp-Derived Delta-9?

When it comes to experiencing the effects of delta-9 THC, there are a variety of factors that can influence how you feel. This includes the potency, dosage, delivery method, type of strain, gender, and even tolerance. Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors to determine how and why they affect your experience. 


Potency is an important factor to consider when taking delta-9 THC, as it can determine the intensity of the experience. Generally, the higher the concentration of delta-9 THC, the more intense the effects will be. Too low, and you may not experience any notable benefits at all. Always check your product’s packaging to see how potent a given product is prior to purchasing it.


Tolerance To Delta-9

Those who regularly smoke marijuana or take other delta-9-infused products are going to have developed a tolerance to it. In many ways, this is a good thing. Being familiar with a substance and having a tolerance to it can make it easier to use it without experiencing some of the negative side effects. 

That being said, tolerance means that your body can become so used to a certain substance over time that previous doses no longer provide the expected benefits. The best way to navigate tolerance is to take a T-break and cycle off of delta-9 until you can take your normal dose and experience the same benefits you initially felt. Otherwise, it can require you to continue upping your dosage in order to reap the reported benefits of delta-9.



The effects of any cannabinoid are highly dose-dependent. High doses of delta-9 may bring out the worst of the substance, including paranoia, anxiety, and undesirable physical effects like rapid heartbeat. However, low doses might not help you feel as relaxed as you’re looking to be. Start out with the lowest possible dose and work your way up until you experience the desired benefits. You can always take more delta-9, but you can never remove what you’ve already absorbed!

Delivery Method 

Delivery method is an important factor to consider when taking delta-9 THC. Different delivery methods can affect the overall experience, as well as the onset, duration, and intensity of the effects. 

The most common delivery methods for Delta 9 THC are inhalation, oral ingestion, and topical application. 

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Oral Ingestion

Oral ingestion is a slower delivery method for Delta 9 THC as it is absorbed through the digestive system. This method is popular with medical users, as it can provide more sustained, intense effects. The good news is that it’s much easier to dose these products as each form of capsule or edible will have a predetermined dose.


Topical Use

Topical application is the slowest delivery method for delta-9 THC as it is absorbed through the skin. This method is popular with medical users because it can provide localized relief without the psychoactive effects. Some of the topical products on the market today include creams and lotions, salves and balms, and even topical rollers so that THC can be applied mess-free on the go.



There is naturally a difference in the effects experienced when comparing how men versus women feel when taking delta-9. This can be attributed to a number of factors, including body weight, height, metabolism, and body fat, just to name a few. 

For example, women may have a greater percentage of body fat in comparison to men, which can result in delta-9 being stored by fat cells rather than passing through the system, producing weaker effects. 

Of course, the physical makeup of every individual is different. Pay attention to how you feel after taking delta-9 and adjust your dose accordingly.


Type Of Strain

While the jury is still out on how strain impacts experience (some say that many delta-9 strains today are hybrids or that terpenes are the main factor in experience), strains are often attributed with the varying effects of delta-9. 

Put simply, Indica is said to offer a more euphoric, relaxing experience while Sativa strains are believed to offer energizing, uplifting benefits. Hybrid strains may vary. 

What To Look For In Delta 9 Products 

If you live in a state where delta-9 is legal medically or recreationally (or you’re able to get your hands on delta-9 products that are hemp-derived), doing your research is essential to getting the highest-quality products available. Here are a few considerations you should have in mind when you begin shopping around. 

  • Make sure that your products are made from organic hemp or cannabis. Cannabis sativa is amazing at pulling contaminants from the ground, which could end up in the flowers used to make your various products. 
  • Look for transparent companies that seek to elevate your experience with third-party testing and certificates of analysis that show you exactly what’s in your delta-9 products. 
  • Double-check for products with an appropriate dosage. Those with extremely high concentrations can end up triggering an intense high whereby you won’t be able to truly evaluate whether or not your delta-9 products are offering any real benefits. 
  • Consider the delivery method if you wish to take delta-9. It can be easy to take too much at a given time, especially with products like edibles. What benefits are you looking to enjoy, and how will your given delivery method help you get there? This is an important question to ask on your delta-9 journey.
  • Is it legal in your state? Cannabis-derived delta-9 products are federally illegal, but may be medically or recreationally legal in some states. Meanwhile, hemp-derived delta-9 may be legal in some states but not others (with laws changing all the time). Keep this in mind when you’re looking for THC products. 

Of course, it can be much easier to find these characteristics in a CBD company that is focused on cultivating better health and wellness naturally nationwide. Are you interested in seeing what CBD has to offer before moving on to delta-9? 

Start with FOCL’s Product Finder Quiz to get matched with the right product for your needs!


Delta-9 vs. Alternatives

The introduction of the 2018 Farm Bill and the subsequent focus on CBD production has resulted in many different cannabinoids being isolated and incorporated into health and wellness products. 

One such delta-9 alternative is delta-8. Delta-8 is chemically similar in structure to delta-9 but is said to have weaker effects, which may provide some users with a better overall experience if they find that delta-9 is too overwhelming. 

Another popular alternative gaining traction in the space is delta-10. Delta-10 is said to strike the perfect balance between delta-9 and delta-8, being just a bit stronger than the latter. 

Today’s consumers have plenty of options, so make sure to look beyond just delta-9 to see which products you may benefit from most!

Final Thoughts 

Delta-9 is no stranger to many, and it may provide relief from a number of common ailments. That being said, delta-9 isn’t always right for everyone. Some are looking for potential relief without the psychoactive effects presented by various forms of THC. One solution? You could try CBD products here with FOCL! 

All of our CBD products are made from organic, non-GMO hemp and contain very limited to no quantities of delta-9 THC. We offer third-party testing to give you the peace of mind you deserve knowing exactly what’s in your products, and we offer a wide range of products to choose from so you can customize your experience. 

Better yet, we offer free shipping on all orders and 15 % off when you sign up for a free FOCL Rewards account! 

Ready to see what CBD can do for you? Shop now or reach out to us if you need to chat with the experts!


    Does delta-9 get you high?

    Yes. Delta-9 THC is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis and is responsible for the “high” associated with cannabis use. Delta-9 THC binds to the CB1 receptors in the brain, releasing dopamine and triggering a range of effects that can include euphoria, relaxation, and altered perception.


    Is delta-9 stronger than delta-8?

    Delta-9 THC is said to be more potent than delta-8 THC. That being said, this seems to vary from user to user, with some reporting no difference between the two substances.


    How long does the delta-9 feeling last?

    The effects of Delta 9 THC can last anywhere from three to five hours, depending on the dose and individual. You may also experience longer-lasting effects with certain types of products, like delta-9 edibles.


    Does delta-9 affect memory? 

    Delta-9 THC can have an effect on memory and cognitive function. Short-term memory can be impaired, and long-term memory can be affected as well.


    Will delta-9 make you fail a drug screen?

    Delta-9 THC can be detected on drug screens, and it is possible to fail a drug test if you have recently used delta-9 THC.



    1. PMC, E. (n.d.). Europe PMC. Retrieved from https://europepmc.org/article/MED/34662076 
    2. Nagarkatti, P., Pandey, R., Rieder, S. A., Hegde, V. L., & Nagarkatti, M. (2009, October). Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. Future medicinal chemistry. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828614/ 
    3. Lucatch, A. M., Coles, A. S., Hill, K. P., & George, T. P. (2018, September). Cannabis and mood disorders. Current addiction reports. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6329464/