November 06, 2023 4 min read

Cite this Article: Austin, Kat. “Unveiling Cannabis Industry Statistics: Navigating Trends, Prices, and Legality”, August 24, 2023,


Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as delta-9-THC, is the primary psychoactive compound found in cannabis. It has gained significant attention due to its widespread use for both recreational and medicinal purposes.

This article provides a comprehensive overview of delta-9-THC, covering consumer trends, market size, medical applications, legality, health and safety considerations, and environmental impact. 

Table of Contents
Delta-9-THC Products and Effects
Delta-9-THC Consumer Trends
Delta-9-THC Market Size and Outlook
Delta-9-THC in Medicine
Delta-9-THC Legality
Delta-9-THC Public Health and Environmental Impact

Delta-9-THC Products and Effects

  • Landmark THC: Delta-9 is the traditional form of THC found in most cannabis products. Therefore, it is used as a “standard” for comparison when discussing the effects and potency of newer hemp THC products. 
  • Comparing Potency:Delta-9 is approximately twice as potent as Delta-8-THC and up to 5 times stronger than Delta-10-THC. 
  • Endocannabinoid Interaction: Delta-8 mostly binds with CB-2 receptors in the Endocannabinoid System, the receptors responsible for various therapeutic effects and with psychoactive effects. 
  • Legal Comparison: Delta-9-THC, when derived from marijuana, is a Schedule I substance and only legal in select states. Many people opt for hemp-derived Delta-9 instead because it is more widely legal and accessible. 

Delta-9-THC Consumer Trends:

  • Rising Usage: Delta-9-THC consumption has been steadily increasing, with over 43 million people in the United States having used marijuana in 2018. (Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse - NIDA)
  • Demographic Variations: Usage patterns vary by age, with young adults aged 18-25 being more likely to use delta-9-THC compared to older age groups. (Source: National Survey on Drug Use and Health - NSDUH)
  • Preferred Consumption Methods: Smoking remains the most popular method of consuming delta-9-THC, but alternatives like edibles and vaping have gained popularity in the ;last decade. (Source: NIDA)
  • Cannabis Tourism: Some regions that have legalized delta-9-THC have seen a rise in cannabis tourism, contributing to local economies. 
  • Economic Impact in Colorado: For instance, when Colorado legalized recreational cannabis in 2014, the state saw an influx of cannabis tourists, and the industry contributed significantly to Colorado's economy. In 2019, the state reported over $1.74 billion in legal cannabis sales, generating substantial tax revenue. (Source: Colorado Department of Revenue)
  • Nevada and Las Vegas: After Nevada legalized recreational cannabis in 2017, Las Vegas, in particular, saw an increase in cannabis-related tourism. The city's dispensaries and lounges became popular attractions for tourists. In 2019, Nevada reported over $639 million in recreational cannabis sales. (Source: Nevada Department of Taxation)

Delta-9-THC Market Size and Outlook:

  • Legal Market Growth:The global cannabis market size is projected to grow from $57.18 billion in 2023 to $444.34 billion by 2030, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 34.03%. (Source: Fortune Business Insights) 
  • United States Market: In global comparison, most revenue will be generated in the United States (US$33,880.00 million in 2023). (Source: Statista)
  • Projections for U.S. Market:The legal cannabis market in the United States was valued at $20.5 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $41.5 billion by 2025, with a compound annual growth rate of 15.5%. (Statista)
  • Per Person Figure:In relation to total global population figures, the cannabis market experienced a per person revenue of US$77.13 in 2023. (Source: Statista) 

Delta-9-THC Use in Medicine:

  • Medical Applications:Delta-9-THC has shown potential in the treatment of various medical conditions, including chronic pain, nausea, and muscle spasms. It is prescribed for patients with qualifying conditions in states with medical cannabis programs.
  • Qualifying Conditions:The qualifying conditions for a cannabis medical card vary by state, but they generally include all “debilitating conditions.” For instance, in Illinois, qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use are defined as any “debilitating condition,” such as HIV/AIDS, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), eating disorders, Cancer, Cachexia, Crohn’s Disease, chronic pain, Glaucoma, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Lupus, Migraines, Neuropathy, and more. (Source: Illinois Department of Public Health) 
  • Chronic Pain: Studies have found that medical cannabis use significantly reduces chronic pain and improves overall quality of life for chronic pain patients. (Source: Pain Medicine) 
  • Prescription THC: Dronabinol (and name brand drug Marinol) is a synthetic version of Delta-9-THC that is approved for pharmaceutical use in the U.S. This drug is most commonly used to prevent and treat nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy when other drugs have not worked. (Source: Cleveland Clinic) 

Delta-9-THC Legality:

  • State Legalization:Delta-9-THC's legal status varies by state within the United States, with many states legalizing it for both medical and recreational use. As of January 2022, 17 states had legalized recreational use, and 37 states had medical cannabis programs. 
  • Recent Legal Additions:Minnesota and Delaware were the most recent states to join the list of legal adult-use cannabis states in 2023.
  • Legalizing in 2024: Several U.S. states are eyeing legalization in 2024, with Florida, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Tennessee considering it. (Source: Polston Tax Resolution) 
  • Federal Status: At the federal level in the United States, delta-9-THC remains classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, but there is ongoing debate about potential changes to its legal status. (Source: Controlled Substances Act)
  • National Legalization: Mexico became the third country in the world to legalize adult-use cannabis nationwide in 2021, following Uruguay and Canada.

Delta-9-THC Public Health and Impact:

  • Adverse Effects: Delta-9-THC use can lead to adverse effects, including impaired cognitive function, anxiety, and potential addiction. Approximately 9% of cannabis users may become addicted. (Source: NIDA)
  • Impaired Driving:The use of delta-9-THC can impair driving abilities, and efforts are ongoing to develop effective testing methods. In 2020, there were over 26,000 cannabis-impaired driving incidents in the United States. (Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) 
  • Energy Consumption: Indoor cannabis cultivation can consume significant energy resources, impacting the environment. It's estimated that indoor cultivation can use as much energy as 4.1 million households. (Source: Journal of Cannabis Research) 
  • Cannabis Certifications: Certifications such as the Clean Green Certification emerged in 2004 to help consumers choose organic and sustainable cannabis products. (Source: Weedmaps) 

In conclusion, delta-9-THC has a complex and evolving landscape, with implications for public health, economics, and the environment. Understanding the trends, markets, medical applications, legality, health considerations, and environmental impacts is crucial for policymakers, healthcare professionals, and the general public. As laws and regulations continue to change, staying informed is essential for those interested in the world of delta-9-THC.



Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Cannabis Encyclopedia

THCO vs THCP: Detailed Comparison Guide - Vida Optima™
THCO vs THCP: Detailed Comparison Guide

March 28, 2024 5 min read

Slight differences between these two cannabinoids produce very unique effects.
Read More
HHC vs Delta 8: Key Differences Explained - Vida Optima™
HHC vs Delta 8: Key Differences Explained

March 20, 2024 6 min read

Everything you need to choose between the two:
Read More
High THCA Percentage Explained – Key Facts You Need - Vida Optima™
High THCA Percentage Explained – Key Facts You Need

March 20, 2024 5 min read

Here's what those numbers on your weed label actually mean:
Read More