Most people over the age of 21 are familiar with the abbreviation “THC,” but odds are, many of them couldn’t tell you what it means or how it works. THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol — it’s the compound in the cannabis plant that gives you that prototypical euphoric cannabis high.
The cannabis plant also produces THCA, short for tetrahydrocannabinolic-acid, in the arrangement known as delta-9 THCA. However, the THCA and THC molecules can be forced into other arrangements, called isomers. Delta-9 THC, delta-8 THC and delta-10 THC are all examples of such isomers. A tiny shift in atoms means the molecules all interact with the endocannabinoid system differently, consequently producing different mental and physical effects.
Delta-9 THC is mostly known for its euphoric and intoxicating qualities that lead to that classic cannabis high. Anecdotal reports clearly indicate that delta-9 THC provides consumers with a much stronger and longer-lasting effect than its isomers, delta-8 and delta-10. Delta-8 has been reported to produce a slightly relaxing high that’s short-lived and delta-10 reportedly creates a slight intoxication, but mainly helps to boost energy. But there are potential dangers affiliated with all three delta isomers.
Increasingly, brands across the U.S. are highlighting the various THC isomers featured in their hemp-based products, giving way to increased press and ensuing questions from consumers. Since the passing of the Farm Bill in 2018, CBD and hemp-based products have grown exponentially within the country’s marketplaces. Touting the myriad benefits of hemp and CBD, these products can be found anywhere from Saks Fifth Avenue to the local gas station. The heightened media attention stems from the surfacing of these unfamiliar isomers in hemp products — especially delta-8 THC. To date, hemp products have only included the cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD), so the presence of THC isomers in hemp products has been extraordinarily controversial.
This leads us to the most logical of questions: How are these companies producing THC isomers from hemp?
Delta-9 THC is a non-polar lipid, which is derived from the cannabis plant by way of delta-9-THCA. THC isomers can be naturally found in the cannabis plant; however, cannabis is bred genetically for the production of delta-9-THCA. This means that in order to reach high concentrations of THC isomers (as seen in many of the products entering the hemp market) a delta-9 THC or CBD molecule must undergo a process to convert the compound from delta-9 THC or CBD to delta-8 THC or delta-10 THC.
Basic chemistry, using chemical synthesis or temperature and pressure, can be applied to these molecules to manipulate one into the other. Chemical synthesis can yield much higher concentrations of these isomers at a much higher rate of efficiency than the plant naturally produces. So, hemp and CBD manufacturers are turning to chemical synthesis by using various solvents and acids to synthesize the production of these isomers for their products.
As media coverage sheds light on these processes, industry members, consumers and governmental agencies are becoming increasingly concerned. Their collective lack of understanding related to whether operators are equipped to properly handle these solvents and acids is at the root of all of the hullabaloo surrounding isomers.
Delta-9 THC, delta-8 THC and delta-10 THC are all examples of isomers. A tiny shift in atoms means the molecules all interact with the endocannabinoid system differently, consequently producing different mental and physical effects.
An important step in producing consumer products is ensuring that there are no harmful chemicals in the end product prior to releasing the product to market. Can these manufacturers properly remove all residual solvents from the synthesized product? Are there harmful byproducts being produced and remaining in the final product? Are these operators equipped to test for dangerous chemicals and byproducts?
Without regulation in the hemp and CBD market, manufacturers aren’t required by anyone to test for these residual solvents. Consumer safety is of the utmost importance, everyone surely agrees, yet customers are left unaware of the potential risks involved with these unregulated products.
Risks of inhaling, ingesting or topically applying products with mid-high concentrations of solvents can result in irritation of the lungs or skin. These risks are compounded by the fact that this chemical synthesis process has jeopardized the success of local, legal cannabis markets.
Investigations are underway as licensed manufacturers in regulated markets have stopped sourcing locally grown THC cannabis biomass and are instead sourcing hemp CBD extract from out-of-state or international sources and converting the CBD from hemp into delta-9 THC. Not only are consumers at risk, but the local regulated cannabis industry is also at risk. Because of this shift in purchasing, small business owners are losing customers, as they’re unable to compete with hemp prices. Additionally, tax dollars that would otherwise be collected from the local suppliers aren’t going to the states they should.
By harnessing the power of chemistry, companies such as Heylo, a Seattle-based licensed cannabis processor, are creating products that highlight the positive effects of THC isomers without utilizing solvents. Heylo’s cannabis oil, The New Workout Plan, has more than 20% delta-10 THC, which is produced from delta-9 THC dominant cannabis plant material, extracted through CO2 extraction, and converted to delta-10 THC.
Some states and legal markets have quickly taken action to ensure delta-9 THC products are produced from legal and regulated sources. This will support the health of the legal medical and recreational markets, but only time will tell how the distribution of CBD and THC isomer products will be affected. Consumer safety is of the utmost importance as this industry is being built. I encourage everyone to be an informed industry member and consumer, and to find products you can trust.
Lo Friesen is an environmental chemist, product developer and botanical extraction thought leader. She’s the Founder/CEO of Heylo, a licensed cannabis processor in the state of Washington.
This story was originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now.
We hear these names a lot, but we don’t always know the difference between them. Is one stronger? Is one considered better? When it comes to delta 8 vs delta 10, they are both new ways to get high and access cannabis benefits, but come with a couple important differences. Read on to find out more.
Delta 8 vs delta 10 – What are they?
So, what are these names which have been popping up in corner stores all across America in the last few years, and causing much debate in many states and the federal government over legality issues? Both are considered cannabis cannabinoids, and fit into the cannabinoids market, along with other compounds like HHC, THCO, and CBN. However, this doesn’t mean that they’re both directly extracted from the plant.
Delta 8 can actually be directly extracted from the cannabis plant, because it’s a compound that exists within it. The problem, is that unlike delta 9 and CBD – the two most prevalent cannabinoids, delta 8 shows up in such tiny amounts, that direct extraction in the amount necessary for product production, isn’t possible. Though it is naturally occurring, when we use it in products, we’re using a synthesized form of it, made from CBD or THC (it must come from hemp to at least be somewhat Farm Bill compliant).
On the other side, delta 10 doesn’t occur naturally in the cannabis plant. It’s just not a part of it. The reason we know about it is because it was found by mistake back in 1980. At that time, the California company Fusion Farms was making concentrates, while also dealing with the natural disaster of wildfires in the area. As it happened, when their outdoor supply was contaminated with flame retardant chemicals, the workers began finding crystals of an unfamiliar nature in their product. The crystals were studied and found to be a slightly different compound than standard delta 9.
The difference is a minor one. The same minor different for all delta THCs. Delta 8, delta 9, and delta 10 are all identical except for the placement of a double bond. For delta 8 its on the 8th carbon atom, for delta 9 it on the 9th, and for delta 10 its on the 10th. When looking at delta 7, same concept, the double bond is on the 7th carbon atom. All of these delta compounds, regardless of where the double bond is, have the same chemical formula of: C₂₁H₃₀O₂.
Delta 8 vs delta 10 similarities and differences
These delta THCs are all isomers of each other, which means they have the same chemical formula, with just that one alternation in chemical structure regarding the placement of the double bond. They are also analogues of one-another because they are so closely related structurally and functionally, meaning they have nearly identical medical profiles attached. The general consensus seems to be that they feel about the same, and therefore may possibly be used interchangeably for many medical issues.
One of the main things to understand about these compounds, especially when looking at the differences between them, is that even now, we still don’t know much. This is because there’s still very little official research. When it comes to the effects of delta 8 vs delta 10, nothing online indicates any big difference, yet no study confirms this. The only real evidence is opinions on message boards, and the grand majority show users ultimately have the same experience with both. There are no formal studies of comparison, so those opinions are the best we’ve got. When it comes to delta 10, the research is generally lacking in all categories.
However, delta 8 actually was studied back in the 1900’s, as it was synthesized for the first time when delta 9 was, in the 1960s. By Raphael Mechoulam. At that time, a few things were indicated about it, but without any real follow-up. Beyond the fact it showed useful for cancer, both in fighting the disease, as well as the symptoms like nausea and vomiting (all of which were ignored for decades), there were a few other possible attributes to the compound.
It’s often quoted from research from that time period, that delta 8 is about 2/3 the potency of delta 9, and that it provides a clearer headed high, with less anxiety, and more energy. However, none of this was further proven, and the idea that it might be slightly weaker simply means a person would need to ingest more to reach the same high, not that they can’t. It also could be that only one strain was studied, and that this might not be true of all delta 8 samples. We just don’t know.
When it comes to delta 10, there isn’t much to go on at all. Personal experience seems to be the only indicator, and in terms of my own, I’ve never felt any difference between any of these compounds. At least not more than expected for using different strains, and with different terpene profiles. Though you might find opinions here or there that state (or restate) originally mentioned ideas of one being stronger than the other, or providing a specific benefit, that seems to be more about the hype that occurs when something new enters the market, and nothing more.
One of the issues that delta 10 presents when looking at delta 8 vs delta 10, is that though they are both formulated synthetically, delta 10 comes with the detraction that it requires a catalyst, which in the first place was flame retardant chemicals. I have yet to see a site selling this product that explains a clean way of making it, which means its quite possible that most or all batches are synthesized with dangerous materials.
Delta 8 vs delta 10 legalities
This part gets a bit tricky in some ways, but is more clear cut in others. Both delta 8 and delta 10 are sold in the cannabinoid gray/black market, under the line of legality via the 2018 US Farm Bill. Now, that bill did legalize the cultivation and use of industrial hemp, but it put a very strict definition on the term ‘hemp’, which goes like this:
“…the plant Cannabis Sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
What it doesn’t allow into the definition, is any amount of synthetic processing. So even if the delta 8 and delta 10 you buy came from component parts of the hemp plant, their synthetization would no longer fit under this definition of hemp if any other non-cannabis component was used. This was confirmed in September 2021, when a letter was sent by the DEA to Donna C. Yeatman, R.Ph., the executive secretary of Alabama’s Board of Pharmacy.
It went through different aspects of hemp law, including this statement: “Thus, D8-THC synthetically produced from non-cannabis materials is controlled under the CSA as a “tetrahydrocannabinol.” As in, once it involves anything not from the cannabis plant, like a catalyst, its no longer regulated as hemp, but goes back to regulation as a tetrahydrocannabinol in the Controlled Substance list, meaning being treated as a Schedule I substance.
The thing is, whether something is technically legal or not, is sometimes less important (in terms of ability for sale) then the simple idea of whether anyone will do anything about it. In the case of the cannabinoid market, and the already losing drug war against cannabis, it seems going after this market isn’t easy to do. Thus, allowing it to fit into what I like to call the no-one-will-do-anything-about-it loophole. True legal loophole? No. Loophole that works nonetheless? Yes!
Truth is, its not even for me to sit and say what the final answer on legality is. The fact that there’s a debate at all means there isn’t a legal consensus, or at least, not one being enforced. Different states have taken different measures on their own in legalizing or banning delta 8 and other cannabinoids, but this remains inconsistent between locations across the country.
Some Products to Choose From
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If you’re trying to make a decision between delta 8 vs delta 10, the first thing to realize is that they’re not functionally different in terms of how you’ll feel, and I can say that having tried plenty of both. What does affect the experience, is all those other terpenes and cannabinoids involved. This is the same when dealing with delta 9 as well. Think of how much difference there is between indica and sativa strains, and that’s just delta 9. Delta 8 and 10 have all those same variations as well.
Any product you buy with either of these compounds is going to have undergone some amount of processing. Whereas creating delta 8 is not necessarily associated with dangerous catalysts, not as much has been put out about safe ways to make delta 10, and this could be one of the things that separates them most. If you’re looking for a cleaner product, it might be safer to go with delta 8. Is that for sure? Well, in a completely unregulated industry, the answer is unfortunately, no. As with delta 9 however, both compounds seem to be perfectly safe, though this doesn’t necessarily account for processing techniques.
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Many more have become violently ill or wracked with disturbing mental or psychological trauma after using synthetic cannabis, with more than 64 percent of 7,600 documented exposures over that time frame requiring medical attention, the study found. (These figures don’t capture the full scope of the problem; synthetic cannabinoids are difficult to detect and use is often only detected after the user is in the hospital or the morgue.)
A broad term used generally to describe a range of potent chemicals, intended to mimic natural plant-based cannabinoids and to bind to many of the same receptors—but in some cases, up to 100 times more powerful; the difference in impact comparable “to the difference between a hose hooked up to a fire hydrant versus a faucet with a slow drip,” in the words of Dr. Patricia Frye, a Maryland-based physician and cannabis expert. “Synthetic cannabis” is banned under federal and most state law. (Plant-derived cannabis products created via chemical synthesis, including Delta-8 THC and Delta-10 THC, aren’t in this product category.)
Though not a priority for law enforcement, who still arrested hundreds of thousands of Americans for marijuana possession in 2020, synthetic cannabis is notorious stuff. Most often appearing in large cities, fake weed was the ultimate culprit behind a so-called “zombie outbreak” in 2016 in New York City, after several dozen people exhibited the same troubling dis-associative symptoms after smoking a particularly nasty “incense” product called “AK-47” Karat Gold.
Why would anyone use such dangerous and toxic stuff? And how can policymakers discourage such self-harm and solve what researchers described to Cannabis Now as a “serious health threat”?
The obvious answer will not shock you.
Nobody Really Likes Synthetic Weed, But…
Initially created in labs to understand how cannabinoid receptors work, synthetic cannabis was never intended for use in humans. And perhaps owing to the nasty side effects, synthetic cannabis use isn’t widespread.
Natural cannabis is far more popular. Even the estimated 0.2 to 0.4 percent of the population who do admit to using synthetic weed say they’d prefer natural cannabis.
However, there’s some societal “encouragement” for synthetic cannabis use: synthetic weed prohibition turns out to be difficult to enforce. Synthetic cannabis doesn’t contain THC. Users won’t show THC metabolites on a urine screening, and so drug tests can’t detect synthetic cannabis, the study noted. Thus, anyone in a position to want a buzz and avoid punishment for weed, including US service members, may decide that fake cannabis is worth the risk.
Users profiled in another recent study, from researchers based in Spain, confirm this ready common-sense explanation: Because drug tests don’t search for synthetic cannabinoids, meaning people worried about losing employment, housing, or other opportunities for a positive drug test are willing to risk serious consequences to achieve something like a weed-like buzz.
In other words, drug laws encourage drug users to risk great bodily and mental harm they wouldn’t otherwise risk. They say so themselves.
Synthetic cannabinoids “exist as a by-product of prohibition,” said Dr. Ethan Russo, a physician, neurologist and prominent researcher and author.
“Following the law of unintended consequences, the continued pervasiveness of urine drug screening for employment has stimulated the popular appeal of synthetic cannabinoids, which are not detectable on routine laboratory tests,” Russo told Cannabis Now. “The result is considerable attendant morbidity and mortality.”
In some places, this situation is getting worse. According to the researchers’ findings, published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry, “synthetic cannabinoids are increasingly gaining popularity and replacing traditional cannabis.”
However, that’s not the case in the US, where a simple and popular policy intervention leads to a decline in synthetic cannabinoid exposure (and related deaths and hospitalizations) of more than 37%. Only 5.5% of the synthetic cannabinoid poisonings tracked in the study occurred in states with legalization laws.
This magic public-health solution is allowing people to use cannabis safely and legally.
With Synthetic Cannabis, Legalization Saves Lives
As the Washington state researchers noted, synthetic cannabinoid exposures declined in the US starting in 2016—the same year that four states (California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada) legalized adult-use cannabis for adults 18 and over.
Of the exposures that were recorded, most–-56%–-occurred in states “with restrictive cannabis policies at the time of the exposure,” the researchers wrote. When a state passed a law with a more “permissive cannabis policy,” synthetic cannabinoid exposures reduced by 37%, they added.
This amounted to an “association” between “liberal policies (legalization) for natural cannabis and declines in reported synthetic cannabinoid poisonings,” they concluded. “This finding suggests a potential effect of policy change on substance use behaviors that may have long-term public health implications.”
Tracy Klein, the lead researcher and a professor in Washington State University’s College of Nursing, didn’t respond to a request for comment. But other experts, including Frye and Russo and Peter Grinspoon, a Boston-based physician and lecturer at Harvard Medical School, accepted the findings as a strong endorsement for cannabis legalization as a public-health intervention.
Synthetic cannabis harms people, but people don’t want to use it when natural cannabis is available. When natural cannabis is available, people don’t use it. Legalization saves lives. Could there be a simpler proposition?
“The rules of society have created this problem,” Russo said, “one that should no longer exist once a legal and regulated market for cannabis is established.”
“Legalizing cannabis, in the adult-use market, would certainly eliminate the need for experimenting with these potentially deadly chemicals,” Frye said.
In today’s cannabis market – at the very least, in states that don’t have legal recreational weed – high-potency products containing blends of extra strong cannabinoids and gaining popularity. But what exactly are these new compounds? Are they natural or synthetic? What makes them different from one another? And what kind of products contain them? Scroll down to learn all about high-potency products.
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What are high-potency cannabis products?
High-potency cannabis products are just that, consumer weed products that contain the more psychoactive compounds found in the cannabis plant, as well as some new, synthetic variations. The two categories of cannabinoids that actually produce these type of effects are THCs (tetrahydrocannabinols) and HHCs (hexahydrocannabinols).
When it comes to high-potency cannabis products, they can fall into one of three categories: products that contain only one high-potency cannabinoid, such as THC-P only products. You can also have products with a blend of high-potency cannabinoids, like THC-O, Delta 10, THCjd, and THCh mixed together. Or, you can have a product with very high concentrations of any psychoactive cannabinoid, like edibles with 100mg or more of delta 9 per serving.
Typically, high-potency products consist of vapes, edibles, and concentrates. Flower products can be infused with stronger cannabinoids, but they still are not usually considered high-potency, because there really is a limit to how high one can get on smokables.
More about THCs and HHCs
First, let’s quickly review THCs. There are a total of at least 15 that we know of. There are 4 major types of THC that are naturally occurring in the plant: THCA, THCV, Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC. Then, we have a few synthetics like THC-O and Delta 10. And we also have some very trace cannabinoids (those that show up in very low amounts) like THCP. And then we have a whole slew of new THCs that very little remains known about, and these include THCjd and THCh.
We also have one, naturally occurring endocannabinoid that is in the family of THCs, and that’s 11-hydroxy THC. This is not a cannabinoid per se, but a metabolite that our body creates when we digest different types of THC. So, if you’re eating naturally occurring THCs, like Delta 8 or Delta 9, the effects in our bodies will be the same, because they are all converted to 11-hydroxy THC. Synthetic THCs may have different effects, this has not been thoroughly studied.
Now, on to HHCs. There are way less HHCs than THCs, so at least it doesn’t get very confusing here. With hexahydrocannabinols we have HHC, HHC-O, and HHC-P. There is a biologically active naturally occurring (−)-hexahydrocannabinol, as well as its synthetic enantiomer (+)-hexahydrocannabinol. The synthetic HHC, which can be found in spice, has the chemical formula: 9-Nor-9β-hydroxyhexahydrocannabinol, and the natural variety, found in trace amounts in cannabis pollen, goes by the formula: 6aR,9R,10aR-Hexahydrocannabinol.
Both HHC-O and HHC-P are synthetic. HHC-O is the acetate version of HHC. HHC-P has the same alkaline chain as HHC but with two extra carbons included. The addition of these extra carbons is believed to enhance its ability to bind to cannabinoid receptors in the human body – but again, much of this research is extremely new and limited.
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It was coming. We knew it by Shopify. And whatever happened is probably just the beginning of the story. We know the government isn’t thrilled about the cannabinoid industry, and now its making its first big, direct move, by using the FDA to go after delta-8 THC companies.
The FDA going after delta-8 companies is a predictable move, but who knows how this will end. We specialize in cannabis and psychedelics reporting, which you can follow along with by signing up for the THC Weekly Newsletter. You’ll also get prime access to deals on an array of cannabis products like vapes, edibles, and smoking paraphernalia. Plus, we’ve got tons of cannabinoid compounds like delta-8 THC as well. Please remember, *cannabinoid compounds are not preferred by everyone. We only support people buy products they are comfortable with.
What’s the news?
The CBD industry is already aware of how much the FDA doesn’t like it. The FDA has sent out letters to tons of companies over the years, reminding them about federal laws, and to stop producing and selling products that go against them. For the most part, this hasn’t had the biggest impact, and CBD, which is now cleared for medical use by the UN via updates to the Single Convention, is found pretty much everywhere.
On May 4th, 2022, the FDA made its first big, direct move in the cannabinoid space, by sending out warning letters to delta-8 companies, warning them that the products they are producing and selling, violate federal law. Five companies were targeted thus far, but perhaps more will receive letters in the future. After all, Shopify had to remove a lot of products, and the very same vendors are the targets of such letters.
The companies targeted by the FDA for their delta-8 products, are ATLRx Inc., BioMD Plus LLC, Delta 8 Hemp, Kingdom Harvest LLC, and M Six Labs Inc. These warning letters don’t leave CBD out, making mention of the company violations on that front too. According to Jonathan Havens, co-chair of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Cannabis Law Practice and the Food and Beverage Practice, “the five warning letters represent the first enforcement actions taken by FDA against delta-8 marketers.”
Part of the issue has to do with medical claims. According to the government agency, there are no approved drugs that contain delta-8, and so using delta-8 to make any claim for a medication, means making an unapproved claim, for a drug which is also unapproved. The FDA also attacked the idea of the mis-branding of products, with the complaints of not giving good enough instructions, as well as putting delta-8 in food products.
Said FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner, Janet Woodcock, “The FDA is very concerned about the growing popularity of delta-8 THC products being sold online and in stores nationwide… These products often include claims that they treat or alleviate the side effects related to a wide variety of diseases or medical disorders, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, nausea and anxiety. It is extremely troubling that some of the food products are packaged and labeled in ways that may appeal to children. We will continue to safeguard Americans’ health and safety by monitoring the marketplace and taking action when companies illegally sell products that pose a risk to public health.”
Of course, delta-8 THC has, indeed, been found useful for all the conditions mentioned, which does beg the question of why the government is trying so hard to protect its population from these compounds, especially in light of the no-death count attached. It has repeatedly been shown that additive products are the real main issue, and that cannabis compounds have yet to be associated with death. This is important because another government agency, the CDC, just requested to lower prescribing guidelines for opioids, which already kill as many as 70,000+ a year, even as other non-addictive, no death-toll measures like ketamine and cannabis, exist.
How did this come about?
This newer issue is a counterpart to the CBD issue, which has been going on for awhile now. The cannabinoid industry, led by delta-8 THC, is based on the idea of extracting cannabinoids from the hemp plant for use in products. But there’s a problem with this. Though some of the compounds can technically be extracted from hemp, like delta-8, they can only be extracted in tiny amounts, so that for product production, synthetic processes must be used. This takes these products out from under the definition of hemp, making them federally illegal.
CBD on the other hand, can be extracted in large enough quantities that the same issue of synthetics isn’t relevant. However, neither is cleared by the US federal government for internal use, and the only reason there’s a conversation, is as a result of the 2018 US Farm Bill. The bill instituted a new definition for hemp, in order to promote the industrial hemp industry. In so doing, it separated high-THC cannabis from low-THC cannabis, and defined ‘hemp’ as only certain parts of the actual plant, without including synthetics. It should be noted, however, that even though the US government says CBD is not legal in this way, it did approve epidiolex, a big-pharma synthetic version of CBD. It has also approved synthetic versions of THC (dronabinol).
Synthetics of any Schedule I substance (which are not big-pharma made and approved), are also Schedule I under the Federal Analogue Act. When compounds are made using synthetic processes, or that don’t exist in nature (delta-10), they are not covered under the definition of hemp. Nor is anything (plant or product) that has over .3% delta-9 THC.
Two of the many issues with the cannabinoid market, are that large amounts of delta-9 THC are often found in products, and that synthetic processing is used to make them. Though the industry uses the term ‘hemp-derived’, this only means that some aspect of it came from the hemp plant, although in reality, even this isn’t necessarily true. As the industry is not regulated, we simply don’t know what we’re buying, and that presents its own problem.
Though regulating the market could settle much of this, the federal government doesn’t want to do that. But it also doesn’t want to lose tax revenue, and that creates a conundrum. The government tends to take money from big pharma, not little mom-and-pop, so anything that can’t be transformed into pharmaceutical profits easily, isn’t desired by the government. It’s just like with Quaaludes, which were too easily made outside of pharma companies, making for a black market that the US couldn’t control.
What else has been done?
The FDA sending warning letters to delta-8 companies is the first big, above-board move by a government agency to try to stop this industry, but it wasn’t the first move made. A couple months ago, the biggest shopping sales platform, Shopify, started sending out its own similar letters, telling vendors they could not sell products with more than .3% delta-9 THC, and that they had to be in general compliance with federal law, which also rules out synthetics. Thus, tons of companies were affected.
Shopify didn’t stop with letters, and immediately forced companies to drop products from their online catalogues, that don’t meet regulation. This most certainly was a hit to the industry, though the lack of overall sales figures in general, makes it hard to know how much. Cannabinoid products are sold all over the place, and show up in a lot of small roadside stores. How much the industry relied on on-line sales, particularly from Shopify, is not clear.
Shopify didn’t make a statement about the US government making it do this. Nor did the US government make a statement about being involved in the Shopify issue. But most companies won’t shoot themselves in the foot if they don’t have to, and it’s hard to believe that Shopify would all of a sudden care about something it never cared about before. This was not an ongoing fight, but a directive that came out of nowhere. It suffices to say there was likely pressure from higher up, and that Shopify itself could have been shut down if it didn’t comply.
Are these products dangerous?
The US government hasn’t legalized cannabis yet, but we already know that that specific legalization is not what determines the safety of the plant. So regardless of whether something is federally illegal or not, whether it’s dangerous or not is an entirely different question. It’s almost joke level funny that Ms. Woodcock would speak about the dangers of compounds with no death toll, while close to 100,000 people die a year from government sanctioned opioids.
On top of that idea, the US government is getting close to passing a bill to legalize cannabis, whether it wants to call it a ‘legalization’, or a ‘decriminalization’. The MORE Act already passed the House and is now up for the Senate. And if that doesn’t make it, Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer has his own baby, the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, which he’s carefully shopping around for support, and which hasn’t been officially offered, so as not to run out the clock prematurely.
Though a lot of reasons could be given for why the federal government is working hard now to pass something, one of the biggest reasons is that it must play catch-up with its states, so as not to seem powerless. Legalization measures are moving in only one direction, and its away from federal mandate. Soon enough, more and bigger publications, will point out how few people actually live under federal law concerning cannabis at this point. And as the government can no longer stop this train, it must now get on it, and pretend that was always the goal.
How much of an effect these FDA letters will have on the delta-8 industry is not known, and it might take some time to see results. The US government is obviously frustrated, but it’s also not in a position of power considering failed drug wars, and the lack of danger associated with this particular drug.
Maybe the delt-8 market isn’t the most savory. Maybe there are problems associated. But if the government really wanted to protect its people, it would do something substantial about the opioid epidemic, instead of railing against a plant (or its synthetic counterparts) which doesn’t realistically hurt anyone.
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The cannabinoid market has been a strange and seedy place since it started. Not only do different cannabinoids come out weekly, advertising different benefits, but as an unregulated market these products can be sold for less money than dispensary products which are subject to cannabis taxes. Only problem? The lack of industry regulation has made this market a very sketchy, possibly dangerous place. In a new move, the US government is actually doing something about it, despite a long period of virtually no response.
The cannabinoid market is facing its first big challenge with Shopify enforcing a ban on the sale of THC products outside of regulation. What will happen next to the industry? We’ll all have to wait and see. We’ve got you covered with breaking news as it happens, so sign up for the THC Weekly Newsletterto stay up-to-date on the current news, and to get special deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and more products! Our offers on cannabinoids, like HHC-O, Delta 8, Delta 9 THC, Delta-10 THC, THCO, THCV, THCP & HHC, won’t break the bank, and can still be bought here. Head over to our “Best-of” lists for these deals, and enjoy your products responsibly!
What is the cannabinoid market?
We all know what regular cannabis is, it’s been a staple recreational drug for a very long time throughout history. And we’re all aware of CBD, which has grown in popularity as a non-psychoactive part of the plant (which actually translates to a non-high-inducing part since CBD is most definitely psychoactive.) CBD has gained momentum the world over though, not just in the US.
However, the US is home to another unregulated market that came out of the same legislation that propelled CBD, the cannabinoid market. What is that? We all know THC and CBD are cannabinoids, so what is this other cannabinoid market? It’s a market made up of minor cannabinoids of the cannabis plant, most of which only show up naturally in the plant in small amounts, or which don’t actually exist in nature, and were formulated in a lab based on compounds like THC.
The most well-known at this point is delta-8 THC, an isomer of delta-9 in that they share the same chemical formula, and have very similar properties. Chemically, the only difference is the placement of a double bond, which for delta-9 takes place on the 9th carbon atom on a chain, and for delta-8, on the 8th. Delta-8 is naturally occurring, likely as a degradant of delta-9, but must be synthesized for product production since it occurs in such small amounts.
Other cannabinoid entrants into the market include delta-10 THC, THC-O, HHC, THCV, THCA, and more. As none of these cannabinoids have been through much testing, not much is known about them, with delta-8 offering the greatest amount of information. In essence, different cannabinoids have been released into the market where no information on them exists, including no testing for safety. Though it seems these compounds are not explicitly dangerous, this can never be said for sure without applicable research done, especially of the synthetics that don’t appear in nature. Which means the public is being sold completely untested products, and is being told they’re safe.
In short, Shopify, one of the largest online retail platforms, is no longer allowing the sale of delta-8 THC, or any other cannabinoid with over .3% THC. This is a good time to remind everyone that the term ‘THC’ refers not specifically to delta-9 THC, but to any tetrahydrocannabinol, of which there are many, as well as any analogue of THC made synthetically. There doesn’t seem to be an official news story on the topic, and its likely that Shopify, in an effort to do this quietly, never made a press statement. Instead, letters have been sent out to retailers, explaining that any THC cannabinoid is forbidden from being sold on their sites using the Shopify platform, if the THC amount is above .3%. The company Reef Canna released their letter through MJBizWire, which states:
“It has come to our attention that you are using your Shopify account, reefcanna.myshopify.com, to sell Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products containing more than 0.3% THC.
“Unfortunately, due to applicable laws and regulations in the United States, Shopify’s policies do not currently permit merchants to offer for sale products containing more than 0.3% THC regardless of compound type (e.g., delta-8, delta-9, delta-10).
The below products have been removed and cannot be reposted (this may not be an exhaustive list)…”
The following was a list of products by the company that Shopify is no longer allowing the brand to sell. The letter then continued:
“Please note that any further violation of Shopify’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), including the reposting of the content above, may result in the suspension or termination of your Shopify account.
We understand that the cannabis space is quickly evolving. In the future, if applicable federal and state laws and regulations in the United States change, we may be able to support these products on Shopify.
Please carefully review the rest of your shop to ensure it complies with Shopify’s AUP and Terms of Service.
More information about selling hemp-derived products can be found here.
To show just how confused many writers are, the writer of the article containing the letter, goes on to tell consumers that they can still buy legal delta-9 in 10mg gummies if its hemp-derived. This is not actually true, as hemp-derived THC is synthetic, and would therefore still not meet regulation, even if the gummy is four grams, making the delta-9 content less than .3%. It also states that HHC is fine as well, but this is also synthetic, which means it too is not covered by the Farm Bill, and as an analogue of delta-9, is therefore illegal.
This letter might specify everything under the umbrella of ‘THC’, but in order to be in compliance with the law, Shopify would also have to rule out all synthetics. On the Shopify website it has been made clear that all FDA regulation must be followed for selling hemp-derived products, and even requires merchants to fill out an ‘Attestation’ in order to sell hemp and hemp-derived products on their sites.
Why did this happen?
The confusion over the cannabinoid market stems from the 2018 US Farm Bill. The Farm Bill legalized the production of industrial hemp so long as the THC content is no more than .3% in dry weight for the plant, as well as for final products. The thing is, this was meant strictly for industrial hemp. However, it was taken up by many as a way to advertise and sell cannabinoids that aren’t specifically delta-9 THC, and which can technically be derived from the hemp plant, by simply saying that the level of delta-9 THC in the products meets regulation. The problem with this argument, is that it never made sense.
The way industrial hemp got legalized, was by making a definition for it that separated it from marijuana. The definition for hemp became: “The plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of the plant, whether growing or not, including the plant’s seeds, and all the plant’s derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
Not only is this meant for industrial hemp only, but the wording of it specifically states any product made must come exclusively from the hemp plant. Which means it in no way legalized anything synthetically derived, or anything meant for medical or health supplementation. When the bill came out, hemp cultivation and production went from being regulated by the FDA, to the USDA, but nothing else moved, leaving everything else under FDA regulation. And it’s the FDA that regulates anything taken internally for supplemental or medical purposes.
This was all backed up when a confirmation letter was sent to the Alabama Board of Pharmacy’s executive director Donna C. Yeatman, R.Ph. from the DEA in reference to the legality of delta-8. It explained “D8-THC is a tetrahydrocannabinol substance contained in the plant Cannabis sativa L. and also can be produced synthetically from non-cannabis materials… Thus, D8-THC synthetically produced from non-cannabis materials is controlled under the CSA as a “tetrahydrocannabinol.”” Tetrahydrocannabinols are Schedule I, and this goes for any other synthetically made analogue of THC as well.
Why does it matter?
This could have gone in different directions. But since the US government is holding fast to keeping cannabis illegal (for now), the idea that these substances will get regulated, is not very realistic. Instead, they proliferated as part of an untaxed, unregulated black market, being sold in fake dispensaries, all kinds of other stores, and the internet, since without regulation, they don’t need to be sold in legitimate dispensaries only.
The problem with no regulation is that the market can be taken advantage of by seedy retailers, who lie about their products, and what’s in them. In fact, the market has gone so far south as to institute fake 3rd party testing facilities to encourage trust in consumers, through bogus safety results. And though the cannabinoids themselves are unlikely (but not definitely) the cause, without regulation, retailers can put whatever they want in a product, from extra chemicals to flavor, stabilize, or thin out vape oils, to cheaper synthetics in products like vape cartridges and edibles.
There have already been stories of lawsuits against companies whose products were found to contain high doses of THC, while advertising only CBD, as well as fatalities involved with poisonings from bad products. Technically the numbers are still low – (let’s remember the US government is totally cool with allowing opioids which come with a massive death toll), but it does present the problem of a growing market, that gets dirtier as it gets bigger, with no accountability whatsoever.
In the end, the US government likely cares way less about the safety issues (opioids remember), than it does about having black market industries it can’t control. Though it’s done virtually nothing to stop this industry thus far, (probably because of the cost and unpopularity of fighting wars on drugs, especially when the drugs have no real death count), it seems it did finally make a move. It might do the same with other major platforms as well, but how much this will actually root out the problem is hard to say, considering how many outlets sell these cannabinoids.
The US government has been pretty quiet thus far when it comes to the cannabinoid market. Apart from backing up the Farm Bill and legalities (eg – the letter to Alabama), and making a few random busts, it seemed the government was at a stand still. This move through Shopify does show a desire to gain control of the situation. But the real questions are: 1) Is forcing Shopify to force retailers to comply enough? 2) Will more online retail platforms also get letters? And 3) what impact can this have when tons of physical locations also sell these products? Stay tuned to find out.
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Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.
By now we’re all relatively familiar with Delta-9 THC, how it functions in the body and affects our minds. At a base level, most consumers know that THC is the predominant psychoactive compound in cannabis – it’s the reason pot gets us high. What is less commonly known, is how many THCs there really are. In this article, we’ll be covering 15 different tetrahydrocannabinol compounds, simply because there is research available on them. There are, however, even more THCs than that.
Cannabis science has come a really long way since the initial discovery of cannabinoids back in the 1940s. I mean, who knew there were so many different THCs to choose from? To this day we continue to uncover new and exciting things about this incredible plant. Remember to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter all the latest news and industry stories, as well as exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and other products. Also save big on Delta 8, Delta 9 THC, Delta-10 THC, THCO, THCV, THCP & HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!
THCA – Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid
For the sake of explaining things chronologically, we’ll start at the very beginning by looking at THC in its most natural form: THCA, or Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid. Simply put, THCA is the type of THC found in raw cannabis plants. So, when you walk into a dispensary and start looking at different bud samples and see how much THC is in each one, what you’re actually looking at is the levels of THCA. Once heat is applied, THCA loses its carboxyl acid group and becomes just THC. This process is aptly known as decarboxylation.
THCA is found virtually everywhere in the plant, including the stems, leaves, and flowers. On its own, it has very minimal psychoactive effects. Some people enjoy chewing on the leaves and stems, which can produce some relaxing feelings, but don’t expect too much more. The mind-altering effects come into play after decarboxylation, as THCA is just a precursor to all the other tetrahydrocannabinols.
This compound is believed to have a wide array of therapeutic applications and can even fall into the category of nutritional and dietary supplements. THCA benefits can be utilized via eating, blending, or juicing the raw cannabis plant matter along with other superfoods, like berries, kale, and avocados.
Delta 3 to 7
In chemistry, “delta” refers to the location of the double bond on a molecule’s carbon chain. In the case of THC, we have many different variations. With delta-9 THC, the double bond is on the 9th carbon chain. Move that bond over one spot to the 8th chain, and now we have delta-8 THC. Keep moving that double bond and you get a variety of different delta THCs.
Delta-3 THC, delta-4 THC, delta-6 THC, and delta-7 THC are all synthetic isomers of THC, developed between the 1940 and 1970s to establish different versions of THC that could be used to avoid patent problems and issues with shelf life and stability. I have not been able to find any mention of a delta-5 THC anywhere.
Although some minimal research into these compounds does exist, it’s not much and not anything very substantial. It’s generally believed that these synthetic isomers are not as potent as delta-9 THC, although that is not always applicable. The only worthwhile research I was able to find here was regarding delta-6 THC, and its potency in the human brain. This study from 1980 discusses how several cannabinoids can cause brief, cataleptic episodes.
Catalepsy is a disorder characterized by the body’s inability to move or respond to external stimuli. Body stiffness and muscle rigidity is common. During this study, delta 6 was not found to be heavily correlated with catalepsy, however, it was noted as being one of the most potent cannabinoids with the most powerful effects on the brain.
Delta 8, 9, and 10
When people think of “THC”, Delta 9 is what they’re thinking of. Delta 9 THC is the main psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant. For decades, Delta 9 has been at the heart of prohibition efforts because lawmakers were to intently focused on its mind-altering properties while completely dismissing all its many possible uses in the health and wellness sectors.
As delta 9 ages, a significant portion oxidizes and “degrades”. Most of it turns into CBN (cannabinol), while a small amount turns into Delta 8 and possibly, other trace cannabinoids and compounds. As a result of this chemical process, Delta 8 THC remains stable when exposed to air, meaning it could have more potential medical applications than delta 9, although Delta 8 is somewhat less potent. In cannabis plants, delta 8 is only present in trace amounts, so in most of the products you find online or in stores, the delta-8 THC is actually a synthetic converted from CBD, not a plant-extracted compound.
Then we have delta-10 THC. D10 is a completely synthetic cannabinoid that was discovered on accident. As with many of the nation’s cannabis trends, delta-10 THC started in California too. An Adelanto-based company, Fusion Farms, bought some outdoor flower to manufacture concentrates. As many already know, California is subject to very large, nearly annual wildfires; and unbeknownst to Fusion Farms, the biomass they purchased was contaminated with fire retardant. Since they were unaware of the contamination, they continued with the extraction as planned but after the distillation process, unusual crystals began to form. These crystals were similar to THC, slightly different from any previously identified cannabinoid. And thus, it was dubbed delta-10 THC.
With the growing popularity of edibles, 11-hydroxy-THC is an important comound to cover. 11-hydroxy-THC is not a cannabinoid per se, but a metabolite created by our bodies when we consume THC in certain ways. When you eat plant-based THCs, such as delta-8 or delta-9 THC, the body breaks it down and metabolizes it via the liver. 11-hydroxy-THC is the resulting metabolite of the other tetrahydrocannabinols, and it’s much more potent. This is why delta-8 THC edibles are just as strong as delta-9 edibles, but the same can’t be said for flowers or vape products.
This process is known as first pass metabolism, and it’s the reason why ingesting cannabis products orally has much more intense and long-lasting effects compared to smoking. So, if you’ve been wondering why edibles get you beyond baked, this why. If you’re anything like me and many other cannabis users I’ve spoken to, edibles hit different than smoking. Even though it takes a while to feel anything, once they kick in, I’m laid out on the couch almost every time. I feel more stoned, I’m laughing at everything, and eventually, I get super tired. This seems to be commonplace when it comes to edibles; but why exactly do they differ so much from smoking, from a scientific standpoint?
It comes down to two factors: the drug-metabolizing enzymes in your GI tract, and blood flow to the liver. When you first eat a cannabis edible, various enzymes in the GI tract begin digesting the food. From that point, blood flow from the GI tract goes through the liver where all these enzymes are metabolized, then the blood continues to general circulation. When the metabolites are formed, that’s when you get the effects of 11-hydroxy-THC.
However, when you smoke cannabis, THC is absorbed through the lungs and distributed directly into the bloodstream. The active compounds make their way to the brain where they interact with the CB receptors that are part of the endocannabinoid system. In this scenario, you are feeling the effects of the phytocannabinoids themselves, rather than the compound formed during metabolism.
THCV, THCP, and THCO
THCV, or tetrahydrocannabivarin, THCV is a naturally occurring analog of THC. THCV comes from the precursor cannabinoid CBGVA, which breaks down to into THCVA (tetrahydrocannabivarinic acid), which then is decarboxylated to form THCV. What’s interesting about THCV is the way that it interacts with our endocannabinoid system, and the subsequent effects it has on appetite and weight.
THCV is a CB1 receptor antagonist, which is the reason THCV is known to suppress appetite, whereas delta-9 THC is a CB1 agonist, promoting hunger (or munchies). This theory has been tested pretty extensively on mice, although human trials are lacking. Either way, this could be a possible breakthrough treatment for diabetes and other dietary and weight-related health conditions.
THCP, on the other hand, is a special type of THC analog called a homolog. A homolog is a molecule belonging to a series of compounds that differ from each other by a repeating unit. In this scenario, the repeating unit is the alkyl side chain. Delta 9 THC has a 5-term alkyl side chain, which means that it contains 5 total carbon atoms. THCP has an elongated 7-term chain.
And finally, let’s take a look at THC-O-Acetate, which is referred to as an acetate ester of delta-9 THC. Let’s cover what exactly that means. We know that delta-9 THC is created as a result of the decarboxylation of THCA, but there are different ways that decarboxylation can occur. Summarized, an acetate ester is a byproduct of a certain type of decarboxylation called LTA decarboxylation, a process that is very different from the standard method of heat/light induced decarboxylation.
LTA decarboxylation uses a very toxic compound known as lead tetraacetate to promote oxidation to create oxidative decarboxylation, resulting in acetate ester. Acetate ester is not a naturally occurring compound and can only be produced using some sort of chemical catalyst. As such, THC-O-Acetate is a synthetic analogue of delta-9 THC. Although it’s gaining popularity, especially in vape products, it’s important to know that this is NOT a compound in any capacity in the cannabis plant.
Recently Discovered – THCh and THCB
Tetrahydrocannabihexol – Delta 9 Tetrahydrocannabihexol (THCh, Δ9-THCh or n-Hexyl-Δ9-THC), along with is cannabidihexol (CBDh), are phytocannabinoids that were discovered in 2020 by the same group of Italian researchers who first isolated THCP and CBDP (tetrahydrocannabiphorol and cannabidiphorol). In short, THCh is a hexyl homolog of delta 9 THC. THCh carries a n-hexyl side chain rather than alkyl like most THCs.
These are the first hexyl derivatives of cannabinoids that have been discovered thus far. The definition of a hexyl group is “an irregular, saturated radical compound of hydrogen and carbon, derived from hexane.” Often this is the result of the loss of one or more hydrogen atoms.
The situation with tetrahydrocannabutol is quite similar. It’s a homolog of delta-9 THC with the main difference being a butyl side chain replacing the alkyl chain. There is virtually no information available on this cannabinoid, other than the discovery that it has an affinity for both CB receptors, comparable to that of delta-9 THC.
So, which THC is the strongest?
The answer to that is a bit complex, but here it goes. When it comes to the “strongest” THC, it depends, to an extent, what product types and consumption methods you’re most interested in. To elaborate on that further, if you’re looking for strongest smokable type of THC, then THC-O will likely be your best bet. The downside, for me anyway, is that it’s completely synthetic.
If you’re looking for something naturally-occurring, then THCP is said to be extremely potent. Unfortunately, it’s a trace cannabinoid so you won’t find large amounts of it in raw flowers. To utilize this compound, you’ll need to find concentrates, vape products, and other extracts that contain it.
Realistically, 11-hydroxy-THC is probably the most potent form of THC, but obviously you won’t find this specific compound in any products because it’s a metabolite formed when we eat THC products, not a true phytocannabinoid. And if you’re not a person who like to use edibles, then you’re not getting any 11-hydroxy-THC anyway.
For me personally, I get the best effects from delta-9 THC products. Despite the belief that THCP and THC-O are stronger, I personally have not noticed being any higher when using products containing these compounds. Call me a purist, but I still get the highest off good, old-fashioned, high-quality flowers (and live resin concentrates).
When it comes to cannabinoids in today’s market, variety is certainly not lacking. Although many of these THCs are not yet available commercially or pharmaceutically, it’s exciting to know how many different versions of this psychoactive compound are being discovered, and how slight chemical variations can lead to some interesting differences in effects and benefits.
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Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.
The idea that cannabis exists as a pharmaceutical product, is still strange to people like me who grew up with the plant as the only form of ingestion. Whereas some medications have no natural counterpart, like Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Benadryl (diphenhydramine), some do, like anything based off cannabis. And we know the plant itself works fine, but that hasn’t stopped an immense amount of research into synthetic cannabis, and the production of synthetic cannabis products. Here we’ll take a look at the history of cannabis synthetics, and what can be expected in the future.
The history of cannabis synthetics is important because it’s a large part of today’s current market, including products like delta-8 THC. Though delta-8 is naturally occurring, it does require human synthetization help to provide large quantities, which means the dealt-8 we use in products, is all synthetic. We’re into quality cannabis products, whether naturally occurring or synthetic, and have a nice selection of delta-8 THC, delta 10 THC, THCV, THC-O, HHC, THCP and even legal hemp-derived Delta-9 THC products.Subscribe to the Delta 8 Weekly and check ’em out!
What is a synthetic?
First things first, when talking about the history of cannabis synthetics, or simply what the synthetic version of something is, it’s best to know what we’re talking about. According Dictionary.com, the definition of ‘synthetic’ encompasses several principals. Under adjective, the definitions that relate to cannabis are:
Of, pertaining to, proceeding by, or involving synthesis (opposed to analytic).
Noting or pertaining to compounds formed through a chemical process by human agency, as opposed to those of natural origin: synthetic vitamins; synthetic fiber.
Not real or genuine; artificial; feigned: a synthetic chuckle at a poor joke.
Under noun, the following relates to cannabis:
Something made by a synthetic, or chemical, process.
Substances or products made by chemical synthesis, as plastics or artificial fibers.
The science or industry concerned with such products.
A synthetic is something that was created, rather than occurring naturally, although this not does negate that a naturally-occurring compound can also come as a synthetic. A synthetic is something that is not real or genuine, but is instead artificial. Synthetics are made through a process, and studying synthetics, means studying the process of making artificial products. Thus, synthetic cannabis compounds, are compounds that do not exist in nature on their own (or which do, but still require synthetization help outside of nature for products), and are manufactured by human production. This can relate to much more than just cannabis. For example, a lot of clothing uses synthetic plastic fibers rather than natural ones like cotton or hemp.
Main points of cannabis research
When talking about the history of cannabis research in general, two of the occurrences that stand out the most are related to the isolation of certain compounds: the two main compounds of the cannabis plant. By isolating a compound, researchers can understand what it is, how it’s made, and are then able to synthesize it, and modify it. The two most spoken about findings in cannabis history are these:
1940 – The funny thing about the solation of CBD, is that it gets way less attention than the isolation of delta-9 THC, even as the current CBD industry booms. In fact, the name Doctor Roger Adams is way less known than Raphael Mechoulam, the guy up next. However, back in 1940, Roger Adams and his team at the University of Illinois, were the first to isolate CBD. In 1940, the team published their findings here: Structure of Cannabidiol, a Product Isolated from the Marihuana Extract of Minnesota Wild Hemp. It should be noted, that while Adams was not the first one to synthesize delta-9 completely, he was the first one to identify it, and he did do a partial synthesis.
1964 – Doctor Raphael Mechoulam, an Israeli researcher from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, isolated delta-9 THC for the first time in 1964. Mechoulam and team published their findings here: Isolation, Structure, and Partial Synthesis of an Active Constituent of Hashish. Since this time, Mechoulam has been a leader in the industry, actively taking part in research, and even discovering this synthetic cannabinoid in 2020, called HB 580, or cannabidiolic acid methyl ester. And this at the ripe old age of 90. Mechoulam is still the president of The Multidisciplinary Center for Cannabinoid Research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Tons of other research has been done into different compounds within the cannabis plant, its history of use, and how it can be used today. But somehow, the isolation of these two main cannabinoids stands out as beacons in the history of cannabis research. And it’s through the finding of these compounds, that the history of cannabis synthetics began.
History of cannabis synthetics
If you’ll notice from the publication put out by Mechoulam and team in 1964, in the title it directly states that not only did they identify delta-9 THC, but they did a partial synthesis of the compound. What does this mean if delta-9 does appear in nature? It means, the researchers were able to isolate and map the compound, and that they then attempted to re-create it themselves, without help from nature. The ‘isolation’ is the part where the single molecule can be taken and studied, its chemical formula identified, and its chemical structure mapped. The ‘synthesis’ part is when the same molecule is created through human production. This might make it seem like the history of cannabis synthetics started here, but once again, it was really the other guy.
The thing about Roger Adams, is that he didn’t just isolate CBD, he isolated CBN (cannabinol), identified delta-9 THC as well, and was able to show the relationship between CBD, CBN and delta-9, as the three are isomers to each other. Not only that, he was able to synthesize analogues of CBN and delta-9, meaning he was able to create artificial versions of these cannabinoid analogues. He wasn’t, however, the only one doing this at that time!
Enter Doctor Alexander Todd, the British researcher who was neck and neck with Roger Adams, and who received a Nobel prize for his work with nucleotides. In 1940, while at the University of Manchester, at the age of only 32, and working with a very small research group, Todd was able to isolate CBD from a sample of hashish from India. He published his findings in the journal Nature in 1940. Adams submitted his first notes on CBD in 1939 to the Journal of America Chemical Society, making him technically first over Todd. Todd’s version was without detail originally, with a full detailed version published in March of 1940 in the Journal of Chemical Society
Adams’ early synthetization of cannabinoids can be seen in his published research, which additionally shows a partial synthesis of delta-9 THC. Both Adams and Todd showed the isolation of CBN, which was fully mapped before CBD. Adams takes the win for first providing the structure of CBD, though Todd was right there with him. In fact, the two scientists spent a few years dueling in the scientific press, each publishing their findings as they came to them, in direct competition with each other. Later on, the two scientists became good friends and even worked together. It should be pointed out that the goal of both scientists had been to find the intoxicating agent of cannabis (delta-9), which neither ever established for sure.
During this time, delta-9 THC was not synthesized fully, though it was identified. But other compounds were synthesized, like CBN, CBD, and analogues of these cannabinoids and delta-9. CBN seems to be the very first cannabinoid that was synthesized in the quest to find delta-9, which CBN was assumed to be very closely related to. This makes CBN and CBD the first examples of synthetic cannabinoids, even though they do appear in nature. This reinforces the idea that a naturally occurring compound, can also be produced in synthetic form.
Cannabis synthetics today
We could have a whole debate about why cannabis was illegalized, and the part that pharmaceutical companies played in it, as a way to minimize use of a plant that couldn’t be patented. And while we could go back and forth on that one, the results of it can be seen clearly in today’s world. For example, while the US government likes to talk about how bad synthetics are, it also approved synthetic cannabinoid medications like Dronabinol, Epidiolex, and Sativex, and this in place of allowing the actual plant which has been used for thousands of years. This means, the only cannabis medications approved in the US, are synthetics.
In a great example of how far a government will go to protect pharmaceutical interests, France literally went to court with the EU over the ability to block sales and imports of naturally-occurring CBD. Of course, what the majority of reporters missed in the story, was that while France went on and on about the dangers of CBD (which it failed to back up in court), it was allowing GW Pharmaceuticals’ Epidiolex, a synthetic version of CBD, to be sold. Kind of seems like France wasn’t actually all that against CBD, huh?
At this point, there are about a million synthetic cannabinoids out. From non-naturally occurring like THC-O-Acetate, delta-10 THC, and canabidiolic acid methyl ester, to naturally occurring, like delta-8 THC, Dronabinol (THC), and Epidiolex (cannabidiol). And then, of course, there are the compounds that are generally thought of as synthetic, like Spice and K2, although these are no more or less synthetic than the pharmaceutical versions being sold to patients, and were discovered through the same lines of research. In fact, the compound that led to spice and K2, was none other than HHC, which was created in a lab in a search to find a simplified, yet working, THC compound. THC-O-Acetate was also an early street synthetic, possibly put out by the military, as the military was doing testing on this compound, and it seems to have shown up in public around that time.
Some of the first non-naturally occurring cannabinoids to be synthesized were non-naturally occurring delta THCs like delta-7 THC and delta-10 THC, synthesized around the time that Adams first identified delta-9. The very first cannabis medicine to be approved in the US, was Dronabinol, under the name of Marinol, which gained FDA approval in 1985. Marinol, of course, is synthetic, meaning the very first cannabis medicine allowed in current day America, is synthetic. Clearly the US is A-okay with synthetics.
What can be expected in the future should be obvious. Use of the plant will likely not be stopped, but increasing pressure will probably be put on consumers to buy pharmaceutical products. The demonization and smear campaigns for cannabis will in all probability continue since they incite fear, and can be used to push the pharmaceutical ‘better answer’. And though this ‘better answer’ might prove to be true for people fighting ailments like cancer, for many people, nothing more than the plant would ever be necessary.
It might not be very well known, but the history of cannabis synthetics started at around the same time as the first major breakthrough in cannabis research. Adams and Todd led the charge in the early 40’s, identifying isolating, and synthesizing CBD and CBN, making them the first isolated cannabinoids, and the first examples of synthetic cannabis compounds.
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Disposables are exactly what they sound like: portable, disposable vaporizers that come prefilled and ready to use. These are great for anyone who is looking for discretion, like for a camping trip, long car ride (as a passenger) or even a walk around downtown. You can take a disposable anywhere and, more than likely, no one will have any clue what you’re smoking on.
These disposable Delta 10 THC vapes from Delta Effex are some of my favorites. They’re extremely well-priced, very low-key, and they come in a variety of delicious flavors: Blue Candy Kush (Indica), Ekto Kooler (Sativa) and Wedding Cake (Hybrid). Blue Candy Kush was my personal favorite. They contain a perfect blend of Delta 8 and Delta 10 THC, as well as some delicious terpenes.
The effects of Delta 10 are mild compared to Delta 9 which most people are used to. But for me, the high from D10 is very alert, conversational, and generally fun and social. These disposables are great because they’re so small and lightweight that you can literally take them anywhere. They also charge very fast and since they’re so small, they hold a charge for a really long time. The vape oil doesn’t smell like weed so you can use them while out and about without hesitation, great for people that live in illegal states and need to be extra careful, and they’re low-priced so you can stock up on them regularly.
Check out our video where we unbox and try out the Delta 10 disposables! And follow us on Instagram for more product reviews! For exclusive deals on Delta 8, Delta 10 THC, THC-O and THCV, make sure to subscribe toDelta 8 Weekly Newsletter.
Product Information – Delta 10 Disposables
According to Delta Effex, the company uses high quality Delta 8 and 10 distillate, combined with pure, clean terpenes. All of their products are lab tested twice, once when the ingredients are in raw form and again once the product is finished.
No Light when plugged into charger = fully charged
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I’m definitely a fan of Delta Effex’s Delta 10 THC disposable vapes. The all three flavors are great and the high was really pleasant. For me, being a regular THC user, it was mild enough to use throughout the day even if I have something important to do. I love that can take it anywhere, so that’s a huge bonus. Also, I ordered through their website to see how the shipping process was and everything was easy-peasy, fast, and discreet. Overall, it’s a good product from a reliable company, I’m sold and would buy it again.
Have you tried Delta 10 THC vape cartridges? With the perfect blend of Delta 8 and Delta 10 THC, plus delicious terpenes, the new Delta 10 carts are your go-to product to experience the many benefits of this new exciting cannabinoid.
While it’s still shining new, Delta-10 THC products (usually blended with Delta 8 THC) are already gaining popularity fast as they offer a new kind of ‘High’. People who have tried it report that Delta 10 provides a different kind of high than Delta 8. While the latter provides a relaxed body-high, Delta 10 gives a more mental high. Together, the new vape carts, made from a blend of Delta 8 + Delta 10 THC offer a well-rounded body & mind experience.
The list below contains the best Delta 10 THC vape cartridges, based on their quality, popularity, price and attractiveness. Whenever we found an attractive bundle, we gave it a place of honer, as bundles are the preffered way to buy Cannabinoids.
Our best choice award goes to the BinoidCBD’s premium bundles of Delta 10 THC Vape Cartridges. This bundles allows you to experience the full range of Delta 10 THC (both Sativa, Indica & Hybrid), for a very attractive price of only $22.5/cart, using the delta25 coupon code.
The 4 Pack includes: 1 Pineapple Express (Sativa), 1 Purple Punch (Indica), 1 Cookies & Cream (Hybrid) and 1 Strawberry Cough (Sativa)
The 8 Pack includes 2 of each flavor, and it is offered for an additional discount (using the Delta25 coupon code you can get it for as-low-as $22.5/cart). Choose this bundle to get the biggest discount!
Each Delta 10 THC vape cartridge contains 35% Delta-10 THC, 60% Delta 8, and 5% cannabis terpenes.
Don’t forget to use the Delta25 coupon code for the 25% discount (valid for all their bundles, including Delta 8, THCV and THC-O).
If you want a Sativa strain, we recommend buying the Pineapple ExpressDelta 10 vape cartridge, perfect for having a good time with friends or just being social. With an amazing flavor and an enjoyable feeling, this one is definitely perfect for lighthearted fun.
Possible effects: The Pineapple Express Delta 10 vape cartridge might make you feel cheerful, happy, and productive.
If you want a Indica strain, we recommend buying the Purple PunchDelta 10 vape cartridge, perfect for, night-time, watching T.V. or just doing your wind-down activities before bed. With a great feeling and a delicious flavor, this one might just make you feel relaxed.
Possible effects: The Purple Punch Delta 10 vape cartridge might make you may feel peaceful, calm and rested.
TIP: Choose the 8-pack and get an additional 25% discount using the Delta25 coupon code (only valid for bundles). That’s only $22.5/cart, the lowest price anywhere for Delta 10 THC vape cartridges!
#4 Delta 10 Carts – Strawberry Cough – Sativa
The last cart in the bundle is the Strawberry Cough a sativa strain, built for being focused and happy during your daily routine. While this one isn’t as popular as the Pineapple Express (above), it completed the bundle, as it offers you another Sativa alternative, to improve your mode.
By buying the 8 pack you will be abale to experience the full-range of Delta 10 THC, while paying only $22.5/cart (with the Delta25 bundle coupon code). This is by far, your best choice today for Delta 10 THC vape cartridges.
Want to try something new? The Delta 10 VIBIN’ Tincture by DeltaEffex is everything you ever hoped for and even more! This well respected tincture is high among our best-selling products and people who are looking to experience Delta 10 THC, always buy atleast a few bottle of it.
With 300mg Delta 10 and 700mg Delta 8 in every bottle, this best-selling product will let you experience the unique benefits of Delta 10 THC, softly blended with Delta 8, which we all know to love. If you are looking for a ‘mental euphoria‘ and wish to feel ‘happy and motivated‘ this product might be the one for you!
Terpenes Used: Sour diesel, Blueberry OG
Current deal: Get it for as-low-as $25/bottle, when buying the 3-pack bundle and using the Delta25 coupon for a 25% discount (valid for all the bundles in the website)
Another great products by DeltaEffex are the new Delta 10 disposables. If you want to take Delta 10 THC on-the-go, these lightweight, compact & easy-to-use disposables, are your best choice! With the perfect blend of Delta 8, Delta 10 THC & terpenes, these great disposables offer us an unforgettable vaping experience.
Choose the 3-pack or the 6-pack bundles to save an additional 25%. Each bundle includes the following carts: Blue Candy Kush (Indica), Ekto Kooler (Sativa) and Wedding Cake (Hybrid).
TIP: Choose the 6-pack and get it for as-low-as $22.5/disposable (using the Delta25 coupon code). This is the lowest price anywhere for high-quality Delta-10 Disposables.
The new Hybrid Fruity Pebbles Delta 10 & Delta 8 Hash, is both high on Delta 10 THC & Delta 8 which allows it to provide a full body & mind experience (completed with CBD & CBN, also available in the product). In-fact, it is infused with the same potent D10 distillate used for the Moon-Rocks.
If you ever wanted to try hybrid hash, now it’s your chance to do so!
What is Delta 10 THC and how does it aggect the body?
Just like Delta 8 THC and Delta 9, Delta 10 is also an isomer of THC. Unlike Delta 9 and the same as Delta 8 THC, Delta 10 is made from Hemp, which makes it available in most of the states. Unlike Delta 8 THC which provides a more body-high & relaxation, Delta 10 give a more heady experience. This is why most Delta 10 products are a blend of Delta 8 + Delta 10 (and terpenes), to get you an equal body and mental experience and relief.
Most Delta 10 products are sativa oriented, since Delta 10 THC have been found to give energy to user.
Will Delta 10 THC make you high and what about drug testing?
Yes, Delta 10 THC will get you high, but you will feel different than when using Delta-9 THC or Delta 8. Generally speaking, Delta 8 and Delta 10 are not as strong as Delta 9. As a result, you will find it both similar and different from the experience using Delta-9. One great advantage of using Delta 8 and in a way also Delta 10, is that people find it easier to handle daily tasks using it, as most times, Delta-9 is too strong for them. In addition, people who avoid Delta-9 because of the anxiety and the mental over-load it provides, finds Delta-8 THC to be a more suitable alternative.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Delta 10 is more suitable for daytime use, due to it’s uplifting and Sativa like experience. Unlike Delta 10, Delta 8 is usually used later toward the evening, as it’s provides more relaxation and Indica kind of feeling.
Because Delta-10 THC will appear in a urinalysis it might be mistaken for Delta-9 THC so you might avoid using it if a drug test is on your horizon.