The short answer is Delta 9 THC is the form of THC most individuals think of when talking about marijuana or hemp plants. However, Delta 9 THC is present in sufficient amounts in hemp plants, as with marijuana, but research has opened a door! We hear what is Delta 9 THC asked all the time, and even with an answer, it’s confusing to most…
For now, we know that Delta-9-THC and Delta-8-THC, recently Delta 10 THC, and other analogs are among some of the compounds in the marijuana plant that produce all the psychoactive effects of cannabis. Because Delta-9-THC is much more abundant than Delta-8-THC, the psychoactive effects of cannabis have been mainly attributed to Delta-9 THC. That is until now.
Thanks to cannabis and hemp-related technology and innovation, the 2018 Farm Bill has allowed researchers to try endless possibilities...cue the emergence of Federally Compliant Delta 9 THC! Yes, Delta 9 extracted from hemp is legal, following the Federal legal limit for industrial hemp of less than .03% THC on a dry-weight basis.
Delta 9 THC is one of many THC analogs. This compound has unique components; most notably, it has a five-term side alkyl chain, which translates to more efficient, stronger binding to cannabinoid receptors in the brain. These receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system, essential to numerous physiological processes, including appetite, pain relief, mood enhancement, and memory. This is also why CBD oil works when ingested into the body, as CBD works by triggering cannabinoid receptors in the brain, and why CBG, CBN, THC, and more are utilized more frequently as medicine and relief.
Due to Delta 9 THC’s ability to bind to receptors on a microscopic level, longer chains have an elevated, more intense psychoactive impact on the physique and brain; the result provides the mind-altering experience or the psychoactive effects of marijuana.
As a result of such intense effects and long recreational history, Delta 9 THC is the most widely known and referred to a form of THC. It’s argued it is generally the easiest to yield, as vegetation in the cannabis family (hemp and marijuana) tends to differ by nature.
In chemistry, “Delta” refers to the double bond in a compound’s molecular structure. Delta compounds have more electrons and will interact with the body differently than single-bond cannabinoids. The only difference between Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC is where the double bonds are located on the chain of carbon atoms.
Delta-8 has a double bond on the 8th carbon chain, and Delta-9 has a double bond on the 9th carbon chain. This seems minor, but it’s significant enough to produce slightly different cognitive and physical effects.
Delta-8 will undoubtedly get you high, but not like Delta-9 THC. Delta-8 THC exhibits “lower psychotropic potency” than Delta-9 and might bind with the brain’s receptors differently than Delta-9, thereby explaining the variation of effects.
On account of this, consumers have reported feeling less intense psychoactive effects with Delta-8 THC. But still noticeable. Delta-8 users experience appetite stimulation and euphoria–not as intensely as Delta-9 THC. Also, It’s been reported that Delta-8 THC lacks the anxious, paranoid feeling people experience when using Delta-9 THC.
Like CBD and other cannabis compounds, Delta-8-THC communicates with receptors in the body, making up the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is the homeostatic regulator that affects nearly every system of the body.
The ECS’ main receptors are CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors primarily reside in the brain and nervous system, while CB2 receptors are more common in the immune system.
Delta-8-THC communicates with CB1 and CB2 receptors to balance several functions, including pain, appetite, mood, hormones, inflammation, and blood pressure. This process is what marks Delta-8-THC’s healing and psychotropic abilities.
Also, a commonly asked question, “Will Delta-8 THC make me fail a drug test” seems to be increasing—the answer to this question yes.
Extracting Delta-8 from hemp to create a product potent enough to produce noticeable effects isn’t easy. But it’s certainly possible. Commercial processors use selective breeding, distillation, and molecular isolation to create concentrates rich in Delta-8.
In 2004 Dr. Mechoulam filed a recipe patent for converting the common cannabinoid CBD into Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC; this method is called isomerization.
Other companies employ the “thin-film distillation” of cultivated flowers and trim. Manufacturers utilize vacuums, temperature manipulation, and scientific equipment to convert Delta-9 THC to Delta-8 through this process.
The legal status of delta-8 THC is very grey, with large amounts of wrong information being circulated. Here’s what we know currently:
Delta-8 THC derived from marijuana is federally illegal since marijuana is still a banned controlled substance. Hemp-derived Delta-8 THC is technically legal if it’s naturally extracted. To see if Delta 8 is legal in your state follow this link