The short answer, 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 it is 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 the time being, we know that Delta-9-THC and Delta-8-THC, recently Delta 10 THC and other analogs are among some of 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 has been attributed largely to Delta-9 THC. That is until now.
Delta 9 THC is one of many THC analogs. This particular 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, which is key 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 being utilized more frequently as a form of 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 end result provides the mind-altering experience or the psychoactive effects related to marijuana.
As a result of such intense effects and long recreational history, Delta 9 THC is the most widely known and referred to 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.
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, the Delta 9 we just referred to can now be extracted from hemp, following the Federal legal limit for industrial hemp less than .03% THC on a dry weight basis.
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 will certainly 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–just not as intensely as they do from 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 therapeutic and psychotropic abilities.
Also, a commonly asked question, “ will Delta-8 THC make me fail a drug test” seems to be popping up more and more. 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 that are rich in Delta-8.
In 2004 Dr. Mechoulam filed a patent for a recipe to convert the common cannabinoid CBD into Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC; this method is called isomerization.
Other companies are employing the “thin-film distillation” of cultivated flower and trim. Through this process, manufacturers utilize vacuums, temperature manipulation, and scientific equipment to convert Delta-9 THC to Delta-8.
The legal status of delta-8 THC is very grey, with large amounts of bad information being put into circulation. 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. The problem is hemp contains only trace amounts of the compound. So most delta-8 products are synthetically created by converting CBD into delta-8.
According to the DEA, this puts delta-8 in the illicit category. In its interim final rule published on August 21, 2020, the DEA said, “All synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinol remains a schedule I controlled substances.”
Luckily, this rule is not final yet. You can submit comments until October 20th for consideration.
Delta-8 THC products are available in nearly every form. That means consumers can vaporize, eat, or ingest Delta-8 through the following types of products: