What is the difference between Delta-8, Delta-9 and Delta-10 THC?

By: Contributor Medical

In the cannabis industry, THC isomers are causing a big sensation. By now you’ve probably heard of Delta-8 THC (Delta-9 THC “sibling”) that produces less intense effects; people refer to it as “dietary herb”, which is a good analogy. You have been probably told about Delta-10 THC too, which has great stimulating properties. But what other differences exist between them? And most importantly, which one would you invite to your next cannabis party?

Delta-9 THC (known simply as THC) is the component of cannabis plants known to produce the psychoactive effects, the “high” feeling that many consumers seek. However, when THC is present in CBD products, its amount is regulated by the legislation of each country. For a CBD product containing THC to be legal, levels should normally be below 0.3% in any format, from dried flowers to CBD tinctures or gummies. But then again, some of its “siblings” may be present.

In fact, there are other types of THC that can make a difference. And since research on these entire minority cannabinoids is still in a very early stage, we still have a lot to learn about how they work together.

The isomers of THC

Near 100 cannabinoids have been discovered in cannabis plants so far; and with the different extraction techniques used, there are several ways to alter them or force them to “transform” into other cannabinoids. For example, heating inactive molecules of THCA (the THC non-psychoactive acid form found in the fresh plant) forms Delta-9 THC. This is known as cannabis “decarboxylation”, as heat causes THCA to lose its carboxyl group (-COOH).

These compounds formed have similar and yet different biochemical structures; that is, they have the same atoms in their molecular structure, but differ slightly in their arrangement. Specifically, cannabis-derived tetrahydrocannabinol compounds differ in the location of their Carbon-Carbon Double Bond. This creates different THC isomers. And these small structural differences cause different behaviours in our bodies.

Imagine that your endocannabinoid system has a number of “parking spaces” labelled CB1 and CB2 (which are cannabinoid receptors). Each type of cannabinoid prefers to “park” on a particular type of receptor; and the more receptors are used, the greater the benefit to the body and mind is.

This helps us to understand how the theory of the ‘entourage effect’ works. This theory defends that several compounds of the plant (cannabinoids, terpenes…) act synergistically to enhance the overall psychoactive effects among themselves, making its effects greater than those of a single component.

Origin and legality of Deltas

Another important point that differentiates these THC variants is their origin. Delta-8 and Delta-10 may appear in some cannabis varieties in minimal quantities, but not enough for extraction. Therefore, they are known as “semi-synthetic cannabinoids”, as they can be derived from cannabis, but are eventually created in a laboratory. Delta-9 THC is the exception, as it is naturally found in high concentrations in many varieties of marijuana.

For cannabis users in places where THC is not legal, Delta-8 and Delta-10 represent a way of overcoming this obstacle by resorting to ambiguity. Therefore, this makes them very attractive, as they are perceived as a legal way to get high with THC without using Delta-9 THC. But the problem is that users often don’t know what they’re dealing with. So you need to define their effects in more detail.

Delta-8 THC

When it comes to describing the family of these THC molecules, we must think of Delta-8 as the most responsible and relaxed of the three. Delta-8 makes you have a good time and it offers still a fun way to spend the evening. However, while Delta-9 is partying and taking Delta-10 for a spin, Delta-8 is staying home for a quiet night.

Therefore, Delta-8 leans more towards the Indica/CBD end of the spectrum. This gives consumers some of the Delta-9 THC experience, such as pain relief, stress reduction or increased appetite, as well as a relaxed and pleasant body feeling. But its strength is that they it doesn´t produce such an intense and complete psychoactive experience as Delta-9 THC. You must think about it as a low-alcohol beer: a softer alternative, but that will still take you to a place similar to the usual if you continue to consume.

Delta-9 THC

Delta-9 THC is the party animal sibling and really needs no introduction. If there is a party, it will be there first. In addition, it provides the most powerful psychoactive effects of all three. It is also the easiest to extract because it constitutes the vast majority of cannabinoid production in the plant.

Delta-9 also has the greatest versatility in effects and can give you encouragement, energy, creativity, relaxation, satisfaction, pain relief and anything else you need. If you are looking for a more intense experience, Delta-9 THC will take you where you want.

However, because Delta-9 is so strong, consumers also experience significant side effects, such as unwanted hunger, dry mouth, anxiety, paranoia or confusion. And because it is psychoactive, users may also end up distracted or simply more out of the game than they would prefer. This is especially a problem for medical patients who may need cannabis to maintain their quality of life, but still have to function with a clear mind throughout the day.

Delta-10 THC

If Delta-8 is chill and Delta-9 is a party animal, delta-10 THC is more of an athlete. ‘He’ is the fun, outgoing and energetic friend, but also the one who knows he has to control himself because he must get up to work the next day. Thus, Delta-10 leans more towards a more sativa effect than towards the calm indica style of Delta-8; with a softer energy, but equally stimulating, which elevates the mood and makes it perfect for daytime use. It provides the creativity, focus and energy of Delta-9 THC, but in a more subtle way, less concentrated over time, avoiding unwanted side effects. Currently, only a few companies have launched Delta-10 onto the market.

The amount of new cannabinoid products on sale may seem a little confusing, whether you’re an experienced gray-haired user or a frequent cannabis user trying to keep up with the latest trends. The good news is that more variety means more opportunities to find the best product for you.

If you’re happy with Delta-9 THC, stay with it. If you want the calm and painkiller effects while keeping your head clear, Delta-8 may be the one. And if you’re looking for an impulse without forcefulness or anxiety, Delta-10 can be your perfect dance partner. Meanwhile, in Kannabia we will keep you informed if more ‘siblings’ are added to the large THC family and introduce you to them as you deserve. And who knows, maybe you fall in love with one of them.

Kannabia Seeds Company sells to its customers a product collection, a souvenir. We cannot and we shall not give growing advice since our product is not intended for this purpose.

Kannabia accept no responsibility for any illegal use made by third parties of information published. The cultivation of cannabis for personal consumption is an activity subject to legal restrictions that vary from state to state. We recommend consultation of the legislation in force in your country of residence to avoid participation in any illegal activity.