Understanding the Differences Between THC Varieties: Delta-8, Delta-9, and Delta-10
While Georgia is moving through the bureaucracy of assembling its limited medical marijuana program, new cannabis products are hitting the streets every day.
Patients who have applied for medical marijuana cards in Georgia may see a variety of new products such as CBD-based cannabis products, hemp-based cannabis oils, and many variations of delta-8/9/10 products, and wonder how they fit into the cannabis conversation.
In this article, we’ll cover the difference between Delta-8, Delta-9, and Delta-10, where they belong in the structure of cannabis products currently on the market, and who they are right for!
What is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)?
Most people who are casually familiar with cannabis will probably have heard of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, most commonly referred to as THC. It’s the primary psychoactive property of cannabis, and the most sought-after compound for treating a variety of symptoms. THC provides users with the well-known “high” of cannabis.
THC is present in both hemp and cannabis sativa, although it’s usually found in higher concentrations in the cannabis sativa plant. THC was first isolated by the renowned chemist Raphael Mechoulam in Israel in 1964, and since then we’ve discovered new variants of tetrahydrocannabinol, noted by their unique isomers.
Originally, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol was the only known variation of a tetrahydrocannabinol in the cannabis plant, however today we have variations such as delta-9-THC, delta-8-THC, and the lesser-known Delta-10-THC.
What is Delta-9-THC?
Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is the famous psychoactive compound found mostly in cannabis sativa plants. Delta-9-THC is also found in hemp cannabis, although typically it is only present in very small concentrations.
Delta-9-THC is famous for producing the main psychoactive properties of the cannabis plant, as well as promoting lower inflammation, reducing pain, nausea, and vomiting, and boosting appetite and mood.
As a psychoactive compound, it also has certain “psychedelic” effects, such as euphoria, unique perceptions, new or changing thoughts, as well as improved emotions and different cognitive perceptions.
What is Delta-8-THC?
Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol is a cannabinoid like Delta-9-THC and occurs naturally in both hemp and cannabis sativa. Delta-8-THC is unique in that it has a double bond on the 8th carbon chain in its molecular structure, whereas delta-9-THC has a double bond on the 9th carbon chain.
Delta-8-THC shows up in much smaller concentrations than delta-9-THC, making it less favorable for ingesting through cannabis flower, and more favorable for chemical extractions to be made into products such as edibles or vaporizable cartridges.
Delta-8-THC is reported to have similar effects to delta-9-THC, including increased appetite, improved mood, and possibly reduced anxiety, though the effectiveness of delta-8-THC over delta-9-THC is questionable.
Because delta-8 is not delta-9, and because it can be extracted from hemp, in some cases it can fall into a legal grey area which is taken advantage of by black market cultivators and even traditional manufacturers.
Unfortunately, these manufacturers are prone to the same dangers that all black market or unregulated producers experience, including improper extraction methods, using dangerous additives, and a significant lack of testing and analysis for harmful chemicals or cutting agents.
What is Delta-10-THC?
Delta-10-tetrahydrocannabinol is another tetrahydrocannabinol, and it should be no surprise that it is differentiated by its double bond on the 10th carbon chain in its molecular structure. Delta-10-THC is one of the more recent discoveries in cannabis, and as such it is subject to limited information surrounding it.
Presently, delta-10-THC is described as the “sativa” version of the unregulated chemical compounds, whereas delta-8 is typically referred to as a type of “indica” experience, though these are only anecdotal reports. Users typically report effects such as increased euphoria and awareness, as well as increased energy and creativity.
Due to the increased interest in producing products with these compounds as their main ingredient, many companies are bypassing critical testing and analysis that these cannabinoids require before being consumed safely.
Safety Concerns for Delta-8 & Delta-10
The primary issue with synthesizing these cannabinoids is not so much in the compounds themselves, but in the extraction method and technologies that are used to extract them. There is great incentive for unregulated companies to produce products quickly, with a concerning lack of interest in producing safe products for consumers.
In fact, independent companies who have chosen to randomly test many delta-8-THC and delta-10-THC products have been found to be mislabeled, and the ingredients in certain products are wildly different than what is advertised, some even with fake lab results!
When looking at these compounds, there is a healthy amount of information concerning delta-9-THC, extraction methods, and purification methods, but less so for the distant cousins delta-8-THC and delta-10-THC.
While these products may fly under the radar until regulation is introduced to address the manufacturing processes, patients with chronic and terminally ill conditions are not recommended to introduce unknown or untested recreational cannabis products.
When more confident testing and analysis is available for these types of compounds, and studies can be done to verify their safety and effectiveness, patients may be able to access these newer cannabinoids, but as it stands right now only approved medical marijuana products are recommended for those with chronic and terminal conditions.
Get Your Georgia Marijuana Card
Georgia is taking the medical marijuana process slowly and is expecting to have its low-THC cannabis oil available in the state soon. While we are waiting on dispensaries to become operational you can apply for your medical marijuana card today and skip the long lines of expected applicants once products hit the shelves.
Reserve your medical marijuana evaluation appointment today and get $25 off when we start processing applications!
Feel free to give us a call at (866) 781-5606, and we can help answer your questions about getting medical marijuana in Georgia.