What You Really Need to Know About Delta-8 THC and Other Cannabinoids

What You Really Need to Know About Delta-8 THC and Other Cannabinoids

Most people are familiar with delta-9 THC, which is what gets you high when you smoke weed. However, innovators in the cannabis industry have found ways to extract other forms of THC from not only marijuana but also from industrial hemp. This has opened up a new world of experiences for both people in states where recreational weed is legal, and for those where it is not. Among the types of legal THC that can be extracted from cannabis include THC-A, HHC, THC-O, delta-8 THC, delta-10 THC, and CBD.

What is THC-A?

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Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, or THC-A, is the non-psychoactive precursor to delta-9 THC. In its raw form, it won't get you high. But, once it's heated, THC-A is transformed into delta-9 THC, which does get you high. If you buy THC-A extract understand that it is somewhat unstable, and can convert naturally to delta-9 THC. This can happen if it's exposed to light, or even to room temperatures. THC-A extract has potent anti-inflammatory properties, similar to CBD. You can get the anti-inflammatory benefits of THC-Aby juicing raw cannabis. The legality of THC-A is tricky. You might find raw THC-A flowers for sale, which can be marketed as legal hemp. This is because when tested, they show a level of less than 3% delta-9 THC, just like CBD flowers. However, when smoked, it will get you just as high as marijuana. The bottom line is, if you're caught smoking THC-A flowers or an extract in a jurisdiction where recreational weed is not legal, the authorities are unlikely to differentiate between technically legal hemp versus illegal marijuana. Moreover, even if you simply juice raw cannabis, it will still show up as a positive on a drug test.

What is HHC?

Hexahydrocannabinol, or HHC, is a derivative of tetrahydrocannabinol. While it does occur naturally in trace amounts, HHC is extracted from naturally occurring THC found in cannabis Sativa. This is done by infusing hydrogen into the THC molecules. HHC does get you high, but it's not very potent. But, it does have some health benefits similar to CBD. One study using mice showed it had pain relief benefits. Another study showed that HHC had anti-cancer benefits. HHC is not widely available for sale, but you will find a few online sellers offering HHC tinctures and vape cartridges. Thus far, HHC is legal under federal law, but HHC products are so new, state laws have not been widely passed banning it.

What is THC-O?

THC-O acetate is synthetically derived by altering the CBD molecule of legal hemp plants. Since THC-O binds very tightly to the cannabinoid receptors in the body, it can get you very high. Sometimes, THC-O can be even stronger than delta-9 THC found in marijuana. In fact, the effects of THC-O can be quite psychedelic, even bordering on hallucinogenic. With that said, THC-O needs to be approached with caution, especially for new users. Also, the effects are often delayed, causing people to use more than they should. Just try half, or even a quarter of the recommended dose, and wait to see what happens. The safety of THC-O products is questionable; it's produced with highly flammable chemicals such as butane. However, while it's federally legal, your state may have a ban on THC-O. It's also likely to show up on a drug test.

What is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 is the most popular form of synthetically derived, quasi-legal THC. It can be purchased as vape carts and as tasty delta-8 gummies. Delta-8 THC can be extracted from either hemp or marijuana plants in several ways. However, the safest, cleanest way to extract delta-8 is with the R134a method. This method uses relatively safe chemicals and produces a full-spectrum extract with all of the terpenes intact. This means you'll get a full-flavor cannabis experience. The delta-8 high is mild, compared to delta-9 THC. However, it won't leave you locked to the couch, and you won't feel paranoid. Rather, you'll feel uplifted, positive, and ready to tackle your day. While delta-8 THC is federally legal, around half of the states have banned it. This is unfortunate. Before you buy any delta-8 product online, make sure it can be shipped to your location. Also, if you need to submit to a drug test, understand that delta-8 THC will show up.

What is Delta-9 THC?

Delta-9 THC is a type of tetrahydrocannabinol that is federally illegal. It's the secret ingredient in marijuana plants that gets you high. In order to activate the psychoactive effects of delta-9 THC it must be heated; you can either smoke raw flowers or bake it into something like brownies. While the federal government maintains that marijuana and products containing delta-9 THC are illegal, nearly half of the states have legalized it. Some states have only legalized medical marijuana, while some have legalized both medical and recreational marijuana. If you are in a state with legal, recreational weed and are old enough, you can buy it at a licensed dispensary. Only buying weed at a licensed dispensary ensures quality and purity. On the other hand, if you buy marijuana on the street, you risk getting weed laced with other dangerous drugs like fentanyl. If you have a licensed dispensary nearby, they may also carry other products, such as delta-8 and CBD.

What is Delta-10 THC?

Like delta-8, delta-10 THC is synthetically derived from cannabis plants. It's typically less potent than either delta-8 or delta-9 THC. Like delta-8 THC, the delta-10 high is uplifting and won't cause anxiety or paranoia. Also like delta-8, while it's federally legal, delta-10 THC is banned in many individual states. You can find delta-10 products online as gummies and vape cartridges. However, check to make sure it can be legally shipped to your state before purchase. Also, it will show up on a drug test.

What is CBD?

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The hemp plants used to make CBD contain less than 3% delta-9 THC, so they meet the federally legal limits. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a potent pain-relieving remedy, but it won't get you high. CBD not only relieves inflammation and pain, but it's also a popular remedy to relieve feelings of depression and anxiety. The products containing CBD are nearly endless; you'll find tinctures, edibles, topical creams, and even bath bombs. There are even CBD products for your pets; these can help to relieve joint pain, as well as behavioral issues like separation anxiety. Overall, CBD is a very safe, natural remedy with many benefits. However, if you are on blood thinners, such as Warfarin, you might need to avoid using CBD; this is because CBD can increase the level of these medications in your blood. In fact, CBD has mild blood thinning effects itself. If you are on a blood thinning medication, do not use CBD.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, cannabis and hemp plants have many uses, both recreational and medicinal. If you do not live in a state with legal recreational marijuana, there are synthetic THC derivatives that you can still enjoy. However, proceed with caution when buying any THC derivatives online. Look to see if safe, clean extraction methods are used and if the products are tested for purity. Also, make sure the company is legitimate, and not a fly-by-night operation selling questionable products. Most importantly, make sure the THC products you choose are legal in your state. Just because you see something for sale online doesn't mean you can legally have it shipped to your home. Also, laws involving cannabis-derived products are constantly changing; what you want could be legal today, and illegal tomorrow.