Making sense of all cannabinoids, especially Delta 9 THC, poses a slight problem; understanding the history, the legality, the product, its effects, and how to use it may be a bit of a challenge. Not all cannabinoids fit nicely in a box with a bow. Understanding hemp’s many varieties of natural chemical compounds requires diligence in comprehension and current events; quite daunting to say the least.
The best place to start, for many people, centers around hemp’s most (in)famous cannabinoid: Delta-9 THC. THC conjures many ideas and pre-conceived notions in folks. Many struggle to truly understand this unique cannabinoid.
Unfortunately, those three letters show up everywhere, tossed around like unwanted pennies. CBD evokes the days of “Reefer Madness.” Amidst all the confusion, Delta 9 holds the popular number-one position as it relates to folks’ confusion. People need more understanding about how Delta 9 differs from other cannabinoids like CBD. At Sun State Hemp, we provide an easy and comprehensive understanding of this much-maligned compound. Read on to get to the bottom of THC, Delta 9 and cannabinoids.
Delta 9 Tetrahydrocannabinol – aka THC – is a chemical known as a cannabinoid, a unique compound found within plants of the Cannabis genus. The main two plants, the sub strains hemp and marijuana, fall into the species Cannabis Sativa. Within Cannabis plants, more than 100 recognized cannabinoids exist with more uncovered daily. Even so, most cannabinoids are present in small, trace amounts only in these plants.
Two cannabinoids in particular, CBD (known as cannabidiol) and Delta-9 THC provide a differing view. In hemp and marijuana, CBD and THC show up naturally in high volume. Hemp and marijuana, respectively, have higher ratios of CBD-to-THC and THC-to-CBD. That is to say, hemp naturally contains more CBD than THC; conversely, marijuana contains more THC than CBD. The primary cannabinoid in marijuana, THC, holds the familiar position of delivering the “euphoric high” during use.
In fact, the main appeal of the two cannabinoids, hemp and marijuana, lies in their different concentrations. Hemp, with its low concentration of THC, naturally grows with certain physical properties. As a result, these physical properties make it ideal for use as fiber for industrial and manufacturing purposes. Many cooks use hemp seed oil, a nutritious and non-hallucinogenic agent used in food preparation. These seeds contain no naturally occurring cannabinoids.
Meanwhile, marijuana offers no benefit in the kitchen or in manufacturing. This cannabinoid specifically appeals for its hallucinogenic effects across spiritual, cultural, and recreational contexts.
Worth noting, on a case-by-case basis, the cultivation of both plants produces high amounts of these specific cannabinoids. From a legal perspective, according to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp of the Cannabis genus, broadly speaking, consists of THC concentration < .3% dry weight per plant, plant product, or plant extract. For thousands of years through human history, both plants have dotted the landscape regardless of efforts to keep hemp and marijuana illegal.
Delta 9 THC effects vary person to person. However, Delta 9 THC holds broad classification as the intoxicating, hallucinogenic and euphoric “high” commonly associated with marijuana.
Did you know that THC prompts numerous interactions with our body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS)?
ECS supports regulation of our body’s natural functions, a process known as homeostasis. Regulating the wellbeing of our body means the steady and regular support of energy levels, mood, sleep cycle, immune system, and more. In fact, the ECS plays a part in supporting almost every function in the body. First, ECS supports the brain and secondly the body through two receptors known as CB1 and CB2. Through the ECS, our body produces its own cannabinoids, the aforementioned endocannabinoids, that activate these receptors…sort of like a key fitting into a specific lock.
Broadly speaking, cannabinoids like THC and CBD, mimic the endocannabinoids our bodies produce and bind into these specific chemical receptors. In the case of THC, for example, it binds and activates the CB1 receptor located in the brain. In fact, the “runner’s high” that joggers often report comes from “endogenous cannabinoids” like anandamide. Logically, other cannabinoids that exist in the natural world interact with our bodies in a chemically similar manner.
The euphoric “high” and hallucinogenic effects of THC are quite well-documented. Moreover, ongoing research exists to determine THC’s potentially therapeutic benefits. While research continues, individuals of all stripes already know the popularity of medical marijuana programs across the United States. Research lags behind both personal experiences and the ways people benefit from the oft-maligned cannabinoid.
The effects of Delta 9 THC depend on myriad factors, and, as said, the effect of the “high” from THC differs from person to person. These include both the quality and form of THC ingested, as well as individuals’ own tolerance and natural reactions to the product. Differently grown strains likely have different effects, as well. This distinction significantly created a market for strains with specific properties individuals prefer. Ever heard people compare “Blue Dream” and “Sour Diesel” to a strain of “Green Crack?” If so, then you know each of these strains are preferred for a variety of reasons and produce different experiences.
The Delta 9 legal status holds surprising complications due to differences of federal and state law. As time goes by, the legal status of this cannabinoid is certain to become more uncertain and precarious.
Let’s look at a few key factors that complicate things and where murkiness lies:
Firstly, as explained in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), all THC cannabinoids (Tetrahydrocannabinols) hold status as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, including Delta 9 THC. In addition, synthetic isomers and ‘synthetic equivalents’ to THC are on the list.
The primary reason for marijuana as a hallucinogen relates directly to Delta 9 THC. As such, the heavy presence of Delta 9 makes marijuana, under the legal term of “cannabis,” a controlled substance. So, one would assume, then, that Delta 9 holds illegal status in most states, right? Not quite!
You may already know the distinction between the broad scope of federal regulation and the specificities of state regulations. While the federal government mandates that cannabis is a controlled substance, some states openly allow the sale and use of marijuana because of their own governing laws. Michigan and Colorado, for instance, both operate individual programs for the operation of licensed dispensaries for marijuana. Each state also boasts its own restrictions; however, that does not necessarily mean that high-THC marijuana is legal in certain contexts although state and federal law conflict.
The main factor that changes Delta-9’s legal status comes from, ironically, the 2018 Farm Bill that makes Delta 9 the key restricting factor in deciding whether a product is “industrial hemp” or “cannabis.” The Bill opened the path for CBD and arguably many other cannabinoids by recognizing a distinction between industrial hemp and cannabis predicated on the total concentration of Delta-9.
As aforementioned, hemp, hemp-derived products, and other THCs, must contain < 0.3% of Delta 9 THC on a dry-weight basis. To clarify the Bill’s wording, tetrahydrocannabinols that naturally occur in hemp were excluded from the CSA under the same condition and the restricted Delta-9 concentration. So, as long as a hemp-derived product has a concentration of Delta 9 < 0.3%, broad considerations suggest Delta 9 as federally legal.
Now, not all states conform with the Farm Bill’s wording and scope. Some passed laws restricting CBD and THC. Because state laws or those of individual municipalities vary wildly, Delta 9 cannot simply be considered as ‘totally legal’ or ‘totally illegal’. Our best advice for users is to stay aware of all applicable local laws regarding Delta 9, hemp, and hemp-derived cannabinoids.
Delta 9 THC and CBD, both cannabinoids found abundantly in marijuana and hemp, respectively, separate their differences by several key factors. Primarily, each cannabinoid holds a distinct chemical structure other than its peer. This alters how it bonds to different chemical receptors in the body.
Delta 9 and CBD, as mentioned previously, bond to key receptors in the brain and body in a way that mimics the functions of the Endocannabinoid System. While THC binds to CB1 receptors in the brain, CBD bonds to CB2 receptors throughout the body. Because of this, THC capably produces the intoxicating, psychoactive “high” that CBD simply cannot produce.
This lack of a “high” from CBD is crucial in that it offers legitimacy to CBD as a cannabinoid designed for wellness instead of recreational use. Without this potentially dangerous side effect, CBD leads the charge in changing perceptions of hemp across mainstream culture.
While the benefits of each cannabinoid hold sway in pop culture and across the internet, the only true distinction is the difference between getting high or not. Interested in either cannabinoid? We recommend speaking with a preferred medical professional who can offer qualified, individualized advice.
Delta 8 and Delta 9, by their names alone, suggest they simply evolved from one generation of cannabinoid into another. However, Delta 8 and Delta 9 are distinct cannabinoids with unique appeal. Because Delta 8 holds uncertain legal status and Delta 9 THC also holds questionable legality in many states, these two cannabinoids hold frontline attention at the center of ongoing battles about regulations and legality.
Firstly, understand a bit of the chemical properties of Delta 8 and how these differ from Delta 9. Delta 8 is a THC cannabinoid like Delta 9, with much the same structure as Delta 9. Delta 8 interacts with our Endocannabinoid System to create a euphoric “high,” also like Delta 9. Pretty similar so far, right?
The difference with Delta 8 vs Delta 9 orients to how it binds to receptors in our ECS. Thanks to a slightly tweaked chemical structure that features a different placement of a “double bond” on the 8th carbon atom (instead of the 9th), researchers suspect that Delta 8 avoids full binding to the same receptors in our body. This creates less intensity of the overall experience with Delta 8.
Unfortunately, Delta 8 research lags behind that of Delta 9 or CBD. Thus, its effects and mechanism of action remain uncertain. Part of this centers around the small quantity of Delta 8 prevalent in hemp and marijuana. However, due to unique wording in the 2018 Farm Bill, Delta 8 popularity has soared in the past few years. More adventurous cannabinoid seekers highly regard Delta 8, making it a hot topic of conversation and purchase.
Proponents suggest Delta 8 should have full federal legal status because it consists of < .3% THC. Recall that the Controlled Substances Act excludes THC derived from hemp as long as it maintains the maximum .3% dry weight of Delta 9 THC concentration. In the opinion of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), however, Delta 8 should be regulated in the same manner as Delta 9 due to their near-identical effects. Throughout U.S. courts, this argument continues with no end in sight.
Delta 9, as a cannabinoid, provides a similar sensation to that of normal cannabis or marijuana, including the euphoric “high.” Because of this intoxicating, psychoactive property, Delta 9 certainly can’t be considered completely safe or harmless.
Delta 9, however, appears on shelves throughout many dispensaries and online stores for medical or recreational programs. Each individual makes the choice whether to engage with high-THC products. That decision often comes with guidance from a qualified medical professional. As a cannabinoid, Delta 9 offers plenty in terms of support for your health through the Endocannabinoid System. With more research, more discoveries will prove more about THC’s myriad interactions with our minds and bodies.
Unfortunately, no one-size-fits-all answers the question about the legal purchase of Delta 9. Because Delta 9 THC most often goes hand-in-hand with consumption of marijuana or cannabis, there’s no guarantee that you’re receiving a certified, consumer-friendly product. Unless you’re in a state with a robust recreational or medical marijuana program and licensed dispensaries, you’ll find limited options.
Hemp-derived THC products, may be a possible alternative to Delta 9 THC products, depending, of course on local regulations. Because of the 2018 Farm Bill, the cap on the total concentration of Delta 9 THC is limited to 0.3% on a dry-weight basis. That crucial 0.3% difference between hemp and cannabis means that, as long as the ratio of THC is correct, a product containing a notable amount of hemp-derived THC may be considered federally legal provided the other 99.7% is THC-free.
The best advice we offer is to speak with a qualified medical professional and stay aware of changing laws and regulations. As Delta 9 gains more acceptance and awareness every day, businesses and governments realize the chemical’s health and wellness potential to offer a variety of benefits to our Endocannabinoid System. Despite everything that regressive policies and misguided beliefs have thrown Delta 9’s way, hope springs eternal! This versatile cannabinoid has room to come out on top.
If you’re interested in hemp-derived Delta 9 products within the 0.3% limit, crafted by experts in the hemp industry and with independent lab-testing, consider Sun State Hemp’s Grab n Go Apple Rings. It’s a great choice for those looking to enjoy a delicious tasting snack while also getting 10mg of Delta 9 THC in each gummy ring.