THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) What are the different types?
THC products are on the rise due to their supposed health benefits, and thanks to The Farm Bill 2018 it is legal for consumers in many states. THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol and is a natural component of cannabis although its legality does vary from state-to-state depending on the specific concentration levels allowed within each region. Popular forms of THC include gummies, oils, tinctures and topicals - all with potential therapeutic effects that have caught people's attention.
Many cannabis enthusiasts may be familiar with the popular cannabinoid THC, but did you know that there is actually a wide variety of different kinds? Five main types of THC: Delta-8 THC, Delta-9 THC, THC-A, THC-V, THC-P. Delta 9 - commonly recognized as its most potent form- has been something of an industry leader in terms of consumer preference. But what other varieties are out there and how powerful can they get? Let's examine the varying types of THC extracted from cannabis plants to find out!
History Of THC
For centuries, hemp has been used for a variety of purposes around the world. In China it was utilized as food, textiles and medicine while in Europe - and later America - its use expanded to recreational activities and rituals. By 1600s cannabis had become naturalized into American culture where people cultivated it both commercially (for creating textiles) or recreationally; by 1930-1940s this latter application caught on more significantly.
In the early 20th century, marijuana was demonized by anti-drug campaigns and heavily restricted through laws. In 1936, a film that falsely depicted negative consequences of using cannabis created further hysteria around it. By 1970 the Controlled Substances Act prohibited its use on a federal level - leading to mass incarceration for people possessing or consuming this drug during subsequent 'war on drugs.' Over time though, more states have recognized medical benefits from products containing THC; allowing therapeutic uses with careful adherence to local laws affected by their individual regulations.
Fundamentals of Cannabinoids
Let's review the fundamentals of cannabinoids to better understand the many forms of THC and how each one produces its own effects on the body. Over 500 chemicals, including at least 144 recognized cannabinoids, are found in cannabis plants. CBD and THC are the two main cannabinoids, and there are also a large number of lesser cannabinoids that we are only now learning more about.
The endocannabinoid system, or ECS, in our body communicates with each cannabinoid through a different chemical structure. A system that wasn't made public until the 1990s, as cannabis research picked up. We now understand the capabilities of the ECS and how cannabis can have such a significant impact on a range of health impacts.
The ECS is fundamentally a network of neurotransmitters and receptors that transmits information to every physiological system in the body. The main receptors are CB1 and CB2, and different cannabinoids impact, interact, bind to, and connect to these receptors in various ways depending on their distinct structural characteristics. The most crucial point to understand is that the ECS only has one objective in mind: to attain equilibrium. Or, a general sense of well-being or health.
Cannabinoids can therefore affect a wide range of bodily functions and daily activities. include hunger, pain, mood, worry, and many other things. In order to understand how each variety of THC interacts with the ECS uniquely for health consequences and advantages, let's now go deeper into the THC varieties that are most frequently present in cannabis flower and products.
Delta 8 (∆8 THC)
A double bond isomer of Delta 9 THC is called Delta 8 Delta 8 (∆8). You might wonder what an isomer is. A compound that is an isomer has a comparable amount of atoms and elements but differs from another compound in the manner that the atoms are arranged. Although Delta 8 THC binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors, it is not as potent as Delta 9.
Since the Farm Bill was enacted in 2018, hemp-extracted Delta 8 THC is permitted on a federal level and is claimed to have milder effects than Delta 9 THC. Therefore, to reduce the euphoric impact and enjoy other advantages of this type, consider THC goods containing Delta 8 THC if you're looking for a THC that doesn't give you an intense high.
Anecdotal evidence and early research have demonstrated the effects of delta-8 THC, which include:
- Neuroprotectant; • Appetite stimulant; • Antiemetic, also known as anti-nausea; • Analgesic, also known as pain reliever; • Anxiolytic, also known as anti-anxiety
Delta 9 (∆9 THC)
As the most well-known THC variation in the cannabis industry, Delta 9 (∆9) is always mentioned when people discuss THC. When discussing THC-containing drugs, people often refer to this psychoactive form of the drug. It binds to the ECS's CB1 receptors and has an impact on how the nervous system functions, which in turn directly influences our sensory experiences, including pleasure and memory.
Because Delta 9 has a ninth carbon atom with a double bond that easily attaches to the CB1 receptors, it causes a high and increases the user's experience of pleasure. Federal legislation limits the allowable THC content of hemp-derived goods in the United States to 0.3% Delta 9 THC, although THC content of marijuana-derived products can vary from state to state.
The delta-9 analog of THC is responsible for most of medicinal marijuana's effects. Including studies showing that delta-9 THC can relieve the symptoms of:
• Glaucoma; • Inflammation; • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and IBD; • Insomnia; • Migraines; • Multiple sclerosis; • Muscle stiffness; • Nausea; Pain; Low appetite; Seizures; • Mood disorders such as anxiety, sadness, and PTSD;
After Delta 9 and Delta 8 THC variations, Delta 10 THC (∆10) generates the least degree of euphoric effects. Although it is one of the mildest types of THC, it nevertheless has the ability to make you feel buzzy. Since delta 10 THC is practically never found in cannabis plants, it is frequently manufactured in laboratories. It is a very new and unaccepted cannabinoid, hence its use and acceptance in the THC market are minimal.
Hexahydrocannabinol, sometimes known as HHC, is a THC analog.
Chemist Rodger Adams initially identified hexahydrocannabinol in the 1940s when he hydrogenated THC, a procedure that is now known as hydrogenation. When THC is hydrogenated, two hydrogen atoms take the place of the double bond in the compound's chemical structure. Due to this molecular alteration, HCC is:
Being less powerful than delta-9-THC, having a longer shelf life, being more resistant to heat and UV rays, and having a longer shelf life
THC-A (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid)
Delta 8 THC, Delta 9 THC, and THCV are all produced from the compound THCA. It is the acidic component of THC and doesn't have the same effects on the brain as Delta 8 or Delta 9 THC. This is due to the fact that the receptors found in the ECS are not totally complementary to the chemical structure of THCA. As a result, THCA is unable to connect to receptors in the same manner and have the same euphoric effects on the body.
The CB1 and CB2 receptors in the ECS are easily bound by THCA when it is heated from an acidic form to its native state. Delta 8 THC, Delta 9 THC, and THCV are produced as a result of the state shift.
What is now known is that THCa produces the following kinds of effects:
Studies on prostate cancer have shown it to be anti-proliferative, neuroprotective, antiemetic, and anti-inflammatory.
Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), another THC subtype, has neither the buzzing nor jittery effects on the body or mind. When THCA is further broken down by the process of decarboxylation, THCV is created. However, if you want a stronger bliss, you may need to take more THCV because a low dosage won't work. THCV is steadily gaining acceptance, although consumer consumption is still on the low end.
Emerging research is hinting at potential breakthroughs in the medical world; by utilizing THCv, it may become possible to manage a variety of difficult conditions. Specifically, this cannabinoid could be used to control blood sugar and insulin levels for those with diabetes, reduce anxiety-induced panic attacks and even assist with bone growth or neurological issues associated with Alzheimer's disease!
Tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THCP) is a relatively novel cannabinoid. Its strong CB1 receptor binding capacity—which is superior to Delta 9 THC—is its key selling feature. This enables THCP to have a potently euphoric impact on you. Delta 9 THC, which comprises a five-carbon-atom alkyl side chain, is less potent than THCP. Now that THCP has been identified, it is known that this novel cannabinoid has a seven-atom, seven-terminus alkyl side chain.
THC-O, commonly known as THC-O acetate, is a synthetic cannabinoid made from hemp. The primary selling point of THC-O is that, unlike THC, which is only allowed in a few jurisdictions at the state level, it is produced from hemp, which is federally permitted. However, acetic anhydride, a highly combustible molecule, is used in the production of THC-O-acetate. The possible advantages or drawbacks of THC-O, along with THCP or Delta-10 THC, are yet unknown because it is one of the least studied THC analogs.
How does THC affect you?
Changes in mood, alertness, and cognitive abilities are THC's three most noticeable psychoactive effects. However, some forms of THC may also have possible medicinal implications in addition to their impact on mental state.
How THC Works
THC functions by binding to cannabinoid receptors in the body, which are dispersed throughout the brain and neurological system. Although the intoxicating effects of marijuana only last a few hours, THC may be detectable in the body considerably longer than the majority of other drug components.
THC is retained for three to four weeks in body fat and organs. Testing on hair follicles may reveal THC at much longer intervals, maybe 90 days. Although often employed, urine testing has been discovered to be an inaccurate method of detection.
How is THC extracted?
Cannabis is a complex plant, containing well over 100 compounds known as cannabinoids. Of these molecules, CBD and THC are the most prevalent - but it takes careful extraction to ensure their purity. Employing CO2 processes allows for efficient collection of not only CBD/THC from cannabis plants but also other important components such as terpenes and additional cannabinoids which can help increase potency or alter effects in products using Cannabis derivatives.
The cannabis plant is a powerhouse of natural compounds, with its most abundant being non-psychoactive cannabinoid THCA. To make THC products useable by the body's Endocannabinoid System (ECS), heating through an oxidative process called decarboxylation unlocks this compound to active form and can be infused into various ingestible items for consumers.
Forms of THC:
Although THC is frequently consumed in the form of marijuana (dry Cannabis plant leaves), it can also be utilized in a variety of other ways. THC may be taken by:
• Inhalation: This delivery technique is the quickest and has the quickest psychoactive effects, frequently occurring in a matter of minutes. Smoking, vaping, or dabbing all allow the inhalation of THC. According to recent findings, vaping THC oil may provide safety issues that demand additional research.
• Oral consumption: THC can be consumed orally as capsules, edibles, tinctures, oils, or edible preparations. The effects of the medicine typically remain longer with this route of distribution even if it takes longer to take effect.
• Topical application: THC can also be found in products that are used topically, such as lotions, balms, salves, oils, and bath salts. Since the effects of this approach are often confined, it is doubtful that they will have any psychoactive consequences. However, these products could be useful for lowering inflammation and discomfort.
• Sublingual administration: THC can also be ingested sublingually by means of dissolvable strips, lozenges, or sprays.
Multiple sclerosis and neurological disorders:
There are various cannabis-related drugs that have FDA approval. In other words, these drugs are cannabinoids, or relatives of the special compounds the cannabis plant produces.
In truth, the plant is used to make cannabidiol (Epidiolex), a prescription-strength CBD used to treat a rare kind of childhood epilepsy.
Multiple sclerosis and other illnesses are treated with cannabis (MS). Although further research is needed, several studies have found cannabis to be beneficial for treating neurological disorders including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
In addition to these FDA-approved drugs, the cannabis plant (and anything produced from it) really has health advantages. Pain management is the most frequent reason individuals use cannabis.
In comparison to conventional painkillers like opioids and benzodiazepines, recent research shows cannabis may be a safer option. Because cannabis' adverse effects are not immediately fatal, it may be safer. But each year, hundreds of unintentional drug overdoses and fatalities are brought on by benzodiazepines and opioids.
Low appetite, vomiting, and nausea
The FDA has also authorized nabilone (Cesamet) and dronabinol as drugs with potential health advantages (Marinol). These are not natural cannabinoids; rather, they are synthetic. They are recommended for dizziness, nausea, and decreased appetite.
People with and without chronic illnesses claim that cannabis makes it easier to fall asleep.
According to some research, cannabis may make it easier for individuals to fall asleep, but it may not keep people from waking up in the middle of the night.
Cannabis may also be beneficial for those suffering from sleep problems like restless leg syndrome, however research in this area is still in its early stages.
For mental health issues: PTSD and anxiety
Cannabis is frequently used by people to treat their anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Despite the fact that anxiety and depression are frequently experienced simultaneously, evidence indicates that chronic cannabis usage may make depression worse.
Numerous additional medical conditions, including autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, are treated with cannabis by users. To determine how well cannabis treats various illnesses, more study is required.
THC and CBD may interact with other drugs.
Cannabis molecules and some forms of medicine may interact. Both THC and CBD can obstruct the liver's ability to break down a number of prescription medications. Be sure to discuss your cannabis usage with your doctor if you are taking any drugs that have a "grapefruit warning" on the label. To ensure that your use of cannabis or CBD does not result in a hazardous medication interaction, you might need to undergo routine blood testing.
Is THC Legal?
The Farm Bill of 2018 makes all hemp-derived THC products with a THC content below.3% lawful at the federal level and in the majority of states.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, as of July 2022, 19 states have allowed recreational marijuana usage, while 38 states had some kind of medicinal marijuana use. THC generated from marijuana is still prohibited under federal law. The District of Columbia likewise permits the use of marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes, albeit only restricted adult possession and cultivation are permitted; no manufacture or sales are authorized.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have concluded that marijuana has no federally approved medical use for treatment in the U.S. and thus it remains as a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law.
All states where marijuana is legal need companies that sell marijuana to get a license from the state in order to do so. States have their own procedures for licensing dispensaries.
CBD vs THC
Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two chemical substances produced from the Cannabis sativa plant, also known as hemp, marijuana, cannabis, Mary Jane, and so on. So what makes them different from one another? CBD is a naturally occurring substance that is not psychoactive, so taking it won't make you feel high; THC, on the other hand, will.
Cannabis contains over 100 different chemical compounds, known as cannabinoids. CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are the two most common ones - containing a signature blend of 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms in their molecular structures. However the difference lies not only in their combination but also quantity: while marijuana may contain high levels of THC compared to hemp plants which typically have more cannabidiol present.
Laws governing THC are different from those governing CBD. At the state and federal levels, THC is significantly more tightly controlled than CBD. Legally, hemp may only be categorized as such if it contains less than 0.3% THC. Despite belonging to the same plant species, THC concentration is used by the law to distinguish between hemp and cannabis.
Other Cannabinoids (CBD Extracts)
CBD extract types include Full Spectrum CBD Oil, Broad Spectrum CBD Oil, and Isolate CBD oil.
Full spectrum contains all of the cannabinoids present in hemp plants including THC, CBG, and CBN. This provides an entourage effect that can be beneficial in providing additional therapeutic effects when compared to taking just one cannabinoid alone.
Broad spectrum extract contains a number of cannabinoids but excludes THC. This type of extract is ideal for those who wish to avoid the psychoactive effects of THC or need to follow certain drug screening policies.
Isolate CBD oil is made up of pure cannabidiol with no other compounds present. This type of oil is the most concentrated form available and best for those looking for maximum potency.
ISOLATE = ONLY CBD
IS CBD Legal?
In the U.S. federal government, cannabis - sativa weed is considered illegal in the cultivated form. Hemp however, is legal to grow. Currently hemp derived CBD products is legal under the Farm Bill 2018. However, it cannot exceed 0.3% THC.
How to Determine the Best THC Type for You?
THC concentrations in marijuana plants are much higher than in hemp plants. All is good if THC is derived from hemp plants and falls inside the federal limit of 0.3%, but if it is taken from marijuana, the laws vary from state to state. Your first step in determining the THC kind that is right for you is to find out whether your state permits the sale and purchase of THC in the first place. This is because state regulations differ.
It is always preferable for beginners to start with low-THC products and gradually include them into their lifestyle.
Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid
At THC dispensaries, the two varieties of marijuana are frequently categorized broadly under the labels indica and sativa. While the terms indica and sativa don't specifically relate to the sorts of THC that the marijuana will contain, they do categorize the general consensus of the effects that the two various varieties of cannabis plants will give you. Here is a little explanation to assist you understand the two varieties of marijuana and which one is best for your individual ailments or treatment regimens.
Indica - Indica strains provide a stronger body high that is good for relaxing, reducing chronic pain, and treating symptoms similar to sleeplessness. They are frequently used at night to encourage slumber and healing.
Sativa - Sativa strains provide more of a head high, mental clarity, alertness, and mood-lifting effects that are euphoric in nature. They're most frequently taken during the day to provide people energy while still offering therapeutic advantages.
Remember that there are now "hybrid" strains of cannabis that are cross-breds of indica or sativa genetics thanks to developments in cannabis breeding. Although it is more difficult to pinpoint precise effects or advantages, hybrid genetics are frequently dominant in either indica or sativa effects. Therefore, it is important to question the dispensary staff about each hybrid strain's effects separately or conduct your own study online to acquire the information.
Marijuana vs. hemp
Cannabis is the botanical family that includes both hemp and marijuana. However, the THC content in hemp plants is just 0.3% (by dry weight). Cannabis contains 5%–20% THC.
Common drug tests used for THC
Blood, breath, hair, saliva, and urine tests (most infamous method)
How long Medical Cannabis (THC) products stay in your system?
This detection window's duration is influenced by the quantity and frequency of marijuana usage, as well as the kind of sample drug test.
Blood Up to 7 days
Hair Up to 90 days
Saliva Up to 24 hours
Urine Up to 3 days (up to 6 weeks in heavy users)
What is Medical Marijuana?
The use of marijuana to treat particular medical ailments is referred to as medicinal marijuana. More than half of the states in the US have approved marijuana for medicinal use.
What are the medical benefits of medical cannabis?
Human research on the therapeutic potential of cannabis for many ailments is still underway. The advantages of cannabis that have been the subject of the most research are:
• Relieving pain; enhancing sleep; treat nausea and vomiting; enhancing appetite; and enhancing quality of life
Cannabis may not be effective in treating the primary symptoms of a condition, such as cancer, but it does enhance a person's quality of life, according to a consistent conclusion of several research. That is, despite the fact that their sickness does not improve, people who use cannabis do so because it makes it easier for them to handle daily life.
Clinical Trails for CBD and THC
Tips to help you use THC products more safely:
• Don't drive after using. Driving while under the influence of any substance, including cannabis, or when impaired by it is dangerous and against the law. Driving under the influence is impossible. You run a larger chance of dying in an accident or hurting both you and other people if you drive while intoxicated.
• Refrain from using too much cannabis too soon. Cannabis comes in many various forms and strains, and some have more potent effects than others. Certain cannabis strains and types may have a delayed impact. For instance, it may take up to four hours for edibles to reach full impact. Start with a modest dose and see how it affects you before determining whether to continue. Get off to a sluggish start.
• Avoid consuming many medications at once. Combining cannabis with other medicines or alcohol may have unexpected results. Consult your doctor if you use prescription medications to learn more about the consequences of combining them with cannabis.
• Discuss with your doctor how cannabis usage may impact other health conditions. Depending on whether your ailment is acute or chronic, cannabis may effect you differently.
• Keep cannabis out of children's reach. Cannabis that mimics food has been consumed by children inadvertently. Keep edibles apart from other foods and beverages if you have them in your house. Keep all cannabis products out of sight and out of reach of anybody under the age of 21.
The THC market is gradually opening up to additional opportunities. The most popular THC versions to date have been Delta 9 and Delta 8, although THCV and THCP are progressively gaining ground and vying for a bigger piece of the market. It is usually advisable to investigate the brand and the THC varieties that it employs in its goods before making a THC purchase. Since these items aren't governed by the USDA, you'll need to double check for yourself. Brands now utilize high-quality hemp to extract THC so that it complies with the federal law's regulation of 0.3% THC level. Once you are aware of the types and options that are offered in your state.