Delta THC | Science

What Is Delta 10 THC & How Does It Compare To D8 & D9?

Dr Abraham Benavides


Dr Abraham Benavides

Medical Doctor

Holy Delta, we are witnessing the rise of a new age!

Delta 10 THC’s superpowers may take the CBD market by storm. YES, we all want to reap the potential extended benefits of cannabis and get to know all its effects.

But, is Delta 10 THC about to become the bitcoin of hemp products? Let’s find out below!

D10 Hemp illustration

What Is Delta 10 THC

Delta 10 THC resembles its close relative Delta 8 in terms of effects – and of course also Delta 9.

Based on consumer reports and an early pigeon study (linked below), both appear to showcase a suspected lower psychotropic potency than Delta 9 THC (aka “traditional” THC).

But, remember the psychoactive potency of both D8 and Delta 10 THC also depends on the correct dosing. Don’t underestimate either one of these active compounds. Start low and go slow!

The medical information on the difference between “traditional” delta 9 THC and delta 10 THC?

At this point, it’s scarce. An early pigeon study featuring famed cannabis research pioneer, Ralph Micheolam, found that pigeons got apparently less stoned on delta-10 than delta-9 THC.

However, there aren’t any human studies done yet so its exact health effects are yet to be determined.

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The science of the mystical marijuana plant is still at a very early phase. Meanwhile, the history of ganja is as ancient as time itself.

Well, the chemical structure of delta 9, delta 8, and delta 10 THC differs only with a few atomic bonds. 

What about the difference between D8 and Delta 10 THC experience?

According to anecdotal reports, Delta 10 resembles the effect of sativa cannabis strains. Meanwhile, Delta 8’s effects are anecdotally said to lean more on the Indica strains axis.  

Thus, Delta 10 products are generally considered more uplifting. According to user reports, this relates to increased:

  • euphoria,
  • alertness,
  • focus,
  • energy,
  • boost of creativity.
cannabis flowers purple haze

Like Delta 8, Delta 10 is theoretically less likely to cause some of the unwanted effects of Delta 9 THC products. Think of fingernails biting anxiety, and sometimes truckloads of paranoia.

Again, it’s only anecdotal but there are increased reports that those looking for sleep aid and relaxation prefer Delta 8 as being nighttime-friendly, which aligns with a study way back in 1973. On the flipside, users generally favor Delta 10 for daytime use, reporting cerebral effects. 

Most Delta 8 users report experiencing mild, smooth relaxation and appetite stimulation

Related read: How Delta 8 feels

Meanwhile, Delta-9 has the most intense effect on:

  • pleasure,
  • thought process,
  • cognitive abilities: memory, perceptions, coordination state.
buds in flower

So..How Is Delta 10 Extracted?

Like Delta 8, Delta 10 THC occurs in very small, trace quantities. Currently, ganja masterminds keep working on new, better methods for selective extraction.

The ultimate goal is to produce clean, natural Delta 10 THC in larger amounts.

Experts can craft Delta 8, Delta 9, and Delta 10 THC from crude CBD or CBD Isolate OR extract it in tiny quantities via the usual extraction methods. For this former, they alter CBD chemically.

When using crude CBD, the chemical alteration involves vitamin C derivatives and carbon. Vitamin C is susceptible to oxidation. But vitamin C derivatives offer greater stability. The exact mechanisms of production are likely still proprietary information.

With CBD isolate, a successful D10 extract takes a combination of acids and solvents. Where the substance is purged to remove any contaminants and ready for use. 

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How Was D10 Discovered?

Did you know that penicillin, x-rays, and the microwave were ALL discovered by accident?

The most popular story behind Delta 10’s discovery also has to do with an accident.

Raging wildfires forced Fusion Farms, a cannabis company in California, United States, to purchase outdoor grown marijuana flower power. The company was trying to get its business back in the market.

Aerial firefighters’ retardant flew away from the intended targets as the strong winds carried it across the grow. 

And so, the company purchased marijuana biomass contaminated with a fire retardant. Not something you come across every day. 

The distillate end product amazed the experts. They noticed never-seen-before crystals formations.

Thus, they decided to subject the intriguing new compounds to high-tech lab tests. These tests are known as high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).

cannabis buds

The team used their internal high-performance liquid chromatography system for analysis. They recrystallized and purified the distillate.

At first, they thought the mystery compound may be the cannabinoid Cannabichromene (CBC). Yet the unique crystals didn’t exactly match the structure of CBC.

Then the company obtained further HPLC data by contacting a licensed testing faculty. 

Still, they failed to make any solid conclusion for months. The mystery compound did not match any of the known cannabinoids by HPCL alone.

Finally, a chunk of the isolated crystals was taken for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) analysis. The spectral data indicated Δ10-THC.

Important Note: Delta 10 Story Reality Check

Fusion Farms connected Delta 10 THC production to fire-retardant contamination. But the attempts to reproduce the conversion failed.

The company kept looking for a controlled method for production. Thus, they asked organic chemist Josh Jones, Ph.D., for help. The goal was to reverse engineer the Delta 10 reaction mechanism. 

Jones discovered something big. A combination of certain food-grade additives can act as a catalyst. In return, this combination can bring about the conversion of Delta 9 to Delta 10 THC. 

The problem with this method is that it only provides low yields. Also, that new product is also still a schedule 1 controlled substance since it is derived from delta 9 THC, rather than CBD.

Well, the curious story of the accidental production of Delta 10 THC is doing the rounds. Yet we are not sure of the truth of the matter. At least not yet.

buds in a jar

Back in the 1940s, there was a groundbreaking investigation. It showed that:
changes in the side chain had a profound influence on the pharmacological activity of 6a,10a -THC.”

However, Δ 6a,10a -THC is not a naturally occurring cannabinoid. Even modern LC-MSMS technology cannot yet differentiate between this compound and delta-10 THC.

Raphael Mechoulam (aka the godfather of cannabinoids) described the synthesis of Δ10-THC all the way back in 1984! But the method employed harsh chemicals. Hence, it was concluded to be unsuitable for hemp extract production at the time.

hydroponic grow

Similar to Delta 8, D10 falls under a grey zone. Note: the below isn’t legal advice and you should always consult an attorney for such advice. In addition, local laws may vary even if legal at the federal level.

There are three points to make about the legality of both Delta 10 and Delta 8 THC:

  • The products must be extracted from Hemp.
  • The final product must contain less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC.
  • The product must not be conceived from synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinol. What that exactly means though, is currently an unknown. 

That’s according to the 2018 Farm Bill and the Final Rule which bans synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinol. Delta 10 that is synthesized from delta 9 THC, however, is a schedule 1 substance.

outdoor grow

Does Delta 10 THC Get You High?

Anecdotally, the answer is yes, Delta 10 has psychoactive effects. In line with a comment from private label Hemp Lab expert David Reckles.

Yet the type of high one can experience with Delta 10 subjectively differs from Delta 8 and Delta 9. 

The Delta 10 Hype: Deep Into The Cannabis Archetype Away From The Stereotype

Why does the interest behind the different types of THC on the market keep skyrocketing?

As of now, scientists have discovered over 150 different phytocannabinoids. “Regular” THC, as well as Cannabidiol (CBD), are just two of these phytocannabinoids on the menu.

Each phytocannabinoid provides its own array of unique effects. It acts on the human body through the cannabinoid receptors.

At the moment, in-depth research on the “newer” forms of Delta THC, such as Delta 8 and Delta 10, is scarce. This means the short and long-term effects are still unknown.

Yet the latest THC forms are SO intriguing to scientists and marijuana users alike. They deliver similar effects to the “traditional” Delta 9 THC. But the associated effects do differ (slightly yet significantly).

This allows users to get a better grip over their marijuana routines.

What Delta 10 Products Are Available?

In summary, you can expect to find the same range of products you can already buy for D8 and CBD.

These include:

Like Delta 8 flower and pre-rolls, Delta 10 is infused onto the hemp flower. For this purpose, brands use Delta 10 distillate. Check out the D10 range from D’effex to learn more.

Keep in mind that smoking and vaping may not be suitable for all and may carry additional health risks.

While we don’t know for sure, there’s potential that experts may find ways to breed strains naturally high in Delta 10.

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Welcome, Delta 10 THC Era: Final Notes

CBD is no longer the Holy Grail on the ganja market. Don’t get this wrong, though. Both Delta 10 THC and CBD are cannatastic new items which are experiencing rocketship growth. 

But why settle for less? We can get the best of both worlds!

The question is, will you join the New Delta Age?

Frequently Asked Questions: Oh My Delta!

Will Delta 10 THC Show In A Drug Test?

Yes, Delta 10 THC will show in a drug test. Indeed, there are minor differences in the chemical structure of regular THC vs. Delta 10. But drug tests do not differentiate Delta 10 from other delta cannabinoids.

Ultimately, Delta 10 THC does appear in urinalysis as it is hard to discern from Delta 9.

Do You Need A Cannabis Card To Get Delta 10?

Like CBD, you can acquire Delta 10 without a cannabis card. As long as it is extracted from hemp. Always good to double check local laws before purchasing or consuming.

How Is Delta 10 THC Tested And Measured?

Experts use similar protocols used for measuring CBD, THC, and Delta 8 THC, among other cannabinoids. 

Potency tests involve high-performance liquid chromatography machinery.

This allows to test and measure the potency accurately in flowers, extracts, and edibles alike. Certain methods and outcomes may vary between labs since identifying delta 10 has proven difficult already.

Are Delta 10 THC Products Safe?

Delta 10 THC products must be created with proper knowledge and precise testing. This ensures consistency. Also, it offers reliable information to prove no toxic pollutants in the final products that reach the market.

Residual solvents and harmful pesticides may pose serious health risks for the users.

Only opt for Delta 10 THC products that come with a Certification of Analysis (COA).

So, step one is to always check the products’ COAs. They may also have additional tiers of certification and identification that are noteworthy and add credibility.

Next, check out the company’s website. Go through their entire menu and take your time. You don’t want to compromise for bargain “deals”.

In general, the short and long term effects of cannabinoids such as these are yet to be known. Further large-scale and well-controlled investigations are required to determine the exact health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids. 

Anyone interested should first speak to their healthcare provider, especially certain populations as the effects and risks are unknown.