Updated: Mar 7
There's a lot of confusion about delta 8 THC and delta 10 THC. Some people think that they're the same thing, while others believe there's a big disparity between the two. So, what's the difference between delta-8 THC and delta-10 THC, and what are their effects on users?
This article will explore the distinctions and similarities between these cannabinoids and how they may impact you if you use them.
Before we get started, let's discuss the difference between hemp-derived THC and marijuana-derived THC. Delta 8 THC and delta 10 THC products that you see in stores are both most likely extracted from hemp plants. This alone makes them different from the THC most people associate with consuming marijuana, delta-9 THC.
Marijuana-derived THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is the primary psychoactive agent in marijuana responsible for creating the stereotypical "high" that users experience.
On the other hand, hemp plants contain low levels of THC. For cannabis plants to be categorized as hemp instead of marijuana, they must have less than 0.3% THC by dry weight.
So, when people talk about hemp-derived THC products, they refer to products containing cannabinoids extracted from hemp plants with minuscule amounts of delta-9 THC.
Delta 9 THC vs. Delta 10 and Delta 8 THC
Now that we've cleared that up, let's move on to discussing the difference between delta-9 and delta-8.
The main difference is their chemical structure. Delta-9 has a double bond on the ninth carbon atom, while delta-8 has a double bond on the eighth carbon atom. The same applies to delta-10 THC, which has a double bond on the tenth carbon atom. These bonds might not seem significant, but this change alters how these cannabinoids interact with our bodies.
Delta-9 THC is more potent than delta-8 THC and delta-10 THC because it attaches more strongly to the CB receptors in our endocannabinoid system. This is why delta-9 THC is the primary psychoactive agent in marijuana while delta-8 THC and delta-10 THC are not. Furthermore, delta-9 is much more prevalent than delta 8 and delta 10.
The binding affinity to the CB receptors determines how strong the psychoactive effects of a cannabinoid will be.
CBD vs. THC: What's the Difference?
Now that you understand the differences between delta strains, you might be wondering how they compare to CBD. Both cannabinoids offer potential benefits and can be found in hemp.
The main difference is that CBD does not produce mind-altering effects, while THC does. However, both THC and CBD are possibly therapeutic for various conditions, including chronic pain, nausea, multiple sclerosis, and more.
Now that you know the distinction between THC and CBD, you can decide which one is right for you. If you are looking for a non-intoxicating option, CBD might be the better choice. But if you want to experience the full range of benefits THC offers, then delta 8 and delta 10 are a good bet.
Where Did Delta 8 Come From?
Delta 8 has actually been around for quite some time.
The partial synthesis of delta-8 was first published in 1941 by Roger Adams and colleagues at the University of Illinois. A year later, in 1942, the same research group investigated its physiological and psychoactive effects after oral administration in human test subjects.
Total syntheses of delta-8 THC didn't occur until around 1965. Afterward, its chemical structure was successfully isolated from cannabis plants and later synthesized by Raphael Mechoulam in 1967.
Where Did Delta 10 Come From
Raphael Mechoulam, a chemist from Israel, was the first to discover delta 10 in 1984. He published a paper that outlined the process he used to synthesize it — but the method he used required harsh and toxic chemicals that made the final product unusable.
Afterward, in 2020, a cannabis company making cannabis concentrates accidentally uncovered delta-10 THC again after purchasing cannabis that firefighters had sprayed with flame retardant.
It wasn't until post-extraction that they noticed crystals forming. Upon further testing, delta-10 THC was re-discovered.
How Are Delta 8 THC and Delta 10 THC Made?
Delta-8 is present in cannabis at extremely low levels. High levels of delta-8 are artificially created in a laboratory by chemically converting hemp-derived CBD into delta-8.
Delta-10, on the other hand, is typically created using delta-8 or delta-9 THC. It is an isomer of THC and is produced in a laboratory by rearranging atoms. Therefore, manufacturers cannot make it without chemical intervention.
Delta 8 and Delta 10: Your Endocannabinoid System
Like other cannabinoids, delta 8 THC and delta 10 THC work by interacting with the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system maintains balance in the body and plays a role in many physiological processes, including appetite, pain sensation, mood, and memory.
The two cannabinoids have different effects on users because they interact with this system differently.
Delta-8 does not have as high an affinity for the cannabinoid receptors as delta-9 THC. This means it does not bind as tightly to these receptors, and its effects are less pronounced. Delta-10 THC also does not bind as tightly to cannabinoid receptors as delta-9. This makes both delta 8 and delta 10 have less potent side effects than delta-9 THC.
The Benefits of Delta 8 THC
Unlike delta-9 THC, users describe delta-8 as less intense and more calming. Some people find it helpful for treating anxiety, while others use it to manage pain.
It is also intoxicating, but it does not produce the typical "high" associated with marijuana. Instead, users typically describe delta 8's high as mellow, cerebral, and calming. This makes it an appealing choice for people who want the benefits of THC without feeling too inebriated.
Commonly reported potential benefits of delta 8 THC include:
reduced pain levels
As you can see, people tend to favor delta 8 THC for its relaxation-promoting qualities.
The Benefits of Delta 10 THC
Like delta-8 THC, delta-10 has a milder effect on users than delta-9. However, it is more potent than delta 8. Its side effects are also distinct, and users describe it as being more stimulating and making them more energetic.
Delta 10 THC's potential benefits are:
better focus and concentration
Since delta 10 THC acts more like a nootropic, users often consume it to help treat conditions like attention deficit disorder (ADD), depression, and anxiety. However, we are still uncovering the potential benefits of delta-10 THC, and research is still anecdotal and preliminary.
How to Use Hemp-Derived THC
As with any new cannabis product, starting with a low dose and increasing the amount as needed is crucial. This will help you find the correct dosage for your individual needs.
Hemp-derived THC products are available in many forms, including tinctures, capsules, topicals, and vape oils. Vaping offers the quickest onset of effects, while oral ingestion provides a longer-lasting result.
Delta 8 and delta 10 are two of the many cannabinoids found in hemp. As we continue to learn more about them, we will undoubtedly see more products containing these cannabinoids hit the market.
For now, if you're looking for a less intoxicating, relaxing option, delta-8 might be right for you. If you're seeking an energetic high, on the other hand, delta-10 is worth a try. Again, always listen to your body and start with a low dose.
Possible Side Effects of Hemp-Derived THC
Like any other cannabinoid, hemp-derived deltas may cause certain adverse side effects. The most common are dry mouth and dizziness. Others include:
These side effects are typically considered to be minor and short-lived. However, they can vary depending on the product you use, so it is essential to start slowly and increase gradually as needed.
If you're nursing or pregnant, you should avoid using any product containing THC. You should also ask your physician about using these products if you have a history of mental health disorders or are taking any medication.
Will Hemp-derived THC Make Me Fail a Drug Test?
There is some debate over whether hemp-derived deltas will show up on a drug test. However, to date, drug tests typically cannot tell the difference between delta-9 THC and other types, including delta-8 and delta 10. This means that if you use any product containing THC, you could fail a drug test.
If you have to take a drug test, it's always best to err on the side of caution and be transparent about using any product containing THC.
THC is detectable in drug tests for up to three months, and how long it stays in your system will depend on several factors, including your fat content, metabolism, diet, and activity level. Levels of THC in your system are also impacted by how much you consume, how frequently you use, and the product's potency.
The Bottom Line
As we continue to understand more about the different cannabinoids found in hemp, we will undoubtedly see more products hit the market. For now, delta 8 THC products offer a less intoxicating, relaxing option, while delta 10 THC provides an energetic high. Whichever one you choose, always start with a low dose and increase it slowly as you become more aware of how your body will respond.
Hemp-derived delta strains offer an alternative to traditional marijuana products and provide many potential benefits. We can only imagine what other uses we will find for these cannabinoids with continued research.
What are your thoughts on delta 8 THC and delta 10 THC? Have you tried any products containing either? Share your experience in the comments below!
Please note: Information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.