Within a few short years, the acceptance of cannabis-based products such as CBD has made them a common feature in many health food stores and makeup counters. With total U.S. CBD sales projected to hit $23 billion in 2025, it is clear that much of the stigma previously surrounding this substance is dwindling.
The normalization of CBD can largely be attributed to the lack of the psychoactive ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is known for producing a ‘high. ’ This is why other derivatives of the cannabis plant which contain large amounts of THC, like marijuana, are still illegal under federal law and seen by many as a gateway drug. In this article, we will provide a brief overview of three hemp-derived THC cannabinoids: Delta-8, Delta-9, and Delta-10.
Delta-8 is a psychoactive cannabinoid which is found in small quantities in the
cannabis plant but more abundantly in the hemp plant. This means it is typically extracted from hemp rather than the cannabis plant.
Delta-8 interacts with the endocannabinoid system binding with cannabinoid receptors in the brain and other parts of the nervous system. While its THC content does produce a high, this is much milder and less intense than the psychoactive effect produced by other variants. This makes Delta-8 a much safer and preferred option for people who may experience symptoms such as depression or anxiety from other cannabinoids. Some of the potential benefits of Delta-8 use include:
- Potential pain relief
- Anxiety reduction
- Reducing nausea and vomiting
- Feelings of euphoria
You can learn more about Delta 8 v Delta 10 here.
Delta-9 is the main psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants and the chemical THC is most abundantly found here. While there are different types of THC, the term usually refers to Delta-9. This makes this particular cannabinoid responsible for the euphoric feeling or high sensation from cannabis as it binds with the cannabinoid receptors in the body. The THC content triggers the brain to release large amounts of the mood-enhancing chemical, dopamine.
Delta-9 is most commonly smoked, vaped, consumed as edibles such as gummies, cookies or in infused beverages, as well as used topically. Studies have also found it to be effective for medical purposes. Some of the potential medical benefits of Delta-9 include:
- Cancer and chemotherapy
- Chronic pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle tremors and seizures
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Autoimmune diseases
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Sleep disorder
- Memory and brain cell growth
Delta-10 is a cannabinoid found in trace amounts in the cannabis plant. It is typically derived from the hemp plant and can be synthetically produced in a lab. Weaker than Delta-8, it produces a mild high which is far less intense than its other two cousins.
Since it is a hemp-based THC that does not produce a strong high, Delta-10 is legal in all 50 states. Most people use it to help reduce stress, anxiety and tension rather than getting high and it is commonly used in states which have not legalized medical marijuana.
As this article shows, there are many benefits offered by Delta-8, 9 and 10 which can be effective for treating mental health problems and chronic medical conditions.