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What Are THC Isomers?

Sep, 2022
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THC, the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, exists in many variations. Some variations of the cannabinoid naturally occur at low concentrations within the cannabis plant, while others – like traditional delta-9 THC – are abundant.

So how can you get higher amounts of low-concentration THC variants, like delta-8 or delta-10? What if you want to feel the effects of low-concentration cannabinoids? It’s simple: you chemically convert cannabis compounds to create these THC variants, also known as THC isomers.

What are THC isomers? Are they safe? Elevate Holistics has your back. Here, we’ll explain what isomers of THC are, overview the different THC variants, and explore THC isomers legality.

What Are Thc Isomers

So, What Are THC Isomers?

First off, what are THC isomers? THC isomers are compounds with the same chemical formula as THC but a different arrangement of atoms.

In the cannabis world, a THC isomer generally refers to a THC variant that manufacturers have chemically modified to produce in higher concentrations. These variants, like delta-8 and delta-10, have the same chemical formula as delta-9 THC but with a different atomic structure. 

How Do Professionals Make THC Isomers?

For THC variants like delta-8 and delta-10 that exist at low concentrations in the cannabis plant, manufacturers require extensive chemical processes to turn other cannabis compounds into these THC isomers. This chemical process is called isomerization.

Legally, isomerization involves chemically modifying hemp-derived CBD. So how are THC isomers like delta-8 and delta-10 THC made from CBD?

  • Manufacturers isolate CBD from hemp using solvent or CO2 extraction.
  • Manufacturers use acids to convert the extracted CBD into a THC variant by rearranging the molecules through the formation of new chemical bonds.
  • After rearranging the molecules, another compound, like delta-8 or delta-10, is formed.

Are THC and CBD isomers? CBD has the same molecular formula as THC, just arranged differently. Therefore, they are considered isomers.

THC Variants and Their Effects

Now, let’s get into the activities of different isomers of THC. Also known as THC variants, these compounds produce various effects when consumed. While different marijuana compounds affect people differently, there is a consensus (and science) behind what each THC variant does.

So what are the most popular THC variants and what are their effects?

Delta-8

Delta-8 THC is naturally derived from cannabis plants and is a chemical analog of delta-9 THC. The cannabinoid is slightly structurally different from delta-9 and has a lower affinity for CB1 receptors, making it less psychoactive (approximately two-thirds as potent) than delta-9 THC.

What Are Thc Isomers

Studies suggest that delta-8 consumers experience relaxation, euphoria, pain relief, and reduced inflammation. Delta-8 may provide many therapeutic benefits of traditional THC without the unwanted effects. In one study, a participant described delta-8 THC as “delta 9’s nicer younger sibling.” 

Compared to delta-9 THC, delta-8 is less likely to cause anxiety or paranoia. 

Delta-9

Delta-9 THC is the traditional THC variant found in abundance in the cannabis plant. Basically, delta-9 is what gets you high in classic cannabis products. Delta-9 binds with CB1 receptors and is more potent than THC variants like delta-8 and delta-10.

Delta-9 has antiemetic, appetite stimulation, and analgesic properties. This means that it’s used as a treatment for nausea, boosting appetite, and chronic pain. Delta-9 also helps treat seizures, glaucoma, PTSD, and more. In patients with anxiety or depression, delta-9 may worsen the symptoms of these ailments.

While delta-9 has been the most researched THC variant, other THC variants may provide the same therapeutic benefits.

LEARN MORE: How Is It Legal to Buy Delta-9 Products Online?

Delta-10

Professionals naturally derive delta-10 THC from cannabis plants and is a chemical analog of delta-9 THC. This cannabinoid has less affinity for CB1 receptors than delta-8, making it less psychoactive than delta-8. However, delta-10 still produces mild psychoactive and euphoric effects.

Consumers find delta-10 to provide an uplifting, “daytime” high. Delta-10 consumers report stress-relieving effects, a sense of calm, and boosts of energy and motivation. 

If you are interested in a mild high or suffer from mental health ailments like anxiety and depression, delta-10 might be the best THC option for you.

Are THC Isomers Safe?

Any potential risks concerning THC isomers don't come from the cannabinoid itself. Potential risks come from the additives and contaminants that join the product in the manufacturing process.

If you are interested in buying THC isomers like delta-8 and delta-10, look for credible retailers that provide third-party testing. When consumers purchase products online or in unlicensed stores, these products are more likely to be contaminated or untested.

Where can you buy THC isomers? Also, where are THC isomers legal?

Let’s go over THC isomers legality. The 2018 Farm Bill indirectly legalized the sale of hemp-derived THC isomers, making them widely accessible. 

Unlike traditional delta-9 THC which is federally illegal, THC isomers are legal in most US states – except the states that have made specific laws to prohibit them. 

What Are Thc Isomers

In other words, the legality of THC isomers depends on two factors:

  • If THC isomers like delta-8 or delta-10 are hemp-derived, they are federally legal. Hemp refers to cannabis containing 0.3% or less THC. THC isomers derived from any cannabis plant with more than 0.3% THC will only be legal in adult-use states.
  • Even if these THC variants are hemp-derived and federally legal, a state can make unique laws to prohibit THC isomers.

So where are THC isomers legal? What about THC isomers legality?

THC isomers, like delta-8, are currently legal in the following states:

  • Alabama 
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey 
  • North Carolina
  • New Mexico
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennslyvania
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennesee 
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
  • Washington D.C.

Is delta-8 legal in your state? Click here to learn more.

States are trying to keep up with the newfound legality of THC, so keep an eye on changing laws.

Elevate Your Weed Game

Are you interested in legal, third-party-tested cannabis products? The safest bet is always to purchase medical marijuana products from your local dispensary. So how can you do that? If you live in an MMJ state, you’ll need your medical marijuana card.

Luckily, MMJ cards are our specialty here at Elevate Holistics. With our hassle-free, straightforward process to get medical marijuana certification, you’ll be in a dispensary in no time. 

How does it work? Our process is 100% online and secure. After booking your appointment and filling out your forms, we’ll connect you with a certified doctor via video chat for MMJ approval. 

You deserve to feel better naturally. Book an appointment with Elevate Holistics to get your medical marijuana card.