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Cannabis Column | June 21, 2022

What is Delta-10-THC?

Are you looking for answers to the question, "what is delta-10-THC?"

Delta-10-THC is starting to gain popularity. But what is delta-10-THC? And is delta-10 stronger than delta-8-THC? Is delta-10 safe? And if you are subject to drug testing - does delta-10 have THC? Will delta-10 test positive? In this article, we will answer all these questions and more. 

If you're ready to learn about delta-10-THC, keep reading!

What is delta-10?

Delta-10-Tetrahydrocannabinol, also referred to as delta-10, is a little-known cannabinoid found in cannabis. Unlike the cannabinoids THC and CBD, delta-10 is not found in abundance in the cannabis plant.

Delta-10-THC has a very similar structure to delta-9-THC, except delta-10 has a double bond on the 10th carbon chain. This double bond results in mild uplifting cognitive effects that some people describe as "mood-boosting."

Is delta-10 synthetic?

Delta-10 can naturally be found in cannabis, in very small amounts, or it can be synthesized in a lab. Due to the intense efforts required to extract naturally occurring delta-10 from cannabis, it is typically made in a lab.

Additionally, many companies produce delta-10 products from legal hemp plants, allowing the sale of delta-10 products in states without recreational cannabis laws. 

How is Delta-10 made?

Raphael Mechoulam, an Israeli organic chemist who is also known as the "Godfather of modern cannabis," discovered delta-10 in his lab. His extraction methodology used chemicals that resulted in him deeming delta-10 unsafe for consumption.

The re-discovery of delta-10 occurred when THC distillate was being extracted from cannabis that had been contaminated with a wildfire flame retardant.

During the extraction process, crystals formed. These crystals were originally misidentified as the CBC and CBL, and then after months of research correctly identified as delta-10-THC.

Organic chemist, Joshua Jones, Ph.D., used information from the serendipitous re-discovery of delta-10-THC to create a safer and more consistent method of converting delta-9 into delta-10. 

Today, delta-10 is made using a conversion process called isomerization. It is a process slightly more intensive than the one used to create synthesized delta-8 from legal hemp. The added effort to extract delta-10 is reflected in the lack of abundance of delta-10 products and their pricing.

Is Delta-10 stronger than Delta-8?

Now that you know what delta-10 is, let's answer the question "Is delta-10 stronger than delta-8?" Simply put, no. Of the two, delta-8 is more potent or stronger than delta-10. 

Does Delta-10 get you high?

Delta-10 does get you high, however the high is reported to be different from the delta-8 high or a delta-9-THC high. While there is minimal research, it is thought that delta-10 has a stronger affinity to CB2 receptors and a weaker affinity to CB1 receptors, resulting in less potent intoxicating effects. The primary intoxicating effects of THC are exerted through the CB1 receptor. If you want to understand how cannabis and your endocannabinoid system interact, check out your unique endocannabinoid system

Consumers of delta-10 report the high is similar to consuming an energizing and uplifting cannabis product, like a Sativa-type strain. In contrast, consuming delta-8 is said to be similar to consuming an Indica strain as it has sedating and relaxing effects.

Is Delta-10 safe?

Delta-10 is most commonly synthesized from hemp with less than 0.3% THC as such it falls under the 2018 Farm Bill and is legal in all states except:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah

To date, no formal research has been conducted on the long-term effects of consuming Delta-10.

Delta-10 is synthesized using an involved extraction process. Whether or not it's safe depends on the quality of the product you are consuming. It is a good idea to only consume delta-10 that has been lab-tested. 

Suggested delta-10-THC dosing is as follows:

  • 10 - 20 mg for new consumers
  • 21 - 50 mg for moderate consumers
  • 51 - 100 mg for experienced consumers

Does delta-10 have THC?

Delta-10 is a legal(ish) analog to Delta-9-THC. While delta-10 is similar in molecular structure to delta-9-THC, delta-9 and delta-10 are different molecules. So, does delta-10 have THC? No, delta-10 does not have any THC, because delta-9-THC is a different compound to delta-10. Most people who are wondering, "does delta-10 have THC?" are also wondering whether using delta-10 will cause a positive drug test result for cannabis. While delta-10 is completely free of THC, a drug test doesn’t test you for delta-9-THC, but rather a metabolite produced when your body metabolizes THC.

Will delta-10 test positive on drug test? Will delta-10 fail a drug test?

If you ingest delta-10-THC, you will test positive for cannabis. While the two compounds are different, delta-10 will cause a positive drug test for THC. If you are drug tested for cannabis, you should know how long weed stays in your system

As for why delta-10 will cause you to fail a drug test, THC drug tests do not differentiate between the isomers in delta-8, delta-9, and delta-10. THC drug tests only look for THC metabolites that are produced when any of these analogs of THC are ingested and metabolized in the body. 

So even if you only consume delta-10-THC bought legally in your state, a drug test can show a false positive for the consumption of delta-9-THC. It is advised not to consume delta-10-THC if you have to take drug test.

Key takeaways for delta-10-THC 

1. Delta-10 is a legal(ish) analog to delta-9-THC.

2. Delta-10 is less potent than delta-8 and has different effects.

3. No long-term research has been conducted on the effects and safety of delta-10.

4. Delta-10 should only be consumed if it has been lab-tested.

5. THC drug tests do not differentiate between isomers, so consuming delta-10 can produce a false positive for cannabis.

Get started on your cannabis wellness journey

Have you started your cannabis wellness journey? Jointly is a new cannabis wellness app that helps you discover purposeful cannabis consumption so you can achieve your wellness goals with cannabis and CBD. On the Jointly app, you can find new cannabis products, rate products based on how well they helped you achieve your goals, and track and optimize 15 factors that can impact your cannabis experience. These 15 factors include your dose, the environment in which you consume cannabis, who you are with when you ingest, how hydrated you are, the quality of your diet, how much sleep you got last night, and more. Download the Jointly app on the App Store or the Google Play Store to get started on your cannabis wellness journey.

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