What is Delta-9-THC?
What is Delta-9-THC in weed?
Delta-9-THC or Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. Delta-9-THC is the compound responsible for the euphoria and psychoactive effects of cannabis.
Humans have cultivated cannabis to have high levels of THC for thousands of years. As we discussed in Ancient Cultures That Got High, a 2,400-year-old shaman was found in Xinjiang, China with nearly two pounds of cannabis flower. Researchers determined that the cannabis came from numerous plants that had been bred to have high levels of THC and low levels of CBD, just like weed today.
In the modern era, Delta-9-THC can be consumed through fresh cannabis flower, eaten in Delta-9 gummies, vaped in Delta-9-THC “carts” or cartridges, or taken sublingually as THC oil. Some of these products will have CBD, terpenes, or other cannabinoids, but most of the intoxicating effects come from THC.
Scientists hypothesize that cannabis produces cannabinoids like Delta-9-THC and THCa as a defense against predators. An animal that eats cannabis might become disoriented and be deterred from eating it in the future.
What is THCa? THC Vs. THCa
THCa stands for tetrahydrocannabinolic acid. It is the non-intoxicating precursor to Delta-9-THC that is found in fresh, raw cannabis. Recent research indicates that THCa may be a promising medical compound. Many people believe that fresh cannabis juice, rich in THCa, is a superfood.
THCa converts into Delta-9-THC when it is exposed to heat and loses a carboxyl group. This process is called decarboxylation. When you make edibles, it is important to “decarb” your bud by converting the THCa to THC to increase the potency of your infusion. If you want to make tasteless weed infusions, check out our article How to Clean Your Cannabis with Chef Jeff.
While you can “decarb” your weed in a short period of time in a low temperature oven, over time THCa will convert to Delta-9-THC even at room temperature.
Scientists have a difficult time studying THCa because it is so unstable. Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, the chemist who discovered THC in 1964, wrote to a fellow scientist in 2017, “How can anybody do an experiment if the compound likes to convert into something else just by sitting around, and the ‘something else’ has all kinds of activities?”
What Does THC Feel Like?
Most people feel that the way they consume THC affects how it makes them feel. Some people love a controlled 5mg dose of Delta-9 gummies, while others prefer super concentrated doses of THC in weed moonrocks.
Purposeful cannabis consumption allows you to use THC to enhance various areas of your life from improving your sleep to stimulating your appetite. The reason why cannabis is such a versatile wellness tool is that THC and other cannabinoids interact with your endocannabinoid system, which helps maintain homeostasis in mood, sleep, appetite, stress response, and more.
Types of THC
If you enter a dispensary, you might see products labeled as Delta-9 gummies, Delta-9 edibles, Delta-10 cartridges, THCv cartridges, Delta-8 concentrates, Delta-8 cigarettes, Delta-8 terpenes, and more. What are these products? And what are the different types of THC?
To learn all about Delta-8-THC, check out our article What is Delta-8-THC? Delta-8-THC is an isomer of THC, meaning that it has the same chemical formula but a different structure. So, to jump straight to the important question, does Delta-8 get you high? Users report that Delta-8 produces similar psychoactive effects as Delta-9-THC, but that Delta-8 is less potent.
Is Delta-8 legal? Delta-8 exists in a legal grey area, but it is widely sold in states without recreational cannabis programs. For example, you can buy 1000mg packages of Delta-8 gummies at gas stations around the country.
Delta-10-THC is another isomer of THC that is purported to have more stimulating effects than Delta-9-THC. Like Delta-8-THC, Delta-10-THC exists in a legal grey area, allowing you to purchase items like Delta-10 cartridges at gas stations and head shops across the country.
What are THCv Cartridges
THCv cartridges are a relatively new product on the cannabis scene. THCv stands for tetrahydrocannabivarin, and it is a psychoactive cannabinoid with distinct effects from THC. Like THCa, there is an acidic form of THCv called THCva that must undergo decarboxylation to become THCv. While there is not much research into THCv, it has been shown to have some promising medical effects like reducing appetite.
You may find it surprising that THCv reduces appetite. Unlike THC, THCv is a CB1 antagonist similarly to CBD. As a result, it has the opposite effect on appetite as THC, which reliably stimulates appetite in animals with an endocannabinoid system.
While there aren’t many products that focus on this compound yet, you can expect to find more THCv distillates, THCv cartridges, and THCv isolate for sale in the coming years.
Finding Legal THC Products Near Me
Jointly is a cannabis wellness app that can help you find the best products for your goals. You can use the Product Finder feature to discover new products like Delta-8 cartridges, Delta-9 gummies, discreet edibles like breath mints that infused with THC, terpene-infused weed pens like Fiyaman carts, and more. When you look for a product on the Jointly app, you can also see how other Jointly users rated a product based on how well it helped them achieve their wellness goals.