Delta THC refers to a set of related cannabinoids, with slightly different molecular structures, found in marijuana and hemp plants. Some of the most common isomers of Delta THC include Delta 8 THC, Delta 9 THC, and Delta 10 THC. While Delta 9 THC is the most common and well-known isomer, Delta 8 and Delta 10 THC are gaining prominence due to their distinct effects and strengths. Delta 8 THC is commonly substituted for Delta 9 in jurisdictions where Delta 9 THC is outlawed or restricted.
Other cannabinoids, such as THC-O, THC-P, THCV, THCh, THCjd, HHC, and HHC-O, are also found in cannabis plants or synthesized from other Delta THC isomers. These compounds are available to THC consumers in many locations and may be used as alternatives to the more popular Delta THC isomers.
Cannabinoids are a group of naturally occurring compounds found in the cannabis plant. Among these, tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol are two of the most well-known and studied cannabinoids. While they are often mentioned together, THC and CBD have distinct properties and effects that differentiate them.
THC is the primary psychoactive compound of cannabis, which produces the characteristic "high" associated with marijuana use, whereas CBD is non-psychoactive and does not produce a "high" in the same way as THC. Also, THC and CBD interact differently with the body's endocannabinoid system, which regulates various physiological processes such as pain, mood, and appetite. THC binds strongly to the CB1 receptors in the brain, while CBD has a weaker affinity for these receptors. THC also produces side effects such as anxiety, paranoia, and impaired coordination, particularly at high doses.
Both THC and CBD can be found in both hemp and marijuana, but in different concentrations. Hemp is defined as cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC by dry weight and is typically higher in CBD than marijuana. Marijuana, on the other hand, is cannabis containing more than 0.3% THC by dry weight and is typically higher in THC than CBD.
THC and CBD have different potential uses and benefits based on their unique properties and effects. THC has therapeutic applications in treating conditions such as chronic pain, nausea and vomiting, and glaucoma, as well as improving appetite and reducing anxiety. However, the psychoactive effects of the compound can limit its usefulness for some patients. CBD, on the other hand, has been studied for its potential use in treating conditions such as epilepsy, anxiety, inflammation, and chronic pain. It also has neuroprotective properties and potential applications in treating neurodegenerative diseases.
THC can show up on a drug test, and the period over which it may be detected in the body depends on various factors, including the amount and frequency of use, the sensitivity of the test, and the individual's metabolism. CBD is unlikely to show up on a drug test, although some products contain trace amounts of THC which may cause the users’ drug tests to return positives.
Delta 8 THC is a minor cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant that can produce psychotropic effects similar to Delta 9 THC. Delta 8 THC use may cause side effects such as anxiety and paranoia but on a milder scale than Delta 9. It may also have potential therapeutic benefits, such as anti-inflammatory properties, although more research is needed to understand any potential medical benefits.
Delta 8 THC is less potent than Delta 9 THC, but its effects can vary depending on the dose and frequency of use. Delta 8 THC can produce side effects such as dry mouth, red eyes, and increased heart rate. Delta 8 THC may show up on a drug test, as it can be detected in urine and blood for up to 48 hours after use, but its detection in saliva and hair samples may occur several days and weeks after use.
The federal Farm Bill of 2018 legalized all hemp-derived products, including Delta 8 THC products, as long as such products do not contain more than 0.3% Delta 9 THC. However, while the Commonwealth of Virginia also approves hemp-derived Delta 8 THC, it bans the sale of Delta 8 edibles and drinks. Residents can purchase Delta 8 THC in tinctures, oils, vapes, and other non-edible Delta 8 THC products.
Virginians can readily purchase approved Delta 8 product types from hemp shops, CBD stores, head shops, and other local stores. They can also order Farm Bill-compliant Delta 8 products (except edibles and drinks) from online retailers outside Virginia for delivery to their locations in the Commonwealth.
Delta 9 THC is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid in the cannabis plant, which produces the characteristic "high" associated with marijuana use, and its effects can include altered perceptions, euphoria, and relaxation. Delta 9 THC can be detected in urine and blood for up to 72 hours after use and in hair and saliva for weeks to months.
Although generally considered safe, Delta 9 THC can produce side effects such as impaired coordination, increased heart rate, and anxiety or paranoia, particularly in high doses or individuals with certain medical conditions.
Although House Bill 2312 legalizes recreational cannabis, and by effect marijuana-derived Delta 9 THC in Virginia, sales are yet to kick off in the state officially. Hence, while Delta 9 THC is legal, it cannot yet be purchased legally in Virginia. Recreational Delta 9 THC sales are not expected to begin until 2024. However, patients with intractable epilepsy may be able to obtain approval to purchase marijuana-derived Delta 9 THC to treat their condition under HB 1251.
Hemp-derived Delta 9 THC products that are non-edibles and non-drinks may also be purchased at local convenience stores and hemp shops. Delta 9 THC oils permitted for patients with intractable epilepsy are also legally available at licensed pharmaceutical processors in the state. Hemp-derived Delta 9 THC products may be shipped across state lines into Virginia, provided they are not edibles or drinks and have their Delta 9 THC concentrations below 0.3%. Shipping marijuana-derived Delta 9 THC across state lines into Virginia is illegal.
Delta 10 THC is a minor cannabinoid available in cannabis plants that is structurally similar to Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC, but its potency and effects are not well understood due to limited research. Anecdotal reports suggest the compound offers energizing effects and can get users high but is much less potent in comparison to Delta 9 THC. It is a safe compound to consume, but many Delta 10 THC products in the market have impurities due to the chemicals added during their extraction processes.
As with Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC, Delta 10 THC may show up on a drug test, but more research is needed to determine its detection window in various bodily fluids.
Virginia restricts all THC isomers derived from hemp, including Delta 10. In accordance with the revisions to Virginia’s House Bill 30 and the wording in the Virginia Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services (VDACS) ruling, it is illegal to sell, distribute, or produce edibles and drinks containing chemically synthesized cannabinoids, such as Delta 10. However, residents can buy Delta 10 vapes, oils, and tinctures at hemp shops, head shops, and local convenience stores. These forms of Delta 10 THC products can also be shipped across state lines into Virginia.