Since people started using cannabis, there has always been something called delta-9 THC in it. Delta-9 THC is a special chemical found a lot in the flowering parts and resin of the cannabis plant. It’s famous for making people feel high and has some health benefits too.

But, it’s been hard for people to legally get delta-9 THC. Even though it’s been used in medicine and recreationally, it’s faced a lot of legal problems.

But, scientists have been studying it more, and they’ve found that it can help people’s health in different ways. It’s been used in medicine since the 19th century, then it was banned for a while, and now it’s being used again, especially in treating people who are getting chemotherapy.

So, the big question is: What exactly is delta-9 THC? That’s what we’re going to explore.

What Is Delta-9 THC?

Delta-9 THC is the main chemical in cannabis that makes people feel high. It’s what gives cannabis its psychoactive effects. When you use cannabis, delta-9 THC attaches to certain receptors in your brain, which makes you feel different sensations. These receptors are called CB1 receptors.

Delta-9 THC is made in tiny structures called trichomes on the cannabis plant. It’s found in both hemp and marijuana, but the amount can vary depending on the type of plant and how it’s grown. In hemp, it’s usually in lower amounts, while in marijuana, it’s higher.

Using delta-9 THC can make you feel euphoric, relaxed, and more aware of time passing. It can also make you want to eat more. Along with these mental effects, it can also cause physical changes like dry mouth, red eyes, a faster heartbeat, and slower reaction times. Some people enjoy these effects, while others don’t like how they feel after using marijuana.

History of THC

Cannabis has been around for thousands of years and has been used in China for various purposes like food, making clothes, and medicine. It eventually spread to Europe and then to the Americas, where it was used for both fun and religious ceremonies.

In what is now the United States, cannabis was first grown in the 1600s mainly for making clothes and sometimes even used as money. People also started using it for medical reasons, but its recreational use started growing in popularity during the 1930s and 1940s.

During this time, there were campaigns against using drugs, including cannabis. In 1936, a movie called “Reefer Madness” portrayed marijuana as a dangerous drug that could cause mental illness, violence, and even suicide.

In 1970, the government passed the Controlled Substances Act, which made marijuana a Schedule I drug. This meant that it was considered highly likely to be abused and made it illegal at the federal level. The government also started a “war on drugs” during the 1970s, which led to many people being put in jail for having or using marijuana.

It’s been observed that laws against marijuana affect people of color more than others. Even though people of all races use drugs at similar rates, Black and Latinx people are more likely to be arrested and put in jail for drug-related crimes.

How Do Manufacturers Produce Hemp-Derived Delta-9 THC?

Manufacturers produce hemp-derived Delta-9 THC in two main ways.

One method is called “isomerization.” This process involves turning hemp-derived CBD into Delta-9 THC using some chemical processes. It’s similar to how manufacturers make other THC variations like Delta 8 and Delta-10. Delta-9 THC made this way is called hemp-derived, not hemp-extracted. Some people worry that isomerization might break the law because it changes the cannabinoids from their original form. While fully synthetic cannabinoids are illegal, it’s uncertain if this law applies to hemp-derived isomers.

Another way is by extracting natural Delta-9 THC from hemp. This can happen during the distillation of other cannabinoids like CBD. This method is appealing because it doesn’t involve changing other cannabinoids. With this method, Delta-9 remains in its original form, which helps avoid legal issues. This method is called hemp-extracted THC Delta-9 since it literally extracts Delta-9 from hemp.

Until the DEA clarifies, both methods are considered legal for producing hemp Delta-9. Both ways are safe if the brand tests its products to ensure potency and remove any leftover solvents.

Delta-9 Potential Benefits

Delta-9 THC is thought to offer several potential benefits:

  • Pain Relief: Many people use delta-9 THC to relieve pain. Some studies suggest that it could be an effective alternative to other pain medications, particularly for those who want to reduce their use of opioids.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Inflammation is common in autoimmune disorders where chronic pain occurs. Delta-9 THC might help reduce inflammation, which could be helpful for conditions like arthritis.
  • Mood Support: The body’s endocannabinoid system helps regulate various functions, including mood. Delta-9 THC may positively affect mood and help people manage stress, depression, and nervousness. However, it’s not a substitute for traditional mental health treatments and may even worsen symptoms in some cases.
  • Other Potential Benefits: Delta-9 THC is one of the cannabinoids that researchers have studied extensively. However, more research is needed to fully understand its effects and whether it consistently provides benefits.

The Side Effects of Delta 9

Delta-9 THC, while useful for many, can also have side effects that users should be aware of. It’s important to handle delta-9 THC and similar substances with care and avoid activities like operating heavy machinery while under its influence.

On a cognitive level, delta-9 THC might affect the user’s ability to perceive time intervals or distances accurately, leading to delayed understanding or confusion. Physically, it can cause sedation, muscle relaxation, and reduced coordination. Common side effects include red eyes, dry mouth, and increased appetite.

Did you know? The World Health Organization suggests that delta-9 THC should be rescheduled to a Schedule IV drug because it’s not considered a significant long-term health risk and has limited potential for abuse.

Delta-9 THC side effects include:

  • Cognitive distortion
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Decreased coordination
  • Paranoia
  • Red eyes
  • Dry mouth

It’s essential to be aware of these side effects and use delta-9 THC responsibly. If you experience any adverse effects, it’s wise to consult with a healthcare professional.

What’s The Difference Between Delta-8 and Delta-9?

Delta-8 and Delta-9 are both types of THC, but they have differences in their molecular structure, concentration in cannabis plants, and effects.

Delta-9 THC gets its name from having a double bond on the 9th carbon atom, while delta-8 THC has its double bond on the 8th carbon atom. Delta-9 THC is much more common in cannabis plants compared to delta-8 THC.

Delta-9 THC is found in higher concentrations, making up to 0.3% of THC in hemp plants and sometimes more than 25% in marijuana plants. On the other hand, delta-8 THC is only present in very small amounts, usually around 0.1% in cannabis plants. This makes it difficult to extract delta-8 THC economically.

Both delta-8 and delta-9 THC are psychoactive cannabinoids that can induce relaxation and euphoria. They may also offer therapeutic benefits like pain relief, anti-nausea effects, and anti-inflammatory properties. However, delta-9 THC is generally stronger, up to five times more potent, and may have more adverse effects compared to delta-8 products.

Is Delta-9 The Same as CBD?

Delta-9 THC and CBD are both major cannabinoids found in cannabis plants, and they offer various health benefits. However, they have differences in their effects and how they interact with the body.

The main distinction is that delta-9 THC is psychoactive, meaning it can alter your mind and produce a “high,” while CBD does not have psychoactive effects. CBD is generally better tolerated because it doesn’t impair cognitive or physical function like delta-9 THC.

Delta-9 THC binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body, leading to its strong effects on the mind and body. In contrast, CBD doesn’t directly interact with these receptors but instead works indirectly within the endocannabinoid system to support its function and prevent the breakdown of natural endocannabinoids.

The discussion about the therapeutic benefits and potential side effects of CBD and THC continues among researchers and healthcare professionals. Some users report relief from various medical conditions with both cannabinoids.

CBD acts as a negative allosteric receptor modulator, which means it can reduce the intoxicating effects of THC while still providing similar benefits for mood, sleep, pain management, and more, although typically in a gentler way.

Final Word

Delta-9 THC has played a significant role in history and has been closely tied to advancements in science and medicine. However, its intoxicating effects have often led to misunderstandings and overshadowed its therapeutic potential.

Thankfully, ongoing research and successful efforts to reintegrate delta-9 THC for medical purposes, along with progressive legalization in some states, have helped change attitudes toward this cannabinoid. There is now a more respectful understanding of delta-9 THC and its potential benefits in medicine and wellness.