Delta-9-THC, is the most common form of THC found on the market. This cannabinoid is responsible for the well-known psychoactive effects of weed on the human brain. As the cannabis market expands and starts to gain the approval of some states in the U.S, many other cannabinoids have been studied to have a better understanding on how the cannabis plant is composed. Among these newly discovered compounds, none of them is as mysterious as delta-10-THC.
Some of the best things in life are discovered by accident. This is the case of delta-10-tetrahydrocannabinol, an isomer that is now getting the attention of scientists due to its rare chemical structure.
What is Delta-10-THC?
Fusion Farms, a California cannabis company, purchased some outdoor-grown cannabis in order to produce concentrates and oils. As you may know, California is often subject to wildfires, scorching the earth and many plantations around, including cannabis crops. Although unaware at the time, Fusion Farms had purchased cannabis biomass contaminated with fire retardant.
After extracting the cannabis biomass and distilling the extract, unusual crystals formed in the distillate. This came as a surprise for everyone, since they didn’t look like any other cannabinoid crystal structure encountered before. After running analysis, these crystals were said to be CBC, but it wasn’t an exact match. With the help of a licensed testing facility, they obtained data to compare with all other known cannabinoid reference standards. However, a match wasn’t found, and for several months no conclusion could be reached.
Turns out, delta-10-THC was formed thanks to the fire retardant used to control the wildfires. Ever since, laboratories have started to produce higher volumes of delta-10-THC through “greener” methods to discover the possibilities this mysterious cannabinoid has to offer. For instance, the use of several food-grade additives act as a catalyst to create delta-10-THC from delta-9-THC, but not in high yields. After some studies, including catalytic amounts of a food-grade radical initiator, along with some other components to stabilize the reactivity of radicals, provided a 75-80% yield of delta-10-THC.
Since it is a different form of THC, cannabinoid known for its psychoactive effects, delta-10- THC does have the same psychoactive effects of the common THC we know. However, a study on pigeons showed that the “high” produced by delta-10-THC are not as potent as those of delta-9-THC.
As of now, there is almost no information about the potential effects of delta-10-THC. Due to the strict regulations on cannabis, only the states where marijuana is legal have managed to perform studies on this cannabinoid. Moreover, 3Chi, a hemp company known for producing extracts from cannabinoids such as delta-8-THC, CBD, CBC and CBN, has started to experiment with delta-10-THC.
As cannabis starts to be accepted by society, researchers, farmers and companies altogether are trying to explore the numerous possibilities this plant provides as an alternative to pharmaceutics. If studies on delta-10-THC keep being performed, we can expect interesting results that will shed some light onto the potential benefits this rare cannabinoid could provide our body with.