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What is Delta-3 THC?

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In recent years, the market for alternative THC products has gone from nonexistent to a booming, thriving industry. Tinctures, edibles, vape carts, and even whole flowers based on Delta 8 and Delta 10 THC are widespread, opening up new avenues and making THC more accessible to a wider demographic.

With the potential of these “new THCs” in mind, inevitably, other THC isomers would become available and offer different effects to the early adopters. Say hello to Delta 3 THC!

As a variant of THC completely unknown to the vast majority of users today, Delta 3 is shrouded in mystery. Vague claims and exaggerated myths abound concerning its effects—think about the discourse on Delta 8 just five years ago!

Because of this, today we talk about Delta 3 THC and what the future holds for this exciting new isomer. Read on for more!

Key Takeaways

  • Delta-3 THC is a semi-synthetic THC isomer, also known as Delta 6a10a.
  • Since Delta-3 has the same chemical composition as Delta 8 and 9, its effects and potential benefits could also be similar.
  • Current research indicates that Delta-3 THC poses the same side effects as Delta-9, though to a lesser extent due to its lower potency.

What is Delta-3 THC?

Delta-3 THC is a lesser-known cannabinoid that occurs in trace amounts in some cannabis strains. Delta 3 is one more isomer of the Delta family, quite similar to Delta-9 THC, the main psychoactive component of cannabis, but it has a slightly different chemical structure.

Although Delta 3 is a new cannabinoid to many cannabis users worldwide, the scientific community has known of its existence for over 80 years. Delta-3 THC is a semi-synthetic THC isomer discovered in the 1940s as researchers sought to produce the naturally occurring Delta-8 and Delta-9 synthetically.

The chemical structure of Delta 3 has two ways of relating to our endocannabinoid system. In so doing, it generates effects similar to those of Delta-9 but milder. Consequently, the effects of Delta 3 are much more subtle than those of regular Delta 8 and 9.

Delta-3 THC Effects

If you are familiar with Delta-8 THC, you’ll know that its effects feel similar to those of conventional Delta 9, albeit milder. Also, these effects are more physical than mental. In turn, Delta-10 THC is slightly less potent than Delta 8, and in low doses, it exhibits little to no psychoactivity at all. So how does Delta 3 compare?

Unlike Delta 8 and 9, Delta 3 isn’t a natural isomer found in cannabis, nor is it produced via decarboxylation. It’s a purely synthetic substance.

Delta 3 is a byproduct of experimental studies that sought to make Delta 8. From a structural perspective, it is similar to Delta 9, but its chemical bonds are arranged slightly differently. This means that Delta 3 interacts with the brain somewhat differently, and research suggests that it is less potent than Delta 9.

However, at the moment, there isn’t enough experimental data to confirm whether Delta 3 is more or less potent than Delta 8 or Delta 10 THC. We know for sure that it is fundamentally similar enough to Delta 9 to cause the same kind of psychoactive high.

Delta 3 Potential Benefits

Studies on Delta 3 and its potential benefits are limited. But since it has a near-similar chemical composition to Delta 8 and 9, it is possible that its effects and possible benefits could also be similar. Some of the potential benefits of Delta 3 suggested by existing data and anecdotal user reports include:

  • Analgesic: Like other cannabinoids, Delta 3 may have analgesic properties, which means it may relieve pain. Delta 3 appears to interact with the body's endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in pain regulation, similar to Delta 9 and other THC isomers.
  • Anti-inflammatory: Delta 3 may have anti-inflammatory properties, which could be useful in managing some inflammatory conditions. 
  • Appetite Stimulation: Like other psychoactive cannabinoids, Delta 3 may stimulate the appetite, which could be helpful for people experiencing difficulty eating due to medical conditions such as chemotherapy.
  • Potential anti-anxiety and antidepressant: Delta 3 may have mood-regulating effects and may be potentially helpful in managing anxiety and depression.

Despite these suggested benefits, more research is needed to better understand the potential benefits and risks of this novel cannabinoid.

Additionally, it is important to note that Delta-3 THC occurs naturally in only trace amounts and that commercial Delta 3 is generally synthesized in laboratories from other cannabinoids and is rarely used as a stand-alone product.

Therefore, its effects and potential benefits may vary when combined with other THC isomers or cannabinoids, such as CBD.

Is Delta 6a10a the same as Delta 3?

Yes, Delta 6a10a is another name for Delta 3. When you google Delta 3, you often find information related to Delta 6a10a. Given the complex name of this cannabis compound, many people may still wonder what exactly Delta 6a10a is.

Simply put, Delta 6a10a is another name for Delta 3. Other names given to this semi-synthetic isomer of THC are Delta-3 tetrahydrocannabinol, Delta-3 THC, Δ3-THC, and Δ6a(10a)-THC. 

Nevertheless, the short time this cannabinoid has been on the cannabis market and the little information about it translates into a lot of confusion among users about everything related to it.

Additionally, recent experimentation with Delta 6a10a or Delta 3 led to the discovery of new polyhydroxylated structures derived from Delta 6a10a and the identification of trans-delta-9-6a10a and two of its metabolites.

Data also shows that microbiological transformation of Delta 3 caused by bacteria and fungi can result in more Delta 6a10a THC-derived compounds, adding layers of new information to discover with this already mysterious compound. 

The legal status of THC products has always been a minefield to navigate. Delta 9 is almost illegal in many US states, not to mention being a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. However, other THC isomers are treated differently.

Since the 2018 Farm Bill, Delta 8 and Delta 10 products made from CBD are classified as hemp-derived products. In principle, this allows for their sale and distribution even in places where Delta 9 would be illegal.

However, to make matters even more complicated, some states have now enacted legislation specifically meant to curb consumption of Delta 8 and, in some cases, Delta 10 THC products as well. While there aren’t any laws on Delta 3 THC, this situation could change at any moment.

Is Delta-3 THC Safe?

Current research indicates that Delta 3 could pose the same side effects and risks as Delta 9, though to a lesser extent due to its lower potency. Delta 3’s (R) enantiomer is way less potent than Delta 9, suggesting that some of Delta 9’s side effects, such as paranoia or delusional thinking, might be absent in Delta 3.

Does Delta-3 THC Get You High?

In theory, Delta-3 THC should make you somewhat high, like Delta 9. Again, how this plays out in practice has not been established yet.

Moreover, Delta 3 might have negative side effects that researchers haven’t managed to establish yet. Therefore, users should treat Delta 3 as an experimental substance and only consume it with due diligence.

Delta-3 THC Strains

Delta-3 THC requires a lengthy and very particular chemical process for proper synthesis. Because of that, we currently aren’t aware of any mass-produced Delta-3 THC strains. As Delta 8 and Delta 10 showed in the past few years, this could change at any moment, so stay tuned for what the future might bring!

Delta-3-Carene Terpene

Researching Delta 3, you might find some information on something called the delta-3-Carene terpene. Delta-3-carene bears no relationship to Delta 3 in any real way. Moreover, Delta 3 does not contain more delta-3-carene than other THC products. So, what is it?

While delta-3-carene isn’t related to Delta 3, it does have some very interesting traits of its own. For simplicity, we will refer to it by its alternative name, Alpha Carene.

Alpha-carene is unique among the hundreds of terpenes found in cannabis in that it has one curious superpower: it is extremely powerful when it comes to repairing damaged bones.

Other terpenes have been shown to fight bodily inflammation, assist the immune system, and provide other health benefits, some of which alpha-carene seems to have. For instance, alpha-carene appears to strengthen and repair the skeletal structure.

Final Thoughts: What is Delta 3?

Delta 3 is making inroads into the cannabis market. It is a novel cannabinoid with the potential to become the favorite of many enthusiastic users, especially those who want subtle psychoactive effects.

It is also an excellent alternative for users looking for cannabinoids that can provide similar benefits to traditional THC but with milder and more subtle effects. Nonetheless, more research is needed to unravel the potential benefits and risks of Delta 3.

Although existing data suggests that this new compound could have analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, and antidepressant properties, it is still too early to confirm such claims.

The good news, though, is that we have suitable alternatives for Delta 3. What's more, these ones are well studied and better understood. So, if you're on the lookout for THC effects, check out our Delta 8 flowers, Delta 10 vapes, and even HHC vapes for you to explore the full potential of cannabis.

Our blog has more on terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids like Delta-11 THC. Check it out!

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