THC is a significant psychoactive component found in the marijuana plant. When consumed, this compound binds to the CB2 and CB1 receptors in the user’s endocannabinoid system, making them feel high. THC isn’t a distinct compound with genetic attributes. Rather, it has multiple variations, each with a unique chemical analog. Outlined below is the ultimate guide to the types of THC and their benefits.
Delta-9 THC is the primary naturally-occurring intoxicating element of the cannabis plant. It integrates with terpenes plus other cannabis plant compounds to elicit various reactions in users. Delta-9 THC’s psychoactive property depends on its capacity to activate the CB1 receptors in the brain. It mimics the endocannabinoids that human bodies produce naturally. This means they also affect the brain functions they control, including memory and immune responses.
Delta-9 THC was FDA-approved in 1985 to cure chemotherapy-induced vomiting and nausea in cancer patients. In 1992, it was approved for stimulating appetite in HIV/ AIDS patients. Delta-9 THC also activates CB2 receptors, suppressing inflammation. This makes it quite effective for treating autoimmune diseases. While THC is federally illegal, it’s legal for medical and recreational use in some states. Before ordering D9 THC, ensure it’s legal in your state, and you’re of legal age.
Delta-8 THC is found in the cannabis sativa plant but in insignificant amounts. As such, more concentrated amounts are produced from hemp-derived CBD. Like delta-9 THC, delta-8 has intoxicating and psychoactive effects responsible for getting users high.
While some delta-9 users may claim that delta-8 THC’s high effect is milder, there isn’t sufficient medical evidence to prove this. This could be because delta-8 products may have a portion of delta-10 THC and delta-9 THC.
Since its psychoactive effects are less than delta-9’s, delta-8 THC is ideal for those who love enjoying marijuana’s effects but aren’t looking for an intense experience. In May 2022, delta-8 products were upheld as legal under the Farm Bill by a federal appeals court. This allowed the compound to be regulated, meaning purity, strength, and safety could be guaranteed. Consuming delta-8 THC offers the following benefits:
- A smooth psychoactive experience: Delta-8 THC is safe for anyone who doesn’t like the potent high that makes them paranoid or anxious
- Neuroprotection: Delta-8 THC’s possible neuroprotective properties are still under investigation, with preliminary studies suggesting that it can help promote new brain cell growth while safeguarding the existing ones
- Appetite boost: Delta-8 THC products come in handy for people who struggle with eating disorders and low appetite
- Digestive support: This compound can be used to manage vomiting and nausea. While delta-8 THC’s antiemetic properties are similar to delta-9’s, its paranoia and anxiety incidence is lower
- Pain relief: Delta-8 THC can help relieve inflammation and chronic pain common in arthritis, neuropathy, and other illnesses
Delta-8 THC also has potent relaxation effects that minimize stress and improve sleep patterns and focus.
Delta-10 THC is available in the marijuana plant but in trace quantities. As such, it’s extracted in laboratories using delta-9 THC or CBD oil. The delta-10 THC compound produced from these lab processes, known as isomerization, has strong psychoactive effects.
Delta-10 THC affects the user’s central nervous and endocannabinoid systems, activating the brain’s cannabinoid receptors to trigger mood changes. Delta-10 THC isn’t as potent as delta-9 and delta-8 THCs. While delta-10 THC still need a lot more research, some of its suggested benefits include:
- Anti-anxiety: Delta-10 THC generates relaxation feelings, meaning it shouldn’t result in anxiety and other effects accompanied by other potent THC products. It’s a great anxiety-soothing option that doesn’t involve the risk of getting sedated.
- Stress relief: This compound reportedly generates relaxing and uplifting effects. It doesn’t produce the intense euphoria other THC products do. Since delta-9 THC is a milder cannabinoid, it can help mitigate stress, boost energy, and lift low moods.
When looking for delta-10 THC products, ensure they’re lab-tested and of good quality because unscrupulous companies could sell poor quality or low potent delta-10 THC.
THCA, or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, is an acidic form of tetrahydrocannabinol. It doesn’t intoxicate when ingested. THCA’s chemical composition has an extra molecular carboxyl ring, which ensures it doesn’t bind to the brain receptors that make users feel high.
For THCA to become psychoactive, it’s heated via smoking, dabbing, vaping, or cooking to create THC that binds to CB1 receptors. The 2018 Farm Bill requires that for hemp products to be considered legal, they must have 0.3% or less of THC. Since THCA’s chemical structure doesn’t reflect its delta-9 THC, it can be regarded as legal. Note that there aren’t particular regulations banning or mentioning THCA. However, some states have prohibited it. Ingesting THCA offers these benefits:
- Relieve pain
- Lower inflammation
- Minimize nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite
- Modulate the immune system
- Better sleep
- It has neuroprotective properties
- Suppress muscle spasms
- Inhibit cancer cell growth
Tetrahydrocannabivarin, or THCV, interacts with cannabinoid receptors to induce its effects on users. THCV has psychoactive effects, but one has to consume it in high quantities to experience the intoxicating effects. THCv consumption offers the following benefits:
- Lowers blood sugar levels: It helps users control their insulin and blood sugar levels
- Promotes bone health: THCV promotes new bone cell production, stimulating tissue turnover and bone marrow growth. This helps prevent and slow bone degeneration.
- Minimizes inflammation: THCV reduces oxidative stress and offers anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Reduces nausea: Ingesting THCV can help reduce nausea symptoms and vomiting
- Manage obesity: Unlike delta-9 THC, which induces appetite, THCV suppresses it. This helps those with obesity manage it by increasing satiety and reducing appetite.
- Neuroprotective: THCV’s neuroprotective properties can help promote muscular control while reducing seizures, brain lesions, and tremors in people with Alzheimer’s and epilepsy
- Controls anxiety: Using THCV can help support anxiety disorders like PTSD and obsessive-compulsive disorders
- Promotes sleep
THCV also possesses antipsychotic effects that help with specific psychiatric disorders.
THCP interacts with the body like other cannabinoids to impact bodily functions like pain perception and mood. However, it’s not broadly available in the market. THCP’s psychotropic properties can create euphoria. Its benefits appear to be similar to THC’s, including:
- Appetite stimulant
- Pain relief
- Stress and anxiety relief
- Insomnia treatment
THC has multiple variations every user should know. Follow this guide to learn about the different types of THC and how they can benefit you.