These Cannabis Strains Are Awesome for Migraines
by Chane Leigh
A cannabis compound that has been described as “cutting-edge” and “so elusive, laboratories often misidentify the compound as CBC (cannabichromene) or CBL (cannabicyclol)” is finally becoming better understood. Delta-10-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-10 THC) is a need-to-know cannabinoid, and here’s why.
Simply put, delta-10 THC is one of the hundreds of types of cannabinoids, or active compounds, that can be found in the plant. This compound is only available in trace amounts, which is why it is elusive and easily misidentified. Considering the nature of delta-10 and its evasion from the detection of researchers, it should come as no surprise that there is very little research available on it, unlike delta-9 THC (commonly referred to as simply “THC”), cannabidiol (CBD), or even compared to delta-8 THC.
The only study done using delta-10 THC was by Ralph Mechoulam’s team. In a 1988 study, his team found that pigeons got less stoned off delta-10 THC than delta-9. To date, there are no human studies on delta-10 THC.
Despite the limited availability of research on delta-10, ACS Laboratory can provide some further insight into it. One of the more valuable hypotheses regarding delta-10 suggests that it can bind with the CB1 receptors in the brain and nervous system. This idea would concur with the results of Dr. Mechoulam’s study.
Based on this hypothesis and anecdotal accounts, delta-10 induces a mellow but energizing state that leaves the consumer feeling jovial. However, there is currently no research to support this, and it’s important to keep in mind that cannabinoids affect everyone differently.
You may be wondering whether delta-10 can get you high, what it feels like, and whether it will appear on drug tests. Anecdotal reports and David Reckles from Private Label Hemp Lab indicate that delta-10 can deliver psychoactive effects that make you feel subtly high.
Highly potent THC products have been linked to a host of adverse effects, but delta-10 appears to give euphoric effects at mild levels. Additionally, you can expect delta-10 to be picked up on drug tests since delta-10 is a derivative of THC. Both are metabolized via the same pathway to the same end result (metabolite) that is measured in drug tests.
While there are no clinical findings about delta-10’s effects, Reckles shares his view on delta-10’s potential and what it feels like by stating, “Delta-10 is going to be insanely popular because it offers euphoria and increased focus, without the paranoia and anxiety some users report from Delta-9 [more on this comparison in upcoming in the upcoming sections].”
The consensus is that delta-10 THC is safe for consumption, especially considering that we are already consuming trace amounts of the compound when we consume cannabis. However, some experts have concerns about the laboratory methods being used to extract and produce delta-10 products. According to Reckles, “If Delta-10 products aren’t made with the proper knowledge, supervision, and testing, companies could be creating unsafe or illegal products.”
Referring to companies that are experimenting with delta-10 product offerings, Reckles adds that “they may not know how to preserve a clean environment or understand the chemistry behind what they’re doing. As a result, they may inadvertently create extracts with residual solvents, acids, or Delta-9 THC. Customers should always look for a Certificate of Analysis (COA) to prove the product was tested and deemed safe.”
Much like the various other forms of THC, delta-10 THC occurs in cannabis plants naturally in trace amounts, but in order to meet the demands of mass production, delta-10 is most often created by chemically converting naturally abundant, hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) in a lab. According to Reckles:
“You can technically create any delta you want–Delta-8, Delta-9, or Delta-10–by chemically altering CBD isolate or CBD crude. As of today, however, I’ve learned it’s significantly harder to produce Delta-10 THC than Delta-8. Eventually, I’m sure very smart PhDs will figure it out. Then they’ll start working as consultants and share the formulas with manufacturers to help them acquire the right machinery, systems, and processes. When that happens, Delta-10 production will still be more complicated than Delta-8, but it will also be more commonplace. We’re just not there yet.”
Unlike delta-9 THC, which is federally illegal, delta-10 lies in a legal gray zone. That’s because most delta-10 products are made from hemp-derived CBD, which was made federally legal by the 2018 Farm Bill.
However, some states have taken it upon themselves to explicitly prohibit delta-10 products. So while this exciting compound is comparable to a perfect mix between the CBD and THC we know and love, it is best to check in with local regulations before seeking delta-10 THC.
According to Binoid, a delta-10 retailer, the cannabinoid is currently illegal in the following states:
Because delta-10 products are so new to the market, it’s important to make sure your products come with certificates of analysis that ensure they were lab-tested. ACS Laboratory warns consumers by stating, “Delta-10 products aren’t like smokable hemp, which includes dried flower only. If delta-10 products aren’t made with the proper knowledge, supervision, and testing, companies could create a nightmare scenario for people who inhale highly toxic pollutants.”
As for whether delta-10 THC has any side effects, there aren’t any human studies to say exactly. Our best guess is that it has a similar mechanism of action to Delta-9 THC and, thus, likely has similar side effects.
There are reports of adverse side effects such as anxiety, confusion, vomiting, and loss of consciousness, among others, which are associated with much more potent cannabis products. Other potential side effects of delta-10, which are largely similar to the adverse effects of delta-9 THC, include:
On the other hand, there are few reports of delta-10 THC having no significant adverse side effects. According to ACS Laboratory, delta-10 THC could actually be equally beneficial to delta-9 THC with less adverse side effects. However, cannabis consumers will be sad to know that “you won’t find naturally occurring high delta-10 THC strains on the market today.”
With all the new cannabinoids emerging on the market, it’s critical to understand the major differences between them before making any purchases. Let’s compare and contrast the three most common types of THC: delta-8, delta-9, and delta-10.
Delta-8, delta-9, and delta-10 THC are isomers of each other, meaning they have the same chemical formula but different molecular structures. When it comes to the type of high, delta-8 and delta-10 are quite different.
Reckles explains that delta-8 delivers effects associated with indica strains (calming, sleep-inducing), while delta-10 reflects the effects most commonly associated with sativa strains (uplifting, energizing, and focused).
Additionally, delta-8 is considered to be more potent than delta-10 but also less potent than delta-9. Though unconfirmed, the effects of delta-8 are also thought to last longer than those of delta-10. Lastly, delta-8 has gained a reputation for inducing the munchies, but experts are still unsure if delta-10 has the same effect on consumers’ hunger. It is likely present due to CB1 activity, but likewise to a lesser degree.
Delta-9 THC is the most naturally abundant cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. In contrast, delta-10 is only naturally available in trace amounts. Unlike delta-8 and delta-10, which currently exist in legal gray zones due to their hemp origin, delta-9 THC is most commonly extracted from cannabis plants and is federally illegal in the U.S.
If you’re in search of something strong, delta-9 THC is the ideal choice. The strength of its effects surpasses both delta-8 and delta-10. In addition to being weaker than delta-9 THC, delta-10 is also known to deliver a more clear-headed experience, making it ideal for daytime tokes.
In general, from the limited amount of information to date, the order of potency from greatest to least would likely be delta-9 THC > delta-8 THC > delta 10- THC.
If you’re sold on delta-10 THC, keep reading. While the delta-10 market is not nearly as robust as the delta-9 market, there are a number of different ways to consume this exciting new cannabinoid.
You may come across delta-10 products at your local dispensary, but many must be bought online. Before purchasing any of them, however, be sure to request a certificate of analysis.
Choosing the right delta-10 product can be daunting, so here are some pointers:
With mildly energizing effects and legality in many states across the U.S., delta-10 THC is quickly becoming a go-to for many who can’t or don’t want to consume delta-9 THC. The compound also has a low reported number of adverse effects compared to delta-9. However, it’s important to remember that cannabinoids affect everyone uniquely and that the full set of health effects from delta-10 THC or such marketed products are not yet fully known.
If you’re interested in working delta-10 THC into your wellness plan, be sure to consult a medical cannabis doctor or cannabis coach.
This article was originally published on 7/23/21. Updated on 5/25/23.
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