Delta-10 THC — Everything You Need to Know

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Author: Joy Hughes

What if we told you that Delta-9 THC isn’t the only therapeutic or psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis?

By now, you’ve likely heard of Delta-8 THC, the cannabinoid known for its mild psychoactive effects and overwhelming therapeutic properties.

Amazingly, most people hadn’t even heard of Delta-8 THC until 2020, but scientists have been studying this rare cannabinoid since the 1970s.

This makes one wonder: Are there other Delta THCs out there that we don’t yet know about?

There’s at least one... It’s called Delta-10 THC, and it’s a fairly mysterious cannabinoid that holds some pretty mind-blowing effects.

But first things first…

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    What is Delta-10 THC?

    The medicinal complexity of the cannabis plant goes far beyond the two most prominent cannabinoids, Cannabidiol (CBD) and Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-9 THC).

    Cannabis, which includes both hemp and marijuana, contains an extensive assortment of lesser known medicinal cannabinoids as well.

    For example:

    • Cannabigerol  (CBG) –– Known as the “mother of all cannabinoids” and studied for its potential anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capacities.
    • Cannabinol  (CBN) –– Known to be a “non-narcotic type analgesic (pain reliever) like aspirin.”

    The truth is, CBD, CBG, and even CBN are much more accepted by the masses, partly because they don’t offer that euphoric and sometimes overwhelming paranoid “high” that comes from Delta-9 THC.

    But while multiple studies show that THC is highly effective and medically therapeutic, many people steer clear because of its often overwhelming psychoactive properties.

    However, there are other forms of THC that have shown to be less psychoactive and perhaps more therapeutic than Delta-9 THC.

    Delta-8 THC was the first to hit the market, but now it appears that Delta-10 THC is proving to be a new favorite among THC veterans and CBD advocates.

    But getting your hands on the best Delta-10 THC products is no easy feat. And here’s why...

    The debate on whether Delta-10 THC is a natural cannabinoid or a synthetic cannabinoid, is still somewhat undetermined.

    For now, it’s thought that Delta-10 THC is a semi-synthetic cannabinoid. Partly because it doesn’t readily exist in a natural form in the cannabis plant.

    Nevertheless, Delta-10 THC is an incredibly rare cannabinoid. It takes an excessive amount of plant material to produce significant yields of it.

    And if that weren’t enough, many testing laboratories, who use the standard High Performance Liquid Chromatography methods, even misidentify this mysterious cannabinoid for Cannabicyclol (CBL) and Cannabichromene (CBC), two other lesser known cannabinoids that contribute to the therapeutic “entourage effect” when consumed in full-spectrum, cannabinoid-based products.


    This begs the question...

    How was Delta-10 THC discovered?

    It’s a pretty cool story.

    Have you ever heard that some of the most life-changing discoveries are stumbled upon by mistake? Well, Delta-10 THC just so happens to fall into that category.

    A few years ago, a California cannabis company known as Fusion Farms decided to purchase some outdoor-grown cannabis to help launch their own cannabinoid-based production business.

    Because California is known for its devastating wildfires, aerial firefighters and crop cultivators will drop or spray fire retardants onto outdoor crops (like cannabis), to help mitigate fire damage.


    Unaware of the fact that their cannabis crops had been sprayed with fire retardant, Fusion Farms proceeded with their usual extraction process. Once they discovered their crop was in fact contaminated, they began to distill their extracts in order to remove any harmful fire retardant components. What they found during this process was quite astounding.

    They discovered unusual crystals that were unlike any other cannabinoid crystal structures they’d seen before.

    After repeated analysis, the Fusion Farms team determined that these crystals were CBC, despite them not being an exact match.

    Still not satisfied with their determination, they enlisted help from a licensed testing facility. After several months, it was finally determined that the unusual crystals were not CBC, but rather Delta-10 THC.

    While crops contaminated with fire retardants are not considered safe to consume, Fusion Farms’ team was convinced that those components had something to do with converting other cannabinoids into Delta-10 THC.

    Which leads us to our next question…

    How is Delta-10 THC made?

    Because Delta-10 THC is such a rare cannabinoid, its commercial production requires external chemical components to help convert other cannabinoids, like Delta-9 or even CBD isolate, to Delta-10.

    As seen in Delta-10’s accidental discovery, the fire retardant clearly had a hand in pushing Delta-9’s double bonded carbon from the ninth position into the tenth position, thus forming Delta-10 THC.

    But this doesn’t mean that in order for companies to make Delta-10 THC products, they have to use fire retardant.

    Thanks to Fusion Farms’ persistence, they were able to find several food-grade additives, as well as other safe components, that act as a catalyst to help create higher yields of Delta-10 THC.

    These greener methods make it possible for researchers to determine the benefits of this mysterious cannabinoid.

    That said…

    How does Delta-10 THC affect the body?

    Because cannabis is only legal in certain states, very few studies have explored the benefits of Delta-10 THC.

    In fact, 3Chi, a prominent hemp company that focuses on rare cannabinoid research, is currently investigating the properties, benefits, and efficacy of Delta-10.

    Which means, as of this writing, there’s not much information or research surrounding Delta-10 THC.

    However, since Delta-10 is an analog of THC, it’s thought to hold similar therapeutic effects of Delta-9 and Delta-8 THC.

    It’s also thought that much like Delta-9 and Delta-8, Delta-10 THC likely has binding affinities with the CB1 receptors found in our brain and throughout our nervous system.

    Now, we know what you may be thinking: What’s the difference between Delta-8, Delta-9, and Delta-10 THC?

    Delta 8 vs. Delta 10 vs. Delta 9 THC

    Many people don’t realize that THC is not just one specific compound. There are several chemical analogs, or variations, of THC.

    The following are naturally occurring chemical analogs of THC:

    • THC-a
    • THCP
    • THCV
    • Delta-9 THC
    • Delta-8 THC

    These THC compounds are all unique in their own right, but they do share a few similarities. For one, they each naturally exist in the cannabis plant. Secondly, they each impact the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) in their own unique way.

    But with Delta-10 THC coming onto the scene, many people are finding it a little difficult to determine the difference between these three related THC cannabinoids.

    So let’s break it down a little…

    Delta-10 THC has a similar chemical structure to that of its neighboring THC cannabinoids, Delta-9 and Delta-8 THC, but with a slight difference: its double bonded carbon is located in the tenth position.

    Another notable difference is that Delta-9 and Delta-8 THC are naturally occurring cannabinoids. Delta-10, on the other hand, is considered a semi-synthetic cannabinoid.

    In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that “Δ 6a,10a -THC is not a naturally occurring cannabinoid and is generally obtained by chemical synthesis. The condensation between olivetol and pulegone under acid catalysis for the preparation of Δ 6a,10a -THC in its racemic form was investigated in the early 1940s.”


    Which means, Delta-10 THC isn’t necessarily a newly discovered cannabinoid after all.

    But there’s one other major difference between these three cannabinoids: their psychotropic effects.

    Can Delta-10 THC get you high?

    Yes, but the effects are unique.

    Because Delta-10 THC’s double bonded carbon is located in the tenth position, it’s impact on the mind is a bit different than that of Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC.

    We all know that Delta-9 THC offers a pretty intense “high”. Many people report feeling overwhelmed, anxious, paranoid, along with getting a case of the munchies.

    Delta-8 THC has been shown in studies to offer a more relaxing “high”. Users report feeling clear-headed, relief from nausea, and zero paranoia or anxiety.

    As for Delta-10 THC, it behaves more like Delta-8 rather than Delta-9. It offers a more clear-headed, creative high, without the feeling of paranoia or anxiety. It’s also said to be more energizing than Delta-8.

    And the best part: A study conducted on pigeons showed that Delta-10 THC offers much milder psychoactive effects than that of Delta-9 THC.

    We know pigeons are a long way from humans, but this study shows positive promise, and it’s the first of many studies to come.

    Is Delta-10 THC legal?

    As it currently stands, Delta-10 THC is legal-ish, provided it’s derived and extracted from hemp and contains no more than 0.3% of Delta-9 THC.

    And thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp and all of its derivatives, with the exception of Delta-9 THC, are legal on a federal level.

    However, Delta-10 does fall in a sort of legal grey area. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), “All synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols remain Schedule I controlled substances.”

    But here’s the issue…

    The DEA has yet to define what “synthetically derived” actually means.

    So it seems that as long as Delta-10 THC is derived from hemp, it is considered legal… for now.

    Additionally, while hemp is federally legal, the 2018 Farm Bill made it possible for individual states to determine their own laws surrounding all things cannabis. This includes hemp-derived cannabinoids like CBD and Delta-10 THC.

    It’s best to research your state laws regarding Delta-10 THC, before purchasing and consuming this mysterious cannabinoid.

    Will you fail a drug test if you take Delta-10 THC?

    Unfortunately, most standard drug tests, especially urinalysis, cannot determine the difference between Delta-10 and Delta-9 THC.

    If drug screening is a concern, it’s best to steer clear from hemp-derived cannabinoids altogether.

    Now for the most anticipated question...

    How safe is Delta-10 THC?

    Despite how Delta-10 THC is created, and the lack of research surrounding this mysterious cannabinoid, Delta-10 THC is widely considered a safe cannabinoid to consume.

    However, because Delta-10 is considered a semi-synthetic cannabinoid—and requires chemical components to help convert certain cannabinoids into Delta-10 THC—it’s imperative to seek out companies that focus on extensive lab tests to ensure the safety of the final Delta-10 product.

    Reputable companies will focus on using clean, non-toxic, food-grade methods to extract high quality Delta-10 THC. Steer clear from companies who use harmful, harsh chemicals that produce higher yields of Delta-10 THC just to turn a profit.

    To ensure your Delta-10 THC product is safe to consume, it’s important to check for a Certificate of Analysis (COA) of the Delta-10 THC product you’re considering.

    That said…

    Where can I buy Delta-10 THC?

    Delta-10 THC is very new to the market. Between the attention to detail in extracting Delta-10 THC, and the rigorous testing to ensure product safety, there aren’t many companies selling it... yet.

    In fact, there are less than a handful of reputable companies on the market offering Delta-10 THC products. One such company has stood out to us by offering up-to-date COAs: Delta Effex.

    Not only are their products meticulously third-party tested, but they adhere to incredibly high standards in their cultivation practices and extraction methods.

    Delta Effex offers Delta-10 THC tinctures and vapes.


    Conclusion / Future of Delta 10

    Since high-quality CBD first came on the scene, the stigma surrounding cannabis has slowly faded. More people are beginning to open their minds to THC’s therapeutic benefits. While Delta-9 THC offers a more intense, and at times overwhelming, high, Delta-8 and Delta-10 offer a less potent effect while still offering therapeutic value.

    If you’re interested to see how Delta-10 THC could work for you, be sure to seek out reputable companies that focus on product safety, label accuracy, and organic growing practices.

    As always, we recommend you consult with your physician before consuming or adding a new cannabinoid or supplement to your daily regimen, especially if you’re currently on prescription drugs.

    Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date on groundbreaking news, recent medical research, and personal reviews using cannabinoid-based products. And for further information regarding Delta-8 THC and other hemp-derived cannabinoids, explore our educational page.

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    About Jason Beverly

    Jason Beverly is the Digital Marketing Director of The CBD Benefits, an informational website helping people learn about CBD. He's been researching, developing and writing about CBD & other cannabinoids for over 5 years. Jason uses CBD daily to treat for pain, anxiety and depression.

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    2 years ago

    How complex is the process of synthesizing the delta 10?

    2 years ago
    Reply to  Jason Beverly

    Thank you Jason! Fascinating developments…might have to try some of these other Deltas…These are “good Delta variants…” haha