Ultimate Guide to Types of THC

Ultimate Guide to Types of THC

Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta 9 THC) is the most well-known and widely studied cannabinoid, responsible for the psychoactive effects typically associated with cannabis. However, with the rise in popularity of alternative cannabinoids, various forms of THC are now gaining recognition for their unique properties and potential benefits. Now, not all Delta THC products are created equal, and some may be inferior in quality or effectiveness. In this guide, we'll explore the different types of THC, their unique characteristics, and how they're shaping the future of cannabis consumption.

How Many Types of THC Are There?

There isn't a definitive answer to the question of how many types of THC exist, as THC is just one of over 100 known cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. However, when it comes to the most prominent and well-studied forms of THC, we can identify at least four key types:

  • Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta 9 THC),
  • Delta 8-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta 8 THC)
  • Delta 10-tetrahydrocannabinol (elta-10 THC)
  • Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA)

However, there is growing interest in other cannabinoids and THC analogs, including:

  • Tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THCP)
  •  (THC-O acetate)
  • Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)
  • Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid B (THCA-B)

Each type differs in its molecular structure, effects on the body, and legal status. In this guide, we’re going to cover these different types of THC so that you can make educated decisions about your cannabis consumption. 

What Is THCA?

Before we get to THC, let’s first start with its acidic precursor, THCA. THCA is found naturally in raw cannabis plants. 

In its raw form, THCA is non-psychoactive. THCA converts to THC when it undergoes a process called decarboxylation, which occurs when the cannabis is exposed to heat—such as through smoking, vaping, or cooking.

What Are THCA Effects?

Though THCA doesn't have the same mind-altering effects as THC, it does possess numerous potential wellness benefits. Research has shown that THCA has a slight affinity for CB1 receptors that could be beneficial for brain health. In addition, it binds more efficiently to CB2 receptors, which supports a healthy immune system and digestive system.  

To fully benefit from THCA's properties, people often consume raw cannabis in the form of smoothies, juices, or salads. However, it's essential to note that the research on THCA is still in its early stages, and more studies are needed to fully understand its potential benefits and applications.

Is THCA Legal?

The legality of THCA can be complex and varies depending on the jurisdiction. In some countries or states, cannabis and its derivatives—including THCA—are strictly regulated or even prohibited.

In the United States, if THCA is derived from hemp (a variety of Cannabis sativa containing less than 0.3% THC by dry weight), it is generally considered legal under federal law due to the 2018 Farm Bill. 

However, if THCA is derived from marijuana (cannabis plants with higher THC concentrations), it is still classified as a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act and remains federally illegal.

Will THCA Cause Me to Fail a Drug Test?

THCA itself is unlikely to directly cause a positive result on most standard drug tests, as these tests typically screen for the presence of THC and its primary metabolite, THC-COOH. Since THCA is a non-psychoactive precursor to THC, drug tests are generally not designed to detect it.

However, there are some caveats to consider. First, the process of handling or storing cannabis can lead to partial decarboxylation, causing some THCA to convert into THC. If you consume cannabis containing even trace amounts of THC, you may test positive for THC on a drug test.

If you smoke, vape, or bake with cannabis, it will convert THCA to THC. This conversion will happen in both marijuana and hemp flowers. 

Lastly, while it's rare, some highly sensitive drug tests may be able to detect THCA. This is more likely in specialized testing scenarios or when using advanced testing methods, but it's important to be aware of this possibility.

What Is Delta 9 THC?

Delta 9 THC is the most well-known and abundant form of THC. While other cannabinoids may have psychoactive capabilities, THC is the primary cannabinoid responsible for the psychoactive effects associated with cannabis. 

It interacts with the endocannabinoid system in our bodies. This system helps keep everything in balance, like your appetite, sleep, mood, focus, and more. 

THC binds to CB1 receptors found primarily in the brain. This interaction leads to this compound’s mind-altering properties. 

What Are THC Effects?

THC effects depend on many factors, which include the person’s tolerance levels and the strain of cannabis.

THC can make you feel happy, relaxed, and more aware of your surroundings. It can also change how you see time passing and boost your creativity. But too much THC can sometimes cause temporary paranoia, sluggishness, or make it hard to remember things.

On the physical side, THC produces a body high. It could help you feel more relaxed, support sore muscles after a workout, and effect your appetite. THC side effects also include dry, red eyes and cotton mouth. 

Of course, if you are using hemp-based products, you shouldn’t experience these effects. Hemp contains 0.3% THC or less, which shouldn’t promote psychoactive effects. Instead, THC complements other cannabinoids through a synergistic act called the entourage effect. That’s why products like full spectrum CBD gummies with THC are the most potent hemp-based products available. 

Is THC Legal?

The legality of Delta 9 THC varies depending on the country, state, or jurisdiction. In some places, it is strictly regulated or prohibited, while in others, it may be legal for medical or recreational use.

In the United States, Delta 9 THC derived from marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act and remains federally illegal. Marijuana is Cannabis sativa that has a THC concentration above 0.3%. 

However, individual states have their own laws regarding marijuana and Delta 9 THC. Some states have legalized cannabis for medical use, recreational use, or both, which affects the legality of Delta 9 THC within those jurisdictions.

If you are purchasing products derived from hemp, the THC content will be 0.3% or less. These levels are suitable for hemp-based products in most states. 

It's important to familiarize yourself with the specific laws and regulations governing Delta 9 THC in your area, as they can differ significantly between countries and even between different states.

Will Delta 9 Cause Me to Fail a Drug Test?

Drug tests typically screen for the presence of THC and its metabolites, which are the byproducts of THC that are produced by the body as it is processed and eliminated. Depending on the type of drug test, the detection window for THC can vary widely. For example, urine tests can detect THC for several days to several weeks after use, while blood tests may only detect THC for a few hours to a few days after use.

Factors that can influence whether Delta 9 THC will cause a positive drug test result include the amount consumed, the frequency of use, the individual's metabolism, and the sensitivity of the drug test. In general, if someone consumes a small amount of Delta 9 THC infrequently, they are less likely to test positive than someone who uses it regularly and in larger amounts.

It's worth noting that there are other compounds found in cannabis, such as CBD, that don’t produce a "high" and are not typically screened for in drug tests. However, some CBD products may contain trace amounts of THC, which could potentially cause a positive drug test result.

What Is Delta 8 THC?

Delta 8 THC is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It is less potent, and its psychoactive effects aren't as intense as the more well-known Delta 9 THC. Delta 8 THC binds to the same receptors in the brain as Delta 9 THC but with a slightly weaker affinity, which promotes weaker effects.

Since Delta 8 occurs in such small quantities in cannabis plants, it is made synthetically to keep up with increasing customer demands. Delta 8 THC is typically made by converting CBD or Delta 9 THC. The conversion process usually involves a chemical reaction using a catalyst, such as an acid or a base, to rearrange the molecular structure and produce Delta 8 THC. 

The process of converting CBD or Delta 9 THC into Delta 8 THC involves the use of chemicals that can be harmful if not handled properly. Inadequate purification or insufficient quality control during production can result in residual solvents, acids, or other contaminants in the final product, posing potential health risks to consumers. Additionally, research on the safety and long-term effects of Delta 8 THC is still limited, raising concerns about its use.

What Are Delta 8 THC Effects?

Delta 8 THC elicits a range of effects that are similar to those of Delta 9 THC, albeit much milder. The specific effects can vary depending on the individual, serving size, and method of consumption.

However, Delta 8 THC does promote psychoactive effects. The high can be a little more clear-headed and less intense than that of Delta 9 THC. Therefore, lab-tested Delta 8 THC may be a more suitable high for those who are new to cannabis.  

It's important to note that research on Delta 8 THC is still limited, and more studies are needed to fully understand its effects and safety profile. As with any cannabis product, individual experiences with Delta 8 THC can vary, and it's recommended to start with a low serving size and gradually increase as needed to find the optimal amount for your needs.

Is Delta 8 THC Legal?

In the United States, the legal status of Delta 8 THC is primarily determined by its source and the specific regulations in each state. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp-derived products, including CBD, as long as they contain no more than 0.3% Delta 9 THC. 

However, the bill did not specifically address Delta 8 THC. To get around legal loopholes in states with no medical or recreational marijuana programs, some shops started selling products with Delta 8 THC.

Delta 8 THC product manufacturers argue that since Delta 8 THC can be derived from hemp, it should be considered legal. Others contend that the conversion process makes it a synthetic cannabinoid, which may be subject to stricter regulations.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has issued an interim final rule on a federal level. This statement proclaims that "all synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols remain Schedule I controlled substances." This has led to confusion and differing interpretations of the law regarding Delta 8 THC derived from hemp.

In addition to federal regulations, individual states have their own laws governing the production, sale, and possession of Delta 8 THC. Some states have explicitly banned or restricted Delta 8 THC, while others have more permissive laws or have not yet addressed the issue. It's essential to check your local laws and regulations before using or purchasing any Delta 8 THC products.

Will Delta 8 THC Cause Me to Fail a Drug Test?

Yes, Delta 8 THC in your body can potentially cause you to fail a drug test. Most drug tests currently don’t differentiate between Delta 9 THC and Delta 8 THC.

When your body metabolizes Delta 8 THC, it produces similar metabolites to those produced by Delta 9 THC. Since drug tests generally look for these metabolites rather than the specific type of THC, using Delta 8 THC could result in a positive test for THC, even if you have not used Delta 9 THC.

What Is Delta 10 THC?

Delta 10 THC is an even lesser-known cannabinoid that’s gaining momentum among cannabis users. While naturally occurring, Delta 10 is rarely found in the cannabis plant. Therefore, like Delta 8, this compound is synthetically manufactured.  

Producing Delta 10 THC undergoes much of the same processes as Delta 8, including the use of chemical solvents. However, the safety and efficacy of potential Delta 10 THC benefits are even less studied than Delta 8 THC

What Are Delta 10 THC Effects?

Like Delta 9 THC and Delta 8 THC, Delta 10 THC is a psychoactive compound. It’s important to note that potency and effects are not as well studied or understood due to its rarity and limited research.

Delta 10 THC is believed to have a milder psychoactive effect compared to Delta 9 THC and Delta 8 THC. This cannabinoid binds to CB1 receptors, but since its bind is so weak, its psychoactive effects tend to be mellow. Instead, you may experience increased focus, creativity, and energy. 

Is Delta 10 THC Legal?

Delta 10 THC is a “synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinol” that falls under the same legal loopholes as Delta 8 THC. The legal status of Delta 10 THC is also complex and varies depending on the jurisdiction. In many places, it may be subject to the same regulations and restrictions as other forms of THC, such as Delta 9 THC. It's essential to check your local laws and regulations before using or purchasing any cannabis-related products containing Delta 10 THC.

Will Delta 10 THC Cause Me to Fail a Drug Test?

While not as potent as Delta 9 THC, consuming Delta 10 THC might lead to a failed drug test. Most drug tests commonly administered are designed to detect THC or its metabolites in the body. Unless noted otherwise, these tests don't typically distinguish the different forms of THC. 

What Is THCP?

THCP is the new cannabinoid on the block. Its discovery was reported in a 2019 study published in the peer-reviewed journal Scientific Reports. 

This study noted that THCP levels in cannabis plants tend to be rather low. THCP content ranged from trace amounts to about 53 micrograms per gram of cannabis plant material. Comparatively, Delta 9 THC and CBD can be found in concentrations of several milligrams per gram of cannabis plant material. 

THCP is not a derivative of THC but is instead a distinct and separate cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Both THCP and THC are part of the larger family of cannabinoids, which includes over 100 known compounds with various structures and effects.

Since the discovery of THCP is relatively recent, further research is needed to determine the average THCP concentrations in various cannabis strains and the factors that influence its production in the plant. Additionally, breeding and cultivation techniques may be developed in the future to increase the THCP content in cannabis plants for specific applications or research purposes.

What Are THCP Effects?

Like many other cannabinoids we’ve discussed, THCP exhibits psychoactive effects by binding to CB1 receptors in the brain. However, it has up to 30 times more affinity for these receptors than Delta 9 THC. 

Although THCP shares some similarities with THC, particularly Delta 9 THC, it has a unique molecular structure that sets it apart. THCP has a longer alkyl side chain compared to THC, which contributes to its higher binding affinity for CB1 receptors in the brain.

Therefore, THCP may have greater psychoactive effects than Delta 9 THC. However, there isn’t enough research to confirm these initial findings. 

As the discovery of THCP is relatively recent, there is limited information about the availability of synthetic THCP products. While synthetic versions of other cannabinoids, such as Delta 9 THC and CBD, have been developed for research purposes or pharmaceutical applications, it is unclear if synthetic THCP products are currently being produced on a large scale.

Given the potential potency and unique properties of THCP, it is possible that researchers and manufacturers will explore the development of synthetic THCP products in the future. However, it's essential to exercise caution when considering the use of any synthetic cannabinoid products, as their safety profiles and legal status may vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific compound.

Is THCP Legal?

The legal status of THCP is unclear and varies depending on the jurisdiction. Given its recent discovery, many countries and states have not specifically addressed the regulation of THCP in their cannabis-related laws.

Due to the language in the 2018 Farm Bill that we’ve already discussed, the legality of THCP remains uncertain and may be subject to interpretation.

It is essential to check your local laws and regulations before using or purchasing any cannabis-related products containing THCP. The legal status of cannabis and its derivatives, including cannabinoids like THCP, can differ significantly between states.  

Will THCP Cause Me to Fail a Drug Test?

It is currently unclear whether THCP would cause you to fail a drug test, as most standard drug tests are designed to detect THC or its metabolites, specifically targeting Delta 9 THC. Since THCP is a different compound with a distinct molecular structure, it may not be detected by these tests.

However, it's essential to exercise caution because the detection methods for cannabinoids in drug tests are continually evolving, and some tests might be updated to include newly discovered compounds like THCP. Additionally, if you consume a cannabis product containing both THCP and other cannabinoids like Delta 9 THC, you may still test positive for THC due to the presence of Delta 9 THC or its metabolites.

What Is THC-O Acetate?

THC-O acetate, also known as THC-O or ATHC (Acetyl THC), is a synthetic cannabinoid derived from Delta 9 THC. 

THC-O is created by chemically modifying THC through a process called acetylation. Acetylation involves adding an acetyl group to the THC molecule. This modification results in a compound with different properties and potency compared to natural THC.

What Are THC-O Acetate Effects?

It is believed that THC-O binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors. Like other psychoactive cannabinoids, it shows a higher affinity for CB1 receptors that influence the brain. 

THC-O acetate is known for its stronger psychoactive effects compared to Delta 9 THC. Users often report their experiences being more intense and longer-lasting. 

With that said, research on THC-O acetate is limited. Keep in mind that its safety profile, potential benefits, and side effects are not yet fully understood.

Is THC-O Acetate Legal?

Much like other synthetic cannabinoids, the legal status of THC-O acetate varies depending on the jurisdiction. The language outlined in the 2018 Farm Bill does not identify THC-O acetate by name. So, there isn’t a federal precedent on the matter. Therefore, in some places, THC-O may be considered a controlled substance and subject to restrictions similar to those for other synthetic cannabinoids or Delta 9 THC. 

It's essential to check your local laws and regulations before using or purchasing any products containing THC-O acetate. Additionally, exercise caution when considering the use of THC-O acetate or any synthetic cannabinoid due to the limited research and potential risks associated with these compounds.

Will THC-O Acetate Cause Me to Fail a Drug Test?

There is a possibility that using THC-O acetate could cause you to fail a drug test, as there isn’t enough research on this particular synthetic cannabinoid. Most standard drug tests are designed to detect THC or its metabolites in your system. When your body metabolizes THC-O acetate, there is a possibility it may break down into metabolites similar to those produced by Delta 9 THC. 

What Is THCV?

THCV is a naturally occurring cannabinoid. Although it shares some similarities with Delta 9 THC, it is not an analog or derivative of it as with other similar compounds. 

These two cannabinoids have similar structures, but THCV has a shorter "side chain" compared to THC. This small difference in shape changes how THCV interacts with specific receptors in our body, leading to unique properties and effects compared to THC.

What Are THCV Effects?

While it shares some similarities with Delta 9 THC, THCV has its own unique effects.

THCV has been found to interact with both CB1 and CB2  receptors, although its affinity for each receptor is different from that of THC. 

While THC has a high affinity for CB1 receptors, which are primarily found in the brain and central nervous system, THCV has a relatively low affinity for them. Instead, THCV has been found to have a higher affinity for CB2 receptors, which are primarily found in immune cells.

Also, THCV may be useful in curbing your appetite, as opposed to Delta 9 THC, which may increase your appetite. 

Like many other cannabinoids, THCV may promote an energized or calm mood. These effects depend on the strain and the person’s tolerance to THCV.

Is THCV Legal?

THCV legality falls under the same conditions as other cannabinoids. It is not directly named as a controlled substance and is not synthetically derived. 

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp-derived products with less than 0.3% THC content on a dry weight basis, which means that THCV derived from hemp might be considered legal under federal law. However, it's crucial to consider state laws as well since some states have more restrictive regulations regarding cannabis and its compounds.

Will THCV Cause Me to Fail a Drug Test?

Most standard tests only detect THC and its metabolites, not THCV. That being said, there is a possibility that THCV could cause a false positive result on a drug test. This inaccurate reading would be due to its structural similarity to THC.

The sensitivity of the test, the amount of THCV consumed, and individual metabolism can all impact a false positive result. It's also worth noting that some drug tests may specifically test for additional cannabinoids, including THCV, although this is less common.

What Is THCA-B?

Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid B (THC-A-B or THCA-B) is a lesser-known cannabinoid that is an acidic precursor to THC. It is far less researched than THCA for its potential benefits. 

THCA and THCA-B share similarities in their molecular structures, but they differ in the arrangement of their chemical groups. This difference in structure may lead to variations in their properties and effects.

Additionally, THCA is more abundant in the cannabis plant compared to THCA-B. Most strains of cannabis have higher concentrations of THCA, while THCA-B is found in relatively smaller amounts.

What Are THCA-B Effects?

While the psychoactive effects of THCA-B have not been specifically studied, it is believed to have similar properties to other acidic cannabinoids like THCA, which is non-psychoactive until heated through decarboxylation.

Like THCA, THCA-B has a carboxylic acid group attached to its molecular structure that must be removed through decarboxylation to convert it to THC. In this neutral form, THC can bind to and activate the CB1 receptors in the brain, leading to psychoactive effects.

Therefore, based on current knowledge, it is unlikely that THCA-B has psychoactive effects in its raw form. However, more research is needed to fully understand the properties and effects of this minor cannabinoid.

Is THCA-B Legal?

THCA-B has very little research and almost no mention by name in legislation. It would fall under many of the same restrictions as other minor cannabinoids. 

The legality of THCA-B depends on several factors, including where you are located and the source of the compound. In some states, cannabis and its derivatives are legal for both medicinal and recreational use, while in others, they may be restricted or illegal.

It's essential to thoroughly research the laws and regulations in your area before using any cannabis-derived compounds, including THCA-B. As it is a minor cannabinoid with very limited research, it may not be widely available in legal markets yet.

Will THCA-B Cause Me to Fail a Drug Test?

Much like THCA, THCA-B can potentially cause you to fail a drug test. Drug tests typically screen for THC, and THCA-B is converted to THC when it is heated. If you have consumed a product containing THCA-B via smoking, vaping, or baking, it is possible that a drug test will detect THC in your system, and you may test positive. 

However, the likelihood of this happening depends on various factors, such as the amount of THCA-B consumed, the frequency of consumption, and the sensitivity of the drug test. 

If you consume raw cannabis, which will have more THCA-B in it (although not much), you are less likely to fail a drug test. However, you should always proceed with caution when consuming products that have types of THC in them prior to taking a drug test.

Which Type of THC Is Right for Me?

It's important to understand that there are different types of THC, and some are more potent than others. To avoid overconsumption, it's best to start with small servings and gradually increase your intake to determine your tolerance levels. 

Additionally, the availability of synthetically made THC has increased in recent years. However, there is limited research to determine their efficacy and safety. 

To ensure the quality and purity of THC products, it's best to opt for those that are third-party lab tested for purity and cannabinoid content. Ultimately, responsible consumption and knowledge of the type of THC you're consuming can help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

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