It might seem to you that delta 9 is something new – but you’ve been hearing about delta 9 THC for longer than you think. In recent years, other marketable versions of THC in various CBD oil products have come on the cannabis scene, including delta 8, delta 10, and others, requiring a distinct label for delta 9 that you might see in different forms:
- Full name of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol
- With delta written in symbol as Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ-9-THC)
- Or commonly called delta 9 or delta 9 THC, or simply THC
Today, we’ll cover what delta 9 is and what you need to know about how it can affect you. We’ll consider questions you may have:
- What is delta 9 THC?
- Where does delta 9 come from?
- How is it made?
- What are the effects of delta 9 THC?
- How can you tell what THC is in a product?
What Is Delta 9?
As recently as the 1960s, scientists had no idea what it was about marijuana that was making people feel “high.” One scientist set out to discover why. His research has become the foundation for much of what we know about CBD, other cannabinoids, and THC and its variants.
Israeli doctor Raphael Mechoulam, professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel, is credited with the discovery of THC, giving him the nickname the “godfather of cannabis.”
His work was important because it kicked off more research and understanding about just how varied the components of the Cannabis sativa plant are, opening up a world of health, wellness, and fitness applications, and many potential medical ones. His curiosity about cannabis essentially birthed the CBD industry that you now see dominating health and wellness markets.
Continued Study and Regulation
Mechoulam discovered the active component of the Cannabis sativa plant that produces a psychoactive effect on the human body. That component was delta 9 THC. This means that yes when consumed in larger quantities, it can get you high.
For today, the FDA regulates the amount of delta 9 THC that is allowed within any type of CBD product, CBD oil, or CBD topical solutions, which is 0.3 percent. There is a currently active bill called the Hemp Advancement Act of 2022, which, if passed by Congress, could increase this amount to 1 percent.
Delta 9 is one of nearly 113 molecular components of the Cannabis sativa plant, along with cannabinoids like CBD, CBG, CBN, and others, as well as various flavonoids and terpenes. Delta 9 grows naturally in the plant and can be extracted for use. Along with his studies on cannabinoids, Mechoulam also developed the theory of the endocannabinoid system, which explains how cannabinoids operate within the human body.
You may have seen the term “industrial hemp,” which is also Cannabis sativa, but a variety less THC-rich and more abundant in other cannabinoids. Marijuana growers use strains of Cannabis sativa that are very high in THC and these plants are usually called marijuana plants. It is important to distinguish the difference here. THC for CBD products does NOT come from marijuana if producers are conforming to federal standards.
CBD products come from plants like industrial hemp, which is less abundant in THC since they don’t need so much THC for the creation of wellness products.
Delta 9 THC is extracted from various structural parts of the hemp plants and purified using liquid solvents. Other forms of THC can also be made by how these molecules are handled in the extraction process. You’ll see these labeled as delta 8, delta 10, or others, named for where the double carbon bonds are located within the molecules.
It’s all still THC, but different variants can be more or less effective. Consider delta 9 THC the “regular form” of THC.
Overview of the Effects
So, how does delta 9 THC affect you when you consume a CBD oil product with delta 9 in it? What are the effects of delta 9 THC? Let’s take a look.
One very important note here – CBD product companies or anyone who sells products containing THC or other cannabinoids can only make statements about efficacy that are based on the current body of scientific research. This is federal law. So, if you see companies making outrageous claims, you may want to find a new provider for your CBD products! A reputable one.
Because cannabis derivatives are growing so rapidly in popularity and use, the research for many claims is far behind the exponential growth of the industry. Therefore, research-backed claims are few. The rest of the language around THC-infused CBD products would be based on very strong anecdotal evidence. We’ll be clear as to which so you know exactly what to expect.
What the Scientific Research Says
As a CBD company, we’ve got a horse in this race, so to speak. So, answering these types of questions can get legally sticky for us – but we want to make sure to point you in the direction of all the info that you need to make an informed decision.
So here’s how to do it.
If you want to read about specific scientific studies for THC research, CBD research, or any other topic, go to the Google Scholar search page and perform a search. Include the particular cannabinoid of interest or use a more general search such as “CBD and _______.”
This will pull up scholarly articles and current scientific research studies that are taking place, and you can read summaries of research findings. This is most helpful if you have a particular need and you want to see if CBD or THC would be of help.
This is where things get really exciting for you. Anecdotal research is basically the body of “evidence” as demonstrated by short-term use, historical uses and applications, word of mouth, testimonies, etc. This is where you see tons of excitement about THC and CBD products, but you need to be wary of your sources for this information.
Here at cbdMD, we aim to be transparent, honest, and very open about how we discuss our products and cannabinoid components with you, while at all levels – from growing, manufacturing, creating, and promoting our products – we stay well within the law. This is for your protection. We won’t make wild claims that we know have not been backed by medical science.
Effects of Delta 9 THC
We know from science that THC has a psychoactive high effect – and that at these lower amounts found in CBD products, you don’t have to worry about that. It’s simply not enough to create a high feeling. But it is enough to help with other things.
- Delta 9 THC can help with a greater feeling of wellness, relaxation, or sense of calm. This may help some people who use CBD products to get more help in this area by switching to a full spectrum CBD oil rather than broad spectrum. Because each body responds differently to cannabinoids, you may find that the opposite is true. But on the whole, THC seems to be more calming.
- Delta 9 THC also seems to help people who have difficulty sleeping even when they are already on a broad spectrum CBD formula. While this may be sufficient for many people, others need a little more help falling asleep, staying asleep, or sleeping well. For these folks, switching to a CBD product with Delta 9 THC in it could be that extra needed support.
- Delta 9 THC is making big waves in the athletic industry with athletes sharing that it helps with post workout recovery, more so than using a broad spectrum CBD. While both are helpful and supportive, the formulas with delta 9 THC or other varieties of THC seem to be preferred for this kind of use. Note: For competitive athletes, check your athletics organizations to be sure CBD products are allowed, specifically the ones with THC in them.
Does Your CBD Oil Contain Delta 9?
There are two things to look for to make this determination. First, look to see if your CBD products are labeled full spectrum CBD or broad spectrum CBD. This will tell you if there is THC of any kind in the formulation. Ones labeled full spectrum are called such because they contain more cannabinoids, using a more “full spectrum” of the plant parts, including THC.
Secondly, check product labeling or ask the company directly if their full spectrum products contain delta 9 THC, delta 8 THC, delta 10, or some other kind of THC, or if there is a combination blend of THC in the products. You can also check companies’ websites to see if they post their Certificates of Analysis online for you to view.
For More Information
For more information about delta 9 THC or other cannabinoids and their effects, make sure to follow our cannabis and CBD education blog.