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Delta Distinctions: Comparing the Many Hemp-Derived THC Variants

Written By Ellese Symons Mar 4th 2024
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Navigating a selection of hemp-derived products can be somewhat intimidating, especially for people living in states where convenience stores and specialty shops stock products featuring today's most popular hemp-derived THC variants. Far too often, curious consumers feel they don't have enough reliable information to choose a product capable of delivering the effect they're hoping to achieve. We get it. 

Companies nationwide are expanding their inventories with tinctures, capsules, and edibles featuring various concentrations of Delta-8, Delta-9, and Delta-10 THC and even less familiar cannabinoids like THC- 0. While they have similar effects, they're clearly not the same. If you're struggling, don't give up exploring your options just yet. Once you know the fundamental distinctions between the various deltas on the market, the entire decision-making process can be a lot easier than you might expect. 

Exploring the Numerical World of Hemp-Derived THC Variants  

Delta THC variants all work the same way, by interacting with a specific chemical receptor in your brain, nerve cells, and connective tissues, CB1.6 Activating that cannabinoid receptor temporarily modifies the flow of information between nerve cells while increasing the amount of dopamine circulating through your system,2 which explains the cannabinoid's "recreational" effect. 

Although all delta THC variants interact with the same chemical receptors, they don't have the same effect because of subtle differences in their molecular structures, their 3D shapes. The position of the double bond between their carbon atoms determines if the following cannabinoids have a stronger or weaker effect.

Delta-9 THC  

Delta-9 THC (Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) has a double bond on its 9th carbon atom. That placement allows the cannabinoid to bind with CB1 receptors like a key fitting into a lock. This naturally occurring cannabinoid is generally well-tolerated, safe for most adults, and the most potent of the THC variants. Although there are no reports of a single fatality following a cannabis overdose,9 overconsumption can cause loss of coordination, memory lapses, panic attacks, or paranoia.

Delta-8 THC  

Delta-8 THC (Δ-8-tetrahydrocannabinol) is an isomer of Delta-9. It has the same chemical composition, but its double bond is on its 8th carbon atom. That slight variance in shape renders the cannabinoid about 50-70% less potent than Delta-9, with an effect that's often described as smoother, milder, and not as long-lasting.5 Although it's technically a naturally occurring cannabinoid, most (if not all) Delta-8 THC on the market is synthetic. 

Delta-10 THC  

Delta-10 THC (Δ-10-tetrahydrocannabinol) is also a synthetic cannabinoid. Anecdotal evidence suggests its effects are mildly intoxicating and uplifting, but slightly less potent than Delta-8. Although there are no reports of Delta-10 causing serious harm, there are also no studies to confirm its safety. To date, researchers still don't have a clear understanding of how chemically converted cannabinoids like Delta-8 and Delta-10 are metabolized or stored in the body.4 


THC-O (tetrahydrocannabinol-O-acetate) is not found in nature. After synthesizing Delta-8 from CBD, a second chemical reaction replaces the cannabinoid's THC hydroxyl group with an acetyl group to increase fat solubility and cell permeability. The result is a potentially hallucinogenic synthetic that's more potent than delta-9 THC but legally questionable. As it stands, there's no way for consumers to be sure of the purity or safety of THC-O products.

Finding Your Balance with a Precise Combination of Hemp-Derived Cannabinoids  

In addition to a considerable number of concerns about the overall safety of THC-O, National Poison Control has received more than 600 reports of adverse effects from Delta-8 THC. Approximately 18% resulted in hospitalization. In response, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working with agencies at the federal and state levels to investigate safety concerns.8 Although there's little evidence suggesting similar issues with Delta-10, several agencies have expressed concerns about synthetic cannabinoids in general. 

By comparison, hemp-derived Delta-9 THC is clearly the better option. It's naturally occurring, its effects are well documented, and there's no risk of ingesting synthetic byproducts. CBDistillery® THC + CBD gummies are made with full spectrum hemp extract enhanced with just enough naturally occurring Delta-9 THC for relaxation and feelings of overall well-being. Plus, our expert botanists crafted two unique formulations. 

CBDistillery® ommm+ distilled THC + CBD Gummies 

CBDistillery® ommm+ distilled THC + CBD Gummies could be just what you need to relax at the end of an eventful day. Our vegan, berry-flavored gummies give you the best of everything our full spectrum hemp extract has to offer, and just the right amount of Delta-9 THC for a mellow, uplifting buzz. There's 25mg of CBD and 5mg of THC in every 1 gummy serving. 

CBDistillery® shhh+ distilled THC + CBD Gummies  

CBDistillery® shhh+ distilled THC + CBN Gummies have an enticing dreamberry flavor and a precise blend of cannabinoids selected specifically for deep sleep. As the 5mg of naturally occurring Delta-9 THC helps you drift off to dreamland, the 5mg of CBN and 25mg of CBD work together to ensure you get the rest you need to wake feeling your best. You get 30 gummies in every jar. 

How Could Our Naturally Occurring Delta-9 Elevate Your Evening Routine? 

Cannabis researchers have been studying the short-term and long-term effects of Delta-9 THC for decades. When used in moderation, naturally occurring Delta-9 THC is generally well-tolerated and safe for most adults. But even mild intoxication can alter time perception, heighten sensory perception, increase your appetite, or cause drowsiness. 

Since the effects of any THC-infused product can vary from one person to the next, we suggest starting with a partial serving and waiting at least 2 hours for the effects to peak. Starting low and going slow greatly reduces your risk of overconsumption. 

If you're still exploring your options, consider taking our 3-minute CBD Product Quiz or scheduling a personal consultation. CBDistillery® tinctures, topicals, softgels, capsules, gummies, and pet products are made with 100% clean ingredients, rigorously tested, quality assured, and backed by our 60-day hassle-free satisfaction guarantee. 


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  1. Mackie K. (2008) Cannabinoid Receptors: Where They Are and What They Do. 20(1) J Neuroendocrinol 10-14. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2826.2008.01671.x 

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