Different Forms of THC: Understand the Options
The cannabis plant is a rich source of over 110 compounds known as cannabinoids. However, THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, stands out due to its psychoactive properties and prevalent presence in hemp plants. The purpose of this article is to highlight the various types of THC and provide insight into their distinct characteristics.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) serves as the primary psychoactive component in the cannabis plant. It interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors within the endocannabinoid system, resulting in the “high” associated with cannabis consumption. There are primarily five types of THC: Delta-8, Delta-9, THCa, THCv, and THCp. Each has unique characteristics, efficacy, and physiological effects. Delta-9 THC is the most abundant form.
Delta-8 THC: The Subdued Variant
Delta-8 THC is a less abundant isomer found in the hemp plant. Legally available in some countries that have sanctioned THC products, Delta-8 THC must contain no more than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis to comply with legislation. The compound offers milder psychoactive effects compared to Delta-9 THC, inducing a sense of relaxation and well-being without the intense “high.”
Delta-9 THC: The Prevalent Isomer
Delta-9 THC is the most abundant and well-known isomer in originating from the cannabis plant. The 2018 Farm Bill in the United States legalized hemp-derived THC products containing no more than 0.3% THC. The psychoactive effects associated with Delta-9 THC can range from tranquility and elevated mood to increased appetite.
THCa: The Non-Psychoactive Precursor
Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCa) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that transforms into Delta-9 THC upon heating, a process known as decarboxylation. In its unheated form, THCa can offer calming and relaxing effects without the accompanying psychoactivity.
THCv: A Mild Introduction
Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCv) comes into existence when THCa breaks down. Its effects are generally shorter and milder than those of Delta-9 THC, making it a suitable choice for individuals new to cannabis consumption.
THCp: The Intense Newcomer
Discovered in 2019, tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THCp) has garnered attention for its exceptional psychoactive potential. It binds to brain receptors 33 times more efficiently than Delta-9 THC, making it considerably more potent.
Though Delta-10 THC exists in the cannabis plant, its concentrations are minuscule. Due to this, it is not commonly included in discussions concerning primary THC types.
Navigating the THC Landscape
With knowledge of the different THC types, you are better equipped to make an informed choice. Consider your desired experience when selecting a THC product, whether it be mild psychoactivity through Delta-8 or THCa, or more potent effects via THCp.
According to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived THC products containing less than 0.3% THC are considered legal. However, it is crucial to confirm the legal status of specific THC types in your jurisdiction. It is important to note that all THC types can be detected in drug tests.
THC offers different experiences tailored to individual preferences and needs. Whether you are seeking mild relaxation or a more intense psychoactive experience, understanding the different types of THC empowers you to make an informed choice. Always adhere to the recommended serving sizes (less than 1% in Switzerland) and consult with you healthcare professionals.