If you are new to the cannabis world, you may have wondered, are there different types of weed, or even, how many different types of marijuana are there?
Yes, all the many different types of marijuana have THC, but THC not only comes from marijuana, it also derives from hemp. In cannabis, the many different types of THC have their own properties.
Take a breath, and let’s dive into the world of cannabis, so you will know which THC compound is best for you!
What is THC?
THC, also known as tetrahydrocannabinol, is a chemical compound found in cannabis. There are many different variations of THC, and each THC compound has a specific molecular composition.
The chemical structure of THC is similar to a natural brain chemical referred to as anandamide. The similarity between the two allows the body to recognize THC, and in response, it alters the brain’s communication between neurons.
Both CBD and THC molecular structures are similar to endocannabinoids, which your body naturally produces. The similarity between this neurotransmitter allows THC to attach to cannabinoid receptors on nerve cells (neurons.) When the cannabinoid receptors are activated, it causes the endocannabinoid system to change its normal nervous system functions.
Types of THC
Five major types of THC that naturally occur in cannabis plants:
- Delta-8 THC
- Delta-9 THC
Let’s break down the individual differences for all the THC types.
Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol is a natural cannabinoid derived from hemp. Delta-8 has been an excellent addition for cannabinoid fans. As of July 13, 2021, Delta-8 is legal in most states under the Farm Bill of 2018.
Extraction of Delta-8 THC
Delta-8 is a natural cannabinoid is found in small amounts in both hemp and marijuana extracted in several ways including:
- CO2 extraction
CO2 extraction is when Delta-8 is naturally derived from hemp. To summarize this, they use pressurized CO2 that will drive out Delta 8. Hometown Hero prides itself in only utilizing this procedure to give its consumers the highest quality Delta-8. Our Delta-8 customers have reported feeling:
- Mild euphoria
The isomerization process is a chemical process that turns CBD into Delta-8 (synthesized-Delta-8.) This process is a cheaper alternative that creates risk for solvents and other chemicals to be left behind in the product. When cannabis companies produce products based on cost over quality, this can lead to lack of concern on quality assurance.
When most people hear about THC, they likely are referring to Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. This particular form of THC has been controversial, but as of July 13, 2021, Delta-9 is legalized to use medically in 36 states and recreationally in 19 states.
Extraction of Delta-9 THC
In marijuana, it carries high concentrations of TCHA (Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid), but once this compound goes through the decarboxylation process, the heat changes its raw form into Delta-9 THC.
Once Delta-9 THC has completed the decarboxylation process, the molecule binds to your cannabinoid receptors that will produce effects. Some Delta-9 fans have reported feeling:
THC-A (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) is the acidic form of THC. THC-A is the most natural form of THC located in cannabis plants. When cannabis is heated, it enters the decarboxylation process. This process is when THC-A is taken out of this acidic state and begins the transition into different THC compounds.
When TCH-A is used, it binds directly to CB2 receptors in our endocannabinoid system. This specific compound causes no mind-altering effects. As of July 13, 2021, Hemp-derived TCH-A is federally legal, but marijuana-derived TCH-A is not.
THC-V (Tetrahydrocannabivarin) is similar to Delta-9 but is derived from a different compound. THC and CBD are the byproducts of CGBA (cannabigerolic acid) synthesis, while THC-V derives from CBGVA (cannabigerovarin acid) synthesis. After CBGVA is exposed to light or heat, it will convert to THC-V.
When THC-V is consumed in moderation, it only activates CB1 and does the exact opposite of Delta-9. If taken in larger amounts, this would activate both CB1 and CB2 receptors, which will result in more prominent effects, similar to Delta-9. As of July 13, 2021, THC-A is federally legal if it is hemp-derived.
THC-P (Tetrahydrocannabiphorol) is not known by many, but it deserves attention. This cannabinoid is the only compound with synthetic analogs made up of a 7-carbon chain, while Delta-9 has a five-carbon chain. This recent discovery has never been seen before in THC compounds.
To simplify this, THC-P has a higher potency than Delta-9. When TCH-P is consumed, it binds directly and efficiently to CB1 and CB2—creating an almost instant reaction to the mind and body. The side effects are similar to Delta-9 but more intense and long-lasting. As of July 13, 2021, TCH-P is federally legal if extracted from a hemp plant.
This discovery has shifted what we know about cannabis and has opened the door for future research.
As you can see, each different type of THC has its own characteristics. With continued hemp production and scientific research, we will be that much closer to discovering more cannabinoids. We are only just beginning to grasp the endless opportunities that cannabis has to offer.
What are the different types of THC?
The five main types of THC: Delta-8 THC, Delta-9 THC, THC-A, THC-V, THC-P, but there are many more that have not been thoroughly researched.
Is all THC the same?
Each THC compound is chemically different and has its own attributes.
Which THC is legal?
All forms of hemp-derived THC are federally legal under the Farm Bill of 2018 and are legal in most states. Delta-9 THC derived from marijuana is federally illegal, however as of July 13, 2021, it is legal for recreational use in 19 states and medical use in 36 states.