By now, many in the industry are aware of the recent craze surrounding delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a natural component of cannabis that has burst into popularity over the past several months.
And it seems as soon as the industry has gained a solid understanding of delta-8, another THC compound has come into the spotlight: delta-10 THC.
Similar to delta-8, delta-10 is a minor cannabinoid that exists in trace amounts in hemp and cannabis, according to ACS Laboratory, a cannabis, hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) testing laboratory in Florida.
As previously reported by Hemp Grower, delta-8 is said to have a relaxing effect and produces some psychotropic effects that are believed to be less potent than delta-9.
Roger Brown, the president and founder of ACS Laboratory, describes the effects of delta-10 to be the opposite of delta-8, based on his personal experience.
"For myself, I don’t utilize or smoke marijuana, but I tried delta-8 and delta-10 products that we tested as an experiment, and for me, delta-10 had no psychoactive effects; it was more like a mood enhancer," he says.
Erik Paulson, senior analyst at Infinite Chemical Analysis Labs, an analytical cannabis and CBD testing lab with locations in California and Michigan, says he’s heard consumers compare delta-10’s effects to sativa cannabis varieties, which are traditionally known for being energizing and uplifting, and delta-8 effects to indica varieties, which are associated with relaxation.
However, Paulson says he’s unsure if there’s any scientific evidence behind that, adding, "It could just be that the higher psychoactivity of delta-8 is causing more of a pronounced sedative effect compared to delta-10."
At this point, Paulson and Brown both say there is some published research on delta-10, though it is minimal.
A pigeon study conducted in the 1980s by Ralph Micheolam, a cannabis research pioneer, studied the effects of delta-10 compared to delta-9 on pigeons. The study found that delta-10 may have some psychoactive effects, but the effects are much less potent than delta-9.
However, "there’s not as much known about delta-10 in terms of the psychoactivity and its effects on the human body," Paulson says.
Where it Comes From
Like delta-8, delta-10 can be converted in a laboratory from delta-9 or CBD, Paulson says.
Delta-10 is typically produced more predominantly through extraction or converted from delta-9 through isomerization, he says. Transforming delta-9 to delta-10 (or delta-8) is possible because they have the same chemical compounds, just different structures.
According to Extraction Magazine, extractors would waste a significant amount of time and plant material trying to extract delta-10 from natural strains, so it is more likely produced via isomerization. Delta-10 appears in such small amounts that laboratories often misidentify the compound for [cannabichromene] CBC or [cannabicyclol] CBL using standard high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) methods.
"You can create any delta you want—delta-8, delta-9, or delta-10—by chemically altering CBD isolate or CBD crude," David Reckles, president of Private Label Hemp Lab, a hemp testing and manufacturing lab in Florida, told ACS Laboratory. "If you’re using crude CBD, you’ll generally create the reaction through carbon and vitamin C derivatives. If you’re using an isolate, you’ll incorporate