What is THC-A?
THCA is the acidic form of THC, full name: tetrahydrocannabinolic acid. As a cannabis plant matures and its buds grow, its terpene and cannabinoid content begin to develop. The first cannabinoid the plant will develop is CBGA, also called the “mother of all cannabinoids” because it will eventually break down and produce primary cannabinoids, like THCA and CBDA.
THCA is not intoxicating if ingested. Chemically, it has an additional molecular carboxyl ring, which prevents it from binding to receptors in the brain responsible for feeling high.
You may be thinking, ‘what’s the point if it doesn’t get me stoned?’ But without THCA, we wouldn’t have THC or the numerous health benefits attributed to it.
When THCA is exposed to heat, such as when smoking, vaping, dabbing, or cooking, it will convert into the intoxicating, beloved cannabinoid THC.
What is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 THC is a cannabis compound that has become popular because of its similarity to delta-9 THC, the main compound in cannabis that gets you high, causing euphoria, happiness, sedation, symptom relief, and much more. Large amounts of THC are found in a majority of cannabis strains.
The similarities between the two cannabinoids lie in their chemical structures and their names. THC’s scientific name is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or delta-9 THC, or just delta-9. Delta-8 is short for delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, or delta-8 THC. Delta-8 THC can cause effects similar to regular delta-9 THC—but they will be much less potent.
Delta-8 and delta-9 are both forms of THC. In common usage, when people refer to THC they are talking about delta-9 THC. (In this article, when we use the term “THC” without a modifier, we are referring to delta-9 THC.)
Currently, the legality of delta-8 is hazy. It can be extracted from either hemp or cannabis. Because of the 2018 farm bill, hemp can be legally grown and used for extractions all over the United States, making delta-8 legal in states where delta-9 THC is illegal—sometimes.
Nearly all delta-8 THC on the market today is manufactured from hemp-derived CBD, which makes it, in theory at least, part of a federally legal chain of origin.
People in states where THC is illegal crave cannabis products and are now looking to delta-8 because it may be legal in their state, even though it is less potent than regular THC. Many hemp-based extractors are ramping up delta-8 production to meet this new demand and shipping it all over the US.
At the end of the day...
Delta-8 THC is still a very popular compound. It's a fantastic pick for individuals with lower THC tolerance. However, if you're looking for a traditional high... stick to THC-A.
What is Delta-9 THC?
Delta-9 THC is the compound that we all know and love. Present in high quantities within the cannabis plant, this compound is known far and wide for its intoxicating yet pleasing effect.
Delta-9 THC is federally controlled and must make up less than 0.3% of a product's total mass. Thus, most federally legal Delta-9 products are very low-dose.
What is Delta-11 THC?
Delta-11 THC is very similar to Delta-9 THC! However, it is largely regarded as up to three times more potent.
What is THC-P?
THC-P is a phytocannabinoid, and its defining element is the carbon tail in its chemical compound. It has a tail of seven carbons, putting it above a standard Delta-9 THC compound by two.
Because of its carbon tail, THC-P can also bind to the endocannabinoid system more strongly than standard THC and even more strongly than THC-O. THC-P is also more potent than Delta-9 THC, but only slightly.
Common Effects of THC-P:
- Mild sedation
- Reduced stress
What is HHC?
HHC doesn’t sound like a cannabinoid, and it isn’t a member of the THC family. Yet, it's hemp-derived and binds to receptors in the endocannabinoid system to produce a mild high. It’s not quite as strong as Delta-8, but it will still get you high. HHC is a lovely addition to any vape pen, pre-roll, or edible to add soothing, lightly stoney effects.
Common Effects of HHC:
- Physical relaxation
- Reduced anxiety
What is HHC-O?
HHC-O is made from HHC, with an added acetate representing the “O” at the end of the acronym. Typically, when acetate is added to a cannabinoid molecule, it increases its potency and delays its onset time. That’s the case with HHC-O, and although it’s still fairly mild compared to some cannabinoids, it’s stronger than HHC.
Common Effects of HHC-O:
- Physical relaxation
- Reduced anxiety