The Deltas: Delta 8 THC, Delta 10 THC, THC-O, and HHC

Let's talk about cannabinoid therapy innovation for a moment. We now know there are two cannabinoids we love for therapy: THC and CBD. As our industry evolves, science is advancing in the field of cannabis. Since some people and corporations are frightened of the plant's potential, studying cannabis has been a challenge. Thankfully, breakthroughs are made every single day and today we want to talk about the new cannabinoids on the market and their differences. 

Delta 8 THC (D8):

Delta 8 THC is similar to D9 THC in its effects but is considered less potent than D9 THC by about 50%. D8 is considered to have a more sedating effect- think Indica.

    • CBD is extracted from legal hemp and converted to D8 through a process called isomerization (this process has been around for decades), 
    • D8 is an isomer of CBD, meaning the CBD molecule can be rearranged to create D8 THC. 
    • What is an isomer?
    • “Compounds that have all the same components, just arranged in a different order.”
    • What is isomerization?
    • “The chemical process by which a compound is transformed into any of its isomeric forms, i.e., forms with the same chemical composition but with different structure/configuration and, hence, generally with different physical and chemical properties.”
    • Simply put- Isomerization is the process of rearranging the components of one compound to convert it into another. Nothing is added during this process, which is why D8 THC is not a true synthetic.

Fun Fact:

    • D8 is a product of D9 degradation, meaning D8 is found in quantities lower than 1% in hemp.  

    Delta 10 THC (D10):

    Delta 10 THC is similar to D9 THC but less potent. D10 is considered to have a more energizing effect - think Sativa.

      • D10 is made through the same process as D8 as they are analogs of each other.
      • What's an analog?
      • A compound that has a structure similar to that of another compound, but differing from it in respect to a certain component.  
    So what's the difference between D9, D8, and D10?
    • The primary difference between the 3 cannabinoids on a chemical level is where the double bond is located. 

          The difference between delta 10 THC, delta 8 THC and delta 9 THC

    THC-O (THC-O-Acetate)

    First and foremost, THC-O is NOT a naturally occurring cannabinoid. This cannabinoid is said to be roughly 3x stronger than D9 THC. This compound is considered a pro-drug, meaning it’s not activated until metabolized, which can take about 20-30 minutes to take effect. THC-0 is a Prodrug, meaning it doesn't become active until after it is metabolized by the liver. For some, the effects truly aren't felt until 20-60 minutes after taking an oral dose of THC-0. 
    • Potential benefits include:
      • Anti-anxiety
      • Anti-nausea 
      • Appetite stimulation
      • Stress reduction 
    • How is it made?
      • To make this molecule, a highly-flammable/volatile/explosive compound Acetic Anhydride is added to D8 THC molecules to make THC-O acetate. This process strips away all other beneficial compounds (terpenes and flavonoids) and leaves behind a potent THC isolate with no flavor or aroma. 
      • THC-O is an Analog of THC (see above definition) 
    Delta 9 THC Molecule Compared to THC-O Molecule                                                                                                             
    • The biggest difference between the two is the top right corner of each molecule, THC-O has an acetate molecule, this is what makes THC-O so special, it makes it stronger and more potent. THC-O shines in its medicinal potential. In some people, unfortunately, THC doesn't always have the desired medicinal effects. The good news is because THC-O is a different version of THC, it can stimulate the cannabinoid receptors in the brain and body in a way that regular THC cannot. 
    Fun Facts: 

    HHC (Hydroxyhexahydrocannabinol):

    HHC is NOT a THC compound, which is why this could possibly elude a drug test. HHC has THC like effects, it is less potent than D9 with reported user effects similar to D8, weighting more heavily on relaxation vs. stimulation. HHC effects tend to vary per particular strain, generally it produces feelings of euphoria and stimulation, altered visual/auditory perception, changes in heart rate and body temperature, and altered head space and cognition. 

    Potential benefits may include:

      • Managing chronic pain
      • Reducing inflammation
      • Promoting deeper, more restorative sleep 
      • Alleviate Nausea/Vomiting 
      • May help alleviate anxiousness, however, may also increase anxiousness.

    Negative reported side effects include (and are comparable to D9 profile)

      • Anxiety 
      • Insomnia
      • Rapid heart rate
      • Dizziness/confusion
      • Dry mouth
      • Red eyes
      • Paranoia

    How is HHC made?

    HHC is made by adding hydrogen to D8 THC, in a process called hydrogenation, which converts D8 THC to HHC. The main difference between HHC and THC is in the bonds. HHC is THC without any double bonds in its chemical structure, all the double bonds have been broken and replaced with hydrogen. HHC is the most stable, it’s resistant to heat and UV radiation and has a substantially longer shelf life than THC. 

    Fun Facts: 

      • There is some indication that HHC doesn't metabolize into 11-hydroxy-THC, which is the primary metabolite of THC, which is what drug tests detect. Exercise caution as this is only a theory that hasn't been tested/proven.
      • Hydrogenation is also used to convert vegetable oil to margarine. 
      • There are at least 10 isomers of HHC 

    Everyone reacts differently to cannabinoid therapy and it's important to discuss your options with an educated professional. As always friends, please do not hesitate to call us with any questions or stop by any one of our locations to speak with one of our expert cannabinoid consultants. They'll take you on a personalized cannabinoid therapy journey and answer all of your questions. 

    Daily CBD. (2021, September 3). What is HHC? hydrogenated cannabinoids & apocalypse-ready THC. Daily CBD. Retrieved October 19, 2021, from

    Leave a comment