What is Delta-10-THC and Why do I Need to Know About it?

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Written January 2021. Updated July, 2021

In this post:

  • What is Delta-10-THC?
  • How does it affect the body?
  • Can Delta-10 get you high?
  • Why should you care?
  • Is it legal?
  • Are there high Delta-10 strains
  • Is it easy to produce?
  • How is Delta-10 measured and tested?
  • How do you know it's safe?
  • What type of products are available?

Oh my delta, another THC compound to explore!? You already know about Delta-9 THC–the illicit compound that makes you high, euphoric, and perhaps a tad bit paranoid. You may have also heard about Delta-8 THC, the molecular neighbor that you can synthesize from legal hemp for a mildly psychoactive effect.

But are you in-the-know about Delta-10 THC? No problem. Delta-10 is so cutting edge, you’re about to be one of the first customers in line. Let’s explore what we know about Delta-10 THC and why you should care.

What is Delta-10-THC?

Delta-10 THC is one of the hundreds of cannabinoids you can find in hemp and cannabis. Unlike Delta-9 however, Delta-10 appears in such trace amounts that you’d waste an exhaustive amount of time and plant material trying to extract it from natural strains. In fact, Delta-10 is so elusive, laboratories often misidentify the compound for CBC or CBL using standard High Performance Liquid Chromatography methods, according to Extraction Magazine.

How Does Delta-10-THC Affect the Body?

While very little research has been done on its mechanism of action in the body, Delta-10 THC likely interacts with the endocannabinoid system in a similar way as other THC compounds. Delta-9 THC and Delta-8 THC have binding affinities towards CB1 receptors in the brain and nervous system, which produce varying levels of psychotropic effects. Delta-10 may interact similarly with CB1 receptors at high concentrations.

Can Delta-10-THC Get You High Like Delta-8 or Delta-9 THC?

According to David Reckles from Private Label Hemp Lab, Delta-10 can absolutely get you high. But not exactly like Delta-8 or Delta-9. Delta-9 has the most intense effect on a person’s pleasure, thought process, memory, coordination and perceptions. Delta-8 has a much lower potency in comparison and users report experiencing mild levels of appetite stimulation, and relaxation. Similarly, Delta-10 also has a lower psychotropic potency.

But users report very different outcomes compared to Delta-8. “I would compare Delta-10 to a sativa in terms of its effects, while Delta-8 is more of an indica,” said David. David’ clients prefer Delta-8 as a sleep aid, while they opt for Delta-10 to promote greater creativity, euphoria, alertness, and energy. “Delta-10 is uplifting and perfect for daytime use,” said David.

Delta-10 also has the potential to appeal to a mass audience looking for psychoactive benefits, without the potential downsides caused by Delta-9 THC.

“I think Delta-10 is going to be insanely popular because it offers euphoria and increased focus, without the paranoia and anxiety some users report from Delta-9.”

Will You Fail a Drug Test If You Take Delta-10-THC?

Delta-10 THC will appear in a urinalysis and may not be discernible from Delta-9. Long story short, better to be safe on this one.

Why Should You Care About Delta-10-THC?

"We've been selling thousands of Delta-8 products a day. And based on the feedback from Delta-10 so far, we're ramping production to prepare for a similarly soaring demand. We think Delta-8 and Delta-10 have the power to turn the hemp and CBD industry on its head."

According to David, people love CBD for its natural wellness benefits. But, at the same time, they also want a product to help them take the edge off. They want to feel a slight psychoactive effect, and they don't want to have to get a medical cannabis card to do it. So for these self-helpers, Delta-10 and Delta-8 THC is the perfect addition to their daily regimen.

"Now that Delta-8 and Delta-10 are available, people are starting to realize they can have their cake and eat it too. So why would people stick to CBD only when they can have it all?"

Is Delta-10-THC legal?

As of this writing, Delta-10 THC derived from cannabis is illegal due to the fact that marijuana is a schedule 1 controlled substance. However, Delta-10 derived from hemp extract exists in a legal gray zone.

The DEA has said all “All synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols remain schedule I controlled substances.” The issue with that statement is the DEA has not defined what constitutes “synthetically derived.”

As a result, companies like Nerps Brands are moving forward with producing Delta-10 from fully legal, safe and compliant CBD.

Are There High Delta-10-THC Strains?

You won't find naturally occurring high Delta-10 THC strains on the market today. To produce this mysterious cannabinoid, processors must carefully conduct one of a variety of scientific procedures that transforms CBD into Delta-10.

Is It Easy to Produce Delta-10-THC?

"You can technically create any delta you want–Delta-8, Delta-9, or Delta-10–by chemically altering CBD isolate or CBD crude. As of today, however, I've learned it's significantly harder to produce Delta-10 THC than Delta-8.

"Eventually, I'm sure very smart PhDs will figure it out. Then they'll start working as consultants and share the formulas with manufacturers to help them acquire the right machinery, systems, and processes. When that happens, Delta-10 production will still be more complicated than Delta-8, but it will also be more commonplace. We're just not there yet," said David.

How is Delta-10-THC Measured and Tested?

Delta-8-THC is measured through potency tests through a similar protocol as CBD, THC and other cannabinoids. ACS Laboratory uses Ultra High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) machinery to measure Delta-10-THC potency in edibles, flower and extracts. ACS also employs the industry’s latest reference standards to ensure we’re accurately discerning Delta-10 from CBC and CBL.

How Do You Know If Delta-10-THC Products Are Safe?

According to David, third-party laboratory tests are even more critical for Delta-10 products than CBD flower, for example. Why?

"If Delta-10 products aren't made with the proper knowledge, supervision, and testing, companies could be creating unsafe or illegal products.

"Eager entrepreneurs might start creating Delta-10 products without the proper tools or knowledge to do it the right way. For instance, they may not know how to preserve a clean environment or understand the chemistry behind what they're doing. As a result, they may inadvertently create extracts with residual solvents, acids, or Delta-9 THC.

"That's why customers should always look for a Certificate of Analysis (COA) to prove the product was tested and deemed safe. I would add, the COA doesn't always match the product or the batch it came from, so simply glancing at the document is not enough. End-users and retailers must double-check to ensure the batch number listed on the COA matches the number on the product label.

"Verifying laboratory test results is vital for Delta-10 products. In fact, regulators considering what to do with Delta-10 and Delta-8 should focus on laboratory testing. Instead of trying to ban these hemp-derived compounds, regulators should ensure manufacturers are safely creating them," said David.

What Type of Delta-10-THC Products are Available?

To date, you won’t find many Delta-10 products on the market. But companies like Nerps Brands plan to launch an assortment of Delta-10 items in the coming weeks. That means you’ll be able vaporize, eat, or ingest Delta-10 through a variety of product types including.

  • Disposable pens
  • Vape cartridges
  • Gummies
  • Tincture / oil
  • Dabbing syringes
  • Chocolate bars
  • Shatter
  • Even flower and pre rolls! (Delta-10 is sprayed on)

June 2021 update (interview with David Reckles, from Private Label Hemp Lab and Nerps.

What is the State of the Delta-10 Market Today?

Countless brands jumped on the Delta-10 bandwagon since this blog first ran in January 2021. However, not all are honest actors, according to David Reckles. "When we first started creating Delta-10 formulas, laboratories, including ACS, told us our extracts contained about 2% Delta-10 and about 98% Delta-8.

"Based on that ratio, some of our white label clients were uncomfortable calling their products' Delta-10.' So instead, they used terms like 'Delta-8 Fuego' to indicate the enrichment of Delta-10 in their formulas," said David. At the same time, David noticed brands launching products that listed 40-50% Delta-10 on the labels. Could that be possible?

Do Potent Delta-10 Products Really Exist?

David's customers gave rave reviews about his 2% Delta-10 products. In fact, they said the Sativa effect felt stronger than products that claimed to have higher Delta-10 concentrations.

Still, David wanted to compete with the high potency competitors. So David's company, Private Label Hemp Lab, immediately hired new chemists to raise the potency bar.  

Ultimately, they achieved 40% Delta-10, but the formulas tested above the legal limit of Delta-9. Plus, the lab was experiencing minor explosions due to the chemicals they were using. So they replaced the chemicals and equipment to eliminate the explosion risk, but they still couldn't wash Delta-9 from the final product. David wondered what he and his team were doing wrong.

"At first, we spent thousands of dollars in R&D trying to create potent D-10 extracts. Then we started seeing reports from third-party sources who tested the supposed 50% Delta-10 products with verified laboratories like ACS. In an attempt to validate the COAs, these watchdog sources revealed that these labels were totally inaccurate or forged," said David.

Why are So Many Delta-10 Labels False?

"Not every brand is bad. But there a few bad apples who plainly Photoshop their labels or convince an unscrupulous laboratory to count Delta-8 as Delta-10 in the potency results.

"Unfortunately, some brands coerce their labs. Then they circulate the product in the market and only get caught if a verified laboratory checks their claims," said David.

After discovering such shady market behavior, David decided to stop trying to compete with other brands. Instead, he went back to his original formula with 2% Delta-10 THC that tested clean and clear of all residual solvents, as well as Delta-9. Today, Delta-10 is one of his top-selling and most lucrative formulas.

What are Delta-10 and Delta-8 Hybrid Products Like?

Delta-8, an indica effect, and Delta-10, a Sativa effect, create a harmonious hybrid product when blended. Along with Delta-8 and Delta-10, David's company took it a step further by adding CBD to the mix. "We call it 'Skywalker's Father,'" said David. "We sold out of it quickly, likely because it gave people the best of all worlds.

"With a hybrid product, people can experience a mild indica effect that helps relieve anxiety without the risk of feeling sloth-like due to the energy boost they receive from Delta-10. Plus, when CBD is added to the mix, they can benefit from the compound's ability to counteract THC's intense psychoactive effects.

Will Delta-10 Trump Delta-8 as the Most Popular New Compound?

Delta-10 is an exciting compound with energizing effects that work well for daytime use. Still, industry experts like David Reckles feel Delta-8 will remain the top seller in the long run. "If you look at the cannabis market and sales, Indica trumps Sativa by a landslide. People would rather Delta-8 to help with anxiety, sleep, and pain than Delta-10, which delivers energizing psychoactive effects."

According to David, everyone who is producing and selling Delta-8 THC has never been busier than they are today. "We are giving people that relief they seek, along with a mild psychoactive effect. As a result, they're ingesting the product much more than they would CBD, for example.

"So, it's not just about addressing a particular health concern. It's also an everyday (multiple times a day) product," said David.  

How Much Does Delta-10 THC Sell for on the Market?

"Pricing varies. Right now, the demand for Delta-10 outweighs the supply, so the prices are considerably higher than Delta-8. But, over time, the market will fix itself as the supply meets the demand," said David.

Why are Delta-8 THC and Delta-10 THC So Politicized?

"Truly, I have no idea why exactly. I've heard people point out that most states with Delta-8 THC bans are the same states that allow Delta-9 THC. Clearly, these pro-cannabis states don't have an issue with THC, so some speculate there's a connection.

"People say that because Delta-9 states spent so much money building the legal cannabis industry, they may be worried about a new THC variant interfering with the revenues and programs they've developed. That is, of course, pure speculation," said David.

What are the Most Popular Delta-10 Products?

"We have lollipops, oils, and flower, but nothing trumps vape cartridges and gummies," said David.

Many of David's niche clients also ask for flower because their customers like the experience of smoking. But, at the same time, David warns that smoking is not the most effective way to ingest Delta-10."When you burn Delta-8 or Delta-10, you inevitably reduce the potency as a result of the added heat," said David.

Why ACS is so Excited About Delta-10-THC

At ACS Laboratory, we are so excited about Delta-10 THC because of its power to augment the CBD market as one of the most popular (legal) agents of chill. Now more than ever, consumers are stressed, exhausted, and in need of a boost.

But not everyone wants to get high or worry about breaking the law. That makes Delta-10 the perfect alternative.

ACS Cannabinoids Guide

This complete cannabinoid guide covers major and minor cannabinoids, how they work in the body, and highlights the top compounds brands and operators must test for today.
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