Ever since President Donald Trump approved the 2018 Farm Bill, the cannabinoid market has become saturated with all sorts of fascinating compounds. The list includes Delta-8 THC, HHC, THC-O, CBD, CBG, CBA, compliant Delta-9 THC, and the list just keeps on going! If you’re new to the world of hemp and feel overwhelmed with the amount of choices available, don’t give up hope just yet.
We understand that it might seem like a jumble of acronyms that basically do the same thing (get you high), but the truth is that there is so much more to hemp-derived cannabinoids than meets the eye. In this article, we’ll explain what cannabinoid options are available, a brief description of the most popular cannabinoids, and other relevant information to help you ultimately decide how to choose the right cannabinoid. Alright, let’s get started!
First Off: Decide If You Want To Get High Or Not
Cannabinoids are classified as either psychoactive or non-psychoactive. To put it in layman's terms, one type gets you high whereas the other does not. Cannabinoids like CBD, CBG, CBN, CBA, and so forth do not deliver any mind-altering effects. They are simply meant to improve your overall health and wellness without the high. There are many practical uses for non-psychoactive compounds that users can benefit from, such as improved sleep, more stable moods, relief from aching muscles and joints, and others.
If you are subjected to drug tests for employment purposes, non-psychoactive cannabinoids can offer homeopathic relief with much less risk of compromising your job. We say less risk because full spectrum contains 0.3% THC, broad spectrum contains trace amounts of THC, and CBD isolate contains none at all. Some users prefer full spectrum in order to harness the full potential of the hemp plant, an idea known as “the entourage effect.” This is why you may see multiple cannabinoids listed in a certain product.
If you do want to get high, you have quite a few options to choose from. The 2018 Farm Bill mandates that all products infused with psychoactive cannabinoids have a total THC content of 0.3% or less. This might not seem like a lot, but depending how much of a product you consume, you might be surprised at just how intense your high can be! Which brings us to our next section…
Just How High Do You Want To Get?
For centuries, weed was the universally known method of getting high. At one point, weed was prescribed as medicine for a variety of both mental and physical ailments. It’s also well-known that the high from traditional marijuana is intense. In fact, many inexperienced marijuana users have been scarred by the mind-boggling high and refuse to try it ever again. Thanks to the wonders of modern science, now there are levels to getting high, ranging from not at all to uncomfortably high.
If you’ve decided that you want to get high, you have a few options. Since there are over 100 known cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, we’ll only focus on some of the most popular psychoactive ones. Keep in mind that not all highs are created equal. Your high may vary in length and intensity based on a myriad of factors, including age, weight, gender, metabolism, previous exposure to THC, and more. It also depends on the type of product consumed, how much was consumed, and in what amount of time. You should always start off with the manufacturer’s recommended dosage and work your way up from there. You shouldn’t view it as a race to the finish line, but a casual enjoyable stroll. Let’s go over some of the psychoactive cannabinoids on the market today and ultimately decide which one is right for you.
This cannabinoid is the active compound in marijuana, and is what differentiates marijuana from hemp. Hemp is legally defined as having 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis, whereas regular weed has substantially more. When derived from hemp, Delta-9 THC is considered legal on a federal level, but is less potent as opposed to when it is derived from marijuana.
Fondly referred to as “weed lite” or “diet weed,” Delta-8 THC is nearly identical in its chemical makeup as Delta-9 THC. The difference lies in the double bond being on the 8th carbon chain, whereas Delta-9 THC has a double bond on the 9th carbon chain. Delta-8 THC offers a smoother, less intense high that is more attractive to users who have been scarred by the intensity of a weed high. Delta-8 THC is considered the middle ground between Delta-9 THC and CBD.
HHC, short for hexahydrocannabinol, was first discovered in the early 1940s by a Harvard-trained chemist named Roger Adams. Adams sought to find a legal alternative to traditional marijuana, and used hydrogenation to convert regular THC molecules into a more stable cannabinoid, similar to how margarine is a hydrogenated form of butter. Some experts argue that HHC is found naturally in the hemp plant while others staunchly disagree, but as of now, HHC is considered a semi-synthetic cannabinoid. The effects are comparable to Delta-9 THC, but not as overwhelming. It is thought to be slightly stronger than Delta-8 THC, but very similar to the effects of traditional Delta-9 THC.
THC-O is unique in that it is a completely synthetic cannabinoid. That is, it is not found naturally in the hemp plant. It is created by converting CBD into Delta-8 THC, which is then synthesized with acetic anhydride to create THC-O acetate. THC-O is considerably stronger than all other known cannabinoids, up to 3x stronger than Delta-9 THC (and most likely HHC) and 5x stronger than Delta-8 THC. Due to existence relying entirely upon chemical manufacturing, there are some safety concerns with consuming this cannabinoid. If you do choose to consume this product, it’s strongly encouraged to do your own research to ensure the product was created safely and has been tested for purity and potency.
Decisions, Decision: Which Cannabinoid Is The Right One?
This is where the fun begins; each cannabinoid has its own unique pros and cons. If you’re curious about the high but don’t want to get too high, you might be better suited trying Delta-8 THC. If you’re an avid marijuana user but are looking for a legal alternative, HHC could be for you! If you’re looking to experience an intensely heady high that knocks you off your feet, THC-O is a strong suit. Of course, if you’re curious to compare the differences between Delta-9 THC that’s derived from hemp instead of marijuana, it might take a bit of trial and error (along with much stronger doses than you consume with regular weed) before you find your sweet spot dosage. Of course, if you’re not looking to get high at all and simply want to improve your overall health and wellness, CBD is available in a remarkable number of places like health-food stores, hemp-centric shops, pharmacies, supermarkets, and even gas stations!
Since there is currently no FDA regulation for cannabinoid-infused products, literally anyone can create a product and market it as being premium, potent, and pure. This is why it’s so important to do your research before completing your purchase. Check to see if there is detailed information about where the company gets their hemp, their extraction methods, their CoA’s (Certificate of Authenticity) from third-party independent labs, verified customer reviews, etc. While price shouldn’t be a deciding factor, beware of prices that seem lower than usual (aka, seem too good to be true), as that is a strong indicator that cheap materials were used.
To the new user, the sprawling selection of available cannabinoid-infused products may seem daunting. All these abbreviations can make you feel like you’re swimming in cannabinoid soup with no life-preserver to keep you afloat. Yet with just a bit of research and patience, you can be confident in your decision to purchase and consume the cannabinoid of your choosing. Armed with the knowledge outlined in this article, you should be able to look at a cannabinoid-infused product and have some idea what to expect. There are new cannabinoids being popularized everyday, but this shouldn’t cause you stress or frustration at the growing number of selections. Instead, it should empower you to try new things and always keep learning.
If you feel ready to try a cannabinoid-infused product but aren’t sure where to start, we here at Erth Hemp are delighted to offer CBD, Delta-8 THC, compliant Delta-9 THC, HHC, and THC-O products. Edibles like soft and chewy gummies, silky tinctures, and hassle-free capsules are readily available. For those who prefer to smoke or vape to get high, we offer rechargeable vape cartridges and pre-rolls that promise to uplift your spirits in a matter of minutes. If you do choose to stock up on our products, we’d love to hear how you liked it! Feel free to drop a comment below to share your experiences; we’re excited to see how the wonderful world of hemp has helped to make a difference in your everyday life. Hope to hear from you soon!