Whenever a new cannabis trend emerges, we tend to get the same reactions every time: excitement from consumers and industry stakeholders, followed by a wave of legislation trying to regulate or prohibit the new product. Typically, by the time a product gets on the radar of the general public, it’s already on its way to becoming illegal.
Despite the fact that Delta 10 THC is federally illegal, some states are taking extra legislative measures to prevent its production and sale. Should it ever become legal one day, it will remain prohibited in these states.
What is Delta 10 THC?
Following in the footsteps of many cannabis trends prior, Delta 10 THC was first noted in California, although in this case, the discovery was purely accidental. It all began when an Adelanto-based company called Fusion Farms bought some outdoor flower to manufacture concentrates. Because of the wildfire-prone climate in California, the biomass they purchased had been sprayed with fire retardant, although Fusion Farms believed the flower they were getting was pure.
Being unaware of the contamination, they continued with the extraction as planned but some unusual crystals began to form after the distillation process. These crystals had a completely different structure than previously observed cannabinoid crystals. After conducting some laboratory tests, it was determined that these crystals were most similar to CBC (cannabichromene), but still not an exact match. For several months, they continued testing this structure against all the known cannabinoids and no match was found.
Eventually, they found out that it was yet another variation of tetrahydrocannabinol, formed because of plant exposure to those fire retardants – dubbed Delta 10 THC. So basically, D10 is an artificial cannabinoid, formed by converting D9 or other cannabinoids using some type of chemical catalyst. In this case, it was fire retardant, but obviously that’s not something people want in their cannabis products, so companies are looking at various – greener – methods of creating Delta 10 THC.
In chemistry, “Delta” refers to the double bond in a compound’s molecular structure. Delta compounds have more electrons and interact with the body in different ways than single bond cannabinoids do. The variation between the Delta THC analogues comes down to where the double bond is located on their chain of carbon atoms. Delta 8 has this bond on the 8th carbon chain, Delta 9 on the 9th chain, and Delta 10 THC has the double bond on the 10th carbon chain. Although it seems miniscule, it makes a substantial difference.
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What states are working on bans?
The Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee recently approved a measure that would prohibit Delta 8 THC and Delta 10 THC, along with Delta 9 which is already illegal. The original intent of this bill was to regulate a new synthetic opioid, Tianeptine, by adding it to the state’s controlled substances list. The bill was amended by Republican Senator Arthur Orr who added the sections about THC at the very last minute.
The Alabama Cannabis Industry Association starkly criticized the proposal in a blog post: “It’s premature to outlaw these potentially beneficial treatments for very serious conditions until research has been done. What we do know is that there have been no deaths attributed to delta-8-thc and cannabis is generally safer than even some over-the-counter medications. The Alabama Senate has the opportunity to regulate delta-8-thc and delta-10-thc in The Compassion Act so it is controlled but still accessible to people who will benefit from it in reducing suffering and improve quality of life.”
In North Dakota, not only did the Senate quickly shut down a bill that proposed legalizing cannabis, but a new bill that would outright ban the manufacture, sale and possession of ALL tetrahydrocannabinols (specifically Delta 8, 9, and 10) is quickly gaining traction. The governor has 10 days to sign the bill which would then go into effect immediately. If it passes (and it’s expected to), anyone found buying or selling products containing any type of THC could face criminal charges.
Final thoughts – Delta 10 ban
It’s hard to say what exactly will happen with Delta 10 THC on a national scale. It is federally illegal, but that’s done little to stop any other parts of the cannabis industry. So far, these are the only two states that I’ve heard of that are actively trying to ban Delta 10. It seems like a lot of wasted time and effort, considering anything with Delta 10 THC is difficult to find as it is, and all cannabis products will inevitably become legal in the future anyway (or at least we hope).
For now, the best thing you can do is stay up to date on your local news and laws, and make sure to stock up on your favorite products if you start hearing talk of new legislation.
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