My deep dive into yet another THC, delta 6a10a tetrahydrocannabinol, all began with a brief conversation among friends regarding some advertisements they saw; they were wondering what this cannabinoid is, and if what the companies are saying about it is correct. For the record, it’s a synthetic cannabinoid that has been completely misrepresented by some of the people selling it, the exact people who should know precisely what compounds are in the products they’re pushing.
That being said, you’re likely to see a short-term influx of products containing delta 6a10a THC hitting the store shelves and online retailers; especially if you live in a state without a legal recreational market, as this is where you’ll be more apt to see all the alternative cannabinoids.
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What is Delta 6a10a THC?
Delta 6a10a, also known as Delta-3 THC, is a synthetic isomer of delta-9 THC that was developed in 1947, along with some other similar compounds, to establish different versions of THC that could be used to avoid patent problems and issues with shelf life and stability.
Other chemical names for delta-6a10a THC include: Δ3 -Tetrahydrocannabinol2 (B), Δ6a,10a-Tetrahydrocannabinol2(A), EA 1477, Δ3 -Tetrahydrocannabinol2(B), and Δ6a,10a-tetrahydrocannabinol2(A). Contrary to what some companies are saying, delta-6a10a is not the same as delta-10 THC. Delta 6a10a products are often mislabeled as another form of delta 10 or delta 6 – neither of which is accurate. Whether this is due to incorrect lab testing results, incompetence on the company’s part, or intentional false advertising, that remains to be answered.
As devoid of sense as this situation is, the main thing to focus on is that, if you do feel like you want to give delta 6a10a THC a try, at the very least, don’t buy it from a company that it’s promoting it as delta 10, delta 6, or anything other than the chemical names I listed above. Delta 10 THC is a synthetic crystalline compound formed when certain chemical catalysts are applied to delta 9 THC, moving the double bond over to the 10th carbon chain. Delta 6, another synthetic isomer, is quite potent but not yet being used in products and is not the same thing as delta 6a10a.
What exactly is going on with all these different cannabinoids?
If you do a lot of online shopping, or have noticed the new selection of products at smoke shops, head shops, gas stations, and so on, you’ve seen that there are A LOT of cannabinoids available to consumers now… almost too many to keep track of at this point. In just a single product you can find combinations of 3 or more cannabinoids like delta-10, delta-8, and THC-O, for example. Or delta-8, delta-9, delta-10, and CBG, is another popular combination that I have seen.
According to recent surveys, nearly half of all cannabis consumers prefer to use products that contain cannabinoid blends, and that number is expected to grow. Knowing what we know about the entourage effect and how different plant compounds work together synergistically to provide the highest level of benefits, it’s no surprise that people are excited to try new combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes.
Delta-9 THC is still by far the most popular, it’s the backbone of the entire cannabis industry. But, in its absence, people are turning to alternative forms of THC to get the job done, sometimes individually and sometimes many of them combined. Some of these THCs, like THCV and THCP, are found in trace amounts in the cannabis plant, but most of them are synthetic isomers.
Are they natural or synthetic?
This is an interesting question, and one with a double-edged answer. Let’s start by breaking down what exactly each type of cannabinoid is. The term ‘natural cannabinoids’, or phytocannabinoids, refers to all the cannabinoids that can be isolated from the cannabis plant. Research has found that the cannabis plant produces between 113 cannabinoids and about 300 non-cannabinoid chemicals, and the most abundant are CBD (cannabidiol) and delta-9 THC.
Now, the definition of synthetic cannabinoids is where things branch off a bit. Synthetic cannabinoids are compounds that either, do not exist in nature and must be created in a lab, like THC-O; or, a synthetic may also be a cannabinoid that does exist in nature, but in such minimal amounts that in order to manufacture enough for it to be used in consumer products, it must still be synthesized in a lab.
Whether or not a cannabinoid that does actually exist in the plant but needs to be synthetically produced, should still be classified as a full-on synthetic, is up for debate and causing both legal and practical confusion for businesses and consumers alike. Delta-8 immediately comes to mind, and all the complications surrounding legality and the uncertainty among consumers, many of whom are not sure if what they’re consuming is even natural or synthetic.
To clarify, all these synthetic cannabinoids are regulated under the Federal Analogues Act, and thus are not federally legal, regardless if they’re found naturally in cannabis plants. And because all these compounds are completely prohibited, they are unregulated in the markets in which they are sold, another fact that may come as a surprise to many consumers.
All this is not to say that synthetics are inherently bad. If they’re safe and produced by an experienced professional, they can be fun and certainly have their place in both medicinal and recreational settings. But you’re definitely not going to get the same kind of high or experience with these products as you would with the real thing. If you know what to expect, you won’t be disappointed though.
Fake lab tests and mislabeled products
Now, back to the subject of mislabeled products and incorrect or completely falsified labs and COAs (certificates of analysis). There’s a narrative being played out in the media that, because of the 2018 Farm Bill provisions, any cannabis product that contains less than 0.3 percent delta 9 THC is legal, regardless of what else is in it. When it comes to minor cannabinoids, THC isomers, cannabinoid analogues, and so forth, most of them are actually illegal, regulated under the Federal Analogues Act (as mentioned above).
Obviously, pointing out the legality of a product, if it’s not legal at all, is not the best business strategy. So, to be able to continue pushing said products, the story is perpetuated that they are permissible by some type of legal loophole, when that is not the case. Since these products are illegal and there are no standards in place to regulate them, a growing number of companies are resorting to some unscrupulous means to provide “lab results” in an attempt to validate their black market products.
Real, legitimate lab testing is the backbone of any cannabis market. All the products sold at licensed dispensaries are required to undergo testing from a state-accredited facility to confirm levels of cannabinoids and terpenes; as well as test for heavy metals, mycotoxins, residual pesticides, microbials, and any other unwanted contaminants. Overall, the main purpose of lab testing is to guarantee compliance with whatever state protocols are in place to govern the sale of cannabis products.
Every test requires certain procedures, different equipment, and needs to be performed by a licensed and trained specialist. Not only do these lab technicians need to be knowledgeable in their field, but they should be familiar with state and local testing regulations, as they are constantly changing. Most labs are third party companies that are accredited through a state program. All labs have specific tests they are required to perform and guidelines they must abide to, but there are no universal standards in place.
As foolproof as this sounds, there are ways for companies to get around it. I mean, where there is money to be made, corruption will breed. One way this happens is by companies and growers only sending in samples of their best products in for testing, while lower quality, untested batches of the same product get listed for sale. Another strategy is referred to as “lab shopping” – a shady practice in which cultivators and manufacturers send their products to labs that have a reputation for inflating potency numbers and overlooking contaminants that would cause the product to fail purity tests at more reputable facilities.
Dylan Hirsch, executive vice president of Diagnostic Lab Corporation says that “Many of the labs will sometimes say they can get better results. It can be so subjective for results on THC.” Dr. Donald Land and Dr. Reggie Gaudino, two of the scientists in charge of running Berkeley’s Steep Hill Labs, one of the nation’s largest testing companies, echoed these statements. Both mentioned that their company is asked to boost potency number on a regular basis. “In almost every state we operate in we have someone approach us and say, ‘Hey, what would it take to get these numbers changed?’” Gaudino said.
Taking things to another level, some companies have altered or completely faked their products’ lab “results”, as per a recent investigation conducted by CBD Oracle, a website that reviews “hemp-derived” products. For example, they sent in 51 different delta 8 THC products to FESA licensed labs in Southern California. They found that, “delta-8 product manufacturers routinely mislabel their gummies, vaporizer cartridges, and other products.” In total, 77 percent of products failed testing.
Whether you’re shopping for delta 8, CBD, THC-O, regular weed, or even ‘delta 6a10a THC’, it’s imperative that you do as much research as you can. You’ll be inhaling these compounds straight into your lungs, so you want to make sure that they’re as clean and safe as possible. Don’t blindly trust the companies selling to you, because obviously they’re more concerned with their bottom dollar than your health. I’m not saying to avoid these products entirely, because some of them may be high quality, but make sure to be an informed consumer before rushing to try the newest flavor-of-the-month cannabinoid.
As far as delta 6a10a THC is concerned, no one really knows enough about it to say with 100 percent certainty that products containing it are safe. I’m sure the compound itself is perfectly fine, if it’s manufactured by a trained professional, that is. But if you’re buying stuff from companies who are completely misrepresenting this compound, it’s hard to say what else is not on-the-level there.
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Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.