Do “legal” Weed Alternatives Really Work?

While a growing number of Americans are coming to terms with cannabis use , one thing that hasn’t moved much is its availability. Sure, more states are legalizing weed every year, but even where weed is legal, you can’t just walk into the corner store and buy it along with toilet paper and a bottle of wine – except, in many states, for CBD and delta products. -8THC .

Loopholes in the Farm Act of 2018 freed up the production of hemp-derived products at the federal level, leading to an explosion in the market for CDB oils and other CBD-based products. CBD’s skyrocketing popularity and sort of legality has led to an overabundance of the substance, and old methods used to make intoxicating THC alternatives like delta-8 THC from hemp in the lab have suddenly gained new commercial uses . Due to its origins in hemp, delta-8-THC has become federally legal and enjoys the same cherished backdoor status as CBD in some not-so-cannabis-friendly areas of the country. Delta-8 THC products, from gummies to vapes, are now shipped and sold everywhere, even where weed remains illegal.

But delta-8 THC isn’t the only intoxicating form of the “original” THC, aka delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. As weeds are studied more and past research is being revised, more and more different types of THC are being developed in laboratories and found in varieties. Now you can also order products containing THC-O and delta-10, for example, but how do these substances differ from each other and how can you make sure they are safe to use?

What is THC anyway?

While weed has been smoked or eaten for thousands of years, the names of their individual compounds are much later. According to Weedmaps , THC was genetically mapped in 1964 by Dr. Rafael Mechoulam after he identified CBD in 1963. These are just two of the hundreds of cannabinoids that can be synthetic, plant-based, or produced by the body.

Cannabinoids known to us are able to modulate the endocannabinoid system of the body. THC is a phytocannabinoid or cannabinoid produced by plants; our bodies also produce their own cannabinoids, such as anandamide , which are known to kick in when you do an intense workout. Synthetic cannabinoids have also been developed in the laboratory using scientific processes to convert chemicals into cannabinoids or one cannabinoid into another.

There are countless endocannabinoid receptors throughout the body, and it’s crazy that even after years of study, we don’t have a complete picture of the human endocannabinoid system . But we do know that cannabinoids can affect appetite, body temperature, sleep patterns, and more.

OG THC: THC-A and delta-9 THC

Made popular by the original methods of cannabis consumption (smoking, eating), THC is produced in living plants as THC-A or tetrahydrocannabinic acid, which must be decarboxylated by drying, time or heating (smoking!) into the psychoactive delta-9 THC . It occurs naturally during the curing process, or is created through food creation, extraction, or the evaporation/burning process.

A rare and sought after cannabinoid from the THC family is THC-V, which is found only in very specific strains such as Durban Poison. Nate Ferguson, Product Director at Jetty Extracts , keeps an eye on the small space of cannabinoids as part of his cannabis extraction expertise.

As Ferguson told us via email, “THC-V’s effects are very different from those of delta-9 THC, [which is] the most common cannabinoid we all know and love. The effect is invigorating and uplifting. There are also some potential medical benefits being explored, including appetite suppressant properties or as a stimulant replacement.”

Legal medical research could explore these phytocannabinoids for their potential, but THC carries the stigma of all weeds, and with it federal illegality (despite state legalization) and all the associated barriers to study.

Ferguson believes unique cannabinoids are of interest because of their potential to meet health needs. “Most consumers looking for these rare cannabinoids are looking for medical benefits or a specific effect,” he notes. And of course, some people just want to get high. What’s bad about it?

Exploring “alternative grass”

As noted above, delta-8 THC is another Farm Bill brainchild, but it’s not exactly new on the scene. According to Chemical and Engineering News , an industry publication for chemists and entrepreneurs, “Using the simple chemistry published in the 1960s, the industry…began experimenting with ways to convert CBD to delta-8-THC. The resulting products are intended for consumers who want to relieve stress and anxiety, especially those who do not want to use traditional cannabis products or those who live in places where cannabis products are not legally available.”

In essence, patchwork legality and market forces have created an alternative weed space where as long as extracts or synthesized cannabinoids come from CBD first extracted from low-THC hemp (as opposed to high-THC cannabis), they exist in the same gray color. . area, as does the central business district. Cannabis plants do produce delta-8-THC, but in small amounts that would require too much biomass to produce; By synthesizing delta-8 THC from CBD, brands are actually expanding access to THC, not to mention the acceptability of cannabis. How is delta-8 different from cannabis? It’s hard to tell – many users report that it has milder effects (one vendor claims in their marketing that their products carry fewer of the “negative” effects of THC, such as “laziness” and ” paranoia .” Inconsistent And delta-8 isn’t the only alternative .

THC-O, aka THC-o-acetate, like delta-8 THC, also occurs naturally in trace amounts, but is more commonly synthesized from cannabinoids derived from low-THC hemp. According to the industry information site, “THC-O is rumored to be about 3 times more effective than regular THC,” which is kind of questionable wording that tells you exactly how much rigorous research has been done. We asked. Fiton Nguyen, president of Qwin , a company that makes a variety of hemp-compatible cannabis products, including delta-8 and THC-O toffees , syrups, and other alternative weed products, to explain exactly what THC-O is, what it is. does, and why customers are interested in it.

“What we see on the mass market is isolated forms of these cannabinoids. THC-O is also one of the many cannabinoids found in cannabis, short for THC-O-acetate, which has a milder and very different effect than delta-9,” he says. “Based on our experience, it produces a psychedelic experience, providing users with soft visuals and enhanced vision.”

Of course, your own experience may vary, as with any drug, legal or not, which may explain why Nguyen advertises “mild” effects while promises three times the potency. For their part, Qwin’s products are created in a Long Beach, California facility at a “regular” cannabis center, though their SKUs don’t end up in the same dispensaries as their neighbors. Nguyen says the family business was created after cancer forced them to consider cannabis as an alternative treatment.

“We are big believers in plant medicine,” Nguyen says. “We want to give cannabis access to people who need it but [who] don’t have a local pharmacy or who don’t want to buy it on the black market where they can’t check the quality of the product.” Other forms of hemp-derived THC are also emerging, including delta-10 (reported to be less effective than delta-8 ) and THC-P (discovered in late 2019 and reportedly 33 times more effective at binding to cannabinoid receptors, delivering an “intense and intoxicating” experience ). But, as with the CBD industry, the line between facts and marketing claims can be quite blurry, and it can be hard to tell how products are made and what they actually contain. However, while traditional cannabis advocates tend to oppose these “alternative” forms of THC or hemp-derived solutions, preferring to seek national legalization, there is a demand for them for a reason.

Security is on you

According to the FDA, people want access to cannabis so badly that they succumb to low-quality products made with potentially dangerous by-products. All of these cannabinoids, both synthetic and naturally occurring, have been studied by the military-industrial complex for almost a century, but more research is needed to not only consider quantities and processes safe, but also eradicate taboos that create chaos—and the likelihood that unpleasant the characters will put K2 synthetic marijuana in their chewing gum and call it health.

While many of these weed alternatives are available nationwide or can be ordered online, all commercial cannabis products, whether sold online, in dispensaries, or as regular merchandise, must always be produced under safe conditions. and quality must be ensured through testing methods. which are distributed only among well-known brands.

When researching these products, always pay attention to who made them, by what methods, and by what means of protection before taking them in the hope of achieving a certain result, even if it just becomes high. It never hurts to also look into your state’s latest cannabis and hemp regulations: while delta-8-THC is regularly added to dispensary offerings in states like California, New York is cracking down and recently passed legislation. this made its sale illegal, despite the state’s legalization of recreational cannabis. Cannabis prohibition is still a reality in some places, and you don’t want to run into legal trouble over THC-infused confections if you can avoid it.


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