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What Is Delta 10 THC? Ultimate Guide

If you thought delta-9 THC was exciting…wait until you try delta-10. It’s higher up on the numeric totem pole for a reason! 

In all seriousness, delta-10 THC is a hemp-derived cannabinoid that’s been shaking up the hemp/cannabis industry. Its effects are different than any other type of THC out there. Most users find it uplifting and energizing!

Read on to learn more about delta-10 THC — and why you might want to try it — in this Ultimate Guide. 

  • The many types of THC
  • What is delta-10 THC?
  • The mysterious way delta-10 works
  • Can Delta-10 get you high?
  • Delta-10 THC’s legal status
  • Delta-10 vs. delta-9: 5 major differences
  • Can I buy delta-10 THC online?

The many types of THC 

There are actually quite a few types of THC out there. Each type has the same chemical formula, a similar chemical structure, and a somewhat similar set of effects. Scientists call these types isomers or homologs. The six primary THC isomers are: [1

  • Delta-8 
  • Delta-9 
  • Delta-10 
  • THCa
  • THCv
  • THC-O

What is delta-10 THC?

So, first things first: what is delta-10 THC? It’s a secondary cannabinoid that can be found in cannabis/hemp. (By secondary, we just mean that it’s not present in huge quantities.)

It’s a variant of ‘regular’ THC that naturally occurs in hemp. As you might expect from its name, the delta-10 molecule features a double bond positioned along the 10th carbon chain (delta-8s bond is on the 8th chain; delta-9’s bond is on the 9th). 

This structural difference might seem like no big deal…but don’t forget that we’re dealing with something as complex as the human body here! The delta-10 molecule’s structure gives it more energizing effects than delta-8 or delta-9. It may be that delta-10 has a higher-than-normal affinity, or binding action, to certain endocannabinoid receptors. [2]

The mysterious way delta-10 works

Delta-10 THC hasn’t been studied nearly as much as delta-9 THC, CBD, or even delta-8. As of February 2022, a Pubmed database search reveals only three results for “delta-10 THC.”

Why not? For one, even the most advanced liquid chromatography methods have a hard time distinguishing delta-10 THC from CBD, CBL, or other isomers. [3] Delta-10 isn’t produced within cannabis or hemp in any significant quantities, which makes sourcing it difficult. 

What we do know so far is that delta-10 binds primarily to the CB1 receptors present in your brain (the same thing other forms of THC do). It likely doesn’t bind to the CB2 receptors present throughout the peripheral body. 

This type of binding pattern leads to psychotropic effects. Delta-10 THC will most definitely get you high, especially if you take more of it than your body needs! Most users report, however, that its high is much gentler than delta-9’s is. With delta-10 you can get high, keep calm, and carry on — productivity intact. Delta-10 is also noticeably free of side effects. To put it pretty simply, delta-10 THC might just provide us with the best of both worlds. [4]

Can Delta-10 get you high?

Yes! Delta-10 can and probably will get you high. Just keep in mind that the high it produces is subtler and gentler than regular THC’s…it just feels less, well, inebriating.  Seasoned connoisseurs say that delta-10 is one of the very best strains for daytime cannabis use. [5]

We suspect that delta-10’s decidedly good vibes will make it a whole lot more popular in coming years. 

Delta-10 THC’s legal status

Delta-10’s legal status is just a little bit complicated. 

Cannabis-derived delta-10 is highly illegal on the federal level; as the DEA explains, “all synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols remain schedule I controlled substances.”

But there might be hope for hemp-derived delta-10. Technically speaking, 2018’s Federal Farm Bill made any and all hemp-derived cannabinoids legal (with delta-9 THC being the sole exception). [6] A growing number of industry legal experts say that hemp-derived delta-10 is fully legal, placing it in the same category as delta-8. 

One more issue to be aware of: delta-10 can be mistaken for delta-9 on common ‘point of care’ drug tests. It’s a good idea to taper off of the compound prior to any impending drug tests! Talking to your employer about your [legal] delta-10 use is a good idea, too. 

Delta-10 vs. delta-9: 5 major differences

Ready to dive deep into the details? Great! In this section we’ll be doing exactly that by looking into 5 major ways delta-10 differs from delta-9. 

  Delta-10 THC  Delta-9 THC 
Mental effects GentleUplifting AwakeningPlayful PowerfulEuphoricRelaxingFun
Physical effects Stress-reducingProductivity-boostingEnergizing Stress-reducingCreativity-boostingDiversifying
Mechanism of action CB1 receptorsCB2 receptorsHeat-sensing receptorsSerotonergic receptors CB1 receptorsACE receptorsHeat-sensing receptorsSerotonergic receptors 

If the table above looks a little too sciency, don’t panic. We’ll be taking the time to explain these many differences next.

Difference #1: upliftment

Unless you’ve tried them both, it’s a little difficult to determine how the delta-9 and delta-10’s highs differ. 

Here’s a snapshot of delta-10’s upliftment that might help you get the picture. Delta-10 is known to boost one’s: 

  • Focus
  • Playfulness
  • Productivity 
  • Energy levels
  • Creative ability

Just keep in mind that delta-10 can still get a person ‘too high’ — particularly if they’re new to cannabis. Start things off with a low dose and see how you feel on that before proceeding!

Difference #2: energy levels

Looking for a type of natural upliftment that you can enjoy during the day? If so you’ll probably love delta-10. Compared to delta-9, its high is much better-suited to daytime/workday/pre-workout use. 

Some cannabis experts say delta-10 is similar to Sativa strains (whereas delta-8 THC is more like an Indica strain). Just browse around on forums like Reddit and you’ll quickly see what we’re talking about here. Delta-10 is energizing! 

The same can’t be said about delta-9 THC — or even about delta-8 THC, for that matter. 

Both cannabinoids have been shown to have pro-sleep effects; both are capable of lengthening and expanding sleep time. [7] Considering that the endocannabinoid system’s function is to enable one to “relax, eat, sleep, forget and protect,” that’s no surprise! 

Difference #3: how it’s made

Delta-10 THC also differs greatly from delta-9 when it comes to how it’s made. 

Delta-9 production is easy. Cannabis plants produce 20-30% of their own weight in this type of THC, which makes extraction simple and efficient. A wide variety of extraction methods can be used to make delta-9 extracts, with CO2 extraction probably being the most powerful. 

Delta-10 THC production takes drastically more effort. Manufacturers must either extract their products twice, extract and fractionate, or extract with hot water. All of these methods are more time and money-intensive than the straightforward processes used to create delta-9 products. [8] Cannabis geneticists are currently working on developing cultivars that are naturally high in delta-10…but until then, intensive extractions it is! 

Difference #4: the research

Delta-9 THC has been studied in-depth over the years…delta-10, not so much. 

We know with a pretty high level of certainty that the right amount of delta-9 THC elicits certain physiological benefits, including:

  • Increased neuro-protection
  • Controlled inflammation levels
  • Improved immune system regulation [9]

If you want more tangible proof of just how well-studied delta-9 is, look no further than this list of THC studies compiled by molecular biologist Bob Melamedes. It’s pretty extensive! 

Delta-10 THC research, however, is still lacking. The cannabinoid is likely to possess most of the same benefits of delta-9 THC, but this is just theoretical. Another possibility? Delta-10 may get absorbed through the skin more directly than delta-9. [10]

Difference #5: legality

Delta-10 THC also differs from delta-9 in terms of legality — and this time delta-10 gets the upper hand. 

While delta-9 THC is scheduled as a controlled substance no matter where it comes from, delta-10 THC is fully legal if it’s been derived from the industrial hemp plant. 

You can thank the Federal Farm Bill for this legal loophole. This 2018 bill legalized virtually every hemp-sourced cannabinoid (except D9 THC, of course). Just as long as a cannabinoid meets the following points, it’s legal: 

  • Contains 0.3% delta-9 THC or less 
  • Extracted from hemp containing 0.3% THC or less
  • Not produced from synthetic/lab-synthesized THC [11]

That being said, we can’t yet recommend traveling — particularly flying — with delta-10 THC. While doing so is legal, law enforcement isn’t yet well-versed in dealing with delta 10.   

Can I buy delta-10 THC products online?

There are a few important things to note when it comes time to find delta-10 products for yourself. 

For one, quality matters more than ever. That’s because the delta-10 production process is complex enough that it’s somewhat easy to mess up. Only the most experienced producers can convert CBD into delta-10 THC (the most common production method) without botching things. 

Hemp experts say that customers should only buy delta-10 from brands that provide detailed COAs (Certificate of Analysis). These COAs provide proof that the products in question were produced the right way! 

Delta-10 vape cartridges

At Apollo we specialize in providing pure, potent, and truly premium vape cartridges. Our D10 Cartridge features 1,000 milligrams of delta-10 distillate — that’s enough to pack a serious punch. It’s available in five delicious flavors, too, so you won’t find any hempy aftertastes here: 

  • Tangie Dream
  • Rainbow Sherbert
  • White Cherry Gelato
  • Strawberry Lemonade

We also make this product in a disposable version, just in case you’re so inclined. 

Another thing that makes vapes a great choice: they kick in instantly and can be dosed solely by feeling. They also allow users to carefully adjust their dose as needed. If you’re ready to experience some all-natural, side-effect-free euphoria, vapes may be the perfect solution for you.  

Summing things up

We still have lots to learn about delta-10 THC — and lots more delta-10 products to make — but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to benefit from this special cannabinoid. 

And if you’re ready to benefit…our team at Apollo is here to help. We go above the delta-10 industry’s quality standards in almost every way. Our delta-10 vape pens are triple-tested and made in a good manufacturing practices-compliant facility. In other words, they’re super pure.