Op-Ed: Delta-10 Sativa Was Very Different Than Delta-8

Lori Ann Reese

Posted by Lori Ann Reese on 11/29/2021 in Medical Marijuana

Delta-10 Vape

It was legal.  On a legal technicality, the way that the federal government legalized hemp. And legalized products that were derived from hemp.  That’s how Delta-8 and Delta-10 exploded on the market.  People had a legal option.  Even in states that did not have patient accessible legalized medical cannabis.

Is it any surprise that the states that sell the most Delta-8 and Delta-10 have very restrictive cannabis laws?  It shouldn’t be. Patients that have chronic pain and other symptoms are looking for options that work better.  And unconventional medications that are less expensive than prescription drugs. Also, with fewer side effects.

I have friends who live in states that have fabulous medical cannabis programs. In my opinion, those states are Oklahoma, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Oregon, and California.  If I am playing a game with them online, they occasionally hear my “ouch.”  The random pain that comes with diabetic neuropathy in my toes and feet. 

Those friends shake their heads at Texas.  And frankly, encourage me to move to a more MMJ-friendly state.  But discovering legal Delta-8 as an option this summer was a game-changer for me.  And then bad things started happening with regards to the legal status of Delta-8 and Delta-10 products.

If you don’t like the weather in Texas, wait a few hours.  It seems that Delta THC laws are the same flavor of unpredictability. Banned.  Ban overturned. Legal?   This week in Texas.  But who really knows about next week or month?

Why Are Some States Banning Delta-8 and Delta-10 Products?

Because they can get you high, that is the easiest explanation for the rush to ban Delta-8 and Delta-10 products.  And from a legal perspective, you can’t blame them.  When you visit a local convenience store, you go through the same exercise in controlled substances.

For example, if you want a non-alcoholic beverage, you can buy one.  However, if you want to buy a six-pack of anything or one of those cute single-serving wine balls, there is a process.  Take it to the counter. Verify your age with a photo ID.  And then, you can walk out with your legalized controlled substance.

Wouldn’t it be nice if Delta-8 and Delta-10 were treated that way? Well, they are.  In states that have not yet banned Delta THC products, you can buy them.  At a smoke shop, and sometimes they are available behind the counter of your neighborhood bodega. And you have to ask for it.

For patients who live in THC unfriendly places, Delta is the next best thing. People with chronic pain are very appreciative of a legal option.   No one wants to get in trouble with the law.  But when Delta-THC products are banned, an excessive regulatory stance doesn’t solve the problem.  It can drive people suffering from debilitating conditions to break the law.  And then feed black market sales and crime.

How are Delta-THC Products Being Sold?

My own experience purchasing both Delta-8 and Delta-10 products started this summer. For me, prescription pain medications have side effects that can be as bad (or worse) than my symptoms.  Diabetic neuropathy is more than a tingling sensation of pins and needles.  It can feel like a thousand fire ants stinging at the same time.

When Texas temporarily banned Delta products, my pain management option was gone.  And I was back to using high-quality CBD oil that helps with my inflammation—alternating heat and ice packs and elevating my legs.

That method helps to reduce the pain a little for me. But it is still there and loud, as I am trying to work. Neuropathy impacts every aspect of my daily life, from walking with my dogs to visiting the grocery store. Some days are tolerable, while other days can be excruciating and exhausting.

Every time I have purchased Delta-8 or Delta-10 products, I have been asked for proof of age and identification. Just like cigarettes. And just like purchasing alcoholic beverages is limited to consumers who are eighteen and older.  Because businesses have a lot to lose, and they don’t want to break the law either.

What Happened When I Tried Delta-8 THC for Neuropathic Pain?

Full disclosure? I didn’t think it was going to be potent.  I had my doubts even as a writer who researches and talks about THC daily. But for some reason, I thought that Delta-8 might reduce the pain without providing impairment.

And then I made the mistake, so many people make with edibles and Delta-THC products. After thirty minutes, I did not feel anything and took another gummy.  It was the weekend, and my dogs enjoyed the fact that I stretched out on the couch for a few hours.   Even though it wasn’t my intention to become impaired, I was.

Read: “Review of Sun State Delta-8 Products” on our blog.

I assumed that all Delta-THC products would be the same. Have that heavy Indica-like effect.  I had purchased a Sativa Delta-8 tincture and gummies as well as an Indica Delta-8 vape to help me sleep.   Having used Delta-9 THC (cannabis), the differences for me were negligible.  The ‘high’ was not cerebral, however. 

Taking too much left me comfortably numb.  But drowsy and not alert or energetic. The laundry did not get done that afternoon.  But I was able to nap because I felt no pain.  And that was a big relief after just over a week of disrupted sleep.

Delta-8 for insomnia, I think, has a huge consumer potential.  It could be safer to use for chronic insomnia than over-the-counter or prescription medications.  And more affordable (and accessible) for patients.

Delta-8 vs. Delta-10 vape

Non-Basic Chemistry: How is Delta-10 THC Different Than Delta-8?

Sometimes you hear about Delta-THC products, and they are dubbed “cannabis light.”  Many of the same benefits of using conventional marijuana (Delta-9) but with a milder effect.  I did not find that was the case for me.   But I am a very light user with a low drug and alcohol tolerance.

Both Delta-10 and Delta-8 THC are hemp-derived.  If the product you are buying has been processed from marijuana, you are breaking the law.  Only Delta-THC products created from raw hemp are legal because of the 2018 Farm Act legislation. In the eyes of the law right now, anything derived from marijuana is still marijuana. No matter what you call it.

The differences between Delta-10 and Delta-8 come down to molecular structure. Delta-8 THC binds at the eight carbon.  Delta-10 binds on the 10th carbon with CB1 and CB2 receptors.

For potency, there is also a very big difference between Delta-8 and Delta-10 products.  According to some industry sources, Delta-8 is 50% to 66% as potent as marijuana.  Whereas Delta-10 products can average 20% to 30% of the potency of standard cannabis.

The psychoactive effects of Delta-8 are very similar to Delta-9 THC or marijuana.  Delta-8 can create a similar euphoric (happy and cheerful) feeling as a milder strain of cannabis.  However, unlike cannabis, Delta-8 does not typically come with a ‘hangover’ effect. Not everyone feels groggy after taking marijuana, but some people do.

Why Does the FDA Have a Problem With Delta-THC?

In the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) bulletin, the agency cites that from December 2020 to July 2021, there were 661 ‘adverse event reports’ that involved Delta-8 THC.  However, as you dig into the base of the complaints, you find a concerning truth.  Kids are getting their hands on Delta-8 products.

According to the FDA, the 661Delta-8 THC exposure events included cases where:

  • 41% were unintentional exposures.  People did not know they were taking a psychoactive substance.
  • 77% of the 41% of unintentional exposures were pediatric patients under eighteen (18) years.
  • 18% of unintentional exposures required ICU admission and hospital care (minors).
  • Products were toxic to pets.

Delta-8 THC is a cannabinoid that exists in small quantities inside the cannabis plant.  However, the cannabinoid is in such a low concentration that other additives and chemicals are used in processing. Therein lies one of the biggest problems. 

Because Delta-THC is not approved for human consumption by the FDA, there are not currently manufacturing regulations to govern it.  Or spot test products to separate the safer Delta-THC edibles, vape, and moonrocks from imposter products or those with harmful additives.

Delta-8 Indica

My Thoughts About Taking Delta-10 THC Compared to Delta-8

Delta-10 THC, for me, felt less impairing. I purchased two disposable vapes; an Indica and then a Sativa blend.  My purpose was to use it for pain relief and not experience any symptoms of impairment.  One draw off the Delta-10 vape, and I began to feel relief in minutes.  But I remained fully alert, calm, and functional.

Delta-10 THC is my new go-to for pain relief.  That being said, I would not use Delta-10, or Delta-8, or any THC product and leave my house or drive. I use it only during evenings and weekends when I am not going to be driving anywhere.  And most of the time, I use Delta-10 about one hour before bed to reduce discomfort so that I can get to sleep.

I also found that Delta-10 THC was highly effective (even with very light use) for anxiety relief. That is one aspect where I feel Delta-10 is superior to Delta-8.  Delta-10 seemed to relieve me of my stress without making me drowsy. It made me feel focused and energetic.

Comparing the two types of delta thc, I would say that Delta-8 has a more pronounced Indica effect.  Whereas Delta-10 feels like a lower potency Sativa.  But the Delta-10 THC wore off within about two (2) hours for me. The Delta-8 took about six (6) hours before it dissipated for me.

The effects are not psychosomatic, according to some clinical studies.  One team of researchers studying the effects of THC on pigeons provided some evidence. Delta-10 pigeons got ‘less stoned’ than birds that were administered Delta-8. But to date, there do not seem to be any human clinical studies of Delta-THC. Another reason the FDA is concerned about the long-term effects of daily use.

Is Delta-8 More Expensive Than Delta-10?

A quick search online in a variety of states revealed that the two products are similarly priced.  Unlike visiting a dispensary where you will pay more per ounce for higher potency cannabis.  That is not usually the case for Delta-10 THC.  But there are exceptions based on final potency and brand.

Some people may choose to use both Delta-8 and Delta-10 medicinally. If they live in an area where it has not been banned.  And save Delta-8 for nighttime use to help manage insomnia, anxiety, and sleep disruptions from chronic pain symptoms.

Delta-10 THC may be a lighter and more manageable (where legalized) way for people to try THC for therapeutic use.  For some patients, Delta-10 or Delta-8 THC may be “strong enough” in terms of potency.  And they may not need medical cannabis if it works.

Images: Deposit Photos

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