The THC in marijuana used to be the only cannabinoid anyone cared about. Once the 2018 Farm Bill opened up states to grow hemp, CBD made its way into the limelight. Then, delta-8 THC started making its appearance. And now, more new cannabinoids are showing their face in the cannabis market.
Where are all these new cannabinoids coming from, though? What are the best cannabinoids among them all — and which is right for you? In this guide, we’re going to take a deep dive into this subject. Let’s discover everything there is to know about this part of the cannabis plant. Keep reading to find out about the best cannabinoids among all the new cannabinoids on the market.
What is a Cannabinoid?
We’ll cover some of the basics just in case you’re new here. A cannabinoid is part of a group of substances naturally found in the cannabis plant. Each cannabinoid possesses its own potential properties, with some much stronger than others. Likewise, only some cannabinoids deliver psychoactive effects.
The most commonly known cannabinoids on the market today are THC and CBD. More specifically, CBD and delta-9 THC, which is the THC most abundant in marijuana. Considered the “main” cannabinoids, every cannabinoid aside from CBD and delta-9 is considered a minor cannabinoid.
To date, more than 100 cannabinoids have been identified. Even more fascinating is that new ones are still being discovered.
Where are New Cannabinoids Coming From?
So, where are they all coming from? New cannabinoids aren’t just appearing out of thin air. In fact, you may be surprised to learn we’ve known about some of these compounds for a while now. Let’s look at the origin of the latest best cannabinoids to get consumers buzzing and feeling good.
Delta-8 THC’s Origin
While delta-8’s popularity certainly skyrocketed in a short amount of time, we’ve known about the cannabinoid for multiple decades already. It’s still one of the new cannabinoids when we consider its popularity among shoppers, though.
Raphael Mechoulam, an Israeli organic chemist who’s often referred to as the “grandfather of cannabis,” first isolated THC in 1965. It was during this experiment that he discovered delta-8, too. Since it’s only recently made its way into the consumer spotlight, though, we wanted to touch on its origin anyway. It may not be exactly one of the new cannabinoids, but it’s certainly one of the best cannabinoids.
Delta-8 is most commonly produced now by converting CBD or delta-9 THC through isomerization. Regardless of the delta-8 product, it was manufactured through some means of molecular conversion.
The less-potent THC is found naturally in the hemp plant. However, it’s found in such small percentage quantities that it’s not cost-effective to extract delta-8 in this way. The most efficient, optimal way to get powerful delta-8 THC extracts is through cannabinoid conversion.
To get legal delta-8, you simply convert it from CBD. Since both are legal when they derive from hemp, it makes d8 THC perfectly legal, also.
Where Did THC-O Come From?
Another of the new cannabinoids you may have only recently heard of is THC-O. It’s touted lately as one of the best cannabinoids to hit the market. Like delta-8, we’ve also known about THC-O for decades longer than it's been on the market.
In fact, research on THC-O began all the way back in 1949. The US military observed that the cannabinoid eroded the muscle coordination of dogs about twice as much as conventional delta-9 THC did.
After that, the compound didn’t show up again until 1978. A lab in Jacksonville, Florida had combined acetic anhydride with a cannabis extract. This produces the THC-O we know today, but at the time, DEA agents didn’t bat an eye at it. The compound didn’t enter the illegal market after that, so the federal drug agency decided not to investigate it further. It wasn’t a growing problem, so it was laid to rest.
Nowadays, THC-O must be produced in a lab with precise environmental settings. The process actually involves a series of extractions and conversions.
First, we start with CBD-rich hemp. We then extract the CBD from said hemp.
Next, we extract delta-8 from CBD. If we’re just producing delta-8 THC products, we can stop here. After all, delta-8 is also one of the best cannabinoids you can legally get.
Or, we can do the final step of adding acetic anhydride to delta-8 THC molecules to make THC-O. And thus, another of the new cannabinoids is formed. Under controlled laboratory conditions, the end product is a consistently potent THC-O extract. You can’t make this at home, folks. It probably wouldn’t be one of the best cannabinoids available if you could!
What About HHC?
Finally, we get to HHC, AKA Hexahydrocannabinol. Naturally occurring, it’s been identified as a trace component in the cannabis plant in some rare instances. More often, though, HHC is produced by hydrogenating cannabis extracts. Hydrogenation isn’t new or exclusive to cannabis, either. We see the same process used to convert vegetable oil into margarine, for example.
Another of the new cannabinoids in the market, we’ve known about HHC since 1944. Roger Adams was the first to synthesize the compound. While it’s made by hydrogenating THC, it becomes an entirely different molecule by the end. The result is HHC, a cannabinoid capable of binding to our CB1 receptors. However, it’s not quite as potent as its THC cousin.
3 of the Best Cannabinoids & What They Can Do
You may be more familiar with delta-8 THC than the other two of these new cannabinoids. If you’re unfamiliar, delta-8 is a milder form of THC. In fact, researchers see d8 may be 75% less potent than the delta-9 THC abundant in marijuana. While it’s less potent, it is still potent to its own degree.
Delta-8 users enjoy a light, euphoric buzz. Some even make the switch from marijuana to delta-8 because it provides a less intense high. In some users, marijuana can cause paranoia, anxiety, and some other negative symptoms. Users don’t report similar symptoms with delta-8 as an alternative.
Next up is one of the best cannabinoids to hit the market in a long time. Lab-made, THC-O isn’t necessarily found naturally in hemp. However, it is made when you convert various hemp compounds into different ones.
And the result? A THC that’s about three times stronger than regular old delta-9 THC. That’s right — THC-O is about three times more potent than the THC in weed.
You might be thinking: who could possibly need such a strong type of THC?
Believe it or not, plenty of patients could take advantage of such a powerful cannabinoid. All across the country, anecdotal reports pour in. Patients suffer from debilitating conditions and severe chronic pain. They consume 1,000mg of THC or more daily just to feel relief, typically through edibles. Users with extreme cannabis tolerance suffer even with access to such a valuable plant.
THC-O provides a powerfully potent alternative that can make a lasting difference to these patients. With a stronger THC, patients can enjoy longer-lasting and more intense effects.
Likewise, THC-O comes in vape cartridges. When you puff on a cartridge, you can enjoy the product’s effects much faster than you might with an edible. Users can feel effects as quickly as 5 minutes after vaping. Edibles often take 60 minutes or longer to kick in. As a result, THC-O comes out on top as one of the best cannabinoids for delivering fast, efficient, potent relief.
Overall, HHC is about as strong as or a bit stronger than delta-8 THC. Milder than delta-9 still, it provides an enjoyable high all its own. The effects are gentle but cerebral; relaxing and euphoric.
Results vary since everyone is different, but there are no reported negative instances yet. We consider HHC one of the best cannabinoids to hit the legal hemp market. Users are finding enjoyment and relief, so we’re glad to offer HHC extracts in our lineup.
As you can see, there’s quite a lot to learn about the new cannabinoids on the cannabis scene. We hope you get to try out each of them to see which one resonates most for you.
Once you discover the best cannabinoids for your needs, it’ll become easier to get that much-needed relief. Likewise, you’ll be able to enjoy yourself more knowing you’ve tried all the latest and greatest to come from hemp. Try out delta-8, THC-O, or HHC today to see which cannabinoid feels right.