Hemp-Derived Delta-9 THC Explained

In recent months, cannabis and hemp consumers alike have come across an intriguing product type both online and on shelves: Hemp-derived Delta-9 THC infused vapes and edibles.

You read that right: there is something called Delta-9 THC that is NOT traditional marijuana. How is this possible?

What is Delta-9 THC?

Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol, colloquially known as THC, is the most abundant cannabinoid found in marijuana plants and the second-most abundant cannabinoid in hemp. Delta-9 is one of more than 85 cannabinoids identified in cannabis and hemp plants.

The cannabinoid is primarily responsible for causing the all-too-familiar ‘high’ experience upon consuming cannabis and psychoactive hemp products. It is also known as the ‘big, bad wolf’ the government likes to coin products containing too much of it.

The hemp-derived cannabinoid market exploded in 2018 when Congress legalized hemp and all of its derivatives via the U.S. Farm Bill. The bill defines hemp as any cannabis sativa plant that contains less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. By passing this bill, hemp cultivators suddenly had a surplus of hemp that can be extracted for its most abundant compound: CBD, or cannabidiol. From that CBD, minor cannabinoids such as Delta-8 THC, HHC, and THC-P could be converted through a process called isomerization. Hemp-derived Delta-9 THC is no different – it is a byproduct of extracting CBD from hemp. After removing the CBD from the hemp extract, you are left with something called ‘Mother Liquor.’

What is Mother Liquor?

Mother Liquor is a liquid solution left behind after the crystallization process used to purify CBD oil post-extraction from hemp biomass. Crystallization utilizes a boiling solvent to crystallize a desired compound, like CBD, and remove it from the original substance. Effectively, Mother Liquor is the catalyst to make Delta-9 THC. And since it is derived from hemp, it is already on the path to becoming legal under the Farm Bill’s interpretation. Question is – how is this possible? More on this soon.

Hemp-Derived Delta-9 THC’s Benefits & Effects

Whether it’s cannabis-derived or hemp-derived, Delta-9 THC inherently contains a host of both wellness benefits and relaxing effects. Whether it be to release tension your body is holding to easing stressful situations, people all over the world have been leaning on THC’s effects to help them enjoy life just a little bit more.

While this list is not exhaustive, here are some benefits Delta-9 THC can provide for you:

  • Visual stimulation
  • Boosted mood
  • Slower reaction time
  • Increased hunger
  • Body relaxation
  • Stress relief
  • Boosted creativity
  • Improved mood

Speaking from an experience standpoint, hemp-derived Delta-9 THC feels very similar to traditional marijuana-derived Delta-9, with the only difference being the hemp-derived variety is significantly milder. Fundamentally, THC is biphasic, meaning smaller doses are more energizing while larger doses are more sedating.

Pairing the THC with other minor cannabinoids can also change the experience. Including CBG into the formulation, for example, may result in a more-energizing high whereas pairing THC with CBN results in a more physically relaxing experience.

How is Hemp-Derived Delta-9 THC Legal?

To understand how hemp-derived Delta-9 THC is legal from under the Farm Bill, one needs to understand how the bill’s wording effectively creates a loophole, specifically, the ‘dry weight’ loophole.

The Farm Bill states that any hemp-derived product is legal as long as the Delta-9 THC concentration does not exceed 0.3% on a dry-weight basis. There is no mention of how dry-weight is measured, thus giving some room to interpret the law.

For example, if you have a product that weighs 100 grams, only 300 milligrams of that can be Delta-9 THC. A brand can very well create Delta-9 gummies with 30MG infused in each serving, then limit the total number of servings to 10 pieces in a package legally.

By this logic, however, you wouldn’t see that same brand creating a Delta-9 THC infused soda because there is no dry-weight associated to a liquid product.

What Do States Think About Hemp-Derived Delta-9 THC?

For the time being, hemp-derived Delta-9 THC remains legal wherever Delta-8 is legal – 37 states to be exact. Due to the nature of the compound, and that there is a cannabis-derived Delta-9 THC being regulated by a handful of medical- and recreationally-legal states generating millions in tax revenue, we think it is only a matter of time before states crack down on the accessibility of these products.

Until there is definitive regulations imposed either at the state or federal level, you can place your bets on Eighty Six in providing you with the accessibility you crave for hemp-derived Delta-9 products!

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