What is Hemp-Derived Delta-9 THC?
Nov 25, 2022
By J Gordon Curtis
There is no shortage of alternative cannabinoids on the market but it’s now possible to create products with Delta-9 THC derived from hemp. While the source is different, the cannabinoid is the same: is that true for effects, potency, or legality?
This article will dive into Delta-9 THC, why it’s legal, and how producers make it. In the end, we’ll show you where to get some hemp-derived Delta-9 THC you can trust.
What is Hemp-Derived Delta-9 THC?
Hemp-derived delta-9 THC is a federally legal form of THC that producers harvest from plants containing trace amounts of the cannabinoid. Since “hemp” has a legal requirement of .03% and not 0%, there is still a small amount to work with.
How is this possible? Let’s look at the way producers make Delta-9 THC from hemp:
How is Hemp-Derived Delta-9 THC Made?
First, producers harvest large amounts of hemp crop and gather it together to process. The main process of creating this cannabinoid starts with the isolation of another one: CBD.
To do this, producers take the bulk quantity of flower they have and extract the components of it. This often involves washing the crop in ethanol or other solutions to help pull the compounds from the plant matter.
Afterward, producers take this and slowly drop it through a heated column of glass. This process — chromatography — calculates the heat that most of the compounds will burn off at.
Since plant matter — things like chlorophyll and the like — burn at lower temperatures, unwanted elements can easily separate. After this, there are a series of other steps to separate CBD from THC, terpenes, and other compounds.
Since cannabinoids and terpenes have a similar boiling point, producers have to then use precision heating for the remaining part in a process of distillation.
Finalization of the distillation process results in a runoff liquid producers calls the “Mother Liquor.” Within this is all the residual THC from biomass extraction.
Through a similar process, producers of THCa can separate this cannabinoid from the liquor as well.
Is Hemp-Derived Delta-9 THC Legal?
Yes and no. All hemp products still have to maintain a legal limit of .03% THC by volume of weight. This is particularly easy to work around when it comes to gummies and edibles.
The standard gummy bear weighs about 38 grams — meaning it can contain over 11mg of THC. By simply increasing the weight of the gummy, it becomes possible to fit even more into the product.
As long as the finished product is within the legal percentage range for THC, it’s technically a hemp product.
What is the Difference Between Hemp-Derived Delta-9 THC and Marijuana?
The main difference between the two is the source. Though the Delta-9 THC comes from a low-THC source, it’s still the same molecule and there’s no reason to anticipate it would behave any differently.
Coming from a different source means a much longer process to get there — we’re a long way from “grow a plant, then smoke it.” This process means that there is an increase in the times the product can lose potency or experience contamination from different solutions along the process.
That brings us to the other reason it matters: regulation. Delta-9 THC from a hemp-derived source doesn’t require the same regulatory standard as marijuana receives from the government.
Unlike the strict standards of marijuana, the only requirement of CBD products is that the Delta-9 THC be below that threshold. This means there is no necessity even to test for residual chemicals or any other element of the product.
Precautions for Using Delta-9 THC
If your workplace requires drug testing, it’s important to know that the source does not matter when it comes to failing a drug test. Delta-9 THC will trigger a positive result whether it comes from hemp or marijuana.
Do not drive or operate heavy machinery when under the influence of THC. If you are not aware of your dosage, start with a low amount and slowly increase it over time.
Edibles — the only form of hemp-derived Delta-9 THC on the market — can take up to an hour and a half to kick in. It’s important to make sure you wait long enough before taking more.
Where to Find Hemp-Derived Delta-9 THC
Since there is so little regulation in the hemp industry, it’s important to find a vendor that is up front with their reporting. That’s why we go above and beyond the requirements — offering full-panel, third-party reporting on all of our products.
We’re proud of our Delta-9 THC options which include:
Still have questions? Stop by one of our locations and talk with one of our cannabis experts about it today. Or, if you’re already sold, drop by our webstore and pick up a jar for yourself!