Updated: Dec 7, 2022
Many cannabis industry entrepreneurs, investors, C-suite executives, and consumers are curious about the growing number of so-called "alt" cannabinoids that are becoming increasingly popular in the United States. Via either legacy underground markets or legal dispensaries, hundreds of millions of Americans can now obtain products containing these mostly untested and under-researched compounds.
Example of a delta-10 product
Some of these cannabinoids, such as delta-8 THC and delta-10 THC (chemical cousins of delta-9 THC), are naturally occurring and produced in small quantities in some cultivars (strains) of the plant.
However, even when present in mature harvested female plants, these phytomolecules are typically found in volumes under one percent (most having been converted to other molecules during something called their biosynthetic pathway). Such small quantities are sometimes considered trace amounts, which Merriam-Webster defines as "barely detectable."
Some of these cannabinoids, such as delta-8 THC and delta-10, are naturally occurring and produced in small quantities in some cultivars (strains) of the plant.
In the case of delta-8, commercial volumes are produced by converting hemp-derived CBD. Some alt cannabinoids, such as THC-O Acetate, are not naturally occurring. However, according to leading scientists, this mere fact does not make these newly popular cannabinoids inherently undesirable.
Organic vs. Synthetic
Unfortunately, many consumers and voices on social media claim that only naturally occurring cannabinoids are beneficial and that synthetically designed or converted compounds are, in some way, bad or unhealthy.
Pioneering researchers, however, disagree. For information about organic versus synthetic cannabinoids, see our exclusive 2022 interview with Israeli researcher Dr. Raphael Mechoulam.
The delta-10 THC molecule
These alt cannabinoids include delta-8 (the current market leader), delta-10, HHC, THC-O Acetate, and THCP—among others. Delta-10 is the topic of discussion in this audio session that includes a group of cannabis industry professionals, including those who market and sell products formulated using delta-10.
This 25-minute roundtable session was captured on August 19, 2022 on Twitter Spaces. It has been edited for length and clarity.
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