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Understanding Alt Cannabinoids

Updated: May 2

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In this free article, students learn the definitions of emerging and increasingly popular alt cannabinoids and the basic pros and cons of each for both the businesses that produce and sell them and the consumers who use them.


Understanding Alt Cannabinoids

Cannabis consumers and patients and the businesses that serve them remain challenged by a generalized ignorance of the chemical dynamics and market potential of a number of mainstream cannabinoids—primarily CBD (cannabidiol) and delta-9 THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

Amidst a storm of misinformation has emerged a range of commercially novel molecules, making a clear understanding of their nuanced differences even more difficult.

A Leafwize Naturals sample of a delta-8 THC vape cart.
What are alt cannabinoids?

While considered new, many of these cannabinoids have been under scientific investigation for decades (for example, the U.S. military experimented with THC-O in the late 1940s). The beginning of the third decade of the 21st century has featured many forms of cultural and business disruption, including the emergence of these isomer molecules in both legal and underground markets throughout the United States.

These cannabinoids include CBDP, delta-8 THC, delta-10 THC, HHC (hexahydrocannabinol), THC-O Acetate, and THCP.

Confounding Marketers & Regulators

Understanding Alt Cannabinoids. Lawmakers, regulators, entrepreneurs, and consumers have been forced to comprehend this confusing array of cannabinoids and the sometimes spurious marketing claims that accompany their distribution and sales.

Higher Learning LV has focused on the commerce and chemistry of these phytomolecules, most of which are naturally occurring (such as delta-8, delta-10, and HHC) and some of which are not (THC-O Acetate).

Higher Learning LV has focused on the commerce and chemistry of these phytomolecules, some of which are naturally occurring (such as delta-8, delta-10, and HHC) and some of which are not (THC-O Acetate).

Alt Cannabinoid Research

Understanding Alt Cannabinoids. In December 2019, a group of Italian researchers released a study that detailed its discovery of two novel cannabinoids, CBDP and THCP. Both are members of a new group of cannabinoids called phorals that feature a significantly stronger binding affinity within the human endocannabinoid system than conventional delta-9 THC. It remains to be seen if this stronger cellular connection equates to greater potency or enhanced efficacy among real world consumers.

The emergence of these phytomolecules is evidence that the future legal cannabis marketplace holds the potential to encompass and monetize a range of molecules outside of CBD and delta-9 THC. It also serves as a testimonial to the plant's significant overall efficacy, which some medical professionals have dubbed "a pharmacopeia."

A Leafwize Naturals sample of a delta-8 vape cart.
What is delta-8?

Research for these THC isomer molecules is, unfortunately, relatively scant compared to what is available for mainstream cannabinoids such as CBD, delta-9 THC, and a range of terpenes (like pinene, myrcene, and humulene). Several of these emerging cannabinoids have demonstrated medicinal efficacy, including anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and antianxiety properties, as evidenced by literally hundreds of peer-reviewed research studies.

Want to learn more? Read the following articles about alt cannabinoids:

  1. Addressing the Delta-8 Controversy:

  2. Deep Dive: Newly Discovered Cannabinoids: THCP & CBDP:

  3. Deep Dive: Delta-8 THC:

  4. Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC):

  5. Understanding THC-O Acetate:

  6. Understanding Delta-10 THC:

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