is delta 9 thc synthetic

Is Delta 9 THC Synthetic? [A Complete Analysis]

Delta 9 THC (D9 THC, Delta 9, D9, or THC) is the world’s most popular cannabinoid. You might know it better as THC. No THC product is complete without it. For years, marijuana was the only source of Delta 9 THC, but recent advances have allowed consumers to obtain it legally through hemp. Fans might be wondering, “Is Delta 9 THC synthetic?” The simple answer is no. Delta 9 THC is one of the naturally occurring cannabinoids found in cannabis plants.

But for Delta 9 THC to be federally legal, it must be obtained from the hemp plant and sold to consumers in products containing no more than 0.3% THC. However, several states have made recreational or medical cannabis legal. These states allow for Delta 9 THC to be obtained from marijuana via various extraction processes and sold to consumers in products exceeding 0.3% THC. With such high demand, brands may turn to synthetic methods to obtain Delta 9 THC. But does that make Delta 9 THC natural or synthetic? Let’s examine this question and settle it once and for all.

History of Delta 9 THC

Delta 9 THC goes back to ancient times. Romans, Greeks, Chinese, and Hindu cultures have been using medical cannabis for its therapeutic effects. They also took advantage of its euphoric and psychoactive effects in rituals and religious ceremonies. While these cultures enjoyed the benefits of cannabis plants, they didn’t fully understand how the best cultivation methods and uses. Then Israeli scientist Raphael Mechoulam, known as “the godfather of cannabis research,” came along. His research is influential and often cited in scientific publications such as Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. and others.

Mechoulam’s 1964 research revealed where Delta 9 THC was abundantly found in the cannabis plant. Not only was he able to isolate THC, but he also helped us comprehend how the naturally occurring cannabinoid affected the human body.

thc chemical structure against sunset

Although Mechoulam and other scientists dispersed knowledge regarding the benefits of Delta 9 THC, the cannabinoid still held a stigma due to its euphoric effects. Government officials and anti-marijuana use advocates waged a war against it.

It wasn’t until much later that Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and other strains became accepted in society. Colorado and Washington State became the first two states to legalize marijuana in 2012. Many states followed suit. Marijuana still remains illegal at the federal level.

However, hemp, a non-euphoric cannabis plant, is federally legal. Unfortunately, hemp contains very little THC and abundant CBD (Cannabidiol). The 2018 Farm Bill (Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018) legalized hemp and hemp-derived products as long as they do not exceed THC levels of 0.3%. This opened the door for the CBD market and legal ways to obtain THC products from hemp.

Is Delta 9 THC Synthetic or Naturally Occurring?

Delta 9 THC is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Synthetic cannabinoids are those that do not exist in nature. They are wholly artificial and made by man. Delta 9 THC is naturally occurring, like many other cannabinoids.

THC must be hemp-derived to be legal on a federal level. The cannabinoid is present in trace amounts in hemp. However, in many states, obtaining Delta 9 THC from marijuana is legal. This provides consumers with two sources of Delta 9 THC.

An extraction process is necessary to obtain the Delta 9 THC. Delta 9 THC can be extracted from hemp in four ways.

Solvent-Based Extraction

This method involves soaking hemp in a liquid like butane, propyl, or ethanol. It strips the plant’s chemicals and leaves behind a concentrated distillate product. There is always a concern that some solvents can be left behind, leading to possible health effects. However, Delta 9 THC is likely safe if you buy from a trusted brand that ensures consumer safety.

Supercritical CO2 Extraction

This method involves exposing CO2 to heat and pressure to reach a “supercritical state” where it is both a fluid and a gas. The supercritical fluid is combined with hemp plants to remove the potent chemical compounds. It does not leave chemicals behind and may be the cleanest, safest way to produce Delta 9 THC products.

is delta 9 thc synthetic scientist examining cannabis extraction machinery

Steam Distillation

Steam distillation involves adding hemp-derived products to a distillation tank that uses heat and water to pull the chemical compounds from the plant to be separated into an oil product. The process is easy, but it is not very efficient and can result in errors.


CBD has a similar chemical formula to Delta 9 THC. The process of isomerization converts CBD to Delta 9 THC. This allows for abundant amounts of Farm Bill-compliant THC to be obtained from hemp. This process is semi-synthetic; it uses synthetic means to obtain naturally occurring cannabinoids.

Converting CBD to Delta 9 THC involves dissolving CBD isolate in a solvent and adding a catalyst. Heating the mixture promotes isomerization, where the molecular structure of CBD rearranges into Delta 9 THC. Isomerization is the most commonly used method to obtain Delta 9 THC from hemp for use in legal hemp market products.

Delta 9 THC vs Other Delta THC

Delta 9 THC is so-called because it has a double bond on the 9th carbon atom. It differs from Delta 8 THC, which has a double bond on the 8th carbon atom, and Delta 10, which has a double bond on the 10th carbon atom.

Delta 8 THC and Delta 10 are not as strong as Delta 9 THC. They may also provide different therapeutic effects.

Whereas Delta 9 THC produces powerful, elevating euphoria, Delta 8 THC produces mild, calming euphoria. This makes Delta 8 THC ideal for afternoon or nighttime consumption. Delta 10 is best for daytime consumption. Its euphoria is more Sativa-like, providing energizing sensations that make you more alert and focused.

Forms of Consuming Delta 9 THC

There are several Delta 9 THC products sold on the cannabis market. Here are some of the most popular forms of consuming Delta 9 THC.

  • Vapes. Vaporizers offer a convenient way to consume Delta 9 THC. They are portable and discreet. Vaping products do not produce smoke. Instead, you inhale aromatic vapor. Choose from 510-thread carts or disposables for your vaping needs.

  • Flower. Cannabis flower is ideal for smoking. When you hear the term “Delta 9 THC flower,” that is essentially referencing marijuana. You can add Delta 9 THC flower to pipes, bongs, and joints. They provide immediate effects via inhalation, something that fans who have smoked cannabis are well aware of, hence this method’s popularity.

  • Edible Products. THC edibles go through the digestive system. They take a long time to hit, typically 45-60 minutes. However, they have more potent, longer-lasting effects than other THC products. Go slow when consuming the Delta 9 THC Gummies and other edibles.

  • Oils. Also known as tinctures, oils are a versatile way to take Delta 9 THC. The sublingual method provides fast delivery. Full-spectrum CBD oil contains Delta 9 THC and is one of the most popular tinctures on the market.

cannabis gummies brownies joints

Legal Concerns Of Synthesizing Delta 9 THC

Delta 9 THC must be synthesized from hemp plants and have a concentration of less than 0.3% THC in hemp products to be legal per federal law. However, many state laws accept marijuana products with higher levels of THC. Check with your local laws to ensure you play it safe.

Most hemp companies will tell you if their products are Farm Bill compliant. Use these guidelines wisely. They will ensure you are using Delta 9 THC responsibly.

FAQs on Delta 9 THC Composition

What Is Delta 9 THC Made Of?

Delta 9 THC cannabis compounds occur naturally in cannabis plants. Extraction methods are used to make it more legal and more accessible. There may be other cannabinoids in some Delta 9 THC products, but the cannabinoid itself is pure.

How Long Does Delta 9 THC Stay in Your Body?

The amount of time Delta 9 THC stays in your body depends on how much THC you consume. Occasional consumers may have THC products detectable in their urine for three days. Regular consumers may score positive during drug testing for up to 30 days after recreational use. The type of drug test also plays a role, as certain samples will contain THC for a longer period than others.

Does Delta 9 THC Get You Stoned?

It depends on the cannabis content. Products with less than 0.3% THC should not get you stoned. Products with higher THC content will have more potent psychoactive effects if consumed in excess. Know your limits, and don’t go overboard. If you do, chances are you will be feeling very stoned.

Is Delta 9 THC Addictive?

Delta 9 THC, when consumed responsibly, is generally safe and non-habit-forming for most people. Most hemp brands that sell products that contain Delta 9 THC prioritize legal and non-habit-forming products. This ensures that their customers enjoy the benefits without the potential risks. Also, the availability of Delta 9 THC products speaks to the cannabinoid’s ability to promote well-being that supports a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

D9 brick gummies

Final Thoughts – Is Delta 9 THC Synthetic? [A Complete Analysis]

Delta 9 THC is not synthetic. It is a naturally occurring cannabis plant cannabinoid. It is not classified with synthetic cannabinoids. Synthetic cannabinoids are those that do not exist naturally. They are wholly artificial.

Various extraction methods are used to obtain it from hemp plants. In particular, a semi-synthetic process called isomerization converts CBD into Delta 9 THC. Most extraction methods used on Delta 9 THC are optimized for consumer safety. You can feel even more confident consuming Delta 9 THC products if you buy from a trusted brand like Budpop. Consider your options carefully to ensure the best possible cannabis experience.

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