Delta 10 THC: Ultimate Guide to This Lesser-Known Cannabinoid

Dan Simms Last Updated: October 15, 2021

Most people know about delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol (commonly just called “THC”) and cannabidiol (CBD), two of the most popular cannabinoids.

However, delta 10 THC, a minor cannabinoid, is becoming more popular and widely available due to its legality and unique effects. The high from delta 10 is distinct from conventional THC products.

In this guide, you’ll learn what delta 10 THC is, how it differs from THC, what it feels like, how to dose delta 10, and much more.

What Is Delta 10 THC?

Delta 10 THC is a minor phytocannabinoid, meaning it is a naturally produced compound extracted from cannabis plants.

Much like delta 9 THC and delta 8 THC, delta 10 is a psychoactive cannabinoid and produces mind-altering effects, commonly referred to as a “high.”

Delta 10 THC is an analog of delta 9 THC, meaning it has an almost identical molecular structure and chemical makeup. The primary difference is the location of the double bond in the carbon chain. As the name suggests, the double bond is located at the tenth position in delta 10 THC and the ninth in delta 9 THC.

Despite the molecular similarities, delta 10 THC users report that its psychoactive capabilities are significantly less powerful than those of THC.

Most people agree delta 10 THC is around 50% as potent as delta 9 THC.

As such, it’s harder to take a large dose accidentally, and it’s less likely to cause adverse effects of THC, like paranoia and anxiety.

The most commonly reported effects include increased focus and attention, perceptual changes, and a sense of euphoria.

Delta 10 THC: Specs & Technical Details

Active IngredientDelta 10 THC
Level of RiskLow
Other NamesΔ10, D10, Delta 10
Most Common Side EffectsRed eyes, increased appetite (“munchies”), increased heart rate
Duration of Effects2-10 hours, depending on delivery method
LegalityLegal in most countries (if derived from hemp)

What Does Delta 10 THC Feel Like?

Delta 10 THC is believed to be about half as potent as THC, but it still delivers comparable feelings of euphoria and altered sensory perception.

Most users report pleasant and positive emotions, as well as giggliness. Very few delta 10 users report feeling anxious or paranoid after consumption.

Delta 10 THC users also note significant nootropic effects, including a surge in energy, increased focus and concentration, and heightened awareness of the world around them.

Some people report feeling motivated and uplifted by these effects. It’s a common choice among students and entrepreneurs who like using cannabis products while they work but want to maintain a clear head while they work or study.

Delta 10 is often suggested to have nootropic effects when used in lower doses (5–20 mg).

How Delta 10 THC Feels According to Dose

The effects of delta 10 THC change depending on the dose.

Microdoses

Lower doses (1-5 milligrams) are considered a microdose. Most users report feeling slightly energized, similar to the effects of a cup of coffee. Other effects include an increased ability to focus and concentrate. You’re unlikely to feel “high” at this dose.

Low-Dose

A low dose of delta 10 is considered anything between 10 and 20 milligrams. Reports of this dosage typically include feelings of minor euphoria, heightened focus and attention, and boosted energy levels. Sensitive individuals may feel some mild perceptual changes with this dose.

Standard Psychoactive Dose

The standard dose of delta 10 THC is between 20 and 50 milligrams. At this dose, intense feelings of euphoria are likely to present along with clear alterations in perception. It feels a lot like conventional marijuana products at this dose, but with more emphasis on the euphoric and energized end of the spectrum.

Some users report impairment of motor skills and intoxication that keeps them from their daily routine.

Heavy Dose

A heavy dose of delta 10 THC is considered anything above 50 mg.

Intense feelings of euphoria should be expected, along with the characteristic high from marijuana extracts.

At this dose, delta 10 THC might have adverse effects when it comes to focusing and remaining attentive, as intoxication and motor skills impairment are also typical. Users may feel more creative but will likely find it difficult to channel this creativity and remain on-task.

How Long Do the Effects of Delta 10 THC Last?

Most commercial delta 10 THC is available in disposable vapes or vape cartridges. The effects of inhaling this compound usually set in within a few minutes and last about 2-3 hours, on average.

However, other methods of consumption can lead to longer onset timelines and more prolonged effects.

For example, delta 10 THC edibles can take 45 minutes to two hours to kick in, and the effects typically last for between 4 and 10 hours.

Delta 10 tinctures consumed sublingually usually take effect in 10-30 minutes and last about 4-8 hours, on average. If the tincture is swallowed after use, a more intense psychoactive effect can be expected within 1–2 hours after consumption.

Delta 10 THC Tolerance

Frequent delta 10 THC users often find that regularly taking the same dose will eventually lead to less and less potent effects. This is referred to as intolerance, and a similar phenomenon occurs when taking other cannabinoids as well.

Since delta 10 THC is a relatively recent discovery, little research has been done on its long-term use and delta 10 tolerance.

However, research on delta 9 THC tolerance suggests that the CB1 receptors of the endocannabinoid system decrease in numbers and require more THC to fire [1].

The same is believed to be the cause of delta 10 THC tolerance.

Most Δ10 users implement tolerance breaks — called “T-breaks” — as a means of regulating their tolerance.

A tolerance break consists of several weeks or months of no THC consumption. This break in usage is believed to bring the number of CB1 receptors back up and make them more sensitive to delta 10 THC once consumption is resumed.

Is Delta 10 THC Legal?

Delta 10 THC is technically legal in many countries as long as its made from hemp (not marijuana). It’s semantics, but it’s the way the law works — at least, in the United States. Updates to legislation is expected to remove the loophole allowing delta 10 and delta 8 THC sales in the United States sometime in 2022.

Currently, as per the 2018 Farm Bill, the commercial cultivation of hemp plants, which contain under 0.3% delta 9 THC by weight, and its byproducts are legal.

Some states have implemented regulations on the production, sale, possession, and use of delta 10 THC. Other states have banned the substance altogether.

States in the U.S. Where Delta 10 THC Is Illegal

Unless a state regulator specifically banned the sale and production of delta 10 THC, it’s legal under the federal regulations.

Here’s a list of states that have moved to ban the sale of THC-analogs, including delta 8, delta 10, and delta 9 THC:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah

Is Delta 10 THC Safe?

Extensive research has been completed on other cannabinoids confirming that they are relatively safe for consumption [2], including delta 9 THC and CBD.

Unfortunately, because delta 10 THC is a relatively new discovery, very little research exists about its use, safety, and potential medical benefits.

It’s not possible to say with certainty if delta 10 THC is safe for human consumption on either a short-term or long-term basis. However, experts do believe that its similarity to delta 9 THC suggests that it is just as safe.

Side Effects of Delta 10 THC

Most delta 10 THC users have a positive experience when consuming the cannabinoid, but there are some side effects that have been reported. Most of these are more prevalent with larger doses.

Side effects of Δ10 THC include:

  • Red or dry eyes
  • Increased appetite (referred to as the “munchies”)
  • Dizziness
  • Dehydration
  • Excessive thirst (“cotton mouth”)
  • Increased heart rate
  • Altered perception of time
  • Increased sensory sensitivity

How Delta 10 THC Works

The specifics of how delta 10 THC works are unconfirmed at this time, as there isn’t enough research yet on how it interacts with the body. However, it can be assumed that it functions similarly to delta 9 THC and delta 8 THC.

It’s believed that delta 10 THC interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system. This system includes a series of receptors that send signals through the central nervous system to interact with the brain.

Delta 10 THC likely binds with the receptors, simulating a natural process that regulates a variety of other neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.

Delta 9 THC acts the same way and has a significant effect on serotonin, dopamine, and GABA, among other neurotransmitters [3,4]. It can be assumed that delta 10 THC affects the same neurotransmitters, albeit to a different extent. The changes to neurotransmitter levels are what create the psychoactive experience for the user.

Delta 10 THC enters the bloodstream in one of three ways:

  • Inhalation — Through the alveoli, if an inhaled product is used
  • Sublingual administration — Through the sublingual capillaries, if a tincture is used, or
  • Oral administration — Through the digestive tract if an edible or gummy is used.

The History & Future of Delta 10 THC

Delta 10 THC was first discovered in the 1980s when it was synthesized from delta 9 THC. The process reportedly involved advanced chemistry and potentially dangerous substances, so no commercial production was carried out immediately following its discovery.

However, Fusion Farms, a California-based cannabis manufacturer, accidentally discovered that delta 10 THC could be synthesized more safely from delta 9 THC and CBD.

The improved safety of the process and the final product meant that delta 10 THC could be manufactured on a commercial level, making it more readily available for users.

Delta 10 THC exists in a legal grey area in the United States. Provided it’s derived from hemp and not marijuana, many people believe it’s legal for production, sale, and consumption. Companies continue to sell delta 10 products, sourcing the Farm Bill of 2018 as legislature enough to confirm its legality.

Some states throughout America have illegalized delta 10 THC due to a lack of research on the compound. As such, there is some evidence to suggest that it might be more widely prohibited in the future.

Delta 10 THC Frequently Asked Questions

1. What’s the Difference Between Delta 10 THC & Delta 9 THC?

On a molecular level, delta 9 THC and delta 10 THC are nearly identical. The only difference is that the double bond in the carbon ring is shifted from the ninth to the tenth position.

As far as effects go, delta 10 THC is reported to be about 50% as potent on a psychoactive level. Delta 10 tends to provide similar psychoactive effects as delta 9, but with more emphasis on the euphoric and energizing effects of THC.

Additionally, delta 10 THC is legal in more areas than delta 9 THC due to several loopholes in regulation.

2. Is Delta 10 THC Safe?

While delta 10 THC proponents insist that the compound is safe for consumption, there isn’t enough research on this relatively new cannabinoid to confirm one way or the other.

With that said, based on the similarities of Δ10 to Δ9 THC in terms of effects and chemical structure, it’s very unlikely Δ10 THC is any more dangerous than Δ9 — which has been proven to have an impressively high safety incidence.

3. What Are the Best Alternatives for Delta 10 THC?

Delta 10 THC is touted by users for its energizing, uplifting, and nootropic effects. Some similar but less potent results can sometimes be obtained from caffeine, as well as certain strains of marijuana containing delta 9 THC.

Most users liken the boost in energy and motivation to potent sativa strains.

Delta 8 THC is a better option if you prefer a high that falls more towards the “relaxing” and “chill” end of the spectrum.

4. Is Delta 10 THC Natural or Synthetic?

Delta 10 THC is a phytocannabinoid, meaning it exists naturally in cannabis plants. This makes delta 10 THC natural rather than synthetic.

However, it only appears in cannabis in rare instances and in minimal concentrations when it does (less than 0.1%).

Most commercially available delta 10 THC is made from CBD extracted from hemp plants through a process called isomerization. This is only possible because of how structurally similar delta 10 THC is to both CBD and other forms of THC.

Key Takeaways: What is Delta 10 THC?

Delta 10 THC is an isomer of delta 9 THC — the active ingredient in marijuana.

This cannabinoid is extremely similar to the THC you’re probably familiar with. The only difference is the location of a double bond in the chemical structure. This subtle difference gives delta 10 THC its own distinct set of effects.

The effects of delta 10 THC are about 50% as strong as conventional delta 9 THC and has a greater chance of inducing feelings of euphoria and mood-enhancement, as well as increased focus and energy.

In high enough doses, delta 10 THC will produce very similar psychoactive effects as any marijuana product.

Sources Used

  1. Hirvonen, J., Goodwin, R. S., Li, C. T., Terry, G. E., Zoghbi, S. S., Morse, C., … & Innis, R. (2012). Reversible and regionally selective downregulation of brain cannabinoid CB 1 receptors in chronic daily cannabis smokers. Molecular psychiatry, 17(6), 642-649.
  2. Sachs, J., McGlade, E., & Yurgelun-Todd, D. (2015). Safety and toxicology of cannabinoids. Neurotherapeutics, 12(4), 735-746.
  3. Baltz, J. W., & Le, L. T. (2020). Serotonin syndrome versus cannabis toxicity in the emergency department. Clinical practice and cases in emergency medicine, 4(2), 171.
  4. Bloomfield, M. A., Ashok, A. H., Volkow, N. D., & Howes, O. D. (2016). The effects of Δ 9-tetrahydrocannabinol on the dopamine system. Nature, 539(7629), 369-377.