Delta, Delta, Delta; Everything You Should Know About Alternative Cannabinoids

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Alternative cannabinoids refer to hemp-based cannabinoids that could cause intoxication in high levels. Notably, most alternative cannabinoids develop in relatively low volumes in hemp flowers, though scientists can also develop them in labs. In doing, processors can create legal synthetic cannabinoids from hemp and sell them to the public.

Today, we’ll discuss everything you should know about alternative cannabinoids then outline what qualities you should look for when trying to buy delta cannabinoid products in bulk for your customers.

What are Alternative Cannabinoids?

Alternative cannabinoids are intoxicating cannabinoids, which scientists often create in a laboratory out of CBD. On the other hand, minor cannabinoids are natural, non-intoxicating cannabinoids that develop alongside CBD on developing hemp flowers. Though both cannabinoid types seem to show interesting therapeutic potential, this article will only discuss intoxicating hemp cannabinoids.

One of the most exciting things about alternative cannabinoids is their relatively legal status. To be clear, each jurisdiction determines the legality of alternative cannabinoids in their area, and some areas either prohibit or are considering banning alternative cannabinoids. However, on a federal level, all hemp cannabinoids (and their derivatives) are legal and eligible for commercial sale.

According to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp refers to “any part of that [hemp] plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers” with Delta 9 concentrations below 0.3 percent dry weight. Importantly, the Federal Appeals Court recently ruled that Delta 8, in particular, falls well within this definition and is therefore federally legal to sell. Other alternative hemp cannabinoids like D9, D10, HHC, THC-O also fit into this definition as long as their Delta-9 THC levels remain below the total permissible level of 0.3 percent.

Alternative Hemp Cannabinoids You Should Know About

Delta 8

D8, or Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, is one of the most popular alternative cannabinoids on the market today. Interestingly, Delta 8 is almost identical to Delta 9 THC (the primary intoxicating component in marijuana-type cannabis) differing only by the location of the double bond. For example, D8 has a double bond between the 8th and 9th carbon, whereas D9 has a double bond between the 9th and 10th carbon.

This similar structure means that D8 affects cannabinoid receptors much like D9 THC does, albeit to a lesser degree. This reduced CB receptor affinity means that D8 is less potent than D9 though many of the predictable effects are similar. For example, consumers might feel relaxed and euphoric and likely experience dulled pain perceptions.

Delta 9

Delta 9 THC is by far the most popular – and most controversial – cannabinoid we’ve ever seen. As mentioned, D9 is the primary intoxicating cannabinoid in marijuana-type cannabis, though it also develops in hemp-type cannabis, as well. However, D9 levels must remain below 0.3 percent as per the 2018 Farm Bill which legalized hemp (including hemp cannabinoids) for commercial sale.

This definition of hemp is crucial when determining if Delta 9 products are federally legal. Essentially, if the product itself contains less than 0.3 percent THC, then the product complies with the USDA’s hemp Farm Bill standards. Importantly, products and all of their components must adhere to the 0.3 percent limit throughout all stages of the hemp manufacturing process and retailers must maintain proof of compliance at all times. As such, a reputable hemp supply chain manager is crucial when selling alternative hemp cannabinoids.

Delta 10

D10 is also similar to Delta 9 THC except for the location of its double bond, which occurs between the 10th and 11th carbon. Like Delta 8, D10 interacts with cannabinoid receptors to produce slightly intoxicating qualities, though less intoxicating than D9 THC. However, unlike D8, which produces a more lethargic experience, Delta 10 hemp produces a more invigorating, upbeat experience. Those familiar with different cannabis cultivars often explain the D10 experience more like that of a sativa high, while D8 consumers liken those sensations to indica-type highs.


HHC is yet another intoxicating alternative cannabinoid that’s been gaining incredible traction due to its (unconfirmed) inability to show up on a drug test. Notably, most drug tests scan for THC and its metabolites, which includes Delta 8, 9, and 10. HHC, which is not a form of THC, may therefore, help consumers stay in the clear.

Another exciting feature of HHC is its incredibly long shelf life. Unlike THC products which degrade when exposed to heat, light, and oxygen, HHC can remain stable for years. The reason for this increased durability has to do with its chemical structure. Basically, HHC contains a hydrogen bond where THC’s carbon bond usually is. When THC becomes exposed to oxygen, its existing hydrogen bond disappears and gets replaced with more double carbon bonds to create CBN. HHC, on the other hand, is incredibly resistant to light and oxygen, making it one of the most stable cannabinoids on record.

Regarding effects, many consumers report that HHC feels like a more potent form of Delta 8 (relaxing, euphoric), though less potent than traditional THC.


Unlike the other cannabinoids listed above, THC-O, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, does not occur naturally in cannabis plants. Instead, this legal synthetic cannabinoid comes from CBD-derived Delta 8, to which processors then add acetic anhydride to create THC-O acetate.

Importantly, there is limited research on THC-O. However, many consumers claim the substance is actually more potent than traditional THC. In fact, some users suggest that THC-O possesses mildly psychedelic properties. For example, many claim more extreme color perception and crisper lines in images.

Alternative Cannabinoid Consumption Methods

Consumers can ingest alternative cannabinoids in almost all of the same ways they might ingest other hemp-based products. For example, hemp edibles are incredibly popular, which producers can infuse with alternative cannabinoid concentrates. Delta 8 gummies are an especially popular trending hemp product, as are D10-infused hard candies.

Additionally, many consumers prefer to smoke or inhale legal synthetic cannabinoids because they take effect quickly and work well as a communal activity. Notably, we produce our own Delta 8 THC-infused hemp flower by spraying the vapeable delta concentrate onto our Kentucky-grown CBD hemp pre-rolls. Please contact us to learn more about our Delta 8 and Delta 10 flower wholesale options.

Finally, some customers love the long-lasting effects of topical cannabinoid patches. For example, our infused Delta 8 patches affix easily to the skin where they slowly release steady levels of the alternative cannabinoid into the bloodstream. The long-lasting nature of hemp cannabinoid patches can help consumers can feel their best for up to 12 hours at a time, or at least until they remove the patch.

Buy Alternative Hemp Products from VCM

We’ve recently extended our product line to include all of the most popular alternative cannabinoids on the market. Importantly, all of our cannabinoid products come from hemp cannabinoids only, making them federally legal for commercial sale.

Contact us to learn more about our white- and private-label hemp product options, including locally produced HHC hemp flower, Delta 8 infused hemp flower, and Delta 10 disposable vapes. Your customers will also enjoy hemp Delta 9 gummies or any of our other extensive wholesale hemp candy selections.

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