THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is a substance derived from the cannabis plant that primarily attributes to the “high” feeling when consumed in a product.
Delta-9 THC is the cannabinoid most associated with cannabis while Delta-8 and Delta-10 are essentially the less-potent cousins of Delta-9.
“Delta-8, a little bit less, is about 70% as potent as Delta-9,” LabCanna CEO Derek Besenius said. “Then Delta-10 leans more toward the energy, creative, focus side of things.”
Delta-8 and Delta-10 are legal federally, but Delta-9 is not if the plant it’s harvested from has over 0.3% of the isomer. If there is a plant that is over that threshold in Tennessee, legally, it must be destroyed.
“That law was written for plants. There was no law, there is no regulation written for products,” Besenius said. “So, by proxy, it set the precedent that those products can also be made to the same level.”
Say you have a dense, 1,000-gram (1 kilogram) gummy product—it could, in theory, have three grams of Delta-9 THC. An eighth of cannabis contains about 3.5 grams of Delta-9. For what it’s worth, it is illegal in Tennessee for a person to “knowingly possess” one-eighth(+) of marijuana, a product that contains cannabis.
The non-regulation has been a bit of controversy among those in the hemp community.
“Where there is cannabis, there is no need for Delta-8 or that loophole,” Trent Woloveck said.
Woloveck is the Chief Commercial Director for Jushi Holdings Inc., a cannabis company based in Denver. He argues that there’s no federal regulation of Delta-8 or Delta-10 – it’s sort of a wild west atmosphere. “A lot of the product is mislabeled or has too much or too little Delta-8 THC,” Woloveck said. “It’s got heavy metals, molds, mildew. It might have too many milligrams, too [few] milligrams, nothing at all.”
The thought is something Besenius actually agrees with. He welcomes regulation and hopes for recreational cannabis to become legal.
“We have over a thousand tests done at every stage of the products that we make ourselves,” Besenius said. “That’s not mandated, that’s self-imposed.”
It’s possible that the Deltas will become illegal in 2023. There’s a new national Farm Bill coming that could change how the country is allowed to deal hemp, though no one seems to be very sure exactly what those changes will be.
“I think we’re on a mission to fight those taboos,” Besenius said. “‘Educate first’ is our core value.”