Your guide to the hottest hemp cannabinoids

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A new wave of hemp-derived cannabinoid products has been sweeping the country as producers take advantage of the flexibility created when the 2018 Farm Bill made hemp legal to grow and use for extraction all over the United States. Under the bill, hemp is defined as, “all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 THC concentration of not more than 0.3%”—meaning cannabinoids derived from hemp are federally legal to produce so long as they contain less than 0.3% standard THC.

This definition opens the door for innovative producers to create hemp-derived cannabinoid products for a national audience and to further uncover the astounding potential within cannabis & hemp plants.

Although cannabinoid research is still in its infancy & much more is needed to truly understand the full range of potential applications and effects, there’s now more access than ever to a huge spectrum of products featuring emerging cannabinoids that you can experience for yourself.

The world of hemp-derived cannabinoids is wide and can be confusing, so we created this guide to help answer your questions and supply the facts we currently understand about the effects and availability of different emerging cannabinoids. You’ll also find a huge host of deals up to 30% off on related cannabinoid products.

Read on for all your cannabinoid questions answered & to find your new faves.


Delta-8 THC

hemp cannabinoids

Delta-8, short for delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, is a compound found in trace amounts in cannabis & hemp plants. It’s become popular because of its similarity to delta-9 THC, the main compound in cannabis that gets you high and what we commonly refer to as simply “THC.” Delta-8 can be derived from CBD extracted from federally legal hemp: extracted CBD is refined into an isolate, and then the isolate is synthesized into delta-8. The effects of delta-8 are reported to be similar to those of delta-9, but much less potent, offering a smoother, milder high. Consumers report effects such as mild euphoria, happiness, uplifting feelings, and relief from some symptoms such as pain. Early testimonies also indicate delta-8 may be beneficial in helping with sleeplessness.

Because delta-8 is derived from hemp and does not contain any delta-9 THC, it is considered legal at the federal level; however, some state laws do not directly adopt the language of the 2018 Farm Bill, making delta-8 illegal or placing it in a hazy legal category where many producers choose not to ship product. These states currently include: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island, and Utah. Producers of delta-8 will commonly ship product to all US states except those listed above.

Learn more here.


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Delta-9 THC

Delta-9 THC is the main psychoactive compound found in traditional cannabis. It also occurs naturally in much smaller quantities in hemp. Because the 2018 Farm Bill stipulates that any hemp-derived product containing less than 0.3% delta-9 THC by dry weight is legal at the federal level, products containing hemp-based delta-9 that fall within that quantity restriction are available to ship nationwide. To accomplish the maximum allowable quantities of delta-9, available products are designed to include proportionally greater quantities of CBD and other minor cannabinoids and utilize formats with heavier dry weights like gummies. Delta-9 is intoxicating and associated effects include euphoria, happiness, sedation, pain relief & much more.


Experience delta-9

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Delta-10 THC

hemp cannabinoids

Delta-10 is a cannabinoid found in trace amounts in cannabis & hemp plants. Like delta-8, it is commonly processed from hemp-derived CBD with CBD isolate being synthesized into delta-10. While intoxicating, delta-10 is much less potent than standard delta-9 THC. Its effects are reported to be energizing, often being compared to a sativa-like experience. Delta-10 is derived from hemp and legal at the federal level; however, as is the case with delta-8, some states have specific restrictions against delta-10 and some producers opt not to ship to certain states if that state’s laws are unclear. Check the producer’s website to see where shipping is available, but generally, you cannot get delta-10 in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island, and Utah.

Learn more here.


Experience delta-10

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Delta-6a10a

Delta-6a10a is a cannabinoid found in trace amounts in cannabis & hemp plants and can be extracted from federally legal hemp by distillation. There is very little research on delta-6a10a so we are just beginning to understand what the compound can do. It is psychoactive and early anecdotal consumer reports suggest that it promotes confidence-boosting, productive effects. Hemp-derived Delta-6a10a is legal at the federal level, but check the specific producer’s website to see which states have shipping available.



THCV

hemp cannabinoids

THCV is a cannabinoid found in cannabis & hemp plants, and while it typically naturally occurs only in small amounts, you can find both high-THCV cannabis strains and hemp-derived THCV extracts to enjoy the compound’s unique effects. Known for its appetite suppressing and energizing effects, THCV works by turning off the body’s CB1 receptor, rather than by turning it on as with standard THC. Consumers report feeling clear-headed and stimulated when taking THCV. On its own, THCV is only psychoactive if you take a very large amount of it. Products containing THCV derived from hemp are legal at the federal level, but check state laws to determine if specific restrictions exist in your area.

Learn more here.


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THCH

THCH is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in cannabis & hemp that was only recently isolated by researchers in 2020. Very little is currently known about THCH, and products containing THCH have only just started appearing on the hemp-based cannabinoid market radar. Early reports suggest that THCH may be significantly more potent than standard THC, but more research is needed to determine THCH’s effects. Remember, it’s important to start low and go slow when consuming any new cannabinoid product so that you can determine how your body will respond. When derived from hemp, THCH products are legal at the federal level, but check state laws to determine if specific restrictions exist in your area.


hemp cannabinoids

Experience THCH

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THCP

hemp cannabinoids

THCP is a cannabinoid discovered by the same group of Italian researchers who isolated THCH. The researchers discovered an elongated side chain in THCP’s molecular structure, with THCP showing seven links in comparison to standard THC’s five. This has implications for THCP’s potency, as this side chain has been shown to play a vital role in the binding affinity of cannabinoids to the receptors in the endocannabinoid system. When the researchers checked the binding affinity of THCP against human CB1 and CB2 receptors, they found that THCP was 33 times more active than regular THC on the CB1 receptor, and 5-10 times more active than regular THC on the CB2 receptor, suggesting that THCP is significantly more potent than standard THC. More research is needed to understand THCP’s full range of potential effects. Remember to start low and go slow when consuming THCP products to determine how your body will respond. When derived from hemp, products including THCP are legal at the federal level, but check state laws to determine if specific restrictions exist in your area.

Learn more here.


Experience THCP

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THC-O

THC-O, or THC-O acetate, is a synthetic compound derived from hemp that was first studied by the US military as far back as 1949 but that has only recently gained popularity in the recreational hemp space. Research has found that it’s roughly three times stronger than standard THC in terms of potency, and it has been called “the psychedelic cannabinoid” for its borderline hallucinatory effects. To make THC-O, CBD is extracted from hemp, then delta-8 THC is extracted from the CBD—finally, acetic anhydride is added to the delta-8 molecules to make THC-O acetate. As with all cannabis- & hemp-derived products, it’s important to start low and go slow so that you can understand how THC-O will interact with your body, especially considering its higher potency levels. THC-O is legal at the federal level when derived from hemp under the 2018 Farm Bill, but check state laws to determine if specific restrictions exist.

Learn more here.


hemp cannabinoids

Experience THC-O

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CBN

hemp cannabinoids

CBN is a non-intoxicating compound found in hemp & cannabis that is best known as the cannabinoid created when THC ages. Because of this, it is found in greater quantities in older hemp plants. Although current research on CBN is still limited, the compound has been studied for its therapeutic potential as an antibacterial, a neuroprotectant, and as a appetite stimulant. Some brands offer products featuring isolated CBN, but you will also often see CBN featured as a minor cannabinoid in full spectrum and broad spectrum products where CBN combines with other cannabinoids to encourage a unique entourage effect. Hemp-derived CBN is legal at the federal level and available to be shipped nationwide.

Learn more here.


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CBG

hemp cannabinoids

CBG is a non-intoxicating compound found in cannabis & hemp that is present naturally in very small quantities. Often referred to as the “mother of all cannabinoids,” CBG starts out as CBGA, the acidic precursor to CBG found in great abundance in plants, most of which is then transformed into CBDA and THCA, but a fraction of which becomes CBG. Although more research is needed, CBG has been studied for its anti-inflammatory potential, as an antibacterial, and other therapeutic applications. Hemp-derived CBG is legal at the federal level and available to be shipped nationwide.

Learn more here.


hemp cannabinoids

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HHC

hemp cannabinoids

HHC is a cannabinoid first created in 1944 when an American chemist added hydrogen molecules to delta-9 THC. This process, known as hydrogenation, converts THC to hexahydrocannabinol aka HHC. Although the first HHC was made from cannabis-derived THC, the same process can be applied to hemp-derived THC to create HHC that is legal at the federal level under the 2018 Farm Bill. HHC can have THC-like effects on the body and mind, but HHC is less potent, milligram-per-milligram, than delta-8 THC. Some consumers have described HHC as providing a mild, cerebral, energized high. While hemp-derived HHC is legal at the federal level, check with the specific provider to see if shipping is restricted in some states.

Learn more here.


hemp cannabinoids

Experience HHC

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The potential unlocked by studying the huge range of cannabinoids found in cannabis & hemp plants is difficult to overstate, and research is still in early phases, with more cannabinoids and cannabinoid applications waiting to be discovered.

As you journey towards finding new cannabinoid products that work for you and that you love, remember to always shop from trusted producers that provide third-party lab reports for all products and to start low and go slow with new products to discover how they will interact with your body. 


Leafly novel cannabinoid disclaimer:

Use and possession may be restricted by law. This product may expose you to harmful chemical byproducts.

Leafly Staff's Bio Image

Leafly Staff

Leafly is the world’s largest cannabis information resource, empowering people in legal cannabis markets to learn about the right products for their lifestyle and wellness needs. Our team of cannabis professionals collectively share years of experience in all corners of the market, from growing and retail, to science and medicine, to data and technology.

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