There’s a lot of confusion around the cannabis plant and its many compounds. With the growing popularity of Delta 9 products in the mainstream world, many are wondering what exactly is delta-9 and does it get you high?
Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis. It’s responsible for the euphoric high associated with marijuana use.
Many people turn to THC for its therapeutic benefits for chronic pain and stress by smoking marijuana flowers or consuming THC edibles.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the science behind the chemical structure of THC, including how THC interacts with our brains and bodies to produce its characteristic psychoactive effects and its legal status.
So, if you’re curious about delta-9 and what it does, read on!
- Delta-9 THC is the primary psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants.
- THC’s psychoactive properties are caused by its interactions with CB1 receptors concentrated in the central nervous system.
- The high from THC can vary in the individual but the most common experience is a sense of contentment, euphoria, relaxation, and increased comfort.
- The dose of THC will dictate the type of experience you can expect. The common doses for recreational purposes and some of the potential wellness benefits lies between 3–10 mg per dose.
Delta-9 THC is technically federally legal if it comes from Farm Bill compliant hemp crops that maintain a less than 0.3% THC level by dried weight of a product. However, some states have their own restrictions of THC, and you should check with your local laws before purchasing cannabis products.
Delta-9 THC & The Cannabis Plant
Cannabis plants produce hundreds of compounds called cannabinoids. The most notorious cannabinoid is delta-9 THC, as it is the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana plants, but it can be found as a minor cannabinoid in trace amounts of up to 0.3% in industrial hemp plants.
THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the scientific name for the compound.
There are many different variations of THC knowns as known as isomers. Isomers are chemical compounds that contain the same atoms but have different arrangements, yielding different pharmacological effects.
While there are many variations of THC, they’re not as abundant as delta-9. Some of the isomers include delta-7, delta-8 THC, and delta-10, which are considered minor cannabinoids as they exist naturally in very small quantities.
Delta-9 represents the position of the double bond in the carbon molecule on the ninth chain, giving it a unique molecular structure.
Cannabis Plants & The Endocannabinoid System
The cannabis plant produces a variety of chemical compounds, including cannabidiol (CBD) cannabigerol (CBG), and THC. These molecules are similar in structure to the neurotransmitters that are produced by the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a network of receptors (CB1 and CB2) and chemicals (endocannabinoids) found throughout the body.
The ECS plays a vital role in maintaining homeostasis (balance) of a variety of physiological processes, including appetite, pain sensation, mood, and memory .
While more research is needed to fully understand the potential therapeutic applications of cannabis and the body’s endocannabinoid system, the plant’s ability to produce compounds that closely resemble those found in the human body is certainly intriguing.
What Causes THC’s Psychoactive Effects?
The interaction between THC and the ECS occurs primarily at the CB1 receptors, which are concentrated in the brain and central nervous system .
When THC binds to the CB1 receptor, it causes a flood of psychological processes that result in the psychoactive effects of marijuana. These effects can include increased appetite, a deep sense of relaxation, pain regulation, altered perception, and impaired judgment.
Additionally, THC interferes with memory formation and motor coordination, which can explain why users may feel “spaced out” after smoking cannabis with high THC content.
How High Does Delta-9 Get You?
The effects of delta-9 vary widely from person to person, and it can be difficult to predict how high you’ll get. Generally speaking, higher doses tend to have stronger effects on the body and mind. Many people describe a “marijuana high” as feeling relaxed, tingly, or euphoric. Others experience increases in energy, creativity, or sensitivity to their senses. Some even report that their sense of time is distorted or that they experience hallucinations or paranoia. With so many different possible effects, it’s no wonder that the question of how high delta-9 gets you remains a popular topic among cannabis users!
Ultimately, though, the best way to find out what a true delta-9 THC high feels like is to try it for yourself. Whether you’re looking to simply unwind after a long day or you’re looking for an enhanced experience at your next music festival, there’s something out there for everyone.
How Much Delta-9 Should I Take?
When it comes to delta-9, there is no one-size-fits-all dose. Some people may have a higher or lower tolerance depending on multiple factors such as genetics, whether it’s smoked or eaten, and how often they use it.
If you have a higher tolerance, you will likely need a higher dose to feel any effects. However, a higher dose also means a higher risk of impaired judgment and a negative experience such as nausea, paranoia, confusion, and a rapid heart rate.
So, if you’re new to delta-9, it’s best to start with a low dose and see how you react before increasing the amount you use.
New users and those microdosing THC will take 1-2 mg. Mircodosing is when you take subperceptual doses of a compound to achieve more wholistic benefits on mood, but it’s not a strong enough dose to get you noticeably high.
While smoking is a popular way to consume THC, it doesn’t give you the most accurate dose. Delta-9 gummies are much better suited for this as they come in pre-measured doses for accuracy and convenience.
For more noticeable psychoactive effects 5–10 mg is when you’ll likely experience euphoria and impairment of judgement and coordination.
Is Delta-9 THC Legal?
The US Farm Bill in 2018 federally legalized hemp with a THC concentration of up to 0.3% by dry weight. This means that any product made from hemp plants with a THC concentration below 0.3% is legal at the federal level.
The Farm Bill did not change the legal status of marijuana. It only changed the legal status of hemp. So, delta-9 THC is only permitted if it comes from a hemp plant.
Marijuana is known for its high THC levels and remains a Schedule I substance, alongside heroin and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Substances on this list are supposed to have no accepted medical use and a high risk for abuse.
Marijuana’s status on the list of Controlled Substances is likely due for a re-evaluation as scientific research has proved its therapeutic benefits and relative safety.
While marijuana remains illegal on a federal level, certain states, including California, Washington, and New York, have legalized it for recreational purposes.
To get around marijuana restrictions, you could apply for a medical marijuana license, but these are difficult to come by and require very specific conditions to use delta-9 products for any medical purpose.
The other way to get legal THC is to look for delta-9 THC made from hemp plants. Delta-9 THC products from Farm Bill compliant hemp don’t go against these federal limits.
Before ordering any delta-9 THC product online, it’s best to check with your local marijuana laws to avoid hot waters, as some states have completely banned any levels of THC. You can read more about the legality of delta 9 THC in our other post, “What is Legal Delta 9 THC?”.
Check Out Our Most Popular Delta 9 THC Gummies
Can 0.3% Delta-9 THC Get You High?
Hemp plants by definition cannot have more than 0.3% THC, but it’s possible to have higher doses of hemp extract for a more substantial amount of THC that will produce some psychoactive effects.
The most important factor in determining whether or not a hemp-based product will get you high is the amount of delta-9 THC.
You should reference the certificate of analysis of your THC products, which will tell you the potency in the number of mg of the total product.
All VIIA products are labeled with how much delta-9 THC is contained in each gummy for accurate dosing.
How Long Does The High From Delta-9 Last?
The length of time that the effects of delta-9 THC will last depends on a variety of factors, including your genetics, previous experience with cannabinoids, and how you ingested the delta-9 THC.
Smoking marijuana or hemp typically results in fast-acting effects. This is because the cannabinoids enter the bloodstream to interact with cannabioid receptors through the oxygen exchange in the lungs, but this also means that the effects are short lived relative to eating delta-9 gummies.
Some people report feeling the effects of delta-9 THC anywhere from 2–3 hours after smoking it and 3–6 hours after eating it, but it may take up to 45 minutes to the effects to kick in after consuming them.
Ultimately, everyone experiences the effects of delta-9 THC differently and it is difficult to predict how long the high will last.
What Are Some Of The Risks Associated With Using Delta-9?
In high doses, THC activates the brain’s reward system, causing feelings of pleasure, relaxation, and may provide pain relief. However, THC is also a potent intoxicant and high doses can result in impairments in memory, judgement, and coordination.
You should not operate machinery under the influence of delta-9 THC products.
In certain situations, delta-9 THC fails to provide relaxation and pleasure and can instead heighten feelings of anxiety and cause panic. This usually happens when someone accidently takes too much at once.
The good news is that in most users, these uncomfortable experiences are temporary, and should wear off after a good sleep.
Other common experiences with delta-9 THC products include:
- Red Eyes
- Dry mouth
- Poor short-term memory
- Increased appetite
Those who taking prescribed medication should take caution when taking cannabinoids as they’re also metabolized by liver enzymes, which can put you at risk of higher risk of higher levels of medication in your system. Always speak with your doctor because taking cannabinoids with your medications.
Can Topical Creams Containing THC Get You High?
Only transdermal patches containing high concentrations of THC is strong enough to penetrate the skin barrier and enter the blood stream to cause intoxication—and these aren’t available anywhere outside of experimental clinical settings.
So THC topical application in over-the-counter (or online) lotions and creams won’t get you high.
Will Products Containing Delta-9 THC Make You Fail A Drug Test?
The most common form of drug testing is through urine samples. Urine tests look for metabolites of a compoud.
There are over 100 metabolites of THC, but the most commonly detected is THC-COOH . If this is found in your urine sample, you will test positive for the drug test for illicit substances, regardless of whether it came from a legal source or not.
If you expect to take an upcoming drug test, it’s best to abstain from cannabis products. We talk more about Delta 9 THC and drug tests in our article about how long does delta 9 THC stay in your system.
Which Is Better Delta-8 or Delta-9?
Unlike delta-9 THC, which can cause anxiety and paranoia in some people in higher doses, delta-8 THC is known for its calming and relaxing properties.
It’s also been shown to be less likely to cause the “munchies.” As a result, delta-8 has been nicknamed “light weed” by some people. While not as potent as delta-9 THC, delta 8 THC may be a good choice for people who are looking for a milder high.
Since cannabinoids can affect people differently, it’s hard to say for certain which is better than the other. It all comes down to personal preference and the type of experience you’re looking to achieve. If you’re still curious about which cannabinoid is right choice for you, our guide on Delta 8 THC vs Delta 9 THC might help you.
Closing Thoughts: Does Delta-9 THC Get You High?
So, does delta-9 THC get you high? The answer is yes.
Delta-9 THC is the main psychoactive cannabinoid, meaning it’s responsible for the majority of the effects associated with marijuana use. When delta-9 THC interacts with CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the brain, it produces feelings of euphoria and an altered state of mind. These effects can be intensified when delta-9 THC is combined with other cannabinoids, such as CBD.
While delta-9 THC is found in higher concentrations in marijuana plants, it is possible to yield delta-9 THC from hemp plants for a Farm Bill-compliant and federally legal product.
Before purchasing a delta-9 THC product in store or online, check with your state laws and reference third-party lab tests to verify its potency and safety.
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