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What Is Delta 6 THC? What Are Its Benefits & Is It Safe?

Exploring the newest cannabinoid on the market.

Cannabis is the gift that keeps on giving. This plant, which was once shrouded in mystery and distrust, has proven itself to be a brilliant source of relaxing, rejuvenating compounds that help with stress, productivity, motivation, and more.

In recent years, scientists have experimented with the isomers in cannabis by moving single atoms and removing and inserting double bonds into the structure. Delta 6 is one of these new creations, and it is proving to be a massive hit.

But what exactly is Delta 6? And is it as safe as its brother and sister cannabinoids?

Delta 6 - Molecular Formula & Molecular Structure

What is Delta 6?

Delta 6 is the newest kid on the block. This THC cannabinoid, which was once not even available commercially because of its trace appearance in cannabis, is now available in gummies, disposable vapes, and vape carts.

It’s important to know that Delta 6 is a semi-synthetic cannabinoid. To get Delta 6, manufacturers synthesize cannabinoids from Delta 9 or hemp-derived CBD. By manipulating the atomic structure of these pre-existing cannabis products, manufacturers can mass-produce this relatively scarce cannabinoid.

Here is what we know about Delta 6.

  • Delta 6 is one of the seven THC isomers in cannabis
  • Delta 6 has a similar chemical structure to Delta 9
  • Delta 6 has a lower potency than Delta 8
  • Delta 6 creates effects that are similar to Delta 1

You know all about THC, but what’s HHC?

Does Delta 6 Give You a High?

Delta 6 is one of the newest cannabinoids on the market, so comparatively little research has been conducted into its effects. One thing that we can say for certain is that Delta 6 will give you a high.

What Are the Effects of Delta 6?

What Are the Effects of Delta 6?

Delta 6 THC is thought to boost energy, focus, and mental clarity. Lots of people have reported that it also improves mood, increases relaxation, and has anti-inflammatory properties. Overall, you can expect a relaxing experience that targets both your brain and your body.

Remember, Delta 6 THC has just entered into the spotlight. Very little research has been conducted into the effects of Delta 6 as a product that produces a high. However, there are a few studies that explore the role of Delta 6 in other areas of interest.

One study from way back in the 1950s found that fully synthesized Delta 6a10a has anti-convulsion properties1Harold F. Hardman, Edward F. Domino, and Maurice H. Seevers, “The Chemistry and Pharmacology of Certain Compounds Affecting the Central Nervous System of Animals and Man“, Second Summary Report, Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Published as CW L Tech. Memo. 2 7-2 January 1957

This aligns with the idea that Delta 6 is good for physical relaxation.

On top of that, the molecular similarities between Delta 6 THC and Delta 9 THC suggest that these isomers might have similar benefits, which we’ll explore a bit later on.

Is Delta 6 THC Safe?

We don’t have enough evidence to definitively say that Delta 6 THC isomers are safe or unsafe. Researchers acknowledge the ‘general uncertainty’ around cannabis, but go on to say that ‘There are clear acute cardiovascular, respiratory, cognitive, psychological, and public health effects of cannabis use.’2J. Sachs, E. McGlade, and D. Yurgelun-Todd, “Safety and Toxicology of Cannabinoids,” in Neurotherapeutics, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 735–746, Oct. 2015. [Online]. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604177/

At the end of the day, you should always use your best judgment. Buy Delta 6 and other isomers from a reputable source and stop using them if you become ill.

Delta 6 vs. Delta 8 - Molecular Comparison

Delta 6 vs. Delta 8

Delta 6 and Delta 8 are similar. In fact, a lot of people say that the effects are the same. This anecdotal evidence is all we have to go off, and of course, each person metabolizes and therefore experiences cannabinoids differently.

It’s thought that Delta 8 is more potent than Delta 6, but again, this is just speculation. Delta 6 is most often compared to Delta 1 (the mildest of all the cannabinoids), so there is a lot of conflicting information out there.

Delta 8 is known to produce euphoric effects that impact the brain and body, which aligns with the anecdotal evidence around the effects of Delta 6. It has far more (though still relatively little) evidence to back it up. One study even found that Delta 8 ‘may be equally effective for desired purposes of cannabis use and lower in undesirable or adverse effects’3D. J. Kruger and J. S. Kruger, “Consumer Experiences with Delta-8-THC: Medical Use, Pharmaceutical Substitution, and Comparisons with Delta-9-THC,” Cannabis Cannabinoid Res., vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 166-173, Feb. 2023, doi: 10.1089/can.2021.0124 than Delta 9.

Delta 6 vs. Delta 9 - Molecular Comparison

Delta 6 vs. Delta 9

Like Delta 8, Delta 9 is thought to be similar to Delta 6. One study found that Delta 6 shares 66% of the DNA of Delta 94E. B. Cahoon, A. M. Cranmer, J. Shanklin, and J. B. Ohlrogge, “delta 6 Hexadecenoic acid is synthesized by the activity of a soluble delta 6 palmitoyl-acyl carrier protein desaturase in Thunbergia alata endosperm,” Journal of Biological Chemistry, vol. 269, no. 44, pp. 27519-27526, Nov. 1994. [Online]. Available: PubMed, so it seems safe to assume that these two isomers have similar effects.

One thing to note is that a lot of people say that Delta 9 THC is more potent than Delta 6 THC. Delta 9 is thought to be the strongest THC, so this development has intrigued a lot of smokers.

Delta 9 has been proven to have benefits ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’5E. A. Carlini, “The good and the bad effects of (-) trans-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta 9-THC) on humans,” Toxicon, vol. 44, no. 4, pp. 461-467, Sep. 2004. [Online]. Available: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.toxicon.2004.05.009, some of which are pain relief for painful conditions such as multiple sclerosis. The same study warns that Delta 9 might impair vigilance, memory, and time, and even cause panic reactions, delusions, and hallucinatory experiences.

In an ideal world, Delta 6 would have all the positive effects of Delta 9, with none of the unwanted side effects. Unfortunately, Delta 6 THC is still in the shadows, so we’ll have to wait to see what the future research says.

Want to learn more about cannabinoids? Delta 9 vs. Delta 10: What Are the Main Differences? is a good starting point.

Delta 6 vs. Delta 10 - Molecular Comparison

Delta 6 vs. Delta 10

So, what is Delta 10? Delta 10 is one of the newer THC isomers. Like Delta 6 THC, there is very little research into its effects.

We can say for certain that a lot of smokers feel energized after they have inhaled Delta 10. They also report feeling the standard euphoria that comes with cannabinoids, but the overwhelming feeling is that of being refreshed and animated.

Delta 6 THC isn’t known for its energizing qualities, but there is a definite cross-over in terms of euphoria.

Is Delta 6 Good for Chronic Pain?

It’s not unusual for people who experience chronic pain to self-medicate with cannabis. In some cases, doctors even prescribe medical cannabis to patients who have had no relief from more conventional forms of medicine.

We can’t claim that Delta 6 is good for chronic pain, because we don’t have enough evidence. We can, however, look at the overall effects of cannabinoids on chronic pain.

Research suggests that cannabinoids show larger benefits for chronic non-cancer pain and little to no benefit for chronic cancer pain6“Medical cannabis or cannabinoids for chronic pain: a clinical practice guideline,” The BMJ, vol. 374, doi: 10.1136/bmj.n2040, Published 09 September 2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.bmj.com/content/374/bmj.n2040. Researchers are hesitant to directly link cannabis to the treatment of cancer, but it still stands that cannabis has soothing effects on lots of other unpleasant conditions. Anecdotal evidence tells us that cannabinoids have a positive impact on headaches, anxiety, and depression.

Is Delta 6 Legal?

Is Delta 6 Legal?

Delta 6 THC is an exciting new product, and lots of cannabis users are patiently waiting to try it. But first, is it legal?

The good news is that Delta 6 is protected by the Farm Bill. This bill, which came into effect in 2018, removed hemp7“U.S. Department of Agriculture, ‘Hemp,’ U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2022. [Online]. Available: https://www.usda.gov/topics/hemp (a type of cannabis Sativa) from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. Hemp is only protected under the Farm Bill if it contains less than 0.3% of Delta 9 by dry weight.

Most of the time, manufacturers convert Delta 6 from Delta 9. Because of this, it falls under the remit of the Farm Bill and it is legal to purchase all over the United States.

Where is Delta 6 THC Sold?

Delta 6 THC is the new kid on the block, but you should be able to purchase it in your local dispensary. If there is no dispensary in your town you might have to travel further afield, or you can just buy your Delta 6 products online.

Delta 6 is available in all regular cannabinoid products. Gummies, vape pens, carts, the whole lot.

Will Delta 6 Show Up on a Drug Test?

Will Delta 6 Show Up on a Drug Test?

Whenever a new cannabinoid pops up, smokers hope that it will sail through a drug test undetected.

Drug tests look for evidence of THC and related metabolites in your system. Delta 6, Delta 8, and all the other THC isomers that we’ve talked about should trigger a positive reaction from a drug test. So, if you consume any derivative of cannabis before taking a drug test, you will probably fail it.

How Long Before a Drug Test Should I Stop Using THC Variants?

THC products can stay in your system for a while, but it all depends on how much you consume and how often you consume it. Urine tests are the most daunting type of drug test because they can detect cannabis for up to 30 days after it is consumed.

One study found that the more you use cannabis, the longer it stays in your system8S. Ferguson, “Does Delta-8 Show Up on a Drug Test? 12 Things to Know,” Healthline, 06-Oct-2022. [Online]. Available: https://www.healthline.com/health/does-delta-8-show-up-on-a-drug-test#detection-by-test.

  • One use: 3 days
  • Four times per week: 5 to 7 days
  • One a day: 10 to 15 days
  • Multiple tiles a day: more than 30 days

As you can see, heavier users will struggle to pass even the most basic drug test. If you really want to pass an upcoming drug test, you need to stop using THC products for as long as possible.

Related article: How Long Does THC from Vaping Stay Detectable in Urine?

Final Thoughts

Delta 6 THC is unlikely to be one of the most divisive cannabis products out there. This inoffensive cannabinoid is anecdotally known to produce a pleasant high but without the intense psychoactive effects that are present in other cannabinoids.

If you are an experienced, regular cannabinoid user, Delta 6 might be too mild for you. On the other hand, if you want a nice middle-ground, Delta 6 could be your new favorite cannabinoid. This THC isomer toes the line between relaxation and energization, so you can get the best of both worlds.

Sources

Viki Howlett
Viki Howlett
Viki Howlett, a skilled writer with a decade of vaping experience, enriches our website with engaging, well-researched articles, offering readers valuable insights and trustworthy reviews on vaping products and trends.
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