Well, yes – If they are created equal. But they aren’t.
Here’s what inspired this article:
I was delivering an order to one of my favorite customers, The CBD Superstore in Fayetteville, GA – Shout out to Sean and Steve! I gave the store manager a legal, hemp-derived 300mg D9 THC gummy to try. He has a huge tolerance, so he’s one of my go to guinea pigs. When I gave it to him, I said, “Be careful with this. I think it’s irresponsibly strong and borderline stupid.” He looked at me and said, “C’mon man, it’s me. Besides, the hemp D9 isn’t as strong as the real D9.” “Real D9” referred to D9 coming from a ‘marijuana’ plant instead of a hemp plant. My gut instinct was that was in his head because a molecule of something is the same, regardless of where it comes from. BUT – it has to be the same molecule.
There are a few moving parts to this article and I don’t write drafts or proofread, so I’m going to try and keep this in order.
Better Than Nine and Delta 9 Products:
We are located in Georgia. While GA does have a medical cannabis program, it still isn’t set up and it won’t really work when it is (as the laws are written). Georgia’s laws concerning Delta 9 are still very strict and I won’t allow anything that has more than .3% Delta 9 THC in our facility. Consequently, we can’t make d9 products because possessing the d9 thc distillate that we need to make the products is a felony that would include manufacturing and trafficking. I don’t have the stones to play that game anymore. I use my connections in the industry to find high quality d9 products to supplement our proprietary lines of Delta 8 and Delta 10 products. That’s why yall will notice that our delta 9 products look and taste different than our D8 and D10 stuff.
Delta 9 THC and the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill:
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp in the U.S. I’m not going to get into the specifics of the law because I’ve done that in this Delta 9 THC Article. Here’s the important part – any product that is made from legally grown hemp and has less than .3% Delta 9 THC by weight is legal. When this law passed, I joked, “Does this mean that I can make a 4oz. brownie, add 200mg D9 to it, and sell it because it’s .18%?”
The answer here is yes or no. It depends on how I get the D9 THC.
There’s a law that says, “if any part of something comes from an illegal source, the whole thing is illegal.” I assume this probably is true with everything, but I’m talking specifically about hemp products. So, if you take D9 distillate from a plant that is not “legal hemp”, that D9 is not a “hemp extract”. Instead, it is a ‘marijuana concentrate’ and a felony. If you use a ‘marijuana concentrate’ to make any product, it is a marijuana product and subject to the laws and regs concerning MJ. This applies even if it has .1% D9 THC because any amount of D9 THC that comes from a marijuana plant is federally illegal.
On the other hand, if you use D9 THC that is derived from legal hemp, the finished product is legal if it is less than .3%.
Now it’s time to get into how not all Delta 9 THC is not created equal.
It’s true that the D9 THC that a hemp plant produces is the same as what a cannabis or marijuana plant produces. The difference is how much they produce. A hemp plant can’t have more than .3% D9, so they’ve bred the hemp strains to produce high CBD content and low THC content. Cannabis plants, on the other hand, have been bred to produce high amounts of THC. The reason for this is simple economics. Most mass producers of CBD and THC grow the plants as a source to extract the cannabinoids. It takes the same about of work to grow a plant that produces 15% THC as one that produces 20% THC. It would be stupid to grow a plant that gives you 25% less THC for the same investment. The more efficient you processing is, the lower your cost of THC is.
Now, if you’re plants are only allowed to have .3% D9, that means that you can only have 3mg per gram of flower. That means 3000mg/kg of flower. For comparison, a cannabis plant that produces 20% THC, would yield 200,000mg of D9 THC. You see the difference? That’s 80 times more THC for the same inputs. Here’s what this means in dollars and cents (I’m using made up round numbers to prove a point, so please don’t tell me I’m paying too much or too little):
If it costs $100 dollars to produce a kg of the 2 different flowers above, the cost per mg of D9 would be 3.3 cents/mg vs. .05 cents/mg, respectively. This means that a 10mg D9 gummy would cost 33 cents from the .3 hemp and only a half a penny from the cannabis.
In conclusion, using legal, hemp-derived delta 9 costs about 66x more. This massive cost difference of 66x will be consistent with any legal hemp plant vs. any 20% THC cannabis plant because the percentages stay static. It doesn’t matter the cost to produce the flowers, because the percentages for hemp stay at .3%.
Since a kg of legal hemp can only produce 2999mg of Delta 9 THC to stay legal, hemp-derived D9 THC EXTREMELY expensive.
If naturally occurring hemp-derived D9 were used to make gummies, a 40mg gummy may have a retail price of $15 each. That would be crazy and it would be cheaper to fly to Colorado to buy gummies than buy them from us.
Here’s How Hemp Derived Delta 9 THC Gummies are Produced Legally:
They convert CBD into Delta 9 THC.
CBD is CHEAP. I remember when CBD costed $250,00/kg. Now, it’s around $400/kg. Yeah, it’s nuts. The reason that CBD is so cheap is because hemp plants have been bred to produce a lot of it. Since hemp growers can legally and inexpensively product tons of CBD, they do and it’s inexpensive. Simple supply and demand economics.
This low cost and easy access has made CBD the starting point for the other cannabinoids.
At this point, all federally legal cannabinoids are made from CBD. Fortunately, CBD is a precursor or postcursor chemical to the other cannabinoids. That means that you can convert it to other cannabinoids using relatively simple acid/base reactions. I know “Relatively simple” is kinda oxymoron when discussing organic chemistry.
So, a lot of the delta 9 in hemp products is made by converting CBD into Delta 9.
The D9 used to make a ‘Colorado’ gummy, came directly from the plant.
They both have 10mg of D9, but I promise the 10mg of plant-made D9 with hit harder than 10mg of CBD-made D9.
I know my chemistry people are saying, “It’s in your head because D9 is D9.” If you’re thinking that you are correct. Here’s the variable – the CBD-made D9 isn’t always exactly the same as that plant’s D9.
Here’s Why CBD-Derived D9 is Different From Plant Derived D9
Organic Chemistry is very hard. Copying a naturally occurring molecule perfectly, requires the skills and resources that are only available to research universities and large pharmaceutical companies. These guys have a team of super PhDs and millions of dollars of equipment and it still takes them years to copy things perfectly. Let me explain what I mean by confusing all of us now.
The real name for D9 THC is (−)-(6aR,10aR)-6,6,9-trimethyl- 3-pentyl-6a,7,8,10a-tetrahydro- 6H-benzo[c]chromen-1-ol
The real name for CBD is 2-[(1R,6R)-3-methyl-6-prop-1-en-2-ylcyclohex-2-en-1-yl]-5-pentylbenzene-1,3-diol
Got it? Me neither. But the point is that these are complex structures. When your converting those words/numbers for CBD into the words/numbers that are THC, it doesn’t take much for a 6 to be 5 or a tri to be a di. Variables as simple as temperature or time can cause things to change. The end result is something that is a ‘delta 9 THC’, but not exactly the same version of the ‘delta 9 thc’ that the plant makes.
This doesn’t mean that 1 is better than the other, it just means that they are slightly different.
How can you tell the difference between CBD-Derived D9 and Plant-Derived D9?
There are a few ways.
- Taste: If a gummy tastes likes you’re chewing a mouthful of pot, it’s plant-derived d9. This is the easiest way. If the gummy tastes likes a gummy with very little weed taste, it’s CBD-Derived D9. There are a few caveats here, but I’m getting tired of writing and they aren’t very relevant.
- Strength: If you are used to a certain mg of D9 and try a different brand and their 10mg seems stronger, it’s probably plant-derived.
Our current 10mg D9 gummies are plant-derived. You can tell by the strong hemp taste. I do read yalls feedback and know a lot of people don’t like it. The reason for this taste, is in order to get the 10mg into the gummy legally, we have to use a lot of hemp extract. This hemp extract tastes like hemp and there’s a lot in each piece, so there’s your strong aftertaste. I’m going to add a line of higher mg CBD-Derived D9 gummies soon. Some of yall are going to love them because they’re going to be strong.
Which type of D9 is Better?
Like so many other things, there is a black and white answer. They are both good.
I like the CBD-derived D9 more because it isn’t as ‘cerebral’ and plant-derived. I can get anxiety from the plant-derived with very low mg. The CBD-derived D9 isn’t as dissociative to me. However, I know lot’s of yall reading this prefer the plant-derived.
What I like more about the plant-derived products are that they are true full spectrum products with all the other medicinal cannabinoids that have a more comprehensive therapeutic affect.
I hope that this answered the question that this article posed and that yall learned something cool. I learned a lot and have a really fun time doing the research for this article.
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