April 04, 2023 4 min read

Delta-10 is one of many novel cannabinoids to come about since hemp was legalized in 2018. Thanks to the way that Delta-10 is made, it’s a federally legal option to replace traditional THC products, which are still heavily regulated at the state and federal level.

Of course, whether or not Delta-10-THC is legal has everything to do with the way that it’s made. The manufacturing process also heavily affects whether the resulting Delta-10 product is safe and effective.

So, how is Delta-10 extracted from hemp, and why does the extraction process matter so much?

We’ll break everything down below:

Table of Contents
Delta-10 is Made From Hemp
How is Delta-10 Made?
How is Delta-10 Extracted?
Finding Legal Delta-10 Near You
Resources

Key Takeaways

  • Delta-10 is not extracted directly from hemp. Instead, it’s made from CBD via isomerization.
  • The rest of the extraction process is the same as the extraction processed used to make CBD products.
  • If Delta-10 is extracted correctly, it’s legal in the U.S. in most states and can be ordered online with no hassle.

Delta-10 is Usually From Hemp, but Not Always

Before we can answer questions about how Delta-10-THC is extracted, we need to discuss why it matters.

Delta-10 is a natural cannabinoid found in almost all varieties of cannabis, including hemp. It exists naturally just like Delta-9-THC and Delta-8-THC and other THC molecules–but it’s available only in small amounts. Because it’s only available in small quantities, though, it’s usually made through a process called “isomerization,” or a method of converting one molecule into another.

Thanks to this unique manufacturing process, Delta-10-THC can be made form hemp or marijuana. When it’s made from marijuana, it’s not protectd under federal hemp laws. In fact, it’s considered a schedule I substance, just like traditional cannabis products.

Luckily, Delta-10 is usually made from hemp in order to make it legal to buy, sell, and use. So, most of the Delta-10 you encounter is made from hemp and is legal to consume, but it’s still something you should look out for. Always verify the hemp source when buying hemp products. High-quality hemp THC products are made from U.S. grown, organic hemp material that’s lab tested and free of contaminants.

A hemp flower grown outdoors just before harvesting for CBD and Delta-10-THC manufacturing

How is Delta-10 Made?

We mentioned that Delta-10 was made through a process called isomerization, but what does that mean?

Well, Delta-10 is an isomer of CBD, which means both molecules have all the same components just arranged in a different order. Isomerization is the process of exposing the compound to an acid or another chemical, which shifts the components around to transform one compound into another.

This method was patented by prominent cannabinoid researcher, Raphael Mechoulam, as a way to work around the low Delta-8-THC levels in cannabis when researching the effects of the compound on various conditions. Delta-8-THC existed as a CBD isomer, meaning the CBD molecule could be rearranged to create Delta-8-THC. Over time, this process became more common place in hemp manufacturing, leading to a slew of new cannabinoid formulations.

The same process used to convert CBD into Delta-8-THC is used to convert CBD to Delta-10, except a different chemical is used for each procedure. After the conversion process is through, the extract undergoes a series of different refinement methods to remove any leftover CBD, residual solvents, or unwanted chemicals that could contaminate the final batch. This final step is why it's so important to find a brand that uses a third party lab testing process to verify the absence of all contaminants.

Although the processes are similar, the process used to make Delta-10 from CBD is a bit more involved than the process used to make Delta-8. In general, Delta-10 is more difficult to make which is why many Delta-10 products on the market actually contain both Delta-10 and Delta-8.

Still, Delta-10 can be used like any other hemp extract to make a variety of edibles, flower, vapes, oils, and more.

How is Delta-10 Extracted?

To clarify, Delta-10 is not extracted from hemp. It is made from CBD through isomerization. CBD needs to be extracted from hemp, though, and it can be extracted using one of various methods:

The extraction methods used to make CBD products vary greatly, but they boil down to three popular, basic methods: solvent-based extraction, solventless extractions, and oil extractions.

  • Solventless extractions, like Supercritical CO2 extractions, require special extraction equipment, but are frequently described as “cleaner,” because no solvent can be left behind.
  • Solvent-based extractions, like ethanol extractions, are another common method used. Ethanol breaks down and extracts the CBD material, and then some extra steps are required to remove leftover solvent from the extracted material.
  • Oil extractionsare the oldest cannabis extraction method, and involve using an oil base, like olive oil, and gently heating it to remove the cannabinoid material. This is similar to the way you make cannabis butter at home.

(Read Hemp and CBD Extraction Methods to learn more about the various extraction techniques and how they differ.)

After the CBD material is extracted, it is carefully refined (through methods like winterization and distillation) to create CBD isolate. CBD isolate, a form of CBD that is 99% pure, is the material that is most frequently used to make Delta-8-THC products in the U.S.

Finding Legal Delta-10 Near You

Since Delta-10-THC can be made through various methods, consumers must be careful to ensure that the Delta-10-THC they buy is made through legal cannabinoid extraction techniques.

At Vida Optima, all of our hemp THC products are 100% Farm Bill compliant and are accompanied by lab tests that prove label accuracy. For legal hemp THC products you can buy online, check out our entire Elev8 collection.

Elev8 25mg Delta 8 THC Gummies

Resources

  1. “Cannabis, a complex plant: different compounds and different effects on individuals” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3736954/
  2. “Conversion of CBD to Δ8-THC and Δ9-THC” https://patents.google.com/patent/US7399872B2/en

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