When Was Delta-10-THC Discovered?

by Kat Austin May 31, 2023 3 min read

When Was Delta-10-THC Discovered? - Vida Optima™


Delta-10 has been a more recent addition to the hemp cannabinoid scene, but you’d be wrong to call it a new cannabinoid reaction. In fact, Delta-10 was one of the original cannabinoid discoveries made by the Father of Cannabis himself, and some sources claim that it was “discovered” twice. So, when was Delta-10-THC discovered? Let’s take a look at cannabinoid history to find out:

Table of Contents
How Was Delta-10 Discovered?
Cannabis Research Limitations
When Was Delta-10-THC Discovered in Hemp?
Where to Buy Delta-10-THC Today

Key Takeaways

  • Delta-10 was partially isolated in 1984, but was not actually on the table for consumers until 2020.
  • Delta-10 research was originally halted due to cannabis prohibition, but now Delta-10 is an isomerized product that’s made from CBD.
  • Delta-10’s mild effects make it attractive for new consumers, and now it is both federally legal and accessible.
Natural hemp flower grown outdoors before harvested to make Delta-10-THC and other hemp derived THC products

How Was Delta 10 Discovered?

The discovery of Delta-10 can be dated back to 1984 when Raphael Mechoulam, the same Israeli Chemist who achieved total synthesis of the Delta-8-THC in 1965, partially isolated the molecule. At the time, though, the extraction of Delta-10 would have required chemicals that tainted the isolation, so Delta-10 research was placed on hold.

Instead, Mechoulam narrowed in on Delta-8, and it was his discovery of the Delta-8 isomerization method that eventually led to the multitude of hemp-derived isomers that we have available today. The same isomerization technique is now used to make most hemp-derived THC products.

(Read “Here’s How Delta-8-THC is Made” to learn more about the isomerization process.)

Cannabis Research Limitations

Although Delta-10-THC was discovered in the early 1980’s, most THC research was halted in the United States when cannabis was ruled illegal under the Controlled Substances Act in 1970.

After this law was passed, Cannabis research required a special government permit that wasn’t frequently granted. When it was, it was commonly used to research the more abundant psychoactive cannabinoid, Delta-9-THC.

Under the Controlled Substances Act, Delta-10-THC was deemed illegal under U.S. federal law, and Delta-10 products could only be found in certain state-licensed dispensaries in areas where cannabis is legal.

Delta-10-THC accessibility changed, however, when it was recognized as a hemp-derivative and hemp was officially legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill, even if it wasn’t discovered as accessible and abundant until at least 2020.

When Was Delta-10-THC Discovered in Legal Hemp?

It wasn’t until nearly 40 years after the initial discovery of the Delta-10 molecule, however, that Delta-10 was “rediscovered,” totally by accident, due to a forest fire. In 2020, the Film Daily News reported that California firefighters sprayed mass amounts of fire retardant to attempt to control massive forest fires that had broken out in the state. The chemicals inadvertently affected nearby cannabis fields, causing the plants to mutate and form strange trichome crystals.

Upon harvest, it was apparent that the strains had formed differently than expected, so the cannabis companies sent the strains off to be tested. These tests revealed that the cannabis contained compounds that mirrored the structure of cannabichromene (CBC) and cannabicyclol (CBL), but with some distinct differences. Eventually, the lab confirmed that the molecules were a tetrahydrocannabinol compound with the double bond at the tenth chain position–or Delta-10-THC.

Where to Buy Delta-10-THC Today

It may seem like a new fad, but Delta-10 has actually been around for decades. Now, its mild euphoric effects are opening up cannabis possibilities for new consumers.

Luckily, Delta-10-THC is now legal in most U.S. states, and can be ordered online and shipped directly to your door. Our entire selection of hemp-derived THC products is 100% Farm Bill compliant and made according to stringent legal and quality standards, and ships to all areas where Delta-10 is legal in the U.S.

Vida Optima Hemp-Derived THC Gummies


  1. “Conversion of CBD to Δ8-THC and Δ9-THC” https://patents.google.com/patent/US7399872B2/en
  2. “The Federal Controlled Substances Act: Schedules and Pharmacy Registration” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3839489/#:~:text=The%20Federal%20Comprehensive%20Drug%20Abuse,effective%20on%20May%201%2C%201971.&text=The%20goal%20of%20the%20Controlled,and%20dispensing%20of%20controlled%20substances.

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