When Was Delta-11-THC Discovered?

by Kat Austin July 31, 2023 3 min read

When Was Delta-11-THC Discovered? - Vida Optima™

Although Delta-11 is new to the hemp market, it isn’t entirely new to the world of cannabis. In fact, this original cannabinoid came to light decades ago. Thanks to the cannabis prohibition, however, it fell off the map, and has only recently been reintroduced in a form that’s accessible to hemp consumers.

So, when was Delta-11 discovered? And what do we know about it from previous research? Here’s what you should know:

Table of Contents
How Was Delta-11 Discovered?
Cannabis Research Limitations
When Was Delta-11-THC Discovered in Hemp?
Where to Buy Delta-11-THC Today

Key Takeaways

  • Delta-11 was discovered during early cannabis exploration in the 1970's.
  • Delta-11 research was halted due to cannabis prohibition, but now Delta-11 is an isomerized product that’s made from CBD.
  • Delta-11’s potent effects make it attractive for experienced cannabis consumers looking for a federally legal and accessible THC alternative.
A hemp flower that is growing outdoors just before harvested for delta-11 production

How Was Delta 11 Discovered?

The discovery of Delta-11 can be dated back to 1974, though research has been limited since. It was briefly explored again in 1990 when researchers looked at how it was metabolized by small animals. This gave us some insight on Delta-11's potency and how it interacts with the body after consumption. Unfortunately, most of what we've learned about Delta-11 since then has been purely anecdotal, though we will certainly see an uptick in future research now that hemp Delta-11 formulas are accessible and legal.

Delta-11 is made from hemp similarly to the way that Delta-8 is made, using the Delta-8 isomerization method that was invented by Raphael Mechoulam, an Israeli researcher known as the "father of cannabis." (Read “Here’s How Delta-11-THC is Made” to learn more about the isomerization process.)

Cannabis Research Limitations

Although Delta-11-THC was discovered in the 1970’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-11-THC was deemed illegal under U.S. federal law, and Delta-11 products could only be found in certain state-licensed dispensaries in areas where cannabis is legal.

Delta-11-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-11-THC Discovered in Legal Hemp?

It's hard to pinpoint when Delta-11 was "rediscovered" as a legal hemp product, though it only made its way onto the market in 2022. When hemp was first legalized, CBD stood front and center for several years.

Once manufacturers caught wind of the fact that they could use isomerization techniques to harness the power of psychoactive cannabinoids in a form that was legal to sell, however, a slew of hemp derived THC products were born. Delta-11 is only one of these psychoactive hemp THC products, albeit it is one of the most potent, with psychoactive effects that are up to three times stronger than traditional Delta-9-THC.


Where to Buy Delta-11-THC Today

It may seem like a new fad, but Delta-11 has actually been around for decades. Now, its highly potent euphoric effects are opening up cannabis possibilities for experienced consumers.

Luckily, Delta-11-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-11 is legal in the U.S.

Vida Optima Hemp 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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