Before cannabis was legalized in the majority of the United States, most people’s experience with weed was that it was one plant that you could smoke or ingest to get high. But if you go into a cannabis shop, you’ll quickly learn that it’s not so cut-and-dried. Cannabis products are many and varied. If you’ve never been taught the difference between different types of THC products, you can quickly feel out of your element in a cannabis store.
We’re here to help.
Here are five of the most common THC products you’re likely to encounter. Learn what each product is and how to choose the right product for your needs.
Why Knowing Different Types of Cannabis Products Matters
Cannabis products are made up of several components from the cannabis plant. Two of the most common are THC and CBD, but there are other cannabinoids involved in weed consumption as well. Because each of these cannabis compounds impacts the human body in subtle but unique ways, changing the ratios can have a major impact on how different products make you feel.
5 Types of THC Products to Consider
THC products come in different formats, from edibles to tinctures. But in addition to choosing your method for consumption, you’ll also have to choose between several different types of THC. Here’s what you need to know about five of the most common THC varieties.
Best For: General Use
Delta-9 is considered the standard THC product. If you don’t know what you’re looking for and are new to using THC products in general, Delta-9 is a pretty safe place to start.
Delta-9 is also the most abundant component in cannabis plants, which makes it the most widely available form of THC on the market. It binds to the CB1 receptors in the brain to cause alterations, leading to symptoms such as improved relaxation and mood, decreased pain levels, better sleep, and decreased feelings of nausea and digestive upset.
Best For: Improving Energy
Delta-8 can be grown naturally or produced synthetically in labs. In either case, it comes from oxidized Delta-9. Scientists have referred to Delta-8 as Delta-9’s “nicer younger sibling” because it produces a similar effect on the body with a little more energy and clear-headedness. It’s considered good for improving focus or for users who are new to THC and are looking for a more subtle effect. However we suggest only buying Delta-8 from licensed providers as many unlicensed sources of Delta-8 are not tested and should not be considered safe.
Best For: Epilepsy, Arthritis, and Diabetes Management
Unlike other forms of THC, THCa does not have any mind-altering effects when consumed using heat-free methods. Upon applying heat, THCa will decarboxylate or transform into THC, but otherwise will remain non-psychoactive when consumed via edibles, tinctures, and other heat-free consumption methods. This variety is good for people who are looking for an option to experience the medical benefits of THC without getting high in the process. THCa has shown itself to be beneficial in warding off symptoms of epilepsy and in managing arthritis and diabetes.
Best For: Psychoactive Effects
When compared to Delta-9, THCp is 33 times as likely to bind to CB1 receptors. The result of this improved binding is a significantly more intense psychoactive experience than you’d get with the Delta-9 variant.
Best For: Avoiding Legal Gray Areas
THCv is a form of THC that is derived from hemp, which is legal on a federal level, rather than from forms of cannabis that are only legal on a state-by-state basis. However, researchers are still learning about the exact effects of THCv.
Choose the Right THC Products for Your Needs
The right THC product for you depends entirely on your comfort level with THC and your goal in using THC. Consult with an expert to find the right product to meet your desired goals. Start with a small dose of the appropriate product, and increase the dose each use until you are achieving your desired effect.