As the interest in cannabis and its compounds continues to grow, more people are becoming aware of the various types of cannabinoids and their potential effects. Delta-9 THC, or Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is one such cannabinoid that has been widely studied for its psychoactive properties. While Delta-9 THC is the most well-known and commonly used cannabinoid, its legality is a complex and often confusing issue, particularly in the United Kingdom. In this blog post, we will delve into what Delta-9 THC is, its potential effects, and the legal status of the compound in the UK.
What is Delta-9 THC?
Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or Delta-9 THC for short, is a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant. It is one of the many cannabinoids present in the plant, but it is the most well-known and most commonly associated with the psychoactive effects of cannabis. When people refer to THC, they are often referring to Delta-9 THC specifically. This compound is responsible for the "high" feeling that is typically associated with recreational cannabis use.
Read More: What is THC?
Is Delta-9 THC Legal in the UK?
Delta-9 THC, the cannabinoid in cannabis (marijuana), is illegal in the UK and most European countries. In the UK, it is classified as a controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and possession, sale or distribution of it is not legal. Cannabis is classified as a Class B drug and distributing it without a license can lead to a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison. Despite its illegal status, some UK police forces have acknowledged that possession of cannabis is not their top priority.
Will the UK Decriminalise Cannabis and THC?
As an increasing number of countries and states around the world legalise or decriminalise cannabis, and more people become aware of cannabinoids and embrace cannabis-based products, there is growing pressure for the UK to review its current stance on the drug. However, a spokesperson for the UK government stated in October 2022 that there are currently "no plans to change the law around cannabis".
Where is Delta-9 THC Permitted By Law?
Although the classification of THC has changed over the years, it remains illegal in the UK. THC is rarely prescribed as a medical treatment in the UK, and obtaining and maintaining a prescription can be difficult. Instead, CBD-infused products are the safer option for UK consumers who want to explore legal cannabinoids.
The legality of THC varies in different countries. Fully legalised markets for cannabis products, including THC, exist in countries such as:
- South Africa
Other countries, primarily in Europe and North America, have legal medical cannabis programs that offer THC to patients.
Delta-9 THC vs Delta-8 THC
Delta-8 THC is a cannabinoid that has a chemical structure that is very similar to Delta-9 THC, and it produces similar effects such as symptom relief and feelings of euphoria. Nonetheless, Delta-8 has a lower ability to cause a high, and it is more stable compared to Delta-9 THC.
Delta-8 has been legalised in certain countries like Canada and 31 states in the US, including Texas and Ohio. Subsequently, the popularity of Delta-8 THC is on the rise where legislation is more lenient and the market includes products such as Delta-8 THC vapes, oils and edibles.
What’s the Difference Between Delta-9 THC and CBD?
Delta-9 THC and CBD (cannabidiol) are two of the most well-known compounds found in cannabis. While they both have therapeutic benefits, they differ in their chemical structure, effects on the body and legal status.
As we now know, Delta-9 THC is the psychoactive compound in cannabis that produces the "high" associated with marijuana use. It binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain and nervous system, which can cause feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and altered perception. Delta-9 THC is also known to increase appetite, reduce nausea, and relieve pain.
On the other hand, CBD is a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis that does not produce a "high." It works by interacting with the body's endocannabinoid system, which helps regulate various bodily functions such as mood, sleep, appetite, and immune response. CBD is known for its anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anxiolytic properties.
Read More: The Human Endocannabinoid System
Another important difference between Delta-9 THC and CBD is their legal status. While Delta-9 THC is illegal in the UK, CBD is legal as long as it is derived from hemp and contains less than 0.2% Delta-9 THC.
Read More: The Science-Backed Benefits of CBD
Can Delta-9 THC and CBD Be Combined?
Yes, it is possible for Delta-9 THC and CBD to be combined. In fact, many cannabis products on the market today in countries where Delta-9 THC is legal contain both compounds in varying ratios. This is because CBD can help to modulate some of the negative side effects of Delta-9 THC, such as anxiety and paranoia, while still allowing for the therapeutic benefits of Delta-9 THC to be experienced.
The specific ratio of Delta-9 THC to CBD can vary depending on the desired effects of the product. For example, products with higher ratios of CBD to Delta-9 THC may be preferred for those who want the therapeutic benefits of cannabis without the psychoactive effects, while products with higher ratios of Delta-9 THC to CBD may be preferred for those who want to experience the psychoactive effects.
It's worth noting that the combination of Delta-9 THC and CBD can have different effects on different individuals. It's important to start with a low dose and gradually increase as needed while closely monitoring how the combination affects you. It's also important to purchase legal cannabis products from reputable sources and to always follow product instructions and dosages.
The legality of Delta-9 THC, the most well-known and commonly used cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, is a complex issue in the United Kingdom. Delta-9 THC is illegal in the UK and most European countries, classified as a controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Possession, sale, or distribution of it is not legal, and distributing cannabis without a license can lead to a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.
CBD, on the other hand, is legal in the UK as long as it is derived from hemp and contains less than 0.2% Delta-9 THC. Delta-8 THC, a similar cannabinoid, has been legalised in certain countries and states, and its popularity is on the rise. Delta-9 THC and CBD can be combined in cannabis products, with varying ratios depending on the desired effects, but it's important to purchase from reputable sources and start with a low dose.
Keen to experience the benefits of the UK's most popular legal cannabinoid? Take a look at our bestselling range of high-quality CBD oils, topicals and edibles for optimal vitality and wellness.
- How are Hemp Plants Grown?
- Is CBD Legal in the UK?
- Cannabinol: The Under-the-Radar Cannabinoid
- CBG: The Mother of all Cannabinoids
Delta-9 THC FAQs
Is Delta-9 THC the same as marijuana?
Delta-9 THC is a compound found in marijuana, but it is not the same as marijuana. Marijuana, also known as cannabis, is a plant that contains many different compounds, including Delta-9 THC and CBD. Delta-9 THC is the psychoactive compound in cannabis that produces the "high" associated with marijuana use.
Is Delta-9 THC safe?
Although decades of research have been put into determining the safety of delta-9-THC, no conclusion has been reached. Although it is physically well-tolerated, there is considerable debate over its impact on mental health because there is evidence to suggest that it can cause or aggravate mental health conditions in people who are already prone to them. Therefore, until more research is done, anyone with mental health disorders or a family history of them should refrain from consuming delta-9-THC.
Is Delta-9 THC the strongest?
Delta-9 THC is known for producing the strongest intoxication or "high," while delta-8 THC produces a less potent high. However, using CBD does not result in a high.