The psychoactive effects of cannabis and hemp plants are primarily attributed to a cannabinoid known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is one of the cannabinoids found in Cannabis sativa plants. It has different isomeric forms, all of which have the same molecular formula - C21H30O2. Some of the common psychoactive THC isomers are:
Some THC isomers are found in significant quantities in cannabis plants (e.g Delta-9 THC), while others exist only in small amounts in nature (e.g. Delta-6 THC). Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is the primary form of THC found in marijuana plants. Usually, the THC isomers that only occur in trace amounts in plants can be synthesized in labs. Typically, people use cannabis to manage specific medical conditions (such as pain) or for recreational purposes. When consumed, THC molecules bind to cannabinoid receptors in brain cells to produce a euphoric feeling. THC is important in cannabis usage because it is one of the major cannabinoids in hemp and cannabis plants that produce medically significant responses or a ‘high’ for recreational users.
There are other related cannabinoids sold as THC products. They include:
THC and CBD are naturally occurring cannabinoids with the same molecular structure (C21H30O2). They are both found in hemp and marijuana plants. When consumed, THC and CBD interact with the cannabinoid receptors in the body to produce specific physiological effects. Despite their similarities, CBD and THC are different in terms of their effects on the body due to a slight difference in the arrangement of the carbon atoms in their molecular structures. THC is more psychoactive than CBD and produces a sense of euphoria. CBD does not produce the ‘high’ associated with THC. Rather, it provides a more relaxing feeling.
THC and CBD are equally useful for managing medical conditions but are usually used differently. CBD is often used for medical conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, seizures, depression, inflammation, migraines, and psychosis. On the other hand, THC is sometimes prescribed for patients with glaucoma, muscle spasticity, anorexia, and insomnia. Both THC and CBD are believed to be helpful in managing pain, anxiety, and nausea.
THC shows up in drug tests long after its psychoactive effects wear off. THC metabolites can be detected in hair for up to 90 days and in the urine for up to one month. Also, drug tests can detect THC in blood samples for up to 36 hours and in saliva for about 48 hours. Nevertheless, whether THC shows up in a drug test or not depends on how frequently a person uses THC products, how long ago the product was used (ingested or smoked), and the sensitivity of the test used. CBD does not show up on drug tests, except for those designed to detect CBD. However, since many CBD products contain small amounts of THC, using CBD products can lead to a positive drug test.
Delta-8 THC (Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol) is a cannabinoid found in hemp and cannabis plants. Although Delta-8 THC exists naturally in these plants, it is usually manufactured synthetically because cannabis plants only have it in small amounts. It has a similar molecular structure to Delta-9 THC (the principal psychoactive substance in cannabis) and produces a ‘high’ when consumed. However, it is less potent than Delta-9 THC. Therefore, persons who do not want to experience the pronounced psychoactive effects of cannabis often opt for Delta-8 THC products.
Delta-8 THC is believed to offer numerous health benefits such as relief from inflammation, pain, nausea, depression, and appetite loss. Nevertheless, there are some potential side effects associated with Delta-8 THC use, such as red eyes, increased heart rate, dry mouth, anxiety, memory loss, tremor, and loss of consciousness.
Generally, Delta-8 THC shows up on drug tests the same way as Delta-9 THC. Drug tests are not yet sophisticated enough to differentiate between Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC molecules. Therefore, since Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC produce the same metabolites in the body, a drug test will simply detect the presence of THC cannabinoids. The ability of a drug test to identify Delta-8 THC metabolites depends on how often a person uses Delta-8 THC products and the quantity of the products they consume. Drug testing can detect Delta-8 in the saliva for up to 29 days after the last use. Also, Delta-8 THC can show up in blood tests for up to 2 days, but heavy users of Delta-8 THC products can test positive even after 25 days. Furthermore, Delta-8 THC is detectable in hair for up to 3 months and in urine for up to 10 days.
Per Section 581.217 of the Florida Statutes, which agrees with the United States Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill), hemp-derived cannabinoids (including Delta-8 THC) are legal in the state. Therefore, Florida residents can possess hemp-derived Delta-8 THC products without legal repercussions and buy them online or from local stores. However, as stipulated in Section 581.217 of the Florida Statutes, only Delta-8 THC products containing a maximum concentration of 0.3% of THC are allowed in the state. Since hemp-derived cannabinoids are federally legal, persons may ship Delta-8 THC products into Florida or carry them when entering the state, provided the Delta-8 THC products are obtained from federally compliant sources. On the other hand, Delta-8 THC products derived from marijuana plants are illegal in Florida for recreational use.
According to Section 893.03 of the Florida Statutes, marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance with a high potential for abuse. Therefore, the plant and its derivatives (including Delta-8 THC) cannot be infused into products or sold in shops or online except for medical purposes. The Florida Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 allows registered medical marijuana patients to obtain cannabis-derived Delta-8 THC products from licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. The Delta-8 THC products used for medical purposes may contain up to 0.8% THC.
Delta-9 THC is the main psychoactive cannabinoid in hemp and cannabis plants, responsible for producing most of the ‘high’ effect after marijuana consumption. When Delta-9 THC products are consumed (smoked or ingested), Delta-9 THC molecules bind with cannabinoid receptors in brain cells, producing a relaxing effect that is beneficial for persons experiencing sleeping difficulties and anxiety. Also, Delta-9 THC can improve appetite and provide relief from pain, inflammation, and nausea. If used in moderate amounts, Delta-9 THC products are safe for consumption. Nevertheless, its use has been associated with specific side effects such as paranoia, panic attacks, psychotic episodes, anxiety, and hallucinations. Another potential adverse effect of Delta-9 THC cannabinoid is impaired coordination, which can increase the risk of injuries and accidents.
Delta-9 THC cannabinoids can show up in a drug test and can remain detectable in urine, blood, hair, or saliva even if a user no longer feels its psychoactive effects. Depending on how often a person ingests or smokes Delta-9 THC products, a drug test can detect Delta-9 THC for up to 30 days in urine, 48 hours in saliva, 36 hours in blood, and 90 days in hair.
Florida law (Section 893.03 of the Florida Statutes) classifies marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance and prohibits its derivatives (such as Delta-9 THC) from being sold in the state. Nevertheless, marijuana-derived Delta-9 THC products are legal for medical use in the state. In line with the Florida Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014, registered medical marijuana patients may use marijuana-derived Delta-9 THC products with a maximum THC concentration of 0.8%. Such products can only be purchased legally at registered medical marijuana dispensaries.
Furthermore, Delta-9 THC products obtained from hemp plants are legal in Florida, provided the THC content of the products does not exceed 0.3%. The provisions of Section 581.217 of the Florida Statutes permit state residents to purchase and use Delta-9 THC products in various forms (including smoking). Persons may buy Delta-9 THC products from online stores, marijuana dispensaries, or vaping shops in Florida. They may also have hemp-derived Delta-9 THC products shipped into the state, provided the products are obtained from legitimate sources as allowed in the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill. However, Delta-9 THC products derived from marijuana cannot be shipped into Florida because marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance in the United States. Therefore, transporting cannabis plants or their derivatives, such as Delta-9 THC, across state lines is unlawful.
Delta-10 tetrahydrocannabinol is one of the cannabinoids in hemp and cannabis plants. Although this cannabinoid occurs naturally, it is usually manufactured in laboratories because plants only contain small amounts of the cannabinoid. The use of Delta-10 THC products produces a milder euphoric high compared to the psychoactive effects of Delta-9 THC products. Generally, Delta-10 THC is considered to have similar potency to Delta-8 THC.
Delta-10 THC products are safe to consume. However, because this cannabinoid is mainly produced synthetically, it is crucial for users to consume Delta-10 THC products tested by accredited labs. When consumed, Delta-10 THC gives a relaxing effect without an intense feeling of anxiety or paranoia. The amount of time it takes for Delta-10 THC to leave the body depends on the extent the cannabinoid accumulates in the body system. If Delta-10 THC is still present in the body after consumption, it can show up in a drug test. How long Delta-10 THC can be detected depends on the type of drug test used:
Delta-10 THC products are legal in Florida and state’s residents can purchase them from local stores or online. However, this only applies to Delta-10 THC products derived from hemp plants (not from marijuana plants) that contain a maximum THC concentration of 0.3%. The provisions of Section 581.217 of the Florida Statutes allow state residents to legally purchase and use Delta-10 THC products and other hemp-sourced cannabinoids.
Also, per the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill, Florida residents may ship hemp-derived Delta-10 THC products into the state, provided the products contain no more than 0.3% THC. In line with the provisions of the Florida Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 (CS/CS/SB 1030), marijuana-sourced Delta-10 THC products are only legal for registered medical marijuana patients. Qualified patients can readily obtain such products from licensed medical marijuana dispensaries within Florida, but they cannot ship them from other states.