Using Novel Cannabinoids in Cannabis Product Formulation
We mainly hear about the cannabinoids delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9 THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), but over 100 cannabinoids have been isolated from the cannabis plant. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the sale of hemp-derived cannabinoids containing less than 0.3% delta-9 THC. Since then, the market growth in novel cannabinoids in cannabis product formulations has exploded. However, several states have enacted legislation to restrict the sale of these ingredients at the state level.
Keep reading to learn more about novel cannabinoids and how to incorporate them in cannabis product formulations.
What Are Novel Cannabinoids?
Some novel cannabinoids are fully synthetic and can only be made in a laboratory setting, while some are present naturally in small amounts in cannabis plants. Certain novel cannabinoids must be synthesized from other hemp- or cannabis-derived cannabinoids to accumulate enough to incorporate into products.
Following are some examples of novel cannabinoids growing in popularity in cannabis product formulations.
Delta-8 Tetrahydrocannabinol (D8 THC or Δ8 THC)
Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8 THC) is a psychoactive cannabinoid found naturally in trace quantities in cannabis plants. It can be produced in greater quantities for use in cannabis product formulations through laboratory techniques to convert it from CBD. Delta-8 THC is widely marketed as a milder alternative to delta-9 THC with fewer adverse effects.
Delta-10 Tetrahydrocannabinol (D10 THC or Δ10 THC)
Delta-10 tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-10 THC) is a synthetic isomer of delta-9 THC. Similar to delta-8 THC, it is also produced from hemp-derived CBD. Anecdotally, delta-10 THC produces less intense psychoactive effects than delta-9 THC. However, scientific research is needed to determine the effects.
Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) is a synthetic derivative of delta-9 THC. Cannabis chemist Professor Roger Adams discovered it at the University of Illinois in 1940. Other similar hexahydrocannabinols have been isolated from cannabis plants. HHC is synthesized by hydrogenation of cannabis extracts, which is similar to the process of turning vegetable oil into margarine. HHC has a long shelf life and less susceptibility to heat, UV light, and oxidization.
Tetrahydrocannabinol Acetate (THC-O Acetate)
Tetrahydrocannabinol Acetate (THC-O Acetate), often referred to simply as THC-O, is a synthetic derivative of delta-9 THC made in a lab using a highly-flammable compound called acetic anhydride. THC-O acetate is more potent than delta-9 THC. It is a prodrug, which means it has to be converted metabolically in the body to the active form to take effect. Scientific data is still needed on the effects and safety of THC-O acetate.
Tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THCP) is found in tiny amounts in cannabis plants. To synthesize enough for use in cannabis product formulations, THCP is synthesized from CBD. Early scientific research suggests that THCP has a higher potency at CB1 receptors than delta-9 THC.
Water Soluble Novel Cannabinoid Ingredients in Cannabis Product Formulations
Like CBD and delta-9 THC, novel cannabinoids are naturally water-insoluble or hydrophobic. For optimal efficacy, bioavailability, and product quality, cannabis product formulators must solubilize novel cannabinoid ingredients.
Our flagship ingredient, CannaSorb CB Active, is made via a patented process akin to polysorbate chemistry. While other ingredients aim to make hydrophobic compounds more hydrophilic, CannaSorb CB Active is made by chemically reacting a fat-soluble compound and converting it into a water-soluble compound. This process creates an opaque liquid that dilutes quickly, easily, and fully into water to create a clear, stable, permanent solution.
Unlike other ingredients that claim to be water-soluble yet only have 10% to 25% activity, CannaSorb CB Active is 100% active. Therefore, less CannaSorb CB achieves better results. CannaSorb CB is fully bioavailable in the body, dramatically increasing the bioavailability of novel cannabinoids.