Hempshop Cannabinoid Guide

"The benefits of marijuana are becoming more legal and accessible."

Many people look for ways to relax their mind, ease their body, loosen up. Cannabis in its many forms has helped people through difficult times for millenia. Now legalization, science, and persistence have resulted in a range of fun products you can have delivered to your home. If you’ve heard of Delta-8, Delta-9, Delta-10 THC, or HHC, or THCO or TCHP, or CBD, or if you haven’t, this guide will help you make sense of your options in this brave new world of bud:

A Brave New World of Bud

Most people associate cannabis with getting elevated, and getting elevated results in some large part from the delta-9 THC compound in cannabis. Most legal delta-9 THC is still grown and sold under tightly controlled circumstances.

Fortunately some phytochemical freedom fighters are liberating an increasingly wide range of cannabinoids – the stuff in marijuana that might make you feel elevated, or hungry, or calm, or social, or sleepy, and so forth.  Delta-8 THC is a sibling of Delta-9. HHC is created an entirely different way and might not even be a cannabinoid exactly. THCO, CBG, CBN, there’s many to study and explore. 

By growing industrial hemp, processing it, and distilling it down into raw materials, these cannabinoids are then infused into flower, gummies, or used to fill up vape pens, or left as concentrate for dabbing.

Some of these are suited for specific purposes. For example, CBN seems to help some people with sleep. But most people are looking for a head change, a way to take their mind off pain or maybe put their mind into music.


The Cannabis Psychoactivity Spectrum

Here we’re looking at the most immediate effects of cannabis, referred to as psychoactivity: altering our perception, mood, consciousness, cognition, or behavior. We’re sharing our sense of the psychoactivity of these new cannabinoids, from least psychoactive (CBD) to most psychoactive (THCO). Everyone has their own dose and reaction for cannabis. Start small and build up to find yours. Strongly psychoactive cannabis is more likely to make your brain feel busy and may make some people feel paranoid. If you like a calm body elevation, an easier good time, look a little further down the psychoactivity scale.

Here’s our current analysis, from Less Psychoactive to More Psychoactive, on the chart pictured here, or spelled out below running low on the left to higher on the right:

CBG, CBN, CBD, Delta-8 THC, HHC, Delta-9 THC, THCO.

Now let’s take a more detailed look at a few of these different cannabinoid options starting with the most gentle and building to the most intense:

Cannabinoid Scale 02 01 01


These non-psychoactive cannabinoids show early signs of beneficial physical and mental effects. Individual products that carry these compounds will often describe the desired effect.

Delta-10 THC

A gentle psychoactive secondary cannabinoid, Delta-10 is still being explored. We find it to be present but quite mellow. Lower intensity than delta-8 even. 

Delta-8 THC

What is Delta 8?

D8 or Delta-8 is short for Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol: a psychoactive cannabinoid found in the Cannabis sativa plant, which includes both marijuana and hemp varieties. Delta-8 THC is one of many dozens of naturally-occurring cannabinoids occuring in cannabis, though it is not found in significant amounts. Accordingly, concentrated amounts of delta-8 THC are typically produced from hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD).

Is Delta 8 Legal?

Because it is derived from the hemp plant, Delta 8 is considered Federally legal. This is due to the 2018 Farm Bill, which allowed hemp production and does not expressly ban THC isomers. Unlike its sibling cannabinoid Delta 9 THC, Delta 8 It is not prohibited under the Controlled Substances Act.

Does Delta-8 change my elevation?

Delta 8 flower can produce a euphoric effect when smoked. Delta 8’s psychoactive effect is milder than delta-9 THC. We asked some of our hempshop team for their impressions of Delta-8:

"This d8 looks like bud, smells like bud. I ground it up and put it in my vaporizer. It tasted and had the mouth feel of regular weed. After my usual THC cannabis dose I would say I was about 30-40% my usual elevation. Smooth feelings, nice relaxed body, stimulated but not overmuch mental activity."

Is Delta-8 Safe?

Reading this March 2022 delta-8 update from the US Food & Drug Administration the basics seem clear: these products seem to work. Some people take too much or have a bad reaction. Go slow. Keep these products out of reach of pets and children.

Where can I learn more about Delta-8?

Visit our hempshop delta-8 page.


What is HHC?

HHC (hexahydrocannabinol) is a hydrogenated derivative of THC. It is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in hemp seeds and pollen. In addition, HHC has been identified as a trace component in Cannabis sativa, but can also be produced synthetically by hydrogenating cannabis concentrates.

Will HHC show up in a drug test?

Unlike both Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC, there is no evidence that HHC is detectable with currently prevalent testing methods.

How strong is HHC?
HHC is reported to be roughly 80% the strength of THC. So on a potency chart, HHC sits between delta 9 THC which is more psychoactive and Delta 8, which is milder than both HHC and delta 9 THC.

Delta-9 THC

Delta-9 THC is the root cannabinoid in cannabis, creating an elevated feeling in conjunction with any other cannabinoids or terpenes present. Since the 2018 Farm Bill, plant engineers have figured out how to create products with Delta-9 THC from hemp that does not contain more than 0.3% of Delta-9 THC on a dry weight basis. This allows people to enjoy the delta-9 experience with convenient ordering.

Where can I learn more about Delta-9?

Visit our hempshop delta-9 page.


THCA is a precursor to regular THC. You can grow plants high in THCA and when the plant matter is heated that THCA becomes THC which is likely to give you an experience. THCA Flower is the closest thing to widely legal products to get you stoned that we have found.


THCO is a synthetic cannabinoid manufactured from hemp. THCO is also known as THC-O acetate, THC acetate, and ATHC.  THCO seems to offer a more psychoactive experience than most Delta-9 THC data. Faster rampup, faster ramp down. We’ve found THCO to be among the strongest of the cannabinoids we’ve tried.

THCP, THCV, Delta-6a10a, THCH

There are so many cannabinoids being explored now that access to this plant is opening up. THCWOW is not a real cannabinoid that we know of yet, but THCP and others are being researched and ingested now to see how they might be useful and or fun. We’ll keep you posted.


As we learn more about how these products work we are seeing people mix a few cannabinoids together to make new effects. Maybe some CBD and delta-8 plus CBN makes many folks sleepy? Or combining HHC with THCO could give someone a strong brief buzz. We shall see!