How Is Delta-9 Made? A Deep Dive Into the Process

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If you’re even a casual fan of cannabis, you’re probably aware that Delta-9 THC occurs naturally within the plant. That’s one of the biggest reasons why so many people are fascinated by cannabis in the first place. 

However, Delta-9 THC products are hemp-derived, and although the cannabinoid is naturally found in the hemp plant, it is only present in trace amounts. That means that to create Delta-9 from hemp, there needs to be an extraction process. 

While this complicates things a bit, it also allows for creating a Delta-9 extract that is more widely legal than cannabis itself. 

So, how is Delta-9 made from industrial hemp? Learn the answer to that question and much more about this unique version of everyone’s favorite cannabinoid in this comprehensive guide. 

The Origin of Delta-9

Humans have enjoyed the psychoactive effects and potential therapeutic benefits of Delta-9 THC for several millennia. There is ample evidence that ancient peoples, including the Romans, Greeks, Hindus, and Chinese, have been finding applications for the cannabis plant — physical, mental, spiritual, or all of the above — since at least 2800 BC, if not far earlier. 

However, these ancient civilizations were not necessarily aware that these incredible benefits came from a chemical compound found abundantly in the plant’s stems, leaves, and trichome structures. In fact, it wasn’t until Israeli scientist Raphael Mechoulam and a group of colleagues first isolated Delta-9 THC in 1964 that our fundamental understanding of the cannabinoid began to form.

Of course, at this time, there was a full-fledged war being waged on psychoactive substances, and marijuana was at the forefront of it all, thanks to its popularity with the blossoming 1960s American youth culture. For this reason, research into the relationship of Delta-9 THC with the human body has been quite slow-going. 

Sentiments about the plant have been changing in recent years, however, and the body of research is growing faster now than ever before. 

Legal Requirements for Delta-9 Production

So, if cannabis is still considered federally illegal and its legality varies widely from state to state, how is Delta-9 made in a way that won’t get you in trouble with the law? It’s an interesting question, and the short answer is that it requires a clever little loophole, which helps explain the paradoxical nature of its legality. 

If you want to know how to make sure Delta-9 is legally made, you’ve got to follow two essential instructions. 

It Must Be Hemp-Derived

Cannabis is federally illegal to cultivate, possess, sell, and use in America today. Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is no longer illegal. This legislation made it so Americans could grow hemp and also made it possible to extract the array of notable cannabinoids inside hemp for use in various products. 

But is hemp made from weed, and if not, then what is their relationship to one another? 

No, hemp is not made from weed. Weed and hemp are part of the same plant species but carry a few distinct differences. One primary difference is weed contains much higher levels of Delta-9 THC. 

It Can Only Have .3% THC by Dry Weight

Now, this is the confusing part for many people. Creating a legal THC product with enough of the compound to remain psychoactive sounds impossible. However, that last little bit about “dry weight” is where the loophole comes in. 

What “by dry weight” means is that the THC content of a given product must represent no more than .3% of that product’s dry mass. Simply put, it is possible to create gummies, beverages, and oils with THC content that does not add up to more than .3% of its dry mass. There’s still plenty of THC to provide you with the psychoactive experience you seek. 

Potential Benefits and Applications of Delta-9 Production

There are advocates for Delta-9 THC all over the planet, and a range of scientific studies back their findings. But why would so many people be so committed to sharing this cannabinoid with the rest of humanity?

Recreational Effects

There’s no need to dance around the fact that a lot of people enjoy Delta-9 THC strictly for the recreational effects. Sure, there is a fantastic array of potential therapeutic benefits that cannabinoids can offer, but for many, that is just a bonus. Instead, they focus mainly on the specific effects of Delta-9.


Delta-9 is often reported to provide an uplifting sense of euphoria that can make users more prone to laughter, conversation, and overall enjoyment of their current activities.


Delta-9 also provides a calming effect, particularly with Indica strains. While this can potentially be seen as a therapeutic benefit, it’s also just an all-around enjoyable feature of the cannabinoid, regardless of whether you are looking to treat something like stress or mental discomfort or just looking to unwind. 

Altered Perception

Many users say that Delta-9 alters both their thinking and their sensory perception. It can simply be entertaining or mind-opening. Seeing the world through a different lens and processing things like you never have can provide much insight and perspective. 

Boost in Creativity

There has long been a connection between THC and lovers of the arts, and that may very well be thanks to the cannabinoid’s potential to help you think creatively. That isn’t the easiest effect to measure objectively, but it can be fun. 

Potential Therapeutic Effects

Research into the medical benefits of Delta-9 THC is still ongoing. Still, there have been enough positive results for most of the United States to adopt some medical cannabis programs. Below are some of the potential therapeutic benefits the cannabinoid has to offer.

Discomfort Relief

Various studies have been conducted into the analgesic properties of THC and other cannabinoids, and the evidence shows that they may provide some relief from discomfort, reducing the need for addictive prescription painkillers. 

Relief From Mental Discomfort

THC appears to have a conflicted relationship with anxiety, with studies showing that small amounts of the cannabinoid may reduce this mental discomfort, but more significant amounts can intensify it. When treating your mental state with THC, always be cautious about how much you take. 

Appetite Stimulation

The concept of the “munchies” actually has some scientific backing. It’s believed that THC inspires the release of hunger-stimulating hormones and stimulates areas of the brain related to the enjoyment of food. That can potentially prove helpful to anyone struggling to keep a regular appetite. 

Help With Relaxation

Poor sleep can be the foundation of a vast array of health issues, both physical and mental. Research into cannabinoids’ ability to inspire better relaxation has returned some positive results, with findings showing that short-term use of THC could help provide a good night’s rest. 

How Is Delta-9 Extracted?

Legal THC products must be made from hemp and contain less than the legal limit of the cannabinoid, but exactly how is Delta-9 made to fit these particular parameters? It turns out that anyone looking to learn how to make THC isolate has a few options at their disposal — three to be exact. 

Solvent-Based Extraction

Solvent-based extraction involves soaking the hemp material in a liquid like butane, propane, or ethanol, which strips the plant of its chemical compounds to be concentrated into a hemp-derived Delta-9 distillate.

There’s always a concern with this method of extraction that the solvent will remain inside the final product and potentially cause health issues for the user. However, if the extraction process is done correctly, all the solvents should be removed from the Delta-9 distillate. 

That is why vetting the companies you purchase your products from is essential to ensure they are reputable and responsible. 

Supercritical CO2 Extraction

Supercritical CO2 extraction is a great way to produce pure and clean Delta-9 distillate. It involves applying enough pressure and heat to liquid CO2 to become what’s known as a “supercritical fluid,” which is a state of matter that displays the properties of both a gas and a fluid simultaneously. The supercritical fluid is combined with hemp to extract all desirable chemical compounds.

This method is the cleanest and safest, leaving no residual chemicals — just pure cannabinoid oil. However, it also requires expensive equipment with highly trained professionals who can use it properly. 

Steam Distillation

Steam distillation is a standard process for extracting desirable elements from plants for concentration. In fact, it’s been in use for hundreds of years. This process involves adding hemp to a distillation tank that uses heat and water to pull the chemical compounds from the plant so they can then be separated from the water into an oil product.

While this process is safe and easy, it’s also not all that efficient and can result in errors. For this reason, it’s not the most popular method of Delta-9 extraction. 

Hemp-Derived Delta-9 Distillate, Explained

So what is Delta-9 distillate exactly?

This legal Delta-9 product isn’t all that different from those you might find in a dispensary where recreational cannabis has been legalized. It’s just extracted from hemp, and you will find it in specific products. The chemical compound isn’t different in any way, meaning the way it affects you will be precisely how cannabis-derived Delta-9 affects you.

But are Delta-9 artificially made products safe? 

Yes, hemp-derived Delta-9 is as safe as cannabis, provided you get products from a reputable source. Some companies may be dishonest in their labeling and don’t have their products lab-tested, which means they may be selling compromised items. 

Remember that The Hemp Doctor lab tests all our products in-house and then has that testing verified by independent third-party labs. 

How Is Delta-9 Made Into Edibles?

Edibles are gaining popularity, from fast-acting edibles to Delta-9 gummies. Typically, a hemp-derived Delta-9 distillate can simply be added to a recipe to turn the resulting snack into a psychoactive one. The only catch with these products is that the Delta-9 THC must represent .3% or less of their final weight. 

The Hemp Doctor offers legal Delta-9 edibles in the form of brownies, s’mores, chocolate bars, cookies and cream bars, peanut butter nuggets, caramel chews, and a variety of Delta-9 gummy candies, including some classic favorites like nerd ropes and cherry rings. 

How Is Delta-9 Made Into Vape Juice?

Vapes are electronic devices filled with hemp-derived Delta-9 distillate that can be vaporized by simply pulling on the mouthpiece. They offer a lot of convenience, discretion, flavor, and potency, and they are no different than your average cannabis vape, save for the fact that they’re hemp-derived and are, therefore, more widely legal. 

The Hemp Doctor has a broad selection of legal Delta-9 vapes blended with other cannabinoids like Delta-8, HHC, and more. These vapes come in various popular cannabis strains, including Maui Wowie, Granddaddy Purple, Fruity Pebbles, Pineapple Express, and more. We also offer legal Delta-9 vape cartridges for those who have a reusable vape battery. 

Shop Delta-9 at The Hemp Doctor

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-9 THC), a key component of cannabis, offers notable benefits. Primarily recognized for its psychoactive effects, it induces relaxation, sensory alterations, and euphoria. 

Delta-9 THC has shown potential for pain relief, nausea suppression, and appetite stimulation, aiding patients with various conditions. Additionally, it has cultural significance in recreational use, bolstered by changing attitudes and legalization efforts. 

Its versatility is evident through various products, including edibles and concentrates. However, its consumption should be mindful due to varying legality and potential health implications, underscoring the importance of informed and responsible usage.

If you are interested in legal Delta-9 products, take a look at the wide selection on The Hemp Doctor’s online store today. You’ll find a range of products, including Delta-9 THC products with vape, edible, flower, or gummy options. It’s as simple as picking your preferred method of consumption.

The Hemp Doctor is a trusted authority for hemp essentials. We oversee the production of our products — from organic farming to in-house testing. We bring integrity, passion, and family values to everything we do. Let us help you explore the benefits of adding hemp/CBD to your wellness journey today!