Everything You Need to Know About Delta-11 THC

delta 11 weed
By Halla Mannering Updated June 30th

Fact-checked by Alexandra Arnett, MS

Hemp-derived THC is becoming more and more popular. The rise of alternative forms of THC began primarily after the 2018 Farm Bill, which widely introduced the production of hemp products.

New forms of THC (such as delta-11) are constantly being discovered and created, especially as the expansion of the cannabis industry continues. These new forms of THC each have their own characteristics, uses, and benefits, taking advantage of the comprehensive benefits that THC can provide.

Before you run out to try delta-11, get to know this cannabinoid with an interesting history stretching back to its discovery in 1971.1 Delta-11 isn’t exactly like common delta-9 THC, with less overpowering effects and appealing properties that are driving its newfound popularity.

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What is Delta-11?

If you’re familiar with delta-9 THC, then you may already know something about delta-11, as these two compounds are very similar. 

So what’s the difference between them? 

Not only do they have a different structure, but delta-9 produces more significant effects than delta-11 does.2

Delta-11 products use isolates made in a lab from existing cannabinoids found more abundantly within the hemp plant, like CBD. In the case of delta-11 THC, it is often synthesized from delta-8 THC after it is synthesized from CBD.

At this point, it’s important to make a distinction. Delta-11 THC, the subject of this article, is a cannabinoid. On the other hand, 11-hydroxy-THC is a metabolite. These two are often confused. 11-hydroxy-THC is produced in the liver after someone consumes edibles. If you’re searching for additional information online, make sure that you’re reading results that are talking about the cannabinoid (delta-11) and not the metabolite (11-hydroxy-THC).

Because there isn’t much research about delta-11 THC, much of the available information comes from anecdotal evidence.

What are the Effects of Delta-11 and How Strong is It?

Effects of Delta-11

Delta-11 may be mildly psychoactive and produces weaker effects than delta-9. Some common effects of delta-11 include:

  • Relaxation
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Euphoria
  • Strong “high”

Delta-11 produces a high that’s similar to other cannabis products, but is delta-11 strong? Research in mice has reported the potency of delta-11 THC to be 25x less potent than delta-9 THC.

How long the effects of delta-11 last will depend not only on how much you consume, but also the method of consumption. While there hasn’t been research to understand the various effects of the different consumption methods on delta-11 specifically, it’s likely that the effects last for periods similar to other THC products. 

Based on the timetables for delta-9 THC, for a delta-11 vape product, effects can be felt in a matter of minutes (or potentially less). Edible options will likely take anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours to feel, but may last hours longer than inhaled cannabis. Once again, this depends on the individual’s metabolism, substance use history, and how much delta-11 they’ve consumed.

How Long Does Delta-11 Stay in the Body?

There hasn’t been research to understand how long delta-11 stays in the body. How long it remains in the system will likely be affected by the dosage taken, how often it’s taken, and the individual’s metabolism.

While further study is required, it’s believed that delta-11 stays in the body for just as long as delta-9 THC and delta-8 THC, if not longer.

Does Delta-11 Show Up on Drug Tests?

If you’ve recently used delta-11, then you may be wondering whether or not it could show up on a drug test. To understand the answer, first it’s a good idea to know a bit about the science of THC metabolites (the substances a drug test is looking for). 

THC enters the body and is either metabolized into 11-hydroxy-THC or 11-OH-THC. From there, the body breaks any remaining 11-hydroxy-THC down into 11-COOH-THC.2 Drug tests typically scan for 11-COOH-THC. 

Both delta-11 and delta-9 THC interact with the body in slightly different ways, due to their chemical structure. However, the structure of delta-11 and delta-8 are similar enough to delta-9 THC that it’s expected both of them could be flagged on a drug test.

If you’re going to be subject to a drug test, then it’s likely best to stay away from all cannabis products, including delta-11 THC. Drug testing laws vary in each state, so be sure to know the laws where you live before using cannabis products.

Delta-11 THC Benefits

Delta-11 THC Benefits

There is not enough research to properly answer whether or not there are benefits to delta-11. However, because of the similar structure of delta-9, it’s possible that delta-11 could provide similar effects.

Potential benefits of delta-9 include:

  • Relaxation
  • Happiness
  • Increased sensory perception
  • Reduced anxiety

While it’s possible that delta-11 can provide similar benefits to delta-9, it’s also likely it can result in similar unwanted side effects if taken at too high a dose. This is one of the reasons why cannabis consumers should be extremely careful using delta-11, as the potency can be viewed as either a benefit or a risk.

It’s essential for more research to be done in order to understand how certain consumers react to delta-11. If you’re hesitant about using this cannabinoid, consider speaking with your doctor and doing your own research. You should always make a decision that you feel comfortable with and one that’s well-informed.

Further research is needed before any definitive claims can be made about the effectiveness of delta-11 in treating medical conditions or their symptoms. It’s possible that the higher potency of delta-11 could make it a suitable option for patients seeking fast, powerful relief. But due to its higher potency and a lack of research, it’s recommended you speak with your doctor before using delta-11 or other cannabis products to treat a medical condition.

Delta-11 Side Effects and Safety

There are not many safety guidelines that have been set up for the sale or use of delta-11 THC, especially because the wide adoption of this compound is relatively new. 

One of the best ways to stay safe when using delta-11 is to only purchase products from a reliable, reputable source. Purity testing can play an important role in making sure that the product you’re using is safe, so only purchase from brands that have gone through the necessary steps to ensure their products are high quality.

Another way to stay safe is to think carefully about your dosage. Even if you have prior cannabis experience, you should still consider starting with a small dose. Remember, you can always increase your dose later.

While it’s likely that the use of delta-11 won’t lead to the development or exacerbation of medical conditions, further research is needed to fully understand how the cannabinoid affects consumers both in the short and long term.

Is Delta-11 Legal?

Is Delta 11 Legal

Delta-11 is legal at the federal level but not in all states. The Farm Bill made way for the production of hemp-derived forms of THC, which includes delta-11. This has created a legal gray area that’s difficult to navigate.

Some states don’t allow for hemp-derived forms of THC, while others include them as part of their recreational cannabis programs. It’s important to understand the legality of delta-11 in your state, so you can make an informed and educated decision.

Compared to delta-9, delta-11 is not as easily accessible. Many people find that it’s easier to get delta-9 than it is delta-11, but availability can depend on the state and where you’re shopping.

Delta-11 vs Popular Cannabinoids

While delta-11 shares a lot of similarities with other popular cannabinoids, there are key differences to look out for.  

Delta-11 vs Delta-8

Delta-8 and delta-11 are on different ends of the spectrum when it comes to the severity of their effects. Delta-8 is more potent than delta-11 (and less potent than delta-9). Delta-8 is known for producing a subtle high that often leaves individuals feeling relaxed. 

Delta-11 vs Delta-9

Delta-9 is the THC that most people think of when using cannabis. It produces psychoactive effects and has demonstrated a range of potential benefits, from help for insomnia to pain and anxiety relief to increased appetite. Some people also experience these effects when using delta-11.

Delta-11 vs Delta-10

Delta-10 is an isomer of delta-9 and was first synthesized in 1984. In most products on the market today, delta-10 has been made from CBD. It’s likely that delta-10 is less psychoactive than all of the other compounds mentioned in this article. Many people report that they feel more creative when taking delta-10, whereas the high from delta-11 is more comprehensive and holistic.

Delta-11 Products

Delta 11 Products

Delta-11 can be more difficult to find than delta-9, but available products are likely similar to existing cannabis options on the market, including edibles, vapes, and flower.

It can be very difficult to find cultivars that are high in delta-11 THC. If you’re specifically searching for this cannabinoid, you may have better luck searching for an edible or vape option.

Delta-11 gummies: Delta-11 gummies are likely to provide the longest lasting effects. However, the benefits will also take longer to be felt. Gummies can offer a wide variety of flavors and options while making it easy to control your dosage.

Delta-11 vape: Delta-11 vape options are a good choice if you want effects fast. While the effects may not last as long as those of gummies, vaping is a popular (and potent) option. 

Delta-11 cart: In most cases, delta-11 carts are very potent and generally recommended for experienced consumers. The effects of a cart aren’t likely to last as long as edibles, with the peak of the effects typically occurring around an hour after consumption.

Delta-11 flower: Delta-11 flower is not very common and can be difficult to find. Effects will typically be felt within a few minutes and could last up to a few hours.

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1. Pitt CG, Wildes JW, Martin NH, Wall ME. Synthesis of (-)-.DELTA.9(11)-trans-tetrahydrocannabinol. The Journal of Organic Chemistry. 1971;36(5):721-723. doi:https://doi.org/10.1021/jo00804a024

2. Compton DR, Prescott WR, Martin BR, Siegel C, Gordon PM, Razdan RK. Synthesis and pharmacological evaluation of ether and related analogs of .DELTA.8-, .DELTA.9-, and .DELTA.9,11-tetrahydrocannabinol. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 1991;34(11):3310-3316. doi:https://doi.org/10.1021/jm00115a023

3. Chayasirisobhon S. Mechanisms of Action and Pharmacokinetics of Cannabis. The Permanente Journal. 2020;24(5). doi:https://doi.org/10.7812/tpp/19.200

The information in this article and any included images or charts are for educational purposes only. This information is neither a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional legal advice or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult with an attorney, physician or other licensed professional.

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