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What Is THC-JD? Legality, Effects, Potency Explored

Hayley Heidelbaugh
August 9, 2023

With over 100 cannabinoids identified in hemp and marijuana plants, manufacturers have a lot of territory to explore—and the market of cannabis products keeps growing. Some of these compounds have been researched more thoroughly than others; especially delta 9 THC, which has undergone decades of study. But lesser-known cannabinoids like THC-H and THC-B are in the early stages of exploration, and others have no published research on their effects, potency, and safety.

THC-JD (or THCjd) falls squarely into the last category. You’ll see THC-JD products all over the online cannabis market, despite a lack of credible details about this minor cannabinoid. We have very little knowledge—and nearly everything we do have is anecdotal.

If you’re seeking intoxicating hemp with a bit more scientific backing, you’ll probably prefer HHC or delta 8 products. Countless brands offer D8 carts and D8 gummies, while HHC carts and HHC gummies are rapidly gaining ground.

Don’t take hemp marketing at face value. While it can be tempting to sample every compound you come across, it’s fine to wait for more information. THC-JD and other barely known cannabinoids are often hyped to generate sales.

We took a closer look at THC-JD, what’s being said, and which claims show the most promise.

What is THC-JD?

molecular structure of thc-jd

Tetrahydrocannabioctyl, commonly abbreviated to THC-JD, is a naturally occurring cannabinoid (phytocannabinoid) and a THC variant. While it appears structurally similar to delta 9 THC at a glance, there’s a key difference: the length of its carbon tail, or side chain.

THC-JD is most notable for its octyl side chain, the anatomical feature distinguishing it from delta 9 THC. You’ll find this tail of eight carbon atoms on the right-hand side of a line diagram. Long chains suggest a greater binding affinity with human cannabinoid receptors, and therefore potentially higher potency.

But aside from THC-JD’s structure, we know almost nothing with certainty.

This cannabinoid is sometimes referred to as THCjd or THC-jd. Rather than products formulated with exclusively THC-JD, we could only find vape carts and gummies featuring it alongside other ingredients. You’ll usually see it in a stew of THC isomers or variants, such as delta 6 THC, delta 8 THC, and THCP. Such “cannabinoid cocktails” probably contain mostly delta 8 with a tiny sprinkling of whichever novel THC variant is being promoted.

Does THC-JD get you high?

Yes, THC-JD will almost certainly get you high. We just can’t say how high it’s going to get you, or how long that high will last.

You’ll read a shared claim about many hemp products: that they’ll get users way higher than delta 9 THC. THC-JD is no exception. Sellers tout this newcomer as a far stronger alternative to delta 9, despite virtually no studies on its potency or binding affinity. We can only craft predictions from our knowledge of similar compounds.

THCP, for example, may bind more than 30 times more effectively to the CB1 receptor. That could make THCP one of the most potent cannabis derivatives out there. However, experts aren’t sure how effectively a greater binding affinity amplifies a cannabinoid’s effects—if cannabinoid receptors are overloaded, some of that potency may go to waste.

The THC-JD cannabinoid is structurally close to THCP, which boasts a seven-atom carbon side chain. Delta 9 THC’s alkyl chain contains only five carbons. THC-JD has an eight-carbon chain, even longer than that of THCP. We need research to see how this impacts THC-JD’s potency and the strength of your high.

What are the effects of THC-JD?

Unfortunately, there’s no scientific research into the effects of THC-JD, including potential medicinal properties. We do know that consuming it will get you high. As with other psychoactive cannabinoids, users can expect feelings of euphoria, relaxation, or sedation.

Since THC-JD only seems to be offered in cannabinoid blends, you’ll experience its effects in combination with the effects of whatever it’s mixed with.

THC-JD has the potential to be a potent cannabinoid, so it’s best to begin with a small dose; for example, a couple of puffs of your vape, or a quarter of a gummy. Wait for the effects to settle in and see how you respond. Then, go ahead and consume more if your experience is milder than desired.

If THC-JD is as potent as claimed, you’ll likely encounter side effects. Be on the lookout for anxiety, dry mouth or eyes, and others closely linked to cannabis consumption.

Is THC-JD safe?

It doesn’t appear that THC-JD is more or less safe than comparable hemp-derived cannabinoids. As our understanding of THC-JD evolves, we’ll learn more about potential safety risks or hazards.

Just stick to trusted retailers with transparent safety testing. Even if you’re buying well-loved hemp products like delta 8 or CBD carts, untested formulas can contain harmful fillers or undisclosed ingredients. The same applies to THC-JD carts and edibles.

Check for third-party testing results whenever you make a hemp purchase online. All credible brands will make these documents easy to locate; typically in the header, product description, or sidebar of their website.

THC-JD vs delta 9 THC

Despite its structural similarities to delta 9 THC, THC-JD has a considerably longer carbon side chain: eight atoms instead of just five.

Multiple sellers state that THC-JD is 19 times stronger than delta 9 THC. Although it’s possible that THC-JD is a potent cannabinoid, we couldn’t find where that very specific estimate comes from. Take that with a huge grain of salt.

Unlike delta 9 THC, THC-JD cannot be extracted directly from the cannabis plant; its natural form exists in extremely trace quantities. The only cost-effective production method involves altering CBD with heat or chemical catalysts. To put it another way, the THC-JD you’re consuming is a semi-synthetic form of a naturally occurring compound.

molecule comparison between THC-D9 and THC-JD

Will THC-JD show up on a drug test?

Stop consuming cannabis products of any kind before a drug test or pre-employment screening. While we don’t know the specifics of THC-JD metabolization, we can make an educated guess based on our knowledge of other hemp-derived cannabinoids.

It’s probable that THC-JD will convert into THC-COOH after processing, much like delta 8 or delta 9 THC. You only need a small amount of this metabolite in your system to test positive. As far as a drug panel is concerned, there’s no difference between marijuana and psychoactive hemp.

THC metabolites are stored in adipose tissue (fat cells) for several weeks. Some people will find that their system clears out even faster, especially if they’re casual users. Chronic, long-term use of any cannabis product (or combinations) can leave metabolites in your body for up to three months.

The only proven way to rid your system of metabolites is to stop all hemp or marijuana use. While THC detox kits are out there, they probably do little more than drain your wallet.

Since THC-JD can be found naturally in hemp, the cannabinoid is protected under the 2018 Farm Bill. It’s legal to manufacture and distribute THC-JD products in the United States, unless state laws prohibit their sales.

In order to be considered a hemp product, THC-JD gummies and vape carts are required to contain less than 0.3% delta 9 THC by dry weight. If any product is discovered to contain delta 9 levels above the legal limit, it’s deemed to be marijuana—a federally illegal Schedule I drug.

You’ll notice THC-JD popping up across a number of online hemp shops. Availability aside, don’t rush to complete your purchase. Always check for third-party testing results before buying THC-JD or any hemp-derived product.

I'm a Pennsylvania-based cannabis enthusiast and writer. As a part of the Vaping360 team, I'm eager to help cannabis consumers explore vaping and get the most out of their experience. You can also find me @faeberrystudios on Instagram.
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