What the Heck is Converted THC

By marc brannigan

What the Heck is Converted THC

So, you're delving into the labyrinth of hemp laws and navigating the maze of THC products, perhaps scratching your head over the distinction between converted THC and its naturally derived counterpart. Buckle up, because we're about to embark on a scientific expedition.


First off, let's establish some basics: THC sourced from hemp is federally legal as long as the final product contains less than 0.3% THC. But is that THC naturally derived or synthetic?


Lets start from the beginning: after the hemp is harvested and extracted, you're left with crude oil, containing roughly 50% CBD and 3% THC—or in a kilo of crude oil, 500 grams of CBD and 30 grams of THC, thanks to the concentration of cannabinoids during extraction. Once the hemp is extracted, the crude oil, even though from hemp, is not legal because it contains more than .3% THC.


To use the THC from the crude oil in products there are a couple options. First, you can use the oil “as is” so the product will contain CBD and THC. Second, you can isolate the THC from the oil using chromatography which involves many chemicals and is expensive. Before I go into the last option which will take us into “what is converted THC?” let me explain what usually happens with crude oil.


Labs remove the CBD from the crude oil by “crashing” it out which means forcing the CBD to crystalize in a pure form and removing it from the crude oil. Again, this process involves chemicals but in my opinion it is a better option than chromatography. Once the CBD is removed from the oil, the remaining oil is called “Mothers Liquor” and contains the THC and all the other special minor cannabinoids such as CBG, THCv, CBDv and more.


Now that the CBD is separated, most labs will convert the CBD to THC, yes CBD to THC. How you ask? In layman’s terms, the labs use heat, pressure and acid to change the PH levels which forces the molecule to change.


Why? Because it is much cheaper to remove the CBD and convert it to THC rather than either isolate the THC or use the crude oil as is.


Naturally derived THC would be either using the oil “as is” or naturally derived also includes the isolated THC which we are not a fan. Or, naturally derived could also be the Mother’s Liquor which, in my opinion, is by far the best option.


Why? Mother’s Liquor is naturally derived and unadulterated and most important, it contains all the minor cannabinoids that add to the psychoactive and medicinal effects of the oil.


In essence, converted THC is CBD that's been synthesized in a lab to become THC. When executed correctly, the end result is indistinguishable from its naturally occurring counterpart. However, it's important to note that despite the similarities, it's still a product of laboratory intervention and contains only THC. 


For the purists among us, naturally derived THC—with its naturally occurring CBD or  Mother's Liquor—remains the preferred choice. Isolated THC, while technically falling under the "naturally occurring" banner, doesn't quite hold the same allure once you peek behind the curtain.


So, there you have it—the lowdown on converted THC versus its naturally derived kin. Whether you're a stickler for authenticity or open to the synthetic allure, the choice ultimately lies in understanding the processes and implications behind each option.