THC, the primary substance in the cannabis plant known for its intoxicating and psychoactive effects, is arguably the most well-known cannabinoid. However, not everyone enjoys its effects. This guide aims to introduce five popular alternatives to THC, which are often sold in concentrated amounts, including some that produce mild intoxication and others that have no psychoactive effects. By exploring these alternatives, you can customize your cannabis experience to suit your preferences when THC is not compatible with your lifestyle.

Why do people use THC alternatives, anyway? 

Although THC is the most popular and highly regarded cannabinoid in the cannabis plant, it may not suit everyone’s preferences. THC is famous for its intoxicating properties, and the psychoactive effects can vary in strength depending on the strain being used. Some people might find THC to be too intense or not intense enough. 

However, there’s also the legal filter to consider. In some states, cannabis still isn’t legal. While many people would prefer to sit back and enjoy THC, it’s still considered a Schedule I substance in most states. However, hemp and hemp-derived cannabinoids are legal on a federal level. Many users choose THC alternatives if they can be derived from hemp and legally bought and sold. 

Various retailers offer products that contain concentrated levels of different cannabinoids found in hemp or synthesized from natural cannabinoids in hemp, including things like THCa or delta-8 flowers, vape cartridges, gummies, and other concentrated forms such as wax.

Basically, people reach for THC alternatives if cannabis is illegal in their state and they’re looking for legal ways to enjoy the potential therapeutic properties of THC, or if they’re looking for something stronger or less intense than regular delta-9 THC. 

5 THC Alternatives 

If you’re interested in a THC alternative that provides a smoking-like experience, exploring other cannabinoids made from natural cannabinoids in the cannabis plant may be worthwhile. These cannabinoids offer an array of potentially therapeutic effects, from gentle intoxication to soothing pain relief. Smoke shops like The Hemptender offer products with high concentrations of these cannabinoids, allowing you to enjoy the potential benefits of cannabis legally. 

Delta-8 THC 

Delta-8 THC is a minor cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It is chemically similar to delta-9 THC, which is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis. Delta-8 THC is created by converting CBD or delta-9 THC into delta-8 THC using various chemical reactions. Delta-8 will still get you high, although its effects are reported to be about half as strong as delta-9 THC. Some users have described the high produced by delta-8 THC as being more clear-headed and less anxiety-inducing than delta-9 THC. Delta-8 THC is also reported to have pain-relieving and anti-nausea properties thanks to its similarities to regular delta-9 THC. While research on delta-8 THC is limited, some studies have shown that it may be effective in reducing anxiety and stimulating appetite. It is worth noting that delta-8 THC may not be legal in all states or countries, so it is essential to check local laws before using it.


THC-A is a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant that is converted to delta-9 THC when it’s heated and smoked. With that said, it feels just like the regular stuff, but since it’s inactive on its own, it exists in a legal gray area. It’s the closest thing to delta-9 THC and offers similar effects. On its own, THC-A does not produce psychoactive effects, but evidence suggests that it may have anti-inflammatory, antiemetic, and neuroprotective properties. Additionally, some studies suggest that THC-A may have potential in treating conditions such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease. THC-A is legal if it is derived from hemp, which is defined as cannabis plants containing less than 0.3% delta-9 THC. 


THC-P, reportedly even more potent than delta-9 THC is synthesized through a chemical reaction that converts CBD or delta-9 THC. However, research on THC-P remains limited. While it may be legal if derived from hemp containing less than 0.3% THC, it may be subject to stricter regulations in certain states due to its potency and lack of research. THC-P is said to produce intense euphoria, relaxation, and sedation, making it popular among recreational cannabis users seeking a potent and long-lasting high. It is worth noting that the safety and long-term effects of THC-P remain unclear due to limited research.


HHC is a recently discovered cannabinoid with a similar structure to delta-9 THC. It is synthesized through a chemical reaction that converts CBD or delta-9 THC. Despite being psychoactive, HHC is said to produce a unique set of effects that distinguish it from delta-9 THC. It is reported to provide a more uplifting and energizing high, as opposed to the sedative effects of delta-9 THC. HHC is also said to have a longer duration of effects. If derived from hemp containing less than 0.3% THC, HHC may be legal, though it may be subject to stricter regulations in some states due to its novelty and limited research. HHC is still in its early stages of investigation, and its safety and long-term effects are yet to be fully understood.

THC Alternatives: Final Thoughts 

There are several options available in the market if you’re seeking a THC alternative that may replicate the experience of smoking weed. Depending on your specific requirements, you can opt for products that offer mild psychoactive effects, intoxication, or soothing pain relief, with concentrated amounts of other cannabinoids. With these options, you can tailor your cannabis experience to fit your preferences and needs. Just remember that research is still being conducted on some of these alternatives, and nothing we mentioned above should be used to diagnose, treat, or otherwise manage any condition. Always talk to a doctor to make sure alternatives are right for you. 

If you’re looking for hemp-derived THC alternatives, look no further than The Hemptender. Our hemp-derived products are fully compliant with local regulations and tested by third party labs to ensure safety and quality. Just remember to always check the laws in your area before exploring THC alternatives.