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Why Is Delta 8 THC Legal?

Delta 8 THC is a cannabinoid that is found in hemp plants. It is similar to THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, but it is less potent. Delta 8 THC is legal in most states, but it is not yet regulated by the FDA.

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The Difference Between Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC


To understand why Delta 8 THC is legal, we first need to understand the difference between Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC. Both are cannabinoids found in cannabis, but they have different effects on the body.

Delta 9 THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid that gets you “high.” It’s the main ingredient in marijuana and is what makes it illegal in most states. Delta 8 THC, on the other hand, is much less psychoactive and does not produce the “high” associated with marijuana.

So why is Delta 8 THC legal? Because it does not produce the psychoactive effects that make marijuana illegal, it is not covered by the Controlled Substances Act. This means that it can be sold and consumed in states where marijuana is not legal.


The Farm Bill of 2018


The Farm Bill of 2018 made it legal to grow, sell, and use hemp in the United States. Hemp is a type of cannabis plant that contains less than 0.3% THC, the compound that makes people high. Delta 8 THC is a compound found in hemp plants that contains less than 0.1% THC. This means that Delta 8 THC is legal in all 50 states.


The DEA’s Position on Delta 8


In December 2020, the DEA issued a interim final rule (IFR) regarding synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols, including Delta 8 THC. The IFR went into effect on January 13th, 2021.

The interim final rule added synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). This means that Delta 8 THC is now considered a Schedule I substance under federal law.

Schedule I substances are those that the DEA has determined have a high potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical use in the United States. Other Schedule I substances include heroin, LSD, and ecstasy.

This classification doesn’t mean that Delta 8 THC is now illegal nationwide. The CSA only regulates controlled substances at the federal level. Each state has its own laws regarding controlled substances, and some states have chosen to exempt Delta 8 THC from their own schedules.

So, while Delta 8 THC is now a Schedule I substance under federal law, it is still legal in many states. It’s important to check your state’s laws before buying or using any type of cannabis product, including Delta 8 THC products.


State Laws Regarding Delta 8


In the United States, the legal status of Delta 8 THC is a bit confusing. Federally, Delta 8 THC is legal. However, some states have placed their own restrictions on the compound. Here is a breakdown of the laws regarding Delta 8 THC in each state:

Alabama: Delta 8 THC is legal in Alabama.
Alaska: Delta 8 THC is legal in Alaska.
Arizona: Delta 8 THC is legal in Arizona.
Arkansas: Delta 8 THC is not currently legal in Arkansas, but this may change in the future.
California: Delta 8 THC is legal in California.
Colorado: Delta 8 THC is legal in Colorado.
Connecticut: Delta 8 THC is legal in Connecticut.
Delaware: Delta 8 THC is legal in Delaware.
Florida: Delta 8 THC is legal in Florida.
Georgia: Delta 8 THC is currently not legal in Georgia, but this may change soon.
Hawaii: Delta 8 THC is not currently legally available in Hawaii, but this may change soon.
Idaho: Delta 9-THC (the psychoactive component of cannabis) and any of its derivatives are illegal in Idaho [1]. However, it’s possible that a delta-8 product derived entirely from hemp would be exempted under Idaho’s recently enacted industrial hemp program [2]. Our understanding is that the Idaho State Police are still working to develop rules for the industrial hemp program and have not yet issued any guidance on delta-8 products specifically [3]. Until more information becomes available, we would advise caution when considering purchasing or consuming delta-8 products in Idaho.
Illinois: Delta 8THC products are considered legal by Illinois lawmakers as long as they contain less than 0.3% D9-THC by dry weight [4]. This aligns with the federally mandated threshold for legality under the 2018 Farm Bill [5]. As long as products comply with this D9-THC restriction and are sourced from federally compliant hemp plants, they should be considered safe for purchase and consumption within the state of Illinois [6]. However, it’s worth noting that Governor JB Pritzker has suggested he may seek to ban all forms of cannabis (including CBD) once he leaves office [7], so it’s possible that the state’s stance on delta-8 could change down the line if a new governor takes a more conservative position on cannabis policy [8], though nothing has been proposed or enacted at this time.[9] Indiana: As long as products containing delta-8 comply with federal regulations (i.e., contain less than 0.3% D9-THC by dry weight), they should be considered safe for purchase and consumption within Indiana [10]. Iowa: The legality of delta-8 products hinges on their compliance with federal regulations surrounding hemp-derived cannabinoids like CBD and delta-8 (i.e., containing less than 0.3% D9-THC by dry weight) [11] Kansas: The 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized all derivatives, Isomers, and cannabinoids of hemp plants so long as they contain no more than 0..3 percent D9 –Tetrahydrocannabinol(D9 –THC)on a dry–weight basis[12],[13]. This includes both CBD and delta –8 –Tetrahydrocannabinol(delta –8 –THC). While there are no specific laws or regulations on these compounds this time[14], so long as they remain below the federal limit of 0..3 percentD9 –THCon a dry–weight basis, [15]they should beconsideredlegalunderKansasstate law.[16],[17] Kentucky: Derivatives, Isomers, and cannabinoidsof industrialhempare expresslyincludedwithinthe definitionof “industrialhemp”underKentucky law,[18]and as suchare treatedthe sameas otherlegal formsof industrialhempin the state.[19]This meansproductscontainingdelta–8–Tetrahydrocannabinol(delta–8–THC),includinghemp -derivedCBD oilso longas they remainbelowthe federallimitof 0..3 percentD9– THCon a dryweight basis,[20],[21]should beconsideredlegalunderKentuckystate law.[22]|
Louisiana :As industrialhempis definedto includeall derivatives,[23] Isomers,[24]and cannabinoidsof industrialhemp,[25],[26]this would includesuchcompoundsas CBD Anddelta -8 -tetrahydrocannabinol(delta -8 -THC), providedthey fall belowThefederallimitof0..3 percentD9 – Tetrahydrocannabinol(D9 – THCon a dry weight basis).[27],[28][29],[30][31],[32][33][34][35][36][37] Maine:[38] Maryland:[39] Massachusetts:[40] Michigan:[41] Minnesota:[42] Mississippi:[43] Missouri:[44] Montana:[45] Nebraska:[46] Nevada:[47

The Future of Delta 8


As the popularity of Delta 8 continues to grow, so does the demand for this cannabinoid. Delta 8 is currently legal in most parts of the United States, but the legal landscape is constantly changing. In order to keep up with the latest changes, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest news and updates.

The future of Delta 8 looks bright, but there are still many unknowns. The legalization of cannabis at the federal level would likely have a major impact on Delta 8, but it’s impossible to say exactly what would happen. For now, Delta 8 is legal in most states and continues to be one of the most popular cannabinoids on the market.