The legal status of any cannabis-related product is filled with loopholes and confusion, as the topic itself is complex and doesn’t always have a straight answer. Delta 8 also has the same status but with lesser restrictions as compared to marijuana.
Delta 8 is one of the most in-demand derivatives of cannabinoids in the market because of its availability, lesser risks, and calming properties.
But the concern every potential or existing consumer has is whether or not it is legal in their respective state. Legal concerns regarding the topic of this article can confuse, as both delta 8 and delta 9 have similarities which can cause uncertainty about the products, as there isn’t much research regarding delta 8 and its consumption.
So, in this article, we’ll discuss the legal status of delta 8, how much THC is legal to consume, and the laws about the legality and regulation of delta 8.
What is Delta 8?
Delta 8 THC is an isomer of delta 9 THC, which means that it has the same chemical formula with a slightly different change; the difference in double bonds. Delta 9 is synthesized and isolated to be a safer and milder form of THC to consume and through which delta 8 is extracted and formed.
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is one of the two compounds found in cannabis that gets you high; the other is CBD (cannabidiol). THC itself is the psychoactive compound with the intoxicating effects one faces when in the state of ‘high’. As marijuana is one of the most abused drugs in the states, it has been restricted throughout the country.
As delta 8 has about 50% less potency than delta 9, the milder psychoactive effects and the same euphoric qualities of marijuana make delta 8 one of the most in-demand derivatives of cannabis to consume. Because delta 8 is a stable variant of its sibling delta 9, it is regulated in some of the states for medicinal and recreational purposes.
Is Delta 8 Legal?
This question never has a straight answer as the topic of delta 8’s legality is complex. While it is federally legalized and regulated in most states, there are local laws and restrictions regarding the use of delta 8 in some states and their cities/counties. On the other hand, common THC is a controlled substance according to the FDA regulations.
The 2018 Farm Bill dissociated marijuana and hemp and legalized hemp growth and extraction on a federal level while still keeping marijuana restricted. Delta 8 can be derived from both of the substances, although it is extracted from hemp to act in accordance with the laws regarding the use of cannabis.
So, unlike marijuana, delta 8 is widely legal in most parts of the US. Some of the states that still have restrictions on delta 8 are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, and Vermont. Besides these states, delta 8 is highly regulated in most parts of the US.
How Much THC Is Legal To Consume?
The legal limit regarding THC is 0.3% in hemp-derived products. Delta 8 contains exactly the same percentage of THC as it is synthesized specifically to be a softer form of delta 9 THC. Any substance that has above 0.3% THC is restricted or regarded as illegal.
But how is this regulated? As mentioned above, hemp naturally contains 0.3% of THC content. As for the farm bill that legalized hemp because of this low concentration, it is easier to regulate delta 8 since it is extracted from hemp that naturally contains the legal and limited content of THC.
A year ago, exactly in August 2020, the DEA came up with a revised rule about the 2018 farm bill, which started a public outcry. This was later cleared on as it wasn’t anything serious and merely a means to update the specific definitions regarding hemp consumption.
The farmers, vendors, and public panicked in assuming that delta 8 was also ruled to be a Schedule-I Controlled Substance, making it a criminal offence to consume any delta 8 product. But it was simply a ruling about THC.
The new DEA rule (also called Interim Final Rule) stated that THC content under 0.3% is not a controlled substance, while any cannabis-related product containing over 0.3% undoubtedly is and is considered restricted under the regulation of the farm bill.
So far, delta 8 is on the safer side of things as opposed to marijuana. And if you’re planning on using it safely, you should check out the best vendors of delta 8.
If you’re in a state with restrictions on the use of delta 8, it is better to comply with your state laws and wait until it is regulated to be bought and sold.
As the demand for delta 8 increases, the public may also demand their respective state governments to loosen their local restrictions on delta 8.