The laws around cannabis products are constantly changing and vary drastically from place to place. This is especially true for delta-8 THC—a cannabinoid that’s been rapidly growing in popularity for the last three years.
If you’ve been curious about trying delta 8 for yourself, but have been confused about whether it’s legal in your area, then good news: we’re going to make things simple for you! Keep reading to find out if Delta 8 is legal in your state.
What Is Delta 8?
Before we dive into its legal status, let’s talk about what exactly delta 8 THC is.
THC is a compound most people are familiar with or have at least heard of. It’s the intoxicating compound found in cannabis responsible for inducing the high associated with marijuana use. When people both inside and outside of the industry use the acronym THC, nine times out of ten, they are referring specifically to delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, this isn’t the only form of THC found in cannabis.
Delta 8 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a compound extremely similar to delta-9 THC. At a chemical level, the only difference is the location of a single covalent bond. Unlike delta 9 THC or CBD, cannabis plants only naturally produce minuscule amounts of its counterpart. As a result, consumers usually purchase it in extract form. Delta 8 gummies and delta 8 vape cartridges are some of the most common products. Some extractors also offer hemp buds that have been infused with delta 8 extract to create delta 8 thc flower.
Will Delta 8 Get You High?
This isn’t CBD we’re talking about. Delta 8 THC is still a form of THC so taking a puff from a cart will definitely result in some intoxicating effects.
Some people describe it as being the less potent version of THC. For many, the delta 8 THC feeling seems to be more clear-headed. Users report mild body sensations and feelings of euphoria. While cannabinoids affect every person differently, for the most part, the high doesn’t appear to have as many cerebral effects as delta 9. Common marijuana side-effects like brain fog, paranoia, and perception shifts are non-existent or greatly diminished, according to anecdotal evidence.
Is Delta 8 Legal?
It’s currently federally legal and legal in 39 states. Places where the cannabinoid is banned include Utah, Rhode Island, Montana, Mississippi, Iowa, Idaho, Delaware, Colorado, Arkansas, Arizona, and Alaska.
Surprisingly, two places where recreational marijuana is legal (Alaska and Colorado) show up on the list of states that have consciously banned delta 8.
How Is Delta 8 THC Legal?
Three years ago, in 2018, the most recent iteration of the Farm Bill federal law legalized hemp. Therefore, all products, including cannabinoids, that can be made from hemp were federally legalized as well. This legislation is largely responsible for the boom of CBD products we’ve seen in recent years.
The farm bill defines hemp as any cannabis plant that contains less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC per dry weight. Since the bill specifically calls out delta 9 THC, instead of THC as a general term, hemp derived delta 8 THC became federally legal as well.
Does Delta 8 Show Up On A Drug Test?
Even if you live in a state where delta 8 is legal, the cannabinoid could still present a problem for those looking to pass a drug test.
Drug tests can’t tell the difference between delta 8 and delta 9 THC. In fact, drug screening kits don’t test for the presence of THC at all. Instead, drug tests look for the metabolites our bodies produce after being exposed to THC—specifically THC-COOH. Keep in mind (if you don’t want to fail a drug test) that THC-COOH can stay in your system for up to six weeks and will be present regardless if you’ve consumed delta 8 or delta 9 THC.
Is Delta 8 Safe?
The compound delta 8 itself is inherently safe to consume for humans. However, since the FDA does not regulate the cannabinoid, it’s up to consumers to ensure the product their purchasing is high quality and has been adequately lab tested for foreign material, mycotoxins, residual pesticides, and heavy metals.
Look on the seller’s website for a Certificate of Analysis (COA) that ensures the products have undergone testing by an accredited third-party lab.