Is Delta-8 THC legal? The Short Answer, Yes.
Delta-8 is one of many cannabinoids found in the hemp plant and is covered under the 2018 United States Farm Bill.
It provides mellow effects that users describe as an uplifting and euphoric feeling falling between CBD and marijuana.
The “THC” in the name can be discouraging to some. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is most commonly associated with Delta-9 THC, a.ka. marijuana.
The main difference between the two is their molecular structure. The “8” stands for the placement of a chemical bond, which is on the eighth carbon chain, instead of the ninth like Delta-9.
Delta-8 is federally legal. But, States have the power to override federal law. Make sure you are up to date on your state’s Delta 8 THC regulations.
The legalization of Delta-8 has to do with the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana as well as how the hemp plant is viewed by legislatures.
The legalization of medical and recreational marijuana is becoming more prominent in state legislatures with many states hopping on board. Other cannabinoids such as Delta 8 THC are being noticed and are serving as another option.
CBD, the most common cannabinoid, is often used for sleep, stress, relaxation, and pain. It has milder effects allowing it to become a natural option for many without some of the side effects that can come with marijuana.
Retail shops and online sites are providing CBD to customers in the form of tinctures, capsules, gummies, lotions, and infused flowers. Delta-8 legal products are becoming a new option for new and existing users.
Much like CBD, Delta-8 comes in various forms including tinctures, flowers, vape cartridges, gummies, capsules and concentrates.
These products may seem like they sprouted up from nowhere but people continue to work to bring new legislation surrounding hemp and marijuana much like they did over the last one hundred years.
How did we get here? How is Delta 8 legal? There are a few factors that come into play.
Researchers and hemp industry workers continue to better understand the cannabis plant to provide better research and information for users. The more information researchers know, the more they can reduce the stigma surrounding the cannabis plant.
To better understand how Delta-8 became legal, we’ll have to take a look at how the hemp plant changed throughout history.
Hemp in America
The history of the cannabis plant is complicated. The industry has come a long way in regards to how it is viewed in society.
It is important to understand the history of marijuana and hemp in the United States to understand where cannabis is today. Before we get there, let us start by talking about what hemp is.
Hemp, one of the oldest domesticated crops, Common uses include paper, textiles, and clothes.
Hemp or industrial hemp is one variety of the cannabis plant and refers to the non-intoxicating varieties of cannabis sativa L, which means it has less than 0.3 percent THC. Marijuana and hemp come from the same cannabis species but are genetically distinct and distinguished by use, cultivation methods, and chemical makeup, Leafly reports.
Thousands of products incorporate Hemp because it serves as a renewable source for raw materials. Health foods and organic body care are commonly made with hemp seeds and flowers.
That brings up the question, why was hemp illegal? When did it become legal? Is it legal everywhere?
Well, one hundred years ago, the federal government was not too concerned with the cannabis plant. Most Americans were pretty unaware of its presence in the world, let alone its potential uses, according to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection article posted on the Department of Homeland Security website.
The 1930s rolled around and by then Americans had discovered more about the plant and its recreational and medical uses. Political climates were changing and Federal Bureau of Narcotics Commissioner Harry Anslinger became a loud anti-marijuana voice. It was his campaign that led to the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937.
The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 stopped the use of the plant as a recreational drug. This legislation brought hemp with it. By 1970, laws were tightly enforced. This led to marijuana receiving a classification on the same level as other narcotics. Marijuana was classified and restricted on the same level as other narcotics.
Hemp caught in the crosshairs due to government administrations grouping it with its cousin marijuana.
A couple of decades passed by, researchers and medical cannabis advocates worked to change legislation. When the late 1990s came, one state saw some change.
California was the first state in the nation to legalize the medical use of cannabis in 1996. That sparked a trend that spread to a majority of the states by 2016. In 2012, Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize cannabis for recreational use.
After the 2014 Farm Bill passed, things shifted even more. The 2014 bill stated the states who passed their own industrial hemp legislation are allowed to grow industrial hemp for the purpose of research and development.
The 2014 Farm Bill helped pave the way for the legalization of Delta 8 in many states.
The United States finally permitted the legal cultivation of hemp. This led to the Hemp Farming Act proposed in 2018. Its purpose was to remove industrial hemp from the Scheduled 1 controlled substances meaning it is no longer classified as harmful and addictive for humans or having no medical use.
The Hemp Farming Act was later incorporated in the 2018 United States Farm Bill. The hemp industry has come a long way in the United States since the Marihuana Act of 1937.
For starters, the stigma surrounding the hemp plant is dwindling, which played a role in the legalization of hemp federally.
Delta-8 is federally legal, but that does not mean it is legal in your state. Individual states have their laws on cannabis.
The strides made by legislators, researchers, and hemp supporters pushed the doors open for CBD products and hemp-derived Delta 8 that led to the 2018 Farm Bill passing.
What is exactly included in the 2018 Farm Bill? The bill brought CBDand Delta-8 legal products into the homes of people looking for help with sleep, pain, relaxation, and stress.
The 2018 United States Farm Bill
Delta-8 legal products are available nationwide due to the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized the regulated production of hemp.
Any hemp produced must fall in compliance with the Farm Bill. This ensures the hemp is legal.
Under the bill, hemp products must contain no more than 0.3% THC. Any plant that contains more than 0.3% THC would be considered non-hemp cannabis or marijuana under federal law. Hemp is also no longer classified as harmful and addictive for humans or having no medical use.
It also builds upon programs that serve America’s farmers by providing support, certainty, and stability to farmers in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The USDA offers programs to support farmers' operations in a variety of ways including risk management, disaster assistance, loan, and conservation programs. They also provide information and guidance for hemp farmers.
State and federal share power over hemp cultivation and production. State jurisdiction varies.
This means your neighbor cannot just start growing hemp in their backyard. When the bill was first signed, states created a plan for the Secretary of USDA approval. Farmers looking to grow hemp must apply for a license and comply with the state-federal program.
December 2018. Since then, hemp has restored its status as a legitimate agricultural comedy and is becoming more familiar to authorities and society.
If the 2018 Farm Bill makes hemp-derived products legal, why is Delta-8 still illegal in 11 states? States can override federal laws if they choose to. It happens in other industries such as alcohol, tobacco, and gambling.
So we may need to ask the question again. Is Delta-8 legal? Yes, if your state allows it.
What is interesting about this is the laws surrounding Delta 8 are not based on whether states legalized recreational or medical cannabis. Legalized states such as Arizona and Colorado have banned the manufacture, sale, and possession of Delta 8 THC.
Alaska, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, Idaho, Arkansas, Iowa, Mississippi, and Utah are among the states where Delta-8 THC is illegal.
With the majority of states legalizing Delta-8, there is a good chance you’ve seen the cannabinoid come in a variety of forms and flavors.
It provides a smooth, euphoric, toned-down feeling with all the benefits of CBD. New and existing CBD users have gravitated towards it as more and more options are becoming available.
Users say its effects fall between CBD and Delta-9 THC. Because the effects of Delta-8 are milder, users report being able to take it at all times of the day to help with sleep, stress, and pain.
Just remember, when looking into what products are right for you be sure to know where your state stands and where to purchase quality tinctures, vape cartridges, gummies, capsules, and concentrates.