The Legality of Delta 8 THC
Updated 7/28/21: We aim to stay on top of the most current and recent changes surrounding delta 8. Delta 8 is currently illegal in the following states meaning we will not be able to ship you ANY delta 8 products if you live in the following states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New York, North Dakota, Nevada, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington.
Have you been thinking about trying delta-8, but are hesitant because you’re not sure whether or not it’s legal?
The legality of delta-8 THC has caused some confusion. Perhaps it’s because it’s a brand new product or perhaps it's because of federal laws involving delta 9 THC, the intoxicating compound in marijuana that makes the plant illegal.
But clearly, we at Wellicy wouldn’t be selling illegal products, or else we could lose our business.
So, what’s the deal?
Let’s take a look at the fairly complicated but ultimately positive situation regarding the legal status of delta 8, to put your concerns to rest once and for all.
Is Delta-8 Legal?
The main reason why so many people don’t believe that delta 8 is legal is because delta 8 is technically THC.
However, it’s not the THC that we’re used to, that causes marijuana users to experience mind-altering effects.
Delta 8 is the little sibling to delta 9 THC, which is the cannabinoid that makes up about 15 to 25 percent of marijuana’s chemical composition.
There’s only about 0.1 percent of delta 8 in the hemp plant however, which is why hemp does not get users high when consumed as a whole plant product.
Delta-8, like delta-9, does produce intoxicating effects.
However, the specifics of these effects are quite different from those of delta 9.
While delta-9 can make a person feel high, delta 8 is far more subtle.
We like to refer to delta-8 as the happy medium of the non-intoxicating effects of CBD and the extreme intoxicating effects of delta-9 THC
Those who use delta-8 say that they still feel clear-minded and fully functional, but simply more relaxed yet simultaneously more focused.
Now, to answer the question, yes,
Delta 8 is Legal. But as is the case with all things which are cannabis-related, the true answer is a lot more complicated than that.
Delta-8 and Other Cannabinoids in Cannabis
To understand the legality of delta 8, we first must understand exactly what it is.
Delta 8 is a cannabinoid, much like CBD, Delta 9 THC, CBN, CBG, and over a hundred other known cannabinoids found in hemp.
There are over a hundred unique cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, found in both the hemp and marijuana species that belong to the cannabis genus.
Cannabinoids are unique in the way that they are processed by the human body.
Cannabinoids are fed to the endocannabinoid system which uses cannabinoids for regulatory effects.
Delta-8, like other cannabinoids, binds with cannabinoid receptors that are found throughout the body.
Delta-8 THC in particular binds with CB1 receptors, which are localized to the central nervous system. However, delta-8 also binds to CB2 receptors in the body.
These binding processes allow regulatory actions to take place, and also means delta-8 produces different sensations than delta-9 THC.
This is why CBD, for instance, has such widespread uses.
These cannabinoid receptors are in charge of a wide variety of bodily processes, including cognition and mood, as well as pain, digestive function, immunity and more.
How Delta-8 is Made
Companies can either extract the existing delta 8 compound from the hemp plant, but due to the low presence of delta-8 in a mature hemp plant this is often the least cost effective option.
Alternatively, manufacturers are leveraging a process known as isomerization.
Delta 8 is an isomer of CBD, which means that they contain the same molecules, only the molecules are organized in a different manner.
An influx of companies are finding brilliantly innovative ways to rearrange the CBD compound to turn it into delta 8, which is a far easier process than extracting this low-occurring compound from the plant material.
Hemp vs. Marijuana
Now, let’s look further into the main reason why delta-8 is legal while delta-9 THC is not.
We said that hemp is non-intoxicating, while marijuana is.
This is, again, because marijuana contains a high level of THC.
Meanwhile, in hemp, there’s only 0.3% delta 9 THC, and less than 0.1% delta 8 THC.
This is too low of an amount to produce mind-altering effects when taken along with the rest of the plant.
Cannabinoids can be isolated, extracted, and concentrated.
This is how delta-8 came into the picture.
The delta-8 that is sold commercially comes from the hemp plant, and so manufacturers must go to great efforts to isolate hemp derived CBD and then leverage isomerization to produce hemp derived delta-8 THC.
2018 Farm Bill
The reason why hemp is legal, and marijuana isn’t, is because of the 2018 Farm Bill.
Up until then, both hemp and marijuana were deemed illegal substances, as cannabis as a whole had been outlawed for several decades.
That’s right, hemp has only been federally legal for less than 2 years, prior to that it was only legal for experimental agriculture use.
This meant that despite the non-psychoactive nature of hemp, it was just as illegal as marijuana.
When the Farm Bill came along, hemp was completely decriminalized.
This is why we have the CBD industry that we have today.
But, what many don’t realize is that by decriminalizing hemp, all of its derivatives, isomers, and cannabinoids became equally legal as long as the final product contains <0.3% delta-9 THC.
Delta 8 is a hemp derivative, as it’s a cannabinoid that can extracted from the hemp plant and not the marijuana plant.
Further more, delta-8 is an isomer of hemp derived CBD isolate.
Now, you might be wondering how this can be if delta 8 is an intoxicating substance.
Well, while it is intoxicating, it’s not to the extent that delta 9 THC is.
We think it's important to mention there may be states with more restrictive laws that do criminalize delta-8 THC, even when derived from hemp. You may also find states where marijuana-derived delta-8 THC is legal (but illegal at the federal level).
We hope to continue working with lawmakers and if this is an issue that matters to you, please head over to hempsupporter.com and fill out the comment box for the federal hemp round table.
Delta 8 is federally legal, but as you know, states can make their own laws regarding the usage of particular substances.
Can Delta 8 Result in a Failed Drug Test?
There are some things that are important to keep in mind when taking delta 8.
One is that it appears that delta 8 will still register in the same manner as delta 9 on a drug test.
This means that if you take delta 8, you may end up failing a drug test as a result.
Can Delta 8 Test as Delta 9 During a Lab Analysis?
Further, when delta 8 is tested in a lab by law enforcement, it reads as delta 9.
This means that if your delta 8 is confiscated by police, you may be penalized as though you were consuming traditional THC.
Of course, one way around this is to avoid traveling with delta 8 in order to avoid a potential mix-up.
If you have to travel with delta 8 THC, try to choose products that have QR code’s to easily access the labs for the product or have the printed COA’s with you.
If you are encounter law enforcement with delta 8 remember to be calm and cooperative with law enforcement officers.
In all 50 states you have a right to a lawyer, and a right to remain silent.
They may ask you to throw away your delta 8, if they think it is marijuana and you live in one of the many places that cannabis is decriminalized.
They may also confiscate your delta 8. Some places cannabis is illegal and in order to charge you with a crime, the police will have to have a lab analyze hemp products to determine if they are legal or not.
Whatever happens, remaining calm with law enforcement will continue to grow the positive conversations about hemp & these products.
This is also why it is SO important to buy CBD and delta 8 products from companies you trust.
An incorrect lab result or formulation can make the difference in having an encounter with law enforcement and spending time behind bars.
It is always a great idea to familiarize yourself with your local cannabis laws and local law enforcement officers.
Choosing Legal Delta 8: What to Know
While delta 8 is legal, there are some companies out there that may use illegal means to produce their delta 8 products.
One is deriving it from the marijuana plant instead of the hemp plant, which remains illegal under federal law, and in many states.
Another method is by leveraging delta-8 that has more than 0.3% delta 9 THC, which remains illegal.
Here’s how to make sure that you’re only getting the best and most legal delta 8 THC products that the market has to offer today.
Tip #1: Choose a Legit and Trustworthy Company
Of course, it’s always a good idea to buy your delta 8 and other hemp products from a trusted and respected company.
Manufacturers that have a good reputation throughout the industry can be trusted, as they have a lot to lose if they produce products that are illegal.
Tip #2: Make Sure it Comes from Hemp
A delta 8 product description should explicitly state that the compound comes from the hemp plant and not the marijuana plant.
But the easiest way to verify it's a hemp derived product is tip #3!
Tip #3: Make Sure It Has Been Tested by a Lab
Yes, the best thing that you can do is look for lab reports from a third party on the company’s website or for a QR code right on the label that links you to a third party lab result also known as a COA (certificate of analysis).
These reports prove that the delta 8 product has been analyzed and has been found to have a chemical composition that is completely legal according to federal law (<0.3% delta 9 THC).
Delta-8 Products at Wellicy
Here at Wellicy we only carry completely legal, lab-tested and fully legitimate delta 8 products. This means that you can purchase and use them without fearing legal repercussion.
We go to enormous lengths to work with only the most reputable hemp manufacturers in the country, and as a result, we can vouch for their legality.
Bottom Line… Delta-8-THC is a Legal Cannabinoid
Only if it comes from the hemp plant and not the marijuana plant, according to federal law and contains <0.3% delta 9 THC.
This means that the delta 8 products at Wellicy are completely legal to those who wish to give this unique compound a try.
So, explore what the delta 8 market has to offer. For more information, and to see our 3rd party lab results please visit here.