In What States is Delta 8 THC Legal?

*This article contains purely informational sections and does not constitute medical nor legal advice.

 In what states is Delta 8 THC legal?

In what states is Delta 8 THC legal? Jump straight to our list of states with Completely Legal Status.

Cannabis use in the United States has been steadily growing. According to research data, 3.43 million cannabis users were reported in 2020 alone and is expected to double by 2025. But despite the increasing number of consumers, data also shows that legal sources met only 24% of the total demand for cannabis in the US.

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is the more popular cannabinoid isolated from the cannabis plant. But, as many are aware, it is also the most mired in political and legal issues. But through a loophole in the recent 2018 Farm Bill, another cannabinoid is taking the spotlight – Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol.

RELATED: Read how the 2018 Farm Bill affects CBD and the industry here

What is Delta-8 THC?

*Disclaimer: The information presented here is not meant to substitute or alternative to information from healthcare professionals. The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements.

As some might guess, delta-8-THC and delta-9-THC are related. For starters, both cannabinoids are extracted from the cannabis plant.

But in a chemical sense, one slight difference sets them apart – and it’s in the name. In delta-9-THC, a double bond is located in its 9th carbon. Likewise, in delta-8-THC, the double bond is on the 8th carbon.

Why is the carbon placement of the double bond important?

The difference in the double bond placement affects how psychoactive a type of THC is.

Note: Delta-9 and delta-8 are under the umbrella of the chemical THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). 

How does THC elicit its psychoactive effects?

By interacting with the endocannabinoid receptors found in the neurons of the different areas of the brain, THC is able to influence some of the following brain areas concerned with pleasure, memory, thinking, concentration, movement, coordination, and sensory and time perception.

Both delta-8 and delta-9 interact with the body via the endocannabinoid system or ECS. The ECS is responsible for regulating many processes in the human body, such as mood, appetite, and inflammation.

In the ECS, delta-8 and delta-9 bind to the ECS receptors known as CB1 and CB2.

Does delta-8 THC get you high?

According to experts, delta-8 binds slightly differently compared to delta-9. This difference makes delta-8 less potent in generating a high but still retains the functionality of THC.

In an article by the Rolling Stone, Dr. Peter Grinspoon, an instructor at Harvard Medical School, believes that delta-8 “has a portion but not all of the psychoactivity as delta-9.”

From what the experts say and anecdotal reviews online, delta-8 gives you a milder high and is not as strong as delta-9’s.

Does delta-8-THC have benefits?

Since the 18th century, delta-9-THC has already been used for different therapeutic purposes. However, with the advancement of medicine and science, the last few decades have shown that there are benefits in using delta-9.

Experts like Daniele Piomelli, director of the University of California, Irvine, Center for the Study of Cannabis, believe delta-8 might work the same. Piomelli states in an interview that since both have a similar molecular structure, both compounds could theoretically provide similar benefits.

Likewise, Raphael Mechoulam, a professor of medicinal chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said in the same interview that delta-8 is a more stable compound and could be a better candidate for future therapies.

As mentioned earlier, delta-8-THC has become legal through a loophole in the 2018 Farm Bill. But at the same time, its legality remains complicated.

For one, the 2018 Farm Bill explicitly states that the controlled substance is delta-9-THC and has removed hemp from the list.

Secondly, delta-8-THC is hemp-derived and not drawn from marijuana.

However, the Drug Enforcement Agency or DEA lists synthetically-derived THC as a scheduled and controlled substance in their interim final rule

RELATED: Is Delta-8 a Synthetic Cannabinoid? 

The DEA rule states that synthetically-derived THC does not necessarily account for the concentration of delta-9. Rather that all synthetically derived THC shall remain a schedule I controlled substance.

It doesn’t sound evident, but in essence, it allows some room for interpretation on the side of the DEA.

As mentioned, delta-8-THC is hemp-derived; however, there are instances that delta-8 is chemically synthesized from cannabidiol or CBD, which can fall under the DEA ruling.

Since the law isn’t cut and dry, including that the FDA does not regulate delta-8-THC products, one can see why delta-8’s legality is a bit more complicated.

RELATED: Delta 8 Products: Important Facts You Should Know

Here is a list of states where delta-8-THC is considered completely legal. However, state laws are still subject to change at any time. It is better to check with them first to confirm in what states is delta 8 THC legal.

The states are as follows:

–   Alabama

–   California

–   Florida

–   Georgia

–   Hawaii

–   Illinois

–   Indiana

–   Kansas

–   Maine

–   Maryland

–   Massachusetts

–   Minnesota

–   Missouri

–   New Hampshire

–   New Jersey

–   New Mexico

–   North Carolina

–   Ohio

–   Oklahoma

–   Oregon

–   Pennsylvania

–   South Carolina

–   South Dakota

–   Tennessee

–   Texas

–   Virginia

–   Washington

–   West Virginia

–   Wisconsin

–   Wyoming

–   Washington, D.C.

A reminder that these states allow the sale of delta-8-THC under the notion that it follows regulations. Such that delta-8-THC must be sourced from hemp plants and should only contain less than 0.3% delta-9-THC in the product.

In What States is Delta 8 THC Legal?: Regulated Status

Aside from what states are delta-8 THC legal, some states control the sale and consumption of delta-8 similarly to recreational cannabis.

The states are as follows:

–   Connecticut

–   Michigan

–   Nevada

These states have neither defined delta-8-THC as legal nor illegal for sale or use. This means that delta-8 exists in a gray area, and potential consumers must err on the side of caution.

The states are as follows:

–   Mississippi

–   Nebraska

–   Kentucky

In What States is Delta 8 THC Legal?: Completely Illegal Status

These states have laws that explicitly state that delta-8-THC is entirely illegal.

The states are as follows:

–   Alaska

–   Arizona

–   Arkansas

–   Colorado

–   Delaware

–   Idaho

–   Iowa

–   Louisiana

–   Montana

–   New York

–   North Dakota

–   Rhode Island

–   Vermont

–   Utah

The Wrap

Delta-8-THC is much less understood in medicine and science due to a lack of studies. However, this does not stop its popularity from rising as an alternative to delta-9-THC.

At the end of the day, there are still some complications with the legality of delta-8. If you are considering using this type of THC, double-check the laws in your area. Most importantly, consult with a medical professional before using THC.

“These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”

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