Delta 8 has been at the center of all our conversations across the United States. Whether it was the number of google searches or sales, both numbers have been spiking and shocking! All thanks to the Farm bill 2018, which directly or indirectly legalized this compound. 

This drug has been surrounded by controversy, whether it is useful, if it can be the right alternative for those who want to consume marijuana or weed, the minimal effects of the “high” it provides and what similarities it has, and whether it is legal where they live and where they can find it.

Is Delta 8 Legal in the United States?

Yes, Delta 8 is legal in the United States. It was indirectly legalized through Farm bill 2018, which legalized the hemp plant, through which Delta 8 is derived. The bill removed hemp from the list of controlled substances present in Schedule 1. The bill was enacted on December 20, 2018, and given crucial definitions and information about hemp, hemp products, state hemp programs, regulation related to cultivation, processing, manufacturing, crop insurance, etc. 

As of 24/03/2022, 31 states have legalized Delta 8 in their states. You can check the list of the states who have legalized Delta 8 below: 

  • Alabama: The state legalized Delta 8 on May 30th, 2019, and amended code 2-8-31 to include all hemp-derived derivates, isomers, and cannabinoids except 9 THC. 
  • Kansas: Delta 8 was legalized in Kansas through senate bill number 263; however, currently, there’s some debate going on the legality after Attorney general Derek Schmidt released an opinion declaring Delta 8 THC illegal. There are no further statements, and Delta 8 continues to sell in the state. 
  • Maine: Delta 8 was legalized in Maine. You can read about how they structured their hemp laws in Title 7: agriculture and animals, Part 5: plant industry, and chapter 406-A: hemp. 
  • Maryland: This state legalized Delta 8 THC in 2018. However, it was done in chunks; thereby, house bill 443 legalized institutions to grow hemp for academic purposes, and house bill 698 permitted individuals to grow, plant, harvest, process, and possess hemp under the state guidelines. 
  • Massachusetts: This psychoactive compound was legalized in 2019 through bill number 4001. The state has also legalized cannabis in 2016 and established a medical marijuana program in 2012. 
  • Minnesota: The state had updated its federal agricultural act 2014 that legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp for research purposes with chapter 18K labeled as industrial hemp development. 
  • Missouri: The state laws are potentially influenced by its friendly neighbors(Illinois and Tennessee) that have legalized Delta 8. The state legalized this compound in 2018 by introducing house bill 2034, which removed hemp and its derivatives from the list of controlled substances. 
  • Nebraska: Nebraska legalized Delta 8 THC with legislative bill 657, which made it in line with federal hemp laws and legalized hemp cultivation, hemp production, and hemp-derived products like Delta 8.
  • New Hampshire: The state laws mirror federal laws by legalizing Delta 8 and hemp and hemp-derived products. The state legislature passed house bill 459 and removed Delta 8 from the list of a controlled substances.  
  • New Jersey:  NJ has legalized Delta 8 and recreational marijuana in the state and has decriminalized possession of six ounces or less of marijuana for people below 21 years. This shows the state’s progressive thoughts about Delta 8 and other essential drugs and compounds with immense benefits if used responsibly.
  • New Mexico: This state legalized Delta 8 in 2019 after Governor Lujan Grisham announced the introduction of the hemp manufacturing act. It was created to broaden the industrial and commercial use of hemp and help new Mexico manufacturers and farmers who want to produce hemp and hemp products for commercial use. Through House Bill 581, Representative Derrick Lente introduced it as a first-of-its-kind regulatory structure for the hemp manufacturing industry.
  • North Carolina: The state made their hemp laws in sync with federal ones in 2019 by the House bill 352 to legalize hemp. Which defined the relevant definition without major changes, and enacted it much like the Farm Bill. 
  • Ohio: Ohio governor signed senate bill 57 on June 30, 2019, allowing the sale of hemp and hemp-derived products and hemp cultivation. Ohio has a different hemp definition which you can find in the Ohio revised code 928.01(F).
  • Oklahoma: Delta 8 was legalized in the state in 2019 when Senate Bill 238 was passed, sponsored by senators Standridge and Allen. Further, house bill 2913 developed the Oklahoma industrial hemp agricultural pilot program that enabled the farmers to cultivate hemp with universities involved in research and development. 
  • Oregon: The state legalized Delta 8 through house bill 3000, which provides the legislature with the power to set the potency limit of Delta 8. Along with testing limits, protocols, and establishing a task force to investigate how new cannabis and hemp-derived products will be monitored along with cannabis laws. Further, Oregon passed senate bill 591, making it one of the few states with an age restriction of 21 years old or older for consumption of Delta 8. 
  • Pennsylvania: The state legalized hemp in 2016, bypassing act 92. However, the definition in the act never explicitly legalized hemp derivatives; hence senate bill 335 was passed that cleared out the air. Delta 8 THC and hemp derivatives were legalized, similar to what was mentioned in farm bill 2018. 
  • South Carolina: This state legalized Delta 8 through senate bill 3449, stating that hemp is legal. You can find more about the hemp definition in sections 46-55-10. In the state, 2014 permitted the use of cannabinoids through senate bill 1035, commonly known as Julian’s law, which allowed children with severe epilepsy to use low-THC oil. 
  • South Dakota: House Bill 1292 legalized Delta 8 in the state when it was introduced by Representative Taylor Rehfeldt. South Dakota has become one of the few states that have restricted the age limit for consumption of this drug to 21 years or older. 
  • Tennessee: Delta 8 was legalized in Tennessee in 2019 by senate bill 357; the state implemented the farm bill with no changes. With this, Delta 8 was removed from the list of schedule 1 given in the controlled substance act. The bill gave crucial definitions of hemp and hemp products. You can find crucial definitions related to hemp and hemp products in the code 43-27-101
  • Texas: The state Delta 8 laws are not clear as of yet. The state passed a house bill 1325 to legalize the growing, processing, manufacturing of hemp in the state in 2019. However, the department of health and human services clarified that Delta 8 remains under the list of a controlled substances and hence still has its place in Schedule 1. 
  • Virginia: Virginia legislature passed the house bill 1839 in 2019 to sync their state laws with the federal laws. 
  • West Virginia: The state legalized Delta 8 through house bill 2694. Nonetheless, there is a chance that WV will see a restriction on Delta 8 as senate bill 666 attempted to add delta 8 to the schedule, but it was unsuccessful. 
  • Washington D.C: The state has legalized hemp and its products in 2019, with senate bill 5276, but has specifically banned Delta 8 products made from hemp. Through an enforcement bulletin, the Washington state liquor and cannabis board clarified that conversion of CBD to Delta 8 THC is restricted in Washington. 
  • Arkansas: The state legalized Delta 8 in March 2021 through house bill 1640; the bill replaced the Arkansas industrial hemp act, i.e., house bill 1415. Further, the state industrial hemp act, 2-15-408 permitted the cultivation, processing, and sale of industrial hemp plants or products derived from it. 
  • Florida: Soon after the farm bill 2018, Florida passed senate bill 1020, which removed all hemp derivatives, terpenes, flavonoids, cannabinoids, and other compounds from its comprehensive list of drugs. Furthermore, recreational marijuana use is illegal in Florida; however, medical marijuana is legalized following the passing of amendment 2 in 2017.
  • Georgia: House and senate bill HB 213 was passed in Georgia, legalizing the Georgia hemp farming act. Hence, people can legally use and possess Delta 9 in Georgia. It doesn’t come with any possession limit as it is termed an agricultural commodity. 
  • Hawaii: The Hawaii house bill HB2689 made their laws in sync with the farm bill and legalized Delta 8 THC. The Delta 8 has to be under the allowable limit of not more than 0.3% delta 9 THC and derives from hemp. 
  • Illinois: This state legalized Delta 8 in 2021; however, after some time, the Illinois department of agriculture issued a notice that “hemp and hemp derivatives may not be used to synthesize intoxicating compounds including Delta 9 THC or Delta 8 THC”. The resulting of which Delta 8 is now is regulated similar to marijuana, and that’s why you can find Delta 8 in registered dispensaries only and not online or in any retail store. 
  • Indiana: The state legalized hemp in 2019 when Indiana passed Senate Enrolled Act No. 516 to make their laws in sync with farm bill 2018. However, there are some restrictions related to smokable hemp. 
  • Wisconsin: Delta 8 THC is legal in Wisconsin. The state legislature legalized Delta 8 in 2019 by enacting Senate Bill 188. You can find more information about this compound in chapter 94, titled plant industry. 
  • Wyoming: The state passed the house bill HB0171 in 2019 to legalize Delta 8, and like federal law, it legalized all cannabinoids, isomers, and derivatives of hemp. 

Below are three states that are undecided on their stance on Delta 8 legality:

  • Arizona
  • Mississippi
  • California

The following 2 states have regulated Delta 8 as recreational cannabis:

Delta 8 is illegal in the following 13 states:

  • Kentucky: Delta 8 was legalized in this state in 2018 through house bill 197, soon after the farm bill was passed. However, in April 2021, the senate committee advanced legislation banning Delta 8 THC. Now, in March 2022, the legislature is working on banning hemp, i.e, the plant through which Delta 8 is produced. 
  • Rhode Island: Delta 8 is illegal in this state; however, hemp-derived products are legal. The compound is listed as THC, a controlled substance and illegal for consumption. Furthermore, Title 21 of Rhode Island’s Code of Federal Regulations prohibits human consumption of THC. 
  • Vermont: Delta 8 is illegal in Vermont; however, hemp is legal and is considered an agricultural commodity that can be grown, possessed, processed, and commercially traded. 
  • Montana: The state has legalized hemp in 2019 through the Montana code; however, the state lists all THC and its isomers under schedule 1 controlled substance and doesn’t make any exception for THC derived from the hemp plant. However, Delta 9 THC is allowed in amounts up to or less than 0.3% on a dry weight basis.
  • New York: This is the current state to make Delta 8 illegal. NY’s office of cannabis management has adopted the final rules to ban Delta 8 THC and hemp products. 
  • Nevada: There have been a lot of loopholes after hemp was legalized federally through farm bill 2018; amid the speculation of the legalization of Delta 8, THC, and hemp, the state passed senate bill 49 in 2021 by making changes in redefining marijuana to include hemp-derived products, adding all kinds of deltas in the state definition to THC and creating a definition for synthetic cannabinoid and hence, making hemp and Delta 8 illegal!
  • Utah: Delta 8 is illegal in Utah; however, the state passed a house bill 3001 to legalize medical marijuana just like CBD and industrial hemp. 
  • Washington: The state law restricts Delta 8 THC and classifies it as a controlled substance. The state of Washington has legalized delta 9 THC for medical and recreational purposes, but delta 8 THC has been banned since 2021.
  • Alaska: The state of Alaska does not allow delta 8 THC to be used – as stated in section 7. 11.71.900(14) of the Alaska Statutes. Although Alaska has made significant improvements in its cannabis laws, delta 8 remains effectively illegal despite the state’s improvements.
  • Colorado: Delta 8 THC is not permitted in a state, whereas recreational cannabis is now legal. Manufacturers are not even allowed to extract D8 from hemp. The decision is a huge blow to manufacturers who produce delta 8 in Colorado.
  • Delaware: According to state law, tetrahydrocannabinol or those derived from it are classified as Schedule I substances. Only FDA-approved THC products, like certain pharmaceuticals that are only available with a prescription, are exceptions.
  • Idaho: On April 26, 2021, Idaho legalized the cultivation and production of hemp with the passage of House Bill 126, which also classified all THC isomers, including Delta 8, delta-10, and HHC, as Schedule I controlled substances under the state’s Controlled Substances Act.
  • Iowa: Delta 8 appears to be illegal in this state; however, the state joined the hemp program in June 2020, bypassing house bill 2581, which amended Iowa’s hemp statute and created new regulations.

The path to the legalization of Delta 8 in all the states in the U.S is not an easy one. The loophole in the farm bill and DEA interim rule will be discussed in brief in later points. But for a similar understanding, DEA published an interim rule that stated: “synthetically derived Delta 8” remains in the list of controlled substances but didn’t even mention anywhere of what this term means!

Another reason for this is that Delta 8 products are not approved by the food and drug administration(FDA), which has also warned about the marketing of dangerous products in the name of Delta 8; this shows that the distribution of this compound remains unregulated at a federal level. 

Another crucial reason remains the lack of research on Delta 8; there is no information on the usage, side effects, or the age limit that people should consume it. These are only a few reasons, but plenty more explain why states remain reluctant to legalize Delta 8. 

What is Delta 8?

Delta 8 DROPS

We had a quick discussion above about the legality of Delta 8 in the U.S. Now let’s discuss what this compound is and how it is derived from hemp as well as how Delta 8 was legalized by farm bill 2018(also known as the agricultural improvement act). 

Delta 8 is identified as one of the 100 cannabinoids in hemp plants. This is a kind of THC, non-psychoactive compound, commonly known as weed lite, diet weed, and marijuana-lite. The compound is also known as the cousin of Delta 9 THC. 

Hemp is defined as a cannabis Sativa plant L. and any part of that plant that includes the seeds, thereof, and all extracts, derivatives, cannabinoids, acids, isomers, salts, salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with Delta 9 THC concentration of not more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis.  

Please note that Delta 8 naturally occurs in the cannabis Sativa plant, i.e., hemp and marijuana. However, only hemp-derived Delta 8 is legal federally.

Why is Delta 8 Popular?

Delta 8 has been grabbing a lot of attention since it was legalized, as the product has become the first choice from various age groups in its various forms and demands. For example, some use it for medicinal benefits, some as a dietary supplement, and some just to get that minimal intoxicating effect. It has gained a lot of fame in natural health and wellness products. Some of the benefits that Delta 8 provides are:

  1. Improves sleep
  2. Increases energy level
  3. Increases appetite and suppress nausea
  4. Provides intense relaxation
  5. Reduces pain and inflammation
  6. Manages anxiety 
  7. Provides neuroprotection

Is Delta 8 FDA Approved?

No, Delta 8 products are not approved by FDA. The FDA has been concerned about various unethical things related to delta-products, like product labeling, THC content, and the manufacturing process. Additionally, products containing Delta 8 are sold under the guise that these products are used for medicinal and therapeutic purposes, which puts the customer’s health at utmost risk. 

Resulting of these marketing tactics, the FDA has received adverse event reports from consumers describing how the patient has been experiencing problems like ingestion, vomiting, hallucination, and loss of consciousness, which resulted in people being treated in emergency rooms. 

However, FDA has stated that they are working closely with federal and state authorities related to the growing concern of Delta 8 THC products and are taking steps to address the issue.

Is Delta 8 Natural or Synthetic?

Delta 8 Natural or Synthetic

Delta 8 is natural. However, this question has been open for interpretation for a very long time. Now, this is seen as a legal gray where manufacturers might or might take an unfair advantage. 

Let’s understand what this all discussion was started.

We’ll have been aware of the popularity that Delta 8 has got. The popularity grew to the extent that manufacturers could not keep up with the people’s demands. The reason is that Delta 8 occurs in a very small amount in hemp, and hence, the extraction process takes a long time, even if it’s extracted. It’s still not in a sufficient quantity and hence, manufacturers searched for other different methods. One of the most popular methods was isomerization which is nothing but heating CBD to an extent that it changes its molecular structure and converts one isomer into another. Researchers and scientists have discovered that to facilitate isomerization, we just have to decrease the Ph and give it some time for the reaction to complete. 

Amid this extraction, the Drug enforcement agency published an interim rule stating that “synthetically derived” Delta 8 remains on the controlled substances list. However, it’s not been made clear by the authorities as to what they mean by “synthetically-derived”.

How to Choose the Right Delta 8 Product?

Considering the fake manufacturing, marketing, and sale of Delta 8 products, it becomes essential to check that the product you are buying is the right one.

  • Lab reports: Make sure you check for the required documentation and lab reports that prove the product has undergone third-party analysis, has the necessary THC concentration, and is free of harmful chemicals and other substances. The Delta 8 is derived from a legal source. 
  • Read reviews: It’s commonly suggested that you buy Delta 8 products online, as this gives you a variety of options and facilities that you can see what other customers have to say about this product. Always check for the client’s feedback and then make sound decisions. 
  • Brand value: Look for how many years the brand has been on the market and their general public reputation. We understand that Delta 8 has been in the market for years, but what all other products in this range the company is manufacturing. This provides a promising aspect, and that product will be of high quality. 
  • Hemp-extraction method: In one of the states mentioned above has banned the conversion of CBD into Delta 8. Hence, that won’t count as a legal extraction method. 
  • Organically grown: A hemp grower, manufacturer, processor, or possessor must have a license from the appropriate authority to develop, manufacture, process, or possess hemp. The land on which hemp will be grown shall be approved by the appropriate authority. You can determine if Delta 8 is made from official hemp by looking at the label on the Delta 8 products,  

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Should I be Cautious of Delta 8 THC Products?

Answer: Yes. You should be cautious while using the Delta 8 THC products. The most crucial reason is that Delta 8 products are not approved by the food and drug administration. Things became more complicated when they are issued a warning due to the increased number of cases reported to the poison control center for hospitalization after consumption of Delta 8.
Furthermore, there are no dosage limits defined for this compound to any specific age group. To make it worse, there is no age restriction over which people can consume it. Consequently, people don’t know how to use it responsibly, causing immediate health consequences. 

Question: How Long will Delta 8 Stay in Your System?

Answer: There’s no fixed time limit for which Delta 8 will stay in your system. It will depend on the test you are getting done and what kind of user you are like. Are you a regular user or a beginner? So, if you are a beginner, this compound can stay up to 4 days in your system, and for a regular user, it can stay up to a month or longer. It also depends on the potency of the compound you are taking. Coming to test, which is one of the major deciding factors, if you’ll pass or fail the drug test. 

  • In the case of hair sample test: The drug can stay up to 3 months or 90 days. 
  • In case of urine drug test: 48 days or less
  • In the case of a saliva test, the drug can stay up to 2 days in your system.
  • And in a blood test can stay up to 2 days or less. 

Question: Can Delta 8 Make you Fail a Drug Test?

Answer: Yes, Delta 8 can make you fail a drug test. 

Conclusion

Delta 8 has been the talk of the town from the time it was legalized. The compound plays a fantastic role in replacing drugs like marijuana, Delta 9, or weed. The Delta 8 federally has no restriction; however, it is currently restricted in several states. Even though the drug is helpful in various ways, we cannot ignore the fact that there are many legal gray areas. If those were left uncorrected, then it might cause many issues and even be dangerous for human consumption. This might be one of the reasons why states are hesitant to legalize it. 

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