Delta 8 THC Legality: Is Delta-8 THC Legal?

Learn more about Δ8 THC Carts & Δ8 THC Flower!

Is Δ8 THC Legal? D8 is a cannabis compound that has become popular because of its similarity to THC, the main compound in cannabis that gets you high, causing euphoria, happiness, sedation, symptom relief, and much more. Large amounts of THC are found in a majority of cannabis strains.

The similarities between the two cannabinoids lie in their chemical structures and their names. THC’s scientific name is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or delta-9 THC, or just delta-9. Δ8 is short for Δ8-tetrahydrocannabinol, or Δ8 THC. Δ8 THC can cause effects similar to regular Δ9 THC—but they will be much less potent. 

Δ8 and delta-9 are both forms of THC. In common usage, when people refer to THC they are talking about delta-9 THC. (In this article, when we use the term “THC” without a modifier, we are referring to delta-9 THC.) 

Currently, the definitions of Δ8 THC Legality are hazy. It can be extracted from either hemp or cannabis. Because of the 2018 farm bill, hemp can be legally grown and used for extractions all over the United States, making Δ8 legal in states where Δ9 THC is illegal—sometimes. 

Nearly all Δ8 THC Carts on the market today is manufactured from hemp-derived CBD, which makes it, in theory at least, part of a federally legal chain of origin. 

People in states where THC is illegal crave cannabis products and are now looking to Δ8 because it may be legal in their state, even though it is less potent than regular THC. Many extractors are ramping up Δ8 production to meet this new demand and shipping it all over the US. 

Delta 8 Distillate

Δ8 THC Distillate

Δ8 THC Legality vs. Delta 9: What’s the Difference?

Δ8, like D-9 (regular THC), binds to the body’s endocannabinoid system, which causes you to feel high. Chemically, Δ8 THC Distillate and delta-9 are similar in that they both have a double bond in their structures. This double bond is thought to produce the intoxicating effects that make you feel high. 

The two THCs are chemically different in the placement of the double bond. Both cannabinoids have a chain of carbon atoms, but D 8 has the double bond on the eighth carbon, whereas Δ9 has it on the ninth. 

Delta-8 binds to the endocannabinoid system in a slightly different fashion because of the location of its double bond. This is what is thought to make D 8 much less potent than regular tetrahydrocannabinol. However, more research needs to be done on D 8 and how it interacts with the body.

Delta 8 Dabs

Δ8 THC Dabs

Will Δ8 get you High?

Delta-8 will get you stimulated, albeit not the same as Δ9THC. For those living in states where cannabis is illegal, Δ8 THC Dabs may be a legal way to experience some THC-like effects from cannabis.

Some consumers may even prefer cannabis products that aren’t as strong as common THC, even if they can legally obtain THC products. THC can cause negative effects for some, bringing on anxiety or paranoia. D-8 may offer a smoother, milder effect.

Delta-8 vs. CBD

Delta-8 has more similarities to THC (D-9) than CBD, both in its chemical structure and because it gets you high. D-8 THC binds to the body’s endocannabinoid system more like D-9 THC. CBD doesn’t bind as readily to the endocannabinoid system, making it non-intoxicating, although CBD can offer medicinal benefits for the consumer.

If you are looking for effects similar to THC but with a reduced potency, D 8 may be for you. If you seek relief from certain symptoms and don’t want to get intoxicated, you may want to try a CBD product.

How to Dose Δ8

For most people, especially moderate or experienced consumers, D 8 will feel much weaker than regular THC. If you are new to cannabis, D8 could affect you strongly—it depends on your body chemistry. 

To give a sense of Delta 8’s potency relative to THC, D8 edible producers commonly measure and dose their gummies at more than twice the strength of THC gummies: 

  • THC gummies often come in 10mg gummies—people may take half a gummy or a full gummy for a dose, either 5mg or a full 10mg.
  • Delta-8 gummies often come in 25mg gummies—so half of one would be 12.5mg, and a full gummy is 25mg. 

In creating these standard gummies, producers are calculating that Delta 8 is less than half as strong as regular THC, so a 25mg D 8 gummy might equate to the effects of a 10mg THC gummy. 

Again, it’s important to note that very little research has been done on Delta 8. We don’t know much about how strong its effects are, and how it affects the body. As with any cannabis product, the chemical profile of the cannabis, your body’s chemistry, your tolerance level, your set and setting, and the amount you take all affect how you will feel. 

It’s always recommended to take a little bit at first and then wait for the onset of effects before taking more. The consumption method will affect how quickly you feel those effects. If you’re vaping Delta 8, you should feel the effects within ten minutes or less; if taking edibles, wait at least an hour or two before taking more.

Is Delta 8 THC Legal?

The short answer is yes, but it’s not quite that simple. For the purposes of this article, we will only be focusing on the United States. The 2018 farm bill legalized hemp and all derivatives, isomers, and cannabinoids in hemp provided the final product has less than 0.3% D9THC, effectively making D8-THC federally legal when derived from hemp. As per the farm bill, hemp is defined as: ‘‘SEC. 297A. DEFINITIONS. ‘‘In this subtitle: ‘‘(1) HEMP.—The term ‘hemp’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a D-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.

Some may say Delta-8 currently exists in a legal gray area. 

Few state laws specifically address D8 at this time and delta 8 thc legal status. Most state laws that pertain to marijuana or cannabis use language that covers marijuana, cannabis, THC, CBD, or D-9 tetrahydrocannabinol. There are 11 states where D 8 is believed to be illegal according to state law. (See list below, under “Can I get D 8 in the mail?”) 

The Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has, in a proposed rule, indirectly classified D 8 as a Schedule I controlled substance, which would make it federally illegal. That rule is not yet final. 

D8THC is commonly sourced from hemp, not cannabis, which is why it’s currently sold in many states where cannabis is illegal. To be more specific, nearly all D 8 THC currently on the market is derived from CBD extracted from federally legal hemp. 

This can be a little confusing because hemp is, technically, a cannabis plant that contains less than 0.3%. When we talk about “cannabis,” though, we’re commonly referring to cannabis plants with tetrahydrocanbodial content of 0.3% or higher.  

The 2018 farm bill, a federal act passed by Congress, legalized hemp in the United States. That act defines hemp as: “All derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a D-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent.” This language makes D 8 legal, because it does not contain any D-9THC. 

However, some states have chosen not to adopt this specific language of the farm bill in their own state laws, making D 8 illegal in certain states. Producers and retailers of D 8 sell only to states that have laws mirroring the farm bill’s language. Even then, some producers may only sell to certain states based on their own interpretation of a state’s laws. 

Additionally, in August 2020, the DEA released an Interim Final Rule (IFR), on Delta 8 Legality a document meant to update and confirm the differences between hemp and cannabis. That interim rule said: “All synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinol remain Schedule I controlled substances,” which would make D 8 illegal because it is a tetrahydrocannabinol that is extracted, or synthetically derived. 

So whether the farm bill’s language stands, which outlaws plants with more than 0.3% D-9THC, or the new IFR language is adopted, which bans all tetrahydrocannabinol, will determine the fate of D 8. The DEA’s IFR is open for review until October 2021, and until then, D 8’s federal legality remains hazy

Delta 8 THC Flower

Delta 8 THC Flower for Sale

Can I get Delta 8 in the mail? What States is Delta 8 THC Allowed?

You can receive D 8 in the mail depending on which state you live in. D-8 isn’t legal in all states, and different producers may choose not to ship to certain states because of its hazy legality. Be sure to check a producer’s website to see if they ship to your state. Surprisingly, states that have legal, adult-use cannabis laws don’t always allow D 8. 

Commonly, producers will ship Delta 8 to all states except these:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah

How is Delta 8 made?

Delta-8 is found in trace amounts in cannabis and hemp plants, and as hemp is legal to grow anywhere in the US and more readily available, the cannabinoid is often sourced from that. 

Commonly, CBD is extracted from hemp and refined into an isolate, and then CBD isolate is synthesized into D8. As such, D8 requires more processing and is more expensive to make than CBD, but this increased production cost is balanced out by the high demand for it.

How to Find Good, Safe D8

As D8 is relatively new to the market, it may be challenging to find products that are what they say they are and actually contain D8. When shopping for D8 products, check out a producer’s website to see if they have information on how they source and create their products.

Quality, tested products usually have a QR code or batch number on the box that allows you to look up test results on the producer’s website. Stay away from products that aren’t tested or have questionable test results, as you won’t know if they even contain d 8, and they could potentially contain harmful substances.