Delta-8 products have become incredibly popular over the last couple of years, and for a good reason. Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol, also referred to as Delta-8 THC, or just D8 has been shown to offer the same type of high as the more common THC products but with a more profound sense of relaxation and less reported anxiety. These positive effects alone would be enough to justify this cannabinoid’s popularity. Still, there is also another reason so many have gotten interested in D8 -it has lived within a legal grey area for quite some time. It is often available in areas where general marijuana products are prohibited.
But why is this? Why is Delta-8 allowed when its cousin Delta-9 (what we think of as standard THC) faces so many legal challenges? And which states and regions are still banning one and allowing the other? This article will answer these questions and give you a better idea of what Delta-8 is and how it has slipped through so many legal loopholes.
What is Delta-8, and How is it Different?
Delta-8 is one of over a hundred cannabinoids that are found within the Cannabis plant. It is very similar chemically to Delta-9, which is the molecule that is often used synonymously with THC and the ability to get one high and provide many of the therapeutic effects we seek.
The big difference between Delta 8 and what came before is the prevalence of the molecules within the Cannabis plant. Legally speaking, the United States legal federal legal system draws a line between Cannabis and marijuana using the levels of THC as the differentiating factor. In marijuana (the plant varieties that will get you high), you find THC levels above .3%, while in legal hemp, you have THC levels below .3%. Delta-8 is found in both plants in very small amounts.
Hemp is a cannabis plant that has less than .3% THC, while marijuana is a cannabis plant with over that amount of psychoactive ingredients. Hemp products are allowed under federal law, while marijuana is not.
The ability to effectively extract Delta-8 is relatively new, and recent advances have allowed brands to extract meaningful amounts of Delta-8 from the hemp plant. This means that although D8 has psychoactive effects like a marijuana product, it is still technically a hemp product.
In turn, this has allowed classical THC-like products utilizing Delta-8 to be sold in places where marijuana cannot be otherwise found. Of course, after a while, lawmakers began to catch on, and in many places, new laws are being passed to try and limit the sales of Delta-8. This creates a very confusing environment with potential buyers often asking, “Is Delta 8 Legal Where I Live?”
In August of 2020, the DEA released a ruling saying that “synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinol remains a schedule 1 controlled substance.” But It is still not clear if Delta8 is considered “synthetically derived.”
Where Delta-8 Laws are Currently in Effect
Figuring out where Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol is currently legal at the state level throughout the country is a complicated issue. Currently, there are multiple stages in the process of debating and possibly passing new laws regarding Delta-8 products. In Washington State, the Liquor and Cannabis Board clarified that they plan to define and enforce a ban on Delta8 products. Other states also consider doing the same, such as Alabama, Oregon, and North Dakota. There are currently 12 states that have clear bans in place regarding D8 products. Right now, you are unable to buy Delta-8 in Mississippi, Kentucky, Delaware, Arizona, Alaska, Arkansas, Utah, Rhode Island, Iowa, Idaho, Colorado, and Montana.
It isn’t all moving in the direction of prohibition. However, other states like Florida have made clear they will be allowing Delta-8 items, and many other states across the country will likely be watching to see how these different legal approaches work.
Delta 8 THC Offerings are Still Likely to Expand
While the majority of the states addressing Delta8 are currently taking actions to prohibit it in some way, the future for the compound is still looking bright without any further federal actions. Much like marijuana prohibition in the past, scientific studies and proof of medicinal benefits will likely help move public sentiment (and thus state lawmakers) towards approval and legality. Delta8 has already shown itself to be just as useful, and perhaps better, than other marijuana compounds assisting cancer patients and other individuals with chronic pain and nausea issues.
The Science aside, there are two trains of thought about where the Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol market will go:
- One on hand, It is doubtful that we will see state lawmakers move forward en masse with bans while the Science continues to demonstrate the benefits of D8. More studies are in progress, and the results will likely dictate what happens with Delta-8 throughout the rest of the country.
- However, right now, the booming market is based on the legal grey area the compound has sat in. It is possible that the federal government clarifies D8 as a schedule 1 substance, which would more or less kill the market for the product, even if some states were willing to signal acceptance.
We Will Continue to Carefully Follow the Cannabis Industry
We should have a much better idea of where the future lies as we get farther into 2021. It is unlikely we will go another year without further clarification on the federal government and DEA’s stance on the many Delta products hitting store shelves. The longer that the industry goes without clarification the more that investors will pour into these brands and the more any decision will either harm or benefit the finances of thousands of entrepreneurs.
At CBDOil.com, we will continue to follow the developments of the Delta-8 THC industry and report on any legal changes; as well as provide reviews of popular D8 products as they are released. We will also continue to carry the products we feel meet the highest standards of quality and safety for as long as possible. We are proud to offer these products to our customers who seek relief.