Is Delta-8 THC Legal?
The legal status of delta-8 THC is hotly debated. Technically speaking, delta-8 derived from hemp is federally legal.
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and hemp-derived products across the nation, under the following definition:
“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 delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
As we can see, the definition makes no mention of delta-8 and only puts a restriction on delta-9 THC levels. That’s because federal lawmakers never foresaw that the cannabis industry would find a way to create intoxicating delta-8 products from hemp.
As it turns out, it’s possible to turn hemp-derived CBD into delta-8 THC through a chemical reaction, which is how most delta-8 products are made.
Such products fall under the above definition as long as they contain no more than 0.3% delta-9 THC, making them federally legal.
As a result of this legal loophole, delta-8 products have exploded in popularity, especially in states where recreational cannabis is prohibited. However, both state and federal governments have taken notice.
Many states recently passed legislation to ban or regulate hemp-derived delta-8 THC, with many others considering the same.
Additionally, the DEA added delta-8 THC to its list of Schedule 1 controlled substances, signaling its intent to treat it in the same way as delta-9 THC. However, this stance is only advisory unless adopted as an official ruling.
Another part of the debate is whether delta-8 made from CBD counts as synthetic or natural because synthetic cannabinoids are considered illegal.