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Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC are legal in some states and illegal in others. The laws concerning marijuana and its derivative products are changing rapidly in the United States. As of June 1, 2023 Minnesota became the latest state to legalize marijuana for recreational use. In addition, to the changing laws, new THC products are arriving on the market that is not covered by traditional marijuana laws.
What is Delta-8 THC? What is Delta-9 THC?
Delta 8 THC is a chemical that is manufactured from cannabidiol (CBD), and CBD is typically derived from the Hemp plant. Delta 8 is not an illegal chemical under traditional marijuana laws, and it has been reported to produce a "high" sensation, contributing to its increasing popularity.
A recent Farm Bill passed by the Federal government legalized Hemp farming and Hemp products. Since Delta 8 THC starts as a legal product (hemp), many states have allowed its usage for now.
Delta 8 THC is a newer product and has not undergone extensive safety testing. The FDA has not evaluated or approved its use. Since Delta 8 is not regulated, it can potentially contain harmful chemicals from the manufacturing process. Another concern is that Delta 8 is often sold in packaging or products that can appeal to children, such as candy or cookies. Delta 8 is not recommended or safe for children.
Chemical Process and Conversion from Delta-9 THC
While Delta-8 THC occurs naturally in cannabis plants, it can also be synthesized from Delta-9 THC through a chemical process involving a reagent, such as ethanol.
Although this conversion process increases the accessibility of Delta-8 THC, it concurrently sparks concern about the safety and possible negative effects of the synthesized compound.
In What States Is Delta-8 THC Legal?
As of 2023, Delta-8 THC is legal in the following states:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- West Virginia
Delta 8-THC is also considered legal in the District of Columbia
In What States is Delta-8 THC Illegal?
Delta 8 THC is illegal in 14 states as of 2022:
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
Delta 8 THC's legality is unclear or may be regulated according to federal law in 4 states:
This means that in the remaining states, Delta 8 THC is either legal or regulated the same as recreational marijuana.
What is Delta 9 THC?
Delta 9 THC is a chemical compound found in cannabis. This is the chemical most commonly associated with the traditional psychoactive or "high" reaction when consuming marijuana. Delta 9 THC is found naturally in the cannabis plant and can be found in lower levels in hemp strains.
Where Is Delta 9 THC Legal?
Delta 9 THC is Federally illegal in every state. After the passage of the Federal 2018 Farm Bill, however, plants containing less than .03 percent Delta 9 THC by dry weight volume are considered industrial hemp and can be legally grown.
When the issue of medicinal marijuana or recreational marijuana is being discussed, the psychoactive chemical Delta 9 is typically what is most relevant.
Delta 9 THC is legal at the state level in any state that has legalized recreational marijuana. Some states have included Delta 9 in their medicinal marijuana legalizations as well.
Delta 9 THC greater than 0.3 percent is legal recreationally in:
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
Legality of Delta-8 THC: Controlled Substances and Agriculture Improvement Act
The legality of Delta-8 THC is a complex issue, with federal and state regulations playing a significant role in determining its status. At the federal level, Delta-8 THC derived from hemp is currently legal and unregulated, as per the 2018 Farm Bill.
Nevertheless, the FDA has neither evaluated nor approved any Delta-8 THC products and cautions about potential risks to public health.
Federal vs. State Regulations
While federal regulations, including the Controlled Substances Act, focus on controlled substances, state regulations concerning Delta-8 THC vary, with some states enacting bans on products containing the compound. The Drug Enforcement Administration plays a role in enforcing these federal regulations.
Verifying the laws in your state before purchasing Delta-8 THC products to ensure adherence and avoid any legal complications is of paramount importance.
Age Limits and Purchase Restrictions
As Delta-8 THC legality varies between states, so do age limits and purchase restrictions. Although there are no federal age restrictions for purchasing Delta-8 THC, state regulations may impose specific age requirements or purchase limitations.
Acquainting yourself with your state’s regulations to ensure responsible and lawful consumption of Delta-8 THC products is critical.
Can You Fly With Delta 8 THC?
Delta 8 THC is federally legal, so you can fly with Delta 8 THC products in the United States. As with all things, however, if you give a TSA agent a reason to be suspicious, you may undergo a search or questioning. It is advised to have a receipt or other documentation labeling that the product you are carrying is, in fact, Delta 8 and not another substance.
Flying outside the United States with Delta 8 THC may be much riskier and is not advised.
Can You Fly With Delta 9 THC?
It depends. The first restriction you may face is airline policy. Some airlines have a strict no-drug policy regardless of the State level of legality. You should check the airline's policy to determine if they will allow you to bring it on board.
Next, check to see if the state you are flying into has legalized Delta 9 and to what extent. You will want to make sure the specific products you have and the percentage of THC in those products are legalized in the state.
Suppose you are attempting to fly into a State where Delta 9 has not been legalized; bringing it along with you is not recommended. You could subject yourself to search, confiscation, and potentially criminal charges.
Can You Drive With Delta 8 THC?
Delta 8 THC is a synthetic product derived from CBD, and as of 2022, it has only been made illegal in 14 states. If you are driving in one of those states, you should not have Delta 8 THC with you.
Additionally, you should not use Delta 8 THC and drive even in the states where it is legal. Delta 8 does produce a sensation of being "high" and can cause impaired driving. Most states have driving laws that make driving illegal if you are impaired or under the influence of a substance that negatively affects your driving ability. You could be charged with OWI/DUI, among other charges, in most states if your driving skills are impaired from Delta 8 THC.