Those looking to use THC for medicinal or recreational purposes have long been subject to state and federal laws outlawing cannabis and its derivatives. And while cannabis has been decriminalized in some states recently, legal use of delta-9 THC remains an illegal substance under federal law. Luckily, there’s a legal alternative to delta-9 that’s legal under both federal and state law in areas where cannabis has been decriminalized. That alternative is delta-8 THC.
The Difference Between Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC
Delta-9 THC is the cannabinoid that’s most commonly present in cannabis products. It’s the psychoactive ingredient, and the one that’s most often responsible for the health benefits reported by many cannabis users. Delta-9 THC is also known for causing some negative side effects, such as paranoia and anxiety in some users. On the other hand, delta-8 THC provides a similar feeling without negative side effects. Most users report feeling lucid and an enhanced ability to focus. While delta-8 THC does have psychoactive properties, it’s a little less potent than delta-9 THC and because of that, remains legal under federal law and some state laws.
What’s the Law When It Comes To Cannabis Products?
In 2018, the U.S. government passed the Farm Bill. This bill legalized all hemp production, as well as all cannabis derivatives that contain less than 0.3% THC. This means that some cannabis products, including CBD, are now legal under federal law. While delta-9 THC remains illegal due to its high THC content, delta-8 THC is not considered illegal under U.S. law. That being said, some states have not yet decriminalized cannabis products and therefore, delta-8 THC and all other cannabis derivatives do remain illegal in some states.
State Legislation Regarding Delta-8 THC
Even though most cannabis products, including delta-8 THC, are legal under federal law, states in which cannabis has not yet been decriminalized are still able to prosecute at the state level when individuals are caught buying, selling, or using delta-8 THC and other hemp products. As such, it’s vital that both businesses that deal in cannabis products and the consumers who buy them are aware of state laws and are careful to abide by them.
States that have not yet decriminalized cannabis include:
Although most other states, including Guam, have decriminalized the use, sale, and possession of hemp-derived products to some extent, it’s important to also note that each state has its own laws when it comes to how much a business can sell in a single transaction, as well as how much an individual may possess. Before you begin stocking up on your favorite products, it’s wise to familiarize yourself with the laws in your own state.
The Future of Cannabis Law in the United States
While decriminalization has been a huge trend since former President Trump passed the Farm Bill, there is still hope for complete legalization in states across the U.S. According to Cannabis Business Times, there is some indication that states such as New York and New Mexico may be looking towards legalization as soon as this year.
Regardless of when, and if, full legalization occurs, it’s a relief to know that across most of America, the benefits of delta 8 THC can be enjoyed without legal repercussions.