Delta-8 THC is currently a topic of major debate in the United States. This naturally occurring compound found in cannabis plants was legalized in 2018 for sale at the federal level. Like its more well-known cousin, delta-9 THC, this psychoactive substance is drawing the attention of countless consumers and regulators alike. Let’s explore what delta-8 THC is, its current legal status, and some of its potential benefits for consumers.
Delta-8 THC belongs to a class of over 100 chemical compounds called cannabinoids. These chemicals are present to varying degrees in most members of the herbal Cannabis genus. Chief among them are cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN), and delta-9 THC.
Cannabinoids tend to have significant effects on the human nervous system. Some may induce powerful feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and general well-being. Others are non-psychoactive, meaning they produce little to no effect on the consumer’s cognitive functions. However, evidence suggests even non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBD may reduce pain, anxiety, and symptoms of depression.
Delta-8 THC is a minor psychoactive cannabinoid that naturally occurs in cannabis plants. It tends to produce relaxation, euphoria, pain relief, an altered sense of time, impaired short-term memory, and difficulties with concentration. While delta-8 THC may be extracted directly from almost any cannabis plant, most of it’s now derived from industrial hemp—varieties of cannabis cultivated for fiber, seeds, and CBD oil.
Delta-8 vs. Delta-9
Delta-8 THC is similar to delta-9 THC in terms of its chemical structure, but it produces notably different effects. For one, it tends to be less potent than comparable doses of delta-9 THC. Consumers generally describe its effects as less intense, more mellow, and shorter in duration.
These cannabinoids are both psychoactive, even at low doses. However, delta-9 THC products can sometimes produce feelings of fear or paranoia when consumed in large amounts. While these feelings may be the result of cannabis’s dubious legal status, it’s worth noting that many consumers consistently report less anxiety and paranoia when using delta-8 products.
Another key difference is that delta-8 THC is legal at the federal level, while delta-9 THC is still classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (CSA). Lastly, it generally comes with fewer or more minor side effects compared to delta-9 THC, making it a more tolerable option for many consumers.
Is Delta-8 THC Legal in the United States?
The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Farm Act or Farm Bill) removed hemp and derivatives of low-delta-9 THC (<.03%) hemp from the definition of marijuana under the CSA. However, at least 20 states recently passed their own laws banning the sale or use of these products, even if they come from non-psychoactive hemp or CBD oil. Luckily, delta-8 THC still remains legal in the state of Nebraska.
Prior to the 2018 Farm Bill, the CSA didn’t differentiate between hemp and marijuana. All cannabis products were considered Schedule I controlled substances by the US Drug Enforcement Administration. What’s more, the current federal law expires in September 2023. This means the current federal legal status of delta-8 THC products will be subject to change soon.
Today, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authority over hemp and hemp-derived products. This means they must meet applicable standards and requirements just like any other FDA-regulated product. However, it’s important to note that neither hemp nor hemp-derived cannabinoid products may claim to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Delta-8 THC products are currently legal in the United States at the federal level. In fact, this ruling was recently upheld by the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals following the 2022 case of AK Futures v. Boyd Street. Today, delta-8 THC created from non-psychoactive hemp-derived CBD oil is a legal option for consumers who live in states where medical or recreational cannabis is still illegal.
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Cannabis use and laws will continue to be the subjects of debate for years to come. There are vocal voices on both sides of the issue, but the final verdict will likely fall to voters and legislatures in their respective states. Hopefully, heightened awareness and ongoing deliberation will pave the way toward federal cannabis legalization in the near future.
We believe all responsible adults deserve the right to live a joyful, relaxed, and pain-free life. That’s why we proudly offer the largest selection of premium CBD and delta-8 products in Nebraska. Whether you’re a seasoned connoisseur or curious first timer, our goal is to provide only the highest-quality products and information possible. We encourage you to contact us or visit one of our convenient locations today to learn more about cannabis, cannabinoids, and our popular hemp-derived products.