Blog

Is Delta-8 Legal or Not?: A Comprehensive Guide

Dedicated CBD consumers may be wondering about the new compound that’s crowding the shelves at local outlets and dispensaries. For herb connoisseurs living in states with outdated cannabis laws, delta-8 THC edibles and other products may seem like a dream come true. But there’s one question on the minds of everyone these days: Is delta-8 really legal?

Join us as we examine the facts about delta-8 THC and its legal status.

What is Delta-8 THC?

If you’ve never heard of delta-8 THC, you’re not alone. Delta-8 was merely a blip on the cannabis research radar until Congress passed the landmark 2018 Farm Bill. These days, delta-8 seems to be popping up in any shop that carries CBD products. Unfortunately, most consumers still aren’t sure what the compound is or what it does, so we’ll break it down for you.

Delta-8 THC is a minor cannabinoid with a similar molecular structure to delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of traditional cannabis. The only difference in the chemical makeup of the two compounds is a shift of one double bond. But what a difference that double bond makes!

Regular delta-9 THC’s structure allows it to create a strong link to CB1 receptors in the brain, producing the compound’s characteristic “high.” As the name suggests, traditional delta-9 THC features a double bond on the ninth atom in the compound’s carbon chain. Delta-8 possesses the double bond on the eighth carbon atom, modifying the compound’s overall form. The transformed shape of the delta-8 molecule doesn’t fit as easily with CB1 receptors, which prevents it from stimulating them as strongly as regular THC does.

Delta-8 Effects

Delta-8’s weaker bond with CB1 receptors results in milder effects. According to Harvard Medical School’s cannabis expert, Dr. Peter Grinspoon, delta-8 THC “has a portion but not all of the psychoactivity of delta-9.” 

Most consumers of delta-8 edibles and vape products report a relaxing, clear-headed high with no intense psychoactive effects like paranoia or excessive sedation.

Potential Therapeutic Benefits of Delta-8 THC 

The National Cancer Institute lists delta-8 THC as “an analogue of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties.” In layman’s terms, delta-8 may be helpful for combatting nausea and vomiting, easing anxiety, stimulating appetite, soothing body aches, and protecting brain cells.

The Federal Legal Status of Delta-8 THC

When the United States Congress passed the 2018 Farm Bill, they legalized industrial hemp, which the law defines as a cannabis plant containing less than .3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Additionally, the federal guidelines allow for the possession and sale of products derived from industrial hemp as long as they also contain less than .3% delta-9 THC. The allowance includes alternative cannabinoids, such as CBD, CBG, CBN, and delta-8 THC. 

At first glance, the law seems relatively straightforward. However, these alternative cannabinoids can be extracted from both legal industrial hemp and federally illegal “marijuana” plants that have more than the allotted .3% delta-9 THC. In short, CBD and delta-8 products derived from traditional cannabis plants containing more than .3% delta-9 THC are technically illegal.

Consumers can take some precautions to ensure that the products they buy are legal. First, make sure that you buy your CBD oil, delta-8 edibles and other hemp-derived products from a reputable manufacturer that provides current lab reports for all of the products they sell. Second, keep a copy of the lab results, called a Certificate of Analysis (COA), alongside the product. This practice will help you avoid misunderstandings with law enforcement, especially while you travel. 

Is Delta-8 Legal in Your State?

Even though hemp-derived delta-8 THC is federally legal, individual states may have stricter laws regulating hemp-derived products. You can check the list below to find out if delta-8 is legal where you live. Please keep in mind that hemp and cannabis laws are changing rapidly, and you should check with your state and local authorities to verify the legal status of delta-8 in your area. This article is meant for educational purposes and should not be considered a substitute for professional legal advice.

Alabama

Delta-8 THC is legal in Alabama. The state follows the same guidelines as the federal government regarding hemp-derived compounds, such as delta-8.

Alaska

No, you cannot legally purchase or possess delta-8 in Alaska. State laws include all forms of tetrahydrocannabinol in the list of controlled substances.

Arizona

Formerly, delta-8 THC had been illegal according to Arizona state law. When Arizona passed Proposition 207 in November of 2020, the state legalized cannabis products for adult recreational use. Recreational cannabis sales to adults over 21 began in January of 2021.

Arkansas

No, the state’s Industrial Hemp Act prohibits all tetrahydrocannabinols, including delta-8 THC.

California

Delta-8 THC is legal in California. The Golden State led the nation in creating the first statewide medical marijuana program and was among the first states to legalize adult recreational cannabis sales.

Colorado

Yes, you can buy delta-8 THC legally in Colorado. The state was the second in the nation to legalize adult recreational cannabis possession and sales.

Connecticut

Yes, you can legally purchase delta-8 THC in Connecticut. The Constitution State follows the federal guidelines defined in the 2018 Agricultural Act regarding hemp-derived substances.

Delaware

No, Delaware includes all tetrahydrocannabinols on Schedule I of the state’s Uniform Controlled Substances Act.

Florida

Yes, consumers can legally buy delta-8 THC in Florida.

Georgia

Yes, Georgia allows its residents to possess and purchase delta-8 THC legally.

Hawaii

Yes, hemp-derived delta-8 THC remains legal in the Hawaiian Islands.

Idaho

No, Idaho’s Schedule I list of controlled substances includes all tetrahydrocannabinols.

Illinois

Yes, Illinois legalized recreational cannabis sales on June 25, 2019.

Indiana

Yes, Indiana’s state laws align with federal hemp regulations.

Iowa

Yes, Iowa adheres to the same guidelines as the federal Farm Bill.

Kansas

Yes, residents and visitors in the Sunflower State can purchase delta-8 legally.

Kentucky

Yes, you can have delta-8 products shipped to Kentucky.

Louisiana

Yes, hemp-derived delta-8 THC is legal in Louisiana.

Maine

Yes, you can possess delta-8 THC in Maine.

Maryland

Yes, all hemp-derived products with less than .3% delta-9 THC are legal in Maryland.

Massachusetts

Yes, Massachusetts law allows the same hemp-derived substances as the federal government.

Michigan

Michigan presents conflicting laws regarding hemp-derived products like delta-8 THC. We suggest that you double-check with state and local authorities to find out if you can legally possess delta-8 in the state.

Minnesota

Yes, Minnesota’s laws on hemp-derivatives mirror those defined by the Farm Bill.

Mississippi

No, Mississippi law considers all tetrahydrocannabinols as prohibited hallucinogenic substances.

Missouri

Yes, delta-8 is legal according to Missouri’s regulations.

Montana

No, Montana law includes all tetrahydrocannabinols on its list of dangerous Schedule I drugs.

Nebraska

Yes, Nebraska’s Hemp Farming Act allows for hemp-derived products, including delta-8 THC. 

Nevada

Yes, Nevada legalized recreational cannabis in 2017.

New Hampshire

Yes, New Hampshire residents can legally purchase hemp-derived delta-8 THC edibles and other products.

New Jersey

Yes, New Jersey follows federal guidelines regarding hemp-derived products. Additionally, New Jersey voters opted to open the state to recreational sales for adults over 21 in the November 2020 elections.

New Mexico 

Yes, New Mexico’s hemp regulations allow for legal delta-8 products.

New York

Yes, The Empire State’s hemp laws follow federal regulations.

North Carolina

Yes, you can legally purchase delta-8 products if you live in North Carolina.

North Dakota

Yes, residents of North Dakota can buy delta-8 products.

Ohio

Yes, Ohio’s hemp laws allow for legal delta-8.

Oklahoma

Yes, you can have delta-8 edibles shipped to Oklahoma.

Oregon

Yes, Oregon residents can legally purchase delta-8 products. Additionally, the Beaver State has recently decriminalized small quantities of all drugs.

Pennsylvania

Yes, Pennsylvanians can legally buy delta-8 THC in the Keystone State.

Rhode Island

Consumers can’t legally purchase delta-8 in Rhode Island. Unfortunately, delta-8 has been included in the state’s definition of illegal THC products.

South Carolina

Yes, South Carolina follows federal regulations for hemp-derived products.

South Dakota

Yes, hemp-derived alternative cannabinoids like delta-8 are legal in South Dakota.

Tennessee

Yes, you can purchase delta-8 products if you reside in Tennessee.

Texas

Yes, the Lone Star State allows all hemp-derived products with less than .3% delta-9 THC.

Utah

No, Utah state laws prohibit all tetrahydrocannabinols.

Vermont

Yes, you can have delta-8 edibles shipped to your home in Vermont.

Virginia

Yes, Virginia residents have access to delta-8 products.

Washington

Yes, the Evergreen State was the first to legalize recreational cannabis in 2012.

West Virginia

Yes, you can have delta-8 shipped to West Virginia.

Wisconsin

Yes, Wisconsin’s regulations allow for legal delta-8 products.

Wyoming

Yes, hemp-derived delta-8 THC is legal in Wyoming.

Hopefully, we’ve cleared up some of your concerns about the legal status of delta-8THC. If you would like help choosing a delta-8 product, please contact us at Tillmans Tranquils. We offer free U.S. shipping on orders over $65.