A couple of years ago, many things changed for the hemp-loving community thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp in the United States, making all the components in the plant, except for Delta 9 THC, completely legal. It was a giant leap forward for the future of hemp-derived products. It also made space for more research on a topic that was still laying in a very shapeless, gray area. Let’s see what this legislation changed for the status of Delta 8 THC – the less-potent, yet very interesting cannabis component worthy of praise.
Although the 2018 legislation was indeed a game-changer, it didn’t start there. The 2018 Farm Bill was, in a way, a ‘sequel’ to the 2014 Farm Bill. The 2014 Farm Bill took the first steps by drawing a line between cannabis and industrial hemp. Separating them allows more research to be done on hemp, and encourages new hemp-derived products to appear on the market.
With the 2018 Farm Bill, every component of the hemp plant, including Delta 8 THC, was federally legal to use. A few states don’t allow Delta 8 THC sales, and it remains illegal in these states even today. The only condition was that these products contain less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC. More importantly, the 2018 Farm Bill made space for more changes to happen in the future of marijuana decriminalization – for example, the 2020 MORE Act shows the rapid progress that has been made in regards to cannabis!
Why would Delta 8 THC be legalized, and Delta 9 THC not? The answer lies in their different chemical structures. Delta 8 THC has a double bond on the eighth carbon chain, and Delta 9 THC on the ninth. Consequently, this double bond positioning makes the former less potent, and apparently, ‘less psychoactive’ than the latter – which is why we have yet to see the legalization of Delta 9 THC.
Where is Delta 8 THC Illegal?
Delta 8 THC is not legal for sale in these states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island, and Utah.
A Bit More About Delta 8 THC
With the number of studies on hemp growing, it’s becoming apparent that cannabinoids present in it can have significant effects.
Many people prefer Delta 8 THC because it’s weaker, it’s improbable that it would produce the side effects that might appear when consuming Delta 9 THC. Still, it’s good to keep in mind that this wholly depends on one’s individual tolerance level. Some studies suggest Delta 8 might be helpful for cancer patients, but more research is required to prove this statement. The general benefits of using products that contain Delta 8 THC are its anti-emetic effect (can help with nausea), as well as its potential to help with feelings of stress or discomfort.
Delta 8 products are convenient for people who find that Delta 9 is slightly strong and too sedating for them. It’s also a much cheaper option for those simply looking to enjoy the effects of THC stress-free (it’s federally legal!)
Although Delta 8 THC products are still federally legal and we hope that this will remain unchanged, there is still a slight possibility that we could face some restrictions in the future if the manufacturing, processing, and distribution of these products are prohibited. On a brighter note, the future could also bring exciting changes for hemp – we can’t wait to see what happens!
– Rolling Stone: How Some THC Is Legal — For Now
– Brookings.edu: The Farm Bill, hemp legalization and the status of CBD: An explainer