You have probably heard of, and maybe have used, cannabis before. Perhaps you have even used CBD. But, when it comes to delta-8, you might be feeling a bit curious. What is delta-8, and is it legal?
The answer is yes, it is legal in most states. It is a milder form of delta-9 and is stronger than CBD. You get many beneficial cannabinoids and a small, smooth high. Delta-8 is all you need to feel relaxed, get a nice buzz, sleep well, and feel creative and motivated to get things done.
Delta-9 is the main cannabinoid with psychotropic effects of cannabis, and it is classified as a Controlled Substance. Delta-8 exists in a legal gray area at the moment, which can leave buyers confused.
All of this comes from cannabis being in two forms — illegal marijuana and hemp, which is perfectly legal. This is all thanks to marijuana having delta-9 THC.
So, hemp extract is legal according to the law, which makes delta-8 products permitted. Also, these products are crafted to have less than 0.3% delta-9 THC, which makes them legal federally.
So, let us take a closer look.
What Is Delta-8 THC, and How Does It Differ from Delta-9?
To kick off this briefing, we must first come to know why THC is so sensitive to legal rules and regulation.
THC affects our brains, as it alters our minds and moods and is known as a psychoactive substance.
The properties of this cannabinoid are what make it highly sought-after. The side effects associated with this cannabinoid (and even delta-8) are mostly positive, but some are highly negative.
For instance, if a person is genetically predisposed to schizophrenia, their conditions could develop faster under the effects of delta-9.
The discovery of the cannabinoid delta-8 is a happy medium. When you decide to use delta-8, you can enjoy a mild psychotropic effect, but minus the adverse and drastic highs of delta-9.
After all, the regulations surrounding delta-9 are in place thanks to its highly adverse effects. For example, delta-9 may cause paranoia, anxiety, strong alterations of one’s mood, and can make you feel ravenously hungry. Meanwhile, delta-8 does not really do any of that, and only makes you feel a bit hungry.
What Are the Differences Between the Dual Compounds?
Delta-8 has a similar molecular makeup as delta-9. However, the C-bonding qualities are different. Each of these compounds are chemical analogues of one another.
Therefore, no matter the carbon bonding differences, they are both psychoactive and have similar effects.
But, what causes the effects to be so different is the positioning of the double bond (it is a C=C type) within the molecular structure.
The use of the term “delta” in describing these cannabinoids refers to the dual bond held among a pair of carbon atoms, plus the number shows what position they hold in the dual bond.
How Different Are Their Effects?
As with delta-9, delta-8 has some good and bad effects that occur when people take it.
While delta-8 has some of the positive effects with delta-9, such as being analgesic, appetite-stimulating, neuroprotective, muscle relaxing, and antiemetic, it does not make you hallucinate, paranoid, or anxiety-ridden.
This is why delta-8 is so popular, as you can still get high and relax, but you do not need to worry about being anxious or feeling paranoid. It can help you come down after a busy or stressful day at work or help you sleep.
However, you must be careful when taking delta-8. Do not drive or operate machinery, and take only the dose as recommended by the manufacturer. Contact medical help right away if you experience an elevated heart rate, anxiety, issues with your concentration, or other undesirable feelings, as you may be experiencing side effects.
It is recommended you talk to a doctor before using delta-8, as he or she can help you see if it is right for you. You can also verify that it will not interact with any medications you might be taking.
Now, onto the main question: Is delta-8 THC legal?
Will you end up facing legal consequences for consuming or having such a product? Let us answer that now.
Is Delta-8 Legal?
The truth is the legality surrounding delta-8 is complicated and changing fast. In short, it depends on your state on whether or not it is legal.
One thing to look at is the Farm Bill of 2018. This bill states that all products derived from hemp are in compliance with federal law. According to this law, as long as the delta-8 THC is derived from hemp that is natural and contains less than 0.3% delta-9 THC, it remains perfectly legal.
Some will call this a loophole, but others see it as the way to enjoy a high without breaking the law.
What the DEA Says
Last year, the DEA came forward with its updated rulings involving marijuana and hemp scheduling.
This ruling had the cannabis enthusiasts of the U.S. worried that delta-8 would be outlawed, and panic ran rampant. Growers and manufacturers feared their operations would be deemed illegal overnight, leaving them jobless and possibly facing trouble with the law.
If delta-8 were to be a Schedule One controlled substance, the worry of being prosecuted and charged with a felony would inhibit people from purchasing any product with this cannabinoid.
However, do not get fearful just yet. All that ruling was merely the DEA codifying what they already stated in the Farm Bill of 2018. This new IFR (Interim Final Rule) does not prohibit the deriving of cannabinoids from hemp plants, nor does it render delta-8 THC products illegal.
What it did was modify the meaning of various terms, such as tetrahydrocannabinol and marijuana.
So, even though the DEA seems to categorize delta-8 THC as a Controlled Substance, the Farm Bill of 2018 says that any variety of tetrahydrocannabinol extracted naturally from a hemp plant that has 0.3% THC or less is federally legal.
So, let us break it down:
- THC that occurs naturally in cannabis is not part of controlled substances if they do not have any more than 0.3% delta-9 THC.
- Any cannabinoid good with over 0.3% delta-9 THC is considered a controlled substance.
- All THCs that are synthetically derived are considered controlled substances, regardless of its delta-9 content.
Aside from its delta-8 rule, the DEA also has something to discuss about WIPHE, or Work in Progress Hemp Extract. This refers to hemp that is not processed all of the way, which is not suitable for consumption by humans.
The DEA actually outlawed WIPHE. This contains THC in amounts higher than 0.3% THC. It should be noted that many hemp-derived goods that are in compliance with the law come from this variety of hemp.
WIPHE is critical in the manufacture of delta-8, CBD, and other hemp products we know and love. So, while the products themselves are legal, making them may not be.
This is an issue because, although it is a derivative of hemp, WIPHE goes above the 0.3% cutoff limit, deeming it a Schedule One substance and, therefore, unusable even if the hemp it is made from contains the legal limit of delta-9 THC.
Murkiness Surrounding Synthetically-Made Delta-8 THC
The law says any type of delta-8 derived from marijuana or synthetic delta-8 is illegal because it would have incredibly high amounts of delta-9 THC, making it illegal. It could also contain chemicals (even ones that are artificial) that would not be suitable for consumption by humans.
Delta-8 may be created synthetically using nothing but chemicals or the isomerization of CBD or delta-9 THC. In both forms of synthetic creation, delta-8 is considered illegal.
With that being said, deriving delta-8 naturally is not easy, and because it occurs in such small amounts naturally, it would become expensive and time-consuming to create products with it.
So, to steer clear of legal trouble, businesses make delta-8 THC goods by isomerizing CBD into delta-8 because CBD is legal, unlike delta-9.
There is no way authorities can tell whether or not manufacturers derive delta-8 right from hemp or synthetically from other cannabinoids. This dilemma has been the pain point between the DEA and the hemp industry for a few years.
Is Delta-8 Legal in My State?
There are 15 states in which delta-8 is restricted or banned. Five states are currently reviewing its legality.
Restrictions or bans are in effect in Washington, Vermont, Utah, Rhode Island, North Dakota, New York, Montana, Mississippi, Iowa, Idaho, Kentucky, Delaware, Colorado, Arkansas, Arizona, and Alaska.
Oregon, Oklahoma, Michigan and Illinois, and Alabama are currently reviewing regulatory circulations or legislative bans. Your best bet is to check with local laws in your state or county to see if delta-8 is permitted.
Legal Delta-8 Brands That Can Ship in Legal States:
So, if you have verified that delta-8 is legal in your area and you are permitted to take it as per your doctor, it is time to look into the best delta-8 brands.
Remember, delta-8 only recently came onto the scene. As a result, many companies have popped up proclaiming to offer the very best in delta-8. However, you do not want to buy from just any of these brands, because some of them could be offering impure or weak products.
But, the brands mentioned below are perfect for people interested in delta-8. BudPop is an amazing brand offering delicious gummies and smokable flowers in a variety of flavors.
Exhale Wellness is a maker of quality tinctures, gummies, smokable flowers, and even vape carts. Moreover, Delta EFFEX offers similar goods, but their selection is a bit large, which can be overwhelming to new buyers.
Read more about these brands below.
#1. Exhale Wellness
Exhale Wellness is on a mission to supply you with the highest quality and best-tasting delta-8 goods on the market. Their products are all backed by recent laboratory testing that shows you they are pure, potent, and free of harmful chemicals or solvents. These products are full-spectrum delta-8 that other companies just do not offer.
Moreover, their product selection is out of this world. They have some great delta-8 gummies for sale, which are perfect for people who prefer not to smoke or would rather use an edible to get their buzz on.
The gummies are vegan, fruit-flavored, and contain no artificial flavors or colors. Two potencies are available — 750mg or 1500mg. Subscription deals are available as well, so you never run out.
Next, Exhale Wellness offers the smokable flower. The bestseller in this category is Gorilla Glue, but there are plenty of other great flowers to enjoy. Beloved flavors like Sour Diesel and OG Kush are available, along with new favorites you may have never heard of like Cookies.
However, our all-time favorite is the pre-rolls due to their high-quality and convenience.
They come in a variety of flavors, including classic and new ones. You cannot go wrong with these potent and great-smelling smokables.
Delta-8 capsules are also available. These are vegan, easy to swallow, and are a great way to get your delta-8 relaxation discreetly. They look like regular supplements that can be placed inside a pill minder or next to your other supplements and vitamins. They are vegan capsules, and all you need is a simple glass of water to enjoy your relaxation wherever you like.
Lastly, we have the vapes. These taste great, hit hard, and the flavors include Sour Diesel, Fruity Cereal, Pineapple Express, Blackberry, and more.
So, go take a look. You are going to love the selection.
BudPop offers top-shelf products with attractive packaging. Their goods are limited, but the big advantage is that they can focus on providing quality items to interested buyers. They currently offer two tasty gummy varieties — Blue Dream Berry and Strawberry Gelato. These are vegan gummies that taste wonderful and will have you reaching for more. However, remember the serving size is only one gummy. They are also easy to share with all of your friends.
Additionally, they offer delicious vape carts for sale as well. These carts are sold in tasty flavors such as Grape Runtz and Strawberry Gelato, and they will provide relaxation. The carts are manufactured right in Nevada, U.S., and contain nothing harmful.
You will not find Vitamin E, PEG, PG, or VG in any of these carts. They are made of food-grade silicone and stainless steel and feature a special heater designed just for hemp. The cart size is universal and will fit the vast majority of 510 vape pens.
BudPop takes extra care to ensure the quality of their cartridges. They check closely to make sure you get the concentrated delta-8 you desire, as well as strain-specific terps that bring you the experience and taste you want with every puff. Moreover, you will find 800mg of delta-8 THC in every cartridge, guaranteed.
Next up, we have to talk about BudPop’s smokable flowers. These are sweet and have just the right amount of stickiness to give the perfect amount of potency. The high from these flowers is delightfully smooth, and the taste is second to none.
The Northern Lights are just as you expect them to be — spicy on the draw, smooth on the exhale. Some say it is good for insomnia, stress, and depression. The Cookies strain is sweet and will leave you feeling uplifted and euphoric, making it a great choice for your days off.
#3. Delta EFFEX
Delta EFFEX is a company that has been making delta-8 products since the cannabinoid first became widely known. They have all of the typical things you have come to expect from an online smoke shop. They have vape carts, gummies, tinctures, hemp flowers, and a few delta-10 products to pick from as well.
These are well-made, standard items that will get you the buzz you want. The flavors are ones that you can commonly find, with the exception of the rainbow pack, which contains a mystery flavor we have come to enjoy trying to guess about.
They have a pretty good selection of delta-8 cartridges and disposables. There is a large variety of flavors available, and they carry both Indica and Sativa strains.
Smokable hemp flowers are also available. The flavor selection for the flower is rather limited, with only Bubba OG Kush and Sour Diesel offered. These are not bad strains by any means, but those of you looking to try something new should check out BudPop for their Cookies strain.
One thing that made us feel concerned was the lack of info about where their hemp comes from. We searched around the site but could not find much of anything about the hemp source. The products are not unsafe, as indicated by their lab test results, but knowing where the hemp comes from is important. For example, farms in the U.S. are held to stricter standards than overseas farms.
All in all, Delta EFFEX has some items that are worth checking out. You might also review their Learning Center for further information on delta-8 and delta-10. The prices are fair, and the reviews indicate customers are satisfied, so give it a try.
In Conclusion: Is Delta-8 Legal to Buy Online?
We love delta-8, and since it is legal just about anywhere except the states mentioned above, it is OK to enjoy it in whatever form works for you.
But, the real question is, where will you get yours? In our opinion, Exhale Wellness and BudPop are the two strongest contenders here. We were impressed by the layouts of their website, both of which were well organized and fast loading.
We also liked the availability of lab tests and the comprehensive product descriptions as well as the selection of goods and the hemp sources, all of which were U.S.-based.
Delta EFFEX is our second-place choice because, although their delta-8 items are good, their website is flashy and contains an overwhelming amount of stuff for sale.
While we are not trying to speak poorly about Delta EFFEX, or any other brand, we do think that BudPop and Exhale Wellness are the stronger choices here.
Whichever you choose, enjoy it and be safe.