Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol might not be a new discovery, but the compound is making waves in the cannabis industry and the legal world. Delta-8 THC differs from delta-9 in a few key ways, but from a regulatory perspective, these compounds tend to be grouped together and seen with a critical eye by lawmakers.
Whether you’re already a regular user of delta-8 or you’ve only just been introduced, things are changing fast in terms of federal laws (and state regulations) around this substance. We’re in the midst of big changes in the cannabis world, and delta-8 is just one of many compounds to see the results of these shifts in real time.
So, what is the real story about delta-8 and its legality, and what does this mean for those who want to make it part of their daily regimen? We’ll cover all the basics of delta-8 and where it currently stands, giving you the insights you need to stay safe and smart.
What is delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 THC is an analog of delta-9 THC, which is the most widely-known psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant. While delta-9 is generally in the spotlight of the legal discussion around cannabis, delta-8 has made its way to the conversation thanks to its similar structure, name, and effects on the human body.
Just how does delta-8 THC differ from its big brother? The placement of its double bond is found on the eighth carbon atom of the molecule chain, while this bond is found on the ninth in delta-9. This might not seem like a major change to the untrained chemist, but in terms of effects and legal repercussions, this small shift can make all the difference.
With regard to popularity, delta-8 has only just begun its ascent in the cannabis market. While cannabidiol (CBD) and other hemp products have carved out considerable market share, delta-8 is now getting more attention for its unique qualities.
What are the benefits of delta-8 THC?
Hemp-derived delta-8 may not be as potent as delta-9 in terms of intoxicating effects, but it delivers considerable benefits nonetheless.
Users report that delta-8 offers soothing, relaxing sensations in the body and calms the mind, reducing discomfort and tension. It can also aid in reducing feelings of nausea or dizziness that may come with illness and other conditions. For those struggling to get sufficient nutrition when feeling sick, delta-8 can be useful in staying on track.*
Meanwhile, delta-8 is not as intoxicating as delta-9, putting it in a slightly different category for cannabis users. This is due to how delta-8 molecules primarily target CB2 receptors as opposed to the CB1 receptors affected by delta-9. The result is a smoother, more manageable “body high” that can help individuals maintain energy and clarity.
Delta-8 definitely has its upsides, and with so many new ways to experience delta-8 with gummies, tinctures, and more, the opportunities are endless.
Is delta-8 THC safe?
Delta-8 THC is widely considered safe, with clinical trials finding no major downsides or possible health risks. With that said, safe and responsible cannabis use is always important, even when dealing with THC isomers that may be less intoxicating than delta-9.*
Regardless of delta-8’s legality in your state, we recommend a thorough examination of a product’s ingredients, cannabinoid serving sizes, and the ratio of various cannabinoids in both a serving and entire package.
Much of the controversy surrounding delta-8 comes from manufacturers loading edibles with too much delta-8 and not accounting for it on the label in order to stay in the legal requirements. For this reason, third-party test results are very important. Stay safe by being aware of how much active ingredient you’re consuming with each bite and in total.
Where is delta-8 THC legal?
Delta-8 is technically legal on a federal level thanks to the introduction of the Farm Bill in 2018. This legislation legalized hemp products with a THC concentration of 0.3% or less, meaning that the vast majority of CBD goods achieved legality from the federal government.*
Because delta-8 is a derivative of CBD in many cases, it has been viewed as existing in a gray zone somewhere between CBD and delta-9 THC. This has puzzled many legal experts and led to mixed outcomes in terms of legalization and consensus. Still, many states are on board with full delta-8 legalization — check your state’s current laws and guidelines to confirm where the status of delta-8 stands.
Where is delta-8 THC illegal?
Delta-8 may have enjoyed legal status for longer in some regions, but as of the most recent updates, it has been made illegal in certain states. That said, it’s always best to double-check the current laws and regulations in your state to determine whether delta-8 THC is legal or not — times are changing (and changing quickly), so this is the best way to stay updated.
How are legal considerations for delta-8 THC changing?
Because delta-8 is still considered a newcomer to the cannabis space, things are changing fast from a legal standpoint. Many states that pushed for cannabis legalization are glad to have delta-8 in the mix, though concerns about the effects of synthetically produced delta-8 raises eyebrows in certain states.
There’s no telling what’s next for delta-8 and its legal status, but we anticipate that more states will introduce regulations that encourage transparency, quality control, and safe serving sizes. While some states treat delta-8 as a CBD alternative, others see it as a Schedule I drug — a middle ground must be found in order to move forward and keep people safe.*
At Sunmed, we firmly believe in the potential of delta-8 THC and created Above Live Resin Gummies as a showcase for delta-8’s capabilities. Our delta-8 is 100% plant-derived, meaning there's no synthetics, here! Not all manufacturers take this measured approach to provide a premium delta-8 product with 100% quality assurance. We hope to pioneer a path forward for delta-8 and other valuable cannabis compounds that can offer positive effects when sourced and served correctly.*
What is the history of regulations around delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 was only officially discovered in 1965, meaning that it has been an afterthought in the world of cannabis research for many decades. Only when a surplus of CBD inventory allowed producers to synthesize delta-8 at scale did new products make their way to store shelves.
Since delta-8 wasn’t widely known for so long, established cannabis laws did not directly address it. Furthermore, it flew under the radar when medical cannabis and recreational cannabis conversations sprung up in the 90s and 2000s.
All this adds up to an anomaly in both the cannabis industry and the legal world at large — a relatively unknown substance that doesn’t quite fit on the spectrum of industrial hemp and psychoactive drugs. However, as delta-8 THC products become more popular and retailers look to capitalize on the opportunities it provides, the legal conversation will continue to evolve, for better or worse.*
Can you bring delta-8 THC across state lines?
We only recommend taking delta-8 THC across state lines if you have already affirmed its legal status in both states in question. While states like California may be more lenient than South Dakota, for instance, you don’t want to risk getting caught with controlled substances of any kind.
Therefore, we urge everyone to stay on the right side of the law and proceed with caution when transporting delta-8 products across state borders.
Can you fly with delta-8 THC?
Cannabis laws tend to be enforced more strictly when dealing with air travel for obvious reasons. With that in mind, we suggest that you only fly with delta-8 THC if you’re fully confident in the legality of the compound in every state you fly.
If you’re unsure about the legality of delta-8 in your region or where you’re headed, play it safe and don’t take delta-8 with you.
The bottom line
Delta-8 THC is one of the newer, more exciting compounds in the cannabis space, and we’re thrilled to make it part of the Sunmed lineup. However, the changing legal landscape requires that users do their research and find out exactly what policy applies in their state at the moment.
Remember that the legality of hemp plant extracts and related products is changing fast, even in states that may have previously been lenient about cannabis. Always stay tuned to the latest updates about your state and relevant compounds so that you remain safe, smart, and in the know.