What is Delta 8 THC?
Although it wasn’t so commonly discussed until recently, Delta 8 has been studied for decades and it’s one the four most prevalent cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. As expected, it is similar to Delta-9 THC, but there are differences in the chemical structure of this compound. Delta 8 THC is what’s known as a cannabinoid analog, also referred to as a structural analog or chemical analog. An analog is a compound that has a similar structure to another compound but with some key distinction.
Think about water, for example, with the chemical formula H2O. This is two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. Water is vital for all forms of life on Earth. If we were to simply add one oxygen atom to this molecule, we would have Hydrogen Peroxide, and drinking that can be fatal.
The efficacy and stability of delta-8-THC make it an extremely valuable cannabis-derived chemical compound. Just like Delta-9 THC, Delta-8 also has some psychoactive properties (less than Delta 9) and some similar medical benefits, although research indicates that it can also be used to shrink tumors and reduce symptoms of nausea in chemotherapy patients.
Cannabis plants only have trace amounts of Delta 8, so companies are extracting this compound and infusing it into various items. Most commonly, it can be found in pre-filled vape cartridges, Delta 8 THC soft gels or consumable tinctures.
Is it Legal?
Now this is where things can get confusing. Is Delta-8 THC legal? The answer is, technically yes, but only in certain states/regions. The following points describe when Delta-8 may be legal and when it is unlikely to be, however, keep in mind that the laws can vary greatly.
Delta-8 THC is likely LEGAL in:
- Any country/state where cannabis is legal, delta-8 is legal. This should go without saying, but if the cannabis plant and all its parts and components are no longer prohibited, then delta-8 will obviously be legal as well.
- Any country/state where THC and analogues are legal and approved for medical use, delta-8 products are legal – with the correct prescription. This applies as long as a medical system does not exclude THC and its analogues, or require minimal amounts in products of no more than .2% (Europe) or .3% (US).
Delta-8 THC is likely ILLEGAL in:
- Any country/state that illegalized all forms of cannabis, delta-8 is illegal. This is because, in this scenario, all parts and compounds found in the cannabis plant are illegal.
- Any country/state where THC and analogues are illegal, as well as industrial hemp and hemp flowers, then delta-8 is also illegal. This is because all possible places the delta-8 could be sourced from are prohibited.
In any state/country where THC and analogues are illegal, but the sale of industrial hemp products is legal and regulated independently, delta-8 enters a gray area with a possible legal loophole. Meaning it’s technical not prohibited, yet. Keep in mind though, that if any country or state fits into one of the scenarios above, but has wording in their laws that more specifically bans THC and analogues, then the loophole does NOT apply and Delta-8 is likely illegal still.
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