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Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as Delta-8-THC or D8, is a compound found in cannabis and hemp. It is a psychoactive cannabinoid and an isomer to Delta-9-THC. D9 is also a controlled substance under DEA regulation, being the main psychoactive component of cannabis. Lately, there’s been controversy over the production and sales of hemp-derived Delta-8 products.

D8 and D9 are isomers of one another. This means that the two compounds have the same amounts of the elements which make them up, only arranged in distinctly differing patterns.

You have likely heard more about Delta-8 recently because it is becoming an alternative to cannabis containing Delta-9. When consumed, D8 may have similar effects to that of D9, only at a lower potency. 

This is not just something that will make it more appealing to individuals who have found consuming cannabis to be overwhelming. Additionally, it is a factor that has given D8 boosted potential to be legalized.

In 2020, the DEA revised its ruling on the scheduling of hemp and marijuana. This revision was a systematization of the Farm Bill introduced in 2018, which legalized the extraction of Delta-8-THC; that is, so long as it is extracted from natural hemp with 0.3% or less Delta-9-THC. In contrast, D8 extracted from a plant containing more than 0.3% THC is considered a controlled substance.

Through the new ruling, THC that naturally occurs in cannabis is only illegal as long as it is accompanied by more than that amount of D9. 

However, this does not stop individual states from outlawing D8, D10, or other Tetrahydrocannabinols.

A cannabis flower, the origin of Delta-8-THC

Photo by Esteban Lopez on Unsplash

These States Have Outlawed Delta-8 THC:

  • Delaware
  • Maryland
  • Rhode Island
  • Mississippi
  • Arkansas
  • Iowa
  • Colorado
  • Utah
  • Arizona
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • Alaska

Source: Vapor Vanity

So, if you don’t live in any of those 12 states, you’re in luck. You may also be noticing, though, that some of those states are places where D9-THC has been legalized.

In the cases of Colorado, Montana, Arizona, and Alaska where cannabis is recreationally legal, Delta-8-THC is still considered a controlled substance. And because of the inconsistent legislation, dispensaries are not even able to sell it. Fully psychoactive cannabis is actually easier to obtain in these states as a result.

When you really get down to it, this technically means the only state where you absolutely cannot get THC in any form is Idaho. They continue to firmly frown upon THC products of any kind.

Nonetheless, lawyers working in the industry are warning that the current legislation is more of a gray area than anything, and could be subject to change very soon. 

As it stands, hemp companies are seemingly making a killing by manufacturing and selling Delta-8 products. This is most likely because of how easy it is for gas stations, bodegas, and smoke shops everywhere to get copious amounts of Delta-8 products without much regulation or second thought. This may change soon as regulations continue to come into play.

Man sitting on pavement smoking Delta-8-THC. There is a fence behind him with a sign that says "No smoking."

Photo by LexScope on Unsplash

Should You Be Using D8 Instead of D9 or CBD?

Both D8 and D9 may be capable of inducing an appetite, relieving stomach pains/nausea, preserving neuronal function, and relaxing muscles. Once again, though, Delta-8 administers these at a potency approximately 50-66% as strong as Delta-9 according to a study conducted by Dr. Raj K. Razdan.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a cannabinoid found in hemp and cannabis. It does not possess psychoactive effects. It’s still an option for treating several ailments, namely pain, anxiety, and even epilepsy. The absence of high quantities of THC in hemp is what makes it the best option for people who are only interested in cannabis for its therapeutic abilities.

Those that are looking for the potential healing properties of hemp should consider Respect My Region’s line of full-spectrum CBD products. We now produce potent CBD gummies, tinctures, topicals, and pre-rolls that encourage the entourage effect. These products contain less than 0.3% THC and can be shipped anywhere in the US where CBD is legal.

At the end of the day, Delta-8 represents a good midpoint between CBD and Delta-9, and for how easy it is to find right now, it’s certainly worth a shot.

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