With the green wave of cannabis legalization rolling across the country, you might be wondering if it’s legal for you to buy and consume Delta-8 THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). This cannabinoid has been gaining a rep for being the mellow sibling in the cannabis family and offering some of the benefits we love from traditional THC (Delta-9), but without the intense high. Imagine soaking in the relaxing vibes and still being able to think straight – that’s the magic of Delta-8.
As for its legality, depending on where you live, the rules around Delta-8 THC could be clear as crystal or muddy as a swamp. On one hand, federal law seems to give it the green light, as long as it’s extracted from hemp. But on the state level, it’s a whole different ball game.
So, in this post we are going to decode the legal labyrinth of D8 and help you figure out whether you can legally enjoy it in your state.
What is Delta-8 THC?
If you are familiar with recreational marijuana, you might know about THC, which is often associated with the mind-altering (psychoactive) effect of cannabis plant. But there is more than one type of THC; the one people are most familiar with is Delta-9 THC, the major psychoactive component in cannabis.
Delta-8 THC is considered a “cousin” of D9 THC, a chemical compound found in hemp plants but in far smaller quantities. Its chemical structure is similar to D9, with just a slight variation in how the atoms are arranged. And this small change makes a big difference.
The intoxicating effects of D8 are often described as more moderate compared to D9. Many people report a more clear-headed, relaxed feeling with D8, without the potential for anxiety or paranoia sometimes associated with the stronger D9 THC. This unique character of Delta-8 is part of what’s driving its growing popularity. It’s a gentler alternative to Delta-9 THC, while still offering some of its beneficial effects.
Delta-8 THC vs. Delta-9 THC: The Legal Scoop
Despite their similarities, these two compounds have quite different legal statuses.
Delta-9 THC is listed as a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law, which means it’s illegal on a federal level. Even with the wave of state-level cannabis legalizations, if you are in a state where cannabis is not legal, products with more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC are a no-go.
But things get a bit tricky when it comes to Delta-8 THC. Technically, it’s not specifically listed as a controlled substance in the federal law. This gives it a somewhat gray area status. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and all hemp derivatives, so as long as the D8 is derived from legal hemp and the final product contains less than 0.3% D9 THC, it should be legal on a federal level. But (and it’s a big but), this doesn’t mean it is legal in every state. Some states have their own rules that specifically ban Delta-8 THC, regardless of its source.
Now, you might be thinking, “What’s the big deal about 0.3%?” Well, this tiny number is actually very important. The 2018 Farm Bill only legalized hemp, which is defined as cannabis with less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. Anything with more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC is still considered marijuana, which is illegal federally.
So which states have legalized the use of Delta-8? Let’s break it down:
- Alabama: D8 THC is legal, after an amendment was passed in 2021.
- Alaska: D8 THC is illegal, even though recreational cannabis is legal.
- Arizona: D8 THC is illegal under state law.
- Arkansas: D8 THC is legal after the passing of HB 1640.
- California: D8 is legal but heavily regulated for hemp products that contain more than 0.3% THC.
- Colorado: Delta-8 THC is illegal due to laws against the chemical processing of any cannabinoids from hemp.
- Connecticut: In Connecticut, D8 THC is legal but can only be purchased from a licensed cannabis retailer.
- Delaware: D8 THC is illegal as the state bans any product containing any amount of THC.
- Florida: D8 THC is currently legal, but a proposed bill may change this status.
- Georgia: Delta-8 THC extracted from hemp is legal under House Bill 213.
- Hawaii: D8 THC is legal, but edible and inhalable products are prohibited.
- Idaho: All forms of THC, including Delta-8, are illegal.
- Illinois: D8 THC is legal. The state is currently drafting legislation to ensure product safety.
- Indiana: D8 THC is legal, but smokable products are prohibited.
- Iowa: D8 THC is currently illegal.
- Kansas: D8 THC is legal, despite some disagreements.
- Kentucky: D8 THC is legal for now.
- Louisiana: Certain Delta-8 products are legal under HB 640, but inhalable products like flowers and vapes are banned.
- Maine: D8 THC and all industrial hemp products are legal.
- Maryland: D8 THC is legal along with all hemp-derived products.
- Massachusetts: D8 THC is legal.
- Michigan: D8 THC is regulated like recreational cannabis and can only be sold by licensed retailers.
- Minnesota: Delta-8 THC is likely illegal due to state restrictions on hemp-derived products.
- Mississippi: The legal status of Delta-8 THC is unclear, although hemp-derived products are exempt from the state’s definition of THC.
- Missouri: D8 THC is legal along with all other hemp-derived products.
- Montana: D8 THC is illegal as THC is considered a controlled substance.
- Nebraska: D8 THC is legal as hemp-derived products are exempt from the state’s list of controlled substances.
- Nevada: D8 THC is illegal as per a bill passed in 2021.
- New Hampshire: Hemp-derived Delta-8 THC is legal.
- New Jersey: D8 THC is legal.
- New Mexico: D8 THC is legal.
- New York: D8 THC is banned as of May 2021.
- North Carolina: D8 THC is legal.
- North Dakota: D8 THC is illegal due to a bill signed in April 2021.
- Ohio: D8 THC is legal.
- Oklahoma: Delta-8 THC is legal.
- Oregon: D8 THC is illegal.
- Pennsylvania: D8 THC is legal as long as it is hemp-derived and contains no more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC.
- Rhode Island: D8 THC is illegal.
- South Carolina: D8 THC is legal.
- South Dakota: D8 THC is legal.
- Tennessee: D8 THC is legal. A proposed bill to ban it did not pass.
- Texas: D8 THC is currently legal, but the state health department could ban it.
- Utah: D8 THC is legal under Utah’s hemp laws.
- Vermont: Delta-8 THC is illegal due to rules banning synthetically-derived cannabinoids.
- Virginia: D8 THC is legal.
- Washington: D8 THC is illegal.
- West Virginia: D-8 THC is legal.
- Wisconsin: D8 THC is legal but regulated by the state.
- Wyoming: D8 THC is legal.
Keep in mind that this is just the current situation and laws can change quickly. Always be sure to check your local and state laws to ensure that you stay compliant.
Are Delta-8 THC Products Safe?
Delta 8 is usually safe, but just like anything else you consume, it matters where you get them from. Think about it, you wouldn’t eat food from a sketchy place, right? It’s the same with D8 THC.
First things first, D8 is not some scary, lab-created drug. It’s a natural part of a cannabis and hemp plant, but there is not much of it. So, to make D8 THC products, companies need to extract it from these plants or turn CBD, another hemp chemical compound, into Delta-8.
Now, where it gets complicated is how these products are made. There is no one set of rules that all companies have to follow when making Delta-8 products. That means some companies might cut corners. They might use harmful chemicals to make the process faster or skip steps needed to purify the products. That can leave harmful elements like leftover solvents or impurities in the products.
The best way to avoid these low-quality products is to buy only from trustworthy brands. They will show you lab test results that prove their products are clean and have the right amount of Delta-8 THC. They will also follow all the rules and laws, like making sure their products have less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC, which is a federal requirement.
Here are some tips you can follow to find good brands for your next Delta 8 purchase:
Look for Transparency
Companies that have your best interest in mind won’t be secretive. They should tell you things like where their hemp is grown and how they extract their Delta-8 THC. Some companies even go above and beyond, providing info on the entire lifecycle of the product, from seed to shelf. If they are hush-hush about this information, think twice before buying.
Lab Results are a Must
Reputable companies will have their products tested by independent, third-party labs. Since these laboratories are not owned or controlled by Delta-8 brands, their results are unbiased. You should be able to easily find these Certificates of Analysis (COA) on the company’s website. You can check out Laughing Buddha’s products’ lab reports here to see what these look like. The COA will show the concentration of D8 THC, and also confirm there are no pesticides, heavy metals, or residual solvents.
Check Reviews and Ratings
Honest feedback from real users can be a goldmine of information. Look for trends in the comments: are there issues with shipping? Do people keep mentioning a certain product is really effective? But also remember to take things with a grain of salt. Everyone’s body is different, so a product that works wonders for one person might not for another.
Laws and Regulations Matter
Legitimate companies don’t cut corners when it comes to the law. They will make sure their Delta-8 THC products contain less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC, as required by the 2018 Farm Bill. They also won’t sell to states where Delta-8 is banned. If a company doesn’t mention compliance with laws and regulations, or if they are selling in a state where D8 is illegal, it’s an obvious red flag.
Customer Service Counts
You are not just buying a product, you are basically starting a relationship with the company. They should be easy to reach, quick to respond, and ready to address any concerns you have. This might mean they have a phone number, email, or chat option readily available. Also, look for companies with fair and clear return policies. That shows they stand behind their products.
Beware of Unrealistic Claims
Delta-8 THC has some incredible benefits for sure, but it’s not going to cure every ailment under the sun. Trustworthy companies will stay with the facts and won’t over-hype their products. They understand that D8 THC is a wellness supplement, not a miracle cure.
Buying Delta-8 THC, or any cannabis product for that matter, is a big decision. So do your homework, listen to your gut, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
How to Use Delta-8 THC Safely
Once you have sourced the D8, it’s time to give it a try. Using Delta-8 is all about applying a good measure of common sense and caution. Whether you are a seasoned user or a newbie in the game, safety should always be your top priority.
To ensure a safe and enjoyable Delta-8 THC experience, follow these tips:
One of the fundamental rules for starting with a new cannabis product is “Start Low and Go Slow”. Delta-8 may be less potent than Delta-9, but it still has significant effects. Avoid the temptation of going all-in on your first try. Begin with a small dose, maybe half of what is recommended on the product packaging, and take note of how your body reacts over the next few hours. If you are comfortable with the effects, you can slightly increase your dose next time.
Know Your Product
Not all D8 THC products are the same. Some, like vapes and tinctures, can take effect quickly while others, like edibles, may take longer. Educate yourself on the product you are using. Check whether it’s a full-spectrum or isolate product as this can also influence the effects you experience. A full-spectrum product, for example, will contain other cannabinoids and terpenes that can contribute to a more holistic effect.
Read the Label
Get into the habit of thoroughly reading product labels. The label should list the amount of Delta-8 THC in the product, but it should also disclose other ingredients. This can be especially crucial if you have dietary restrictions or food allergies. Look out for things like artificial colors, sweeteners, and allergens like soy or gluten.
Don’t Mix with Other Substances
Combining D8 THC with alcohol or other substances can result in unpredictable effects. It can intensify your experience or potentially lead to adverse reactions.
Take alcohol, for example. On its own, it lowers inhibitions and slows down your reaction time. Now add Delta-8 to the mix, a compound known for its euphoria-inducing, psychoactive effects. When these substances are combined, they could potentially enhance each other’s effects, and make you feel much more intoxicated or disoriented than you would from either substance alone.
Mixing substances can also lead to unexpected physical side effects. For instance, both alcohol and D8 THC can cause dry mouth and changes in blood pressure. When used together, these effects could be more pronounced. Some people could react to these combinations with extreme euphoria, while others could experience discomfort, anxiety, or even nausea.
So if you are considering combining D8 with alcohol or any other substances – CBD (cannabidiol), CBG (cannabigerol), or CBN (cannabinol), psychedelics, prescription medications – do so with extreme caution. And better yet, seek advice from medical professionals first. They can provide guidance based on your personal health history and make sure you are not putting yourself at risk.
Use in a Safe Environment
For your first Delta-8 THC experience, make sure you are in a comfortable, secure environment. This might be your living room with your favorite music, your backyard hammock, or even a quiet room with soft lighting. The point is to be somewhere you feel completely at ease. Anxiety or discomfort can sometimes amplify the effects of D8, and turn what should be a pleasant experience into an unpleasant one.
It’s also a prudent idea to have a friend or someone you trust with you. If you are new to Delta-8, there is a chance you might find the effects more intense than you expected. In that case, having someone nearby who can reassure you and help you if needed can make a big difference.
Also, if you are trying edibles, know that they work a bit differently than smoking or vaping. When you eat an edible, it has to go through your digestive system before it gets to your bloodstream. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on your metabolism and whether you have eaten recently. So, if you are planning on trying a D8 edible, give yourself plenty of time to feel the effects. Plan for a relaxing evening at home, perhaps on your back porch, for instance, not anywhere multiple streets and two freeways away.
And remember, driving or operating heavy machinery under the influence of D8 is not just unsafe, it’s illegal. Just like with alcohol, you should never get behind the wheel if you are feeling the effects of THC.
Listen to Your Body
Pay attention to any physical or emotional changes you might notice after using Delta-8 THC. Everyone’s body chemistry is unique, so you might feel relaxed and calm, or you might feel a bit giggly. Some people might experience a light, clear-headed buzz, while others might feel more profound effects.
This is why starting with a small dose is so important. It gives you a chance to see how your body responds before you decide if you want to take more. And if you ever feel too high or uncomfortable, don’t be hard on yourself. It’s totally okay to stop and take a break. Sometimes a bit of fresh air, a glass of water, or even just a change of scenery can help.
Now, if you ever feel unwell after using Delta-8 THC, don’t try to tough it out. If any discomfort persists, seek medical attention. You might feel a bit embarrassed, but remember: doctors are there to help, not to judge. And they have likely seen it all before.
Stay Hydrated and Fed
Just like you wouldn’t go for a long run on an empty stomach, you shouldn’t dive into a D8 experience without fueling up first. When you have food in your belly, it can help your body metabolize the THC more efficiently and can moderate the intensity of the effects. So, having a balanced meal before you use Delta-8 THC can not only make the experience more enjoyable, but it can also help you avoid feeling lightheaded or dizzy.
For those who complain about the case of cottonmouth after enjoying a THC product – it’s a common side effect thanks to THC’s interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system. Drinking plenty of water before and during your Delta-8 session can help keep this dry mouth feeling at bay. Plus, staying well-hydrated can also help keep your body balanced and can even help ease any next-day grogginess you might feel after a night of indulging.
We also recommend having some water, non-alcoholic beverages, and a few snacks within easy reach before you start your session. That way, you won’t have to fumble around the kitchen if you get thirsty or a case of the munchies strikes mid-session.
Choose Laughing Buddha for Your Delta-8 Experience
At Laughing Buddha, all our products are derived from organically-grown hemp. This is important because hemp is a bioaccumulator, which means it absorbs everything from the soil it is grown in. When it is grown organically, you are getting a cleaner, healthier product.
We don’t take shortcuts either: our Delta-8 THC is extracted using a natural process that doesn’t involve any harsh chemicals, so you can be sure you are getting a pure product, free of any unwanted toxins or residues. All of Laughing Buddha’s products are thoroughly tested in independent labs to make sure they are safe and effective. We then provide these lab results (Certificates of Analysis) right on our website. This way, you can see exactly what’s in your product and how potent it is.
From vape cartridges to gummies and more, Laughing Buddha offers a wide selection of Delta-8 THC products. We are excited to introduce our new product line, which features a blend of three cannabinoids: THC-P, HHC, and D8-THC.
To explore this blend of cannabinoids further, you can visit our website for the 2ml vape cartridge. For those looking for larger disposable devices, we also offer a 5ml version that contains the same blend of cannabinoids. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to get in touch with our team online or call us at 866-934-4285. We are here to assist you and provide any additional information you may need.