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Delta 9 THC is the most popular cannabinoid among many cannabis users. This is due to its intense high and other psychoactive effects when consumed. Although it is completely legal for recreational and medical uses in some states, there are still some legal restrictions at the federal level.
For this reason, one of the frequently asked by cannabis users is about the legality of Delta-9 THC. This article will answer the question, "Is Delta-9 legal?" Then, we will look at Delta-9 THC derived from hemp, its legality, and how it is produced.
The 2018 Farm Bill makes it quite easy to differentiate between Delta-9 THC products made from hemp and those manufactured from the cannabis plant. While both are different Cannabis sativa plants, they contain different amounts of Delta-9 THC. Hemp plants are usually cultivated to have low THC levels but large amounts of the other cannabinoids in CBD products.
Due to this law, cannabinoids derived from hemp are not as heavily regulated as those derived from cannabis plants. However, there are some important factors to take note of:
- For the final product to be legal, the THC level must be less than 0.3% THC by dry weight.
- The Delta 9 THC must be extracted from federally legal hemp material.
- According to the FD&C Act guidelines, Delta-9 THC products must not be marketed as dietary supplements.
Although there are some conditions under which Delta-9 THC products are federally legal, it is also important to consider individual state laws. All 50 states can decide to place legal restrictions on the products. So, it is important to be aware of the regulations in your state.
Each state has the choice of:
- completely following the federal legislation guidelines.
- relaxing their laws to allow most or all products that contain Delta-9 THC.
- developing stricter laws to ban the use of all Delta-9 THC products.
However, in many states, before you can purchase and consume any Delta-9 THC product, you must be at least 21 years old.
Yes, some products that contain Delta-9 THC are legal. However, identifying those that are legal depends on the THC ratios and the plant sources.
The 2014 Farm Bill permitted limited industrial hemp plant cultivation for research. But with the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp cultivation became legal at the federal level. This means that anyone with the land and resources could start hemp cultivation.
However, the legislation states that the hemp produced and all the products manufactured from the hemp plant should contain less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC per dry weight. As a result, some manufacturers produce legal hemp-derived products with no more than 0.3% Delta 9 THC, while others choose to remove Delta 9 THC from their extracts.
Before you purchase or consume a Delta 9 THC product, ensure that it is 2018 Farm Bill compliant. Also, ensure that it is legal in your state or travel to.
Two major methods can produce Delta-9 THC from legal hemp material.
The first method is the isomerization process, where CBD from hemp is converted into Delta-9 THC when dissolved in a strong acid solution. The final product is known as hemp-derived Delta-9 THC when produced using this method.
The second method takes natural Delta-9 THC extracts from hemp plants. This usually occurs during the distillation process of other cannabinoids, such as CBD. This method is preferred because the Delta-9 THC extracted remains in its original form and is referred to as hemp-extracted Delta-9 THC.
Although legal hemp-derived products contain only 0.3% Delta-9 THC, they can cause psychoactive effects and make you high. But their effects are milder and less potent than those made from cannabis because of the small doses. This causes a gentler and more blissful high. Many consumers prefer this mellow Delta-9 THC experience.
However, legal Delta 9 THC products can cause powerful psychoactive effects and intoxicating highs. This depends on the number of milligrams present. Other factors can also impact the overall experience, including height, weight, tolerance levels, and method of consumption.
The human body has a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS) that interacts with cannabinoids when they are consumed. This system is very important and is responsible for several functions, especially homeostasis (balance).
There are two receptor types in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). These are known simply as cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2).
The CB1 receptors are found in the central nervous system and are responsible for the psychoactive reactions interacting with cannabinoids.
Their interaction with Delta-9 THC causes the body to release serotonin. This is the hormone that directly impacts our mood and overall feeling of well-being. It also helps to aid digestion. Delta-9 THC influences the serotonin effects through the CB1 receptors to produce the characteristically intense "high" that it is popular for.
Delta 9 THC works by stimulating the CB1 receptors present in certain areas of the brain, like the frontal cortex. The areas are linked with functions like problem-solving, motor coordination skills, and motivation. It also has an impact on the hippocampus, which affects memory and learning.
Delta 9 THC binds strongly with the CB2 receptors in the immune and gastrointestinal systems of the body. Therefore, it offers relief from digestive problems like vomiting and nausea. Delta 9 also leads to improved appetite, better sleep quality, anxiety relief, stress relief, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and promotes brain cell growth.
Because Delta 9 THC produces an intense and intoxicating high, you can experience certain side effects if you exceed your tolerance levels. These include red eyes, dry mouth, delayed reaction times, drowsiness, short-term memory loss, coordination problems, and anxiety.
The short answer is yes. Drug tests cannot differentiate between Delta 9 THC products derived from hemp and those derived from cannabis. So, consuming any Delta 9 THC product, even in very small amounts, will result in a positive test.
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READ: Is Delta 9 Real Weed?
While delta 9 THC products are legal for recreational and medical uses in many states, they are still illegal at the federal level. However, the legislation around the production and use of Delta 9 THC is continuously changing.
So, it is only a matter of time before it becomes completely legal nationwide. Until then, Delta 9 THC products derived from hemp are safe and legal to consume throughout the country.