Why Is Delta-8 Legal? – How Delta-8 Became Federally Legal

Delta-8 leaf with legal gavel

Delta-8 has risen in popularity rather quickly, so quickly that many people are left wondering: what is delta-8? Delta-8 is a compound found in the hemp plant that acts similarly to delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol but is federally legal and offers a smoother, more prolonged high for many people. 

Experts estimate there are more than 100 different phytocannabinoids and over 400 distinct chemical compounds found in the hemp plant. Of those 100 compounds that contain the more well-known compounds and delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, there lies delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol. Yes, delta-8 is a type of THC, but the high is much smoother and milder than the more intense delta-9. It’s also federally legal! 

Why is delta-8 legal when it’s psychoactive? We have the 2018 Farm Bill to thank for that. We’ll talk about it more below. The benefits of legal delta-8 mean that for some people who live in states that prohibit delta-9, delta-8 is a way to take care of yourself and experience the high without breaking the law. As always, check the laws in your state to ensure everything is on the up-and-up. 

If you want answers to the questions of why is delta-8 legal and what does delta-8 do, keep reading.

Delta-8 plant on white background

Why Is Delta-8 Legal?

Is delta-8 legal? As of this writing, yes, it is. Some states — we’re talking to you, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Kentucky, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New York, Rhode Island, Utah, and Vermont — have shipping restrictions, which is most unfortunate, and federally, it is legal. We’ll get into the history of its legality a bit so you can understand the journey this plant, and hemp in general, have been on. 

The 2018 Farm Bill

The 2018 Farm Bill is the reason that people get to grow legally, manufacture, sell, and consume hemp and its derivatives. Why is delta-8 legal, and how does this farm bill come into play? Let’s talk about it. 

The 2018 Farm Bill was a piece of legislation that brought hemp back into the limelight. Since 1937, the United States has dedicated way too many dollars to fighting against this nourishing and powerful plant and punishing the people who use it to elevate their life, manage stress, and all kinds of other reasons. 

This bill matters for legalization because it legalized hemp on a massive scale — not just pilot programs and the like. It was also an expansion of the 2014 Farm Bill, with those expansions including: 

  • The removal of hemp from the Controlled Substances Act (hemp being classified as the plant and all of its derivatives with less than 0.3% delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol on a dry weight basis.
  • Allowing for broad hemp cultivation beyond pilot programs
  • Allowing the transfer of hemp-derived products across state lines — woo! 

While these were significant wins, some restrictions involved giving shared power between federal and state over the legality of this plant. As you may have guessed, this can cause some problems, especially for states who are notoriously anti-hemp. It also answers the question, why is delta-8 legal?

So How Is Delta-8 Legal?

How is delta-8 legal if THC isn’t legal above 0.3%? The biggest distinction is that the bill only says delta-9 is illegal above that threshold. Yes, they are both a type of THC, and no, they aren’t the same thing. 

The biggest problem is that states share power in deciding how to interpret the laws. Derivatives of hemp are included in the 2018 Farm Bill, and some states are arguing that delta-8 isn’t a derivative because of how it’s produced. While it all sounds complicated because of politics and nitpicking, the important thing to note is that delta-8 is legal federally and in most states.

The Importance of Delta-8

Why is delta-8 legal?

Delta-8 is legal because of the laws surrounding it. What does delta-8 do? That’s another question entirely. 

Many people use delta-8 as a way to get an uplifting high, manage stress, and take care of business without being glued to the couch or feeling paranoid. Delta-8 is a smooth high that doesn’t climb too high like delta-9. I imagine it as an invisible fluffy blanket draped around your shoulders and a hot cup of herbal tea in your hands. It takes the edge off without being debilitating. It uplifts when you have responsibilities and obligations that need to be taken care of. 

What does delta-8 do? It offers an alternative for those who live in states where delta-9 is illegal entirely and those who just want a softer experience without sacrificing the quality of the high — if anything, it will elevate your standards of what a high is.

The Takeaway

So now you know why is delta-8 legal and how is delta-8 legal. It’s taken some time in our history to get to this point, and a lot of that history still needs to be written. You can read more about whether delta-8 is legal in your state and learn more about this powerful compound on the Delta North delta-8 blog. If you’ve got other questions, we’ve got answers. Does delta-8 show up on a drug test? Learn more at the link. 

Legal Disclaimer: You should still consult an attorney for the best legal advice regarding Delta-8 in your state, as the material shared here is for informational purposes only.