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Is Delta 8 THC Legal in the US?

Delta-8 THC is probably the most popular cannabinoid of this year — if not the past several years. Users all across the nation have been quick to identify delta-8 as one of the only natural alternatives to cannabis’s delta-9 THC. 

But there’s a catch: delta-8 THC’s legal status. Theoretically speaking, it’s legal nationwide; in practice, however, things are a little more complex. In this article we’ll be covering everything you need to know about delta-8 THC’s legality in the US. Here’s an overview. 

  • What is delta-8 THC?
  • The biggest difference between delta-8 and delta-9?
  • Delta-8 THC’s legal status 101
  • The states where delta-8 is (and isn’t) legal  
  • Is delta-8 legally available online?
  • Is delta-8 legal in California?

What is Delta-8 THC?

Think of delta-8 THC as the closest relative to cannabis’s delta-9 THC. Both molecules are classified as cannabinoids, both get you high, and both can be a whole lot of fun to use. The primary differences between them are A) sourcing and B) the position of a single chemical bond.  

Despite having so many similarities, delta-8 and delta-9 THC feel radically different. While delta-9’s high is powerful enough to have a mind of its own at times, most users find delta-8 a little more manageable. The delta-8 experience is usually free of less-than-desirable side effects like anxiety, couch lock, or the munchies.  

Delta-8’s health benefits strike a pretty great balance, too. It offers a blend of CBD and delta-9 THC’s best effects, including: [1

  • Improved mood
  • Regulated appetite
  • Reduced aches and pains
  • Improved neurological health

What makes delta-8 able to match the best effects of several other cannabinoids? Research shows that it has a unique ability to bind to both receptor types found within your body’s endocannabinoid system. In simpler terms, delta-8 works through two different pathways. [2

The biggest difference between delta-8 and delta-9 THC

While both delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC can get you high and lead to a whole lot of fun, they have one major difference: where they come from. 

Delta-9 THC is typically derived from cannabis, which means it’s not legal on the federal level. Delta-8 THC, on the other hand, is typically derived from hemp, which means it’s completely federally legal. More on delta-8’s legal status coming up next. 

Delta-8 THC’s legal status 101

So, let’s get to the million-dollar question: is delta-8 THC legal? 

Federally speaking, the answer is an emphatic yes. 

The way US law works, however, means that State preferences often trump federal law. Delta-8 THC may be legal per 2018’s Federal Farm Bill, but a growing number of states have since outlawed it. 

Let’s take a look at these two contrasting concepts one by one. Back in December of 2018, President Trump signed a new Federal Farm Bill into law. In and of itself that wasn’t a huge deal — Farm Bills are passed every four years — but this one was a little different. It legalized hemp cultivation and sales and sweepingly changed the legality of hemp-derived cannabinoids.  All of a sudden, CBD, CBT, CBG, delta-8 THC, delta-10 THC, and countless other compounds were legal!

But not every state was buying it. While virtually all 50 states went along with the newfound legality of CBD, many of them gave delta-8 THC the thumbs down. A 2020 DEA ruling added more fuel to the legal fire when it declared synthetic delta-8 THC illegal. [3

Long story short, hemp-derived delta-8 THC is:

  • Legal on the federal level
  • Legal in many states
  • Illegal in some states

Let’s take a look at D8’s state-by-state status next. 

The states where delta-8 is (and isn’t) legal  

Some states forbid all delta-8 THC products — even ones that are derived from legal hemp. The list includes: [4

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Kentucky
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Mississippi 
  • Montana
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Washington state

In addition to the ones above, several more states seem poised to ban delta-8 soon:

  • Alabama 
  • Illinois
  • Michigan
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon

If you live in an area where delta-8 is illegal, don’t worry too much. Our online store is set up so that you can’t make any illegal orders. 

Is delta-8 legally available online?

As of 2022, delta-8 is still legal in plenty of places. If you live in any of the following states, you’re good to go:

  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
  • Hawaii
  • Washington DC

There you have it! Just don’t forget that delta-8 rules are ever-changing. What’s legal today might not be legal tomorrow, so be sure to stay up-to-date on these legal changes as they happen. 

Is delta-8 legal in California?

In case you didn’t catch this from the list above, yes — delta-8 THC is fully legal in California. 

State legislators declared it as such on September 22nd of last year, bringing Californian law right alongside federal law. All hemp-derived cannabinoids, including delta-8 THC and other isomers, are now A-OK in the Golden State. 

Wrapping things up

At Apollo we’re committed to bringing our customers the nation’s best legal, hemp-derived delta-8 products. While some states don’t yet allow delta-8 sales, the era of prohibition is ending…so it’s probably only a matter of time until things change for the better! Be sure to stay tuned.