Taking a Deeper Look at the Legalities (and Illegalities) of Delta 8 THC

Delta-8 THC is a component of the cannabis plant that has the possibility to give people the relaxation they’re looking for without the negative effects of THC. Delta-8 THC’s ability to provide the benefits of THC without the euphoric high means that people could potentially use it more effectively throughout their day.

But is Delta-8 THC legal and where does it fall between THC and CBD?

Here is everything you need to know about the legality of Delta-8 THC.

What Is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 THC is a cannabinoid of the cannabis plant but is not the extremely psychoactive one that gets you high. That would be Delta-9 THC. Delta-9 THC is the cannabinoid that has regulations on how much can be within a CBD product before it gets classified as a cannabis product instead.

While Delta-8 does seem to have minor psychoactive properties, it is not consumed for that reason like Delta-9 would be. Instead, consumers are looking into the compound to try and curve other medical issues like nausea, headaches, and inflammation. Delta-8 binds to specific cannabinoid receptors in the body, helping to activate the endocannabinoid system more effectively.

The endocannabinoid system is partially responsible for regulating different cycles related to the central nervous system. This can range anywhere from your sleep and mood cycles down to your immune system function. For best results, many pair Delta-8 with other cannabinoids like CBD or CBN in a process known as the entourage effect.

What Is Delta-8 THC Used for?

Currently, the studies that have been done or are being done on Delta-8 THC are for inflammation, nauseation, and neuroprotective properties. There are studies backing that Delta-9 THC has potential positive effects for those that are dealing with epilepsy and Parkinson’s.

These studies showed that there is potential for reducing the severity of the symptoms that are associated with both diseases.

Other issues like Alzheimer’s and other chronic inflammatory diseases like IBS have found relief in the use of THC products. The only issue is that the psychoactive properties of Delta-9 make it unappealing for those that still need to get work done. Delta-8 is proposed as a way to increase the amount of THC in the body without needing to increase the amount of Delta-9.

More studies are still needed to conclude anything definitively though.

How Can You Take Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 THC comes in multiple different ways to intake the products, including vapes, edibles, concentrated, and tinctures. Tinctures and other oils are going to be the recommended method, as they allow the Delta-8 to get into the bloodstream the fastest. This is accomplished by holding the oil underneath the tongue for around a minute or two and then swallowing the rest.

Edibles will be the easiest method to take Delta-8 THC, as they taste delicious and are easy to control the amount that gets into the body. If you find the taste of oils too nasty, you can instead switch over to gummies that will be hard to put down.

For those looking for delicious Delta-8 THC gummies, be sure to check out 3Chi products.

Vapes are another popular method and people will often use them in their vaping pens as a way to try and fight off nicotine addiction. The only problem is that there’s no real way to control how much of the cannabinoid will enter the system in one hit. For that reason, you should pair the vape cartridge with another method for the best results.

Is Delta-8 THC Legal on a Federal Level?

The legalities on Delta-8 THC on a federal level gets tricky. By the definition of the Farm Bill, it does technically fall into the category of not being Delta-9 which is the main psychoactive ingredient within cannabis plants. You can also technically alter hemp CBD to form Delta-8 THC, but the alteration of the plant is not legal.

Because of the tricky nature where Delta-8 THC is not Delta-9, but also not CBD, it may be considered legal, depending on who you ask. If you’re worried about whether the ingredient is legal or not, consult with your state’s laws to determine if you can buy the product.

What States Have Legalized Delta-8 THC Recreationally?

Certain states have legalized recreational marijuana, which would consider certain versions of THC acceptable for use. Depending on the state, this includes Delta-8 THC as well as other cannabinoids that have the chance of getting you high like CBN or Delta-9 THC.

Because of the relatively new concept of Delta-8 THC, there isn’t much that strictly says whether Delta-8 THC is legal or not, but based on the recreational usage of marijuana, it can be assumed. These are the Delta-8 THC legal states based on assumption.


Alaska legalized recreational usage of marijuana in 2014. You’re also allowed to grow your own plants in this state.


In 2020, Arizona was one of three states to pass measures to legalize cannabis usage recreationally. You’re allowed to grow up to six plants per person, up to twelve if you have two adults in the house over 21.


California passed the recreational usage of cannabis in 2016 and fully implemented the legality of it in 2018. You can currently grow up to six plants for recreational usage.


Colorado was one of the first two states to fully legalize recreational marijuana, all the way back in 2012. It was the first state to fully establish retails sales and has used the taxes generated since to help schools.

You’re allowed up to six plants for personal use in the state.


Illinois was another recent state to legalize recreational usage, with the recreational usage passing in 2018. You cannot grow your own plants, however, unless you’re doing so for medical purposes only.


Maine set out to legalize marijuana in 2016 and passed the measure with ease. You may have up to three mature plants and twelve immature plants for personal usage.


Massachusetts also legalized recreational usage in 2016. They were one of the first states that could limit how much cannabis you could keep in the household that wasn’t planted.

You can currently only have 10 ounces of marijuana inside the house at any given time. This doesn’t include plants, where you can have up to six.


Michigan legalized recreational usage in 2018, allowing those to buy cannabis at state-recognized retailers. Just like with Massachusetts, you can only keep up to 10 ounces in the house, but you can have up to 12 plants.


Montana has some of the most lenient laws when it comes to the recreational usage of marijuana. While just passing in 2020, there is no limit on the amount that you can have on your person or in your household. This includes the number of plants.


Nevada passed the legalization of marijuana in 2016. You can’t cultivate from your home though unless you’re more than 25 miles away from a retail store.

New Jersey

New Jersey was the last of the three states in 2020 to legalize recreational usage of marijuana. The only caveat is that you can’t grow the plants at home at all unless you’re a licensed cultivator.


Oregon has taken strides to decriminalize all sorts of drugs in 2020 to further the progress they made in 2014 with the legalization of marijuana. You can currently have up to four plants per household.


Vermont actually passed its usage of marijuana through the state legislature, rather than voting on it through an election period. They do have some of the strictest laws though, where you can only have two mature plants or one ounce of recreational marijuana at a given time.


Washington was the first state in the United States to pass the usage of marijuana recreationally in 2012. They accomplished this four days before Colorado, giving them the title of the first.

You currently can’t grow your own plant’s in the state unless it is for medical purposes only.

Washington, D.C.

While not a state, the personal usage of marijuana in the District of Colombia is allowed. You mostly have to grow your own, up to three mature plants at a time, and you can’t buy it commercially.


Guam also passed its measures to legalize recreational marijuana through its legislation in 2019. It also has some of the most relaxed laws when it comes to home cultivation and usage.

Northern Mariana Islands

The Northern Mariana Islands had their legalization passed in 2018 when the governor signed a bill that allowed recreational usage. They also have relaxed laws when it comes to the usage of the plant.

What States Have Legalized Delta-8 Medically?

While not all states have legalized the usage of THC for recreational usage, certain states have at least taken steps to legalize it for medical purposes. This further complicates the issue of the legalities on Delta-8 THC. While some states might not classify Delta-8 THC as a drug, others might.

For this reason, you should delve deeper into local laws at the city and county level to see if there has been any specification.

These are the states where marijuana and the usage of THC are legalized for medical purposes only:

  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia* – See Georgia below for more information.
  • Hawaii
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota* – See South Dakota below for more information.
  • Utah
  • West Virginia
  • Puerto Rico
  • U.S. Virgin Islands


Georgia has taken the steps necessary to decriminalize the usage of THC products in certain cities like Atlante, Forest Park, and Savannah. Georgia also has a higher THC allowance for medical usage than other states, allowing up to 4.99% per serving per product.

South Dakota

South Dakota actually voted to pass recreational usage of marijuana in 2020 but was deemed unconstitutional by the state. The state has recently passed a bill that would legalize recreational usage through the state legislature rather than having to vote on a separate referendum in 2022.

What States Currently Have Delta-8 Marked as Illegal?

Then there are the states that have not legalized any usage of cannabis products in any form, other than CBD. Each state sets how much THC is allowed per serving per product, so not all states will meet the same effect.

Certain states like Virginia and Rhode Island have taken steps to decriminalize marijuana to a certain extent. In these instances, be sure to check what happens if someone is caught with a product that contains too much THC.

Other states like Alabama and America Samoa have taken steps to increase the criminalization of marijuana. In these states, you could face jail time for any possession of a THC product.

  • Alabama
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
  • American Samoa

Is Delta-8 THC Safe?

Delta-8 THC is very new to the market and is part of the effort to continue to learn more about how cannabis can benefit the body. The goal of Delta-8 THC is to provide the same benefits as THC when it comes to the central nervous system, without getting the user as high.

There are limited studies done on the compound because of where legalization has fallen with cannabis itself. Countries like Canada that have completely legalized the recreational usage of marijuana are now able to conduct studies that otherwise would be considered illegal.

The current studies say that Delta-8 THC should be safe for usage, but there is still more research to be conducted before that can be finalized.

Is Delta-8 THC Legal? Depends on Where You Are

So, is Delta-8 THC legal? It comes down to the state you’re in and what they believe on Delta-8 THC. On a federal level, it does not fit what the Farm Bill is asking for but it all comes down to who you ask and what their thoughts are on the subject.

If you want to learn more about how the world continues to change, then be sure to check out the rest of our blog. Know someone interested in Delta-8 THC? Be sure to send this article to them.

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