How Are Delta-9 Hemp Products LEGAL?

June 14, 2022

Why are Delta 9 edibles legal?

The 2018 Farm Bill defines hemp as:

The plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.

Ultimately, this allows for Delta-9 THC derived from hemp to be manufactured and used in consumer products, such as edibles, tinctures, topicals, and more. By using the dry weight basis rule, a surprisingly effective amount of Delta 9 THC can exist in a product while still remaining in compliance.

How much delta 9 is allowed in edibles?

All consumer goods are required to adhere to the dry weight basis requirement. For example; per 1 gram of total weight, a product can contain 3mg of active Delta-9 THC. Scaled up in weight and there is an opportunity for hemp products to contain a decent amount of Delta 9 THC and still be federally legal, even into the hundreds of milligrams. Delta-9 THC in higher concentration is permitted within states that have legalized the use of cannabis, whether that be medically or recreationally. Hemp-derived Delta 9 THC aims to be the bridge between federally illegal cannabis, and federally legal hemp.

How much delta 9 is allowed in flower/vapes/dabs?

Delta-9 in flower is as well limited to 0.3% on a dry weight basis, although THCA flower gives a nearly identical effect. This is because THCA “decarboxylates” (converts) into active Delta 9 THC. However, THCA has recently been regulated to be incorporated into Total THC laws beginning in 2022 in most states. THCA products produced before January 1, 2022 were exempt from this requirement, so there are still some THCA products that are considered legal. For concentrates — what one would use in a dab or that goes into vapes, there is no such work around. For these substances, the levels of Delta-9 THC would be about more than sixty percent (60%). However, states with their own levels of legalization do not adhere to this precise requirement.

Is hemp delta 9 any different than cannabis delta 9?

There is no chemical difference in hemp derived Delta-9 and cannabis derived Delta-9. Delta-9 THC will have the same effects whether from cannabis or hemp, it merely persists in significantly lower amounts in hemp. Hemp is a legal term for federally compliant cannabis grown under the 0.3% Delta 9 THC content, and usually grown for other cannabinoids like CBD or CBG. As explained before it still naturally contains amounts of active Delta 9 or THCA.

Why would I want to try Delta 9 edibles?

Many states have been tightening restrictions on Delta 8 THC, which while  hemp-derived, has sparked controversy with lawmakers as a psychoactive legal substance. As lawmakers begin to move to ban Delta 8 THC, the hemp industry is responding by making federally compliant Delta 9 THC products. These products fall in line with the original 2018 Farm Bill’s language, sticking closest to the original reason hemp was legalized: to have cannabis with a very low amount of THC. These products may even be more naturally effective and enjoyable compared to Delta 8 THC, which has a generally lower potency when compared to Delta 9. It is safe to say that Delta 9 edibles, tinctures, gummies, and other products will be making a strong appearance in the industry the more that states crack down on hemp altogether.

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