What is Delta-8 THC and Is It Legal? What is Delta-8 THC and Is It Legal?

What is Delta-8 THC and Is It Legal?

Posted by Tweedle Farms on Apr 30th 2021

Delta-8 THC (D8) is a naturally occurring, slightly less potent version of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (AKA “THC”). D8 appeals to people who want a version of "regular THC" that has a slightly lower psychotropic potency. D8 is naturally occurring but in such small quantities that it must be synthesized in a lab to be commercially viable. D8 may be growing in popularity, but it’s manufactured and sold under questionable circumstances. Let’s take a closer look at D8 and the controversy around it. 

What is Delta-8-THC?

Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (D8) is a cannabinoid with some psychoactive properties similar to but slightly less potent than Delta-9 THC (D9), the form of THC you're most likely to find in a cannabis plant or cannabis product.

Does Delta-8 THC Get You High?

THC is the cannabinoid found in cannabis that produces a psychoactive effect people refer to as getting “high,” “stoned,” “baked,” “greened-out,” “lit,” etc. D8 has psychoactive effects, but they are slightly less potent than that of D9.

Is Delta-8 THC Natural or Synthetic?

Marijuana and the hemp plant are both forms of the cannabis plant. The primary difference is that hemp or CBD contain 0.3% total THC (+/-MU) by dry weight. D8 naturally occurs in cannabis but in much smaller amounts, which is why it has to be synthesized in a lab to be commercially viable.

How is Delta-8 THC Made?

Unlike CBD oils and concentrates made in a lab using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), D8 is created by taking unsold hemp and boiling it with acids and salts under pressure, a process known as chemical isomerization. 

What is Hot Hemp? 

Much of the hemp used to create delta-8 THC is hemp that's discarded by hemp farmers because it has more than .3% delta-9 THC, which would make it legally marijuana. This sort of discarded hemp is known as "hot hemp". 

Is Delta-8 THC Legal?

You might be wondering how D8 can be legal. After all, D8 sounds a lot like D9, so one would think that it would be regulated in the same way. However, the FDA created what some are calling a legal gray area because the FDA frames D8 as innocuous due to the small amount of D8 that’s naturally occurring. 

In order to frame D8 as legal, manufacturers may argue that the Farm Bill fails to adequately explore how D8 ought to be treated when it's synthesized in amounts large enough to be commercially viable and, as a result, comparable in effect to D9. This is a, “They didn’t say no!” interpretation of the Farm Bill. 

The Cannabis Life Network* provides the exact quotes from the updated Farm Bill 2021. 

“[Delta-8-THC] is more often obtained by growing a plant with high delta-9 THC and then converting the delta-9 THC into delta-8 THC through an extraction and conversion process in a lab to make a distillate product. It is rarely included in total THC calculations and many labs do not test for it.

“Delta-8 THC is unrelated to the 0.3 percent delta-9 THC limit or the ‘post-decarboxylation delta-9 THC’ that are defined and required in this final rule.”

Agriculture Marketing Service - 2021-00967

Elsewhere in the Farm Bill, however, one finds a pretty explicit, “No,” verdict on the legality of D8.

“For synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols, the concentration of D9 -THC is not a determining factor in whether the material is a controlled substance. All synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols remain schedule I controlled substances.”

Additionally, as reported by JDSupra*, the Fall 2020 "Interim Final Rule" released by the DEA states that, "[all] synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols remain schedule 1 controlled substances.” Finally, the DEA's* list of controlled substances lists D8 as a schedule 1 substance as of April 2nd 2021. 

So, there’s a strong case to be made that delta-8 is not federally legal, which would mean it’s just a matter of time before a more explicit, likely prohibitive, verdict is decreed. 

Where is Delta-8 THC Illegal? 

Even though hemp was deemed federally legal by the 2018 Farm Bill, which also made hemp derived products legal, states get to regulate hemp within their own borders, just like they regulate other industries. As of now, 11 states have deemed delta-8 THC illegal

  • Alaska 
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah 

The legality of delta-8 THC has no connection with the legality of marijuana. For example, both Colorado and Arizona have recreational cannabis, but delta-8 is not legal in these states. Additionally, there are now at least four states, including Oregon, deliberating regulating delta-8 THC like they regulate delta-8 THC.

Does Delta-8 THC Get Tested by Independent, Third-Party Labs? 

As explained by the Cannabis Life Network, the chemical isomerization that is used to create delta-8 THC also results in unknown compounds, some of which can be toxic to humans. So, if you’re going to buy delta-8 THC, then you should only do so if you get a certificate of analysis similar to the sort Tweedle Farms provides with its CBD oils or concentrates. These certificates are produced by independent, third-party labs that verify cannabinoid content and the absence of harmful chemicals and heavy metals. 

How Does Delta-8 THC Compare to “Synthetic Weed” like “Spice” or “K2”?

Delta-8 THC may be made in a lab, but it doesn’t have anything in common with “synthetic weed.” Delta-8 THC is a naturally occurring cannabinoid. Synthetic cannabis, which goes by names such as “K2” or “Spice”, are entirely different from delta-8 THC in that it is not a naturally occurring compound and is, in fact, made entirely in a lab to mimic the chemical properties of cannabinoids. 

How do People Consume Delta-8 THC?

For those who want delta-8 THC explicitly, every CBD product has a delta-8 counterpart that you can consume to get delta-8 THC in higher amounts. So, there are delta-8 THC edibles, oils, concentrates, etc. 

How Does the Body Process Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 is a cannabinoid just like CBD, delta-9-THC, etc. They’re all processed the same way, which is by the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Endocannabinoids, which the ECS makes, are neurotransmitters similar enough to the cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant that the ECS can process cannabinoids.

Using the bloodstream, endocannabinoids travel throughout the body, playing a role in every bodily process by letting cells know what’s happening in the body and how the cells should behave. 

Here are just some examples of what the ECS is involved in regulating. 

  • Inflammation regulation
  • Skin maintenance
  • Stress regulation
  • Motor control
  • Appetite
  • Mood
  • Sleep

Is it Okay to Give Delta-8 THC to pets?

No, pets are more sensitive to THC than humans are, so CBD products that are formulated for pets exclude THC. If you want to give your pet CBD, we recommend Tweedle Farms Furry Friends Pet CBD Oil. It’s formulated for pets and packaged in a way to make it easier to dose for your pets. 

Will I Pass A Drug Test If I Consume Delta-8 THC?

Your body metabolizes delta-9 THC and delta-8 THC into the same THC metabolites, so if you consume delta-8 THC you are likely to fail a drug test.

Bottom Line 

Now that you know more about delta-8 THC, you can make more informed decisions about whether you want to try it or not. Tweedle Farms does not make or sell products high in D8 because of potential health and legality issues. If you decide to try D8, get it from a source as legit as Tweedle Farms. 

Your D8 should be subjected to third-party independent testing. Also, make sure you go with a company that sources its D8 products from cannabis plants grown without synthetic chemicals, fertilizers, or pesticides. Cannabis is a bioaccumulator, which means it soaks up whatever’s in the ground, and that stuff can end up in you!

If you decide against consuming synthesized D8, there are plenty of options available from Tweedle Farms. Make sure to always collect Tweedle Rewards to save on all your purchases!


The Cannabis Life Network provides the exact quotes from the updated Farm Bill 2021.

JDSupra identifies the portion of the DEA’s Interim Final Rule that says D9 is a Schedule 1 Substance

DEA’s List of Controlled Substances

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