What is THC 0? Delta 8?


How are stores allowed to sell Delta 8 or THC 0 products with no oversight? I usually go to dispensaries for medical marijuana (Ohio here) but is THC 0 the same as what is in the state governed dispensaries?

In: 2

Both Delta 8 THC and 0 THC are extracted from hemp, which was legalized federally in a 2018 farm bill. Since they aren’t extracted from Cannabis they are legal.

The Federal law that legalized hemp did so by excluding all of the chemicals present in hemp from the Controlled Substances Act except for “Delta 9 THC”. At the time the law was written, it was believed that Delta 9 was the only psychoactive chemical in hemp. It turns out that THC can have several structures, each of which is slightly different, but which have the same psychoactive effect as Delta 9. Delta 8 is one such structure that is naturally found in hemp.

So the situation right now is that Delta 8 THC is legal, at the Federal level, *if it is derived entirely from hemp*. Because Delta 8 THC has the same effect as Delta 9 THC, it is a theoretically legal chemical that you can get high off of.

The issue with this, however, is that while Delta 8 is legal Federally, it remains illegal in most states where marijuana is illegal. Delta 8’s legality at the Federal level is just due to a weird technicality in how the Federal law was written and most state laws do not discriminate between Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC.

Its also only legal at the Federal level *if it is derived entirely from hemp*. There is so little Delta 8 in hemp that its not commercially viable to extract it, so any Delta 8 that you’re seeing in a store was almost certainly made in a lab, in which case it would technically be illegal at the Federal level.

Right now there isn’t much political willpower in many localities to go after smoke shops that are selling Delta 8 products, so its widely available in many areas. That doesn’t mean its legal, nor that you won’t be arrested for it if you get pulled over with it.

THC 0 is a synthetic version of THC that is made by making slight chemical alterations to Delta 9 THC that make it more potent. Right now, some smoke shops are starting to sell hemp derived THC 0 under the theory that its legal at the Federal level because it came from hemp and isn’t Delta 9. Its unlikely that argument has weight, given how the Federal law in question is written, and that THC 0 is illegal Federally. But nobody actually knows because this hasn’t been tested in court.

As with Delta 8, THC 0 is most likely treated the same as marijuana under most state laws, so if marijuana is illegal or restricted in your state then THC 0 would be subject to those same restrictions. If a smoke shop is selling it without restrictions that would otherwise apply to marijuana then they’re doing so because of a lack of enforcement, not because of difference in its legality.