HC has grown immensely in popularity in the past few years. It is a variant of the more potent delta-9 THC, producing a similar but milder high. Therefore, it is getting a lot of traction in Texas, where marijuana possession is currently illegal.According to a study published in the International Journal of Drug Policy, delta-8 THC was heavily searched on Google in the U.S. in 2020 and 2021. The public interest was exceptionally high in the U.S. states that have not yet legalized the recreational use of the cannabis plant. The legality of delta-8 THC in Texas is still a gray area, with many uncertainties and constant changes in regulations. In the following article, we will break down these complex issues and identify the current legal status of delta-8 THC in Texas and its messy history in the state.
What is delta-8 THC?Cannabinoids are the naturally occurring active compounds in the cannabis plant. While there are over a hundred different cannabinoids, the two most abundant and well-known ones are delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9 THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). However, there is another potentially beneficial cannabinoid known as delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol or delta-8 THC. It is a psychoactive cannabinoid that occurs naturally in small amounts in hemp and marijuana plants. Consequently, concentrated amounts of delta-8 THC are usually manufactured from hemp-derived CBD.
What are the effects of delta-8 on your body?Delta-8 TBC has an intoxicating and euphoric effect on your body, allowing you to relax. However, its effects are milder than other THC products. Thus, it falls in the median category of psychoactive components ranging from federally legal hemp and federally illegal cannabis products. On the other hand, the significant difference between delta-8 and delta-9 THC is that the latter is a primary psychoactive component of cannabis that gets you intoxicated. Most often, when people talk about THC, they are referring to delta-9 THC. Therefore, first-time users are recommended to start with small doses of the less powerful delta-8 and gradually increase the quantity. This will help your body adjust to the effects of THC products and minimize the potential occurrence of any adverse side effects.
Why is delta-8 THC getting popular?As we discussed above, delta-8 THC allows you to attain a similar yet milder effect as marijuana, earning it the names “marijuana lite” and “diet weed.” Moreover, unlike other heavily regulated THC, there is currently no federal law against using delta-8, making it a “federally legal high.” In fact, it is also legal in many states as it is extracted chiefly from hemp-derived CBD, which is legal to harvest across the U.S. In addition, the federal farm bill, the Agriculture and Nutrition Improvement Act of 2018, removed hemp products from the list of controlled substances since they have low THC levels (less than the federally legal limit of 0.3%). Since the bill does not explicitly mention delta-8, it has been marketed and sold legally using this loophole. Hence, it has become one of the fastest-growing hemp products. However, there is a growing concern about delta-8 THC due to the lack of research and lab testing on the constituents of delta-8 products. Thus, dozens of states are restricting or banning its use. This brings us to the main question at hand.
Is Delta-8 legal in Texas?The straightforward answer to this question is yes, delta-8 is legal in Texas at the moment. Currently, there are no laws explicitly prohibiting the use of delta-8 cannabinoids. However, there are also no laws that define delta-8 as one of the legalized products. This leaves the legal status of delta-8 in limbo as it is currently being battled out in court.
Can you get arrested for delta-8 possession?Delta-8 cannabis is indistinguishable in its form from delta-9 cannabis. The difference can only be determined after examination in the laboratory. Hence, even though it is not illegal to be in possession of delta-8, you can be arrested if the officers suspect it to be delta-9 marijuana, which is illegal in Texas.
Can you get prosecuted for delta-8 consumption?You can be arrested and prosecuted for delta-8 consumption in certain cases. If you are under investigation for an ongoing case and are on bond, your bail order will likely have a condition by the judge that you cannot consume or possess any cannabinoids. This most likely includes delta-8 THC since it is one of the cannabinoids. In addition, bond conditions are often far more stringent than the existing state law. Going against the judge’s ruling can lead to prosecution. Moreover, if you are on probation, you are most likely prohibited by the court from possessing or using any cannabinoids. If you consume delta-8 THC, your probation can be revoked, leading to an arrest and prosecution for an otherwise legal substance. Finally, you can be charged with driving under the influence of any substance in Texas. So, the State can charge you with DUI if they believe that you were not mentally or physically stable due to the introduction of Delta-8 in your system.
Does delta-8 show up in a drug test?The drug test is unable to differentiate between delta-8 and delta-9 cannabinoids. Moreover, delta-8 stays in your system for several days. Hence, if you have consumed delta-8, it will show up in the drug test, causing you to fail it.
Timeline of delta-8 legality in TexasThe uncertainty and confusion surrounding delta-8 THC have led to frustration for many vendors and retail stores in Texas. The constantly changing status has also made it difficult for many Texans to determine if they can safely and legally use their products without the threat of arrest and prosecution. All cannabis, including marijuana and hemp, had been illegal in Texas since 1931. The controversy started with the 2018 Farm Bill.
2018 Farm BillIn 2018, the federal Farm Bill was signed into law that determined that hemp is no longer a federally recognized controlled substance. Controlled substances refer to drugs or other substances the government tightly regulates to prevent them from being abused or causing addiction. These include heroin, marijuana, PCP, and crack cocaine. According to the federal government, hemp is defined as cannabis that contains 0.3% or less delta-9 THC, removing it from the controlled substances list. On the other hand, marijuana is cannabis with more than 0.3% THC content. Thus, hemp and all hemp-derived products were made legal at the federal level. Since delta-8 THC is derived from hemp, it was consequentially recognized as being legal and not a controlled substance.
2019 House Bill 1325The following year, the Texas legislature passed House Bill 1325, which made producing and selling hemp products legal, as long as they stayed within the 0.3% or less delta-9 THC limit. According to the interpretation of the bill, signed by Gov. Greg Abbott, delta-8 THC was legal in Texas.
2020 Drug Enforcement Administration interim final ruleIn August 2020, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued an interim final rule that addressed the legal status of delta-8 THC. According to the DEA, delta-8 is “synthetically derived,” making it a controlled substance and federally illegal.
2020 Clarification by Department of State Health ServicesIn September 2020, the Texas Department of State and Health Services (DSHS) diverged from the federally controlled substance list. It issued a clarification that delta-8 was still classified as a schedule 1 controlled substance. This category is reserved for drugs without any accepted medical use. State health press officer Lara Anton said HB 1325 did not legalize delta-8 THC. It only legalized products containing hemp and not any other isomer of THC. This created a legal limbo for delta-8, which affected manufacturers, retailers, consumers, and law enforcement agencies, all of whom wanted more clarity.
2021 Department of State Health Services website updateIn October 2021, the DSHS updated its Consumable Hemp webpage to state that delta-8 THC is considered a schedule 1 controlled substance, regardless of its concentration. The DSHS faced major pushback from Texans across the state for this statement since it went against the wishes of the majority of Texans who favor the legalization of THC. According to a poll conducted by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune, 87% of Texans support marijuana legalization in some capacity, while 29% want complete legalization.
2021 Hometown Hero fights back against the delta-8 THC banIn November 2021, Hometown Hero filed a lawsuit that requested a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the ban of delta-8. Hometown Hero began as a distribution company for vape shops and later moved on to selling their own hemp products containing CBD and delta-8 THC when they were legalized in Texas in 2019. They argued that cannabinoids have helped veterans to ease their anxiety and post-traumatic stress. The court granted Hometown Hero a temporary injunction on the state’s ban, thereby legalizing the selling and consuming hemp-derived delta-8 with less than 0.3% THC.
2021 Department of State Health Services request to the Texas Supreme CourtIn December 2021, the DSHS approached the Texas Supreme Court to step in and hear the case to reinstate the ban on delta-8 products. However, the high court denied the request. This entails the case Hometown Hero vs. Texas Department of State Health Services continues. Even though the case’s final hearing was scheduled for January 2022, it was canceled, and another hearing never took place.
Future of delta-8 legality in TexasAs of now, delta-8 THC is temporarily legal in the Lone Star State, until the next court date which could take place anytime between the next six to twelve months. The final decision, whenever that happens, will depend on whether delta-8 THC is considered a synthetic variant. Since it is not naturally abundant and is converted from CBD, it raises the question of whether this conversion process makes it synthetic. Synthetic cannabinoids are typically made illegal. If delta-8 THC is made illegal in Texas, thousands of Texans can face felony charges, along with jail time and hefty fines for selling or possessing an illegal substance.
How do Texas marijuana laws compare with other states?According to U.S. News, nineteen states, including Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational marijuana possession. While the use and possession of marijuana are regulated, the people are not punished under state law. Many other state laws have made it illegal to use marijuana recreationally, but the prosecutors do not press criminal charges. Instead, the offenders are fined or asked to enroll in drug education programs. However, in Texas, marijuana possession can cause you to face criminal penalties depending on the amount. Texas and nine other states allow access to CBD products with low THC concentrations, while seventeen states allow marijuana with higher THC concentrations for medical uses. Medical cannabis is also legal in Texas in minimal situations. Texans suffering from certain conditions, such as epilepsy, cancer, autism, and PTSD, can access cannabis oil as long as it contains less than 1% THC by weight.
What factors to consider when buying delta-8?Since you can still buy delta-8 THC products in Texas legally, it is imperative to choose a company that focuses on high-quality manufacturing products to yield the best experience. Since the cannabinoid industry has proven to be quite lucrative, many manufacturers are looking to make a quick profit. Thus, the following are some of the factors that need to be considered to ensure that the product you are buying and the company producing it are both authentic.
PurityWhile delta-8 is not poisonous, with no medically reported overdoses, it is best to ensure that whatever you are consuming and paying for is authentic and pure. This can be done by determining the origin of hemp in the delta-8 product. Make sure that the hemp is grown organically and free of GMOs. Moreover, the company should send its cannabinoid products for testing to third-party laboratories and practice transparency in the acquired lab reports. These tests can check for the presence of harmful contaminants, such as heavy metals and pesticides, signifying the purity of the product.
PotencyPotency is another crucial factor to consider, especially if you are a first-time user. The effect of the product should be as potent as mentioned on the label. You can determine the quantity of the delta-8 THC in the product by checking the lab report provided by the company. Any trustworthy and reputable brand will provide the lab test results acquired from third-party labs on their website. However, if you cannot find them online, you can request customer service for a copy. If the company is evasive about them or does not get its products tested, you should steer clear of the brand.
Customer reviewsCustomer reviews have always been integral for gauging a company’s reputation. However, with delta-8 being relatively new, it is imperative to ensure that the brand has a good command over delta-8 products and they know what they are doing. Thus, check the company’s reputation online and see what its previous customers are saying about it. Moreover, make sure that the brand does not have only positive reviews as this indicates dishonesty; meaning they are possibly deleting negative reviews. Finally, check how the company responds to negative reviews and whether they are engaging with the customers and alleviating the issues.
PriceThe conversion of delta-8 from hemp is an expensive process, so expect quality delta-8 products to be a bit on the steeper side. However, make sure that the quality of the ingredients justifies the price and that you are not being overcharged. Contrarily, if the products are unbelievably cheap, this is a clear red flag for a low-quality product.
Where To Buy Delta 8 THC In Texas?The best way to buy delta 8 THC is online. For local Texas residents, Artisan Vapor & CBD has many stores for local residents. You can stop by our physical store locations to speak with a professional staff to learn more about delta 8 and wide selection of delta 8 products.
Why buy delta 8 THC online?
- Before you buy, you can read customer reviews
- It’s more convenient than driving to a physical location
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