With legislation catching up with delta-8, the hemp industry is turning to the next big thing:
Delta-8 THC gave us an example of how the 2018 Farm Bill (unintentionally) leaves us a lot of ways to get high in a way that’s federally
- Hemp delta-9 is just like regular delta-9, except it comes from plants that contain less than 0.3% of it on a dry weight basis.
- Because it’s an identical chemical, it will get you high like any other delta-9 THC.
- Hemp delta-9 is legal under the 2018 Farm Bill, provided it meets the concentration requirement.
- The FDA can step in when either hemp delta-9 or
are used in food, under the Federal Food Drug & Cosmetics Act.
- The concentration requirement is on a “dry weight” basis, meaning you have to subtract the water weight of the product (or plant material) before you calculate.
- Hemp delta-9 will show up on a drug test if you have enough of it to really feel the effect.
it’s likely that the “loophole” in the law will close, whether through states taking action (as with delta-8) or clarification at the federal level.
What is Hemp Delta-9 THC?
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp at the federal level. This wasn’t blanket legalization though: it came with the proviso that it’s only legal if it contains 0.3% or less delta-9 THC by dry weight. This is the main psychoactive component of cannabis, so it makes sense that this is the part that would be limited. However, there is still delta-9 THC in hemp, and for some purposes it can be called hemp delta-9.
The 0.3% limit is the key to the whole issue – and why you would call it hemp delta-9 in the first place. Imagine you have a 6 g (dry) product. This can have up to 18 mg of THC and still fall within the legal limit. This level of THC is in line with most standard edible dosages – it’s fairly strong if anything. The point is that you could legitimately use it – and sell it – for the purposes of using THC. It would be federally illegal if it was ordinary cannabis, but as a less-than-0.3% component of hemp, the Farm Bill permits it.
In short, labeling it “hemp delta-9” is a way to signal that this is legal delta-9, not the “illegal” type.