Delta-8 THC is a psychoactive substance found in the Cannabis sativa plant, of which marijuana and hemp are two varieties. It is one of more than 100 cannabinoids naturally produced by the cannabis plant, but is not found in significant quantities in the cannabis plant. Manufacturers have discovered a way to produce it from a third notable chemical substance in cannabis plants, CBD. Delta-8 THC is generally added to vaping gummies and cartridges and is legally sold online and in stores. The legality of delta-8 products has been a source of confusion for many.
In the absence of clear federal regulations or guidelines, legislators in states like Colorado and Oregon have taken matters into their own hands by banning products. New York Cannabis Control Board (CCB) has also announced that delta-8 products cannot be legally sold, produced, or manufactured in the state. However, a recent verdict by a federal appellate court appeared to confirm the legality of delta-8 products at the federal level. Mitch McConnell wrote in a statement by the hemp industry advocacy group that the commercialization of intoxicating products such as delta-8 THC as hemp is not consistent with the intention of Congress.
That legislation legalized hemp, which is defined as a cannabis plant containing 0.3 percent delta-9 THC or less, levels considered too low to have a psychoactive effect. The milder high is one of the delta-8's main attractions for users. Shawn Hauser, partner of Vicente Sederberg and co-chair of the law firm's hemp and cannabinoid study, agrees that Congress should take steps to further regulate cannabinoids, including delta-8 THC, and suggests that the best path to that goal is full federal legalization of cannabis. Very little is still known about delta-8 THC itself and, in an unregulated market, products containing this compound can easily be cut with toxic materials that consumers have no idea about. The FDA is also concerned that products with THC delta-8 are likely to expose consumers to much higher levels of the substance than those found naturally in raw hemp and cannabis extracts. Delta-8-THC can only be detected in small amounts in both hemp and marijuana plants, but scientists don't know much about how this isolated chemical in the body works, especially at high concentrations. According to Piomelli, since delta-8 and delta-9 have a very similar molecular structure, the two compounds would theoretically produce similar medical benefits, but there is no solid data to prove that this is true. The lack of regulation in the United States around delta-8 is the biggest concern for many public health experts.
Boyd Street argued that AK Futures' trademark infringement allegation was invalid because delta-8 THC is illegal under federal law. If Congress did not intend to legalize delta-8, then it is up to Congress to correct its error, the three-judge panel wrote in its unanimous decision.