Delta-8 State Regulation: Is Texas Next?
Step aside cannabidiol, there is a new star in the cannabinoid industry. Delta-8 THC is arguably the most sought-after cannabinoid on the market, even in the Lone Star State of Texas. Delta-8 is an isomer of delta-9 THC or traditional THC, thought to cause a mild to moderate high. Delta-8 has been dubbed the “new THC,” and with traditional marijuana being illegal at the federal level, delta-8 has created somewhat of a loophole for consumers. With the gap between federally illegal marijuana and federally legal hemp being bridged by delta-8 THC, many states are quickly acting to restrict the high, and Texas is working to be next.
Is Delta-8 Legal in Texas?
State lawmakers in Texas recently sought pass a ban on delta-8. Texas House Bill 2593 initially sought to reduce criminal charges for the possession of THC in the state. The bill was amended during a Senate floor debate to limit the amount ofall tetrahydrocannabinolsto just 0.3%, causing an uproar among the Texan cannabis community. This amendment would have made any product with any THC-based cannabinoid with more than 0.3% illegal, including delta-8.
The bill did fail to pass as it died after a House conference committee removed the amendment and the Senate failed to vote further. Based on this, the sale, production, possession and use of delta-8 is still legal in Texas, if it is hemp-derived. In 2018, the Farm Bill was signed into law by the Trump administration, allowing the cultivation, production and distribution of hemp and hemp-derived products. Similarly, it removed tetrahydrocannabinols in hemp from the list of controlled substances. The Farm Bill, in essence, differentiated between hemp and marijuana or medical cannabis.
Delta-8 In Texas Takeaways
- If delta-8 THC is sourced from hemp plants and contains less than 0.3% THC, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, it is legal
- If delta-8 THC is sourced from marijuana plants, it is still illegal (coinciding with federal law)
- For now, you are still able to purchase, possess and use delta-8 products in the state of Texas
How Do Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC Differ?
Delta-9 is the traditional THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) we think of when referring to marijuana and cannabis. Don’t confuse cannabis and hemp plants, though they do come from the same family they do have a different cannabinoid structure. Delta-9 is most known for its ability to get people “high,” there can be some unwanted side effects. Some cannabis users have no adverse side effects, but some have reported increased anxiety or paranoia. Delta-9 contains psychoactive properties through its interaction with the ECS but has been thought to host a range of potentially therapeutic properties for some consumers. Some have reported stress relief, pain reduction and more with the use of delta-9 THC.
Delta-8 THC is a relative of delta-9 THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), with a similar molecular structure, but with a few key differences. The two share similar properties, like potentially stimulating appetite, reducing pain or aiding in sleep, but delta-8 THC reportedly exhibits a lower psychoactive impact than delta-9 THC. Delta-8 THC occurs in all cannabis and hemp plants in very small concentrations, with most of the delta-8 THC products available being manufactured from hemp plants. Users of delta-8 THC have reported similar effects that like of traditional THC, but less amplified. In other words, delta-8 THC could create a desirable middle ground between CBD and traditional THC if its legality remains.