Could Delta-8 THC Hemp Products Become Illegal Soon in Louisiana?
Since medical marijuana is legal in Louisiana and recreational use is not, why can you buy THC-derived products that can get you high on any given street corner?
What is Delta-8?
'Delta-8 THC' isn't marijuana, but it's basically one isomer off of what we generally consider to be 'weed.' It's this slight deviation and what it's derived from that makes it legal in Louisiana. The official description of Delta-8 according to Wikipedia is, 'Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol is a psychoactive cannabinoid found in the Cannabis plant. It is an isomer of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the compound commonly known as THC. ∆⁸-THC has antiemetic, anxiolytic, orexigenic, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties.' If you're wondering if you can get high off of it, yes, you can. Its effects just aren't as pronounced or long-lasting as traditional marijuana. Many see it as being more therapeutic than CBD.
How is Delta-8 Legal?
On the federal level, Delta-8 was made legal under the 2018 Farm Bill because it's a naturally occurring cannabinoid derived from hemp. However, the legal status of Delta-8 THC can be confusing, but the simplest way to explain it is as long as Delta-8 THC is extracted from natural hemp, which contains less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC, it is legal according to VaporVanity.com. There are some gray areas, but in short, Delta 8 has been considered legal because of a confusing loophole. However, that all changed Monday. HighTimes.com reports that Delta-9THCO and Delta-8THCO – have been classified as controlled substances and will not be considered hemp products for the purposes of federal regulation
Is Delta-8 THC legal on the state level? While it's not legal in Arkansas, it IS legal in Louisiana and Texas. After the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, Louisiana passed HB 491 in 2019. According to IPSNews.net, under HB 491, 'apart from Delta-8 THC, all derivatives, cannabinoids, and isomers of hemp were also legalized. Even the hemp plant’s acids, salts, and salts of isomers were included in the law. However, closely following the national law, the products should not contain more than 0.3% of Delta-8 THC.'
In short, you don't have to worry about the legality of Delta-8 THC in the bayou state... for now. Word is that the governor and legislators will be modifying laws regarding these unregulated products to close any possible loopholes. As to how safe it is, it depends on who you ask and where you get it. You also need to be aware that if you're drug tested, it will most definitely show up as THC. Interestingly enough, bills to legalize the recreational use of marijuana have already been filed for the spring legislative session.