Is Delta-8 A Form of Marijuana? What You Need to Know About Delta-8 in Missouri
Delta-8 THC seems like a simple, legal alternative to marijuana in Missouri. Check out the facts before you buy.
At the beginning of May, 2021, Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services reported that its medical marijuana patient registry has hit the 100 thousand patient mark. However, even with residents finding it easy to qualify for a marijuana card, some people are hesitant to take advantage of the full therapeutic benefits of cannabis—instead looking at alternatives like delta-8 products.
Delta-8 gummies are easy enough to find, available in most smoke and vape shops in Missouri and possibly even your local Rhodes. They seem to be completely legal, giving people who are hesitant about the safety and legality of marijuana a sense of security in their purchases.
However, delta-8 THC is in a very legal grey area, and as such are not consistently regulated. Additionally, even though delta-8 comes from the cannabis plant, it is found in such small quantities that it must be synthetically-derived in order to be cost effective.
This puts consumers at risk for some pretty shady deals, including mislabeled products, lower-quality, and even toxic ingredients. In this article, we are going to take a look at what you need to know about delta-8 THC in order to make informed decisions about your wellness plan.
As always, Missouri Marijuana Card is here to help you understand all things related to cannabis, and keep you informed and up-to-date about the marijuana program. Follow our blog for all the latest news and education, give us a call at (877) 303-3117 to talk to our knowledgeable staff, or simply make an appointment to see one of our marijuana doctors today!
What is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 THC is a cannabinoid present in the cannabis plant, like CBD, CBN, CBC, CBG, and THC. The THC that gets you “high” and is present in your favorite strains of medical marijuana, is known as delta-9 THC.
The difference between delta-8 and delta-9 THC comes down to the placement of one specific atomic bond that affects the way these cannabinoids interact with your endocannabinoid system.
Delta-8 is not naturally present in cannabis plants in large quantities, and the products you find on shelves is actually made through a process that converts the more abundantly-available CBD into delta-8 through a process using glacial acetic acid, which is essentially the scientific term for lethal vinegar. The acid converts CBD into several different compounds, including delta-8 and delta-9 THC.
Once the conversion takes place, then any solvents used to extract the CBD and convert it to delta-8 THC must be removed from the finished product. Then, the purified delta-8 THC is ready to be added to tinctures and gummies for the consumer market.
Why is Delta-8 Legal in Missouri?
Many think because delta-8 is on shelves in Missouri and you can pick it up when you get your Big Gulp slushie, that means it’s legal. However, delta-8 THC sits very squarely on the DEA’s orange book of controlled substances as a schedule I—the same as delta-9 THC, heroin, and acid (weird list, right?).
The thing that makes it possible to put these products out, is a combination of a legal loophole that the attorneys of big-time processors argue makes delta-8 legal and the lack of resources to combat the problem.
Most Delta-8 is Made From Hemp-Derived CBD, Which IS Federally Legal
Hemp was defined as a completely separate plant from marijuana in the 2018 Farm Bill that allowed states to develop programs to support commercial hemp cultivation. Hemp is defined as cannabis plants that contain 0.3 percent THC or less. The plant’s derivatives are descheduled, and they are no longer considered a controlled substance.
Here’s the loophole: Delta-8 THC is converted into its final form from hemp-derived CBD. Since it is derived from hemp, then it must be legal, right?
Wrong. The DEA has specifically indicated that THC is THC no matter where it came from, and therefore delta-8 THC is a controlled substance, making it illegal.
No One Has the Resources to Enforce the Legality
When it comes to enforcing laws related to cannabis, the Federal Government relies heavily on cooperation from the states. They do not have the resources to pursue violators, and the majority of policing on the issue falls on local law enforcement.
Some companies are taking advantage of the confusion and distributing delta-8 products without any oversight from state or federal regulators. Which is how you are able to find gummies that will get you a little high just about anywhere you go now.
Does the Delta-8 THC You Can Buy in Missouri Get You High?
You can walk right into an Electric Puff shop in Missouri and pick up some Hometown Heroes brand delta-8 THC, and it will get you at least a little high. The effects of delta-8 will depend on your tolerance to—and level of experience with—THC.
No matter what, though, the effect of delta-8 is muted in comparison to delta-9. Some people may feel like this is a good way to introduce themselves to the world of medical marijuana, by getting their toes wet first, but you are better off starting low and going slow with the well-regulated products that you can find in Missouri medical marijuana dispensaries.
Is Delta-8 THC Safe?
This is another question that does not have a clear cut answer. Delta-8 THC has the potential to offer a valuable therapeutic effect, because it comes with some of the same benefits as marijuana without making you feel quite as impaired. However, it does still cause impairment; and the products you can find in stores right now are not regulated or monitored in any meaningful way because they are technically illegal.
The lack of oversight that we are seeing with delta-8 THC is similar to the problems we saw in the early days with CBD. Though this sector of the wellness industry has mostly balanced out, there are still companies that are just out to make fast money from misinformed consumers.
Because delta-8 THC is a newer product, the market is wide open for taking advantage of people who are not aware of the potential issues:
Incomplete removal of solvents
Presence of delta-9 THC
No delta-8 THC present
Make sure you trust the company that produces your delta-8 products, that their customer support is easily accessible, and that they include an accurate certificate of analysis on every package.
Medical Marijuana is Legal and Well-Regulated
Of course we are going to argue on the side that you should just go ahead and get your medical marijuana card, but there are lots of advantages to going this route.
First of all, there is no question about whether or not medical marijuana is legal in Missouri. While it may be federally illegal, state laws protect residents who choose to participate in the program from adverse action taken by law enforcement.
Additionally, despite political issues and a slow program rollout, production of medical marijuana in Missouri is highly regulated. Processors must follow strict guidelines and submit to regular inspections in order to maintain their license. When you purchase medical marijuana, you can be rest-assured that your products are pure, accurately-labeled, and safe.
Get a Missouri Marijuana Card, and Get the Relief You’re Looking For!
When you have a Missouri marijuana card, you can take advantage of all the products you can find at Missouri dispensaries, including lower-dose THC and high CBD products. These are less likely to cause the level of impairment that you might be concerned about, starting with very low doses will help you understand your personal tolerance.
Give our knowledgeable staff a call at (877) 303-3117, or schedule an appointment with one of our doctors today, to learn more about how medical marijuana can provide you with natural relief in a safe, legal manner!
Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.
At Missouri Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (877) 303-3117, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
Check out Missouri Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Missouri.