What You Need to Know About Delta-8 THC in Virginia
Delta-8 THC has valuable potential benefits, but there are some facts you need to know before you buy.
With all the excitement surrounding cannabis in Virginia these days, it’s easy to forget about delta-8 THC being in the mix. After all, the Virginia medical marijuana program is getting more and more robust every day, and marijuana possession is about to be legal starting July 1, 2021.
So, why even bother with delta-8 THC when you can get a medical marijuana card and purchase legal cannabis products in a variety of formats? Patients who qualify for medical marijuana in Virginia can even have products delivered right to their door!
The answer is that many Virginia residents are unfamiliar with current cannabis laws. And who can blame them? Legislation has been confusing, and it is moving quickly. There is still a lot of stigma surrounding marijuana products, and some people are looking for ways to treat their symptoms or get “high” using products that may be seen as more acceptable.
Delta-8 THC seems to be the solution—it’s legal (or is it?), it’s mild, it offers wellness benefits, and its use may come with a less negative perception than marijuana. The truth, however, is that they don’t make you feel quite like marijuana does, and they are not quite legal.
Delta-8 gummies are easy enough to find, available in CBD shops like NOVA Hemp and sometimes even your local WaWa. 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 legal grey area, and as such they 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 issues similar to what you see in the mainstream CBD market, including mislabeled products, lower-quality, and even toxic ingredients.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about delta-8 THC.
As always, Virginia Marijuana Card is here to help you understand all things related to cannabis, and to 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 (888) 633-5808 to talk to our knowledgeable staff, or simply make an appointment to see one of our marijuana doctors today!
What is Delta-8 THC?
Like CBD, CBN, CBC, and CBG, delta-8 THC is a cannabinoid present in cannabis plants. The difference between delta-8 and delta-9 THC comes down to one tiny bond on a carbon chain, but it can make a world of difference when it comes to legality and processing.
Delta-8 is only present in very small quantities. Not enough to make commercial production financially viable. So instead of direct extraction, processors convert the abundantly-available cannabinoid, CBD, into delta-8 THC.
Because cannabinoids are all atomically similar, the process is fairly simple. A weak acid, known as glacial acetic acid (which is essentially the scientific term for lethal vinegar) converts CBD into several different compounds, including delta-8 and delta-9 THC.
Solvents used to extract the CBD and convert it to delta-8 THC must then be removed from the finished product before it is ready to add to gummies, tinctures, and vapes.
Is Delta-8 THC Legal in Virginia?
You may be able to pick up delta-8 THC gummies when you stop to fill up your tank and grab a morning banana-strawberry smoothie, but the legality of those gummies is questionable.
According to the DEA, THC is THC. And all forms of THC are considered Schedule I controlled substances. Obviously, voters in the state of Missouri disagree that marijuana products should be put into the same category as heroin, but the only protection from legal action right now comes in the form of a Virginia marijuana card.
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 in Virginia is Made From Legal Hemp-Derived CBD
The 2018 Farm Bill clarified the Federal position on hemp, and it separated hemp from marijuana. Even though they are both cannabis, hemp contains 0.3 percent THC or less.
The Farm Bill made commercial cultivation of hemp legal, and it descheduled extracts that come from the plant.
Here’s the loophole, then, that some argue makes delta-8 THC legal: Processors extract the CBD used to make delta-8 THC from hemp. The CBD is legal. Therefore, they argue, the delta-8 THC is legal too. The DEA does not agree.
Enforcement is a Challenge
When it comes to enforcing laws related to cannabis, the Federal Government relies heavily on cooperation from the states. Pursuing violators requires a lot of resources, and the complexities surrounding cannabis create confusion that makes it even more challenging. If law enforcement does not happen on a local level, it can get very expensive.
Most states have taken public opinion that marijuana should be legal into consideration, and they are adopting a more lax approach to several types of 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 Virginia Get You High?
The effects of delta-8 will depend on your tolerance to—and level of experience with—THC, but in general they are a bit muted in comparison to regular marijuana products. The feeling is more like a super beefed up CBD.
The first time you try delta-8 THC, you should plan to avoid driving or operating heavy machinery. Even if they don’t cause that classic “high” feeling you expect from delta-9 THC, delta-8 products may still cause impairment.
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 delta-9 THC and may not make you feel as impaired. However, the products you can find in stores right now are not regulated or monitored in any meaningful way because they are technically illegal.
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
If you are going to purchase delta-8 THC, make sure you trust the company that manufactured your product. Companies that make other hemp-based products are a good place to start looking. They should have a good reputation, and they should be able to produce an accurate certificate of analysis verifying purity and potency claims.
One way to check up on the company that makes the delta-8 products you are considering is attempting to contact customer service. Are they easy to get hold of? Do they answer your questions? Are they friendly? If not, we suggest you shop elsewhere.
Medical Marijuana is Legal and Well-Regulated
Some people may feel like delta-8 THC 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 Virginia medical marijuana dispensaries.
Medical marijuana is legal to purchase and possess in the state of Virginia, and the products are made by companies that are held accountable for their practices by state regulators. Your products will always be exactly as labeled, and they are stringently tested for purity.
If you are concerned about impairment, you can get products that are very low in THC and higher in CBD. This may help reduce the effects and help you function better throughout the day.
With a VA Marijuana Card, Natural Relief Comes to Your Door!
A Virginia marijuana card gives you the ability to consult with professionals who are experienced in helping patients get the results they are looking for. You can order marijuana products like gummies, tinctures, vape pens, topicals, and soon flower, and have them delivered right to your door!
Give our knowledgeable staff a call at (888) 633-5808, 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 Virginia Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to MMJ. 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 (888) 633-5808, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
Check out Virginia 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 Virginia!