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Is Delta 8 legal in Tennessee?

January 2022

Herbal medicines have been used for centuries. Cannabis Sativa plants (marijuana and hemp) are among the oldest natural treatments for pain. 

The demand for naturally occurring drugs is very high for medical and recreational purposes. But the main component of cannabis is outlawed in many countries, including the United States. 

But in recent years, there have been developments in the law that allowed other milder derivatives from cannabis Sativa to be used openly. 

Delta 8 is one of those derivatives or isomers. It is also known as Delta 8 tetrahydrocannabinol or THC and d8. 

It can be written as a triangle (for delta) followed by the number 8 and the acronym THC. 

What is Delta 8?

Hemp and marijuana are species of plants that belong to the cannabis genus. 

These plants contain what are called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are substances that can be extracted from plants that give psychogenic effects. 

Delta 8 is among the hundreds of cannabinoids present in hemp and marijuana. 

Is Delta 8 the same as Delta 9?

Delta 8 and Delta 9 are both naturally occurring cannabinoids found in hemp and marijuana. 

But they are not the same. 

Delta 9 is the most abundant cannabinoid. It is the primary component of the marijuana plant and products. 

There is much less Delta 8 in a cannabis plant. Only a small percentage of Delta 8 THC is present in one fully grown hemp plant.

At a molecular level, they have a slight structural difference. Delta 8 is bonded at carbon chain position 8. And Delta 9 is bonded at carbon chain position 9. 

It can seem like a minor difference. But it creates changes in their effects and intensity. 

Delta 9 gives the highest degree of high. But it also has the most side effects. 

It can cause drastic mood, behavior, and perception changes when under the influence. 

But, Delta 8 is a milder form of cannabinoid. Users say that it gives a clear high. It gives you a euphoric feeling without impairing your senses. 

They claim that it sharpens the focus and allows you to function productively throughout your daily routine. 

When it comes to legality, Delta 9 is under the list of controlled, which means it is illegal. But Delta 8 is legal if it complies with the 0.3% or fewer THC contents. 

Legalities relating to Delta 8 in Tennessee

After the passage of the current Farm Bill in 2018, Tenessee was among the states that aligned their state laws with the federal provisions. 

Senate Bill 357 provides rules relating to the regulation of marijuana and hemp in consonance with federal law. 

The bill defines hemp as any plant and extract of it that contains 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol when weighed dry.

It, specifically, provides that marijuana does not include the hemp plant or any of its derivatives. 

More importantly, it states that hemp is included in the list of controlled substances. 

In the state of Tennessee, it is legal to:

  • Buy hemp, hemp plant, and products containing hemp-derived isomers or salts
  • Sell hemp, hemp plant, and products containing hemp-derived isomers or salt
  • Grow hemp plant
  • Process hemp, hemp plant, and hemp-derived isomers or salts and make them into ingestible or aerosolized products
  • Distribute hemp, hemp plant, and products containing hemp-derived isomers or salts
  • Ship within the state jurisdiction hemp, hemp plant, and products containing hemp-derived isomers or salts
  • Travel with hemp, hemp plant, and products containing hemp-derived isomers or salts

But there is a catch, the hemp plant or products must contain 0.3% TCH on a dry weight basis. It is both a provision of state and federal law. 

If the amount exceeds the limit by even a percentage, it can be a ground for arrest. 

Drug Enforcement Agency and Delta 8

While the state and federal law exempts hemp derivatives from controlled substances, the DEA claims that Delta 8 is still illegal. 

Their argument lies in the manufacture of Delta 8 products. 

There are minimal amounts of Delta 8 THC in a hemp plant. So, it is difficult to extract and collect a pure amount of it to use in a product. 

Because of this, companies add reagents and other chemicals. It makes the final products largely a combination of chemicals with a minimal amount of Delta 8. 

Also, another method is by converting cannabidiols (CBD) into Delta 8. This process is called a synthetic conversion. 

The DEA argues that most Delta 8 products are considered synthetic drugs. 

And drugs that are derived synthetically are still under the list of controlled substances. 

The DEA maintains this stand, and there is yet to be a final ruling from concerned institutions and officials about this argument. 

Meanwhile, the DEA can enforce arrest on Delta 8 related offenses. 

If you are confused, so are several people. But so far, there have not been any reported arrests concerning Delta 8. 

The law needs to be more specific when it comes to Delta 8, so that everybody will be on the same page. 

What are the medical uses of Delta 8?

The medical uses of Delta 8 are quite like Delta 9. 

Protects and keeps the brain healthy

Studies suggest that using moderate amounts of Delta 8 can increase the amount of Acetylcholine produced by the body. 

It is a neurotransmitter that allows more efficient communication between brain cells. 

It improves retention and allows the brain to focus on the task at hand. 

Reduces anxiety

Delta 8 has been known to help with stress and depression. 

The euphoric and relaxing effect on the mind and body allows users to take their minds off stressful things. 

But this does not mean that they incur temporary amnesia. 

The TCH binds with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body. It helps in better regulation of stress and anxiety. 

The body will experience an elated feeling, and your mood will become light making you calm and relaxed. 

It helps with nightmares, insomnia, mood disorders, and other psychological symptoms. 

Treatment for nausea

Nausea and vomiting are primary side effects of chemotherapy. 

Cancer patients and terminally ill patients undergoing this treatment are often prescribed marijuana to manage the symptoms. 

But Delta 8 provides a much better option. It is an effective antiemetic with lesser undesirable effects and a milder dosage. 

Reduces pain

The most popular use of cannabis derivatives is analgesics or drugs that reduce pain. 

Delta 8 is no different from other cannabinoids. It also has analgesic properties. 

It can reduce swelling and lessen the pain caused by it. It can also target central and chronic pain. 

Improves appetite

Delta 8 increases a person’s appetite, not to the point of overeating, of course. 

For people who have eating disorders, Delts 8 can be the answer. 

The components of this drug increase the nutrient absorption ability of the digestive system.

What are the safety concerns in using Delta 8?

Compared to Delta 9, Delta 8 produces lesser side effects. It makes it more appealing to users. 

There have not been many extensive studies on all the effects of Delta 8 on the body.

But the greater risk lies in the other components of Delta 8 products rather than on the cannabinoid itself. 

Because there are only small amounts of Delta 8 that can be extracted from a hemp plant, a combination of other chemicals are added to the final product. 

These chemicals can pose potential health risks. 

Remember, Delta 8 products have not undergone testing and approval by the Food and Drug Authority.

Before you buy, make sure to check the label and check the contents.

Where to buy Delta 8 in Tennessee?

There are a variety of Delta 8 products out there.

They can be in the form of consumable or ingestible, like gummies and cold beverages. It can also be in the form of cigarettes or vape cartridges or ink. Some companies produce bottled injectables. 

They can be bought in:

  • Gas stations
  • Pharmacies
  • CBD shops
  • Online stores
  • Local stores

Online stores provide the most convenient, cheapest, and most reliable products. 

But you should always check to see if they have a certificate of analysis on their products. This will tell what exactly will you be putting inside your body. 

And it is, especially, important for people who have allergies. There could be chemicals in the product that they could be allergic to. 

Parting Words

Delta 8 craze has created a lucrative industry that is completely legal. 

Absent any amendment in the current state and federal law, Delta 8 will remain legal. And can be bought, distributed, and processed openly in the state of Tennessee.

But despite the loophole, the DEA is interpreting the law differently. Delta 8 must be considered a controlled substance. 

Even so, there have not been any arrests made, so as of now, Delta 8 users and sellers are in the clear.