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Is Delta 8 legal in Texas?

January 2022

The legality of Delta 8 in Texas is very complicated. It involves a lot of opposing and confusing amendments. But for now, Delta 8 is legal. Will it stay that way? Well, no one can say for sure yet.

Read below to know basic information about Delta 8, the history of its legalization, and the legal battle it currently faces.   

What is Delta 8?

Delta 8 is an organic cannabinoid that is derived from hemp and marijuana.

It’s formally known as Delta 8 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

The number was taken from the position of its molecular double bond replacement. It is bonded at carbon chain position 8.

Delta 8 only appears on the market in 2018. Some people think that it is a synthetic chemical, but in truth, it is organic.

It has been discovered in the 1940s by an organic chemist named Roger Adams. He was working on his research at the University of Illinois when he stumbled upon this naturally occurring drug.

Adams’ research was limited by the law.

But in Israel, Raphael Mechoulam, another chemist was able to make a more extensive study. He was able to completely synthesize Delta 8.

Today, Delta 8 is used medically and recreationally.

What is the difference between Delta 8 and Delta 9?

On a molecular level, Delta 8 and Delta 9 are one carbon placement apart.

Bothe cannabinoids are derived from Cannabis Sativa. But this plant has different species—hemp and marijuana.

According to the legal definition, hemp is any derivative of the cannabis plant that has 0.3 % of THC and below when weighed dry.

Delta 8 is derived from the hemp plant. It is legal.

On the other hand, marijuana is any plant that contains more than 0.3 % of THC.

It is where Delta 9 is derived. Products and plants containing Delta 9 are illegal. They are specified under Schedule I of controlled substances defined in the Farm Bill of 2018.

In terms of effects, Delta 8 is less potent than Delta 9. For this reason, Delta 8 is dubbed diet weed or light weed.  

Out of the hundreds of cannabinoids in a cannabis plant, the Delta 9 is the main component that gives the highest degree of high.

Based on studies, Delta 8 produces the same effects as Delta 9. But it has a milder effect user’s senses allowing him to be more functional.

Both derivatives have the same psychoactive effects, but they vary in degree.

Legalization of Delta 8 in the US

Precolonial times

Aside from its medical and recreational uses, cannabis can be used in more practical ways.

In colonial times, the fibers of hemp are made into fabrics, sailing canvass, and ropes.

20th century

Before long, marijuana ran rampant in the making of various pharmaceutical products. It was legal and openly sold in local pharmacies.

In the 1930s, more than 20 states have passed state laws making marijuana illegal in their jurisdictions. By the end of the decade, the Marijuana Tax Act outlawed marijuana in the whole country.

But during the 2nd World War, the military launched the Hemp for Victory program.

This initiative removed some of the stigmas on cannabis. Hemp was farmed specifically for making military gears.

After the war, the country turned a stricter eye on drug-related offenses. Congress passed a law regulating drugs, including cannabis, and providing corresponding penalties.

But a counterculture happened in 1960. Marijuana became popular. It was used not just by hippies but also by other members of society.

Marijuana use was largely socially accepted, and the law became lenient.

By the 70s, more than ten states officially decriminalized marijuana while others lessened the penalty.   

But the tug of war is far from over. 

The War on Drugs started due to a movement initiated by concerned parents. The three-trike policy was introduced, imposing imprisonment for repeat offenders.

Among the significant developments in the journey to the legalization of marijuana is the passage of California Proposition 215. It permitted marijuana for certain diseases to alleviate pain.

The list includes AIDS, HIV, Crohn’s disease, ALS, cancer, glaucoma, and others, including psychological disorders and illnesses.

21st century

Trump approved the latest Farm Bill in 2018.

Under this bill, redefinition of marijuana and hemp.

It defined hemp as any cannabis plant and its derivatives (like Delta 8) that contains 0.3 % THC or less. The law made it legal.

Those that are over 0.3 % are considered marijuana and are considered illegal.

To date, 18 states have legalized recreational marijuana. And a total of 37 states have allowed its medicinal use.  

Current legal issues concerning Delta 8 in Texas

In Texas, the legal stand of Delta 8 is currently under dispute.

The Texas House Bill 1325, followed the provisions of the Farm Bill 2018. It permitted the use and distribution of products containing Delta 8 derived from hemp.

It is as long as the THC level does not so over 0.3%.

That sounds clear enough. But then the Department of State Health and Services issued an amendment saying:

” All other forms of THC, including Delta-8 in any concentration and Delta-9 exceeding 0.3%, are considered Schedule I controlled substances.”

They published this in an online notice. It left vendors, growers, and users confused.

On the 25th of October of this year, Hometown Hero CBD, a hemp retailer based in Austin, filed a restraining order for the amendment.

The company claims that the changes made violate the current laws. Also, that the Health Department failed to follow state regulations in notifying all the stakeholders.

The DSHS said that Delta 8 is not safe. And is not an accepted medical treatment. 

It may be because Delta 8 goods are not FDA certified.  

In November, the State Court granted a temporary injunction preserving the status quo. It allowed, temporarily, the legality of Delta 8. 

The Health Department elevated the injunction to the appellate court. But the court upheld it. 

On the 28th of January 2022, a trial will determine the fate of Delta 8 in Texas. 

What can be the result of the Delta 8 trial?

If the trial favors the hemp industry, all will go back to normal. 

But if Hometown Hero loses, there can be irreparable harm, not just to them but also to the Texas hemp industry, including the users. 

The reputation of the company can suffer and can experience brand erosion. 

Sick users may lose an effective treatment for their illnesses. It can lead them to seek other illegal drugs to alleviate the symptoms.

It will lead to higher drug-related cases. 

What are the different uses of Delta 8?

Delta 8 is a go-to drug for most people experiencing uncomfortable symptoms.

But people with terminal and grave conditions can also use it.

Here are some medicinal uses of Delta 8.

Protects the brain

Hypoxia is a condition characterized by low oxygen levels present in the tissues.

Researchers found that Delta 8 prevents brain damage caused by hypoxia.

Prevents nausea

Vomiting and nausea are common side effects of chemotherapy. Delta 8 can help avert these symptoms.

Improves appetite

Marijuana makes users eat a lot. It’s called having the munchies.

In the case of Delta 8, the milder effect improves appetite to a lesser degree. And it facilitates better digestion.

Improves mood

Delta 8 gives users a relaxing and calming feeling.

It can be helpful for people that are suffering from depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mood problems.

Eases pain

The components of Delta 8 binds with our CB1 receptors reducing pain.

Reduces inflammation

People experiencing pain from inflammation uses Delta 8 to reduce the swelling.

Helps with insomnia

Delta 8 helps with steadying breathing, cognitive activity, and heart rate.

It helps a person relax and sleep. It can also help with stress.

Does Delta 8 have approval by the FDA?

No, Delta 8 products do not have approval by the FDA. 

It means that they have not undergone lab tests for safety.

But despite this, the popularity of Delta 8 has risen since it became legal due to its mild effects.

The risk in using Delta 8 does not come from the harmful effect of the compound itself but the other contents of the product.

Because there is no testing, you cannot be sure of the components of the product. 

Unknown chemicals could have been added during the processing. Harmful chemicals include pesticides from an unwashed hemp plant.

So even with all the medical uses, user discretion is still advised.

Also, it is crucial to know that minors and pregnant and nursing women can develop adverse effects in using Delta 8.

Parting Words

The decriminalization of cannabis derivatives has a long history in America. It dates back to pre-colonial times.

Although the culture and the people are far different now than they were centuries ago, most cannabis derivatives are still illegal.

In Texas, the legal battle on whether Delta 8 is legal or not is still undecided.

For now, selling and distribution are legal in Texas.