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Delta-8 is legal in West Virginia. The state legalized hemp-derived products, bringing it in line with federal policy.
Here’s what you need to know about delta 8 THC legality in West Virginia.
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West Virginia Delta-8 THC Laws
The state used similar definitions as federal laws to legalize hemp and hemp-derived products. Hemp is any cannabis plant with less than 0.3% delta-9 THC. They may be isomers, cannabinoids, salts of isomers, salts, or all other extracts.
West Virginia also passed House Bill 2694 in 2019, which confirms the legality of hemp and hemp-derived cannabinoids in the state.
There are two key parts of this bill confirming that delta-8 is legal in West Virginia:
“Hemp” or “industrial hemp” means all parts and varieties of the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of the plant, including the seeds of the plant and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not with no greater than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol, or the THC concentration for hemp defined in 7 U.S.C. § 5940, whichever is greater.
THC” means tetrahydrocannabinol. Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, the THC found in industrial hemp shall not be considered to be THC for the purposes of qualifying as a controlled substance.West Virginia House Bill 2694
This confirms that any cannabinoids derived from hemp are legal in the state, including delta-8 THC.
What Is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 THC (delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol) is a form of THC. THC is the cannabinoid that gets people high when they take cannabis. Many people only know delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, which is what people are referring to when they say “THC.”
Delta-8 has similar effects to delta-9, like euphoria, red eyes, sedation, pain relief, and increased appetite. However, studies show that delta-8 is only about 66% as potent as delta-9 (1). That means it has a lower chance of causing side effects, like anxiety.
Delta-8 is essentially a weaker, safer, legal alternative to marijuana and THC.
Why Delta-8 THC is Federally Legal
While the federal government considers marijuana and delta-9 THC as illegal, Schedule 1 controlled substances, delta-8 not on this list. That means it’s federally legal.
Cannabis plants (both hemp and marijuana) naturally produce small amounts of delta-8 THC. However, this isn’t enough to make products, so most vendors make delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol from hemp-derived CBD via a unique chemical process.
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp across the United States. Therefore, hemp-derived delta-8 THC is legal under federal laws.
Another key point is that delta-8 THC is not considered a synthetic cannabinoid because it’s made from a natural source. Therefore, it doesn’t fall under the list of banned (Schedule 1) synthetic cannabinoids included in the 2012 Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act.
Delta-8 products have become popular because they’re a legal alternative to marijuana and THC in states where they’re illegal.
States Where Delta-8 THC is Illegal
While hemp-derived delta-8 THC is federally legal under the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, some states have decided to ban it.
Delta-8 THC is currently illegal in 14 states: Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, New York, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Utah, and Washington.
Other states may decide to outlaw or regulate it in the future.
Future of Delta-8 THC in West Virginia
Delta-8 remains legal in West Virginia because the bill aimed at banning it didn’t pass. But this does suggest that other bills could be introduced in the future. We’ll have to wait and see.
A growing number of states are banning delta-8 THC and others are considering outlawing it.
Gleb is a freelance writer from Vancouver, Canada specializing in CBD and cannabis. He’s read thousands of studies on CBD and other supplements, helping him translate complex science into plain language. Gleb has tried and reviewed dozens of CBD brands and products, written third-party testing reports, and knows the CBD industry inside and out. When not writing, he likes to kickbox, travel, and tell everyone how awesome intermittent fasting is.