Is Delta 8 THC Legal in West Virginia? (July 2021)

By | last updated August 4, 2021

Evidence Based 5

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Yes, delta-8 is currently legal in West Virginia if it’s made from hemp.

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp across the nation, so products made from it are also legal. On top of that, West Virginia legalized hemp-derived products through its state laws.

However, this may change in the future. Some states have recently banned delta 8, while others are in the process of doing it.

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

Hemp-derived delta-8 THC is legal in West Virginia.

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 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.

Where Is Delta-8 Illegal?

While hemp-derived delta-8 THC is federally legal under the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, some states have recently decided to ban it.

Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol is illegal in 15 states. These jurisdictions are Washington, Vermont, Utah, Rhode Island, New York, Mississippi, Montana, Iowa, Idaho, Kentucky, Colorado, Arkansas, Delaware, Arizona, and Alaska.

Other states may also decide to outlaw it in the future.

Delta-8 THC and the DEA

While delta-8 THC is legal in West Virginia, its status may change in the future. The DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) recently added delta-8 THC to its “orange book” of controlled substances.

The book lists it under the tetrahydrocannabinol group, which means all compounds are THC. Two synthetic pharmaceutical THC drugs and delta-9 THC were already in this group.

While the DEA’s decision doesn’t make delta-8 THC illegal under federal law, it signals the organization’s intent to treat it as a controlled substance.

Future of Delta-8 THC in West Virginia

Delta-8 THC is currently legal in West Virginia. However, it is difficult to say if it will remain this way.

A growing number of states are banning delta-8 THC and others are considering outlawing it.

These developments will pressure federal and state governments to evaluate their stance on delta-8, so you should always check to see if it’s still legal in West Virginia.

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