Yes, delta-8 THC is currently legal in Kansas. However, it has to be derived from hemp: a variety of cannabis containing 0.3% or less of delta-9 THC.
The 2018 Farm Bill made hemp federally legal, and Kansas aligned with federal policy by passing its own bill to legalize hemp in 2018: Senate Bill Number 263. This means any products derived from hemp, including delta-8 THC, are fully legal.
However, keep in mind that delta-8 legality is constantly changing. Many states have recently banned delta-8 and others are considering doing the same, so its legality in Kansas may change.
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What is Delta 8 THC?
Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8 THC) is a form of THC, the main cannabinoid in cannabis that gets you high (1). Most of us are only familiar with delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.
Although both delta-8 and delta-9 are forms of THC, everyone refers to delta-9 when they say “THC” without any modifier.
Delta-8 THC produces similar effects to delta-9, including euphoria, sedation, red eyes, pain relief, increased appetite, and other effects. However, research suggests that it’s only about 66% as potent, which means it’s less likely to cause side effects such as anxiety (2).
This means that delta-8 is a safer option for people who experience unwanted side effects from regular cannabis and other products rich in delta-9 THC.
Why Delta 8 THC is Federally Legal
Marijuana and delta-9 THC are federally illegal and considered Schedule 1 controlled substances. Delta-8, however, is not on this list.
Although cannabis plants naturally contain small amounts of delta-8, most vendors make delta-8 THC from hemp-derived CBD through a special chemical process.
Since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp in the United States, that means hemp-derived delta-8 THC is legal.
On top of that, because delta-8 is made from a natural source (CBD), it’s not included under the definition of synthetic cannabinoids, which were added to the list of Schedule 1 (banned) drugs by the 2012 Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act.
Delta-8 products have exploded in popularity because they offer a “legal high” and the health benefits of THC in states where marijuana and delta-9 THC are illegal.
Where is Delta 8 Illegal?
At this time, delta 8 THC is illegal in 15 states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Kentucky, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New York, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, and Washington.
This list may soon expand as more states are considering banning the cannabinoid.
The DEA and Delta 8 THC
Although delta-8 is legal in Kansas for now, that may change in the near future. For one thing, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) recently included delta-8 THC in its “orange book” of controlled substances.
The book now lists delta-8 THC under the group “tetrahydrocannabinols”, which means all compounds that are considered THC. The group already includes delta-9 THC and two synthetic pharmaceutical THC drugs.
This doesn’t mean delta-8 THC is illegal since the federal law states that “Tetrahydrocannabinols does not include any material, compound, mixture, or preparation that falls within the definition of hemp.”
However, this shows that the DEA wants to treat delta-8 THC as a controlled substance.
Future of Delta 8 THC in Kansas
The bottom line is that we don’t know if delta 8 THC will remain legal in Kansas.
Many states recently banned delta-8 and others are also considering doing the same. Coupled with the DEA’s concerns, the federal and state governments are likely going to pay increasing attention to the cannabinoid and consider banning it.
This means delta 8 THC could soon be banned by more states and even become federally illegal.
Gleb is a freelance writer from Vancouver, Canada specializing in CBD and cannabis. He’s read thousands of research 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 spend his time in the gym and out in nature.