Delta 8 THC is an analog of the better-known compound — delta 9 THC — the active ingredient in marijuana.
Federal law states that cannabis-infused products for sale may not contain more than 0.3% delta 9 THC. However, it doesn’t clarify anything about its analogs delta 8 and delta 10 THC.
The law leaves these two other cannabinoids in the same legal category as CBD as long as they’re made from industrial hemp instead of marijuana.
In this sort of legal greyness, it can be challenging to understand whether you’re allowed to purchase delta 8 THC or not.
In this article, we’ll inform you about the legal status of delta 8 in the state of Alaska and enlighten you on various aspects surrounding this mysterious and worthy cannabinoid.
IS DELTA 8 THC LEGAL IN ALASKA?
Unfortunately, delta 8 THC is illegal in the state of Alaska — as stated in Sec. 7. AS 11.71.900(14) of the Alaska Statutes.
Despite all the improvements we’ve made in changing Alaska regulations to be more relaxed when it comes to cannabis, delta 8 is effectively prohibited in this northern US state.
Since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, signed by President Donald Trump, delta 8 THC became a legal substance at the federal level as long as a few specific criteria were met:
- It had to be made from hemp
- It had to contain no more than 0.3% delta 9 THC
Most US states followed the same language for their regulations regarding hemp, but a few states imposed their own changes that sought to outlaw analogs like delta 8 or delta 10 THC. Alaska is a perfect example of this.
WHAT ABOUT DELTA 10 THC: IS IT LEGAL?
Delta 10 THC is legal on a federal level but banned in Alaska under the same laws as delta 8.
This cannabinoid is also an analog to delta 9. Its effects are similar to delta 8 THC, but its potency is lower than its concentration in the cannabis plant.
DO I NEED A MEDICAL CARD IN ALASKA TO ORDER DELTA 8 THC?
Even with a medical card, you’re not going to be able to buy delta 8 THC in the state of Alaska, and there are no medical dispensaries that currently even carry it.
RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA IN ALASKA
Possession of small amounts of cannabis for personal use is legal in Alaska.
Although it’s legal to grow your weed in Alaska, you can only have a maximum of 113 grams of weed in your private dwelling (this is quite a generous amount of weed).
The law states that you can carry up to 28 grams in public, but you’re likely to get in trouble if you carry more than that.
If you’re caught with between 28 and 113 grams, you could be imprisoned for a year and pay a fine of up to $1,000. If you carry an even larger amount, the penalty could increase and go up to 5 years in prison.
WHY IS RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA SO EXPENSIVE IN ALASKA?
Alaska is one of the places where recreational marijuana prices are outrageously high.
The price for one pound of top-shelf marijuana is around $9000 in the average store. As for reference, the average price for the same amount of weed in Colorado is $1,471.
If we go to the black market, the difference is substantial: $2,000 to $3,600 per pound.
Going to more manageable quantities: an eighth of an ounce counts for $60 to $88 in the store; the black market price is $40.
The reason for these prices, it’s said, is the scarcity of the product. There’s more demand than supply, so prices have skyrocketed. The Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office of Alaska offered 45 new licenses to growers to prevent this from happening.
Those who are now licensed enjoy spectacular overpayments: up to $5,000 per ounce from the stores. No wonder they say, “We see no reason to lower prices.”
This is one of the main reasons why so many people in Alaska seek out delta 8. It’s way cheaper, and because of the globalized world we live in, there are no borders for buying federally unregulated products in the United States. You can easily order delta 8 products made in California and have them delivered anywhere in the United States.
That is unless the state moved to contradict federal law and ban it — as is the case with Alaska.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DELTA 8 THC & DELTA 9 THC?
Delta 8 is a cannabinoid that comes directly from the marijuana plant. No chemical procedure is needed to access delta 8, but its concentration in marijuana flowers is only around 1%.
Delta 8 THC interacts with your endocannabinoid system (the neurotransmitters and receptors in the brain that THC acts on) slightly differently than delta 9 THC, producing what’s often said to be a less anxious and more relaxing experience.
Of course, the experience can vary depending on the quality and quantity of THC ingested, among other factors. Things like what a person has eaten and drank before using the cannabinoid, as well as differences in how their body’s cannabinoid receptors react to THC, can all alter the experience.
HOW TO USE DELTA 8 THC
We can find delta 8 THC in different presentations. Nowadays, several companies specialize in this product, and there are more and more options when choosing the way we consume this cannabinoid.
Some of the most common presentations of delta 8 THC include:
DELTA 8 THC GUMMIES
Delta 8 THC gummies are similar to tinctures or capsules, but instead of using a carrier oil as the base, they use gelatin and fruity flavoring.
D8-THC infused gummies are, by far, one of the most common forms of using delta 8 nowadays. They make calculating doses super simple and offer all the benefits of edible delta 8 (high potency and discrete dosing) without any negatives (no fussing around with oils or lung damage through smoking).
DELTA 8 THC VAPES
D8-THC distillate cartridges and disposable vapes are other popular forms. The main advantage of this method is a combination of the simplicity of use (take a quick puff whenever you feel like it) and rapid onset of effects.
Within a few seconds of puffing on a vape, you’ll start to experience the effects of delta 8 THC. Compare this to edibles which can take up to an hour to kick in.
WHAT’S THE FUTURE OF DELTA 8 THC IN ALASKA?
Despite having legalized weed in Alaska, outdated laws remain in place that ban the sale and consumption of delta 8 THC.
This ruling is contradictory to the federal law that permits any delta 8 THC products made from the hemp plant.
As public interest in delta 8 THC continues to grow, we’ll likely see changes to these laws that remove delta 8 and other naturally occurring cannabinoids from the prohibited substances list.
It’s unclear how long this process will take, but it’s likely to take another year or more before any changes are put in place or challenges to the existing laws can work their way up the legal pipeline.