It’s hard to keep up with the ever-changing cannabis laws in the United States. As if it wasn’t confusing enough, some laws contradict each other entirely.
At the federal level, delta 8 is considered legal since only delta 9 THC is a restricted substance.
Some states follow the federal rules, while others are more or less permissive. In this article, we’ll help you navigate the world of delta 8 THC laws in Florida.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DELTA 8 THC & DELTA 9 THC?
Delta 9 THC is the molecule most people are referring to when they talk about THC. It’s the compound responsible for the psychotropic effects of marijuana.
So, what is delta 8 THC?
Simply put, it’s an isomer of the classic delta 9 THC molecule. This means it looks a lot like delta 9 THC, but with one slight difference in its chemical structure.
With delta 8 THC, you’ll get milder cognitive effects and much fewer side effects — especially anxiety. The lower propensity for causing anxiety is why this cannabinoid is such a great alternative for those who find regular THC products make them too anxious or paranoid.
In terms of health benefits, you’ll pretty much get the same out of both. So, if they’re so similar, what are the advantages and downsides of delta 8 compared to delta 9 THC?
ADVANTAGES OF DELTA 8 THC OVER DELTA 9 THC
- Fewer chances of side effects
- Longer shelf-life
- Better at increasing your appetite
- Tolerance doesn’t last as long
- Better for use in the evenings
- Legal in the state of Florida
DOWNSIDES OF DELTA 8 THC
- It’s half as strong, so you need double the amount to get the same effects
- Your body develops tolerance to it faster
- It can be a bit sedating for some people
The reason delta 8 THC is found in such low amounts is that hemp plants don’t purposely produce it. Instead, it’s simply a byproduct of delta 9 THC chemical degradation.
IS DELTA 8 THC SAFE?
Yes. In reality, it’s actually safer than delta 9 THC. Firstly, because you need twice as much to get the same effects, so it’s less likely that you use too much accidentally. It also causes fewer side effects, especially anxiety.
IS DELTA 8 THC LEGAL IN FLORIDA?
Delta 8 THC is federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill. Although the laws surrounding this compound are quite vague, it’s considered legal in all states apart from a few that purposefully made it illegal — such as Vermont and Iowa.
The confusion surrounding its legality is that delta 9 THC is illegal, according to federal regulatory agencies like the FDA and the DEA – but delta 8 THC is never mentioned.
After the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp and hemp-derived products were removed from the Controlled Substances Act, where it was listed as a Schedule I drug — thus making it legal.
Now, hemp is defined as cannabis containing 0.3% of delta 9 THC or less. Therefore, Hemp-derived products are also legal, as long as they’re made from hemp that maintains at or below the legal threshold of THC.
In 2020, the federal government tried to clarify the status of delta 8 THC but only made things more confusing after stating that “All synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinol remain Schedule I controlled substances.”
This raised the question of whether or not delta 8 THC is synthetically derived or not. It does occur naturally (in trace amounts), but some human intervention is needed to catalyze the reaction more efficiently to obtain it on a larger scale.
Still, according to most people’s interpretation, the DEA was referring to synthetically made THC, like ‘spike’ and ‘K2’ — which are dangerous and highly addictive substances — and not to delta 8 THC. Usually, they care more about the origin and medicinal value of substances than how they’re made.
So, at the moment, the use of delta 8 THC is legal and unrestricted in Florida as long as it’s derived from hemp plants with less than 0.3% of delta 9 THC. The laws in Florida are aligned with those at the federal level.
It’s also worth mentioning that there haven’t been any charges against companies producing, transporting, or selling delta 8 THC, so far, suggesting it is indeed legal.
WHAT ABOUT DELTA 10 THC?
In the state of Florida, only delta 9 THC is specifically banned. Therefore, both THC isomers, delta 8 THC and delta 10 THC are legal.
IS DELTA 8 THC NATURAL?
Well, it is, but it also depends on your definition of natural.
Delta 8 THC does occur naturally in cannabis and hemp plants but only in trace amounts – around 1% or less in cannabis and even less in hemp.
In nature, delta 8 THC is converted from delta 9 THC when exposed to certain conditions, like oxygen, UV light, and heat. This can be done by aging hemp or cannabis flower despite being a low-yield process.
From the perspective of regulatory agencies, ‘natural’ has no real meaning. A company could claim their products are “all-natural” even if none of the ingredients were extracted from plants or animals.
This is why the DEA and other regulators have kept delta 8 THC out of the ‘synthetic’ label.
DO I NEED A MEDICAL CARD IN FLORIDA TO ORDER DELTA 8 THC?
No, you don’t. It was derived from legal hemp — with less than 0.3% of THC — it falls under the same laws as CBD.
You can buy it without a medical license in all delta 8 THC legal states, including Florida.
DELTA 8 THC VAPES & THE PACT ACT
In December 2020, the Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act, also known as the ‘vape mail ban,’ was passed. This bill requires online e-cigarette vendors to:
- Verify the age of their customers
- Use private shipping companies for their deliveries
- Have an adult with ID present upon delivery
- Label shipping packages to signal they contain tobacco products
- Register with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the US Attorney General, and with state and local tax administrators, wherever they conduct business
- Comply with state and local tax obligations and add the necessary tax stamps to all products sold
- Send a list with all transactions, including the name and address of each customer, the quantities and types of products sold, and the name, address, and phone number of the person delivering these products to each state’s tax administrator, monthly
According to this bill, the definition of ‘cigarettes’ now includes all vaping products – from devices to e-liquids – whether they contain nicotine or not.
It basically included all vaping products, including delta 8 THC vaping cartridges, to the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act.
Moreover, Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) are now banned from being delivered by the US Postal Service. Like FedEx and UPS, some common carriers have also announced they won’t be delivering vaping products anymore.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO VAPERS?
Vaping products’ sales and deliveries will change dramatically with this bill. However, the vaping industry is trying to adapt as best as possible, and progress is being made.
Many small vaping businesses are expected to close, and customers should stock up or plan to get other products. Shipping vaping products will be difficult or even impossible in the near future.
These restrictions will also be felt in the prices of articles and shipping prices – whenever shipping is possible.
Remember that if you come by a website that doesn’t verify your age when ordering vape products, you shouldn’t order from them.
First of all, because it’s illegal but also because they’re likely cutting corners and doing other unethical practices.
HOW TO USE DELTA 8 THC?
Delta 8 THC products can be used the same way as CBD products, and you can find them in many different forms — surely, you’ll find one that suits you.
Here are a few options:
1. DELTA 8 THC TINCTURES & OILS
Tinctures and oils are quite versatile. You can either put a few drops directly into your mouth and swallow or add them to food or beverages.
You can also place a few drops under your tongue for about a minute before swallowing. The effects come much faster this way.
The main difference between tinctures and oils is that, due to how tinctures are formulated, they have greater bioavailability than oils — this means that you’ll feel the effects faster, especially when applied sublingually.
2. DELTA 8 THC CAPSULES & GUMMIES
Capsules and gummies work the same way as oils or tinctures when you ingest them. They need to be processed by your digestive system, so the effects take longer to show up and last longer than vaping.
Capsules or gummies are recommended for those that don’t like the flavor of oils or tinctures. They’re also easier to use because you don’t need to fuss around measuring the volume of oil.
3. DELTA 8 THC VAPE CARTRIDGES
Delta 8 THC vapes work like any others. First, take a deep breath and hold the vapor as long as you want — the longer you hold, the greater the absorption.
The greatest advantages of vaping are convenience, discretion, and how fast you’ll feel the effects. When you ingest oils, capsules, or gummies, it’ll take at least 30 minutes to get the effects. When vaping, it takes up to 10 minutes only.
Still, if you’re a beginner, wait those 10 minutes for the effects before taking a second puff. Then, you can repeat until you’ve reached the desired effects.
You can either buy pre-made disposable delta 8 THC vape pens or cartridges to put on your reusable pen.
Delta 8 THC vape cartridges for some common vape models are still lacking, but you can find standard 510 threaded vape cartridges — the universal thread for electronic vaporizer cartridges.
4. DELTA 8 THC DISTILLATES
It’s quite hard to obtain delta 8 THC distillate. Usually, you can find products with 45 to 65% of delta 8 THC, up to 10% delta 9 THC, 1 to 5% of CBD, and trace amounts of other cannabinoids (<1%).
The distillate is a clear or light brown thick paste. You can smoke it in a dab rig, add it to a vaporizer, or eat it — the first two options are the most common.
WHERE TO BUY DELTA 8 THC IN FLORIDA
Shopping online is the best and cheapest way to get your delta 8 THC products. You can buy directly from the manufacturer, read reviews, take a look at third-party testing certificates, and compare products easily from the comfort of your home.
Sadly, some companies are still producing delta 8 THC through potentially dangerous methods. For example, some are using heavy metal reagents or doing a poor job at removing the (illegal) delta 9 THC content or harsh chemicals and acids from the final product.
To curve this problem, you should always buy from brands that display their third-party certificates of analysis – and this is the greatest advantage of buying online.
WHAT’S THE FUTURE OF DELTA 8 THC IN FLORIDA?
Currently, delta 8 THC is legal in Florida, and you can buy it without a medical card as long as you’re over 18 years old.
Moreover, you can find a great variety of delta 8 THC products, including oils, tinctures, capsules, edibles, vape cartridges, and more.
The best way to get legal, high-quality delta 8 products is online. Besides having an almost infinite array of options to choose from, you can easily compare and check the third-party certificates of analysis.
As for the future of delta 8 THC in Florida, most states are moving towards legalization, so there’s no reason to believe it’ll become illegal — keep on enjoying your legal highs!