Illinois was one of the most recent states to pass legislation allowing recreational use of marijuana to anyone over 21. For many, this has been a significant increase in freedom. Some, though, may find the marijuana to be too strong or anxiety-provoking.
A recent legal loophole at the federal level has allowed a different form of marijuana to exist across the whole country. One slight molecular difference in this form of THC has made it effectively legal, even in most illegal states. It’s known as delta 8 THC, and many are hopping on the trend.
Delta 8 THC could be a worthy alternative to Illinois’s more potent dispensary cannabis. Because delta 8 THC is milder than other cannabis, those that get paranoid or uncomfortable side effects have reported positive outcomes.
IS DELTA 8 THC LEGAL IN ILLINOIS?
Illinois has no restrictions on delta 8 THC. Illinois has also recently passed legislation to legalize the sale of delta 9 THC for recreational use, unlike current federal law. No Illinois law restricts other forms of THC, such as delta 8. Since delta 8 THC is not mentioned in Illinois law, federal law takes precedence.
The 2018 Farm Bill, passed by the U.S. Congress in 2018, has drastically revised how hemp and cannabis are regulated across the country. The law was primarily meant to give America’s hemp industry more room for growth, but many side effects have occurred. Basically, the Farm Bill says federally illegal cannabis shall now be considered any hemp product containing more than .3% of delta 9 THC.
Because the law was written this way, many new hemp products have become legal. Before the Farm Bill, most hemp products would have been considered illegal marijuana. Now that the law is more straightforward, CBD and delta 8 THC are unrestricted.
Going against federal law, Illinois has decided to legalize delta 9 THC. Medical marijuana has been legal for a few years now, but recreational use is currently allowed. Adult residents can possess up to 30 grams of marijuana flower, 5 grams of concentrate, and 500 milligrams of concentrated delta 9 THC.
Visitors can only possess half of those amounts. Growing cannabis plants is more strictly regulated, though. Only medical patients are permitted to grow cannabis, with a five-plant maximum.
WHAT ABOUT DELTA 10 THC?
Delta 10 THC is regulated no differently than delta 8 THC in Illinois. Federal law reigns since the state does not outline any laws or regulations against the substances.
Both THC analogs are very similar. The molecular structure of each is just different from delta 9 THC, so it isn’t considered federally illegal under the Farm Bill. These hemp derivatives are much weaker than their delta 9 cousins, though.
For some, this could be a perk. Recreationally available cannabis can contain large amounts of highly intoxicating delta 9 THC, making it quite potent.
The FDA has approved no forms of THC nor most hemp derivatives, yet Illinois is a pioneer of freedom to use.
DO I NEED A MEDICAL CARD IN ILLINOIS TO ORDER DELTA 8 THC?
No, delta 8 THC can be obtained from various vendors without a medical card. Those wishing to grow their own cannabis plants containing delta 9 THC need to have a medical card.
As of 2014, medical marijuana has been legal in Illinois under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act. People diagnosed with certain conditions ranging from cancer to anxiety can speak with a qualified physician about possible medicinal cannabis.
If the physician determines cannabis is a worthy treatment option, they may register the patient under the program. Patients prescribed a medical card are the freest to consume cannabis in Illinois. For example, recreational users cannot grow their own plants in the state, but those with a medical card are free to grow up to 5 plants.
Individuals wishing to use delta 8 THC to treat possible medical symptoms do not need any medical card. Further, any adult is free to purchase recreational marijuana from a dispensary. The FDA has not, however, approved any form of cannabis for medical use. The department has decided to allow state-by-state decisions to take precedence.
DELTA 8 VAPES & THE PACT ACT
Businesses selling any nicotine, tobacco, or vape product in the United States are federally required to adhere to a set of laws. One of the most prominent laws that retailers need to adhere to is the PACT Act. Initially passed in 2009 to regulate online tobacco sales, the law has been amended to include vape retailers.
One of the critical parts of this law is the age verification requirement. Since 2019, the FDA has mandated a minimum age of 21 to purchase nicotine and vape products. Since the law was written with a broad definition of vape products, nearly all vaping paraphernalia needs to be age verified. This includes batteries, juice, and accessories.
More importantly, this broad definition means many delta 8 products are subject to the same regulations. The sale of cartridges and delta 8 THC flowers is treated the same way as vape products.
Any retailer selling online must verify the age of its customers. Further, vendors cannot use USPS to send packages. A private package carrier that will check ID upon delivery must be used. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms is in charge of enforcing these regulations.
When purchasing delta 8 products online, consumers should be very wary of where they buy products. Individuals should avoid vendors who do not obey federal age verification laws. Those willing to sell to minors are acting highly unethically. Such unethical action could be a red flag for further cutting corners.
Adulterated products are not unheard of, so buyers must avoid sketchy or unethical delta 8 THC vendors.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DELTA 8 THC & DELTA 9 THC?
Delta 8 THC is different from its delta 9 siblings in one critical way. A double bond between two atoms of delta 8’s molecular structure renders it a wholly different substance. Both products are pretty similar in other ways, though.
First, the production of both products is different. Delta 9 THC occurs in large amounts in cannabis flowers and is most commonly extracted from there. Delta 8 THC, however, does not occur in large enough amounts naturally in the cannabis plant. Instead, producers extract CBD oil from hemp plants and then undertake a chemical process where delta 8 THC is extracted from that oil. This process for delta 8 ensures it is pulled in high enough amounts to be effective.
More importantly, the effects of both types of THC are quite different. Delta 9 THC tends to be more psychoactive and overall more potent. Instead, delta 8 THC only has about 50% of the efficiency of its counterpart and produces much more mellow, less psychoactive results. This is because delta 8 THC binds less efficiently to the brain’s neuroreceptors.
No form of THC has been FDA approved for human consumption, but people who have used both tend to agree that delta 8 THC is less anxiety-provoking and overall a more effortless experience than delta 9 THC.
IS DELTA 8 THC NATURAL?
In the United States, the term natural is hardly regulated. While the FDA has decided to control terms such as organic, natural remains unregulated. This means that anyone can stick a natural label on their product.
Moreover, natural is an ill-defined word. Although many conjure thoughts of streams, forests, tranquility, and an absence of humans, natural can also mean toxins and dangerous animals. Things that occur in nature are not always also safe.
Because the FDA has decided not to regulate this, the term natural should not be sought out when purchasing products in general. Something made exclusively in a lab has just as much of a legal right to call itself natural as something straight from a farm, even if it does seem unethical.
However, this lack of regulation around the word natural could be why the DEA has not cracked down on delta 8 products. Although the substance is almost always prepared in labs, it can be considered natural. Further, the product is initially derived from hemp.
If growers did not extract delta 8 products from hemp in the way they are, the DEA could more easily consider it synthetic. According to the agency, synthetics of cannabis are just as federally illegal as the real thing. Instead, delta 8 THC is considered “naturally-derived” because it’s made by converting one naturally occurring molecule into another naturally occurring molecule. No step of the process involves any human-made versions of THC.
HOW TO USE DELTA 8 THC?
People can consume delta 8 THC in a variety of ways. Most often, though, its oil is used as the base for other products. The oil contains enough of the substance in a small enough volume to be efficiently utilized.
Common ways to consume delta 8 THC include:
Cartridges for vape pens are the most commonly sold products. These pens contain the oil derived from hemp CBD and create the most substantial results with the least amount of effort. Producers can spray the same oil in these pens onto cannabis flower or gummy edibles for those that prefer to consume it in that way.
Edible forms of delta 8 THC also include capsules and activated tinctures. People need only to eat these products to feel their effects within an hour or so. Vials of tinctures are also popular, but they can be less enjoyable to consume when compared to sweet gummy products.
WHERE TO BUY DELTA 8 THC?
The most reliable way to purchase delta 8 THC is online. Although nearly anywhere can sell the product, it’s crucial to be cautious. When any middlemen are involved in the sale of delta 8 THC products, the likelihood of tampering goes up. Untrusted vendors can easily cut their products to increase profit or engage in other concerning behavior.
When purchasing online, though, it’s easy to buy straight from the manufacturer. Not only does their livelihood and reputation rely on the quality of their products, but they are also legally required to submit to third-party lab tests.
When looking for delta 8 THC products, find a manufacturer online with a solid reputation, age verification process, and transparent lab test results—Double-check lab tests before buying any product for authenticity and product content. Avoid sellers with any red flags of unethical behavior.
We don’t like to brag, but we tick every single one of those boxes 😉.
WHAT’S THE FUTURE OF DELTA 8 THC IN ILLINOIS?
Because recreational marijuana is legal in Illinois, delta 8 THC products have not worn as much relevance in the state’s market.
Unless federal or state regulators act against the substance, delta 8 THC will remain legal. It’s unlikely that Illinois will take action against this substance. If anything, regulators could incorporate delta 8 products into similar regulation methods as other cannabis if it picks up traction as a competitor.
However, if anything changes, we’ll make sure to keep you posted — but for now, check out our lineup of Illinois-legal delta 8 products to get started with this exciting new cannabinoid.