The USA’s Hemp Industries Association has released a position statement on the controversial cannabinoid delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ8THC).
THC is the most commonly known (and pursued) intoxicating cannabinoid, specifically delta-9. But there’s also delta-8-THC, a minor cannabinoid naturally occurring in cannabis plants in very small quantities. However, it can also be produced by altering the non-intoxicating (cannabidiol) CBD. Legal hemp, which contains very low delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, can be a rich source of CBD.
As the legal definition of hemp in the USA only refers to delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol levels, that has created some controversy as to the legality of delta-8. Some believe it isn’t illegal and an industry has rapidly sprung up around it, although several states have made moves to ban delta-8 THC. There is also debate on whether altering CBD to produce it makes the delta-8 THC “synthetic”.
Back in March, the U.S. Hemp Roundtable wanted to see a lot of regulatory distance put between hemp CBD and Delta-8. But the Hemp Industries Association has recently come out as a backer, supporting the following views:
- Δ8THC extracted from hemp is not a controlled substance under federal law
- Δ8THC derived from CBD does not meet the definition of “synthetic THC”, but even if it does it is not a controlled substance
- The hemp industry should advocate for safe Δ8THC products and production methods
- Prohibition is a failed concept that should not be applied to Δ8THC or other hemp-derived cannabinoid
The HIA’s support is based on a legal opinion from Kight Law that also states Delta-8 THC, along with all other hemp-derived cannabinoids, were federally legalized by the 2018 Farm Bill. With regard to it being “synthetic”, the legal opinion provided says it isn’t entirely clear as there is no generally accepted definition in US law of the term “synthetic”.
“Businesses, farmers, and consumers all deserve regulations that support the exploration of the hemp plant’s full potential. This isn’t just about one minor cannabinoid —the list is over a hundred already and growing,” said HIA Executive Director Jody McGinness.
The HIA’s mission is to advance the hemp economy and educate the market for the benefit of its members, the public, and the planet.