Legal and Regs

What is the Reasoning Behind Successful D8 Bans?

Written by Lydia Kariuki

They say that a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. Well, not to say that Delta-8 is a hoax, sufficient scientific evidence exists to prove otherwise. [1, 2] In any case, it measures up to the potential of “nobler” cannabinoids.

That said, some states have been cracking down on this delta-9 isomer, and have been doing so successfully. The US hemp round table seems to be fuelling this agenda that forebodes a not-so-good future for D8 sales. If you are late to join the conversation, here is a brief overview of why an increasing number of states is succeeding at putting a stop to the once successful D8 runs.

For starters, D8 is one of the many phytocannabinoids that are found in the cannabis sativa L. species (hemp and cannabis). D8, like regular THC, is a psychoactive molecule and causes euphoria. However, it is only found in minute amounts in raw cannabis. Consequently, most manufacturers will make D8 by subjecting hemp-derived CBD through some chemical processes.

That’s where the catch is.

Since hemp is legal at the federal level, it should also follow that hemp-derived D8 (from CBD) should be legal, right?

Apparently, the DEA does not think so.

According to the DEA interim final rule (IFR), “for synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols, the concentration of D9 -THC is not a determining factor in whether the material is a controlled substance. All synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols remain schedule I controlled substances.

Going by this, “legal” Delta 8 remains a schedule 1 substance in the eyes of the DEA and therefore illegal. Most states have used this to argue the case for banning the sale of D8 products that have been created synthetically from hemp derived CBD.

So far, 14 states have successfully managed to put a stop to the sale of D8 products on the premise of DEA’s IFR. They include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Utah. Perceived hemp-friendly states such as Colorado and Kentucky are silently looking to increase this number.

There are a number of lawsuits that have been fronted to challenge the IFR as this may infringe on the liberties that were granted by the 2018 Farm Bill.

The options are two: The DEA loses and D8 is declared legal or the DEA wins and D8 is completely kicked into oblivion. In the meanwhile, we can only watch to see which state joins the “ban” wagon next!


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1- Thapa, D., Cairns, E. A., Szczesniak, A. M., Toguri, J. T., Caldwell, M. D., & Kelly, M. (2018). The Cannabinoids Δ8THC, CBD, and HU-308 Act via Distinct Receptors to Reduce Corneal Pain and Inflammation. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 3(1), 11–20.


2- Abrahamov, A., Abrahamov, A., & Mechoulam, R. (1995). An efficient new cannabinoid antiemetic in pediatric oncology. Life sciences, 56(23-24), 2097–2102.

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Lydia Kariuki

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