Is Delta-8 Legal in Virginia?

Is Delta-8 Legal in Virginia?

Delta 8 is strictly regulated in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The state banned the sale of drink and food products containing Delta 8 THC but allowed the sale of tinctures, oils, and vape products containing the cannabinoid. Hence, persons looking to buy Delta 8 gummies, beverages, and other edible or drinkable Delta 8 products cannot find legal locations in the state to buy such products.

Note that hemp-derived Delta 8 products are federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill as long they comply with the bill's provisions by having no more than 0.3% THC. Hence, Virginians can ship hemp-derived Delta 8 tinctures and vapes into the state. Within the state, Delta 8 lovers can purchase permitted Delta 8 products from hemp shops, vape stores, and local convenience stores.

Why is Delta-8 Illegal in Virginia?

Delta 8 is restricted in Virginia because state authorities are concerned for the health of its residents. Several poison control centers reported increased calls related to Delta 8 use in the months leading up to the ban of Delta 8 products. Some of such calls involved children, with reports of several minors hospitalized. However, Virginia has regulated the compound and its products rather than criminalizing Delta 8 use and sales as some other states have. Hence, food and drink products containing Delta 8 THC are banned in the state, while vapes, oils, and tincture Delta 8 products are permitted to be sold.

Delta 8 Laws in Virginia

The following are the legislative timelines for Delta 8 THC in Virginia:

  • 2019: HB 1839 made hemp legal in Virginia. This legislation aimed to align Virginia's laws with the regulations set out in the federal 2018 Farm Bill. The bill seeks to achieve this by modifying the definitions of cannabidiol oil, marijuana, and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), to exclude industrial hemp in possession of a registered person. However, industrial hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC. Specifically, the bill defines industrial hemp as any part of the cannabis sativa plant that has a THC concentration that is within the limits allowed by federal law
  • 2020: Under its Drug Control Act, Virginia changed or added specific definitions of marijuana and hemp. According to Section 54.1-3401 of the act, hemp is not the same as marijuana in Virginia. Similarly, Section 54.1-3446 eliminates all tetrahydrocannabinols derived from cannabis from Virginia's list of Schedule I controlled substances
  • 2022: In April 2022, the Virginia Governor, Glenn Youngkin, attempted to amend SB 591 to ban Delta 8 THC. However, the Virginia Senate rejected the amendment to keep Delta 8 THC legal in the state and shelved the bill until 2023
  • 2022: Effective July 2022, the state prohibited the sale of hemp-derived Delta 8 foods and beverages by amending Section 58.1-301 of the state code through House Bill 30. The revisions prohibit the sale of Delta 8 food and beverage items containing more than 0.3% THC to those under the age of 21 and limit their availability to state-licensed medicinal cannabis dispensaries. Before entering to market, Delta 8 product manufacturers were required to adhere to new packaging, labeling, and testing regulations
  • 2023: The Virginia Senate passed HB 2294 to ban Delta 8 THC and other hemp-derived products in March. However, Governor Glenn Youngkin failed to sign the bill due to pushback from CBD users and the state's hemp industry. These parties were concerned banning Delta 8 THC products would make full-spectrum CBD products illegal. The Governor proposed a substitute bill that would remove full-spectrum CBD products from the provisions of HB 2294. The amendment is set for discussion at the state senate in April 2023

What Is Delta-8 THC?

Delta 8 is a naturally occurring analog of Delta 9, which is the main psychoactive component of cannabis. Delta 8 occurs naturally in small amounts in some cannabis strains but is typically synthesized from cannabidiol (CBD), another cannabinoid found in cannabis plants.

Delta 8 is structurally similar to Delta 9 but has a different chemical bond arrangement and is less potent. It is psychoactive and has been shown to interact with the body's endocannabinoid system, which regulates a range of physiological processes, such as mood, appetite, and pain.

Research on the effects and benefits of Delta 8 is still limited, but some studies suggest that it may have therapeutic potential, particularly for pain and inflammation. In addition to its potential therapeutic uses, Delta 8 is also being marketed as a recreational drug and alternative to Delta 9, particularly in states where Delta 9 is still illegal.

Delta-8 vs. Delta-9

Delta 8 and Delta 9 are both psychoactive cannabinoid chemicals present in the cannabis plant, but their chemical structures and strength are distinct, and they may have differing effects on users. Compared to Delta 9, Delta 8 has a different double bond location, and is found in lower amounts in cannabis plants. Delta 8 is difficult to extract and is typically extracted using sophisticated techniques, such as molecular distillation.

Although Delta 8 and Delta 9 are psychotropics, their effects on users may vary. According to anecdotal reports, Delta 8 has a lower psychoactive impact compared to Delta 9 and induces less anxiety, paranoia, and other undesirable consequences. Moreover, Delta 8 may have medical benefits, such as alleviating pain and inflammation and boosting appetite.

Delta-8 vs. Delta-10

Delta 8 and Delta 10 are two different analogs of THC (Delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol), the primary psychoactive compound found in cannabis. Delta 8 and Delta 10 are not found in significant amounts in marijuana or hemp but can be synthesized from CBD and Delta 9 THC through a chemical process known as isomerization. This process involves converting the molecular structure of CBD or Delta 9 THC into Delta 8 or Delta 10.

The main difference between Delta 8 and Delta 10 is in their chemical structure. Delta 8 has a double bond on the 8th carbon chain, while Delta 10 has a double bond on the 10th. Delta 8 is more potent than Delta 10, but Delta 10 has a unique flavor profile and affects users slightly differently.

Delta 8 THC is known to be more potent than Delta 10 THC and can produce a stronger psychoactive effect. Delta 8 is also reported to have a more calming and relaxing effect than Delta 9 THC, with less anxiety and paranoia sometimes associated with Delta 9 THC. Delta 10 THC is less studied than Delta 8 and Delta 9, and its effects are not as well understood. Some users report a stimulating and energizing effect from Delta 10, while others report a more mellow and calming effect.

How Long Does Delta-8 Stay in the Body?

After use, Delta 8 THC is metabolized in the body by the liver, where it is converted into stable metabolites and can be detected in urine samples several days later.

The duration of a Delta 8 high can vary depending on the dose, use method, and individual factors. Generally, the effects of Delta 8 are felt within 30 minutes to 1 hour after consumption and can last anywhere from 2-8 hours.

Delta 8 can be detected in the system for varying periods depending on the method of consumption, dosage, and individual factors. In general, Delta 8 THC can be detected in the blood for up to 48 hours, urine for up to 30 days, hair for up to 90 days, and saliva for up to 72 hours after use. The times may also vary depending on the form of Delta 8 products consumed, such as vapes, gummies, or tinctures.

Vaping Delta 8 THC causes the effects of the compound to start within minutes, unlike ingestion. When smoking or vaping Delta 8, the compound bypasses digestion and enters the bloodstream through the lungs. Although the onset of effects is faster when vaping Delta 8 THC, the effects also wear out quicker as the impact may only last two to three hours.

Ingesting edibles containing Delta 8 THC results in effects taking longer to kick in as digestion must first occur, and the compound then metabolized by the liver. Also, effects take longer to wear out as they may last up to 8 hours. Note that vaping Delta 8 THC products may result in a shorter THC detection period than ingesting the compound.

Does Delta-8 Show Up on a Drug Test in Virginia?

Yes. Delta 8 THC can cause a person to fail a drug test, even drug tests administered in the workplace. Depending on the sensitivity of the test, Delta 8 use can be detected in the urine, blood, swab, and hair follicles. Note that most drug tests are unable to differentiate between Delta 8, Delta 9, and Delta 10 THC but rather detect THC metabolites.

The length of period that Delta 8 THC may be detected in drug tests varies based on a number of variables, including the dosage and frequency of use, the consumption method, and individual variables such as metabolism and body mass. Delta 8 THC may be detected in the blood for up to 48 hours, urine for up to 30 days, and hair for up to 90 days following consumption.

What Happens if You Get Pulled Over with Delta-8 in Virginia?

If you are pulled over for possessing hemp-derived Delta 8 vapes and tinctures in Virginia, you will not face any legal repercussions. However, if you are found in possession of Delta 8 edibles or drinks, you face potential consequences with penalties ranging from probation to imprisonment, depending on other circumstances of the charge.

Also, with many law enforcement officers unable to differentiate between THC products, you may be questioned for possessing a controlled substance. If you are suspected of driving while impaired, you may be subjected to urine or blood tests to verify the suspicion. Note that the result may return positive with Delta 8 detectable in routine drug tests. Therefore, it is advised that you avoid driving when using Delta 8 THC products.

Where to Buy Delta-8 in Virginia

You can buy Delta 8 tinctures and vapes from vape shops, CBD stores, hemp shops, and local convenience stores in Virginia. However, the state prohibits the sale of Delta 8 gummies, edibles, and beverages. Generally, food and drinks containing the Delta 8 THC compound are illegal in Virginia. You should refrain from shipping such products into the state from states where they are legal. However, you can purchase Delta 8 tinctures and vapes locally or order from other jurisdictions where they are legal as long as they are Farm Bill-compliant.

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