Is Delta-8 Legal in Illinois?

Is Delta-8 Legal in Illinois?

Yes, Delta-8 THC is legal in Illinois. Although no specific laws permit or restrict Delta-8 THC products in the state, the Illinois Industrial Hemp Act in 2018 legalized hemp-derived CBD products. Hemp-derived CBD products such as Delta-8 are legal in Illinois if they contain no more than 0.3% THC. Since the state hemp program aligns with the 2018 Farm Bill passed by the U.S. lawmakers, residents may ship hemp-derived Delta-8 products into and out of Illinois.

Delta-8 THC products derived from marijuana are also legal in line with the recreational marijuana law in Illinois. Effective in 2020, the Adult-Use Cannabis Law allows residents aged 21 or older to purchase marijuana products from licensed dispensaries. Marijuana dispensaries licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) often sell Delta-8 THC through their online stores or at their physical locations. Note that it is illegal to ship marijuana products and their derivatives across state lines in the U.S.

Delta-8 Laws in Illinois

  • 1937: Hemp, marijuana, and all other THC-related products, including Delta-8, became illegal in the U.S. through the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937

  • 2018: Illinois lawmakers passed Senate Bill 2298, which the Governor signed. The law permitted licensed business entities to cultivate hemp and process it into derivatives such as Delta-8 THC

  • 2019: The Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, signed by the Governor in 2019, allowed licensed dispensaries to sell THC products, including marijuana-derived Delta-8 THC, to persons aged 21 or older

What Is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 THC is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in small amounts in cannabis and hemp plants. Generally, the conversion of hemp-based CBD through a chemical process known as isomerization produces large concentrations of Delta-8 THC. Like Delta-9 THC, Delta-8 products are available in different forms, such as gummies, edibles, oils, vape cartridges, and tinctures. However, consuming Delta-8 products produces lesser psychoactive effects than Delta-9 THC. Other side effects associated with Delta-8 THC, according to the Food and Drug Administration, include hallucinations, dizziness, confusion, tremors, vomiting, and anxiety. Delta-8 THC products offer consumers some potential health benefits, such as relieving pain, treating seizures, and stimulating appetite.

Delta-8 vs. Delta-9

Delta-8 and Delta-9 are both isomers of THC found naturally in hemp and marijuana plants. However, manufacturers can only naturally extract small amounts of Delta-8 THC from hemp and marijuana. Some manufacturers produce large quantities of Delta-8 THC in the lab through the chemical conversion of hemp-derived CBD. On the other hand, Delta-9 THC is naturally abundant in marijuana or cannabis plants. Hemp plants contain no more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC, according to the Illinois Industrial Hemp Act and in compliance with the 2018 Farm Bill.

Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC contain similar chemical formulas but different chemical structures. As a result, the adverse effects produced by Delta-9 THC are more potent than Delta-8 products. This means that Delta-9 THC consumers may experience stronger feelings of euphoria and impairment than Delta-8 users. Also, the mild ‘high’ produced by Delta-8 THC often wears off more quickly than Delta-9 THC. Other side effects, such as dry mouth, red eyes, increased heart rate, and paranoia are common in both THC isomers.

Although Delta-8 THC is legal in Illinois, the Department of Agriculture prohibits using hemp products to produce synthetic Delta-8. On the other hand, the state law is clear on Delta-9 THC consumption for medical and recreational purposes. The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act in 2014 permitted Delta-9 THC products for residents with debilitating conditions. The recreational marijuana law allows residents aged 21 or older to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis flower at a time. Illinois residents may ship Delta-8 products to the states in the US if they are derived from hemp and contain 0.3% THC or less. However, shipping Delta-9 products derived from marijuana is a federal crime.

Delta-8 vs. Delta-10

Delta-8 and Delta-10 THC are minor cannabinoids that produce psychotropic effects when consumed. Both chemical compounds are THC isomers that occur naturally in trace amounts in the Cannabis sativa plant. They are often created artificially in high concentrations in the lab. Some producers manufacture synthetic Delta-8 and Delta-10 products from hemp, while others use solvents and chemicals to transform Delta-9 THC to Delta-8 or Delta-10.

Delta-10 THC products create milder intoxicating effects than Delta-8 THC. The duration of effects produced by Delta-10 THC is also shorter than Delta-8 THC. Consuming Delta-8 or Delta-10 THC products in Illinois may result in dizziness, confusion, and panic attacks. However, these products can help consumers to treat or manage cancer-related nausea, depression, appetite loss, and anxiety. Hemp-derived Delta-8 and Delta-10 are legal in Illinois.

How Long Does Delta-8 Stay in the Body?

When ingested, Delta-8 THC goes into the liver, where it is broken down into a non-active metabolite known as THC-COOH. The entire metabolic process takes 2 to 10 hours, depending on the amount and method of consumption. However, THC-COOH does not leave the body completely after metabolism because it is a lipid-soluble metabolite. Traces of Delta-8 THC metabolite may still be found in urine, blood, and saliva after three to 30 days of last use. The metabolite can stay in hair follicles for up to 90 days after the last use. The duration of Delta-8 THC in the body often depends on the consumer’s age, method of consumption, and frequency of use.

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

Delta-8 consumers may fail standard drug tests carried out in workplaces, drug treatment centers, and hospitals. Common drug tests in Illinois include urine, blood, hair, and saliva tests. These tests are designed to detect only traces of THC metabolites in the body. THC metabolites often remain in the body for several days after the last use, depending on the following factors:

  • Frequency of Use: Delta-8 THC metabolites typically stay longer in frequent users. For instance, single users may be completely free of THC metabolites within three to seven days after use. Chronic users may need to wait up to 30 days before taking drug tests

  • THC Dosage Consumed: Consuming a higher amount of Delta-8 THC will slow down the metabolic process and increase the duration the substance will remain in the body

  • Consumer’s Age: Metabolic processes are typically faster in youths than in aged persons. This means that Delta-8 THC may stay longer in persons over 70 than those in their 20s

  • Method of Consumption: Delta-8 THC often comes in different forms, including gummies, oils, and tinctures. Smoking and vaping Delta-8 products results in faster metabolism, while edibles and gummies can take longer to break down

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

Possession of Delta-8 products is legal in Illinois. However, residents may be pulled over for suspected driving under the influence of Delta-8 THC or for driving with an open container. Individuals convicted of Illinois DUI offenses may face a one-year jail sentence, a $2,500 fine, and driver’s license suspension for six to twelve months. It is essential to consult with an attorney when charged with a DUI offense or any other drug-related offense in Illinois.

Where to Buy Delta-8 in Illinois

It is legal to manufacture and sell Delta-8 THC products in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) provides a list of licensed marijuana dispensaries across the state. Residents aged 21 or older can visit these dispensaries with government-issued IDs to purchase Delta-8 THC products. Some marijuana dispensaries provide online stores where consumers can easily find Delta-8 products and make orders. However, online buyers must visit the dispensary store to get their products because all forms of THC, including Delta-8, delivery is illegal in Illinois. Delta-8 products are often available in different forms, such as edibles, vape cartridges, gummies, oils, and tinctures.



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