Delta 8 THC is found in the cannabis plant (hemp and marijuana). However, in general, neither hemp nor marijuana contains significant amounts of it. Therefore, while it exists naturally in tiny amounts, manufacturers tend to convert CBD or delta 9 THC into D8 via a chemical reaction. This process typically involves the use of heat, solvents, altered pH environments, and catalysts.
The problem is, this practice is quickly becoming outlawed. At present, there is significant confusion concerning delta 8 THC, a cannabinoid that has quickly become popular. It provides an intoxicating high like D9 but is less potent and less likely to cause adverse side effects.
Even so, a growing number of states are scrambling to change their existing laws. Federally, the government’s stance on delta 8 isn’t clear. As a result, companies selling the cannabinoid continue to operate, knowing that they could be shut down at any time.
Unlike the cannabis industry, which has clearly defined laws, the delta 8 THC market is far from transparent. This is why we have created a series of state-by-state guides on the legality of D8. Today, we outline whether delta 8 THC is legal in Ohio.
Delta 8 Ohio: State Law vs. Federal Law
There is a major difference between state and federal laws when it comes to the cannabis plant and its compounds. While most states have a medical marijuana program, the plant remains illegal as part of the Controlled Substances Act.
As far as D8 is concerned, things aren’t nearly as clear. It seems that naturally derived delta 8 THC from hemp is legal, for now. That’s because the plant contains very little of it. So little, in fact, that a chemical process is required to extract it, which is where the legal gray area comes into play.
At the time of writing, delta 8 is legal in Ohio. The state permits the sale and use of all derivatives, cannabinoids, and isomers of hemp. This includes all THC barring delta 9. The state law in question relates to Chapter 928.01 of the Ohio Revised Code.
Delta 8 products derived from hemp are legal in Ohio as long as they contain a maximum delta 9 THC content of 0.3%.
According to this legislation, delta 8 products derived from hemp are legal as long as they contain a maximum delta 9 THC content of 0.3%. This is broadly in line with the federal Farm Bill of 2018. It legalized the growth of industrial hemp in the United States as long as it doesn’t contain more than 0.3% delta 9 THC.
Meanwhile, 16 states have either banned or restricted the use of delta 8. Although Ohio hasn’t prohibited the compound, it recently implemented a level of regulation. We outline this below, but let’s further explore what the DEA has to say about D8.
DEA Rules About Delta 8 THC in Ohio
There is genuine confusion over how the federal government views delta 8. This is in stark contrast to its rigid stance on delta 9 and marijuana in general. Those who sell delta 8 and delta 10 claim that both are legal due to the federal Farm Bill. It states that ALL hemp-derived cannabinoids fall within the legal definition of hemp, which licensed farmers can now cultivate.
The DEA released the Interim Final Rule (IFR) in August 2020. It outlined that naturally occurring THCs in hemp remained legal substances. That is, as long as the hemp doesn’t contain more than 0.3% THC. However, ALL synthetically derived THCs are controlled substances.
The problem here is the tiny amount of delta 8 in hemp. Manufacturers convert it from CBD or delta 9 THC in a lab. The process involves creating CBD isolate, then turning it into a distillate. At this stage, solvent gets added to melt it down, and an acid reagent is added to create a reaction. Then, the company uses an alkaline material to neutralize the new substance, which is washed and distilled.
The end product contains up to 70% delta 8 and perhaps 6% delta 9. The manufacturer then has to remove the D9 to ensure it goes below the 0.3% threshold.
The problem with the above is that the IFR makes the delta 8 created illegal! That’s because it is classified as ‘synthetic,’ which is against the law according to the DEA.
Delta 8 is Legal & Regulated in Ohio
Ohio state law may currently permit the sale and use of delta 8 THC. However, the state recently moved to regulate it in medical marijuana products. Recently, MMJ patients began to notice that a few products listed their D8 content.
MMJ processors must now test for delta 8 in their products, according to the Ohio Department of Commerce’s guidance. Processors must list the D8 content on product labels and explain how they use the cannabinoid in their products. The department said it is implementing the new measures to improve safety.
As is typically the case with cannabinoid laws, the Department of Commerce’s new rules caused confusion in the MMJ industry. The guidance took place immediately. However, there was no information on what sellers were supposed to do with products already tested and ready for sale. Indeed, the Department of Commerce has failed to answer any questions on what would happen to such items.
Also, the new rule stated that all forms of THC and any other isomers must be counted in the total THC content. In Ohio, state law doesn’t permit MMJ products to contain more than 70% THC.
The rule has perplexed MMJ sellers because they have no idea what it means. There is a fear that implementing such restrictions could result in MMJ patients resorting to black-market products. Such items aren’t always tested for heavy metals, pesticides, and other contaminants.
The announcement will almost certainly put many companies out of business and hurt the income of others. Pure Ohio Wellness in Med River Township announced it was no longer using D8. One can expect many other processors to follow suit.
How to Use Delta 8 Legally in Ohio
According to most state laws, you can legally purchase delta 8 as long as you’re aged 21+. Alternatively, you can buy it if you are an MMJ cardholder. However, technically speaking, you should only purchase from manufacturers that don’t sell synthetically derived delta 8 THC. Realistically, that’s the only kind of D8 you’re likely to find due to the low natural levels in hemp.
At present, you can even purchase delta 8 THC online as it is technically legal to receive it in the mail. However, state laws are changing rapidly, and there is no way of knowing if or when Ohio will join the growing list of states that ban the compound.
Although delta 8 is slightly intoxicating, it isn’t as potent as delta 9.
Those who use delta 8 find that while it is intoxicating, it isn’t as potent as delta 9. Individuals looking for a rapid effect should consider vaping the cannabinoid. If you use it orally, it will likely have an impact in 20-30 minutes. Generally speaking, the average oral dose of D8 ranges from 10mg to 40mg. Realistically, novices should stay on the lower side of that equation.
Once you use delta 8 THC, the effects can last for up to 12 hours if you use an edible. If you vape it or use a tincture, the duration of the high ranges from 1-5 hours.
Delta 8 THC Safety
According to the states that have banned or restricted D8 usage, their main concern is safety. It is an unregulated market with brands producing products of dubious quality. Remember, it is created in a lab, and ideally, a trained chemist will oversee its production. However, that isn’t always the case.
Indeed, some brands don’t even offer third-party lab reports with their products. Recently, different entities have tested delta 8 products from across the United States. Most of them contain excessive THC levels, not to mention potentially dangerous amounts of metals such as nickel.
We recommend that you resist the urge to buy ‘cheap’ delta 8 from a gas station. It is best to stick with tried and trusted brands. You can check out such companies on the WayofLeaf brand review page.
Is Delta 8 Legal in Ohio? (Final Thoughts)
The answer to the title question is ‘yes.’ Current Ohio state law allows the manufacture, sale, and use of delta 8. However, the state has already regulated the compound in medical marijuana products. One wonders if and when it will join the long list of states that no longer permit the use of D8.
Moreover, federal law surrounding delta 8 is far from being clear. At present, delta 8 naturally derived from hemp containing no more than 0.3% delta 9 THC is legal. However, synthetically created D8 is illegal.
Since basically every delta 8 THC product is technically synthetic by the DEA’s definition, one could argue that sellers of the compound are breaking the law. The truth is, no one knows yet, but one suspects the federal government will make things clearer in the near future.