Is Delta-8 Legal in Washington DC?


Is Delta-8 Legal in Washington DC?

Yes, Delta-8 THC is legal in Washington DC (the District of Columbia) if derived from hemp and made into a product containing no more than 0.3% THC. The federal legislation on hemp passed by the U.S. Congress in 2018, the 2018 Farm Bill, legalized hemp, hemp products, and its derivatives, including Delta-8 THC. This bill applies in Washington DC, being a federal district. The 2018 Farm Bill, also known as the Agriculture Improvement Act, describes hemp products as cannabis derivatives with 0.3% THC or less.

Products containing Delta-8 THC are available in varying forms in Washington DC, including tinctures, candy, vape cartridges, gummies, distillate, cookies, dabs, and smokable hemp infused with Delta-8 THC extract. Residents can readily find these products at CBD shops and licensed dispensaries or order them online from retail stores offering online sales services. Because hemp with no more than 0.3% THC, including its derivatives, is federally legal, it is possible to ship hemp-based Delta-8 THC across state lines into the District of Columbia.

Delta 8 Laws in Washington DC

  • 2018 - Washington DC is a federal district under the authority of the United States Congress, per the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Congress in 2018, enacted the Agriculture Improvement Act (the 2018 Farm Bill), legalizing hemp and all its derivatives, including Delta-8 THC. However, they must not contain more than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis; otherwise, they will be considered illegal. An individual must be at least 21 in order to purchase hemp-based Delta-8 THC products in Washington DC.

What Is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 THC is one of the cannabinoids that naturally occur in Cannabis sativa plants. It is an isomer of THC and is present in both hemp and marijuana varieties of cannabis, although in low amounts. Like other THC isomers, Delta-8 THC is psychoactive and can cause a "high" when consumed. Users often experience effects such as increased body awareness, relaxation, euphoria, mood upliftment, and increased energy levels when they consume products containing Delta-8 THC.

Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expressed concerns over Delta-8 THC products and has yet to approve them for safe use, consumers believe they have some benefits. The purported benefits of Delta-8 THC include euphoria, pain relief, relaxation, and appetite stimulation.

Delta-8 vs. Delta-9

Even though Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC are both cannabinoids in Cannabis sativa plants, Delta-9 THC accounts for most of the naturally occurring THC in marijuana and hemp plants. As a result, it is easier and less expensive to extract Delta-9 THC from both plants than Delta-8 THC. Delta-8 THC occurs naturally in far lower amounts in cannabis and is commonly processed from CBD. This process is quite expensive and explains why Delta-8 THC products are usually pricey.

Delta-9 THC is more potent than Delta-8 and produces a more intense euphoric effect. Hence, it gets users "higher". Impaired motor skills and hallucinations are common effects that characterize Delta-9 THC's high. While Delta-8 THC "high" is usually mild, consumers may experience overindulgence symptoms if they surpass their tolerance point. Common side effects of both compounds include dry mouth and red eyes.

Delta-8 vs. Delta-10

The primary difference between Delta-8 THC and Delta-10 THC is their potency level. While both are chemical compounds in cannabis plants, Delta-8 THC is much stronger, and its psychoactive effects last much longer than Delta-10 THC. This is because Delta-8 THC binds more strongly to the brain's CB1 and CB2 receptors than Delta-10. Both compounds are excellent for starters (new-to-THC users), as their euphoric effects are not as strong as what Delta-9 THC produces.

Because they naturally occur in low quantities in hemp and marijuana plants, Delta-8 THC and Delta-10 THC are mostly processed from hemp-derived CBD. Delta-8 THC can create a strong effect to relieve pain and inflammation. Additionally, it provides a calming effect. On the other hand, Delta-10 THC provides more energizing effects that make people focus and euphoric when consumed.

How Long Does Delta-8 Stay in the Body?

When a product containing Delta-8 THC is consumed, Delta-8 metabolites can stay in a person's system for a few hours to several weeks. Generally, how long Delta-8 THC stays in the body depends on the frequency and method of consumption, among other factors. After they are taken in, Delta-8 THC is metabolized and converted to 11-hydroxy-THC, a Delta-8 THC metabolite. These metabolites are stored in the body's fat cells for each consumption cycle, accumulating over time and slowly released into the system.

For people who do not use Delta-8 THC products frequently, its metabolites could stay in their system for as little as 48 hours to one week and up to 30 days or more for heavy users. A person's metabolism, the dosage consumed, how often it is used, and several other factors determine how long Delta-8 THC can remain detectable in the blood, urine, hair, and saliva. The form of Delta-8 THC consumed may also contribute to how long it remains in the system.

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

Yes, any drug test that screens for the presence of any type of cannabinoid can detect Delta-8 THC in a person's system. Hence, Delta-8 THC can show up on drug tests. Anyone intending to undergo a drug test in Washington DC, including workplace drug screening, is advised to stay away from Delta-8 THC products at least 30 days before such a screening. Otherwise, they may fail the test. The factors determining how long after using Delta-8 THC products drug tests can detect it in the consumer's system include the following:

  • Method of Consumption - Delta-8 THC tends to stay longer in the body when consumed as edibles or applied as topicals. On the other hand, it takes less time for it to be eliminated when inhaled or vaped
  • Consumer's Body Weight - Typically, fat cells store Delta-8 THC before eliminating them, a process that takes a while. Hence, individuals with higher body weights tend to retain Delta-8 THC for an extended period than people with lower body weights
  • Frequency of Use - People who consume Delta-8 THC more frequently retain it in their body for a longer period than occasional users
  • The Amount Consumed - Individuals who consume large amounts of Delta-8 THC tend to have the compound in their system for an extended duration
  • Body Metabolic Rate - People with faster metabolisms tend to eliminate Delta-8 THC from their system more rapidly than persons with slow metabolic rates. Metabolism is the process by which substances are broken down and eliminated from the body

Generally, drug tests determine the presence of THC metabolites and may not differentiate between Delta-8 THC, Delta-10 THC, or Delta-9 THC. The following drug tests can detect Delta-8 THC in a consumer's system:

  • Blood Test - Blood tests can reveal traces of Delta-8 THC anywhere between 48 hours and 25 days after the last use, depending on the frequency of use
  • Saliva Test - Depending on how frequently it is used, Delta-8 THC can show up in a saliva drug test between one to 30 days. Typically, light consumers will test positive within 24 hours to 72 hours, while heavy users can retain the compound in their bodies for up to 30 days
  • Hair Test - Although not commonly administered, hair follicle drug tests can detect Delta-8 THC in a person's system for up to 90 days after the last consumption
  • Urine Test - Delta-8 THC will show up on a urine test between three days and 30 days (sometimes more) after the last use of the compound, depending on how frequently it is consumed

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

Driving under the influence (DUI) or operating while impaired (OWI) of/by any drug in Washington DC is illegal. Law enforcement officers from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) will pull a driver over if they suspect the driver has no clear judgment required to operate a vehicle or is impaired by a substance like Delta-8 THC. However, unlike the .07% or less BAC (blood alcohol concentration) reading, Washington DC does not have a per se limit for drug metabolites. Hence, they must be able to prove actual driver impairment to prosecute and convict a driver for OWI or DUI.

Under Washington DC's implied consent laws, any driver arrested for impaired driving must submit to any blood, breath, or urine test. If they refuse to take the test, their driver's license will be revoked for one year. Generally, law enforcement officers in Washington DC are well-trained in recognizing impairment and identifying drug use and impairment signs. Hence, in addition to proving their points using blood test results at trial, prosecutors often rely on officer testimony on observations made and documented during the arrest. If convicted of drug driving in Washington DC, drivers face the same penalties as those for drunk driving.

Where to Buy Delta-8 in Washington DC

The 2018 Farm Bill permits the manufacture and sale of hemp-derived Delta-8 THC products in Washington DC. These products are available at CBD stores and retail shops across the federal districts in various forms, including gummies, tinctures, distillates, cookies, and candies. Residents can also order them online for delivery to their local addresses in the district. A person must be at least 21 years of age to be eligible to buy Delta-8 THC products in Washington DC.

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