Tennessee remains one of the few states where marijuana use is fully illegal. The possession or sale of cannabis, even in medicinal cases, risks heavy fines and jail time depending on the details.
However, according to Knoxville’s WBIR-TV, vape stores are selling the Delta-8 variant of THC legally thanks to a new hemp-derived method of creating it.
Delta-9 and Delta-8 THC
Cannabinoids are not exclusive to the marijuana plant. The common cannabinoid responsible for the drug high associated with weed is Delta-9 THC. Another cannabinoid is CBD, which both marijuana and hemp production. Hemp growers are finding that other cannabinoids produce similar effects — namely the Delta-8 cannabinoid that comes from the isomerization of hemp-derived CBD.
Due to the USDA’s 2018 Farm Bill, retailers may produce and sell hemp and hemp-based products. This includes the new Delta-8 THC, which produces a similar but lesser high compared to marijuana’s Delta-9.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has received many reports of adverse events involving the new drug and warns consumers that the lack of evaluation or approval makes using Delta-8 THC a health risk.
Some states have chosen to ban the drug, but it currently remains legal on Tennessee books. Retailers intend to continue selling it while it is.
Delta-9 vs Delta-8 drug charges
With marijuana laws remaining so strict, law enforcement may not have the tools to determine whether a high is legal or not. Anyone facing drug charges for marijuana use risks costly fines and long jail sentences. Defending against them may help reduce or clear these charges, especially if the drug purchase and possession is legal like with hemp-derived THC in Tennessee.