Illustration for article titled How To Get Up On THC Legally Anywhere In The United StatesPhoto: iAmMrBenjamin (Shutterstock)

This morning, New York eventually passed laws Legalize recreational cannabis, making it the 16th state and second largest in the population after California. For roughly 91 million Americans over the age of 21, legally participating for fun is now an option – but even if you aren’t one of them, you don’t have to let Stoner FOMO rule your life. Because there is actually a 100 percent federally legal way to consume THC – and get high – no matter where you live.

I learned this because I learn almost anything from a podcast these days – especially from an ad during one of the many movie podcasts that I listen to When I need to calm my troubled mind The ad advertised a company that sold Delta-8-THC, a modified form of THC – the most famous of the psychoactive chemicals in cannabis the one most responsible for making you feel high– obtained from hemp.

Illustration for article titled How To Get Up On THC Legally Anywhere In The United States

How is that stuff legal?

Like the largely non-psychoactive CBDDelta-8 THC is legal (or more precisely technically not illegal) nationwide, as the 2018 Farm Bill has a loophole enables the broad cultivation of hemp and products derived from hemp. According to the public order nonprofit group, The Brookings Institution, the bill “contains no restrictions on the sale, transport, or possession of hemp products as long as those items are manufactured in a lawful manner.”

The Farm Bill did not want to legalize weeds, so it includes a specific limit on the levels of THC that can be found in these various hemp products (from oils to tinctures): 0.3%, a trace amount that is too small to be flashed or have a strong psychoactive effect (although your mileage may vary depending on whether Your CBD oil is “full spectrum” Your personal tolerance levels or yours Susceptibility to the placebo effect).

But here’s the hard part: The Farm Bill states that hemp products can’t contain more than 0.3%. “Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration. ”And since it’s a separate substance – and just one of more than“ 120 other naturally occurring cannabinoids known to exist in the hemp plant ”. according to a principle article by the law firm Harris Bricken– that makes Delta-8 THC completely “legal”.

You know technically. For nowAt least – in a 2020 ruling, the Drug Enforcement Agency stated that “synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols” still contain substances that are controlled by Plan I. It’s just that no one has fully addressed whether Delta-8 THC qualifies as one of them, which means selling products that contain the stuff currently falls under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administrationjust like CBD. But that could change at any time – and indeed. Commercial cannabis sellers are actively committed to thisconcerned about competing for customer dollars with a cheaper product.

Illustration for article titled How To Get Up On THC Legally Anywhere In The United States

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How Delta-8 THC is made

The Farm Bill dictates that hemp-derived products must be just that to be legal. Technically, you could extract Delta-8-THC from cannabis plants, which also contain plenty of “normal” THC, but that would be illegal.

The process starts with the whole hemp flower that needs to be chemically distilled isolate the delta-8-THC cannabinoid. The resulting distillate can then be further concentrated and processed into a variety of products that meet consumer expectations if they have ever legally purchased cannabis, from foods to oils.

It works?

Great, Delta-8-THC is legal and unlike cannabis products, even in states with legal weed, it can be mailed by companies like the one I promoted on this podcast. I’ve learned this much easily enough in my internet sleuthing, but if passion for CBD oil is any indication, many companies are more than happy to promote products with bold claims about their effects when they don’t really have to come up with evidence to back them up. This particular one Delta 8 THC supplier promised all of the benefits of consuming regular refrigerated containers – labeled as a “more functional replacement for Delta-9-THC” – without the possible (slightly dubious) negative effects, namely: “Addiction, insomnia, paranoia, fear, laziness, etc.” (It’s worth noting that none of these claims are supported by verified research –like CBDSince the Delta-8 THC market is not yet regulated nationwide, you need to take the manufacturer’s word when it comes to what’s in the products, how they’re made, and what impact they could have.)

My first reaction was that when I experienced it, I would only believe this, but I wanted a second opinion, so I reached out to Reddit as a point of contact to learn everything I wanted to know about getting high. (There are subreddits for almost every state with legal weed, discussing locally available strains and retailers, and offering tips for beginners.) And Reddit had a lot of say about Delta-8 THC, most of it is exactly what you want to hear if you go to the trouble of researching the stuff. In short, yes it will get you high.

How “high” looks will vary from person to person – but that’s always the case with any psychoactive substance, from Bud to Budweiser. However, the consensus on Delta-8-THC, both from the company that sells it and from the Redditor’s comments, seems that it definitely has powerful effects, albeit different from Delta-9-THC. In particular, it is more of a “body high”, which is characterized as such “Lighter” and “more calming”;; it’ll give you a nice “buzz” while still being clear enough to go about your daily business. If your daily business involves drug testing, exercise caution –Delta-8-THC can very well still trigger a positive result in an active ingredient screening.

That all sounded good to me, and I decided it was worth risking an order – an easier decision as Delta-8 THC products are a lot cheaper than the legal cannabis sold in other states. I picked a 16 pack of gums for around $ 30, but you can order vapes and tinctures, as well as concentrates (if you’d rather make your own groceries). They arrived in a short amount of time, and I admit it felt a bit strange opening a downright illegal looking product that I had received in the mail, although in the past I have felt the same about orders for CBD oil with weed images have. But what really interested me was whether the rubbers would actually work as advertised.

Illustration for article titled How To Get Up On THC Legally Anywhere In The United States

I ate two because I am not inexperienced with using legal cannabis and the consensus on Reddit seemed to be that Delta-8-THC is about half as potent / potent. Within 45 minutes I knew that I had got my money’s worth. As promised, I felt some familiar effects bordering on weeds – lightness in the body, increased focus, increased appetite, increased SpongeBob SquarePants exhilaration – albeit with less intensity and without the confusion or brain fog that comes from a severe blow can cover so to speak.

Will Delta-8 THC replace the other material as the substance of your choice? If you have access to both in your state and your primary goal is to be stoned, mate, probably not. However, if you’re looking for an intoxicant with more subtle effects, you might prefer it – and like I said, it’s cheaper, too. What if you live in a state where cannabis is either still illegal or not yet commercially available? It could be exactly what you were looking for.

Post-publication this article has been edited to include an additional notice and link on the potential of Delta-8-THC to cause a positive drug test.