Is Delta-8 Legal in Oregon?

Is Delta-8 Legal in Oregon?

Delta 8 is illegal in Oregon under the provisions of HB 3000. Although the federal Farm Bill permitted the sale and use of Delta 8 products containing no more than 0.3% Delta 9 THC, Oregon enacted HB 3000 to prohibit synthetically derived Delta 8 THC. The law, established by the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC), prohibits the sale of specific cannabinoids, covering all artificially derived cannabinoids.

Note that with Delta 8 THC occurring in low concentration levels in hemp plants, extracting the compound from hemp plants is not practical. Therefore, Delta 8 THC is often created by inducing chemical reactions in hemp-derived CBD (cannabidiol). Despite the ban on Delta 8 products in Oregon, residents may be able to purchase hemp-derived Delta 8 edibles from Oregon-licensed marijuana dispensaries later in 2023 if such products are certified as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).

Why is Delta-8 Illegal in Oregon?

Delta 8 is illegal in Oregon over concerns by the regulatory authority (OLCC) about the chemicals used in the production of the compound. The OLCC claims that there is a lack of sufficient testing for the whole spectrum of chemical reagents used to create Delta 8 THC synthetically and considers a ban necessary to protect the health of Oregonians.

Note that under the Oregon Administrative Rule (845) 025-3220, a cannabis processor may not treat or adulterate a product with any additive or substance to increase toxicity or potency level. Since creating Delta 8 THC requires treating CBD with a catalyst to convert it to THC, Delta 8 THC was banned by the OLCC.

Delta 8 Laws in Oregon

The following are Oregon laws relating to Delta 8 THC:

  • 2018 Farm Bill: Although the Farm Bill of 2018 was enacted at the federal level, the law allowed retailers in Oregon to sell Delta 8 THC products such as vapes, oils, tinctures, and edibles. While no specific mention of Delta 8 THC was made in the Farm Bill, the bill permits the use and sale of hemp-derived products with Delta 9 THC concentration levels not exceeding 0.3%
  • 2021: The Oregon legislature passed HB 3000 in July 2021, making artificially derived cannabinoids illegal in the state. The law defined an artificially derived cannabinoid as a chemical substance created by a chemical reaction that changes the molecular structure of any chemical substance derived from the cannabis plant. With Delta 8 THC typically derived from the cannabis plant family using synthesis, Delta 8 became illegal in Oregon under this bill. Note that under HB 3000, extracting naturally-occurring cannabinoids in the cannabis plant remains legal

What Is Delta-8 THC?

Delta 8 THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid. Users of the compound describe effects comparable to those of Delta 9 THC but weaker. Delta 8 THC has been observed to occur naturally in low amounts in cannabis, typically less than 0.1%. The vast majority of Delta 8 THC on the market is synthesized from CBD. CBD is derived from marijuana. CBD derived from cannabis is combined with an acidic catalyst and heated for a time period. This process turns a significant amount of CBD into Delta 8 THC through isomerization.

Delta 8 THC’s lower psychotropic effect in comparison with Delta 9 THC is because the two cannabinoids interact differently with the endocannabinoid system in the body. Delta 8 THC has a reduced affinity for CB1 receptors, the key brain receptors responsible for the euphoric effects of THC.

The effects of Delta 8 THC may include euphoria, relaxation, and pain alleviation. Moreover, it may stimulate appetite and also alleviate anxiety. However, additional research is required to understand the effects and possible benefits of Delta 8 THC.

Delta-8 vs. Delta-9

Delta 8 and Delta 9 are structural isomers of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) whose chemical structures differ slightly. The following are notable differences between the two compounds:

  • Potency: Delta 9 is more potent than Delta 8, indicating that its effects on the body and mind are more intense
  • Psychoactive properties: Both Delta 8 and Delta 9 have psychoactive effects. However, Delta 9 is often regarded as more potent and delivers a more intense high
  • Concentration: Delta 9 is found in significantly larger concentrations than Delta 8 in marijuana plants, while Delta 8 is detected in trace amounts. Both Delta 8 and Delta 9 are present in low quantities in hemp plants
  • Extraction: Due to its higher concentration, Delta 9 THC is easy to extract from cannabis plants, but Delta 8 THC is complex to extract
  • Synthesis: CBD (cannabidiol) can be converted into Delta 8 THC through a chemical process known as isomerization. However, CBD cannot be used to create Delta 9 THC

Delta-8 vs. Delta-10

Delta 8 and Delta 10 are minor cannabinoids present in trace concentrations in cannabis and hemp. However, both compounds are not well-studied as Delta 9 THC. Some distinctions between both cannabinoids include the following:

  • Occurrence: Delta 8 occurs naturally in cannabis in modest concentrations; however, Delta 10 is rarely detected in cannabis in considerable amounts. Nonetheless, Delta 10 can be produced from Delta 9 or CBD via chemical processes
  • Chemical make-up: Delta 8 and Delta 10 are structural counterparts of Delta 9 THC, the major psychoactive component of cannabis. Delta 8 possesses a double bond on the 8th carbon chain, whereas Delta 10 possesses a double bond on the 10th carbon chain
  • Effects: Both Delta 8 and Delta 10 are capable of producing effects comparable to Delta 9 THC, including euphoria, relaxation, and altered perception. Yet, according to some users, Delta 8 delivers a gentler and more clear-headed high, while Delta 10’s effects are more stimulating and uplifting
  • Potency: Delta 8 is regarded as more potent than Delta 10, although the exact potency may vary based on the individual and dosage

How Long Does Delta-8 Stay in the Body?

Delta 8 THC is metabolized in the body via oxidation, which changes it to 11-hydroxy-Delta-8-THC and then to Delta-8-THC-COOH, a water-soluble metabolite that can be eliminated in the urine. The cytochrome P450 enzymes in the liver are principally responsible for the metabolism of Delta 8 THC.

Depending on the individual, dosage, and mode of administration, the length of a Delta 8 high varies. In general, the effects of Delta 8 THC are considered to be milder and shorter-lasting than those of Delta 9 THC, with a typical peak high lasting between two and four hours.

Delta 8 THC-COOH can be detected in urine for up to three to four days following use but may be detectable for longer durations in heavy or chronic users. Moreover, it can be detected in blood and saliva for a shorter duration, often up to 24 hours.

The length of time that Delta 8 stays in the body and is detectable can be affected by the form and method of consumption. For instance, smoking or vaping Delta 8 THC may result in a quicker start and shorter duration of effects than edibles, which may take longer for effects to kick in but may also result in THC metabolites staying longer in the system. In addition, the presence and quantity of other components in Delta 8 products, such as terpenes or other cannabinoids, may influence the duration and detectability of Delta 8 THC in the body.

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

Yes. Delta 8 THC can result in a positive drug test result, as many drug screening tests are designed to identify the presence of THC metabolites regardless of the precise type of THC taken. With most drug tests only identifying THC metabolites in the body, consuming any type of THC can result in a positive THC drug test.

Delta 8 THC can be detected in saliva, urine, blood, and hair samples, although the amount of time it remains detectable varies based on factors such as dose, frequency of use, and individual metabolism. Delta 8 THC can typically be detectable in urine for up to 30 days, blood for up to 48 hours, and hair for up to 90 days following consumption.

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

Delta 8 THC is illegal in Oregon. Hence, driving under the influence of any kind of THC, especially Delta 8 THC, is prohibited and can lead to a DUI charge. If you are pulled over and found to have Delta 8 THC, the repercussions may vary depending on your previous criminal history and whether you are also driving under the influence. You may be penalized with fines, license suspension, and possibly jail time.

Where to Buy Delta-8 in Oregon

After the Delta 8 THC ban in Oregon went into effect in July 2022, retailers and online vendors were prohibited from selling the cannabinoid. Any retailer caught selling Delta 8 in Oregon faces severe penalties. Therefore, no approved retail outlets exist to buy Delta 8 THC products in Oregon.

Prior to the ban, Oregon residents could purchase Delta 8 THC products at gas stations, convenience stores, vape shops, smoke shops, and grocery stores. Oregon residents could also shop online with vendors typically offering better pricing and convenience, allowing buyers to read customer reviews and third-party test results.

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