According to the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Farms, and Markets (AAFM), all hemp products containing Delta 8 THC are illegal, a change that went into effect on April 23 of this year.
The Vermont AAFM sent out an email to all registered hemp farmers to inform them of the new statute. As of now, Vermont is one of 12 states that have banned the production of Delta 8 THC products. The other states are: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island, and Utah.
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Vermont’s new legislation
On their website, the agency even acknowledged that hemp plants naturally produce Delta 8 THC. However, because it’s only present in trace amounts, products that are high in Delta 8 are usually made through a method known as isomerization, which synthetically converts CBD to THC.
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The Vermont Hemp Rules state that, “A processor shall not use synthetic cannabinoids in the production of any hemp product or hemp-infused product”. With this new ruling, the manufacturing, labeling, or sale of any Delta-8 product would violate Vermont state law. As with any other Schedule 1 narcotic, anyone caught producing, distributing, or possessing Delta 8 products will face criminal charges.
The ruling has the statewide Delta 8 THC industry up in arms and scrambling to figure out what they will do when such a large part of their inventory is suddenly prohibited. This update is expected to negatively impact their newly established revenues in a major way.
More about Delta 8 THC
Delta 8 THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a naturally occurring, minor cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Although it’s structurally similar to Delta 9 THC, there are some major differences between the two. For example, Delta 9 THC is the cannabis plant’s most abundant psychoactive compound, whereas Delta 8 is only found in trace amounts. As a matter of fact, Delta 8 is not even produced by the enzymes in cannabis, rather, it is created when Delta 9 THC oxidizes and slowly degrades into Delta 8. Further degradation of Delta 9 would create the cannabinoid CBN (cannabinol).
When it comes to the chemical difference between Delta 8 and Delta 9, it all comes down to one molecule. In chemistry, “Delta” refers to the double bond in a compound’s molecular structure. Delta compounds have more electrons and will interact with the body in a different way than single bond cannabinoids. The difference between the Delta THC analogues comes down to where the double bond is located on their chain of carbon atoms. Delta 9 has this bond on the 9th carbon chain, and Delta 8 THC has the double bond on the 8th carbon chain. It seems like a small difference, but it can be significant.
Similar to its more dominant counterpart, Delta 8 THC is a partial agonist for both the CB1 and CB2 receptors, although it seems to have a stronger affinity for CB1. This means there are effects to be felt in numerous different parts of the body, despite having weaker psychotropic potency. The National Center for Biological Information (NCBI) describes delta-8 THC as follows: “An analogue of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties.”
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Again, there are twelve states in which Delta 8 THC is currently banned, with Vermont being the newest. Delta 8 prohibition has nothing to do with cannabis legalization, as you can see, it has been banned in quite a few states where recreational cannabis is legal, so the logic in these rulings must have missed me. Either way, a ban is a ban and both companies and consumers will have to figure out what to do before it’s too late.
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