Is Delta-8 Legal in Indiana?


Is Delta-8 Legal in Indiana?

Delta-8 THC is legal in Indiana. In 2019, Indiana adapted its hemp laws to comply with the federal government Farm Bill Act of 2018 through Senate Bill 516. The Bill removed certain hemp-derived compounds, including Delta-8, from the list of controlled substances and created the legal framework for hemp cultivation, production, and regulation in the state.

Although marijuana remains illegal for recreational and medical use, Indiana law permits the sale, purchase, use, and possession of hemp-based Delta-8 THC products, provided they contain no more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. However, the law prohibits the sale of hemp flowers, Delta-8 flowers, and marijuana-derived Delta-8 THC products.

Indiana residents can legally buy Delta-8 THC products from retail outlets like CBD dispensaries, vape shops, gas stations, and online vendors. Hemp-derived Delta-9 THC legalization at the federal and state levels implies that residents can legally ship hemp-based Delta-8 THC products from other states into Indiana.

Delta-8 Laws in Indiana

  • 2019: Indiana aligns its hemp laws with the 2018 Farm Bill through Senate Bill 516. The Bill removed hemp plants from the list of controlled substances and legalized hemp-derived products and isomers with no more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC on a dry weight basis. It also criminalizes smokable hemp
  • 2021: House Bill 1224 attempted to exclude hemp flowers from the definition of hemp and lift the ban on smokable hemp. However, the Bill died in the Senate
  • 2022: Senate Bill 209 attempted to ban the sale of Delta-8 THC, a derivative of Delta-9, because of its psychoactive effect. Lawmakers removed this phrase and instructed the study of Delta-8 THC and its psychoactive cannabinoids by the legislative council

What Is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 THC is found in the Cannabis Sativa plant but in small quantities. It is a psychoactive cannabinoid synthetically produced as a by-product of Delta-9 THC or CBD. It is an isomer of Delta-9 with a similar chemical structure. However, it is less potent and gives its user an intoxicating but milder “high”. Delta-8 comes in various products, including tinctures, edibles, infused beverages, and vapes.

The potential benefits of Delta-8 include pain relief, increased appetite, calm feeling, reduced anxiety, curbing nausea and vomiting, boosting mental health, and improved sleep. However, it also has some potential side effects, including confusion, drowsiness, low blood pressure, dry mouth and eyes, difficulty concentrating, altered sense of time, and paranoia.

Delta-8 vs. Delta-9

Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC come from marijuana and hemp plants. They have an identical chemical structure, with both cannabinoids having double carbons. However, Delta-9 has its double bond on the ninth carbon atom, while Delta-8 molecular structure positions its double bond on the eighth carbon atom. The different positioning of the carbon atom on the chain causes disparate physiological effects and cognitive changes to its user.

Delta-8 THC, sometimes referred marijuana-lite, is less potent than Delta-9 THC. Delta-8 THC users experience a high feeling but not enough to cause impairment. Delta-8 works slowly, easing gradually into the system, leaving the user relaxed and calm. Delta-9 THC produces a euphoric high once it binds with CB-1 receptors. Its psychoactive effect is almost instantaneous, leaving its user feeling elated. However, Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC offer users relief from pain, improved sleep, and boost appetite.

Delta-9 THC is abundant in marijuana plants. It is easy and fairly cheap to extract. Conversely, due to its trace amounts in marijuana, nearly all Delta-8 THC products are extracted and synthesized from hemp plants. Delta-8 THC requires effort to extract and purify, and the process is pricey. Extracting Delta-8 THC from hemp ensures its concentration contains no more than 0.3% THC.

Delta-8 vs. Delta-10

Delta-10 is a mild cannabinoid found in trace amounts in marijuana and hemp plants. Delta-10 and Delta-8 are both isomers of Delta-9 THC. Delta-10 is extracted from Delta-9 and CBD through structural isomerization. Delta-10 THC interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and binds with the CB1 and CB2 receptors. However, due to their different chemical composition, Delta-8 and Delta-10 THC have varying degrees of effects when consumed.

Delta-8 THC is more potent than Delta-10 and causes a noticeable euphoria. Although Delta-10 is psychoactive, its effect is milder, giving its user an uplifting feeling rather than the full body high from Delta-8.

Delta-8 THC helps to curb nausea and vomiting, stimulate appetite, ease glaucoma symptoms, lower anxiety, and improve insomnia, while Delta-10 helps to relieve stress and physical discomfort.

How Long Does Delta-8 Stay in the Body?

A Delta-8 THC high lasts between 3 to 10 hours after use. It is detectable in urine or blood samples for up to 30 days after the last use. However, the duration of time Delta-8 THC metabolizes in the body depends on the following factors:

  • Dosage and Frequency of Use: Delta-8 THC stays in the body longer if the individual uses it often. Also, the higher the dosage of Delta 8 THC ingested, the longer it takes the body to eliminate it. Cannabinoids are fat-soluble and accumulate in the body’s fat cells. After usage, the accumulation flows back into the body, extending the amount of time for the compound to be eliminated from the body
  • Method of Consumption: How an individual consumes Delta-8 THC affects how it metabolizes. Delta-8 THC inhaled clears from the body faster than when ingested. Ingested Delta-8 THC also has varying times it leaves the body. Smoked Delta-8 THC metabolizes from the body twice as fast as edibles
  • Metabolism and Genetics: The liver metabolizes Delta-8 THC using a specific enzyme, Cytochromes P450 3A4 (CYP3A4). However, some people have this enzyme in more abundance than others. Consequently, it would take longer for persons with smaller levels of CYP3A4 to break down Delta-8 THC than individuals with higher levels

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

Yes. While hemp-derived Delta-8 THC is legal in Indiana, individuals can still fail a drug screening after consuming it. Delta-8 THC is a natural cannabinoid similar to Delta-9. Most drug tests check for THC metabolites in the body rather than a specific cannabinoid. Because Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC have similar chemical compositions, a drug screening test will return positive.

Delta drug screening can show a positive result in urine, saliva, hair, and blood specimens. The detection period for each sample is as follows:

  • Urine Tests: A urine drug test will detect Delta-8 THC 3 days after a single use and up to 30 days for frequent consumers
  • Saliva Test: For occasional users, a saliva test would detect Delta-8 THC within 3 days and up to 30 days for long-term users
  • Hair Tests: THC metabolites are trapped in the hair follicles for extended periods after the last use. A hair drug test will test positive up to 90 days after the last use
  • Blood Tests: A blood test for Delta-8 THC will return a positive result up to 25 days for chronic users and 7 days for occasional users

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

The possession, use, purchase, and sale of hemp-derived Delta-8 THC are legal in Indiana. Nonetheless, it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle while impaired with Delta-8 THC. Per Indiana Code 9-30-6, DUI implied consent law, all motorists are subject to taking a chemical test if lawfully arrested for driving under the influence. Per Indiana Code 9-30-6-15, a motorist can get arrested for operating while intoxicated (OWI) if their blood alcohol concentration is over 0.08% impaired by drugs. Having hemp-derived Delta-8 THC in a car is legal, provided it is kept in a tightly sealed container out of reach of everyone.

Where to Buy Delta-8 in Indiana

The 2018 Farm Bill Act and Indiana’s Senate Bill 516 make it legal for businesses to manufacture and retail hemp-derived Delta-8 THC products in Indiana. Residents can purchase Delta-8 THC products from brick-and-mortar shops such as vape stores, gas stations, CBD dispensaries, and smoke shops. In addition, residents may also buy Delta-8 THC online.

The state law does not specify the legal age to buy hemp-based Delta-8 THC products. However, most retail shops permit persons 21 and older to purchase Delta-8 THC products. Residents must show proof of age to obtain the products. Delta-8 THC products available in retail stores in Indiana include edibles, oils, topicals, vapes, and tinctures. Smokable hemp flowers are illegal in Indiana.

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