Is Delta 8 THC Legal in : Alaska
Delta-8 THC, aka Delta-8 Tetrahydrocannabinol, is a minor cannabinoid within the cannabis and hemp plants. Cannabinoids classified as minor do not usually appear in large amounts. That means extraction from the plant material is overly difficult. This is why they usually synthesize Delta-8 THC from CBD that was from hemp. Let’s talk about Delta 8 THC in Alaska within this blog.
Molecule wise, the structure of Delta-8 THC is very similar to Delta-9 THC, aka THC. The core difference between Delta-8 THC (D8 THC) and Delta-9 THC (THC) is that D8 THC doesn’t have as severe an effect as Delta-9 THC and has milder effects and feelings.
How Delta-8 THC Works
Because Delta-8 THC is a cannabinoid, it works by affecting the endocannabinoid system. That system is specifically responsible for creating and receiving cannabinoids. This endocannabinoid system is a network of receptors within the central nervous system and the peripheral system. When stimulated these receptors affect numerous functions within the body including inflammation, mood, behavior, pain perception and more.
Delta 8 THC or D8 THC binds to the CB1 receptors. These primarily are located within the central nervous system (the brain and the spinal cord). D9 THC also works by targeting and activating the same receptors.
Alaska and its Delta-8 THC Laws
At the time of writing, Delta-8-THC is illegal in Alaska, irrespective of the fact that recreational cannabis is legal. The state also considers all forms of THC a controlled substance. It is also important to note that other products/compounds from hemp, like delta-8-THC, are illegal unless they have registration with the Alaska Industrial Hemp Pilot Program.
Generally, it is safe to say that although D8 THC is illegal in the state, the laws governing the substance are also confusing. For starters, the state allows for the use of cannabis given it is by an adult. Individuals over the age of 21 can easily buy cannabis products.
Irrespective of this, Alaska still considers all tetrahydrocannabinols (forms of THC) as members of the Schedule IIIA controlled drugs list. Simply put, they are all illegal. And considering delta-8 THC’s status as a form of tetrahydrocanabinol, it also falls within this definition.
On top of that, we have to remember that delta-8 THC is made from hemp. In Alaska, you can only produce and sell hemp-derived products if you’re registered with the state’s industrial hemp pilot program. These laws are some of the reasons why the exact legal nature of D8 THC is unknown within the state.
Why Delta 8 THC is Federally Legal
D8 THC is legal on a federal level because it’s made from CBD is derived from hemp. Because the CBD used to make delta-8-THC is extracted from hemp that is considered to be federally legal, CBD-derived delta-8 THC is also legal. This is because of the 2018 Farm Bill which made the distinction between hemp and cannabis is its Delta 9 THC content, hemp plants are cannabis plants that contain less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC by weight. This simple distinction is what separates the hemp plant from the marijuana plant and is what makes several products including Delta 8 THC legal.
Where is Delta-8 Illegal?
As at the time of writing, D8 THC has bans or restrictions in 13 states including: Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, New York, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, Utah, and Washington.
What Next: Exploring the Future of Delta-8 THC in Alaska
Although D8 THC is currently illegal In Alaska, that could easily change. The Department of Natural Resources has until December 1, 2024, to provide a detailed written report about industrial hemp regulation to the state senate.
At least a few changes to the industrial hemp laws in Alaska should happen around that time. In addition to that, the DEA confirmed in June and September 2021 that it considers delta-8 THC derived from hemp to be legal. This is another decision that could influence policy for the better.
We hope this blog helps you understand more about the legality of Delta-8 THC in Alasksa! Let us know in the comments if you have any questions.