Yes, Delta-8 THC is legal in Maryland. The Maryland Hemp Program, which began in 2020, permits licensed organizations to produce, process, and sell hemp and other hemp-derived products. Such hemp-derived products, including Delta-8 THC, must contain no more than 0.3% THC. Also, residents must be 21 or older to purchase Delta-8 THC from licensed dispensaries in Maryland. Hemp-derived Delta-8 THC products are also legal in the U.S., according to the 2018 Farm Bill. Residents may buy Delta-8 products online and ship them to Maryland, provided it contains no more than 0.3% THC.
Delta-8 THC may also be derived from marijuana, which is legal in Maryland for medical purposes. The Maryland Medical Cannabis Program allows residents with qualifying conditions to purchase marijuana-derived products recommended by their physicians. Medical dispensaries in Maryland sell marijuana-derived products, including Delta-8 THC, to only registered patients and caregivers. Consumers without medical marijuana cards cannot buy marijuana-derived Delta-8 products because recreational marijuana is illegal in Maryland.
2014: The Governor signed House Bill 881 in 2014 to legalize THC products for only medical patients in Maryland. Registered patients began buying marijuana products in 2017
2019: Hemp and its derivatives, including Delta-8 THC, became legal after the passage of House Bill 1123 in 2019. The Industrial Hemp Act aligns with the U.S. Farm Bill in 2018, which mandates that Delta-8 products must contain 0.3% THC or less
2022: Maryland Legislature passed Senate Bill 778, explicitly restricting licensed dispensaries from selling Delta-8 products to persons below 21
2022-23: In 2022, 67% of Marylanders voted yes to the Marijuana Legalization Amendment (Question 4). Effective July 1, 2023, the new legislation will allow THC products for persons aged 21 or older
Delta-8 is one of the psychoactive THC isomers often extracted from the Cannabis sativa plant. Generally, Cannabis sativa plants, such as hemp and marijuana, contain a low concentration of Delta-8 THC. However, most manufacturers extract large amounts of Delta-8 artificially from hemp-derived CBD. Delta-8 THC produces milder psychoactive effects compared to traditional THC. It also has side effects such as vomiting, tremors, loss of consciousness, and hallucinations. Some potential benefits of Delta-8 THC include pain relief, improved appetite, reduced inflammation, and improved sleep quality. Delta-8 THC products exist in different forms, including gummies, edibles, candies, vaping cartridges, and infused drinks.
Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC are cannabinoids with the same chemical formula but different chemical structures. The THC isomers also occur naturally in the Cannabis sativa plant. Below are some significant differences between Delta-8 and Delta-9:
Source: Delta-8 THC occurs naturally in trace amounts, while Delta-9 is abundant in marijuana. On the other hand, hemp contains small quantities of Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC, as required by law. As a result, Delta-8 THC is usually produced in the lab through a process known as isomerization. Manufacturers convert hemp-derived CBD to Delta-8 THC by adding chemical solvents like toluene and heptane
Potency: Delta-8 THC is less potent than Delta-9 THC. The mild ‘high’ produced by Delta-8 often wears off faster, depending on the amount consumed and the consumer’s age
Effects: Delta-8 THC produces mild and relaxing effects along with other psychoactive properties associated with Delta-9. Both cannabinoids have similar side effects, including red eyes, dry mouth, visual distortions, rapid heart rate, and memory loss. Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC are often used to treat insomnia, seizure, and chronic pain
Legality: Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC derived from hemp are legal under the 2018 Farm Bill as long as it contains no more than 0.3% THC. Maryland residents can ship these hemp-based products into and out of the state. On the other hand, marijuana-based THC is only legal for patients registered by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission. Without medical marijuana cards, residents cannot buy marijuana-derived THC products from licensed dispensaries
Delta-8 THC and Delta-10 THC are THC isomers that produce different effects on consumers. The psychoactive effects of Delta-8 THC are more potent than Delta-10 THC. Although Delta-10 THC is still being researched, the following are some notable similarities between it and Delta-8 THC:
They occur naturally in small amounts in hemp and marijuana
They may be synthetically manufactured in the lab from CBD or THC to obtain a large concentration
They produce similar side effects, such as dry mouth and dizziness
They may be used to treat certain health conditions, such as nausea and chronic pain
Hemp-based Delta-10 and Delta-8 products containing less than 0.3% THC are legal under the US Farm Bill.
They are available only to Maryland residents who are aged 21 or older
Delta-8 THC is broken down or metabolized in the liver by an enzyme known as Cytochrome P450 3A4. The psychoactive effects produced by the cannabinoid often continue for three to four hours until it metabolizes completely to THC-COOH, the primary THC metabolite. The non-active metabolite is fat-soluble and may remain a waste product in hair follicles, urine, saliva, and blood. The duration of THC metabolites in the body depends on the following factors:
Consumer’s genetics and age
Amount of Delta-8 THC consumed
The type of Delta-8 product consumed
The frequency of consumption
Use with other intoxicating products
Generally, THC-COOH can stay in the blood, saliva, and urine for up to 30 days if the consumer is a frequent user. Hair follicles may contain traceable amounts of the THC metabolites for up to 90 days.
Delta-8 THC will show up on standard drug tests in Maryland. The drug tests common in most workplaces are designed to detect the THC metabolite (THC-COOH) in the urine, saliva, blood, and hair:
Urine tests or urinalysis often picks up Delta-8 THC metabolites in urine for up to two to three days after the last consumption. Frequent consumers may fail urine drug tests after 30 days of last use
Blood tests reveal Delta-8 THC metabolites in the blood for up to 12 to 24 hours after the last use
Saliva tests can detect Delta-8 THC in the saliva for up to 24 to 72 hours after the last use
Hair tests can detect Delta-8 in the hair up to 90 days after use
Several factors usually determine how long these drug tests will find Delta-8 THC in the body. For instance, consuming more Delta-8 products may slow down the metabolic process and increase the duration of THC metabolite in the body. Also, Delta-8 edibles take longer to metabolize than vaped Delta-8 oils.
Residents younger than 21 years may be pulled over for possessing Delta-8 THC in Maryland. The arresting officer will issue citations to minor offenders, who may be referred to Drug Treatment Courts in Maryland. Getting pulled over for consuming Delta-8 products while driving is also possible. Law enforcers often use a field sobriety test to confirm if motorists are impaired. If charged with a DUI offense in Maryland, offenders may face a $500 fine payment, a two-month jail sentence, and eight points on driving history.
It is legal to manufacture and sell hemp-derived Delta-8 THC products in Maryland. Such products are available only to residents aged 21 or older. Eligible consumers can buy Delta-8 products online or from retail stores across the state. Hemp-based Delta-8 products such as gummies, extracts, oils, and tinctures may be shipped from other states into Maryland. However, marijuana-based Delta-8 products are currently unavailable for recreational use in Maryland. Shipping marijuana-based products across state lines into Maryland is also illegal.