One of the biggest questions when it comes to new cannabis products that comes up repeatedly is “is this legal?” It’s not different when it comes to the question of is THCa legal? – our customers want to know before they purchase if THCa is legal.
At The Hemp Doctor we feel it’s our responsibility to keep our customers informed of the latest news in novel cannabinoids and their legal status. We’ve covered other cannabinoids like Delta 8, Delta 9, HHC and THC-O here. Additionally, we’ve covered the basics of hemp legality and its legal changes here.
There’s greater context in the articles mentioned above, but the quick and dirty summary is that hemp byproducts are federally legal in the USA as long as they contain less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC by weight and are grown and produced in the United States. Now the articles cover this more at length as well, but legalization varies from state to state. For example, in Idaho, only THC-free hemp products are legal.
This does present interesting questions about whether that hemp shirt your uncle wears to dinner is 100% thc-free. But I wouldn’t ask him to take it off and check the tag if I were you.
What cannabinoids have faced legal issues is THCa legal?
Since 2018 different states have taken actions on cannabinoids to legalize some and ban others, but until recently there wasn’t a federal challenge to hemp-derived cannabinoids.
In February the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) declared that THC-O was a federally illegal drug. They determined that THC-O isn’t protected under the 2018 Farm Bill. This means that even though it was produced from hemp grown and processed in America it wasn’t considered a natural product.
Instead of being enforced under the Farm Bill it was declared to be an analogue of THC, which is controlled by the Federal Analogue Act.
The Analogue Act was passed in 1986 and regulates substances that are considered to be “substantially similar” to Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 drugs. Usually it applies to designer drugs, but the DEA determined that THC-O does not occur in large enough quantities naturally in hemp plants that it was a synthetic drug and an analogue to THC.
How does this relate to THCa?
To determine if the DEA will challenge legality of a hemp-derived cannabinoid, we must determine if the substance meets certain standards.
The first standard is does it exist in large quantities naturally in hemp plants? THCa occurs naturally and in large quantities in young hemp plants. This means that the THCa you consume from The Hemp Doctor is extracted from live hemp plants, not synthesized. In order to have large enough quantities of THC-O to sell, it had to be synthesized.
The second standard is, is THCa defined as a THC analogue? The answer is not exactly. THCa is a precursor to THC and when decarboxylation occurs it becomes THC, but that means that THC can be synthesized from THCa, not the other way around. This is an important distinction in preventing it from being labelled as an analogue.
Finally, does the THCa product meet the standards of The 2018 Farm Bill? The answer is, yes, when you get it from The Hemp Doctor. Reputable cannabinoid sellers will only use hemp that is grown and processed in the USA and contains less than 0.3% THC by weight. Even if THCa was declared to be the same as Delta 9 THC, it could be sold in products as long as it was less than 0.3% by weight.
The other interesting fact about THCa is that it doesn’t necessarily become Delta 9 THC. It can also become Delta 8 THC as it does most commonly in hemp or, in rare cases, Delta 10 THC. This means that not only is THCa not an analogue, it also means that without intentional decarboxylation, there’s no guarantee it can become Delta 9 THC, and therefore, isn’t a guaranteed precursor.
Can you travel with THCa?
The answer is, sort of. Technically, you can take hemp products across state lines as long as they meet federal and state guidelines. So if you’re travelling with hemp products, we recommend carrying documentation with them to show what they are and being sure that the state you’re travelling into allows these cannabinoids.
Each state has their own laws and some of them are a bit unique. For example, you can have medical marijuana in Colorado but you can’t have Delta 8 THC. Does that mean THCa is legal there? Well, it’s not explicitly illegal and it’s federally legal, so right now there are no rules governing its use and sale outside of the 2018 farm bill.
How can you protect yourself with novel cannabinoids?
When experimenting with novel cannabinoids you want to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to ensure your well-being, including your legal well-being. Each state has their own specific laws, which we do touch on in this article. Knowing the law is only half the battle though, knowing everything in the product you order is the other half.
When buying novel cannabinoids like THCa it’s important you purchase them from reputable retailers like The Hemp Doctor. Each of our products comes with a lab report that displays the presence of each cannabinoid and their quantities. Knowing that the law requires less than 0.3% THC by weight, you can check to make sure the product you’re buying meets that criteria. As well, if you know your state, like Idaho, requires 0% THC in hemp products you can check the product lab reports for that as well.
We know that being safe is more than just making sure you stay mentally and physically well. It also includes keeping yourself safe from legal repercussions as well.
If you want to stay up to date on the latest in cannabis news you can sign up for our mailing list, add our blog to your RSS feed. If you have any questions about the right cannabinoids for you, you can contact us or drop in, in person at one of our store locations.
What products does The Hemp Doctor offer with THCa?
Now that you know you can use THCa legally in the United States, you probably want to know what are the best options to try! Well we have a range of strains that will tickle everyone’s fancy.
Our six strains are Blueberry Lemonade, Gelati, Monkey Berries, Papaya Runtz, Pineapple Express, and Buttermilk Cookies. These are available in THCa Prerolls and flower.
If you’re looking to try our strains and want to take the advice offered here, check out our lab reports for our THCa flower as well.