Delta 8 THC in Colorado: Is It Legal & Where to Buy in 2021?

Area 52
August 26, 2021 | Legal

Colorado was one of the first states to legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use. One would assume its laid-back mentality would transfer to other, less potent cannabis products. However, delta 8 THC, a popular isomer of THC, is illegal to buy, sell, and consume in Colorado.

Delta 8 is legal federally and in most other states as long as it comes from hemp, so why did Colorado go out of its way to ban this cannabinoid?

Learn more about the status of delta 8 THC in the state.

Is Delta 8 THC Legal in Colorado?

Delta 8 is not legal in Colorado, leaving many people confused. Why would the state known for its relaxed marijuana laws decide to ban delta 8?

In May 2021, the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) sent out an industry-wide bulletin to dispensaries across the state.

This letter states, “… Industrial Hemp Product is not permitted to be further processed or extracted either before or after inclusion in a marijuana product by a Medical or Retail Marijuana Products Manufacturer. This prohibition includes any process that converts an Industrial Hemp Product, such as CBD isolate, into delta-9, delta-8, delta-10-THC, or other tetrahydrocannabinol isomers or functional analogs.”

Why? It comes down to the process used to extract delta 8 and other cannabinoids. Because of the chemicals involved, the Colorado government is unsure of the safety of these products.

Learn more: Delta 8 THC Legality: State by State

What About Delta 10 THC?

Similar to delta 8 THC, delta 10 THC is also illegal to produce, use, sell, and consume in Colorado.

Delta 10 THC is also an isomer of THC, and this naturally occurring cannabinoid is formed during the plant’s earlier stages. Both delta 8 THC and delta 10 THC produce mild effects, though delta 10 is less potent.

Delta 8 THC is more relaxing, while delta 10 THC offers an invigorating, energizing, and mood-boosting effect.

Do I Need a Medical Card In Colorado to Buy Delta 8 THC?

Delta 8 THC is illegal in Colorado, so any product containing delta 8 THC is prohibited regardless of your medical status.

If you reside in a state that allows delta 8 THC, you don’t have to obtain a medical card to buy delta 8 THC products.

The same federal laws that protect CBD also cover delta 8, so anybody can buy delta 8 THC products if the state allows it.

What’s the Difference Between Delta 8 THC & Delta 9 THC?

Delta 8 THC’s popularity is rising, and the demand for delta 8 THC products will only grow.

Because it’s a relatively new product, many people are naturally curious about its effects. How does it differ from delta 9 THC? What does it feel like?

Delta 8 THC and delta 9 THC have a similar molecular formula. They both have two oxygen, 21 carbon, and 30 hydrogen atoms. However, the double bond of delta 8 THC is located on its eighth carbon chain, while delta 9 THC has the double bond on its ninth carbon chain.

Both cannabinoids attach to the CB1 receptors, hence their intoxicating and mind-altering effects. However, their double bond location changes how they bind to the CB1 receptor, causing delta 8 THC to be milder, smoother, more focused, and longer-lasting.

This difference is why delta 8 THC doesn’t produce a strong high, anxiety attacks, or paranoia; side effects are commonly associated with high-THC doses.

How to Use Delta 8 THC

a hemp bud, Delta 8 THC capsules and oil in a bottle dropper on a wooden table with a blurry background

Using delta 8 THC is similar to other cannabis products.

A common form of delta 8 THC is as an oil or tincture. The best way to use tinctures is to place a few drops under the tongue (sublingual), which speeds up the absorption of the active delta 8. You can also add tinctures to other foods or drinks.

You’ll also find delta 8 THC edibles like gummies and candies, though it takes time (about an hour) before you feel the effects. The effects of edible THC tend to last longer, though.

There are also inhalable forms, such as vape carts and hemp flowers infused with delta 8 THC. You’ll even find delta 8 THC pre-rolls or potent wax and dabs online.

Like any other cannabis product, you should “start low and go slow,” especially if you’re new to delta 8 THC. This helps you avoid adverse side effects such as dry eyes and mouth.

Where to Buy Delta 8 THC in Colorado

Again, check your state’s cannabis laws before buying delta 8 THC. If you live in a state that prohibits delta 8 THC, like Colorado, you won’t have access to legal delta 8 THC products.

However, if you reside in a state that allows delta 8 THC, the best place to buy them is online.

The benefits of ordering delta 8 THC online:

  • Online shops have better pricing and seasonal discounts
  • When you buy online you can read customer reviews & third-party tests before you buy
  • Ordering online is easier and more convenient
  • Online shops have a greater selection of products
  • Products left on store shelves degrade more quickly

Be careful, though, when buying delta 8 THC or other cannabis products online. Its popularity has given rise to unscrupulous producers selling substandard, sometimes dangerous, delta 8 THC products.

How to Safely Buy Delta 8 THC

Only buy delta 8 THC from trusted sources, so read reviews about the product and the manufacturer or vendor. Stay away from stores and products that receive many negative reviews. If people aren’t happy with their delta 8 THC products, you probably won’t be either.

Make sure that the delta 8 THC comes from organically grown industrial hemp. The THC content should not exceed 0.3%.

Look for the product’s certificate of analysis (COA) or laboratory test result. Legitimate producers send samples of their products to certified laboratory testing facilities. Tests make sure there are no residual solvents, pathogenic microbes, or toxic residues. The tests also check for the potency of the product, making sure it contains the stated potency.

Stay away from delta 8 THC vendors that don’t have a verification process set in place. Remember, the law requires verification of every consumer’s age to avoid selling cannabis products to minors. Delta 8 THC vendors that don’t do this are breaking the law.

Marijuana Laws in Colorado

Colorado legalized cannabis for medical use in 2000 and recreational use in 2012, allowing Colorado residents to possess no more than two ounces of usable marijuana and cultivate no more than six cannabis plants, three or fewer of which may be mature.

Patients, including minors, with qualifying medical conditions, may register in the state’s medical marijuana program, giving them added legal protection.

The 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized industrial hemp, allows all residents (regardless of age) to buy, use, and possess hemp-derived CBD products containing no more than 0.3% THC. There’s no possession or age restriction limit, nor is there any need to obtain a medical card to buy hemp-derived CBD products.

As for delta 8 THC products, this cannabinoid remains illegal, whether sourced from marijuana or industrial hemp.

Related: Where is marijuana legal in the United States?

Final Thoughts — What’s the Future of Delta 8 THC in Colorado?

Colorado has recently banned delta 8 THC, with the DPHE stating that delta 8 THC synthesized from other cannabinoids isn’t compliant with the state’s legal definition of industrial hemp.

However, as its popularity grows and the research increases, we might see legal delta 8 THC again in Colorado’s cannabis scene.

Most likely, delta 8 and delta 10 THC will be legalized in this cannabis-friendly state in the near future. Currently, this market is too new, and too many unscrupulous vendors are releasing products onto the market for Colorado lawmakers to consider changing these laws.