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DEA Stance on Delta-8 THC - NOT a Controlled Substance

Updated: May 13, 2022

The Cannabis market is still expanding and adjusting to Delta-8 and Delta-10 THC – 2 other forms of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that gained a lot of popularity in 2020. Their entrance into “non-legal Marijuana states” has prompted regulations, restrictions and in some States – completely banning these forms of THC.

Recent comments made by the Drug Enforcement Administration (D.E.A.) have established their stance on these forms of THC, and suggests that banning these forms of THC goes too far. Here is the breakdown of the DEA’s response to a request to have Delta-8 added to the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

DEA  Response Document
DEA Response Document


In paragraph 2, the DEA defines “THC” and confirms that any form of Delta-8 THC that is produced from Non-Cannabis Materials are in-fact covered under the Controlled Substances Act and would be considered synthetic. Delta-8 THC that is derived from Naturally Occurring Cannabis Materials would not be considered synthetic.

In paragraph 3, the Controlled Substances Act is referenced to clarify the definition of hemp; which is defined as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol [(Δ9-THC)] concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”

Paragraph 4 ties both of those paragraphs together by concluding that Delta-8 THC and other Cannabinoids extracted from the Cannabis plant that do not have more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC meets the definition of hemp – thus, do not fall under the Controlled Substances Act.


The United States DEA's response has given hope to the Cannabis industry by continuing the future advancement of Cannabis science.