You may not see Delta-THC products on the shelves of a local convenience store. Or in your local smoke shop in Texas. That doesn’t mean that the products are not there. It means that retailers are being extremely cautious, since the legality of Delta-8 and Delta-10 semi-synthetic THC products keeps changing. Every few months, in fact.
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has noticed that the availability and demand for Delta-THC products is escalating in Texas. And this should come as no surprise, since Texas has such a prohibitive stance on cannabis in general.
Even though Texas has legalized medical cannabis, there are no dispensaries in ‘The Lonestar State’. In Texas, if you qualify for therapeutic THC and you are approved by your doctor, it’s capped at 1%. That is the maximum potency you can receive. And it is dispensed to you, through a pharmacy and by prescription only, from your physician.
And the list of qualifying health conditions in Texas is also scant. While there was fanfare because post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was added to the list of eligible diagnoses, chronic pain, anxiety and depression were not. The Texas House of Representatives approved a 5% THC cap. The Senate however, with the support of Gov. Greg Abbott, dropped that to a maximum of 1% earlier in 2021.
The Texas DSHS started some legal trouble, when it placed an announcement on its website in October 2021. It declared than any THC isomers (in any concentration) were considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance.
Until that moment, patients and recreational use of Delta-THC was quietly tolerated. Health authorities knew the products were available. And unlike cannabidiol (CBD) supplements legally available in the state, authorities also knew that the THC levels of Delta products exceeded 0.30%.
The potency is a big problem. Because according to the DEA, anything over 0.30% THC content is considered marijuana. Whether it is made from cannabis plants or from hemp. It doesn’t matter. Because the 0.30% threshold exists to separate psychoactive (cannabinoid content that will get you high) from non-intoxicating levels of cannabidiol. Like you find in retail brands of CBD oil, edibles and supplements.
Are patients using Delta-8 and Delta-10 THC medicinally? Since possession of any amount of cannabis is a serious offense in Texas, Delta-THC presents a legal option. Technically, you cannot go to jail for possessing a Delta-8 or Delta-10 product. In any amount. There are no laws in Texas that currently specify that as a felony.
And since hemp was federally legalized with “The Farm Act” in 2018, Delta-THC products have existed in a gray zone in terms of legality. Some states (that have not legalized cannabis) have banned Delta-THC products. Other states, are regulating Delta-THC products like cannabis. As a controlled substance because, unlike CBD, Delta-THC can get you high.
If you are a manufacturer and retailer of Delta-THC products in Texas, it is ‘highly’ lucrative. Simply because no other legal options exist to use cannabinoids. And not find yourself in legal hot water, risking a potential misdemeanor or felony offense. In Texas, that includes heavy fines and jail time, so the stakes are high, to get high in The Lonestar State.
But that also places patients in a legal quandary. Do you illegally use cannabis from the black market (or head to Oklahoma or Arkansas to purchase it? That is a legal risk many people are not willing to take. Including patients with chronic diseases, and treatment resistant symptoms where the 1% THC cap will do little to help their symptoms. If the patient qualifies at all, for a cannabis prescription in Texas.
In Austin, Hometown Hero CBD is living up to its name. It is a hemp manufacturer going against the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). The fight made it to the Texas Supreme Court. The DSHS asked the Supreme Court to step in, to support a ban on Delta-THC products.
But that is not what happened. There was a new motion filed by the DSHS to have the ban on Delta-THC products reinstated. The request to the Supreme Court was denied on Friday, December 24th. That means for residents of Texas (and for now), Delta-THC products are legal for retailers to sell and transport. And for consumers to purchase, possess and use.
For some people Delta-THC products are better than cannabis. First, because they are currently legal to use in Texas. That’s a relief, and helps make the restrictive anti-cannabis climate in Texas a little more bearable. Particularly for people with debilitating symptoms that are not responding to prescription medications.
One area of interest that is growing, is the use of Delta-THC products in lieu of opioids and other prescription drugs. The side-effects of long-term use of opioids is clinically demonstrated through many studies. Patients want a safer (and more economical) option.
Studies about long-term use of cannabis are scant. There hasn’t been a lot of research permitted in the United States. And for Delta-THC products, there are almost no clinical studies or data based evidence to suggest they are harmful. Or safe for people to use on a daily basis. The medical community doesn’t know either way.
Delta-10 THC is similar to a Sativa cannabis. It is available in different strains, which may have a different flavor. Typically Delta-10 THC can provide pain and anxiety relief. But also provide a gentle boost of energy. Unlike conventional Delta-9 marijuana, Delta-10 tends to wear off faster. Some people like that.
Delta-8 THC is more sedative, and feels more like an Indica-like experience. It can be used to assist with insomnia and pain relief, when you aren’t leaving home or planning to be physically active. As little as a couple draws from a vape of Delta-8, or an edible supplement, could help improve sleep.
The CEO of Hometown Hero Hemp has a YouTube channel. Lukas Gilkey posts updates to followers so that recreational and medicinal users can support the fight to keep Delta-THC products in Texas. You can watch the updates and subscribe, or join the discussion and leave a comment. And also learn how you can support cannabis reform in Texas.
Vape City is also a supporter, joining forces with Hometown Hero Hemp to fight the ban of Delta-THC products in Texas. Texas lawmakers are expected to file an appeal in January 2022, to reinstate the ban of Delta-THC products in the state.