Is Delta THC Legal in Washington?

Washington Delta-8 THC Overview >
Washington Delta-9 THC Overview >

What is Delta THC?

Delta 8 THC, Delta 9 THC, and Delta 10 THC are three popular psychoactive isomers of Delta THC and are found in the cannabis plant. Delta 9 THC is the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana and produces the "high" associated with cannabis use. Delta 8 THC is similar in structure to Delta 9 THC and may produce milder psychoactive effects, while Delta 10 THC is a newly discovered minor cannabinoid with limited information on its effects.

Apart from these, there are other cannabinoids, such as THC-O, THC-P, THCV, THCh, THCjd, HHC, and HHC-O, that are also sold as THC products. THC-O and THC-P are synthetic cannabinoids more potent than Delta-9 THC, while THCV and THCh are purported to have non-psychoactive effects and are being studied for their potential health benefits.

Note that THC-O, HHC, and other THC isomers chemically converted from CBD cannot be purchased in Washington. Under the state's Uniform Controlled Substances Act, all chemically altered THC isomers are classified as Schedule I controlled drugs. This is the law prohibiting selling, purchasing, and manufacturing of such synthetically derived THC isomer products.


THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are two major types of over 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Both THC and CBD are found in marijuana and hemp plants, but their concentrations vary. Marijuana typically has higher levels of THC, while hemp has higher levels of CBD. Although they have some similarities, the compounds' effects and potential therapeutic uses differ.

THC is psychoactive and can induce the "high" associated with marijuana use, but CBD is non-psychoactive and does not cause a high. CBD interacts with receptors in the body, including CB1 and CB2 receptors, without creating psychoactive effects, whereas THC binds to CB1 receptors in the brain and nervous system.

The potential therapeutic uses of THC and CBD are also different. THC is believed to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-nausea, and appetite-stimulating effects and may help treat conditions such as nausea, chronic pain, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Also, CBD has been shown to have potential therapeutic benefits for conditions such as anxiety, epilepsy, and certain types of pain. Note that the use of THC and CBD for medical purposes is still being researched.

Both THC and CBD can show up on drug tests, as most tests screen for THC metabolites. However, detection duration depends on factors such as frequency and amount of use.

What is Delta-8 THC?

Delta 8 THC is a minor cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant that is similar in structure to Delta 9 THC, the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis. Delta 8 THC can produce psychoactive effects, although they are suggested to be milder than those of Delta 9 THC.

Delta 8 THC has potential therapeutic benefits deriving from its anti-nausea, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving effects. However, further studies are required to confirm these benefits. Delta 8 THC may show up on a drug test, and detection times are not well established. However, anecdotal reports suggest THC metabolites from Delta 8 THC use may be detectable for up to several weeks after use. The side effects of Delta 8 THC may include dry mouth, red eyes, and impaired coordination.

Is Delta-8 THC Legal in Washington?

Delta 8 is illegal in Washington pursuant to a statement issued by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board in 2021. The policy statement categorizes chemically synthesized Delta 8 as a Schedule I controlled substance in accordance with the state's Uniform Controlled Substances Act. Hence, purchasing, distributing, selling, or manufacturing products containing Delta 8 products chemically converted from CBD isolates is illegal. According to an Enforcement Bulletin issued by the LCB in 2021:

  • Processors are prohibited from converting CBD or hemp into Delta 8 THC

  • Processors are prohibited from buying or selling Delta 8 THC products not legally produced

  • Retailers may not knowingly purchase products from processors which contain Delta 8 THC converted from CBD. Retailers may not sell such products to consumers

Note that while the 2018 Agricultural Act legalizes hemp-derived products containing no more than 0.3% Delta 9 THC federally, the Act permits states to enact their own laws pertaining to Delta 8 THC. You should also refrain from crossing Washington’s borders with Delta 8 in your possession, regardless of whether you are driving or flying into the state.

What is Delta-9 THC?

Delta 9 is the primary psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant, responsible for producing the "high" associated with marijuana use. Delta 9 THC binds with CB1 receptors in the brain and nervous system, leading to a range of effects, including altered perception, mood changes, and impaired memory and coordination. Delta 9 use can show up on a drug test for up to 90 days, but detection times vary depending on factors such as frequency and amount of use. While Delta 9 THC is generally considered safe for adults, it can have side effects such as dry mouth, red eyes, increased heart rate, and impaired coordination.

Is Delta-9 THC Legal in Washington?

Under Initiative 692 and Initiative 502, Delta 9 THC is legal in Washington. While these measures legalized medical and recreational cannabis, Delta 9, typically derived from marijuana, also became legalized by effect. Initiative 692 makes Delta 9 THC use legal for registered medical marijuana patients in the state with approved medical conditions, such as cancer, anorexia, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, and intractable pain. Initiative 502 makes Delta 9 THC legal for adults aged 21 or older.

Delta 9 THC is available to Washington residents in the form of gummies, tinctures, oils, vapes, and concentrates. Legal purchases of Delta 9 THC can be made at licensed physical or online medical and recreational marijuana dispensaries. Note that it is illegal to ship marijuana-derived Delta 9 THC from outside Washington into the state, regardless of whether the product is intended for medical or recreational use.

Hemp-derived Delta 9 THC products are legal as long as the Delta 9 THC compound has not been chemically synthesized and contains less than 0.3% Delta THC. Such products are permitted to be shipped across state lines into Washington.

What is Delta-10 THC?

Delta 10 THC is a newly discovered minor cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, and its effects are not yet well understood. Preliminary research suggests that Delta 10 THC may have some psychoactive effects, although they may be milder than those of Delta 9 THC. Delta 10 THC is thought to be less potent than Delta 9 THC.

Due to its recent discovery, information on Delta 10 THC is limited, and it is unclear how long it stays in the system. However, being a THC isomer Delta 10 THC is expected to show up on drug tests.

Is Delta-10 THC Legal in Washington?

With Delta 10 THC typically chemically synthesized, it falls under the scope of the policy statement issued by the Liquor and Cannabis Board in 2021. The statement categorized all chemically synthesized Delta THC isomers as Schedule I controlled substances under the Washington Uniform Controlled Substances Act. Therefore, producing, selling, or purchasing Delta 10 THC in Washington is illegal. You are advised not to purchase Delta 10 THC products from online retailers in other jurisdictions where the compound is legal for shipping into Washington.

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