Is Delta-8 Legal in New Jersey?

Is Delta-8 Legal in New Jersey?

Yes, hemp-derived Delta-8 THC with no more than 0.3% THC is legal in New Jersey. Similarly, Delta 8-THC derived from marijuana is now legal in New Jersey because of the recent legalization of recreational marijuana for adults 21 years and over. Hemp-derived Delta-8 THC became legal in 2018 following the passage of New Jersey NJ A1330, a bill that conforms with the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill). Consequently, hemp and all hemp-based compounds, including Delta-8 THC, became legal in New Jersey. No hemp-based Delta-8 THC product is prohibited in New Jersey, provided they contain no more than 0.3% THC.

New Jersey residents can buy Delta-8 THC-infused products without medical marijuana cards because they do not need prescriptions to purchase the products. Several local vendors sell hemp-based Delta-8 THC products in the state. Additionally, anyone purchasing marijuana-derived Delta-8 THC products does not require a medical marijuana card, as they can get them from licensed recreational cannabis dispensaries. They only need to provide valid-government-issued IDs showing they are at least 21 years old. A convenient means of purchasing hemp-derived Delta-8 THC-infused products in New Jersey is to order them from reputable online stores in or out of state.

Delta 8 Laws in New Jersey

  • 2018 - In 2018, New Jersey Legislature passed A1330 to legalize hemp, the production of hemp, and all hemp-based compounds, including hemp-derived Delta-8 THC. However, hemp-derived Delta-THC products must contain no more than 0.3% THC; otherwise, it is illegal. A1330 made provisions for issuing licenses to hemp growers, distributors, and vendors, among others, and outlined the requirements for obtaining the licenses.

  • 2020 - In 2020, Governor Phil Murphy signed the New Jersey recreational cannabis law, known as the Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act (CREAMM). It legalized adult-use cannabis for persons aged 21 years and older, permitting the consumption and sale of marijuana-derived Delta-8 THC products.

What Is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 THC is short for Delta-8 THC Tetrahydrocannabinol. It is a psychoactive compound found in Cannabis sativa plants. Delta-8 THC is an isomer of Delta-9 THC with a slightly different chemical culture, making it less psychoactive than Delta-9 THC. Although it is naturally found in cannabis plants, the amounts are insignificant. Hence, concentrated amounts of Delta-8 THC are mostly made synthetically from Cannabidiol (CBD).

While several types of research are ongoing about Delta-8 THC, the compound is purported to have various benefits. For instance, New Jersey residents believe that using Delta-8 THC can relieve pain and make them feel relaxed. People who do not want to experience the level of "high" produced by Delta-9 THC resort to using Delta-8 THC because of its milder effects. Delta-8 THC is also touted to help uplift consumers' moods and increase their energy levels. Despite Delta-8THC's supposed benefits, users can still experience some side effects, especially when consumed in large quantities. Some of the side effects are increased dry mouth, blood pressure, anxiety, sedation, slowed breathing, memory loss, red eyes, and increased heart rates

Delta-8 vs. Delta-9

Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC differ slightly in chemical structure. While Delta-8 has an eighth double-bond carbon atom, the double bond is at the ninth carbon position in Delta-9 THC. Even though Delta-8 THC is a psychoactive compound, it is less potent than Delta-9 THC. Delta-8 THC does not bind as strongly to CB-1 receptors in the brain as Delta-9 THC, which explains why its psychoactivity is usually milder.

The cannabis plant contains substantial amounts of Delta-9 THC but little amounts of Delta-8 THC. Because it exists naturally in small quantities in cannabis plants, most Delta-8 THC products are made synthetically by extracting and purifying CBD. Most processors synthesize Delta-8 THC from hemp plants because they contain CBD in abundance. Both Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC are legal in New Jersey.

Delta-8 vs. Delta-10

Hemp-derived Delta-10 THC and Delta-9 THC are legal in New Jersey. Both Delta 8-THC and Delta-10 THC are cannabinoids in cannabis plants but are far less in abundance compared to Delta-9 THC. Although they produce slight calming and buzz effects, Delta-10 THC is less potent than Delta-8 THC. This means that Delta-8 THC provides more intense psychoactive effects than Delta-10 THC. Both Delta-10 THC and Delta-8 THC are typically processed from hemp-based CBD. Sometimes, they are chemically synthesized from Delta-9 THC through a process known as structural isomerization.

When consumed, Delta-8 THC binds with the CB1 receptor in the brain, resulting in a calmer effect. However, depending on the amount consumed or how the body reacts to it, Delta-8 THC can also interact with the brain's CB1 receptor and lead to anxiety. On the other hand, Delta-10 THC has neuroprotective properties, making it interact with the consumer's brain and body. Its consumption does not lead to paranoia and anxiety the way Delta-8 THC and other cannabinoids do. Hemp-derived Delta-10 THC and Delta-9 THC are legal in New Jersey.

How Long Does Delta-8 Stay in the Body?

When a person consumes any Delta-8 THC-infused product, it starts breaking down to 11-hydroxy-THC, a form of cannabinoid without psychoactive properties, and then metabolized by the liver. Although it works similarly to Delta-9 THC, Delta-8 THC is less potent, and its "high" effect usually lasts between 3 to 10 hours, depending on the amount taken and consumption method.

For instance, if a person smokes or vapes Delta-8 THC in New Jersey, they will most likely feel high immediately, with the peak effects after about 25 minutes. The high effects may wear out after about 6 hours. On the other hand, if Delta-8 THC is consumed as tinctures or edibles, consumers may not attain the peak "high" effects until around 2 hours after consumption. Generally, Delta-8 THC can stay anywhere between 5 and 30 days in the body system, depending on several factors. Such factors include the Delta-8 THC quantity consumed, the frequency of consumption, and the body's metabolic rate.

Does Delta-8 Show Up on a Drug Test in New Jersey?

Yes, Delta-8 THC can show up in a standard drug test in New Jersey. Because Delta-8 THC is psychoactive (although milder than Delta-9 THC), it includes traces of THC and may impact a person's assessment in a drug test in the workplace if the person consumes Delta-8 THC products regularly. Drug tests may not be able to differentiate it from Delta-9 THC and Delta-10 THC because it also contains trace amounts of THC. Common test samples collected when testing for Delta-8 THC and their detection windows after the last use are as follows:

  • Saliva - Up to 24 hours for occasional users and about 72 hours for heavy consumers

  • Hair - Up to 90 days

  • Blood - Between 12 to 24 hours for light consumers and about 30 days for heavy users

  • Urine - Up to three days for light users and about 30 days for regular consumers

  • Mouth Swabs - Up to 24 hours after ingestion

What Happens if You Get Pulled Over with Delta-8 in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, it is illegal to drive under the influence (DUI) of cannabis, including Delta-8 THC. Driving under the influence of such a substance violates Section 39:4-50 of the New Jersey Revised Statutes. If law enforcement pulls a person over and determines they are driving under the influence of Delta-8 THC, the driver risks fines, mandatory driver's license suspension, and possible jail time.

Typically, when law enforcement suspects a person of DUI of cannabis or Delta-8 THC in New Jersey, they subject the driver to assessment by a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE). The DRE will evaluate the driver's physical coordination and ability to drive and may request a urine sample. However, the expert testimony of the police officer who made an arrest is what is more important to prosecute a defendant for driving under the influence of Delta-8 THC.

Where to Buy Delta-8 in New Jersey

Following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, the cultivation and sale of hemp and hemp products, including Delta-8 THC, became legal on the federal level. Similarly, NJ A1330 legalized hemp in New Jersey, permitting its cultivation and sale in the state. Hence, New Jersey residents can legally purchase hemp-based Delta-8 THC products, provided the THC concentration is no more than 0.3%.

All forms of hemp-derived Delta-8 THC products are available for sale in New Jersey. Consumers can purchase them from licensed cannabis dispensaries or hemp stores. Vendors usually require that buyers are at least 21 years old and may request their valid government-issued IDs to ascertain this. Residents may also order Delta-8 THC products online in New Jersey or from out-of-state online stores and have them delivered to their doorsteps.



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