hemp-derived Delta 8 THC, US DOJ-DEA Clarifies Position That Hemp-Derived Delta 8 THC is Legal

There has been a great deal of misrepresentation and confusion about Delta 8 THC.

A letter from the US DOJ-DEA shows its position regarding hemp-derived Delta 8 THC and other THCs — stating THCs derived (even synthetically) from hemp materials are LEGAL. This instruction is not only embraced by the industry as more and more states have outlawed hemp-based THCs.

Delta 8 THC synthetically produced from non-cannabis materials is controlled under the CSA (Controlled Substances Act) as a ‘tetrahydrocannabinol’, howeverexcludes from control tetrahydrocannabinols in hemp (as defined under section 1639of Title 7).


The US DOJ-DEA letter states:

D 8 -THC is a tetrahydrocannabinol substance contained in the plant Cannabis sativa L. and also can be produced synthetically from non-cannabis materials. The CSA classifies tetrahydrocannabinols as controlled in schedule I. 21 U.S.C. 812, Schedule I(c)(17); 21 CFR § 1308.11(d)(31). Subject to limited exceptions, for the purposes of the CSA, the term “tetrahydrocannabinols” means those “naturally contained in a plant of the genus Cannabis (cannabis plant), as well as synthetic equivalents of the substances contained in the cannabis plant and/or synthetic substances, derivatives, and their isomers with similar chemical structure and pharmacological activity to those substances contained in the plant.” 21 CFR § 1308.11(d)(31). Thus, D 8 -THC synthetically produced from non-cannabis materials is controlled under the CSA as a “tetrahydrocannabinol.”

Since Delta 8 has been and continues to be perceived as a grey area, this letter eliminates that grey area and shows that there are two forms of synthetic Delta 8 with one being good (derived from hemp – legal) and one being bad (made from non-hemp materials – illegal).


There are ultimately two main requirements for a Delta 8 product to be legal under the definition of hemp:

  1. It must be derived from hemp (naturally or synthetically produced from cannabis materials is legal; but synthetically produced from non-cannabis materials is illegal)
  2. It may not contain more than 0.3 percent Delta-9 THC

Typically, Delta 8 is converted from CBD into Delta 8 — which is the easiest and most cost-effective way to create the compound.

“I was pleased to see the position the DOJ-DEA has taken on Delta 8. It has always been a legal product and it should remain so across the board. It’s a safe product with many wellness benefits. Here at Smilyn, we only use the highest-quality Delta-8 oil to infuse all of our products and we test for potency, microbials, heavy metals, solvents, and pesticides at a DEA registered testing facility,” stated Brett Weiss, CEO and Founder of Smilyn Wellness.

The DOJ-DEA letter in its entirety can be found here: DOJ-DEA Letter Regarding Natural Hemp-based THC Materials