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To the naked eye, there's no discernable difference visually between marijuana and the hemp product Delta-8. So how does law enforcement distinguish between the two? After all, one's legal in Louisiana and Texas and the other isn't.

First of all, what is Delta-8?

'Delta-8 THC' is basically one isomer off of what we generally consider to be weed, which is 'Delta-9 THC.' It's this slight deviation that makes it legal in Louisiana as well as Texas. The official description of Delta-8 according to Wikipedia is, 'Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol is a psychoactive cannabinoid found in the Cannabis plant. It is an isomer of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the compound commonly known as THC. ∆⁸-THC has antiemetic, anxiolytic, orexigenic, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties.' If you're wondering if you can get high off of it, yes, you can. Its effects just aren't as pronounced or long-lasting. Many see it as being more therapeutic than CBD.

On the federal level, Delta-8 was made legal under the 2018 Farm Bill because it's a naturally occurring cannabinoid derived from hemp. However, the legal status of Delta-8 THC can be confusing, but the simplest way to explain it is as long as Delta-8 THC is extracted from natural hemp, which contains less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC, it is legal according to VaporVanity.com. There are some gray areas, but in short, Delta 8 is legal because of a confusing loophole. Case in point, the DEA still lists it as a controlled substance even though it's technically legal. 

Nineteen states in the United States have already moved to regulate, restrict, or ban Delta-8.

In fact, Delta-8 is so close to the real thing, Texas tried to make it illegal earlier this year. While it's still technically legal, many think that the feds will have something to say about the loophole soon.

Delta-8 is legal in both Louisiana and Texas, for now.

While Delta-8 THC is not legal in Arkansas, it IS legal in Louisana and Texas. After the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, Louisiana passed HB 491 in 2019. According to IPSNews.net, under HB 491, 'apart from Delta-8 THC, all derivatives, cannabinoids, and isomers of hemp were also legalized. Even the hemp plant’s acids, salts, and salts of isomers were included in the law. However, closely following the national law, the products should not contain more than 0.3% of Delta-8 THC.'

In short, you don't have to worry about the legality of Delta-8 THC in the bayou state. As to how safe it is, it depends on who you ask and where you get it. You also need to be aware that if you're drug tested, it will most definitely show up as THC.

The FDA warns about serious health risks with regard to Delta-8.

Despite not being approved for use by the FDA, Delta-8 can be purchased locally. In fact, a friend of mine sent me this picture over the week. Apparently, they're including these notes with your package when you shop at Kush Vibez on the corner of Texas and Airline in Bossier City.

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While I can understand why they're providing these notes along with your purchase of Delta-8, I'm pretty sure a note won't keep you out of trouble if you're caught driving under the influence. On top of that, a note isn't proof of whatever substance it is that you have in your possession. What's to stop someone from carrying around this note with the real thing in their possession?

Nice try, I guess.

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