Is Delta THC Legal in Pennsylvania?


Pennsylvania Delta-8 THC Overview >
Pennsylvania Delta-9 THC Overview >
Pennsylvania Delta-10 THC Overview >

What is Delta THC?

THC is the short form of tetrahydrocannabinol. According to Pennsylvania's Controlled Substances, Drugs, Device, and Cosmetic Act, tetrahydrocannabinols are chemical compounds contained in Cannabis sativa plants, synthetic equivalents of such compounds, and their isomers with similar pharmacological activity. As stipulated in this Act, THC compounds include the cis or trans optical isomers of Delta-1 THC, Delta-6 THC, and Delta-3,4 THC. Other notable isomers of THC are Delta-9 THC, Delta-8 THC, Delta-7 THC, exo-THC, and Delta-10 THC. These cannabinoids produce psychoactive effects when ingested, inhaled, or smoked.

Cannabis plants usually contain high levels of Delta-9 THC, which is responsible for most of the plants' euphoric effects. Unlike marijuana, hemp plants only have small amounts of Delta-9 THC. As a result, ingesting industrial hemp does not cause a ''high'' effect.


THC and CBD are phytocannabinoids in hemp and marijuana plants that produce physiologic effects of recreational and medical importance. As stated in Senate Bill 3, Pennsylvania permits THC derived from marijuana to be used for managing certain approved medical conditions.

Although CBD and THC bind to the endocannabinoid receptors of the body when consumed, they produce different physiologic effects. THC causes a ''high,'' while CBD gives a calming feeling which reduces the intensity of some THC effects like sedation and euphoria. CBD is often used to treat medical conditions such as seizures, inflammation, pain, psychosis, inflammatory bowel disease, nausea, migraines, depression, and anxiety.

CBD and THC are stored in the body's fat cells, and they can show up on a drug screening several days or weeks after consumption. There are CBD-sensitive drug tests, but CBD is not usually the subject of drug screenings because it is non-psychoactive. According to Title 75, Section 1547 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Annotated, it is unlawful to drive under the influence of a physically or mentally impairing substance. Nevertheless, CBD is not one of the controlled substances tested for in Pennsylvania.

What is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 THC is one of the THC isomers recognized under the Pennsylvania Controlled Substances, Drugs, Device, and Cosmetic Act as a Cannabis sativa derivative with physiologic activity. It produces a euphoric feeling milder than that of Delta-9 THC, making it a choice cannabinoid for persons who do not desire the pronounced ''high'' effect of Delta-9 THC. Delta-8 THC produces side effects such as dry mouth, anxiety, memory loss, slowed reaction times, red eyes, rapid heart rate, and anxiety. Nevertheless, Delta-8 THC gives a relaxing feeling that can help relieve stress and anxiety and improve sleep patterns. Furthermore, Delta-8 THC is known to have appetite stimulating and pain-relieving effects.

Delta-8 THC can show up on a drug screening the same way as Delta-9 THC. When a person ingests Delta-8 THC, the liver's P450 enzymes break down the Delta-8 THC molecules into metabolites similar to those of Delta-9 THC. In Pennsylvania, drug tests generally look for THC metabolites without identifying the specific THC isomers in the consumed products. The common drug tests used to screen for Delta-8 THC metabolites and their typical detection windows are as follows:

  • Urine tests: Four to ten weeks
  • Blood tests: Approximately one week
  • Saliva tests: Two to seven days
  • Hair tests: Approximately 90 days

Nevertheless, the detection windows for Delta-8 THC screening vary depending on the amount of THC product consumed and body metabolism rates.

Is Delta-8 THC Legal in Pennsylvania?

Governor Tom Wolf signed Senate Bill 3 into law on April 6, 2016, which legalized medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. As a result, medical marijuana patients registered under Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program can legally obtain cannabis-sourced Delta-8 THC products such as topicals, pills, oils, and vaporizable formulations. Also, medical marijuana patients in Pennsylvania can incorporate Delta-8 THC products into foods to aid ingestion. However, they cannot purchase edible or smokable Delta-8 THC products from medical marijuana dispensaries in the state. As stipulated in Senate Bill 3, it is unlawful to smoke marijuana-derived Delta-8 THC products for medical reasons.

Although marijuana-sourced Delta-8 THC is legal for medical use in Pennsylvania, the state prohibits its use for recreational purposes. This is because marijuana and its derivatives, such as Delta-8 THC, are listed as Schedule I controlled substances under Section 4 of the Pennsylvania Controlled Substances, Drugs, Device, and Cosmetic Act. Nevertheless, Delta-8 THC products sourced from hemp that contain a 0.3% maximum THC concentration are legal under state (Pennsylvania State Hemp Plan) and federal (the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018) laws. Consequently, Pennsylvania residents can legally purchase hemp-derived Delta-8 THC products from online vendors, local stores, and smoke shops. It is also legal to buy Delta-8 THC products from other states and carry them into Pennsylvania or have them shipped into the state.

The forms of hemp-derived THC products allowed in Pennsylvania include salts, acids, edibles, smokables, oils, and topicals. Nevertheless, as stipulated in the Pennsylvania Clean Indoor Air Act, state residents cannot smoke Delta-8 THC products in public spaces such as nightclubs, sports centers, theaters, daycare facilities, schools, and restaurants. They can only smoke Delta-8 THC products in private spaces.

What is Delta-9 THC?

As stated in the Pennsylvania State Hemp Plan, Delta-9 THC is the primary psychoactive component of Cannabis sativa plants. This phytocannabinoid can show up on drug tests after ingestion or smoking, even if a person no longer feels its euphoric effect. The typical detection windows for Delta-9 THC drug screenings are:

  • 36 hours for blood tests
  • Three months for hair tests
  • Two days for saliva tests
  • One month for urine tests

Although Delta-9 THC is safe, its use is frequently associated with side effects such as hallucinations, panic attacks, paranoia, psychotic episodes, and red eyes. Nevertheless, Delta-9 THC produces physiologic effects that can help alleviate pain, insomnia, and anxiety. The provisions of Senate Bill 3 (the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act) permit the use of Delta-9 THC sourced from cannabis for treating medical conditions such as Crohn's disease and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Is Delta-9 THC Legal in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, Delta-9 THC is legal, but the source of Delta-9 THC products determines who can buy and use them. Per the Pennsylvania Controlled Substances, Drugs, Device, and Cosmetic Act, marijuana plants and the cannabinoids derived from them (including Delta-9 THC) are Schedule I controlled substances. Therefore, state residents cannot produce, sell, or consume cannabis-sourced Delta-9 THC products for recreational purposes. However, as stipulated in the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act, registered medical marijuana patients diagnosed with qualifying medical conditions can legally obtain Delta-9 THC products for medical use.

In addition, Delta-9 THC products derived from hemp plants are legal in the state. Per the 2018 US Farm Bill, it is legal to purchase hemp-sourced Delta-9 THC products containing a maximum THC concentration of 0.3% and move them across state lines. Therefore, Pennsylvania residents may ship hemp-sourced Delta-9 THC products into the state, buy online, or obtain them from local stores. Delta-9 THC products derived from marijuana cannot be shipped into Pennsylvania because marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance in the United States. Hemp-sourced Delta-9 THC products are available in various formulations, including topicals, edibles, and smokables. However, the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act does not permit the sale of edible or smokable Delta-9 THC products to medical marijuana patients. Delta-9 THC may cause unpleasant reactions such as hallucinations and panic attacks.

What is Delta-10 THC?

Delta-10 THC is one of the isomers of Delta-9 THC known to produce significant psychoactive effects when consumed. It can show up on drug tests after consumption for approximately two days in saliva, one month in urine, three days in blood, and three months in hair samples. Delta-10 THC is less psychoactive than Delta-9 THC but has a similar potency to Delta-8 THC. The euphoric effect of Delta-10 THC is not accompanied by intense paranoia or anxiety.

Is Delta-10 THC Legal in Pennsylvania?

Delta-10 THC products derived from marijuana are illegal for recreational use in Pennsylvania but legal for medical use. According to the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act, registered medical marijuana patients in the state can buy all types of cannabis-sourced Delta-10 THC products except edible and smokable products. Marijuana-sourced Delta-10 THC products are only available in approved medical marijuana dispensaries in the state.

Pennsylvania allows the sale of hemp-derived Delta-10 THC products in online and local stores. Per the Pennsylvania State Hemp Plan, all formulations of hemp-sourced Delta-10 THC products may be sold in the state, provided their THC concentrations do not exceed 0.3%. Also, residents may purchase Delta-10 THC products from other states and ship them into Pennsylvania, provided they are obtained from legitimate sources.

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Pennsylvania Delta THC Overview