Is Delta THC Legal in Colorado?

Colorado Delta-8 THC Overview >
Colorado Delta-9 THC Overview >

What is Delta THC?

Delta tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is an isomer of THC, a psychoactive cannabinoid found in the Cannabis sativa plants. Delta THCs are the primary cause of the “high” felt by marijuana users. Some Delta THCs exist in minute amounts naturally in cannabis plants and must be synthesized in laboratories for use, while others are found in abundance in the cannabis sativa plant. Some common Delta THC isomers include Delta-7 THC, exo-THC, Delta-8 THC, Delta-9 THC, and Delta-10 THC. Delta-9 THC is often referred to as THC and is the main psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana. It is the most popular isomer of THC.

Some other cannabinoids sold as THC products include:

  • THC-O acetate: THC-O is reputed to be three times more potent than Delta-9 THC

  • THCV: Tetrahdrocannabivarin produces similar effects as Delta-9 THC

  • THC-P: Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabiphorol is believed to be 30 times more potent than Delta-9 THC

  • THCh: Tetrahydrocannabihexol is said to be 10 times more potent than Delta-9 THC

  • HHC: Hexahydrocannabinol is believed to be more potent than Delta-9 THC

  • HHC-O: HHC-O is about 1.5 times more potent than HHC

  • THCjd: Tetrahydrocannabioctyl is believed to be 19 times more potent than Delta-9 THC

Delta THC products are typically used for recreational and medical purposes. They can be used to manage or treat different medical conditions, such as chronic pain, insomnia, cachexia, glaucoma, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).




THC and cannabidiol (CBD) are both naturally occurring cannabinoids found in hemp and cannabis. They have similar molecular structures (C21H30O2) but different arrangements of their carbon atoms. Typically, hemp contains a higher concentration of CBD and a maximum of 0.3% concentration of THC, while marijuana contains more THC, sometimes up to 50%. THC and CBD interact differently with the body’s endocannabinoid receptors. THC is more psychoactive and produces euphoric effects in users, while CBD causes a relaxing feeling in consumers without intoxicating them.

THC and CBD are used to manage different medical conditions. CBD is assumed to help in managing medical conditions such as seizures, depression, inflammation, and migraine. It can be used to treat epilepsy and even side effects of THC, such as paranoia and hallucinations. In contrast, THC is purported to help in managing the symptoms of some medical conditions such as glaucoma, Crohn’s disease, insomnia, muscle spasticity, low appetite, chronic pain, and nausea. It can also be used to provide relief to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

THC and CBD can be detected in drug tests to varying degrees. THC shows up on drug tests even long after its psychoactive effects wear off. The frequency of THC use, the quantity consumed, the sensitivity of the drug test, and the mode of consumption (smoking or ingestion) can affect a drug test result. Most routine drug tests cannot detect CBD, as they are designed to detect THC. However, there are drug tests designed specifically to detect the presence of CBD. Besides, most CBD products contain trace amounts of THC, which can lead to a positive THC drug test result.

What is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 THC (Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol) is found in both hemp and marijuana in minute quantities and is usually manufactured synthetically. It has similar molecular structures with Delta-9 THC but with a double bond on its eighth carbon. It produces a “high” when consumed but is less potent than Delta-9 THC, with a milder euphoric effect. It is reported to possess analgesic, appetite-stimulating, and neuroprotective properties. Some potential side effects of consuming Delta-8 THC in high doses include increased heart rate, paranoia, memory loss, anxiety, loss of consciousness, and red eyes.

The effects of Delta-8 THC wear off after a few hours, while its metabolites can be detected in the body several weeks after the last use by a drug test. Delta-8 THC can be detected in blood samples for up to 48 hours after use. However, it can be present in the blood samples of heavy users for up to 3 weeks after the last use. It can also be detected in urine samples between 4 and 60 days after use, depending on the frequency of use. Drug tests can detect Delta-8 THC for up to 30 days in saliva and up to 90 days in hair follicles.

Is Delta-8 THC Legal in Colorado?

Delta-8 THC is legal in Colorado, provided it is obtained naturally from the cannabis sativa plant without any chemical conversion or modification. Amendment 64, legalized recreational marijuana in 2012 and permits the use of marijuana and all its derivatives and isomers by adults aged 21 years and older in the state. In addition, the passage of the United States Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) and Senate Bill 19-220 permits the use of hemp and hemp-derived products in Colorado. However, Colorado prohibits the chemical conversion of cannabinoids to produce Delta-8 THC products.

The Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) released a bulletin in 2021 prohibiting the use of chemically-modified cannabinoid products in the state. Similarly, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) released a corroborating notice banning the use of chemical conversion or chemical modification for hemp-derived cannabinoids, including Delta-8 THC. The notice stated that there was insufficient evidence to determine the toxicity of the byproducts from the chemical conversion, hence its ban from being used in food, cosmetics, and dietary supplements. And in May 2022, Colorado enacted Senate Bill 22-205, empowering the CDPHE to promulgate rules to prohibit intoxicating hemp-derived Delta THC products.

Eligible Colorado residents may only possess Delta-8 THC products naturally obtained from marijuana or hemp without any chemical modifications or conversions. Most hemp-derived Delta-8 THC products are illegal in Colorado as they are usually chemically converted from hemp-derived cannabinoids. Residents may buy non-chemically converted Delta-8 THC products online or from local stores. They can possess up to 56.7 grams (2 ounces) of non-chemically synthesized marijuana-derived Delta-8 THC products in the state. However, marijuana-derived Delta-8 THC products cannot be shipped into the state, as marijuana is illegal at the federal level.

What is Delta-9 THC?

Delta-9 THC is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana and hemp. It has a double bond on its ninth carbon atom, which makes it bind readily with cannabinoid receptors in the brain to produce euphoric effects in users. It can be used to relieve pain, nausea, and inflammation. The moderate consumption of Delta-9 THC is safe. However, consuming it in high dosage amounts can produce side effects, including paranoia, panic attacks, anxiety, psychotic episodes, and hallucinations. It can also impair coordination, increasing the risk of accidents and injuries. Delta-9 THC cannabinoids can be detected in the body for up to 90 days after the last use, depending on the sensitivity of the drug test, frequency of use, and user's metabolism rate. It can be detected in urine samples for up to 30 days. Also, it can be detected for up to 36 hours in blood samples, up to 48 hours in saliva, and up to 90 days in hair follicles.

Is Delta-9 THC Legal in Colorado?

Delta-9 THC is legal in Colorado. Amendment 64 and the 2018 Farm Bill allows Colorado residents to possess both marijuana-derived and hemp-derived Delta-9 THC products. However, they may only possess up to 56.7 grams (2 ounces) of marijuana-derived Delta-9 THC products in the state. Furthermore, hemp-derived Delta-9 THC products must be produced naturally without chemical conversions and must not contain more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. In addition, residents cannot take marijuana-derived Delta-9 products across state lines nor ship them into Colorado. Colorado residents may purchase Delta-9 THC from local stores and online. Consuming Delta-9 THC in high dosage might cause unpleasant side effects such as loss of coordination and hallucinations.

What is Delta-10 THC?

Delta-10 THC is one of the naturally occurring cannabinoids in marijuana and hemp plants. However, it occurs naturally in minute amounts and is usually synthesized in laboratories. It produces a milder euphoric effect than Delta-9 THC. Delta-10 THC is generally considered to have similar potency to Delta-8 THC. It is safe to consume lab-tested Delta-10 THC products.

Delta-10 THC can be detected in hair follicles through drug tests 3 months after the last use. It can be detected in saliva tests 48 hours after the last use and in urine tests up to 30 days after the last use. It can be detected in blood tests up to 3 days after the last use. The period of detection depends on the frequency of use, mode of use, and user's body metabolism.

Is Delta-10 THC Legal in Colorado?

Delta-10 THC is legal in Colorado, provided it is not synthesized via chemical conversion or modification. Colorado prohibits Delta-10 THC products produced via the chemical conversion or modification of cannabinoids because of the indeterminate toxicity levels of the conversion by-products. Residents may purchase naturally-occurring marijuana-derived Delta-10 THC products and hemp-derived products containing natural Delta-10 THC from local and online stores. They can possess up to 56.7 grams (2 ounces) of non-chemically synthesized marijuana-derived Delta-10 THC products. However, they may only ship non-chemically synthesized hemp-derived Delta-10 THC products into the state as marijuana is illegal in the U.S.

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