Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-8 THC) is legal in Georgia. Although marijuana remains illegal in the state, hemp and its derivatives, including Delta-8 THC, are legal. The 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act (2018 Farm Bill) legalized the cultivation, manufacture, and use of industrial hemp and its derivatives, including Delta-8 THC in the U.S. Georgia enacted the Georgia Hemp Farming Act (HB 213) in 2019, legalizing industrial hemp and its derivatives, including hemp-derived Delta-8 THC, in the state. All hemp-derived Delta-8 THC products are permitted in Georgia as long as their Delta-9 THC contents do not exceed 0.3%. Georgia residents can buy hemp-derived Delta-8 THC products in local and online stores. They may also ship them into the state. Georgia does not have a law specifically permitting or prohibiting Delta-8 THC, hence the default is its free use in the state.
In addition, Georgia’s Hope Act allows Georgia residents with qualifying medical conditions to use up to 20 ounces of low-THC oil. Low-THC oil is defined as an oil containing not more than 5% Delta-9 THC on a dry weight scale and a minimum of 5% cannabidiol (CBD). Low-THC oil patients may use marijuana-derived Delta-8 THC products, provided the Delta-9 THC content is not above 5% and the CBD content is not below 5%. However, they may not vape, smoke, or ingest marijuana-derived Delta-8 THC products. They may possess up to 20 ounces of marijuana-related Delta-8 THC products in the form of capsules, oil, lotions, skin patches, or tinctures.
2015: Georgia enacted Haleigh’s Hope Act in 2015 to allow persons with certain medical conditions to use low-THC oil containing not more than 5% Delta-9 THC and at least an equal amount of CBD. The Act allows patients to use marijuana-derived Delta-8 THC products as long as the delta-9 THC content is not above 5%.
2018: The 2018 Agricultural Improvement Act (2018 Farm Bill) was enacted at the federal level and was adopted in Georgia. The Act allows the cultivation and use of industrial hemp and all its derivatives, including Delta-8 THC, in the U.S.
2019: Georgia enacted the Georgia Hemp Farming Act (HB 213) in conformity with the 2018 Farm Bill. The Act removed hemp from the Georgia Controlled Substances Act, permitting its use in the state. Hence, Hemp-derived Delta-8 THC became legal for all Georgia residents. There are no restrictions on hemp sales and possession.
The Georgia Senate has proposed bills to either specifically permit or limit the use of hemp-derived Delta-8 THC products in the state, but none has been successful. The most recent is Senate Bill 22, introduced in 2023 to, among other things, limit Delta-8 THC products, but it was blocked in the Senate.
Delta-8 THC, also known as "diet weed" or "marijuana lite," is a naturally occurring cannabinoid present in minute amounts in the Cannabis sativa plant. Because of its low amount in natural state, Delta-8 THC is mostly synthesized in laboratories from hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) and Delta-9 THC. It has similar but milder psychoactive properties to Delta-9 THC and is often recommended for new THC consumers. Delta-8 THC gets consumers high but in a less intense manner than Delta-9 THC. Delta-8 THC is potentially beneficial for increased appetite and sleep improvement. It is also reported to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and prevent sensory overstimulation. When taken in high dosage, Delta-8 THC produces side effects, which may include impaired coordination, red eyes, increased heart rate, anxiety, paranoia, lethargy, loss of consciousness, and memory loss. Popular Delta-8 THC products include edibles, gummies, tinctures, infused beverages, and vape cartridges.
Delta-8 THC and Delta-10 THC are both isomers of THC with the same molecular structure. They both interact with the body’s endocannabinoid receptors in the brain to create euphoric feelings. However, Delta-8 THC has a double bond on its eighth carbon atom, while Delta-9 THC has a double bond on its ninth carbon atom. Delta-9 THC is more potent than Delta-8 THC and produces a more intense euphoric feeling. Delta-9 THC is naturally found in abundance in marijuana, while Delta-8 THC exists in only trace amounts. Hence, it is easier to extract Delta-9 from the cannabis plant than Delta-8. Typically, Delta-8 THC is produced in commercial quantities by the chemical conversion of Delta-9 THC. In addition, Delta-8 THC can be synthesized from CBD, while Delta-9 THC cannot be synthesized from CBD. The moderate euphoric effects of Delta-8 THC make it more suitable for new THC consumers, while the intense high from Delta-9 THC is better for more experienced consumers.
Delta-8 THC and Delta-10 THC are both THC isomers with different atom arrangements. While Delta-8 THC has a double bond on its eighth carbon atom, Delta-10 THC has a double bond on its tenth carbon atom. The effects of Delta-10 THC on consumers is still being studied, but it is generally believed to be slightly less potent than Delta-8 THC. Both THC isomers are found in trace amounts in the cannabis plant and are usually synthesized in laboratories when needed for commercial-scale production. They can both be synthesized from CBD and Delta-9 THC. Although Delta-10 THC and Delta-8 THC have similar effects on consumers, anecdotal evidence suggests that Delta-8 THC is better for relaxation, while Delta-10 THC is a better source of energy, motivation, and focus.
The psychoactive effects of Delta-8 THC wear out after about 5 hours, while its metabolites remain in the consumer’s body for several days or weeks after the last use. Delta-8 THC is absorbed into the body’s circulatory system and deposited in the liver. The liver metabolizes it (breaks it down) and sends the metabolites to the brain, where it binds with the endocannabinoid receptors to induce psychoactive effects. Typically, most of the metabolites are eliminated from the body through urine and feces in a couple of days. However, some remain in the body’s fatty tissues and can be detected after several weeks of use by drug tests.
Factors determining the duration for detecting Delta-8 THC in a drug test include:
The consumer’s body metabolism rate and fat level
The quantity of Delta-8 THC consumed
The sensitivity of the drug test used - hair follicle test is the most sensitive and can detect Delta-8 THC for up to 3 months after the last use
The frequency of consumption - the fatty tissues of frequent consumers will contain more Delta-8 THC metabolites and can be detected for a longer period of time
The method of consumption - Delta-8 THC consumed via inhalation will be eliminated from the body faster than other means of consumption
Generally, Delta-8 THC can be detected in blood samples for up to 36 hours after the last use. It can be detected in urine samples for up to 3 days after use but up to 5 weeks after the last use for heavy users. Delta-8 THC can be detected in saliva for up to 30 days and in hair follicles for up to 90 days.
Yes, Delta-8 THC will show up on a drug test in Georgia. Consumers of Delta-8 THC products will also fail workplace drug screening if tested for THC. It is advisable to stay away from Delta-8 THC products, at least 30 days before scheduled drug screenings. Delta-8 THC can be detected in blood, saliva, urine, and hair follicles between 24 hours and 90 days after last use. Most drug tests do not differentiate Delta-8 THC from Delta-9 THC or from Delta-10 THC; they typically only screen for THC metabolites. In addition, most Delta-8 THC products contain varying amounts of Delta-9 THC.
Although hemp-derived Delta-8 THC is legal in Georgia, there may be consequences when pulled over with Delta-8 THC products. Marijuana-derived Delta-8 THC is prohibited from being smoked, vaped, or ingested as edibles in Georgia, so if low-THC patients are found with Delta-8 THC in any form, they can be prosecuted. In addition, it is illegal to drive while intoxicated or under the influence of THC in Georgia. And since a drug test for THC will return a positive test, even for Delta-8 THC products, then a Delta-8 THC consumer may be charged with drugged driving. However, Georgia only prosecutes drivers who show visible signs of impairment and test positive for THC presence in their blood. A THC DUI conviction may be punished with 24 hours in jail for first-time offenders and up to 5 years imprisonment for more than three offenses.
Hemp-derived Delta-8 THC can be purchased from local stores in Georgia, including convenience stores, gas stations, smoke shops, and hemp shops. They can also be purchased from online stores and delivered to buyers’ homes. Georgia allows businesses to manufacture and sell all forms of hemp-derived Delta-8 THC products. Commonly used hemp-derived Delta-8 THC products in Georgia include gummies, tinctures, oils, vape cartridges, capsules, lotions, and skin patches.