Laws regarding the use of cannabis are in flux all around the country, and Pennsylvania is no exception. In 2016, Pennsylvania legalized medical cannabis for patients with serious medical conditions. Fast forward to 2023 and the commonwealth is now considering legislation to legalize recreational cannabis, according to NBC10 Philadelphia.
It’s too soon to know whether the bill will pass and recreational cannabis will become legal in PA. But when it comes to the legality of Delta-9 THC – which is growing in popularity across the country due to its therapeutic benefits – the answer is more clear-cut: it is 100% legal to purchase and possess in PA, provided the products adhere to a few simple guidelines.
Today, we’ll answer all of your questions about Delta-9 THC laws, the benefits of Delta-9 THC, and where you can purchase Delta-9 THC products in PA.
- Delta-9 THC products have been legal to purchase and possess on the federal level since 2018.
- However, these products must be hemp-derived and contain under the legal limit of 0.3% Delta-9 THC by weight.
- In Pennsylvania, Delta-9 THC products are legal as long as they adhere to the federal limits described above. All other cannabis products are only legal for patients enrolled in the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program.
- Delta-9 THC is growing in popularity as more users experience the benefits that Delta-9 THC products deliver, including improved sleep, muscle soreness relief, and relaxation.
Delta-9-THC and Federal Law
Delta-9 THC has been legal for over five years now. The 2018 Farm Bill, which was enacted to support U.S. farmers, legalized all hemp-derived cannabis products that contain less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC by weight.
The emphasis on cannabis products being hemp-derived is an important distinction because Delta-9 products that are synthetically derived – also known as Delta-9 THCO, a compound that is not found naturally in the hemp plant – remain federally illegal Schedule I controlled substances.
Is Delta-9 THC Legal in Pennsylvania?
Although there is proposed 2023 legislation to legalize the use and sale of recreational cannabis in Pennsylvania, it is too early to know whether recreational cannabis will actually become legal in Pennsylvania this year. But what is certain is that you can legally purchase and consume Delta-9 THC products in PA, as long as they are hemp-derived and contain less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC by weight.
Other than Delta-9 THC products like Delta-9 gummies, all other cannabis products are only legal for use by patients enrolled in Pennsylvania’s medical cannabis program.
Is Delta-9 a Controlled Substance in Pennsylvania?
Similar to federal laws on Delta-9, it is legal to purchase and possess Delta-9 THC products in Pennsylvania, provided they are only hemp-derived and contain under 0.3% THC in dry weight. But other cannabis products are still considered Schedule I controlled substances in PA, only legal to be used by medical cannabis patients.
Delta-9-THC Possession Limits in Pennsylvania
Fortunately, it is legal to purchase and possess Delta-9 THC products in PA, as long as they adhere to the federal limits we described above. But other cannabis products are illegal to possess in the commonwealth–it is a misdemeanor crime punishable by a fine of up to $500 and/or 30 days of jail time. The exception, of course, is Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program patients–they are allowed to possess up to a 30-day supply of medical cannabis in the form of pills, oils, topicals, and tinctures.
What’s the Difference Between Delta-9 THC and Other Cannabinoids?
Cannabis plants contain many types of compounds called cannabinoids. One well-known cannabinoid is CBD, which provides numerous health benefits like stress and pain management, without any psychoactive or intoxicating effects. THC, on the other hand, is the cannabinoid responsible for the psychoactive effects that make you feel high.
Delta-9 THC–short for the scientific name Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol–is the most prevalent cannabinoid you will find in cannabis products. But there is a key difference between Delta-9 THC products and other higher potency, higher THC cannabis products that remain illegal in PA outside of the medical cannabis program: namely, that Delta-9 is federally legal because it is derived from the hemp cannabis sativa plant and contains less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC by dried weight.
How Does Delta-9 THC Work?
Delta-9 THC products work through inhalation via smoking, vaping, or dabbing, or by ingestion via consuming pills or edibles. Inhalation leads to a quicker but shorter high, whereas ingestion results in a more delayed but longer high.
Users of Delta-9 THC products say that the Delta-9 high creates a euphoric psychoactive effect that causes an altered perception of time, space, and events. Users also report several therapeutic benefits to using Delta-9 THC: a “chilled out” feeling that helps to alleviate stress, decreased muscle soreness after workouts, and better sleep.