Yes, Delta-8 THC is legal in Maine. Residents can purchase and use both hemp-derived and marijuana-derived Delta-8 THC. Delta-8 THC products in Maine must have a THC level of 0.3% or less. It is not necessary to have a medical cannabis ID to purchase or use Delta-8 THC in the state. However, only persons who are 21 and over can purchase Delta-8 THC products derived from marijuana for recreational purposes. Medical cannabis patients must be at least 18 to purchase Delta-8 THC. CBD stores in Maine can deliver Delta-8 THC products. Also, Delta-8 THC products can be shipped from other states into Maine.
The passage of the Agriculture Improvement Act (the Farm Bill) in 2018 paved the way for states like Maine to enact laws legalizing the cultivation, sale, and use of hemp and hemp-derived Delta-8 THC products. Maine passed LD 630 in 2019 in response to the 2018 Farm Bill. LD 630 officially defined hemp as any Cannabis sativa plant with a THC level of 0.3% or less. All isomers, extracts, acids, and derivatives of hemp became legal. There are no restrictions on the type of Delta-8 THC products that Maine residents can use and purchase.
2009: LD 1159 (An Act Relating to Industrial Hemp) was passed, permitting the cultivation and processing of hemp and its isomers such as Delta-8 THC.
2015: LD 119 was enacted. This bill allowed Maine licensees to cultivate industrial hemp for the processing of cannabinoids like Delta-8 THC.
2016: The Marijuana Legalization Act was passed. It legalized the use of recreational marijuana and marijuana-derived THC products.It also gave employees in Maine immunity from workplace discrimination on the basis of THC use.
2019: LD 630 was enacted. The bill clarifies that food products containing hemp-derived CBD can be sold in Maine. This meant that edible Delta-8 THC products could be sold, provided the THC content remains within federal and state limits. LD 630 also removed hemp from Maine's list of controlled substances.
Delta-8 THC is one of the chemical compounds present in marijuana and hemp plants. The percentage of Delta-8 THC that can be extracted naturally from plant matter is minute. In order to process usable amounts of the compound, it has to be synthesized from cannabidiol (CBD), the dominant cannabinoid in hemp. Delta-8 THC can also be produced when Delta-9 THC is exposed to flame or warm temperatures.
Delta-8 THC is believed to provide medicinal benefits for conditions such as intractable pain, sleep disorders, anxiety, and swelling. It is noted for giving consumers a calming and relaxing experience, in addition to causing mild euphoria. Delta-8 THC is said to have effects which are more physical than psychoactive.
Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC share a common source, since they are both cannabinoids found in Cannabis plants. They also share a similar chemical structure. Delta-8 has milder psychoactive effects than Delta-9 THC. Because it exists in larger amounts in cannabis plants, Delta-9 THC is easier to extract than Delta-8 THC. Delta-8 THC 'high' has less intensity and a shorter duration than Delta-9 THC 'high.'
Delta-8 THC and Delta-10 THC are so named because while the former has a double bond on its eighth carbon chain, the latter has its double bond on its tenth carbon chain. Delta-8 THC is a stronger cannabinoid than Delta-10 THC. Because of its milder psychoactive properties and effects on the body, Delta-10 THC is often recommended for persons who are new to THC and favor a less psychoactive experience. Like Delta-8 THC, Delta-10 THC is mainly processed by synthetic means, because it occurs in relatively minuscule amounts in the cannabis plant.
Delta-10 THC is also known to have medicinal benefits for conditions such as loss of appetite due to chemotherapy, nausea, and pain. Delta-10 THC gives consumers a heightened sense of concentration and improves e energy levels.
Delta-8 THC stays in the body for varying periods. Cannabinoid metabolites are known to attach themselves to the body's adipose tissues, but they can also be found in the blood, urine, saliva, and hair follicles. When Delta-8 THC is smoked or inhaled, it enters the lungs, blood, and brain. In the liver, Delta-8 THC is processed by enzymes to form the metabolite 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC. Around 70 % of THC metabolites are eliminated as feces or urine within three days of consumption. Metabolites such as carboxy-THC dissolve into body fat, and are not easily eliminated. This accounts for the ability of drug tests to detect the presence of Delta-8 THC metabolites in blood, urine, saliva, and hair.
The length of time that Delta-8 THC metabolites can be found in body tissues is listed below:
Blood: Blood samples taken from a heavy consumer of Delta-8 THC can produce a positive result up to 30 days after it was last consumed. A light consumer of Delta-8 THC can retain metabolites in their blood for a period of 12 hours
Urine: The THC metabolite, THC-COOH, can be detected by urinalysis for a period ranging from three days to 48 days
Saliva: Saliva samples can retain Delta-8 THC metabolites for a period between 24 to 72 hours
Hair: Hair follicles can test positive for Delta-8 THC up to 90 days after the product was last consumed
Delta-8 THC can show up on drug tests carried out in Maine. Under Maine law, employers who have approved drug testing policies can carry out pre-employment and probable cause drug tests. The ability of tests to find THC metabolites will depend on such determinants as the potency of Delta-8 THC consumed, the frequency of consumption, and the type of drug test employed. Drug tests will detect generic THC metabolites and not Delta-8 THC metabolites in particular. It is generally known that smoked or inhaled Delta-8 THC will be more rapidly excreted from the system than edible or sublingually ingested Delta-8 THC.
Law enforcement officers in Maine can pull over motorists suspected of operating their vehicles under the influence of cannabinoids like Delta-8 THC. Motorists do not necessarily have to be operating vehicles to be charged with operating under the influence (OUI). Even reasonable suspicion that a person intending to drive a vehicle is impaired Delta-8 THC can warrant a drug test. In such circumstances, motorists are mandated to provide blood and urine samples for drug testing. Even mild impairment of the faculties caused by Delta-8 THC or other cannabinoids can lead to a charge of OUI.
Drivers in Maine give 'implied consent' to law enforcement officers to conduct random drug tests. A motorist who refuses to submit to drug tests faces the suspension of their driver's license for a period of 275 days for a first-time offense. A subsequent offense will result in the suspension of driving rights for an 18-month period. A third charge of OUI will lead to the suspension of a motorist's driving license for four years. The results of drug tests carried out on motorists in Maine are forwarded by the arresting law enforcement officer to Maine's Secretary of State. License suspensions are approved by the Secretary of State, and can run concurrently with other penalties.
Maine residents can buy Delta-8 THC products in hemp retail stores and CBD dispensaries. A variety of Delta-8 THC products are available for purchase in Maine, including Delta-8 THC distillate, tinctures, edibles, capsules, vape cartridges, and gummies. Only persons who are 21 and over can buy Delta-8 THC products in the state.