Legal THC usage in Texas


Sierra Lutz/ISLAND WAVES – Illustration

Alexis Garcia, Reporter

Texas is known to have very strict laws for marijuana usage that allow only a few exceptions for medical purposes, but there may be a way to work around the rules and get a small high with Delta-8.

Marijuana and hemp are essentially the same plant, but marijuana contains a higher amount of the Delta-9 THC chemical compound that serves as a source of the intoxication. Delta-8 was seen as a less potent byproduct of both plants until the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into law by former President Donald Trump.

Entrepreneurs quickly noticed the bill had no mention of Delta-8, so as a result they were quick to begin extracting and distributing the product nationwide as an alternative to smoking. Despite the strict marijuana usage laws here in Texas, the production and distribution of hemp is legal and here in Corpus Christi you may find some CBD shops that sell Delta-8.

The House of Hemp, a CBD Dispensary store located at the Windchase Shopping Center in Corpus Christi sells Delta-8 products. Virginia Vaughn, the manager of The House of Hemp, spoke about Delta-8. “CBD is on the more medicinal side of things, but with Delta-8 it’s medicinal as well as a feel good,” said Vaughn, “It comes in flowers, moon rocks, cartridges. It also comes in edibles, we also have chocolate coming in.”

Brooke Ngo, a student at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi, mentioned what it is like using Delta-8, and how she believes it will change the future of marijuana sales. “Delta-8 definitely gives a high feeling, it’s an enjoyable recreational substance,” said Ngo, “I would not be surprised if sales of illegal marijuana falls due to Delta-8 product being so available and coming from a more reliable source.”

While a product like Delta-8 is easily accessible, there are still some restrictions to keep in mind, as Vaughn warned. “It’s legal for you to consume it within your own home, but if you were to do it in public it’s a PI, and in your car it’s a DUI,” said Vaughn, “Cause they can test it and they can’t tell how much THC is inside of it, they can just tell that there’s THC inside of it.”

According to the New Leaf Data Services, Delta-8 is the fastest growing product derived from hemp, with an estimate of at least $10 million consumer sales.

With Delta-8 becoming a fast-growing hemp product nationwide that’s completely legal and easily accessible while still giving you a slight high you would normally achieve with marijuana, it’s understandable why a lot of people may now use it as an alternative to smoking, despite it not actually being marijuana.