Delta-8 and THCA Aren’t Weed, But You Can Still Face Charges

There is a current battle going on in the state of Tennessee, as the Tennessee Department of Agriculture recently submitted a proposal to stop the selling of unregulated THCA. This new proposal shines light on the fact that many people are using Delta-8 and THCA, which are not technically weed, but you can still face charges if caught driving with them in your system. Let’s go over Delta-8 and THCA as well as the issue looming in Tennessee.

The new issue haunting cannabis business owners in Tennessee

According to a recent news article from WKRN, cannabis business owners may be in trouble as the Tennessee Department of Agriculture recently proposed new testing regulations for THCA, which is a very popular hemp product. As a result, some business owners are worried that the new regulations may force them to completely stop selling THCA, which could cause their businesses to completely close down.

Marijuana and weed are illegal in Tennessee. However, in 2018, Congress legalized industrial hemp, which allowed hemp that contained Delta-8 (sometimes called “diet weed or weed-lite,”) and increased the production and selling of new THC products. Per NBC News, “Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol is only slightly chemically different from delta-9 THC, which is the type of THC that is typically found in marijuana and what people most likely think of as responsible for the drug’s high.”

Since THCA has been less regulated than delta-9 THC, it has become a big hit for hemp businesses and customers looking for hemp products across Tennessee. The news article points out that around half of the hemp products that retailers sell may become illegal if the new proposal is passed. One business owner made the statement that even if the new rules do become reality, “it’s not going to take these products off the street.” Last year, hemp business owners went through the same type of issue when CBD and delta-8 were regulated.

How do Delta-8 and THCA affect drivers?

A survey conducted by CBD Oracle found that almost 50 percent of respondents admitted that they would drive while high but would not drive while drunk. The survey also found that more than 60 percent said that they feel safer when driving while high compared to driving while drunk. As a result of these findings, it is obvious that many drivers across Tennessee and the rest of the country are likely to get behind the wheel after taking drugs or intoxicants.

However, regardless of how the survey respondents feel, driving with THCA or delta-8 in your system can affect your driving abilities and lead to severe accidents. Here are a few of the ways that THCA and delta-8 affects drivers:

  • Inability to focus or concentrate
  • Inability to stay awake or alert
  • Difficulties staying in one lane or on the roadway
  • Slow reactions, problem solving, and decision making
  • Difficulties following speed limits, traffic lights, traffic signs, and more

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) explains that “Delta-8 THC has psychoactive and intoxicating effects, similar to Delta-9 THC.” Therefore, a lot of people are using delta-8 THC to experience a “high” feeling. On the other hand, THCA is considered to be non-psychoactive, “but when it is exposed to heat, it converts to delta-9 THC.” According to Healthline, delta-9 is the chemical that causes people to experience a “high” when using cannabis. Therefore, if a driver is smoking THCA, the THC level increases, turns to delta-9, and provides a “high” feeling.

Can you get a DUI if caught driving while on delta-8 THC or THCA in Franklin?

Although delta-8 THC and THCA are currently legal to consume in Franklin, it is crucial to remember that you are not allowed to drive under the influence of any drugs or intoxicants throughout the state. Therefore, while you may be able to argue that these products are legal, it may be extremely difficult to get out of a DUI charge if it was obvious that your ability to drive was significantly impaired due to consuming Delta-8 THC or THCA.

In addition, since the state has an implied consent law, you may be required to take a urine or blood test to see if drugs are in your system. Even though low levels of THCA or Delta-8 may not show up on these tests, there is a chance that Delta-9 marijuana may show up. If this happens, there is a strong possibility that you may be charged with DUI.

With more and more Tennesseans using Delta-8 and THCA, many people may be unaware of the consequences that can arise from using these products while behind the wheel. At the Law Offices of Adrian H. Altshuler & Associates, we legally assist individuals who are charged with DUI. Our Franklin DUI attorneys have the experience and knowledge to look over the facts and circumstances of your case and to help you find a way to possibly avoid a DUI conviction. If you would like to learn more about how we may approach and defend your case, please call our office or submit our contact form to schedule a case evaluation today. We are located in Franklin, Brentwood, and Columbia for your convenience.