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What is Hemp-Derived THC and is it Legal?

Dragon Hemp



Time to read 11 min

In recent years, hemp-derived THC has garnered significant attention within the wellness community and cannabinoid medicine landscape. As individuals increasingly turn to natural remedies for enhancing their overall well-being, understanding the intricacies of hemp-derived THC becomes paramount. This compound, often referred to as delta-9 THC (Δ-9 THC), is derived from hemp plants and holds potential benefits that span pain relief, anxiety reduction, and anti-inflammatory properties. However, its legal status and proper usage are subjects of ongoing debate and scrutiny, necessitating a comprehensive exploration of its implications.

Let’s delve into several critical aspects of hemp-derived THC, beginning with a foundational understanding of what it is and how it differs from other forms of THC. We'll navigate through the complexities of its legal landscape, influenced by both federal and state regulations. The discussion will further highlight the potential benefits of hemp-derived THC, showcasing its promising applications in pain management, anxiety reduction, and neuroprotection. As with any potent compound, understanding the correct usage and safety considerations is essential to harness its benefits responsibly, so we'll explore how you can incorporate hemp-derived THC into your wellness routine.

Additionally, we will clarify the distinctions between delta-9 THC and delta-8 THC, two cannabinoids that, despite their similarities, have different origins, effects, and legal statuses. By shedding light on these topics, this article aims to equip readers with a thorough knowledge of hemp-derived THC, empowering you to make informed decisions about incorporating it into their wellness routines.

Understanding Hemp-Derived THC

To grasp hemp-derived THC, we must first understand THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is one of the many cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, renowned for its psychoactive properties that produce the “high” associated with marijuana use. While the cannabis plant family includes both marijuana and hemp, they are distinguished primarily by their THC content.

Hemp, by definition, contains 0.3% or less THC by dry weight, whereas marijuana contains higher concentrations. Hemp-derived THC refers to the THC that is extracted specifically from hemp plants. Given its low THC concentration, hemp did not produce the same intoxicating effects as marijuana until recently when advancements in extraction and processing techniques have enabled the isolation and concentration of THC even from hemp plants. It is important to note that THC is often referred to as delta-9 THC (Δ-9 THC), highlighting its specific chemical structure.

The Legal Landscape of Hemp-Derived THC

The legality of hemp-derived THC (∆-9) is a complex issue, intertwined with federal and state laws. The pivotal moment for hemp and its derivatives came with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which federally legalized the cultivation and processing of hemp, along with its extracts and cannabinoids, as long as the THC content does not exceed 0.3%.

Federal Law 

Under the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp and its derivatives, including hemp-derived THC (∆-9), are no longer classified as controlled substances, provided they meet the stipulated THC threshold. This federal legalization opened the doors for the production and sale of hemp-derived products across the United States. No matter where you live in the United States, you can order Dragon Hemp’s Leisure Gummies, featuring hemp-derived THC (∆-9). Our Leisure Gummies are all-natural, vegan, low-sugar, and feature 5mg hemp-derived THC with a complementary blend of other cannabinoids (CBD, CBC and CBG) to perfectly regulate the strength of the THC.

State Laws 

While federal law provides a broad framework, state laws add another layer of complexity. Each state has the authority to regulate hemp-derived THC (∆-9) within its borders. Some states have embraced the federal guidelines, allowing the sale and use of hemp-derived THC (∆-9) products, while others have imposed stricter regulations or outright bans. Consumers must be aware of their specific state's laws to ensure compliance and avoid legal issues.

Potential Benefits of Hemp-Derived Δ-9 THC

Hemp-derived THC (∆-9), when used responsibly and legally, offers several potential benefits, particularly in the realm of wellness and holistic health. Here are some of the notable benefits:

Pain Relief 

One of the most significant benefits of Δ-9 THC, including hemp-derived THC, is its potential to alleviate pain. Studies suggest that Δ-9 THC interacts with the endocannabinoid system, which plays a crucial role in regulating pain. This makes it a promising option for individuals suffering from chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis or fibromyalgia. Take, for instance, Jane, a 55-year-old yoga enthusiast who found relief from her persistent joint pain with a hemp-derived THC balm.

Anxiety and Stress Reduction 

Delta-9 THC has been found to have anxiolytic properties, which means it can help reduce anxiety and stress. By interacting with certain receptors in the brain, Δ-9 THC may help modulate mood and promote a sense of calm, making it beneficial for those dealing with anxiety disorders or high-stress levels. Mark, a corporate executive, swears by his evening routine of a small dose of hemp-derived THC tincture to unwind after a hectic day.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties 

Inflammation is a common underlying factor in many chronic diseases. Hemp-derived THC (∆-9) has shown potential anti-inflammatory effects, which could be beneficial in managing conditions like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other inflammatory disorders. Sarah, an athlete, uses a hemp-derived THC lotion to manage her post-workout inflammation and keep her training on track.

Neuroprotective Effects 

Emerging research suggests that Δ-9 THC might have neuroprotective properties, which could be valuable in treating neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. By protecting nerve cells from damage, Δ-9 THC may help preserve cognitive function and slow disease progression.

Usage and Safety Considerations

While hemp-derived THC (∆-9) offers numerous potential benefits, it is essential to approach its use with caution and awareness. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:


Determining the correct dosage of hemp-derived Δ-9 THC is crucial to achieving desired effects while minimizing potential side effects. Start with a low dose and gradually increase it until the optimal balance is found. Consulting with a healthcare professional experienced in cannabinoid medicine can provide valuable guidance. If you are not experience with THC use, we recommend taking half of a Leisure Gummy at first to see how you feel, and never taking more than one gummy at a time until you are fully comfortable and experienced with its effects. 

Quality and Purity 

The quality and purity of hemp-derived THC (∆-9) products vary widely across the market. Choose products from reputable brands that provide third-party lab testing results to ensure the product is free from contaminants and accurately labeled.

Potential Side Effects 

While generally considered safe, Δ-9 THC can cause side effects, especially at higher doses. Common side effects include dry mouth, dizziness, and changes in appetite. In some cases, Δ-9 THC may also cause anxiety or paranoia. Monitoring your body's response and adjusting usage accordingly is key to a positive experience.

Leisure Gummies feature a complementary blend of cannabinoids CBD, CBC, and CBG, designed to both regulate and enhance the effects of the hemp-derived THC, while neutralizing potential side effects like anxiety, paranoia or nausea. Our regular customers find that our gummies offer a much “cleaner” feeling high, without many of the side effects they’ve experienced with other gummies.

What is the difference between Delta-9 THC and Delta-8 THC?

It is crucial to distinguish Δ-9 THC from Delta-8 (Δ-8) THC, particularly when considering their safety profiles. While both are cannabinoids and share similar chemical structures, Δ-8 THC is often synthesized from CBD in hemp through chemical processes, which raises significant safety concerns.

Synthetic Origins and Safety Concerns 

The synthetic nature of Δ-8 THC presents substantial risks to users, which is why the naturally produced Δ-9 THC should always be your go-to. The process of converting CBD to Δ-8 THC involves chemicals that can introduce harmful contaminants if not meticulously managed. Unlike Δ-9 THC, which is naturally derived from hemp, the synthetic origins of Δ-8 THC make it more prone to impurities and inconsistencies, posing potential health hazards to consumers.

Legal and Regulatory Challenges 

The synthetic production of Δ-8 THC also subjects it to stricter scrutiny and regulation. The legal landscape for Δ-8 THC is complex and rapidly evolving, with many jurisdictions questioning its safety and legality. This regulatory uncertainty further complicates its use and distribution, potentially exposing consumers to legal risks.

Given these concerns, we recommend avoiding Δ-8 THC completely. Consumers should prioritize products that are naturally derived from hemp to ensure the highest standards of safety and quality to safeguard their health and well-being, such as Dragon Hemp’s Leisure Gummies.

An alternative to alcohol

As the quest for healthier lifestyles gains momentum, many individuals are seeking alternatives to traditional substances like alcohol. Hemp-derived THC has emerged as a promising candidate, offering a natural way to unwind and socialize without the negative side effects associated with alcohol. The concept of "casual sobriety" is becoming increasingly popular, reflecting a shift towards moderate and mindful consumption rather than complete abstinence. Hemp-derived THC fits perfectly into this paradigm, providing a means to relax and enhance social interactions without the hangover or long-term health risks tied to alcohol.

Hemp-derived THC offers a unique experience that can complement or even replace alcohol in social settings. Unlike alcohol, which often impairs cognitive function and motor skills, THC can provide a sense of relaxation and euphoria without the same level of impairment. This allows individuals to maintain clarity and control while still enjoying the calming effects of a substance. For those practicing casual sobriety, this balance is ideal. It supports a lifestyle where one can partake in social rituals without the pressure or negative consequences of heavy drinking.

Moreover, incorporating hemp-derived THC into social routines can help reduce overall alcohol consumption. For instance, a person might choose to enjoy a low-dose THC beverage or edible in place of their usual cocktail, or to pair a Leisure Gummy with their favorite drink in place of a second or third drink. Combining small amounts of alcohol with hemp-derived THC can enhance the relaxation effects, allowing individuals to consume less alcohol to achieve their desired state of relaxation. This synergistic approach helps mitigate the risks of excessive drinking while still offering a pleasurable social experience.This not only cuts down on alcohol intake but also mitigates the associated calories and other negative effects associated with prolonged use, like liver damage. 

With that in mind, hemp-derived THC has few or no side effects compared to alcohol. The absence of hangovers and the lower risk of dependency make it an attractive option for those who wish to maintain their social life without compromising their health. In fact, when one might have normally skipped an Sunday afternoon workout after having a drink at brunch with lingering effects, they might find that the lingering effects of hemp-derived THC actual enhance their workout (read more about incorporating THC into your workout). 

The increasing availability of THC-infused products, such as beverages, gummies, and tinctures, provides versatile options for incorporating this cannabinoid into various social scenarios. As more people explore these alternatives, the cultural acceptance of hemp-derived THC as a mainstream choice is likely to grow, fostering a more balanced approach to socializing and personal well-being.

Final Thoughts

Hemp-derived THC (∆-9) represents an exciting frontier in cannabinoid medicine, offering potential benefits for pain relief, anxiety reduction, anti-inflammatory effects, and neuroprotection. However, understanding its legal status and approaching its use responsibly is essential.

The 2018 Farm Bill marked a significant step forward, federally legalizing hemp and its derivatives, including hemp-derived THC (∆-9) with a THC content of 0.3% or less. However, state laws vary, and consumers must navigate these regulations carefully.

As research into the benefits and applications of hemp-derived THC (∆-9) continues to grow, it holds promise as a valuable tool in the wellness and holistic health toolkit. By prioritizing quality, consulting with healthcare professionals, and staying informed about legal considerations, and most importantly invested in trustworthy sources like Dragon Hemp, individuals can safely explore the potential benefits of hemp-derived THC (∆-9) in enhancing their well-being.

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Dragon Hemp is the practitioner-founded apothecary that produces plant-based therapeutics formulated with a proprietary blend of next-generation botanicals and time honored herbal remedies.

For people seeking treatments that give relief & address the root cause.

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Kevin Menard, LAc., is the leading practitioner in Sports Medicine Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine on the East End of Long Island, with clientele ranging from business executives and fitness professionals to wellness gurus and weekend warriors.

As he cultivated his practice, Kevin began integrating CBD & other cannabinoids, native botanicals, and herbs into his treatments, addressing conditions like pain, musculoskeletal injuries, insomnia, overall wellness, and so much more. 

Following the promising results from his herbal and CBD-infused treatments, Kevin expanded his work, introducing Dragon Hemp to support patient wellness beyond his clinic's walls.

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Offering an array of products designed to align with the wellness needs of the Hamptons community, the store seeks to bridge the gap between ancient wisdom and modern applications, making herbal medicine more compatible with our lifestyles today. Our unique apothecary in Sag Harbor not only represents a physical space but also embodies Dragon Hemp's ethos of premium, all-natural, effective wellness solutions, drawing from the rich heritage of the Hamptons and the innovative spirit of New York.

Not your conventional dispensary, our first-of-its-kind retail location, harmoniously balances tradition and innovation with an emphasis on experience and education. We invite you to step inside and let our herbal experts guide you on an exploration of the rejuvenating power of cannabinoids and traditional herbs in a setting that feels both timeless and contemporary.

Designed in collaboration with renowned Alfredo Paredes Studio, the apothecary embodies a sophisticated fusion of old-world tradition and contemporary application. Known for his 33-year tenure as Ralph Lauren Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer, Alfredo Paredes, a master of crafting memorable retail experiences, helped transform the space into a shining gem of Sag Harbor. Reflecting the premium, natural, and therapeutic essence of Dragon Hemp, every aspect of the store, including the unique furniture pieces from Paredes' line, contributes to an ambiance of refined tranquility and wellness. The design echoes a classic herbal pharmacy blended with a modern aesthetic, mirroring our brand ethos of contemporizing ancient herbal medicine for today’s applications. Read more about our Apothecary design in Forbes.

Standing out on Main Street in Sag Harbor with the glow of our distinctive neon sign, our unique retail store has become a design destination of its own -- beyond just wellness -- in one of the Hamptons’ most popular villages. Whether you’re looking for potent natural therapeutics to tackle pain & inflammation or legal THC products to enhance mood or improve sleep, our apothecary is your safe haven at 108 Main Street.

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Available in four versatile forms—swift-absorbing tinctures, targeted balms, discreet gummies, and moisturizers—we ensure a suitable choice for every lifestyle and wellness routine.

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