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Did Your Hemp Extract Just Become Illegal?

hemp extract illegal
Written by Alexandra Hicks

Late last week, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) released their Interim Final Ruling on hemp extract that, if passed in October, will have devastating consequences for the CBD industry.

DISCLAIMER- This is my interpretation on the IFR, if it is incorrect or I missed any important update, please feel free to let me know in the comment section below

In typical government fashion, the DEA misinterpreted what was stated in the Farm Bill and ran with it, creating a new roadblock for the cannabis industry that makes no sense whatsoever. In short, the DEA ruling prohibits any hemp extract that reach 0.3% or more tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) at any point during the manufacturing process, by categorizing these products as Schedule 1 Narcotics. Did all hemp extract just become illegal?

At first glance, the law makes sense based on the 0.3% cutoff that, arbitrary as it may be, has been around for quite some time. However, this law doesn’t apply to just finished products. If we have a CBD oil for example, that has no THC in the final product and was extracted from legally compliant industrial hemp, it could still be illegal if at some point during the manufacturing process, the THC (temporarily) exceeded 0.3 percent.

Now it makes even less sense, doesn’t it? Well, it doesn’t get much better.

What do you think? Did most hemp extract become illegal? To voice your opinion on this matter, click here.

To learn which websites still offer DELTA 8 THC products, subscribe HERE to the DELTA 8 WEEKLY newsletter!

WIPHE and Temporarily Elevated Levels of THC

When creating CBD products, even isolate, they go through a stage referred to as Work-in-Progress Hemp Extract (WIPHE), during which the concentrations of THC temporarily exceed 0.3 percent. Products in the WIPHE stage are only partially processed, and not intended for sale or consumption. Fluctuating levels of cannabinoids is just a normal part of the process and is impossible to avoid. Even during at the most basic levels of production, there will always be a point where the product has more than 0.3% THC.

It is these WIPHE products that are now banned. So, in the process of creating legal products from a legal plant, they briefly enter a stage where they are considered a Schedule 1 controlled substances, and thus are overall illegal. It was always the elephant in the room, but it’s honestly illogical to think that any of that matters, the focus should obviously be on the finished product that ends up in the consumer’s hands.

Effective April 2021 – Mail Order Of Delta 8 THC Vape Cartridges Is ILLEGAL

Dry hemp vs wet hemp

There is quite a bit of confusion whether this applies to products in the WIPHE stage or only completely finished, consumer products. According to the National Hemp Association, “this IFR only refers to consumer products to ensure that they are D9 compliant. It does not address mid-process crude or distillate which often exceeds legal THC levels. So moving/selling those materials across state lines remains ambiguous and problematic. However, while this IFR does not alleviate that concerns it also does not make it worse.”

However, lawyers from CannaBusiness Law Group say otherwise. I would like to reference the dry vs. wet hemp issue that means, this DEA IFR likely refers to crude, in-process products as well, which would make all hemp extract illegal.

“It is clear that a hemp plant (or part of a plant) with THC levels that do not exceed the statutory 0.3% concentration limit on a dry weight basis is lawful. That plant (or part of the plant) can be chopped, ground, plucked, and otherwise processed dry and remain lawful. This is because the statutory definition directly addresses hemp on a dry weight basis. The issue addressed in this letter arises when hemp is processed for its oil, which necessarily renders the hemp plant and its parts “wet”. The statute does not contemplate measuring THC levels of a wet extract. For this reason, in determining whether it is lawful to transport WIPHE we must focus both on both the language and Farm Bill’s apparent intent.”

Hemp-Derived DELTA 8 THC Products Now Available Online

What does this mean and what can we do?

Honestly, it’s hard to say what it all means. If it holds up in a court of law, which I personally don’t think it will, it would be a complete and utter disaster for the CBD industry. Would all CBD products be banned? What would happen to FDA-approved drugs like Epidiolex, which use CBD in their formulations?

There are a lot of unanswered questions at the moment, but the good news is, this ruling isn’t set in stone and we have until October 20, 2020 to voice our opinions. Just CLICK HERE and following the online instructions at that site for submitting comments. To ensure proper handling of comments, you should reference “RIN 1117- AB53/ Docket No. DEA-500” on all correspondence.

In addition to potentialy making hemp extract illegal, Delta-8 products have been banned as well, and that has been challenged in court by numerous hemp companies. If you own a hemp company that will be affected by this ruling, talking to a lawyer about your options might be your best bet. CBD Flower

We will update you regularly as we get more information. To learn more about Delta-8 THC, make sure to subscribe to the Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter.


Effective Immediately – Most Delta 8 THC Is Now ILLEGAL in The United States (Understanding the latest announcement by the DEA)
DELTA 8 THC Products Still Available Online; Companies Sueing The DEA
Synthetic Cannabinoids (Are they synthetic cannabinoids safe?)
The Endocannabinoid System Explained (Why Cannabis Is Good for Our Bodies)
Everything You Need To Know About CBD Isolate (a deep look into hemp extracts)

Cannabinoids 101 – Spotlight on CBN (Cannabinol)
Your Complete Guide to EU GMP-Certified CBD Isolate and Distillate – Spotlight on the regulated EU market

Everything You Need To Know About CBG Isolate
Newest Cannabinoid Powerhouse – CBC – What Can It Do for You?
What is DELTA 8 THC (FAQ: Great resource to learn about DELTA 8THC)
DELTA 8 THC Medical Benefits (The medical background of using DELTA 8 THC products)
DELTA 8 THC Business: Risks and Rewards (Read it before opening a DELTA 8 THC business)
DELTA 8 THC Legal loophole (Explains the legal background of the DELTA-8 THC business opportunity)
DELTA 8 THC Testimonials (What people have to say about DELTA-8 THC)
DELTA 8 THC Legal Paper
DELTA 8 THC Newsletter (The DELTA 8 THC Weekly Newsletter)
The CBD Flowers Weekly newsletter (your top resource for all things smokable hemp flowers)
The Medical Cannabis Weekly newsletter (International medical cannabis business report)
The Legal Landscape Of CBD Hemp Flower In Europe
Regulators Go After Smokable Hemp Flower – What Does The Future Hold?
The Complex Issue of Cannabis and Hemp Business On Tribal Land
Government Assistance Options for U.S. Hemp Farmers Affected By COVID-19

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About the author

Alexandra Hicks

Managing editor at Cannadelics and U.S based journalist, helping spread the word about the many benefits of using cannabis and psychedelics.