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Arkansas Weed Legality: Is Delta 9 THC, Delta 8 THC, and THCA Legal?

John Carter

Written by: John Carter

Updated on May 28, 2024

Arkansas Weed Legality

Is Delta 9 Legal in Arkansas?

Delta 9 THC is legal in Arkansas under specific conditions aligned with both federal and state regulations. According to the 2018 Farm Bill and subsequent Arkansas legislation, notably House Bill 1640, Delta 9 THC derived from hemp is permissible if the THC concentration does not exceed 0.3% on a dry weight basis.

This legalization includes the sale and consumption of hemp-derived Delta 9 products like gummies, drink mixes, and other forms available in retail stores, vape shops, and online marketplaces throughout Arkansas, including cities like Little Rock and Hot Springs. The state law, particularly the Arkansas Industrial Hemp Production Act, recognizes industrial hemp as an agricultural product and allows for its cultivation, processing, and transportation under regulated conditions.

The key points for legal compliance in Arkansas are:

  • The Delta 9 THC must be derived from hemp, not marijuana.
  • The THC concentration must be at or below 0.3% by dry weight.
  • Products must adhere to these content limitations and guidelines set by the Arkansas Department of Health.

Thus, while Delta 9 THC is legal in Arkansas, it is strictly regulated to ensure it complies with the established THC concentration limits. This regulatory framework aims to facilitate economic growth in the cannabis industry while ensuring consumer safety and compliance with the law.

Let’s examine the details of Arkansas’s hemp laws:


Arkansas Code Title 2, Chapter 15, is amended to add an additional subchapter to read as follows:

Subchapter 5 — Arkansas Industrial Hemp Production Act

2-15-502. Purpose.

(a) The purpose of this subchapter is to:

(1) Recognize industrial hemp as an agricultural product;

(2) Recognize the cultivation, processing, and transportation of industrial hemp as an agricultural activity in this state; and

(3) Ensure that this state has primary regulatory authority over the production of industrial hemp in this state.

2-15-503. Definitions.

“Industrial hemp” means the plant Cannabis sativa and any part of the plant, including the seeds of the plant and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, that contains a tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of no more than that adopted by federal law under the Agricultural Marketing Act, 7 U.S.C. § 1639o, as it existed on January 1, 2021;

2-15-506. Federal laws regarding industrial hemp.

If any part of this subchapter conflicts with a provision of federal law relating to industrial hemp, the federal provision shall control to the extent of the conflict.

Is Delta 8 Legal in Arkansas?

As of now, Delta 8 THC is legally accessible in Arkansas. This follows a decision where a federal judge blocked the enforcement of Act 629 on on Sept. 7, 2023, which had intended to ban the sale and production of products containing Delta 8, Delta 9, and Delta 10 THC. The law was challenged on the grounds that it was vague and potentially overreached federal guidelines provided by the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalizes hemp-derived products containing less than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis.

The judge’s ruling emphasized that the state law was preempted by federal law and pointed out significant vagueness in the terms used within the state’s legislation, such as “continuous transportation” and “psychoactive substances,” which lack clear definitions. This ruling has effectively halted the state’s attempt to enforce the ban, allowing the continued sale and production of Delta 8 THC products under federal legal standards.

Thus, Delta 8 THC remains legal in Arkansas, pending further legal developments or changes in legislation.

Is THCA Legal in Arkansas?

THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) is legal in Arkansas provided it meets specific conditions set by both state and federal law. According to the references you provided, as well as established guidelines, THCA derived from industrial hemp is legal if it contains less than 0.3% THC by dry weight. This standard aligns with the definitions laid out in the 2018 Farm Bill, which differentiates legal hemp-derived products from marijuana, which has higher levels of THC.

In Arkansas, the legality of THCA mirrors this federal guideline, emphasizing that as long as THCA is derived from industrial hemp and meets the THC threshold, it is permissible. The state has incorporated this standard into its regulatory framework, thereby aligning with federal regulations that distinguish between hemp and marijuana based on THC content.

Moreover, Arkansas’s medical marijuana program also impacts the accessibility of THCA, allowing individuals with certain qualifying medical conditions to legally obtain cannabis-derived products, including those containing THCA, for therapeutic use. This is managed under the state’s controlled medical program, which provides further legal pathways for accessing and using THCA.

Therefore, THCA is legal in Arkansas under the conditions that it is derived from industrial hemp and contains THC levels at or below the 0.3% threshold on a dry weight basis. This compliance ensures that THCA products can be legally purchased and used within the state.

What are the Difference between Delta 9 THC, Delta 8 THC, and THCA?

What is Delta 9 THC?

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-9 THC) is a prominent cannabinoid known for its psychoactive properties, distinguishing it from the non-psychoactive CBD. Delta-9 THC induces a “high” and is associated with various wellness benefits, often overshadowed by its psychoactive reputation. It is typically included in full spectrum CBD products, adhering to the legal limit of 0.3% THC by dry weight.

The benefits of Delta-9 THC extend beyond its psychoactive effects; it has been shown to offer pain relief, stress reduction, and improved sleep quality. By interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system, Delta-9 THC enhances the entourage effect when combined with CBD, thereby amplifying the therapeutic effects of cannabis products.

What is Delta 8 THC?

Delta-8 THC is a cannabinoid that shares a similar chemical structure with Delta-9 THC but differs slightly in its molecular configuration. This difference reduces its psychoactive potency compared to Delta-9 THC, making Delta-8 THC legally accessible in many states and of interest for its potential therapeutic benefits. These include alleviating nausea and stimulating appetite, which are particularly valuable in medical treatments.

Although Delta-8 THC is legally available and used for its milder psychoactive effects, the research surrounding this cannabinoid is still in its early stages. Its long-term health impacts and comprehensive safety profile are yet to be fully understood, necessitating cautious engagement with Delta-8 THC products.

What is THCA?

THCA, or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, is naturally occurring in the cannabis plant and is the non-psychoactive precursor to THC. In its raw form, THCA does not produce psychoactive effects. However, when heated, THCA transforms into THC through a process called decarboxylation, which then elicits psychoactive effects similar to those associated with marijuana use.

The legal status of THCA aligns with federal regulations, as it contains less than 0.3% THC. This makes it an interesting compound for both scientific research and therapeutic applications. Ongoing studies are investigating THCA’s potential anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties, which could offer relief for conditions such as pain and neurodegenerative diseases.

Difference Between Delta 9 THC, Delta 8 THC, and THCA

The primary difference between Delta 9 THC, Delta 8 THC, and THCA lies in their chemical structures and psychoactive effects. Delta 9 THC is well-known for its strong psychoactive effects and is the most prevalent form of THC in cannabis plants. Delta 8 THC, on the other hand, offers a less potent psychoactive experience, which some users prefer for its reduced intensity and milder side effects.

THCA stands apart as it does not produce psychoactive effects until it is converted into THC through decarboxylation. This process typically occurs when cannabis is smoked, vaped, or cooked. Understanding these differences is crucial for consumers who are navigating the legal landscapes and therapeutic possibilities of cannabinoids. Each compound offers unique effects and benefits, making them suitable for different uses and treatments depending on individual needs and legal constraints.

Characteristic Delta 9 THC Delta 8 THC THCA
Chemical Structure Most abundant natural THC isomer in cannabis. Similar to Delta 9, but with a slightly altered molecular structure. Precursor to Delta 9, non-psychoactive in its raw form.
Psychoactive Effects Strong psychoactive effects, produces a “high”. Milder psychoactive effects compared to Delta 9. No psychoactive effects until decarboxylated (heated).
Legality in Arkansas Legal when derived from hemp with less than 0.3% THC, and in medical use under state regulations. Legal as per federal ruling blocking state ban, assuming it’s derived from hemp with less than 0.3% THC. Legal when derived from hemp and contains less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC on a dry weight basis. Not psychoactive unless heated.
Common Uses Recreational (in other states) and medicinal uses in Arkansas; includes pain relief, appetite stimulation, and mood regulation. Used for its anti-nausea, appetite-stimulating, and stress-reducing properties. Legal status recently upheld by federal court in Arkansas. Primarily used in raw or non-heated forms for potential therapeutic benefits without psychoactivity; being researched for anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties.

Legal Disclaimer

The content provided on this website is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as legal advice or as a definitive statement of the law. While we strive to maintain accurate and up-to-date information, the legal status of the topics discussed can vary by state and may change over time. Consequently, the information provided here may not reflect the most current legal developments. We do not encourage or discourage the purchase of any products based on the information presented. Before making any decisions related to legal matters, we strongly advise consulting with a qualified attorney in your jurisdiction to obtain advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

John Carter
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Further Reading
Map of Recreational Weed Legality by States


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