Delta-8 THC is just like CBD and other cannabis products in that it is legal in some states and illegal in others. There is currently legislation that only regulates Delta-8 hemp derivatives, which means new laws are needed to address it. As of today, there are 15 states with current laws mentioning delta-8 and regulating the substance.
Many states have adopted a federal definition of hemp, including those that remove THC from the list of controlled substances, and include derivatives of hemp in this category. Other states do not differentiate between hemp-derived and marijuana-derived THC. A few other states list Delta-8 as a controlled substance in their legislation.
In order to address the Farm Bill of 2018, which legalized marijuana but not hemp products, a document was released by the DEA in 2020 with the goal of differentiating between marijuana and hemp. The document concluded that any synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols from cannabis or anything else (including delta-8 and delta-9 THC) are Schedule I controlled substances. Schedule I substances in the U.S. include illegal drugs that have high abuse potential and no accepted medical use in the country (like heroin and ecstasy). Delta-8 would be considered an illegal drug if this new rule goes into effect.
Delta-8 is a compound similar to THC that has caused controversy as legal authorities review its status in fall 2021. Until then, several states have restricted the use of delta-8 but expect more to come into play.