THC is a chemical compound known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. It is one of the most abundant cannabinoid molecules in hemp (industrial hemp) and marijuana. THC is known for its psychoactive properties and is considered the primary psychoactive cannabinoid in hemp and cannabis plants. It exists in various isomeric forms, including:
THC is legal in Florida. However, the amount of THC legally allowed in products varies, depending on the THC's source. According to Section 581.217 of the Florida Statutes, THC obtained from hemp may be sold in different forms, such as salts, acids, and edibles. However, the THC content of hemp-derived products cannot exceed 0.3%. Per Section 381.986 of the Florida Statutes, THC derived from marijuana is only legal for registered medical marijuana patients in the state. Cannabis-derived THC products may be sold to registered patients in various forms (including smokable preparations), provided the THC levels of the products do not exceed 0.8%.
The THC potency of cannabis plants varies widely. Some hemp products do not contain THC (0% THC), while highly potent marijuana-derived products can contain up to 90% of THC. According to a publication about marijuana THC potency by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the THC content of cannabis was less than 2% between 1960 and 1980. In the 1990s, the THC concentration of marijuana increased to 4%. While the THC content of marijuana increased, the concentration of cannabidiol (CBD), another cannabinoid in weed with no psychoactive activity, reduced.
An NCBI publication comparing marijuana THC and CBD potencies showed that the CBD content of marijuana seized by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) decreased from 0.28% to 0.24% between 1995 and 2019. Conversely, the THC potency of cannabis increased from 3.96% in 1995 to about 15% in 2019. Currently, there are cannabis strains with much higher levels of THC. For example, the godfather (OG), a popular strain of marijuana, contains up to 34% of THC. Silver haze, another cannabis strain, has around 23% of THC, Thai and Hawan contain about 22% of THC, while lemon meringue and laughing buddha have about 21% of THC.
THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) is another active component of weed. It is converted to THC through a natural chemical process known as decarboxylation, which occurs during drying, especially under intense heat. However, this process takes time to occur. This is why ingesting raw cannabis flowers does not cause much intoxication. The THCA levels of marijuana plants are usually higher than the THC levels, and THCA is labeled separately from THC on cannabis products. Marijuana plants contain several THC compounds. Some of the most abundant THC compounds in weed are:
Weed is legal in Florida for medical marijuana patients and illegal for recreational users. In Florida, cannabis is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance; its high potential for abuse is noted in Section 893.03 of the Florida Statutes. Also, per Section 893.03(1)(c)(190) of the Florida Statutes, THC and all its isomers are classified as Schedule I controlled substances with a high risk for abuse. However, the provisions of the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 allow registered medical cannabis patients to use weed and THC products containing a maximum of 0.8% of tetrahydrocannabinol.
Although weed and its derivatives are illegal for recreational use in Florida, the provisions of CS/CS/SB 1020 legalized hemp-derived THC in the state. This law was enacted after the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the 2018 Farm Bill) legalized hemp and hemp-derived THC products containing a maximum of 0.3% THC in the United States. Therefore, online stores, marijuana dispensaries, and other local stores may sell hemp-derived THC products to Florida residents.
According to the provisions of Section 316.193 of the Florida Statutes, it is unlawful to drive under the influence of any controlled substance, including weed and THC. However, this law does not specify the blood-THC limit that is considered legal for driving in the state. Per Section 381.986 of the Florida Statutes, low-THC cannabis products are products containing a maximum of 0.8% of THC and more than 10% of CBD (cannabidiol). In Florida, low-THC cannabis products are only legal for registered medical marijuana patients. Florida residents may only use THC products that do not contain more than 0.3% of THC.
Drug tests can detect THC in blood, urine, and hair samples. However, whether THC shows up in a drug test or not depends on how frequently a person smokes or ingests THC products. It also depends on how long before the test they used a THC product and the quantity of THC consumed.
When a person ingests THC products, their stomach acid breaks down the product, and THC gets absorbed through the small intestine into the bloodstream. The absorbed THC travels to the liver, where some part is eliminated while the rest is metabolized and distributed to the brain, heart, and other parts of the body. The THC that gets into brain cells binds with cannabinoid receptors to produce psychoactive effects.
THC remains detectable in the urine, blood, saliva, and hair long after consumption, even if the psychoactive effects of the compound have worn off. Usually, THC is detectable for up to 36 hours in the blood, 48 hours in saliva, and one month in urine. Also, THC compounds can be detected in the hair for up to 90 days.
THC oil is a concentrated oil derived from cannabis plants. It is known for its potential to cause intoxication. THC oil is different from CBD oil because CBD oil does not get users high. THC oil is made by heating cannabis plants in coconut or olive oil and then using a strainer to separate the oil from the plant material. It is available in different formulations, such as vapes and cartridges. THC oil is safe to ingest and may be consumed sublingually (under the tongue) or added to teas, smoothies, or pastries.
THC distillate is a purified form of THC obtained from cannabis plants through a molecular distillation process. The distillation process involves heating THC oil to the point of vaporization and separating the specific compounds in the vapors using special equipment. Unlike THC oils which usually contain other chemical compounds (such as terpenes and lipids), THC distillates are completely stripped of other (non-THC) compounds. THC distillate has an intoxicating effect. It can be safely ingested, used as topicals, or vaped. CBD distillate is different from THC distillate. CBD distillate is a purified form of CBD obtained from hemp, which contains up to 90% of cannabidiol.
Florida residents can legally purchase hemp-sourced delta-8 and delta-9 THC products from marijuana dispensaries, vaping shops, and online stores. Such products are available in various forms, including edibles, cartridges, gummies, and vapes.
|THC Amount||Expected Effects||Who Should Use It?|
|Up to 2.5 mg||Improves mental focus and mildly relieves pain and stress||First-time users and microdosers|
|2.5 - 5 mg||Provides stronger pain relief and euphoria. May impair judgment, perception, and coordination||Medical marijauna patients, recreational marijuana users, and those looking to calm sleeps|
|5 - 10 mg||Produces stronger euphoria. May also alter perception and impair coordination||Users with high tolerance to THC|
|10 - 20 mg||Very strong euphoria likely leading to higher likelihood of impaired judgment, slower reaction times, anxiety, and altered perception||Users with particularly high tolerance to THC and medical marijuana patients with malabsorption syndrome (reduced gastrointestinal absorption)|
|50 - 100 mg||Guaranteed mood and perception alteration along with impaired coordination. Likely to cause significant side effects such as pain, increased heart rate, and nausea||Medical marijuana patients living with severe chronic pain, cancer or other intractable conditions such as inflammatory disorders|