Minnesota THC Overview

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What Is THC?

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a naturally occurring cannabinoid with psychoactive properties. It can be found in cannabis and hemp plants and is primarily responsible for the ''high'' effect people experience after consuming marijuana products. THC exists in various isomeric forms. Some of them are usually prepared synthetically because plants only contain them in trace amounts. The notable isomers of THC include delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, delta-3-tetrahydrocannabinol, delta-7-tetrahydrocannabinol, exo-tetrahydrocannabinol, and delta-10-tetrahydrocannabinol.

Is THC Legal in Minnesota?

Yes, THC is legal in Minnesota, but the sources of THC products determine who can legally use them. Marijuana tetrahydrocannabinol products are listed as Schedule I controlled substances under Section 152.02 of the Minnesota Statutes. Therefore, it is unlawful to buy or sell marijuana-derived THC products for recreational use. Nevertheless, under Minnesota's medical cannabis program, codified between Sections 152.22 and 152.37 of the Minnesota Statutes, THC derived from marijuana plants is legal. However, the sale of cannabis-sourced THC products is restricted to registered medical marijuana patients in the state.

According to Chapter 18K of the Minnesota Statutes, hemp-derived THC products may be bought and sold in the state, provided they do not contain over 0.3% THC. Minnesota does not regulate the form of THC that can be sold. Therefore, residents may purchase smokable, edible, or topical hemp-derived THC products.

How Much THC is in Weed?

Cannabis sativa plants do not have specific THC levels. There are variants of hemp with 0% THC, while some cannabis plants and products have high THC potencies, reaching up to 90% in some cases. Over the years, the concentrations of THC in weed have increased, giving rise to more potent variants now available in dispensaries. For example, Primus OG, a popular hemp variant, contains approximately 21 to 28% THC, Pineapple Express has about 16 to 24% THC, Light of Jah contains between 24 to 26% THC, while the godfather contains about 35% THC. Furthermore, Silver Haze contains up to 23% THC, Bubba Fett has about 27% THC, Thai contains approximately 22% THC, and Dale OG contains 20 to 26% of THC.

In an article about cannabis THC potency, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) stated that the THC concentration of cannabis was below 2% from 1960 to 1980. However, in the 1990s, the THC content of weed increased to 4%, while its cannabidiol (CBD) concentration reduced. Furthermore, another NCBI publication that compared the CBD and THC levels of weed revealed that the THC levels of cannabis samples seized by the DEA (the United States Drug Enforcement Administration) declined steadily over time. The THC potency of cannabis increased by over 270% between 1995 and 2019, while its CBD level decreased by approximately 14%.

There are other active components in weed besides THC and CBD. One of them is THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid), a precursor of THC. THCA is usually labeled differently from THC on marijuana products. This cannabinoid does not produce psychoactive effects until it undergoes a chemical process known as decarboxylation. During this natural chemical transition, THCA loses its acidity and converts to THC. The decarboxylation of THCA is faster when cannabis plants or products are heated during smoking, dabbing, vaping, or cooking before consumption. This is why persons ingesting raw cannabis flowers do not experience significant intoxication. Some of the most abundant THC compounds in cannabis plants are:

  • Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta 9 THC)
  • Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)
  • Tetrahydrocannabiorcol (THCC)
  • Tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THCP)
  • Delta-7-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta 7 THC)
  • Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta 8 THC)
  • Delta-10-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta 10 THC)

Minnesota THC Laws 2022

Due to the classification of marijuana and its derivatives as Schedule I controlled substances in Section 152.02 of the Minnesota Statutes, THC derived from cannabis plants is illegal in the state. According to Chapter 152 of the Minnesota Statutes, persons caught buying or selling marijuana-sourced THC products could face severe penalties. However, this does not apply to registered medical marijuana patients in the state. After Minnesota legalized medical marijuana in 2014, it became legal for registered medical marijuana patients to purchase and use cannabis-derived THC products.

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the 2018 Farm Bill) legalized hemp at the federal level and required states to run their own agricultural hemp production programs. As a result, the Minnesota legislature changed the definition of industrial hemp in Chapter 18k of the Minnesota Revised Statutes. Currently, hemp-derived THC products containing a maximum THC concentration of 0.3% are legal. State residents may purchase THC products from online vendors or local stores, provided the THC levels of such products are within allowable limits.

Governor Tim Walz signed House File 4065 into law on June 2, 2022, which legalized the consumption and sale of THC edibles that do not contain more than 5 milligrams of THC per serving. Also, House File 4065 stipulates that the total THC content of any pack of edible cannabinoid products must not exceed 50 milligrams. Therefore, although marijuana is still illegal in Minnesota, state residents may legally purchase and consume THC edibles.

What is the Legal Limit for THC While Driving in Minnesota?

As stipulated in Chapter 169A of the Minnesota Statutes, state residents must submit to blood or urine drug tests whenever required by law enforcement officers. Per Section 169A.20 of the Minnesota Statutes, it is unlawful to drive under the influence of any controlled substance. Since THC is listed as a Schedule I controlled substance in Section 152.02 of the Minnesota Statutes, residents of the state can face legal consequences for driving while intoxicated with THC. Nevertheless, Minnesota's statutes do not specify the urine or blood THC limit that is considered legal for drivers. Furthermore, the Minnesota Statutes does not classify any THC product as a low-THC product. Therefore, if a driver is suspected to be driving while intoxicated with THC, the state will need to prove a THC DUI before the driver can be convicted.

Will THC Show Up on a Drug Test?

Yes. However, whether THC is detectable in a drug test depends on several factors, such as:

  • The amount of THC smoked or ingested
  • A person's genetics because it affects the rate at which their body produces enzymes that can speed up THC metabolism and elimination
  • The duration and frequency of THC use
  • Body fat levels, because THC is highly fat soluble, making it bind to fat molecules easily and stay longer in the body
  • The type of drug test conducted because some tests are more sensitive and can detect THC for long periods after use

How Long Does THC Stay in the Body?

After a person ingests THC products, their body absorbs THC molecules into their bloodstream. The blood transports these THC molecules into the liver, which eliminates most of them (through the urine and feces) and metabolizes the rest. Metabolized THC molecules undergo a process known as first-pass metabolism before getting distributed to the body's tissues and organs, where they bind to endocannabinoid receptors and produce the desired effects.

THC molecules in the body can show up in drug tests even if users no longer feel the psychoactive effects. They can be detected in hair samples for up to 90 days after use and urine samples for approximately one month. Also, THC is usually detectable in the saliva for up to 48 hours and in the blood for about 36 hours.

What Is THC Oil?

THC oil, also known as marijuana oil or cannabis oil, is a concentrated product of marijuana plants. It is safe to ingest and contains high amounts of THC, the key psychoactive compound in cannabis plants. Therefore, it can produce a ''high'' effect when consumed. Other available formulations of THC oil are vapes, cartridges, and sublingual preparations.

THC oil can be made at home by soaking cannabis buds in alcohol and constantly stirring the mixture to extract cannabinoids from the plant. Afterward, the liquid is separated from the plant material using a strainer and heated in a dish placed in boiling water to remove the alcohol. When the alcohol evaporates, it leaves behind the green THC oil.

THC oil is different from CBD oil. Unlike THC oil (which is derived from marijuana plants), CBD oil is made from industrial hemp, and it mainly contains CBD. Only trace amounts of THC may be found in CBD oil.

What Is THC Distillate?

THC distillate is a purified product of cannabis plants. It is produced by extracting cannabinoids from cannabis plants using a liquid solvent and stripping the extract of all non-THC molecules through a chemical process known as distillation. THC oil is different from THC distillate because THC oil is not purified. It contains other cannabinoids and compounds such as terpenes and flavonoids. Also, THC distillate is different from CBD distillate. THC distillate causes users to experience a ''high'' effect, while CBD distillate is not psychoactive because its major content is CBD. Furthermore, CBD distillate is usually derived from industrial hemp, not marijuana plants. THC distillate can be vaped, consumed sublingually, or added to beverages or pastries for oral consumption.

Where to Buy THC in Minnesota

Hemp-derived delta-8 and delta-9 THC products are available in various forms such as edibles, gummies, and cartridges in Minnesota. State residents may purchase them from online shops or local stores.

THC Edibles Dosing Guide

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 marijuana 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
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