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Hemp-derived tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has become an extremely popular wellness compound among those looking to bolster various areas of their health or simply tap into the recreational benefits of THC. But some might still be concerned about whether or not it’s legal in their area. For example, is hemp-derived THC legal in New York? What do you need to know about it before you try it out for yourself? In this guide, we’ll cover the rules and regulations surrounding hemp-derived THC in New York.

At Soul, we believe in the power of education – being informed about the legal status of THC empowers you to make responsible choices. We also offer a range of cannabidiol (CBD) products designed to support your well-being without the high that accompanies THC products, so feel free to explore our offerings if you’re curious. If you’re interested in trying THC, get started with our new Vacay THC Gummies today!

What Is Hemp-Derived THC?

Hemp-derived THC refers to the tetrahydrocannabinol that is extracted from the hemp plant, a variety of the Cannabis sativa species. THC is a cannabinoid, a naturally occurring compound in cannabis plants, and is primarily responsible for the psychoactive effects associated with marijuana. 

However, hemp is distinct from marijuana by its lower THC concentration. According to federal law, hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC by dry weight, which is considered insufficient to produce a high in users.

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How Does Hemp-Derived THC Work?

THC interacts with the body through the endocannabinoid system, a complex network of receptors and neurotransmitters that play a role in regulating various physiological processes. When consumed, THC binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain and nervous system. 

This binding leads to altered perceptions, mood changes, and the well-known "high" associated with cannabis use. CBD, another significant cannabinoid, interacts with the same receptors but does not produce the same psychoactive effects. Instead, it may have therapeutic properties, such as reducing anxiety or relieving pain, without the euphoria associated with THC.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Hemp-Derived THC?

THC has garnered attention for its potential therapeutic benefits. Some of these potential benefits include:

Relief From Chronic Pain

THC may help alleviate chronic pain conditions by interacting with the body's pain pathways and reducing inflammation.1

Anxiety And Stress Reduction

Certain strains of hemp, particularly those high in CBD or those with lower amounts of THC (high THC may produce the opposite effect), may offer relief from anxiety and stress by promoting relaxation and calmness.

Nausea And Vomiting Control

THC can be effective in reducing nausea and vomiting, although results will vary depending on dosage.

Improved Sleep

For some individuals, THC may aid in improving sleep quality and addressing insomnia.2

What Are The Alternatives To Hemp-Derived THC Products?

While THC may offer various benefits, it's essential to explore alternative wellness solutions that may suit your needs and preferences as well. Alternatives to cannabis include:

  • CBD Products: CBD, derived from the same plant, offers potential therapeutic benefits without the psychoactive effects of THC. It's available in various forms, including oils, capsules, and topicals.
  • Herbal Remedies: Many herbs and botanicals, such as lavender, chamomile, and valerian, have calming and stress-reducing properties and can be used as alternatives to cannabis for relaxation.
  • Meditation and Mindfulness: Practicing meditation and mindfulness techniques can help reduce stress and anxiety, offering a natural alternative calming effect.

Is Hemp-Derived THC Federally Legal?

The federal legality of hemp-derived THC hinges on the THC concentration of the hemp product. Under the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp and its derivatives were removed from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made hemp-derived products with less than 0.3% THC on a dry-weight basis federally legal. 

However, THC itself remains a Schedule I substance under federal law, and this includes any THC derived from hemp if it is concentrated and exceeds the 0.3% threshold.

The Current Legal Status Of Hemp-Derived THC In New York: What You Need To Know

New York has its own set of regulations regarding hemp-derived products. The state has legalized recreational marijuana, which has changed the landscape for hemp-derived THC as well. In New York, hemp-derived cannabinoids are legal, including low-THC products. 

However, the sale of some hemp-derived THC products may be subject to New York’s cannabis regulations, which include quality testing and licensing requirements.

How The 2018 Farm Bill Changed The Game For Hemp-Derived THC

The 2018 Farm Bill was a revolutionary piece of legislation for the hemp industry in the United States. By defining hemp as a Cannabis sativa plant containing no more than 0.3% THC and removing it from the Controlled Substances Act, the bill effectively legalized the cultivation, production, and sale of hemp and its extracts at the federal level. 

This opened the door for a burgeoning industry in hemp-derived products, including CBD and low-THC products. However, the bill did not lift restrictions on THC concentrations above 0.3%, which are still regulated.

Your Guide To Safely Consuming Hemp-Derived THC In New York

  • Know the Source: Ensure you're purchasing from a reputable supplier who complies with New York's hemp regulations.
  • Check THC Levels: Verify that the THC content is within the legal limit of 0.3% THC by dry weight for hemp-derived products.
  • Understand the Effects: Even at low doses, THC can have psychoactive effects. Start with a small amount to see how you react.
  • Be Aware of the Law: Keep up-to-date with New York’s regulations regarding possession and consumption of THC products.
  • Consider Your Circumstances: Don’t drive or operate heavy machinery after consuming THC products, and be aware of how it may affect your job or daily activities.

By staying informed and cautious, consumers in New York can navigate the nuances of hemp-derived THC consumption while adhering to the current legal framework.

Frequently Asked Questions About Is Cannabis Legal In New York

Can I grow hemp for THC production in New York?

You can grow hemp in New York with the proper licensing, but it must adhere to the state’s hemp program rules, including THC limits.

Are there any restrictions on purchasing hemp-derived THC products in New York?

Yes, while legal, there may be age restrictions and other regulatory compliance requirements for the sale of hemp-derived products.

Can hemp-derived THC products be shipped to New York?

Yes, hemp-derived products that meet New York and federal regulations can typically be shipped to New York.

Will using hemp-derived THC products make me fail a drug test?

It is possible, as some sensitive drug tests may not distinguish between THC from hemp and marijuana.

Are CBD and hemp-derived THC the same?

No, CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are different compounds. However, they both are found in the hemp plant. 

Can I travel to New York with hemp-derived THC products?

It's legal to travel with hemp-derived THC products within New York as long as they comply with state law, but be cautious with interstate travel as laws vary by state.

Do I need a prescription to purchase hemp-derived THC in New York?

No, a prescription is not needed for hemp-derived THC products that comply with state law.

How can I verify the THC content in a hemp-derived product?

Look for a Certificate of Analysis (COA) from a third-party lab which should verify the product’s THC content and overall cannabinoid profile.

Is it legal to use hemp-derived THC in public in New York?

Public consumption laws vary by locality. It's important to check with local regulations regarding the public use of cannabis products.

Are there any THC potency limits for hemp-derived products in New York?

Hemp-derived products must contain no more than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis to be compliant with state and federal law.

What are the penalties for possessing illegal THC products in New York?

Possession of THC products that exceed the legal limits or are not compliant with the state's cannabis laws may result in penalties ranging from fines to criminal charges.


  1. Britch, S., Goodman, A., Wiley, J., Pondelick, A., & Craft, R. (2020, March 16). Antinociceptive and immune effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or cannabidiol in male versus female rats with persistent inflammatory pain. The Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32179573/ 
  2. Vaillancourt, R., Gallagher, S., Cameron, J. D., & Dhalla, R. (2022). Cannabis use in patients with insomnia and sleep disorders: Retrospective chart review. Canadian Pharmacists Journal / Revue Des Pharmaciens Du Canada, 155(3), 175–180. https://doi.org/10.1177/17151635221089617