Is THC Legal in Michigan?

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What is THC?

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is a cannabinoid found in marijuana and hemp plants. THC is known to be psychoactive, which means that consuming it can lead to changes in mood and behavior. The consumption of THC usually leads to an increase in dopamine levels, the chemical responsible for the ability to feel pleasure and excitement. THC causes psychoactive effects because it attaches to neurons in the body known as CB 1 and CB 2 receptors. These are located in the spinal cord, immune system, brain, and liver. These receptors influence motor function, memory, response to pain, learning ability, and even the ability to perceive objects. THC is present in larger quantities in marijuana than in hemp. The THC level in hemp must not exceed 0.3% to be considered legal, while in marijuana plants the level of THC can be as high as 30%.

Delta-9 THC is only the most prominent cannabinoid present in marijuana. There are other isomers of THC with a similar chemical structure but affect the human endocannabinoid system differently. These isomers include:

  • Delta-7 THC

  • Delta-8 THC

  • Delta-10 THC

  • Exo-THC

  • THC-O

  • HHC

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Is THC Legal in Michigan?

Yes, THC products derived from cannabis and industrial hemp are legal in Michigan. Michigan residents can use THC products for both medical and recreational purposes. Medical use of marijuana-derived THC was legalized in 2008 with the passage of the Michigan Compassionate Care Initiative. Qualifying patients under the Michigan medical marijuana program can buy up to 2.5 oz of THC products from licensed dispensaries. Under the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act of 2018, residents aged 21 and over can buy and use up to 2.5 oz of THC products for recreational purposes.

How Much THC is in Weed?

Weed contains high levels of THC. THC potency in weed has increased consistently over the past forty years. THC levels in weed are higher today than in the 1960s and 1970s, when the maximum potency was reported as 5%. There are several factors responsible for the increasing THC potency of weed. For instance, weed cultivation methods have advanced considerably since the 1970s, enabling growers to plant special high-THC marijuana strains. Farmers who want to maximize THC production usually plant only feminized marijuana seeds and cultivate their marijuana in greenhouses, where temperature and lighting can be regulated. Also, consumers’ demand for weed with higher potency contributes to the increasing THC content in weed.

According to a report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse in 2022, the THC potency of weed confiscated by the Drug Enforcement Administration gradually increased between 1995 and 2021. Weed samples tested between 2017 and 2021 has the following THC levels:

  • 2017:14.08% THC

  • 2018:14.77% THC

  • 2019:13.50% THC

  • 2020: 13.27% THC

  • 2021: 15.34% THC

THC product containers are required to carry information labels stating the quantity of THC contained. Such labels may either indicate the "total THC potency" or "total THC'' content. A label showing "total THC'' indicates the quantity of THCA, or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid present in the product. THCA is the initial chemical form that THC takes, before it is converted into an active THC compound when exposed to heat.

High-potency weed products sold in licensed dispensaries in Michigan include the following:

  • Mandarin Cookies: 26 % THC

  • Bruce Banner: 30% THC

  • Yoda OG: 15-24% THC

  • Tropicana: 24% THC

  • Kush Mints: 26% THC

Michigan THC Laws 2023

Michigan has legalized the medical and recreational use of THC products. Qualifying patients under the state's medical marijuana program can access up to 2.5 oz of THC products per day and up to 10 oz per month from licensed dispensaries. Recreational marijuana consumers can purchase up to 2.5 oz of THC products (including up to 15 grams of THC concentrate) at once.

The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill gave Michigan residents access to hemp-derived products like Delta-8 THC and Delta-10 THC. Michigan lawmakers enacted House Bill 4744 in 2019, permitting the cultivation, processing, and sale of hemp-derived THC. Hemp was a prohibited substance under federal law before the 2018 Farm Bill. In 2021, Michigan reversed course and passed House Bill 4517, a law classifying Delta-8 THC products as marijuana. HB 4517 also made it an offense for local stores and businesses to sell Delta-8 THC products without approval from the Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA).

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

There is no legal threshold for THC amount in a motorist's system to determine impairment in Michigan. However, driving under the influence of THC is unlawful in the state. A person convicted for the first time of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) in Michigan will pay a fine of $300 and have four points placed on their driver's license. The offender will also be sentenced to a prison term of up to 93 days

A second OWI offense in Michigan attracts a fine of between $200 and $1,000, community service of up to 90 days, and a prison term of between 5 days and one year. A third OWI offense will earn the offender a prison term of between 1-5 years, a fine of between $500 and $5,000, and community service of between 60 days and 180 days.

Will THC Show Up on a Drug Test?

Yes, THC shows up in drug tests. However, the possibility of detecting THC metabolites in the body depends on certain factors. These include:

  • The frequency of THC consumption

  • The type of THC product consumed

  • The type of drug test adopted

  • The metabolic speed of the person being tested

  • The body weight of the person being tested

  • The method of consumption

How Long Does THC Stay in the Body?

THC metabolites can be stored in different body tissues for varying periods. However, how long THC stays in the body is determined by the rate at which the body metabolizes and converts it into 11-carboxy-THC, among other factors.

The durations that THC metabolites can last in body organs and tissues are listed below:

  • Hair: Up to 90 days

  • Blood: Up to 12 hours after the last consumption

  • Urine: The metabolite THC-COOH can be detected by urine tests for up to 30 days after the last consumption of a THC product

  • Saliva: THC metabolites can stay for up to 24 hours in saliva

What is THC Oil?

THC oil is produced from the flowering part of the cannabis plant. The oil can be extracted either by immersing cannabis biomass in a solvent and then subjecting it to supercritical CO2 extraction or by placing the biomass in a carrier oil such as hemp oil, avocado oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, or coconut oil.

The difference between THC oil and CBD oil is that THC oil is made solely from marijuana plant material, while CBD comes from industrial hemp material. THC oil is more psychoactive than CBD oil. In Michigan, THC oil can be consumed by vaping, by dab rigs, by sublingual ingestion, or as edibles. THC oil is also used in cooking or processed into butter.

What is THC Distillate?

THC distillate is a THC product made by chemically distilling cannabis biomass in order to remove compounds such as waxes, chlorophyll, terpenes, flavonoids, and lipids. THC distillate undergoes a four-stage production process involving extraction, winterization, decarboxylation, and distillation.

During the extraction process, cannabis flowers and leaves from the harvested plant are dried to reduce the water level. Winterization subjects the plant material to immersion in a chemical solvent and freezing temperatures as a means of separating the terpenes and cannabinoids. During decarboxylation, the THC in the mixture is activated by means of high temperatures, reaching as high as 220 degrees Fahrenheit. Distillation further heats the mixture to achieve a highly potent THC product known as THC distillate.

THC oil retains many of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids contained in the marijuana plant, while THC distillate is left with only THC after the distillation process. THC distillates are processed from marijuana, while CBD distillates are processed using industrial hemp.THC distillates are formulated and consumed for medical and recreational purposes in forms such as tinctures, vapes, and dab rigs.

Where to Buy THC in Michigan

Michigan residents aged 21 and over can only buy Delta-9 and Delta-8 THC products from licensed dispensaries in the state. Hemp-derived Delta-9 and Delta-8 products sold in Michigan can only contain a maximum of 0.3% THC. THC products available for sale in Michigan exist as vapes, gummies, and tinctures.

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