BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Delta-9-THCO and delta-8-THCO, both sold in Louisiana smoke shops and gas stations, are considered controlled substances by the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Attorney Robert Kight asked the DEA for its opinion on THCO. Terrence L. Boos, chief of the DEA’s Drug & Chemical Evaluation Section, wrote: “Delta-9-THCO and delta-8-THCO do not occur naturally in the cannabis plant and can only be obtained synthetically, and therefore do not fall under the definition of hemp.” The full Feb. 13 letter is published on Kight’s blog.

A doctor who specializes in cannabis therapeutics told Forbes Health the difference between delta-9 THC and delta-8 THC lies in its potency and how delta-9 THC has been studied for decades compared to the little research available on delta-8 THC.

The FDA released a notice to the public in March 2022 on what is known and unknown about delta-8. The agency said delta-8 THC products have not been evaluated or approved.

Four other things the FDA says people should know about delta-8 THC:

  1. Reports have been received of adverse events from people who have consumed delta-8 THC products.
  2. The product has psychoactive and intoxicating effects.
  3. Delta-8 THC is low in hemp and can have additional chemicals that are potentially harmful.
  4. Children and pets should not have access to the products.

Louisiana seemingly legalized delta products in last year’s regular legislative session, saying consumable hemp products sold should not contain more than 0.3% of delta-9 THC or a total THC concentration of over 1%.

Gov. John Bel Edwards, according to the Louisiana Illuminator, said he does not support legalizing marijuana and wants clarification for enforcement purposes.