THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the major cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. The psychoactive effects of cannabis can be attributed to THC, which interacts closely with receptors in the brain. THC is present in both hemp and marijuana varieties of cannabis, although at varying levels. Marijuana contains a higher level of THC than hemp.
Delta-9 THC, the main THC compound, has other isomers or chemical analogs which share a similar molecular structure but interact differently with the endocannabinoid system. They include the following:
THC is legal in Nebraska, provided it is derived from hemp and has a THC content of 0.3% or less. Marijuana-derived THC products are prohibited for both medical and recreational purposes in the state.
The Nebraska Hemp Farming Act, passed in May 2019, was intended to align state law with the Farm Bill of 2018. Hemp with a THC level of 0.3% was not regarded as marijuana and was delisted from Nebraska's Uniform Controlled Substances Act (2010). Only individuals and businesses licensed by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) can sell hemp-derived products in the state.
Weed is known to have high THC concentrations. Although there are other cannabinoids present in weed, THC is by far the most dominant. The THC level in weed has shown a marked increase since the 1970s, when it stood at an average of 5%. Concentrates such as oils, wax, and shatter produced today can have THC levels of up to 55%. Factors responsible for this rise in THC potency include the adoption of more specialized cultivation practices and consumers’ demand for high-potency THC products.
A Nebraska Drug Test Assessment published by the Department of Justice in 2003 found that THC potency in weed seized in Nebraska in 1999 was 8.9%. The most recent data on weed potency released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) shows that weed seized by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) between 2017 and 2021 recorded the following levels of THC:
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires weed product labels to detail the THC potency of such products. Potency analysis on the label will often indicate "total THC," "THC maximum," or "THCA." THCA is tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, the chemical compound that is a precursor to THC. THCA is not psychoactive and only becomes psychoactive upon aging or exposure to fire and heat. Total THC on a product label means the percentage of THC that will be activated when a product such as smokable weed is lit.
Cannabis sativa strains typically contain more THC than cannabis indica strains of weed. The following are the most popular high-potency strains of weed available:
Besides Delta-9 THC, there are several other THC compounds found in weed. They include:
Under the Nebraska Uniform Controlled Substances Act, all THC products derived from marijuana are illegal. The possession of less than 1 oz of marijuana or a THC product is treated as a simple infraction under Nebraska law and attracts a fine of $300.
After the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived THC products were legalized across the U.S. Following the enactment of the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act, residents of the state were allowed to buy, possess, and use hemp-derived products with a THC content of 0.3% or less. Licensed hemp dispensaries in the state can sell low-THC hemp products to persons aged 21 years and over.
In Nebraska, It is unlawful to drive or operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of a THC product. Law enforcement officers can subject a driver to either a urine or blood test to determine THC impairment. Nebraska residents can only purchase and consume hemp-derived products with a THC level of 0.3% or less. Hence, driving after consuming products with more than 0.3% THC in the system is not recommended in the state. DUI in Nebraska has several severe penalties.
Drug tests can detect the presence of THC metabolites in a person's bodily fluids and tissues. The following are several factors that can determine the result of a THC drug test:
The duration of stay of THC metabolites in the body depends on several factors. Although about 85% of THC metabolites are eliminated from the body in urine and fecal matter, the remaining 15% is stored in various body tissues.
The following are the detection windows for THC stored in different body tissues:
THC oil is processed from marijuana flowers. It can be obtained by various means, including supercritical CO2 extraction and the use of both chemical and non-chemical solvents. Supercritical CO2 extraction is regarded as an environmentally friendly method for processing THC oil because it leaves no toxic residue.
THC oil is made only from marijuana plant matter, while CBD oil is processed from hemp plants. Consuming THC oil can cause psychoactive effects. Because CBD oil is derived from hemp, it does not cause a “high” in consumers. THC oil is typically sold in tinctures, vape cartridges, edibles, and topical formulas.
THC distillate is a highly refined oil product made from cannabis flowers. Making THC distillates entails the extraction of THC compounds, winterization of the extracted mass in freezing conditions, decarboxylation or activation of the THC, and final distillation.
THC oil and THC distillate are processed in virtually the same way. The difference between the two is that THC oil retains the variety of cannabinoids, isoflavones, and terpenes in the cannabis flower, while THC distillate refines away all but the THC compounds. THC distillate and CBD distillate are likewise processed in the same fashion. The difference, in this case, is that THC distillate is made from marijuana, while CBD distillate is made using hemp. Marijuana-derived THC distillates are illegal in Nebraska. THC distillate can get a consumer high because it is a highly concentrated form of THC. It can be consumed in edible form or by using vapes and dab rigs.
Nebraska residents can only buy hemp-derived Delta-8 THC products. Delta-9 THC products are illegal in the state because they are made from marijuana. Delta-8 THC products are available in retail health shops across Nebraska and can be purchased from online retailers. Residents aged 21 years and over can buy Delta-8 THC gummies, oils, and vapes.