what’s the difference and can I use it?

SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – With a line of CBD products on the shelves, medicinal cannabis on the horizon, and potential future recreational marijuana, South Dakotans now have more options than ever when it comes to consuming cannabis family products .

As July 1 approaches, here’s what you need to know about marijuana in South Dakota

But in addition to the diversity, confusion and questions can also arise: What exactly is cannabis? What is the difference between marijuana and hemp? What is CBD made of? Will hemp products get me high? Is it all legal?

Here are some of the answers.

Cannabis, marijuana and hemp:

Cannabis is a plant that lives within the larger Cannabaceae family. The plant we think of when we talk about marijuana and hemp is known as Cannabis sativa L. According to the US National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), Cannabis sativa L. (cannabis) contains about 540 chemical substances. Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are relevant to our interests.

While these two chemicals are found in the cannabis plant, the difference between marijuana and hemp is a matter of THC levels. The NCCIH says marijuana is a product of the cannabis plant that contains significant amounts of THC. THC is a psychoactive substance and the main element responsible for marijuana’s ability to get a user high.

Hemp is a form of cannabis that contains less THC. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines hemp as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives – whether growing or not, with a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of no more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis. “

All marijuana plants are cannabis, but not all cannabis plants are marijuana. Likewise, all hemp plants are cannabis, but not all cannabis plants are marijuana.


CBD, writes Dr. Peter Grinspoon for Harvard Health Publishing at Harvard Medical School, is the second most common active ingredient in cannabis after THC. While THC has psychoactive effects, CBD has none. It is one of the above 500+ chemicals found in the cannabis plant and found as a chemical in both marijuana and hemp. CBD on its own, whether derived from a marijuana or hemp plant, will not get a person high.

Grinspoon writes that there is some evidence that CBD may be useful in treating childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which are typically unresponsive to seizure medication. This is the only use so far that the FDA has approved a CBD product, a prescription drug called Epidiolex.

Grinspoon also points out that CBD is widely used for problems such as anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain.

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Can hemp get me high?

No Yes. Kind of?

Marijuana is cannabis with a high THC content. Hemp is cannabis that has too low levels of THC (less than 0.3 percent by law) to get a person high. THC is delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol.

But there is also delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol.

According to Leafly, a cannabis website founded in 2010 that, among other things, provides information on cannabis products, both delta-8 and delta-9 forms of THC are and almost identical.

Delta-8, like Delta-9 (regular THC), binds to the body’s endocannabinoid system, causing you to feel high. Chemically, Delta-8 and Delta-9 are similar in that they both have a double bond in their structures. It is believed that this double bond creates the intoxicating effects that get you high.


While both have a double bond on a chain of carbon atoms, Delta-8 has that bond on the 8th atom while Delta-9 has it on the 9th.

The DailyCBD website says that Delta-8-THC is roughly half the strength of Delta-9-THC in terms of potency. Although less potent, both DailyCBD and Leafly report that Delta-8 produces a high similar to Delta-9.

There is also delta-10 THC, which has its double bond on the 10th carbon atom and is also described as about half as strong as delta-8.


The status of Delta 8 THC products is a gray area. Similar to CBD, Delta-8 products can be made from both marijuana and hemp. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the production of hemp and hemp products at the federal level. So while hemp-derived Delta-8 products are psychoactive in a similar way to marijuana (which is federally classified as the Schedule Controlled Substance), hemp-derived Delta-8 is considered legal by some at the federal level.

According to Leafly, there are currently 11 states where Delta-8 THC products are currently illegal, and many manufacturers will not be shipping products to the following states:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • New York (New York State has explicitly banned Delta-8)
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah

KELOLAND News has confirmed that hemp-derived Delta-8 and Delta-10 products are currently available in South Dakota.

All marijuana products have been illegal in South Dakota as of June 28, 2021. Medical cannabis is slated to become legal on July 1, though the state won’t start issuing medical cards until November 2021. The fate of recreational cannabis is now in the hands of the South Dakota Supreme Court after it was knocked down by a district court decision in February.

A decision not expected before July 1st

The district judgment applies until the Supreme Court decides.

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Hemp CBD products are legal in South Dakota.

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