Delta 8 THC is one of the three primary forms of THC (Δ8, Δ9, & Δ10).
Δ8 is popular for having a smoother effect profile, provides better clarity of thought, and doesn’t tend to produce anxious side-effects like other THC products.
If you’re interested in buying delta 8 THC, there are a few important factors to be aware of first — not all delta 8 is equal.
The best place to buy delta 8 THC products in the United States is online.
There are several good reasons for this, which we’ll touch on throughout this article.
BUYING DELTA 8 THC ONLINE VS. IN-STORE: PROS & CONS
The world of delta 8 THC is still very young — the first delta 8 products to enter the market only appeared in late 2018. It’s only this year (2021) that they’ve started to take off among the mainstream public.
As is the case with any new industry — there are a lot of shockingly poor-quality products being passed off as “premium.” Some companies seem to be banking off the lack of knowledge among consumers in this space by slapping an attractive label on the side of an otherwise substandard cannabis extract.
While buying online doesn’t fix this issue, it does offer an added layer of protection. It gives customers a chance to do some research before they buy and provides access to links to independent lab tests. These tests are designed to provide transparency for a company’s products.
ADVANTAGES OF BUYING DELTA 8 THC ONLINE
- It’s Cheaper Online — there are fewer costs involved with online shops, which means the profit margins are higher, and companies can afford to give better prices or discounts.
- Online shops offer more transparency — one of the first things you should look for when buying delta 8 is third-party testing, which is only available with online shopping (more on this later)
- Buying online is more convenient — you probably buy most of your items online these days. The process is easier and rarely incurs additional costs. Why shouldn’t delta 8 be any different?
BUYING DELTA 8 THC: IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK
As you can probably guess, we’re big proponents of using delta 8 THC too. Prior to forming Official Farmacy, we were customers ourselves. We know just how easy it is to fall for some of the misleading marketing claims laid out by companies operating in this space. We also empathize with the difficulty you’re probably facing as you try to decide what vendors are reputable and which ones aren’t.
So here are three questions you should ask when ordering from any supplier to ensure the products you’re getting are legit and safe to consume.
1. IS IT THIRD-PARTY TESTED?
This is the number one question you should be asking. If there’s no third-party testing clearly linked from the company website — DON’T BUY IT.
If you’re not sure what this means. A third-party test is a lab test done by a facility that has no affiliation with the manufacturer — AKA a third-party.
A sample is sent from the manufacturer to this lab to be tested. There are several prominent labs in the US that offer this service. The lab will check the cannabinoid ratios and scan the sample for contaminants or adulterants. These labs operate on a platform of integrity and will record anything they find — regardless if it’s in the best interest of the manufacturer or not.
These tests are then sent back to the manufacturer.
If these test results aren’t ideal (it shows signs of contamination, high delta 9 THC levels, low delta 8 levels, etc.), the company has two options:
- They can choose to throw the bad batch out and try again.
- They can avoid posting the results, so people don’t find out.
The second option is why we need to always check third-party tests when shopping for delta 8. The risk of contamination with heavy metals or solvents is high, so we should always be extra sure the products we’re ordering are clean and safe.
2. WHERE DID THE STARTING MATERIAL COME FROM?
There are two ways to make delta 8 THC — the first is to use marijuana plants, the second is to use hemp plants instead.
Depending on where you live, the starting material the company uses is very important.
Delta 8 THC extracts that were made from marijuana are considered illegal by the US federal government. Only a select few states allow products made from marijuana without a doctor’s approval.
On the other hand, products made from hemp are considered legal by the US federal government. There are a few state laws that are an exception to this rule, however.
Always look for products that are made from hemp rather than marijuana just to be safe.
3. HOW WAS THE EXTRACT MADE?
There are a few ways to make delta 8 THC, but the only federally legal method is to derive this cannabinoid from hemp (rather than from marijuana).
Some companies are using old methods of creating delta 8 THC that risk contaminating the sample with delta 9 THC (illegal) or worse — organic solvents, heavy metals, or acids.
Companies that aren’t taking these measures or making the necessary investment to keep the final product contaminant-free have a much higher risk of contamination with toxic elements. Heavy metals can cause nerve damage, memory loss, autoimmunity, and much worse.
IS DELTA 8 THC LEGAL WHERE I LIVE?
This is actually the first question you should be asking — is delta 8 THC legal?
Delta 8 is considered legal federally, and there is no mention of the compound on any of the official drug scheduling laws. However, the feds make it very clear that any products made from marijuana plants are prohibited — including delta 8.
Therefore, the only form of delta 8 that’s legal is those made from the hemp form of the cannabis plant.
Hemp is defined as any Cannabis sativa strain that produces less than 0.3% THC (dried weight). If a plant naturally produces any more than this, it’s classified as marijuana.
There are some exceptions to this rule. Ten US states include delta 8 products on their list of prohibited substances.
DELTA 8 THC IS ILLEGAL IN THE FOLLOWING US STATES:
- Rhode Island
TYPES OF DELTA 8 THC PRODUCTS
Delta 8 comes in many different forms, so which one should you order?
Here, we’ll briefly cover each category of delta 8 THC products available with some of the pros and cons to consider for each.
1. DELTA 8 THC DISTILLATE
The distillate is the purest form of delta 8 you’ll find. They contain anywhere from 40 to 70% delta 8 THC, with trace amounts of other cannabinoids like CBD, CBC, CBG, or delta 9 THC (make sure this cannabinoid is listed below the legal limit of 0.3%).
In its concentrated form, delta 8 THC is a sticky, highly viscous liquid. It becomes runnier with higher temperatures and thicker with lower temperatures.
You can find distillates in both a clear form and a yellowish-colored version — both forms are perfectly normal.
In its raw form, delta 8 has a yellow color, which is sometimes removed with the help of various bleaches or other chemical agents. If you want to avoid products that use these harsh chemicals, opt for products that maintain the original yellowish tone.
2. DELTA 8 THC GUMMIES
Gummies are all the rage in the CBD world and are proving to be just as popular on the delta 8 scene as well.
A gummy is made by dissolving a predefined dose of delta 8 into a sugary, gelatin gummy base. Many consider delta 8 gummies to be the best means of using this cannabinoid for two reasons:
- Gummies remove the need to do any measuring for the dose (just count the gummies).
- They mask the flavor of the extract.
You can also cut gummies into smaller pieces if you only want a half or quarter dose.
3. DELTA 8 THC CARTRIDGES
Cartridges are designed to fit on an existing vape pen. They incorporate a delta 8 distillate into a chamber along with a small heating element.
Vaping delta 8 has the fastest onset of effects. People who want their dose of delta 8 to kick in quickly will usually opt for a vape pen — which starts producing results within 10 minutes of using it. Compare this to gummies or tinctures, which may take up to an hour before they start to kick in.
Be cautious about who you order vape cartridges from. There’s been a flood of low-quality vapes hitting the market lately that use harmful ingredients like vitamin E or lead.
4. DELTA 8 THC TINCTURES
Tinctures and oils are the same things. They’re the most common form of using cannabinoids like CBD because they don’t require any smoking or inhalation, offer relatively fast onset of effects (through sublingual absorption), and allow users to measure very precise doses.
Make sure you’re familiar with the potency of the oil you’re using because they come in all different potency levels.
The best way to assess the potency is to check the amount of delta 8 THC in every 1 mL of oil. The droppers supplied with a bottle of delta 8 tincture are designed to administer exactly 1 milliliter with every pump. Squeeze the top on the dropper while empty and allow it to suck up some of the oil — this is one full dropper — AKA 1 milliliter.
The tincture should list the potency of the oil in terms of milligrams of delta 8 THC per milliliter of oil (mg/mL).
So if a bottle says 5 mg/ml, it means one full dropper delivers a dose of 5 mg of delta 8. If you want a 10 mg dose, take two droppers. If you want a 20 mg dose, take four — and so on.
FINAL THOUGHTS: WHERE TO BUY DELTA 8 THC NEARBY
As delta 8 THC becomes more popular among the mainstream, you can expect to see these products popping up more often in local dispensaries and shops.
However, most experts agree the best way to shop for delta 8 is to go to the manufacturer directly.
We may be biased in saying this (being that we’re a manufacturer), but it’s true. Shopping online is not only the easiest option, but it’s also the safest. When you order from a local shop, you won’t be able to ask for the third-party lab test for that bottle of oil (which you should always look for). This can only be done online.
Secondly, prices are almost always cheaper online — especially as it becomes exceedingly expensive to keep retail shops open. Online shops save a lot of money to operate, which allows them to offer better base prices or discounts throughout the year.