CBD has been booming in the cannabis industry, but it’s not the only lesser-known cannabinoid getting the spotlight. Delta 8 THC – also known as “diet cannabis” has become increasingly popular because of its milder psychoactive effects and lowered risk of adverse effects such as anxiety and paranoia. Even better, the most creative entrepreneurs have noted that the 2018 Farm Bill left delta 8 in a grey area where it’s technically legal, even though it’s a very close analog to its well-known illegal cousin, delta 9 THC.
But with a sudden increase in interest, there’s going to be a lot of substandard products out there until the market develops. In this article, we’re going to talk about the benefits of buying d8 products from online retailers versus buying them from local shops, and how to avoid products that could be potentially harmful to your health.
Local Versus Online Products
Delta 8 products are an increasingly attractive alternative for people who want to avoid potential paranoia or anxiety from traditional cannabis products, so the market is going to be flooded with them for the next little while. Right now, you can find d8 anywhere – online stores, licensed dispensaries, vape shops, and even gas stations are trying to cash in on the new cannabis craze.
However, that doesn’t mean that every product on the market at the moment is safe. Customers interested in delta 8 right now are going to face the same challenges that CBD users went through a few years ago: too many poor-quality brands flooding the market seeking to make a quick buck. These products are currently unregulated, making it easy for these companies to sell you products that aren’t as potent as advertised or are contaminated due to improper manufacturing processes or bleaches to make the product look purer than it is.
Whether you decide to buy locally or online, it’s important to choose companies and products that are verified by third-party labs as safe and effective.
Benefits of Buying Delta 8 From Online Shops
Currently, the preferred place to get delta 8 products is from online retailers. There are plenty of perks that shopping online offers that getting products locally does not, including:
Wider Selections of Products
Most local retailers will only have one or two types of delta 8 products in stock – most likely tinctures and vapes. Online stores often offer a wider variety of products, including things such as concentrates, distillates, and edibles. This can help you better choose a product that suits your preferences and needs.
Traditional brick-and-mortar shops selling delta 8 near me need to cover certain overhead costs – this translates directly into higher prices for their products. Online shops cut out the middleman completely, allowing them to offer lower prices as well as discounts, coupons, and even rewards programs.
Online shopping has been so effective in replacing live shopping in the past decade simply because it’s so convenient. You can browse through different shops and products, flavors, potencies, and price ranges right from your couch. There’s no need to drive around the city to different dispensaries and no pressure to buy while you’re in a certain shop. Yet another benefit is that you can use your credit card while shopping online – many dispensaries and head shops in the United States only accept cash at the moment.
Shopping online allows you to buy delta 8 products directly from their manufacturer, making researching and finding a safe product easier. Most reputable websites will have pages where you can read about their manufacturing process, as well as certificates of third-party analysis for every batch of their products and user reviews.
The Best Online Delta 8 Brands for Delta 8 Near Me
Most Reliable: Area 52
If you’re looking for a delta 8 company that excels at practicing safe and ethical production standards, then look no further than Area 52. The company is relatively new and based in California, and they offer a wide selection of premium delta 8 products made from organic hemp, including tinctures, vapes, and gummies. Every batch of every product is tested in an ISO-certified third-party lab for potency and purity, and you can access each lab certificate on their website.
Their delta 8 tincture is a broad-spectrum distillate that comes with a total of 1,200 mg of delta 8, infused with a gentle natural vanilla flavor or delicious cherry flavor. One dose contains 40 mg of delta 8, which is enough to provide the various health benefits such as anxiety management, and also feel psychoactive effects for about four hours.
They also offer delta 8 gummies in three flavors: Pineapple, Strawberry, and Green Apple. Each gummy is pretty potent, containing about 25 mg of delta 8. They’re made with organic ingredients and contain no animal derivatives or wheat, making them vegan and gluten-free.
They also offer delta 8 THC vape cartridges that contain 900 mg of d8 and a blend of strain-specific terpenes from the wildly popular Pineapple Express strain, to Berry Gelato or Granddaddy Purple. Their cartridges are excellent for daytime consumption with their smooth buzz and burst of energy.
Learn more: Best Delta 8 THC Gummies
Best for New Users: Finest Labs
Finest Labs is another new kid on the block in the cannabis market, but they’re still dazzling consumers with their premium array of products. Their selection is similar to Area 52, but they focus on offering lower potencies that make their products better for new users. These products are also excellent for lightweight users with lower tolerances or who just want to use the products for their health benefits with minimal psychoactive effects.
Their small dosages (600 mg in tinctures or 25 mg each in gummies) make it easy to experiment with different dosages to find what works best for you. And the best part? The lower dosages make this brand more affordable, making it the perfect premium delta 8 brand for a wide range of users.
Learn more: Best Delta 8 THC Vape Carts
As one of the most popular delta-8 selling brands, Delta Effex knows how to live up to our expectations. The company prides itself on its delta-8 tinctures, cartridges, pens, edibles, and shots. Recently, the Delta Effex experts have also introduced a brand-new omega collection. So, their delta-8 products enhanced with THC-O are a must-try.
Unfortunately, the only thing that their goods lack is adequate lab testing. Unlike their competitors from above, Delta Effex products don’t go through heavy-metal, moisture, filth, or pesticide checks. So, if we value transparency and safety more than anything, this can dissuade us from trying Delta Effex delta 8.
The team of researchers from Exhale Wellness cares about our well-being. Because our health is their top priority, they use organically grown hemp without herbicides, pesticides, or unauthorized fertilizers. Their delta-8 products go through third-party lab tests where their purity gets assessed.
Exhale Wellness offers a wide range of delta-8 goods such as gummies, cartridges, flowers, and cigarettes. With its high-quality products, the company swears to restore the stability and performance of our bodies. These experts believe that nature holds the key to wellness. That’s why they offer only the organic products that help us become our best versions.
With Everest delta-8 products, we’re likely to be on top of the world. Thanks to its organic hemp, this brand creates only the purest of products. So, the highest advantage of Everest is that it values the safety of its goods more than anything.
Also, the team members behind Everest pride themselves on performing lab tests, not once but twice. All of their delta-8 products are non-GMO and contain no pesticides. So, we’re more than free to choose from their collection of cartridges, oils, and one-flavored gummies.
The team of experts behind Diamond CBD aims at producing high-quality hemp extracts containing a wide range of cannabinoids. So, we shouldn’t let the name of this brand fool us because Diamond CBD has become equally famous for its delta 8. Currently, the company offers vapes, edibles, capsules, cartridges, and pre-rolls infused with delta 8.
Because it wants to see content customers, the company tests the potency of its goods. However, the biggest drawback of Diamond CBD is that it doesn’t check its products’ purity. In other words, its delta-8 products don’t go through pesticide, herbicide, or heavy-metal checks. We might want to wait for the reports about such contaminants before we give their products a try.
Apart from offering CBD, CBN, and THC products, this company has been one of the first brands to launch delta 8. Today, the main advantage of 3Chi is that it produces a great deal of different delta-8 goods. Thus, the traditional vapes, tinctures, and gummies get outshined by yummy delta-8 cookies, brownies, and cereal treats.
This brand’s products are not only delicious but also safe and legal. 3Chi also puts a lot of effort into lab testing. Therefore, all its products get a COA before they become available. This document guarantees high purity and potency of the company’s delta-8 goods.
The Dangers of Buying Low-Quality Delta 8 Products
Whether you decide to buy your products online or from local shops, there are a few things to be wary of while choosing your products.
The first pitfall is legality – while delta 8 THC is theoretically legal under the 2018 Farm Bill, it sits in a grey area that depends on the source of the cannabinoid. To ensure that the products you’re purchasing are legal, you must ensure that the delta 8 in them is only derived from hemp plants – in states where marijuana and its derivatives have been legalized (of which there are currently 15), you may also purchase delta 8 products that are derived from marijuana plants.
The second concern is safety – if the delta 8 products you’re buying come from an unverified source, you put yourself at risk of being exposed to toxic chemicals that haven’t been removed properly after the extraction process or bleaches that are used to cover up an impure product.
There are only a few brands on the market offering delta 8 THC that test their products in third-party labs for potency and purity. The vast majority of products that you’ll find in today’s market are not certified and could potentially expose you to the dangers described above. Doing proper research on delta 8 near me before purchasing them is imperative for keeping yourself safe.
What to Look for When Choosing a Delta 8 Product?
No two delta 8 products are exactly alike, and there are a range of important factors to consider before buying a product.
Delta 8 THC can be extracted from either cannabis or hemp plants, which affects a product’s legality in certain states. In states where marijuana isn’t yet legal, only delta 8 products derived from hemp are considered legal. Regardless of which plant the product is derived from, you should ensure that the company is careful about the quality of the hemp that they’re using to create their product – cannabis plants are bioaccumulators and store pretty much everything that’s around them while they grow. Organic hemp plants bring the least contaminants into the delta 8 extraction process, making it the ideal candidate for these types of products.
There are a few different ways to convert cannabinoids into delta 8 THC, but they are not all created equal. At the moment, there are two steps to the only process that is considered legal. The first is the extraction of various cannabinoids and terpenes from hemp plants via CO2 extraction, a method that uses pressurized carbon dioxide to extract these components without aggressive solvents or heat. The second part is how delta 8 THC is made – in the United States, only products that use delta 8 that were converted from CBD into delta 9 and then into delta 8 are legal.
This is mostly a customer preference, but it’s also important to verify that the delta 8 products you purchase from a company are actually as potent as the packaging says they are. Some shadier companies never test their products to check if the potency measurements are correct, or that the cannabinoids and terpenes that are listed on the label are actually in them. Only purchase products that have been tested for these factors to ensure you’re getting the right dose.
This is the main thing to look for when you’re buying delta 8 products. Companies that are trustworthy and dedicated to making a quality product will send a small sample of each batch of product to independent labs to be tested. These labs determine the potency of each sample, the full cannabinoid and terpene profile of the product, and whether the product contains any contaminants, such as heavy metals, pesticides, mold, or solvents from the extraction. If a company is not publishing a Certificate of Analysis (COA) for each batch of product, or at least providing them to consumers via email, take your business elsewhere.
One of the best ways to find delta 8 products that are safe is to search for brands that have already established themselves as trustworthy within the market. Some reputable CBD companies have opted to expand their product lines into delta 8 products, and these may be a good place to start. Search for positive user reviews from third-party sources, and as always, look for the independent lab reports.
Learn more: Where to Buy Weed Near Me?
Getting to Know Delta 8 THC
Delta 8 THC (short for delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol) is a close cousin of the cannabinoid that’s known for causing the traditional “high” from marijuana products, delta 9 THC. However, one of them has been banned in the United States on a federal level since 1937, while the other remains relatively unregulated in the US market.
This is due to the slight difference in delta 8’s molecular structure. This difference makes it half as potent, with milder intoxicating effects and a much lower risk of negative side effects such as a racing heartbeat, anxiety, and paranoia.
Delta 8 isn’t naturally produced by cannabis plants – rather, the cannabinoid is a by-product of delta 9 THC degrading over time. Delta 9 degrades into two compounds: CBN, a cannabinoid known for its minimal psychoactive effects and increase in sedation, and delta 8 THC. The amount that this process naturally creates is negligible, so the delta 8 used in products that are on the market is made through a more complex chemical process.
Essentially, CBD is converted into delta 9 THC, which is then converted into delta 8 THC. This process requires a lot of toxic ingredients such as heavy metals and solvents, but a reputable product will be purified before it’s put on the market. A pure delta 8 distillate will be slightly pink in color – a clear or white distillate means that the company has used bleaching agents to make the product look more pure, and should not be trusted.
The Legal Side of Delta 8 THC
At the moment, delta 8 THC products occupy the same legal grey area that CBD products do – their legality is entirely dependent on the plant that they’re derived from. In 2018, the Trump administration put the Farm Bill into effect, which made a clear distinction between marijuana plants and hemp plants. Hemp, having been previously lumped into the same category as marijuana, was reclassified into the agricultural commodity category, on the same level as crops such as canola and flax. Products derived from hemp are federally legal as long as they contain less than 0.3% delta 9 THC.
However, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has a different opinion on delta 8 THC. They argue that delta 8 falls into the “tetrahydrocannabinol” category, making them controlled substances under federal law. This classification would make the production and sale of synthetic delta 8 THC products a felony offence. The only saving grace for the delta 8 THC market at the moment is that the way that delta 8 is extracted makes it ineligible to be classified as “synthetically derived,” making it technically exempt from the DEA’s argument as well.
Until the issue is clarified, delta 8 THC products remain technically legal at the federal level. Eleven states have banned delta 8 THC entirely: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island, and Utah.
As the interest in delta 8 near me grows and the market develops, there are more and more entrepreneurial minds eager to get a piece of the action. While there are some companies that produce safe, high-quality delta 8 products, the unregulated state of the market makes it all too easy for disreputable companies to churn out low-quality products that can be dangerous to the consumer.
The best way to find safe delta 8 products at the moment is to search for a trustworthy online store. The market structure for trustworthy local delta 8 products isn’t quite in place yet, though we hope that it will be in the future. For now, turn to online stores for better product variety, easier vetting of trustworthy products, and a more convenient shopping experience.
If you prefer local cannabis products, you’re most likely to find safe, reputable delta 8 products in states where marijuana has been legalized. Cannabis dispensaries in these states are required to comply with state regulations for the sale and quality of all cannabis products, so you’re less likely to run into a shady company selling a bad product. If you’re not from a state where marijuana is legal, be sure to do your research on hemp-derived delta 8 products to ensure that they’re safe for you to consume.