Delta 8 THC is the new legal alternative to marijuana, but it’s also much more than that. Even in states where marijuana is legal for recreational or medical use, many people prefer it to weed. It’s less psychoactive and does a better job treating some of the disorders that would qualify you for a medical marijuana card.
Of course, finding it can be tricky. Even though it’s readily available, the products might not be safe. Here are the best delta 8 vendors and how to know if a company is trustworthy or not.
What Is Delta 8 THC?
Delta 8 THC is a psychoactive chemical found in hemp, a cannabis plant that contains less than 0.3% THC. You’re probably familiar with THC as the active ingredient in weed that produces the high. Roger Adams, a Harvard-trained chemist who taught at the University of Illinois, first documented THC and CBD in 1941.
However, in 1965 Israeli organic chemist Raphael Mechoulam, who many call “the grandfather of cannabis research,” was the first chemist to isolate THC in its pure form. He discovered delta 8 at this time as well.
Delta 8 is similar to delta 9; both cannabinoids bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. This causes them to be similar, but the differences between the two are worth mentioning.
Delta 8 THC vs. Delta 9 THC: What’s The Difference?
The difference between the two is a slight variation in their chemical structure: Delta 8 THC has a double bond on the eighth carbon atom in its molecular structure, and delta 9 THC has a double bond on the ninth carbon atom in its molecular structure. A double bond is a chemical bond in which two pairs of electrons are shared between two atoms.
This slight difference in the chemical structure makes for a significant difference in the potency of the THC. Delta 9 THC can be up to twice as potent as delta 8 THC. If you just want to get bombed, delta 9 THC can get you there a lot quicker than delta 8 THC.
Delta 8 THC, on the other hand, is considerably less psychoactive than delta 9 THC. This means that you’re less likely to experience side effects such as diminished motor skills, feelings of paranoia, anxiety, memory loss, and decreased ability to focus on the task at hand.
Since delta 8 THC is substantially less psychoactive than delta 9 THC, it produces a less intense, more manageable high than weed. In addition to being more calming and relaxing, it can also be more effective in treating some of the disorders that medical marijuana treats, including:
- Unhealthy sleep patterns
Delta 8 THC is also a better appetite stimulant, so it one-ups weed on something it has long been famous for: “the munchies.”
Delta 8 THC vs. Delta 10 THC
Delta 10’s double bond is on its 10th carbon atom. The location of the double bond in the molecular structure is what gives the compound its name. It’s also what determines how our body reacts to that particular type of THC. Delta 9 THC, the most potent of the lot so far, produces intense feelings of euphoria and increased sensory awareness.
Delta 8 THC produces a much milder, more manageable, high than delta 9 THC, with minimal side effects like paranoia, anxiety, and loss of focus.
Delta 10 THC delivers an even milder high than delta 8 THC. Milder is not to be confused with weaker. Delta 10 THC can be a completely different experience from delta 8 THC. Because it increases alertness and creativity, delta 10 is a great way to start the day.
Conversely, since it is known for its soothing, calming effect, delta 8 THC is a great way to end the day. Like delta 8 THC, delta 10 THC is not classified as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance and is legal in most states, even where recreational or medical marijuana use is still illegal.
What Are The Signs of a Quality Delta 8 Brand?
Since delta 8 THC has psychoactive properties and is legal in most states, its market has grown exponentially. As expected, this growth comes with a host of unscrupulous marketers looking to capitalize on its popularity.
This flood of delta 8 THC information and vendors can be confusing — even dangerous. Here are some things to look for to make sure you get the best delta 8 THC products your money can buy.
Full Third-Party Testing
Third-party testing means that the brand has sent its products to an independent laboratory to verify the in-house test results. Industry leaders test for more than just potency; they also test for contamination, heavy metals, and pesticides.
Many vendors post third-party test results on their websites, while others make them available upon request. If neither of these options is at your disposal, keep looking.
Lots of Positive Reviews
People who have had a bad experience generally write bad reviews — regardless of whose fault it is. If people are satisfied, they keep coming back, but they usually don’t write reviews. They have to be really impressed to take the time to share their experience. Lots of positive reviews carry weight.
Strong Mission Statement
A strong mission statement gives you specific knowledge of what a company is all about — its “purpose for being.” It’s a statement detailing what the company does, why, and its future objectives. If it sounds like something that would apply to any company in any industry, this should be a red flag.
Good User Interface
When looking for good quality delta 8 products, it is better to consider buying online rather than in local shops, suggests We Be High. A good user interface is determined by how “user-friendly” a company’s website is — how well you can get from point A to point B. It should be simple, clear of unnecessary clutter, and easy to navigate. Your decision should not be based solely on the appearance of a company’s website, but it should certainly be a part of the evaluation process when shopping for quality delta 8 THC products.
PACT Act Compliant
The Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act prohibits delta 8 THC vendors from shipping vape cartridges and products to residential addresses. The products must ship to a dispensary, or the vendor must-have software to verify the purchaser’s age.
Best Delta 8 THC Products For Sale (Top Brands For 2021)
There are hundreds of brands out there and more popping up every day. To save you some time in your search for quality delta 8 THC products, here is a list of top brands for 2021.
1. Area 52
Area 52 is considered the number one delta 8 THC brand in the country for a good reason: it meets all the criteria for the signs of a quality delta 8 brand. Out of nearly a dozen sites that rank delta 8 brands, only two did not have it at the top of the list, and it was in the top three on those two. Some of the leading popular authorities in the healthcare and cannabis industries that have listed Area 52 as their top three go-to brands are CFAH, LA Weekly, Herald Net, and Seattle Weekly.
One of Area 52’s strong suits is extensive in-house and third-party lab testing. The results of the tests are readily available by scanning the QR codes on its products. The company is consistently ranked number one in quality in market surveys.
Due to its popularity, even with its wide range of products offered, some products tend to be out of stock — but not for long. However, this negative consequence has positive benefits — it keeps the stock fresh. Area 52 is a premium brand that’s competitively priced.
2. Finest Labs
Finest Labs’ specialty is terpene extraction. The company offers dozens of high-grade terpene extracts along with high-quality delta 8 THC products. Terpene oils enhance the aroma and flavor of cannabis extracts.
Finest Labs stands out for its excellent use of the “entourage effect” for all its products. Combining THC with CBD improves the effectiveness of the CBD. Likewise, combining different cannabinoids and terpenes produces enhanced effects.
The company does all of its cannabis extractions in its 30,000 sq. ft. lab. It’s headed by a prominent biochemist and staffed with some of the best scientists in the industry.
Besides its dedication to diligence in the lab, it’s also big on third-party testing. It backs up its comprehensive in-house testing with testing by an independent lab and provides certificates of analysis for its entire product line.
The company has been awarded for having some of the best delta 8 THC products on the market — including publications such as Observer, The Daily World, Juneau Empire, Peninsula Daily News, and many others.
Finest Labs’ premium vape cart products, gummies, and tinctures are comparable to the rest of the market, but its product selection is smaller than many competitors.
3. Delta 8 Pro
Delta 8 Pro offers a wide variety of delta 8 THC products. In addition to high-quality gummies, vape products, and tinctures, the company also has a lineup of novelty products, including caviar cones, moon rocks, diamonds, and shatter.
Delta 8 Pro started as an internet company in 2008, so it has been perfecting its user interface since day one. Its well-designed website is easy to navigate, and the company’s address, phone number, and e-mail address are easy to find.
The good marks for the user interface take a hit, however, when searching for test results. The home page directs you to the product pages for the results, but you are informed on the product pages that the results are available upon request.
Everest gummies, delta 8 oils, and vape products get consistently high marks for quality. They send their in-house tests results to a third-party lab — twice. The results for each delta 8 THC product are available via a link on the product page.
Everest delta 8 gummies have been called “the very best of the best.” They’re made with pectin — a vegan alternative to gelatin — and are non-GMO and gluten and dairy-free. Unfortunately, the only flavor available is Blue Raspberry.
It may just be a matter of updating the website, but Everest appears to violate the PACT Act by still offering to ship vape products to residential addresses without age verification.
5. Delta Effex
In addition to premium quality delta 8 products, Delta Effex also has a complete line of delta 10 products. However, third-party lab test results show that all delta 10 products contain considerably more delta 8 THC than delta 10 THC. Even so, the “entourage effect” of the products makes for a unique experience. The delta 10 gummies come highly recommended.
6. Exhale Wellness
Exhale Wellness is a team of cultivators, researchers, and enthusiasts with decades of experience in the organic food industry. Its niche is all vegan, organic, plant-based cannabis products.
Although the company does third-party testing, it’s still sketchy at best. Some of the products are tested for potency only, and there are no test results available for any vape products.
Moonwlkr, launched in 2020, has a loyal following. The company consistently gets great reviews for all of its products. In addition to delta 8 gummies, tinctures, and vape products, Moonwlkr has great deals on delta 8 THC bundles, an excellent selection of cannabinoid blends, and a very reasonably priced CCELL Palm vaporizer battery.
Moonwlkr does complete testing on all of its delta 8 THC products, and all results are available on the company website. It seems to be doing all of the right things, except maybe one. It does not appear to be PACT Act compliant.
8. Diamond CBD
Diamond CBD is a veteran in the cannabis industry that has recently shifted its production to delta 8 THC extracts. Nowadays, it sells a wide range of THC products, including oils, vapes, edibles, and pre-rolled joints.
What’s unique about Diamond CBD is its formula, which is a combination of delta 8 THC distillate and full-spectrum CBD. The result is a high-quality product that’s specially designed to reduce the chance of side effects such as lethargy or coordination problems.
Nonetheless, we can’t ignore the fact that Diamond CBD dropped the ball with its third-party lab tests. Just like Delta 8 Pro, it only tests for potency levels and completely ignores any possible contaminants. As a result, we aren’t completely sure if its products are made from organic hemp or other low-quality alternatives.
Most delta 8 THC enthusiasts know Binoid as a pioneer in the THC industry. In fact, Binoid is now one of the most popular delta 8 THC companies that delivers a variety of products such as tinctures, capsules, gummies, and concentrates.
But Binoid’s popularity didn’t stop the focus on quality, as its products are very effective and reliable. Not only that, but Binoid puts a lot of time and effort into its transparency. As a result, all of its products are tested in an independent laboratory, providing customers with accurate information about potency, ingredients, and concentrations.
All in all, Binoid is a great choice for any delta 8 THC veteran. However, its prices can be a bit steep, especially with so many cheaper alternatives out there.
This company has one of the most extensive product lineups in the market. It carries almost any cannabis extract available and some that are probably not available anywhere else. The edibles offered include cookies, brownies, and cereal treats.
3Chi, a leader in cannabinoid research, was founded by a biochemist who personally experienced the positive medical benefits of cannabis extracts.
What Are the Benefits of Delta 8 THC?
Delta 8 THC has firmly established itself as a major player in the cannabinoid market in a remarkably short amount of time. The reason for its initial success is twofold: it’s psychoactive, and it’s legal in most places where weed is not.
What keeps it rising through the ranks is that even in states where weed is legal, it’s considerably less psychoactive than weed. This means you still get high, but without the paranoia and anxiety.
Clinical studies show that delta 8 THC is also just as good as — or better in some instances — than marijuana for treating some conditions.
Here are a few of the benefits of delta 8 THC:
- Relieves pain and inflammation
- Eliminates nausea
- Eases anxiety and depression
- Better appetite stimulant
- Helps you sleep better
How Much Does Delta 8 THC Cost?
The price of delta 8 THC varies with the product. Vape products cost the most; gummies cost the least.
Here’s the average cost per milligram of delta 8:
- Vape carts: $0.08 – $0.15
- Tinctures: $0.6 – $0.12
- Gummies: $0.05 – $0.10
How Much Delta 8 THC Should I Take?
It depends on several things, including your body size and metabolism, how well you tolerate psychoactive substances, and your previous experience with THC.
The “average dose” of delta 8 THC is between 10 – 40 milligrams, depending on your tolerance level. If you’re brand new to the experience, start low and work your way up to what is comfortable for you. Even if you have been smoking weed for a long time, start slow anyway. Delta 8 THC and delta 9 THC are different animals.
Is Delta 8 THC Synthetic?
No. A source of confusion may be that a synthetic process is usually used to extract delta 8 THC from hemp. This process doesn’t change the molecular structure of delta 8, nor does it suddenly become unnatural. It remains the original, natural compound.
There are some synthetic cannabinoids out there, however. These are man-made chemicals designed to mimic the effects of THC. Two of the most popular ones are “Spice” and “K-2.” Synthetic compounds are toxic and deadly. Avoid them at all costs.
Summary: What’s The Best Delta 8 THC Products?
Simply put, the best delta 8 THC products are the ones that come from brands that set quality, safety, and service above all else.
There are many brands out there, and it can take a little work to separate the wheat from the chaff. If you don’t have time to put in the necessary work, just start at the top.
Area 52 and Finest Labs are great examples of brands that check all of the boxes.