The advent of delta 8 is one that has, undeniably, changed the landscape of the THC market. It opens up the possibility of more people being able to purchase delta 8 near them without nearly as much fear of legal repercussions. This is because the 2018 Farm Bill allows for delta 8 to still remain legal despite the closely related delta 9 being outlawed. It is so much easier for people to purchase delta 8, so it becomes more important to understand what goes into buying delta 8 and what you need to look for.
For instance, one debate that many people have is whether or not to purchase their delta 8 online, or to look for delta 8 near me. There are benefits to both, just as there are detriments to both.
What Are the Main Differences Between Local Vendors and Online Shops?
Obviously, one of the key differences between shopping locally and shopping online is the fact that one option can be done from the comfort of your own home and the other option requires you to physically go to a store. However, there are more differences beyond this. Delta 8 is considerably more popular online, meaning that for some people, it might be the only available option. For other people, there may be higher-quality products at an established shop, especially in locations where recreational delta 9 is legalized.
When Are Online Shops More Appropriate?
While local stores do have their place in terms of being a better option, there are more people all across the country who find that online shops are going to be more appropriate. Online vendors often have a variety of features that people cannot get in-store, if they even have a local store near them at all. Some of these features include the following areas.
Larger Product Selection
Obviously, physical stores are limited by space. This situation is heightened when the stores are also selling other products, whether those are CBD-based products or delta 9-focused products. As such, many physical stores will only have a couple delta 8 products that you can look at, with those products commonly being tinctures or vape cartridges.
By comparison, online stores typically have a much wider range of products as they can display them through a website, rather than having to set up the space in a store. There is often more variety in the products as well in terms of the type of product, the flavors of the product, and the potency of the product. In general, online stores are going to have a much wider range to choose from with that range including higher quality products.
Prices Are Often Lower
No matter how earnest a shopkeeper’s goal is of trying to provide relief to customers with delta 8 products, the goal of a physical store is to turn a profit. There are quite a few more expenses and fees that physical locations have to cover compared to online stores and this usually translates into higher prices at the physical stores.
The online market, with as many shops both reliable and unreliable as there are, is highly competitive. This creates an atmosphere where not only is there no middleman to pay fees to, but every online store wants to have the best prices. Many online vendors will have frequent and recurring discounts, coupon codes, reward programs, and promotions to try and be the best vendor that their customers can purchase from, often resulting in noticeably lower prices, even after shipping costs are factored in.
One of the most obvious benefits of being able to purchase products online is the fact that it is more convenient for just about everyone. Even if you have a physical location that is a comfortable distance away, you still have to take the time out of your day to go there. When shopping online, you don’t have to move from your seat and you can take all the time you need without someone waiting on you.
Additionally, most physical stores only accept cash in terms of payment. This is another layer of inconvenience, as a lot of people don’t carry much cash on them. When shopping from an online vendor, you can generally use credit and debit cards for payment, allowing for a smoother process.
Purchases Are More Informed
When you go to a store to purchase delta 8 products, it is considered rude and discourteous to stand in the store and begin researching a company. It takes time and generally doesn’t end well for anyone involved. However, when you choose to shop online, you can take all the time that you need to research various delta 8 companies so that you can feel confident in purchasing from them.
The Most Reliable Delta 8 Brand Near Me: Area 52
If you are new to purchasing delta 8, you may not know what to begin your search for or where you should even start. A good place to start is with a brand that is known for its reputation and reliability, such as Area52. This brand, based in California, is a relatively new brand that offers a variety of high-quality products. They have a focus on making sure that they are transparent and that they offer a number of third-party tests for potency and purity alike.
There are a number of products that this company offers, allowing you to experiment with what works best for you. There are tinctures that contain a total of 1,200 mg of delta 8 with one serving equaling about 40 mg. There are gummies in three different flavors, with each gummy being about 25 mg and made from organic, vegan, and allergen-safe ingredients. Finally, there are vape cartridges that offer strain-specific terpenes designed for daytime consumption.
With a combination of reliability, reputation, and quality, this is one of the best brands to dive into during your search for delta 8.
Learn more: Best Delta 8 THC Gummies
The Best Delta 8 Brand for New Users: Finest Labs
The common rule of thumb for trying THC products is to start with a low dose and then work your way up to a dose that you find comfortable. If you choose to follow this adage, you might find that some of the higher doses from companies such as Area52 are a bit daunting. Thankfully, Finest Labs aims to cover this area. With products focused toward people who are trying delta 8 for the first time and don’t want to go all in and for people who have a low tolerance for delta 8, this company offers products with notably lower potencies and prices.
For instance, the tinctures offered start at 500 mg rather than 1,200 mg, allowing for an easier time finding the right dose for you. The gummies start at 10 mg rather than 25 mg as well. This allows for new users to slowly get used to the feel of delta 8 and work their way up toward a dose that provides health benefits and an optimal high without getting overwhelmed. It also works for people who have a lower tolerance and don’t want to be splitting doses all the time and paying high amounts for something they cannot fully use.
Learn more: Best Delta 8 THC Tinctures
What Risks Are There with Low Quality Delta 8?
As with any area that is as unregulated as delta 8 is, there are going to be risks in terms of lower quality products. On one hand, you may be able to save some money by going for a brand that doesn’t use premium ingredients. On the other hand, you may end up risking your health as well as accidentally purchasing an illegal product if you choose to purchase from a lower quality company. These are the two biggest risks you face if you look into skimping on quality.
The best way to combat this is to get a good sense of where the company is sourcing their delta 8 from and what their third-party lab reports are saying in terms of content. In terms of legality, the only federally legal delta 8 products are those that are derived from hemp plants. In states where recreational marijuana is legalized, delta 8 can be sourced from these plants as well. In terms of what the product contains and how it was sourced, you need to look for the extraction method and the third-party lab reports when you search for your delta 8 products.
What Should You Look for When Shopping for Delta 8?
When you begin the search for delta 8 products online, there are four main areas you will need to consider. These include the source of the delta 8, how it was obtained, the potency and purity, and the brand’s reputation. All of these play a role in determining a reliable and reputable brand to purchase from.
Where the Delta 8 Comes From
Delta 8 can be extracted from mature hemp or marijuana plants, though the latter is only legal in states where recreational marijuana is legalized. Cannabis plants are highly effective bioaccumulators, so they take in just about every substance that they have access to. For instance, if a hemp plant is located in an area with contaminated soil, the hemp product itself will be contaminated. If a hemp plant is located in an area that purposefully doesn’t use any pesticides or plant boosters, the hemp product will be just as clean. It is important to consider the environment that your product was grown in, as even after processing, it can still carry substances that it grew up with.
How it Is Extracted
The way that the delta 8 is extracted from the plant plays a large role in its purity. There are a couple common methods that people use. In states where marijuana is recreationally legalized, extracting delta 8 straight from the plant is the optimal method, as it doesn’t use any harmful chemicals. However, this is not an option everywhere. The next best method is to rely on the golden standard of the cannabis market: CO2 extraction. This process uses carbon dioxide that has been pressurized to the point that it has the properties of both liquid and gas, effectively extracting the cannabinoids and terpenes without the need for harmful chemicals and solvents.
This extracts the CBD and other cannabinoids from the hemp plant, but to properly synthesize it into delta 8, it needs to be converted from its original CBD state into delta 9 and then into delta 8. This process makes use of toxic chemicals that, if not properly removed, will be passed on into the end product, which is where the importance of the next area comes in.
Potency and Third-Party Testing
Companies that are worth purchasing from take the time and resources to send samples of their products to unaffiliated third-party laboratories for testing and content analysis. These labs, which are not affiliated with the company producing the delta 8 products, then run a variety of meticulous tests. These tests focus on the potency and the cannabinoid and terpene profiles of the sample. Then the labs will run tests for potential contaminants that the sample product may have encountered over the course of its life. These include pesticides and growth boosters, fungi, mold, mildew, heavy metals, and residual solvents from the extraction and conversion process.
Assuming the product passes the tests for these, it receives a Certificate of Analysis that is published by the third-party lab. The company then either publishes the report on their website, or has a readily available link to the report that customers can visit. Some companies choose to email these publications out. Regardless of how it is done, if a company does not readily make these results available for potential customers to view, it is not a company to be trusted.
The Overall Reputation of the Brand
At last, there is the reputation of the brand. If a particular brand is known for having questionable products and forged analyses, then there’s a good chance that it is not a brand that you will want to rely on. There are numerous blogs, forums, and communities that dedicate themselves to reviewing new, upcoming, and well-known brands so that this information is available to anyone who has an interest. This is a great way to get a general sense of how reliable a brand is before you purchase from them.
Learn more: Where to Buy Weed Online?
What Exactly Is Delta 8, Anyway?
Delta 8, scientifically known as delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, is one of the THC compounds that gives the high that cannabis is known for. It is highly similar but not quite the same as the usual THC compound that is associated with marijuana: delta 9 (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). The reason why one remains outlawed and one remains somewhat legal is within the molecular structure of these two compounds.
While the names might be similar, molecularly, there is quite a difference. Delta 8’s structure means that it is about half as potent as delta 9, which is one of the main reasons why users report that it is a much smoother high with fewer negative side effects such as anxiety and paranoia.
One of the main reasons why delta 8 has to be synthesized is that cannabis plants do not naturally and readily produce delta 8. Instead, when delta 9 breaks down, the byproducts are two compounds. These compounds are delta 8 and CBN. The majority of the THC from delta 9 passes into CBN, which is a more sedating cannabinoid than it is psychoactive. A negligible amount of THC passes into delta 8, negligible enough that it remains fairly legal.
How Is Delta 8 Produced?
As mentioned earlier, because delta 8 cannot be produced from cannabis plants naturally, it is extracted as CBD and then converted through a specialized process that has been developed over time. Both hemp and marijuana can be used during this process. Optimally, it is sourced directly from the delta 9 in marijuana plants, but in states where recreational marijuana is not legalized, it has to be synthesized from hemp.
Is Delta 8 Legal in the United States?
Delta 8’s legal status is in a bit of a questionable area. On a federal level, it depends on how the delta 8 was sourced. In states where recreational marijuana is legalized, sourcing it from those marijuana plants is legal. In all other states, delta 8 that has been sourced from marijuana remains illegal. For hemp-derived delta 8, as long as the THC content does not exceed the 0.3% mandated by the 2018 Farm Bill, it remains legal on a federal level.
However, it gets much more complicated than this. The Drug Enforcement Agency’s perspective is that tetrahydrocannabinols are classified as controlled substances, which means that production, synthetization, and sale of any tetrahydrocannabinol is a felony. The problem with this perspective is that, by definition, synthetically derived products are made in a laboratory with synthetic ingredients, whereas the conversion for delta 8 is done through a plant-derived process where even the solvents used are removed by the end of the process.
In short, delta 8’s overall legal situation is in a grey space until government officials provide a clearer answer. Some state governments have given their answer though. In Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island, and Utah, delta 8 is explicitly banned from being sold and manufactured. In these states, delta 8 is firmly illegal, though not at a federal level.
Learn more: Marijuana Dispensaries Near Me
Final Words to Keep in Mind When Purchasing Delta 8 Products
When planning your purchase of delta 8 products, it can be exhilarating to explore the wild market. But there are risks that you have to keep in mind, as the responsibility to shop safely falls entirely on you. You will need to make sure that you know what makes a reliable vendor and what practices you should look for, with those being the transparency of the company, the lab reports, the extraction process, and the source of the plant itself. As long as you know what you are looking for, you will be able to shop confidently both online and in local stores.