The words delta 8, d8, and delta 8 THC have been all over American media recently and are taking the cannabis industry by storm. Under the Farm Bill of 2018, this compound has been made legal since industrial hemp was federally legalized.
However, as of December 2021, 18 states have outlawed delta 8 THC. While there are many states where delta 8 THC is still legal, it remains unregulated and highly popular. Delta 8 THC products are not evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), meaning that it’s up to the consumer to decide whether a product is safe.
You might be reading this and thinking: Wait, what is delta 8 THC?
We’ll take it back to the basics for you. Also known as d8, it’s a psychoactive cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, of which marijuana and hemp are two variations. However, it’s a minor cannabinoid as it’s found in tiny amounts in the cannabis plant.
Because of this, delta 8 THC is mostly manufactured from CBD in the hemp plant. This also keeps the cannabinoid legal under the Farm Bill. While hemp is federally legalized under this bill, marijuana is not. So, extracting d8 from a marijuana plant would still be illegal.
Safest Delta 8 Companies Online
- Delta ExtraX
- Exhale Wellness
The Potential Benefits of Delta 8 THC
THC is most often associated with delta 9 THC, which is derived from the marijuana plant. But it’s only legal in certain American states, so you can’t find it everywhere. However, delta 8 THC is growing in popularity because of its legality in many states where delta 9 is illegal. Many have found that the cannabinoid has significant benefits, so states are fighting to keep it legal.
Its popularity also stems from its comparison to d9. While both delta 8 and 9 THC are psychoactive, they differ in potency and lead to different highs. Delta 8 THC appears to have lower potency than delta 9 and produces a milder high. As such, delta 8 THC could be more suitable for those with a lower tolerance to THC products.
Research on delta 8 THC is still in its infancy. However, we already have evidence of its potential therapeutic benefits. Research finds that delta 8 THC may decrease corneal pain and inflammation in mice and reduce their addictive behaviors like nicotine usage.
While these two claims were supported in mice research and not in human trials, the implications for future research are exciting. From increasing relaxation and appetite to helping with anxiety, many are finding that the cannabinoid suits them well without clinical research, though.
But it’s hard to enjoy these benefits when the consumer does not know whether a specific delta 8 THC product is safe. The FDA has warned that delta 8 products are not approved for safe use and could put public health at risk. They’re concerned with misleading product labeling and false delta 8 concentrations.
Some products are also labeled as “hemp products,” which could be misleading to consumers who then believe they’re non-psychoactive. That’s why we want to expose the bad actors and avoid certain d8 products and companies.
How to Know Which Brands to Avoid
As delta 8 remains unregulated, consumers must take matters into their own hands. Consumers have the right to know if the psychoactive they consume is safe and whether they could face adverse side effects. Unfortunately, many brands take advantage of the cannabinoid’s unregulated status and sell products that are low in quality and unsafe. They lack transparency in their processes and are shady in general.
We could name some brands that do this, but we find more value in helping you spot them on your own. So instead of simply listing delta 8 brands to avoid, we’ll equip you with the right tools to safely shop for delta 8 products.
Knowing what to look out for is crucial in an unregulated market. There are four main aspects to consider: third-party testing, reviews, the source of the hemp, and a company’s extraction methods. If the d8 brand you want to patronize passes all four requirements, you’re good to go.
- Third-Party Testing
The most important thing to look out for is third-party testing. If a delta 8 brand does not test their products at all, run. Likewise, many brands use in-house labs to do their testing, which are biased and could favor the company.
Testing is only considered third-party if it’s conducted by an independent lab that is in no way connected to the brand. The best third-party testing will assess potency, purity, quality, and the presence of toxic chemicals in the product, such as residual solvents from extraction and pesticides.
If a product has not gone through third-party testing, don’t trust it. You could be purchasing a mislabeled product that has a different quantity of delta 8 than stated on the package. A product could also contain toxic chemicals if not adequately tested, and you’d never know. (We’ll get into how a delta 8 product could have toxic chemicals in an upcoming section on extraction methods.)
This is a matter of safety, so find the proof. Many brands will say they do testing, but they won’t publicly publish their test results. Take this as another sign to back off and search for a safer and more transparent brand. Only purchase from brands that publish certificates of analysis (COA) from third-party laboratories for each product they sell.
This one seems easy, sinc it’s something we all do anyway. We almost always check out a brand’s reviews before buying a new product.
A lot of negative reviews or even no reviews are signs to back down. Heed the warnings from several negative user reviews talking about dangerous or unpleasant side effects. Also, look out for reviews that mention a company is not transparent or is dishonest about their products and testing.
Look for plenty of positive reviews by verified customers on a company’s website. But don’t stop at their site. Look on third-party websites, like Reddit threads, and even the Better Business Bureau. Don’t forget to look them up on Weedmaps, as well. The delta 8 THC community is growing and sharing their experiences and advice online. Independent sources such as these will probably be less biased.
But reviews cannot be your only confirmation of a safe product. There’s a worrying trend of fake reviews online where companies pay people to write fake reviews or utilize bots to do it. It’s been noted thatfake online reviews impact $791 billion in e-commerce spending annually in the US, making it a profitable strategy for online companies.
It’s often quite difficult to spot fake reviews. So looking at reviews is important, but don’t use this method alone to ensure your safety.
We often forget to think about sourcing, one of the first processes in manufacturing a delta 8 THC product. Hemp can be successfully grown without pesticides and agricultural chemicals that can lead to respiratory issues in humans, as well as allergies and other issues. Look for brands that source their hemp from sustainable and health-conscious farmers. Not only are they better for the environment, but they’re more likely to grow their hemp on clean soil.
However, also know that theU.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved some pesticides for hemp cultivation that are safe, mostly biopesticides that come from natural materials like plants and minerals.
The extraction method also impacts consumer safety regarding the cannabis plant used. Delta 8 should always be extracted from the hemp plant so that it remains legal. If the cannabinoid is extracted from a marijuana plant, not only is this illegal, but this could impact your high with an overabundance of delta 9. To be considered hemp, the plant must contain less than 0.3% delta 9 THC. Some people find that consuming d9 leads to anxiety and paranoia, so be careful.
Again, third-party testing here is crucial. The product must fall within legal limits of delta 9 THC when you look at a certificate of analysis. If it has more, it came from a marijuana plant.
If a brand is not transparent about its sourcing methods, it may not be safe. To check if a brand’s delta 8 product is safe and legitimate, make sure they publish COAs from third parties that look for these. If you can’t find them, explore another brand.
- Extraction Methods
The way in which a manufacturer extracts delta 8 will have an impact on the product’s safety. To understand why that is, let’s look at how extraction occurs.
To keep the cannabinoid legal under the Farm Bill, delta 8 is extracted from CBD in hemp. The most common way to do this is by using solvents to synthesize CBD.
First, a solvent is applied to the hemp, causing the plant to release CBD and other cannabinoids. Then, the solvent is heated so that they separate without damaging the solution. The last step is to neutralize and clean the solution, usually with distilled water and sodium bicarbonate wash. This ensures that the extraction doesn’t leave behind unwanted byproducts that could be dangerous to the consumer, i.e. the solvent residue.
Unfortunately, many brands do a poor job at this last step, or they skip it altogether. And unethical manufacturers prefer to save money rather than consider the health of the consumer. Third-party testing will help you avoid a delta 8 product with solvents or other chemicals embedded into it.
It doesn’t matter the source; if your d8 product is tainted in manufacturing or processing, there’s nothing you can do but avoid it.
Where to Buy Delta 8: Top 5 Safest Companies Online
Any cannabis user will tell you that both safety and quality are top priorities. Unfortunately, there are brands out there that don’t deliver, cheap out, and put profit over people.
But don’t despair; there are still numerous ethical and safe companies out there. If you apply the four requirements to look out for (testing, reviews, sourcing, and extraction methods) you’ll find that you can find quality delta 8 THC brands, even though they’re not a majority.
We’ve selected for you the top 5 safest companies to purchase delta 8 online that deliver all of these.
Everest is the best company out there for all things delta 8. Their products are catered to relieve the stresses of everyday life and are designed for relaxation. Forbes has called their products “the best Delta 8 products for relaxing your mind.” They source their hemp from farms that focus on sustainable practices and clean soil. This way, their products are free from toxins and radiation. All in all, it’s a clean, trustworthy delta 8 experience.
Moreover, Everest is involved in every step of the supply chain to ensure a safe and effective final product. Every single product is also tested by a third-party laboratory before and after production. You can access all testing results publicly to ensure you get a safe product.
The company offers various delta 8 products, from oil to vape cartridges, but their blue raspberry gummies are the true specialty. Everest’s delta 8 THC gummies are vegan, non-GMO, and made with naturally grown hemp from the USA. With 20mg of delta 8 THC per gummy and 30 gummies per container, it’s a full supply of flavor that’s backed up by professional lab results, which can be found here.
Packaged in an aesthetically pleasing way, this company makes consuming delta 8 an enjoyable experience from purchasing their products on the website to consuming it at home. And since they offer a subscription service where you can get products delivered monthly with a 20% discount, the enjoyable experience never stops.
● USA-grown hemp
● Kaycha Labs
● Free shipping on all US orders
● No shipping to the following states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington.
2. Delta ExtraX
Delta ExtraX offers delta 8 THC products that are all-natural and plant-based. The company’s priorities are purity, quality, and safety. We appreciate that. Their products are free from toxins and additives, and they taste better than most d8 products out there. Delta ExtraX carries delta 8 THC products such as gummies, concentrates, and flower, all of which we love.
If you don’t trust us, you can check out their third-party testing on their site.
● USA-grown hemp
● Kaycha Labs
● Shipping is not free. Shipping can take 3-7 business days.
● No shipping to the following states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island, Utah, Washington.
3. Exhale Wellness
Exhale Wellness is on a mission to spread awareness about the therapeutic qualities of hemp and make it widely available to all. They believe consumers can use hemp to restore the body’s stability, comfort, and performance.
They offer a huge range of delta 8 products to proselytize those ideals: edibles, flower, pre-rolls, tincture, capsules, cartridges, and cigarettes (nicotine-free, of course).
All of their products are vegan, organic, and non-GMO. And you can check out their third-party testing on their website.
● USA-grown hemp (Nevada)
● Free shipping available
● No shipping to the following states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island, and Utah
Vybba is a family-run company that sells instantly-dissolving delta 8 THC strips for those on the go. The company commits to selling natural hemp-derived products that can make a difference in people’s lives.
They keep it local, too. Vybba works with non-GMO hemp seedlings planted on organic farms in Washington. They’re big on transparency, and we appreciate their third-party testing.
● USA-grown hemp (Washington)
● Columbia Laboratories
● Shipping is not free. Shipping can take 3-7 business days.
● No shipping to the following states: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, New York, Texas, Vermont, or Utah.
VIIA wants to revolutionize the wellness industry by giving everyone access to affordable and safe hemp products in a way that’s safe for the planet. The company is passionate about reducing waste from the cannabis industry and is a member of the 1% For the Planet, a global network of sustainable businesses.
VIIA’s delta 8 products include disposable vapes, cartridges, concentrates, and gummies. They’re high-quality, full of flavor, and made from clean delta 8 sourced from the best hemp. They offer their COAs on their website to prove their clout.
● USA-grown hemp
● Shipping is not free. Next-day shipping is available.
● No shipping to the following states: Arizona, Arkansas, Alaska, Delaware, Iowa, Idaho, Montana, Mississippi, Nevada, Nebraska, and Utah.
Frequently Asked Questions about Delta 8’s Safety
Can delta 8 cause anxiety?
Research on anxiety and d8 is limited, but some have reported feeling anxious after taking delta 8. However, is it caused by d8 or by an inherent fear of consuming a cannabis product in a nation where it’s been demonized for decades? Paranoia is often predicated on social pretext.
However, in practice and when used in a comfortable and safe environment, delta 8 might actually relieve anxiety. A survey conducted for academic research found that more than half of the participants that used delta 8 did so to help with health conditions, primarily anxiety or panic attacks (69%). The participants found that delta 8 helped their anxiety more than d9.
Can delta 8 THC kill you?
No, delta 8 cannot kill you. There are no records of deaths from d8. It’s apparently impossible to lethally overdose on THC.
Can delta 8 THC cause seizures?
No. This is a myth spreading online. There’s no research to support the claim that delta 8 leads to seizures.
In contrast, research has found that both delta 8 and 9 THC have anticonvulsant properties. In a study conducted with rats that were rendered epileptic, delta 8 THC decreased their seizures. This does not mean that delta 8 THC will do the same with humans, but it’s an interesting place to begin research.
Is delta 8 THC safe while pregnant?
The research on delta 8 THC and pregnancy is almost nonexistent. Therefore, we cannot know for sure if it’s safe to consume it during pregnancy.
Is delta 8 safe to consume while breastfeeding?
There is not enough research to provide a concrete answer, according to the CDC. But some research has found that THC can be passed onto breast milk in small quantities, lasting from six days to six weeks.
Is delta 8 safe to eat?
Many brands sell delta 8 edibles, like gummies. Technically, these are not approved by the FDA. However, if you have confirmation that a product has gone through third-party testing, and the certificates of analysis check out, you can consume delta 8 safely.
Is delta 8 safe for dogs?
Probably not. While CBD is believed safe for pets, there’s little research on delta 8 THC. But we know that delta 9 THC is not safe for pets. Dogs can get marijuana poisoning after consuming delta 9, leading to symptoms like vomiting and trembling. While extremely rare, some dogs have died after ingesting edibles with high concentrations of delta 9.
Since we don’t know enough about how dogs react to delta 8 THC, it’s best to avoid giving it to any pets.
If you want to enjoy some of the possible therapeutic benefits of delta 8 THC or are just looking for some recreational fun, safety should always be at the forefront of your mind.
Unfortunately, there are many companies out there selling low-quality and unsafe products. As delta 8 remains unregulated, consumers must know what to look out for and how to avoid certain brands.
Let’s recap our four requirements!
● Most important: third-party testing. Testing should not be conducted in-house; it must be done by an independent lab.
● Second, look out for companies that have negative reviews or no reviews at all. Have a keen eye for positive reviews and where to find authentic ones.
● Third, ensure the hemp is sourced from a sustainable farm that does not use toxic pesticides and chemicals.
● Last, but not least, find companies that have invested in their extraction methods so that you’re not consuming unwanted byproducts like solvent residue.
There are companies out there like Everest that are providing the cannabis community with ethical, sustainable, and safe delta 8 THC. Companies that ace the four examinations we’ve taught you. If you always have these in mind, you’ll find that you can purchase safe delta 8 products from an informed position. That’s what we want for us and you. A safe d8 high is a good d8 high.