What Is Delta 8 THC Distillate?

Illustration for Delta 8 Distillate with the chemical structure
Written by Livvy Ashton | Last updated: November 3, 2023

The distillate is the most popular form of different cannabinoids, including delta 8. You can find delta 8 extracts in various types, but none of them offer the quality and taste of the distillate.

However, no two delta 8 distillates are made the same.

In this article, we elaborate on what delta 8 is, discuss the differences between different types of delta 8 distillate, and answer the most important questions about this novel cannabinoid.

What is Delta 8 THC?

Delta 8 THC is an isomer of delta 9, the primary psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis.

Although these two have strikingly similar molecular structures, the difference in their bonding causes delta 8 THC to be less potent than delta 9.

Delta 8 is about half as strong as delta 9, meaning you need to consume twice as much to achieve the same type of effects as with regular weed.

Because of that, delta 8 THC also comes with a lower incidence of anxiety and paranoia – making it a go-to cannabinoid for cannabis users who are sensitive to the psychedelic nature of delta 9.

Delta 8 THC comes in many forms, including tinctures, gummies, flowers, pre-rolled joints, capsules, and distillate.

What is Delta 8 Distillate, and What Does It Look Like?

Delta 8 distillate is a thick, sticky extract that has a pink-ish color, but depending on the manufacturing process, it may range from dark amber to totally transparent.

The best delta 8 distillates fall somewhere between the two ends of the spectrum.

When the distillate is infused with terpenes, the color changes to slightly golden, but if it gets too dark, there’s a chance your product is contaminated with harmful chemicals.

Most delta 8 THC distillate is sold in vape cartridges, so in most cases, you won’t be able to examine it directly. However, you can easily see your distillate through the glass walls of your vape cart.

Different Types of Delta 8 Distillate

Image of Delta 8 THC Distillate and How to Use It

There are two categories of delta 8 THC distillate. You can buy it either as a full-spectrum or terped distillate, both of which offer slightly different effects due to their chemical makeup.

What is Full-Spectrum Delta 8 Distillate?

Full-spectrum delta 8 THC distillate contains the whole range of cannabinoids naturally occurring in hemp plants. Since most delta 8 is converted from CBD, it usually comes in isolate form.

Many manufacturers simply infuse their delta 8 distillate with a few terpenes and call it full-spectrum, but this isn’t the same as a whole-plant extract.

When combined with the full spectrum of beneficial compounds found in hemp flowers, delta 8 evokes the entourage effect. This is a unique synergy that scientists believe makes individual cannabinoids more effective than the sum of their isolates.

Not to mention that full-spectrum delta 8 THC distillate have a better taste since it comes loaded with more terpenes. Full-spectrum delta 8 is the most “natural” version, and if extracted properly, it should taste as well as any CBD or delta 9 THC distillate.

What is Terped Delta 8 Distillate?

The “terped” delta 8 distillate means that pure delta 8 THC has been infused with terpenes. Most terpenes have antioxidant properties, and each terpene comes with a unique chemical structure that gives them unique therapeutic properties.

Not all terpenes are the same, though. The best terpenes to infuse into delta 8 THC come from cannabis, not some other terpene-containing plants. It’s even better when the delta 8 distillate contains the entire terpene profile of the strain used for extraction.

Nature knows best how to blend terpenes, so full-spectrum terpene profiles are always better than blends of isolated molecules.

What Are the Effects of Delta 8 Distillate?

Delta 8 distillate is the most concentrated form of delta 8 THC. It contains up to 90% delta 8 THC, infused with terpenes and deprived of chlorophyll, waxes, and other botanical parts often found in low-quality delta 8 THC extracts.

Similar to other delta 8 THC products, the distillate can get you high. The most common form of consumption is through vape pens. These products deliver the fastest effects that usually last for 60-90 minutes.

Why Do People Use Delta 8 Distillate?

Delta 8 is generally used for the same reasons as delta 9 THC – to experience a euphoric buzz redolent of intoxication from cannabis. Some users also choose delta 8 distillate to reduce chronic pain, help with anxiety, and combat insomnia.

The distillate delivers more psychological benefits. The high strength of delta 8 THC extract is designed for inhalation, providing almost immediate, most pronounced effects.

Delta 8 distillate is also infused into oral forms, which come with a slight delay but ensure longer-lasting effects (up to 10 hours).

What Does Delta 8 High Feel Like?

Most people who have tried delta 8 THC report that the feeling of high in delta 8 is not essentially different from the effects of delta 9 THC. The molecular differences between these two cannabinoids are very slight, so from the pharmacological standpoint, delta 8 provides a similar type of high but with minor differences in its intensity.

The high from delta 8 distillate is more mild and uplifting than the effects produced by delta 9 THC. Moreover, delta 8 THC users claim that delta 8 doesn’t induce anxiety and paranoia in high doses, unlike delta 8 – making it more accessible to a broader range of consumers.

How to Use Delta 8 Distillate

Image of How To Use Delta 8 Distillate?

Now that we’ve covered the basic knowledge of what delta 8 distillate is, let’s elaborate on how to use this type of delta 8 in a few simple steps:

1. Know What Type of Distillate You’re Using

Delta 8 distillate comes in a variety of forms and quality grades. For example, some delta 8 THC distillate comes in small resealable containers. If you have such a product, you’ll need a metal tool called a “dabber” to scoop a small amount of delta 8 distillate, which you can then place under your tongue or flash-vaporize in a dab rig.

However, delta 8 THC distillate is more commonly found in the form of a vape cartridge. Delta 8 vape carts are made to fit rechargeable batteries – there’s no need to remove the distillate from a cartridge.

2. Find the Best form of Consumption

There are different ways to use each type of delta 8 distillate. Loose distillate that comes in a silicone or acrylic container requires a dab rig if you want to inhale it. But if your distillate is enclosed in a vape cartridge, you’ll need to find a fitting battery. Most delta 8 THC vape carts are designed to fit the standard 510 threading.

3. Decide on the Dosage

Although delta 8 THC doesn’t get you anxious or paranoid in large doses, you don’t want to ingest too much at once, especially if you’re a new user. Start with a small amount and gradually increase it as you get used to the effects of delta 8 THC distillate.

4. Consume Your Delta 8 Distillate?

Now that you’re all set activate your vape pen battery, heat up your dabber, or take a few distillate-infused gummies to enjoy the mild high effect.

How Much Does Delta 8 Distillate Cost?

The price of delta 8 THC distillate is generally the same as other forms of cannabis distillate. Some manufacturers may charge a premium price for the products, which is good as long as they deliver the same premium quality or add extra value to the distillate in other ways.

Is Delta 8 Distillate Safe?

Image of How Safe is a Natural Delta 8 Dislillate

Yes, delta 8 distillate is a safe and natural product. It’s just as safe as delta 9 THC, the only difference being the lack of anxiety and paranoia in high doses.

Unfortunately, since delta 8 is a relatively new cannabinoid, its availability is reduced compared to other cannabinoids. Manufacturers often cut corners when making delta 8 THC distillate, which compromises its quality.

In essence, delta 8 distillate is the safest when it only contains delta 8 THC and natural terpenes. Additional ingredients aren’t necessary and should be avoided.

Is Delta 8 Distillate Legal?

Since delta 8 THC can be derived from hemp, it’s considered federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill. Local and state regulations surrounding delta 8 THC products vary, so make sure to check the laws in your area before buying delta 8 THC locally or online.

Currently, delta 8 THC is illegal in 14 states:

  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Montana
  • New York
  • Nevada
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Utah
  • Washington

Can I Travel with Delta 8 Distillate?

Flying with delta 8 THC is a risky business. Only lab tests can tell the difference between delta 8 and delta 9 THC. Just because you know what type of THC is in your cartridge doesn’t mean that a curious TSA agent will take your word for it. Always bring a batch-specific certificate of analysis (CoA) of your product; it’s the only proof that you’re not trying to smuggle delta 9 THC between states.

What is the Best Delta 8 Distillate?

The best delta 8 distillate contains only two ingredients: purified delta 8 THC and natural cannabis terpenes. It has a lot of positive reviews and is made by a company that has a stellar reputation among customers. A high-quality delta 8 THC distillate will deliver a clear, enjoyable sensation without any harsh aftertaste or side effects.

Key Takeaways on Delta 8 Distillate

Delta 8 distillate is the purest and strongest form of delta 8 THC. It comes as a viscous, sticky extract that has a pink-ish or amber color depending on the extraction method and whether or not it has been infused with terpenes.

Terpenes not only improve the flavor profile of delta 8 distillate but also add their own therapeutic benefits to the formula. The effects of pure delta 8 THC feel bland, so infusing the distillate with terpenes can move them in a particular direction, e.g., make the extract more energizing or sedating.

When buying delta 8 THC distillate, pay attention to the quality. It should be sourced from organic hemp, extracted with CO2, and thoroughly tested for potency and contaminants by an independent laboratory.

Do you use delta 8 distillate? What is it that makes you like it more than other forms of delta 8 THC? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Livvy is a registered nurse (RN) and board-certified nurse midwife (CNM) in the state of New Jersey. After giving birth to her newborn daughter, Livvy stepped down from her full-time position at the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. This gave her the opportunity to spend more time writing articles on all topics related to pregnancy and prenatal care.