After tearing the walls of the mainstream market, CBD has paved the way for other cannabinoids so that they can get their spotlight with the rapid growth of the hemp industry.
Delta 8 THC is a novel cannabinoid making big headlines in the industry press and among consumers. Also known as “diet weed” or “cannabis light,” this compound is a less intoxicating analog of delta 9 THC from marijuana.
As the cannabis market continues to thrive, companies are looking for new ways to introduce new products that are legal on a federal level.
The milder psychoactive potential and lower incidence of side effects such as anxiety and paranoia have created the boom on delta 8 — making it a new target for bold entrepreneurs.
Recent advancements in extraction technologies have enabled manufacturers to produce delta 8 THC from hemp. Under the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp and all its derivatives are legal on a federal level — and so is delta 8 THC.
One of the most popular formats of delta 8 is gummies. These fruity treats come in concentrated versions, delivering a healthy dose of delta 8 THC per serving.
But, where do you get high-quality delta 8 THC gummies?
Should you look for them typing “delta 8 THC near me” or choose the online path and shop in the comfort of your home?
Here we present an all-around guide to buying delta 8 THC gummies.
Delta 8 THC Gummies Near Me: Should You Buy from Online Vendors or Local Stores?
Delta 8 THC has become an appealing alternative for cannabis users who want to reap similar benefits to the ones provided by delta 9 THC — but without the risk of anxiety and paranoia upon taking higher doses.
Delta 8 products are available pretty much everywhere. You can find them in vape stores, dispensaries, head shops, wellness centers, and even at gas stations.
However, as with any booming space, the delta 8 THC market is unregulated; as a matter of fact, it’s in the same place where the CBD industry was just a few years ago. There are no regulations in place, and the number of fly-by-night companies is close to the number of decent vendors.
Many products sold locally don’t have certificates from independent laboratories. Some of them contain little to no delta 8 THC, while others are contaminated with bleaches, heavy metal reagents, and other toxic compounds
If you want to minimize the risk of buying fake delta 8 THC gummies, we recommend finding a trustworthy online vendor.
Why Online Shops Are Better for Finding Delta 8 Gummies
The lack of regulations when it comes to quality and labeling standards has made many people seek delta 8 THC gummies online. There are several benefits of buying delta 8 THC products from online vendors that you won’t find anywhere near you, including:
More Diverse Product Line Up
Local stores usually stock one or two types of delta 8 THC products; these are usually tinctures and vape carts. Online vendors offer a better product selection, including gummies, concentrates, distillates, delta 8 flower, pre-rolls, and more.
These forms of delta 8 THC are available in different concentrations and flavors, so you can actually tailor the experience to your health needs and lifestyle choices.
Local vendors need to cover certain operational costs that are usually carried over to the prices of their products. Online shops can cut out the middleman, so they usually have better prices and can offer discounts, gift cards, coupon codes, reward programs, and other ways to save money on high-quality delta 8 gummies. There’s a competitive market due to the availability of online vendors, which encourages companies to fight for customers with better prices.
Shopping for high-quality delta 8 THC gummies online is more convenient than doing so in-store. You can browse through different concentrations, flavors, and formulations whenever you want — and you don’t need to leave your house to get your hands on high-quality gummies. With local shopping, people usually bounce between one local store and another; not to mention that you can use a credit card for payment when buying delta 8 THC online; most head shops and dispensaries only accept cash for now.
When you shop for delta 8 THC gummies somewhere near you, you need to rely on the store owner’s perception of what they consider high-quality. In contrast, shopping for delta 8 online gives you access to way more information about the manufacturer, its farming and extraction practices, as well as its reputation among cannabis users. You can also look into certificates of analysis from third-party laboratories to confirm the product’s quality.
What Are the Risks of Buying Untested, Low-Quality Delta 8 THC Gummies?
Whether you’re shopping for delta 8 THC near you or online, you should be aware of a few pitfalls.
The most apparent risks include the safety and legal status of delta 8 THC gummies.
Delta 8 products are theoretically legal on a federal level, but the truth is that they remain in a legal grey area.
You need to check the source of delta 8 THC before buying; only then can you be sure about its legality.
The only products accepted by the federal authorities are those sourced from hemp. Marijuana-derived delta 8 THC can be found in places where marijuana is legal for recreational use. As of today, 16 states have fully legalized marijuana and its derivatives.
That being said, even hemp-derived products can be dangerous for your health if they aren’t tested in laboratories for quality and safety.
Only a few brands that sell delta 8 THC test their products for the above parameters. Most products sold locally aren’t certified, meaning that they may contain toxic chemicals, such as pesticides, bleaches, heavy metals, mycotoxins, or residual solvents. Some companies use bleaches to make their extracts appear “cleaner,” while in fact, pure delta 8 distillate has a pinkish color.
Proper research and due diligence are paramount if you want to ensure the proper quality of your delta 8 THC gummies. You shouldn’t base your choices on the word of mouth; instead, follow the facts and hard data, and if the store owner’s or the company you’re trying to buy from doesn’t provide certificates of analysis, they’re not worth your money.
Factors Determining the Quality of Delta 8 THC Gummies
Now that you know there’s such a disparity between the quality of different delta 8 THC gummies, let’s elaborate on how you can tell the difference between a high-quality and poor-quality product.
The Source of Delta 8
As mentioned, delta 8 THC can be extracted from hemp and marijuana. If your state allows marijuana for recreational use, then buying marijuana-derived delta 8 gummies is a good idea because they require less plant material than hemp-based products — making them more cost-efficient.
However, most people in the US can’t try marijuana-derived delta 8 gummies because marijuana is still categorized as a Schedule I substance.
For them, the only option is hemp-derived delta 8 THC.
No matter where you source your gummies from, you should know that cannabis is a dynamic bio-accumulator; in other words, it can absorb every substance from its environment, including the good and the bad compounds.
The goal is to get as many good ones as possible while minimizing the bad ones — which is why farming practices are of the utmost importance for the quality of hemp flowers.
Organically-grown hemp will yield clean flowers with high levels of cannabinoids and terpenes; this is the best type of material to produce delta 8 THC, unlike mass-produced plants that are grown with pesticides, synthetic growth boosters, and in poor soil conditions.
CO2 extraction is currently the best standard on the cannabis market. This method uses atmospheric carbon dioxide in a supercritical state. The supercritical state causes CO2 to behave like a gas and liquid at the same time — effectively pulling the desired compounds from hemp without adding extra heat or aggressive solvents.
Another important factor to consider is how the delta 8 THC was obtained. The only legal way to make delta 8 THC is through converting CBD into delta 9 THC and then into delta 8. However, this process involves the use of harsh chemicals that can pass into the final product if not removed properly.
The potency of your delta 8 gummies will determine the intensity of their psychoactive effects. If you want your cognitive change to involve mental stimulation, focus, and elevated mood, low-potency gummies are a good pick. If, on the other hand, you’re aiming for evening relaxation, then you may need a stronger option.
High-strength gummies are also more cost-efficient for micro-dosers or lightweight users because you can cut one gummy in half or in quarters to divide a single serving into smaller portions.
Just make sure that your gummies contain the advertised amount of delta 8 THC.
This brings us to the next important factor.
Reputable manufacturers send samples of their products to independent laboratories in order to check their delta 8 THC content and purity. These laboratories analyze the potency of the sample as well as its whole cannabinoid and terpene profiles. They also look for potential impurities, such as fungi, mold, heavy metals, residual solvents, bleaches, and pesticides.
When a product passes the test, the laboratory issues a certificate of analysis (COA) so that customers can look into the report. Companies that don’t publish lab reports on their websites or, at least, by email, aren’t worth your trust.
One of the best methods to find a reputable delta 8 THC vendor is to find out what other people are saying about its products and customer service. We recommend choosing CBD brands that have expanded their collection with delta 8 THC gummies. Such brands usually have a lot of positive reviews on third-party websites and across social media and provide independent lab reports to show proper transparency.
What Is Delta 8 THC?
Delta 8 THC means delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol. It’s an analog of the normal delta 9 THC that gets you high when you smoke or vape cannabis.
The standard THC version has a slightly different molecular structure than delta 8. For delta 8 THC, the additional bond is at the 8th carbon chain, while delta 9 has this bond at the 9th chain.
This subtle difference makes delta 8 THC about twice less potent than delta 9. People who take delta 8 THC gummies report a clear-headed high, smoother euphoria, and a lower risk of side effects such as paranoia, anxiety, or racing heart.
Delta 8 THC isn’t synthesized naturally by cannabis plants. It’s a byproduct of delta 9 THC’s breakdown. Over time, THC can transform into two compounds: delta 8 and CBN. However, most of the THC converts into CBN; only a trace amount is broken down into delta 8 THC.
Best Delta 8 THC Gummies: Top Brands for 2021
Area 52 (Most Reliable Brand)
You can count trustworthy delta 8 THC companies on one hand, and we point our first finger at Area 52. This California-based brand offers premium-quality delta 8 THC products from organic hemp, including tinctures, vape carts, and gummies. Area 52’s products are legal and safe because the whole lineup is tested in a third-party laboratory for the potency of delta 8 THC as well as for contaminants.
The Area 52 delta 8 gummies come in three assorted flavors: Green Apple, Pineapple, and Strawberry. Each gummy carries a healthy dose of 25 mg of delta 8 THC that is formulated with organic ingredients, including fruit juices, concentrates, and a vegan gummy base.
Finest Labs (Best for Beginners)
Finest Labs is another new brand that offers a similar product selection to Area 52. However, Finest Labs makes slightly less potent extracts that are supposed to work better with lightweight users and those who haven’t tried delta 8 THC before. Recently, the company has also added a high-strength option, with 25 mg of delta 8 per serving.
The gummies are vegan and come from organic hemp. There aren’t many flavor options to choose from, though; currently, you can only purchase them in a strawberry flavor.
The entire line of Finest Labs products is double-tested in an ISO-certified laboratory for potency and purity.
How Is Delta 8 THC Made?
Delta 8 THC can be obtained from both hemp and marijuana plants.
Marijuana-derived delta 8 THC gummies are legal only in the states where adults can use marijuana recreationally. This type of delta 8 can be directly converted from delta 9 THC.
Companies using hemp for extraction use a special conversion process from CBD to delta 9 THC and then to its delta 8 isomer.
Is Delta 8 THC Legal in the United States?
The legality of delta 8 THC depends on where it’s sourced from — a situation identical to CBD products.
When extracted from marijuana, the final product will carry a significant amount of THC besides delta 8 and other cannabinoids. Such products can be purchased in places that have an established recreational cannabis market.
On the other hand, hemp-derived delta 8 THC gummies are legal on a federal level because their delta 9 THC content is no more than 0.3%.
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp by removing it from the list of controlled substances. Today, hemp is categorized as an agricultural crop just like flax or canola. Hemp-derived delta 8 THC is legal as long as the total amount of delta 8 THC remains below 0.3%.
That being said, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has recently issued a statement where they claim that delta 8 THC should be classified as “tetrahydrocannabinol” and thus labeled by the government as a controlled substance. In other words, DEA thinks that the production and sale of delta 8 THC is illegal.
However, synthetically derived means that the product was made with synthetic ingredients in a laboratory — which isn’t the case for hemp-derived delta 8 THC.
Hemp-derived delta 8 THC uses a conversion process from naturally occurring cannabinoids, and while there are harsh chemicals involved in it, it is anything but synthetic.
Final Thoughts on Buying Delta 8 THC Gummies Near Me
As delta 8 THC begins to gather more and more enthusiasts around itself, creative entrepreneurs are looking for opportunities to introduce novel products to the already thriving industry.
However, due to the lack of regulations regarding the product’s quality and labeling, many companies are producing cheap, low-quality, and overpriced delta 8 extracts without taking any responsibility for what they’re churning out on the market.
The best way to find high-quality delta 8 THC gummies near you is to look for a reputable online brand. Online stores offer a better product selection, lower prices, and more ways to save money on your favorite products.
If you prefer to buy delta 8 gummies locally, you’ll likely find them in many head shops and vape stores around you. There’s even a chance that your local gas station will offer a humble selection of delta 8 products. Although this may sound convenient at first, such products are often uncertified and can be dangerous to your health.
Always make sure that the company you’re buying from uses organic hemp, CO2 extraction, and tests its products in a third-party lab for quality and safety. For a quick recommendation, check out the products offered by Area 52 and Finest Labs. These two California-based brands make premium-quality delta 8 gummies and offer regular discounts to make these products more affordable for everyone.