There's no argument that edibles are one of the most popular THC products on today's market, but Delta 8 THC edibles can still feel like unfamiliar territory, even to experienced cannabis users.
Delta-8-THC edibles are similar in nature to traditional cannabis edibles, but they may have some advantages (like being federally legal). Whether you're just looking to see how they stack up against products you've already tried, or you're looking to try Delta-8-THC for the first time, you'll find everything you need to know in this D8 Edibles Buyer's Guide:
Table of Contents
What are Delta 8 THC Edibles?
Will Delta 8 THC Edibles Get You High?
Are Delta 8 THC Edibles Safe?
How to Identify High Quality Delta 8 Edibles
Comparing Delta 8 THC Edible Formulas
Delta 8 Edibles Potency
Are Delta 8 THC Edibles Legal to Buy?
Where to Buy Delta-8-THC Edibles
Delta-8-THC edibles are exactly what they sound like: various food products filled with pre-measured doses of Delta-8-THC, a hemp isomer known for its mild intoxicating effects.
Delta-8-THC edibles have some unique benefits compared to other dosing methods, like long lasting effects and the convenience of individually wrapped, mess-free doses. Because edibles take a while to kick in, they may be paired with a fast acting Delta 8 dose, like a vaporizer, for therapeutic uses.
Recreationally, edibles usually fare pretty well on their own, and some evidence suggests that they may even provide an enhanced experience compared to other dosing methods.
As we mentioned, Delta-8 is mildly intoxicating, meaning it has psychoactive effects similar to Delta-9-THC (the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis). In short, yes, Delta-8 will get you high, and Delta-8 edibles may have very potent effects.
Still, the effects are quite different from what you may expect from THC products.
Delta-8’s effects are milder than Delta-9’s, and the effects are generally described as “relaxing” but not sedating. Many people also find it easier to control the psychoactive experience and report less heady effects and more body euphoria when using Delta-8.
To learn more about these psychoactive effects, read “Delta-8-THC Effects.”
THC edibles are, obviously, subject to digestion. This absorption method is wildly different from inhalation, the method used to smoke cannabis flower or use Delta-8 vaporizers. The digestive process is designed to help filter out toxins and actually results in a smaller cannabinoid uptake than inhalation methods.
So then why are edibles usually thought to produce even stronger effects than traditional smoking methods?
Because of 11-hydroxy-THC.
When THC reaches the liver, it’s metabolized into 11-hydroxy-THC, the primary THC metabolite present in the body after THC use. 11-hydroxy-THC is potent and carries its own psychoactive effects, although we don’t know much about it.
Most research has focused on using the metabolite as a marker for THC drug tests, but one 1973 study did review the effects of a small intravenous dose of 11-hydroxy-THC in nine men. The results were purely based on self-reporting, but the study suggests that “All subjects reported a maximum psychologic high within 2-3 min after the intravenous administration of 11-OH-Δ⁹-THC that was more intense than that previously experienced after smoking marihuana.”
Traditional THC edibles quickly become 11-hydroxy-THC after they hit the liver, and these metabolites are then absorbed into the bloodstream to cause a variety of psychological effects.
It’s currently unknown if Delta-8 metabolizes the same way as Delta-9. Most resources agree that the interaction is similar, which is why Delta-8-THC may register on a drug test that looks for THC metabolites. It also explains why Delta-8 edibles may produce stronger effects than other dosing methods.
Curious about Delta-8’s therapeutic benefits? Read “Delta-8-THC Health Benefits” to learn more.
There is some argument about the safety of Delta-8-THC edibles, and even more about the safety of Delta-8-THC in general. At their core, most reports of adverse effects can be linked to improper dosing (taking way too much) or low-quality formulas. Most experts believe that Delta-8 has a similar safety profile to that of Delta-9-THC.
In general, Delta-8-THC edibles that are made with high-quality ingredients may not pose the same level of risk as synthetic street cannabinoids or hemp products made with cheap ingredients by inexperienced manufacturers.
In fact, the key to Delta-8 safety is buying a high-quality product that’s professionally formulated with premium ingredients. That takes a bit of extra footwork on the front end, but it’s well worth it. Luckily, Delta-8-THC is available online in most areas. That means you can stop searching for “Delta-8-THC edibles near me” and instead learn how to identify which Delta-8 products are well-made and safe.
Not all Delta-8-THC edibles are made equally, and hemp industry regulations are still shifty and inconsistent across the nation. That means it’s up to you to double check the quality and integrity of a product before you buy. Here’s how:
First, ensure that the Delta 8 THC edible product you choose is made from hemp-derived Delta-8-THC and other hemp-derived ingredients. You’ll do this by checking the ingredients list and looking for third-party test results (more on that below).
To ensure the quality of the hemp (and Delta8), consider where the brand sources their hemp material from. Because hemp is a bioaccumulator (meaning it pulls toxins from the soil), it’s important that it’s grown in high-quality soil and with safe farming practices free of pesticides and other harsh chemicals. As a general rule of thumb, U.S. grown hemp is superior to hemp grown overseas.
Finally, check all other ingredients to ensure that they meet your needs. Some edibles may include artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, and other additives that may be unsafe (or at least undesirable) for some people.
Next, look more deeply at the brand and the manufacturing practices used to create each product. The process of making Delta-8-THC is much more involved than just extracting CBD and other cannabinoids. When it’s not done correctly, things can go wrong.
Delta-8 production requires expert cannabinoid extraction technicians and expensive equipment, which is out of reach for many “commercial kitchen” brands. Be wary of brands who don’t employ professional technicians or make use of premium extraction techniques, like Supercritical CO2 extraction or similar methods.
You may want to look for a company who:
Third-party lab tests may be the most crucial factor in determining the quality of a product and the transparency and trustworthiness of a Delta-8 brand. A third-party lab test is a final analysis done by a third-party laboratory in order to provide unbiased feedback on the product’s contents.
Many brands may also test in-house throughout the manufacturing process to ensure that the raw material is clean and that the product doesn’t become contaminated at any point during the manufacturing process.
The third-party results for a given product should be available to view before you buy and should match the product label.
After ensuring quality, you’ll also want to consider the benefits of different Delta-8-THC formulas. Different types of edibles may be absorbed differently, meaning different dosing styles can produce different effects. Most often, these differences impact how quickly a Delta-8 edible kicks in and how long the effects last.
You can learn more in depth information about this by reading “Do Different Types of Edibles Absorb in Different Ways?” but we’ll briefly break it down:
The most popular form of Delta-8 edible is the Delta-8 gummy, a chewable dose that’s both delicious and effective. These doses are chewed sparingly and quickly swallowed, which means that most of the Delta-8-THC absorption happens in the gut.
Because of this digestive breakdown, it may take over an hour for Delta 8 gummies and other digested doses to take effect. Of course, some sources report that the slow digestive process also amplifies and extends the effects of Delta-8. The effects from edibles may last anywhere from 4-8 hours depending on various factors, like the size of your dose, your unique metabolism, and what else you’ve eaten that day.
A less popular, but multifunctional dosing style is the Delta-8 tincture. Tinctures come in a liquid form that is dropped under the tongue.
This delivery method is called “sublingual dosing” and is commonly used for pharmaceutical applications. The area under the tongue has densely packed mucous membranes that can absorb the Delta-8 directly into the bloodstream, helping it bypass digestion and take effect more quickly.
After about 30 seconds, the remaining liquid is swallowed to be processed by digestion. This gives sublingual tinctures a unique edge in that they may take effect quickly (thanks to rapid absorption in the mouth) but may also have long-lasting effects (thanks to the portion absorbed in the gut).
Tinctures may take effect in around 30 minutes and the effects could last 4 hours or more. Tinctures also offer the benefit of incremental dosing since the amount can be precisely adjusted each time, which makes them a good option for beginners.
Some Delta-8-THC edibles come in the form of a hard candy, like a lozenge or sucker. These edibles offer a unique dosing style that is a sort of “middle ground” between tinctures and gummies.
Like gummies, hard candies are delicious, easy to use doses, but they are actually designed to slowly dissolve in the mouth. This method allows the Delta-8 to be absorbed through the mucous membranes in the mouth similarly to a tincture dose.
Thanks to this unique dosing style, hard candies may offer the fast-acting benefits of tinctures (in a similar time frame) with the pre-measured benefits of gummies.
Delta-8-THC edibles are available in a variety of different potencies, which can seem overwhelming when trying to buy a Delta-8 for the first time. There are several things to consider, and a couple different routes you can take to help you ease into a Delta-8 routine.
To start low and slow, you may consider a Delta-8-THC tincture. This gives you the ability to increase or decrease your dose in small increments.
A similar concept applies to certain edibles, like gummies, that can be easily halved to decrease the dose. For instance, a 10 mg Delta-8-THC gummy can be cut in half to create a 5 mg dose.
For most people, a 10 mg edibles is a fair place to start, but there’s no reason you can’t start lower and increase as needed. Just make sure you give plenty of time to feel the full effects (which can take up to 2 hours for some edible formulations) before you decide to increase your Delta 8 dose.
If you're just getting started with Delta-8-THC and want some pointers, read "How to Maximize Your Delta-8 Experience."
Many people are intrigued by Delta-8-THC's mild psychoactive effects, but are equally skeptical of its legality, especially in areas that aren't exactly cannabis-friendly. Thankfully, Delta-8-THC is currently legal by federal law, so it's much more accessible than Delta-9 is across the nation.
In short, yes, Delta-8-THC edibles are legal in most areas, but some states still have laws that prohibit all tetrahydrocannabinols, including those derived from legal hemp. For a full list of all 50 states and their hemp laws, read "Where is Delta-8-THC Legal?"
There are a wide variety of places where you can buy Delta-8-THC edibles online, but the quality varies greatly from brand to brand. Before going with any online manufacturer, ensure that they meet the quality checks above (regarding ingredients and materials).
If you're looking for premium quality Delta-8, you can check out our Delta-8-THC edibles collection. All of our products are 100% Farm Bill compliant and made with high-quality, U.S. grown hemp material, and you can read more about our GMP compliant manufacturing process here.
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