May 13, 2021 8 min read

Delta-8-THC flower is a new, wildly popular dosing method for Delta-8, a psychoactive cannabinoid derived from legal hemp materials. If you know anything about how Delta-8 is made, you know that it’s an intricate process that relies on converting CBD extract into its psychoactive isomer.

But why? And if Delta-8-THC flower is a thing, why can’t Delta-8 be extracted right from the source?

It’s complicated, but we’ll start with the basics:

Ready to buy now? Check out our diverse Delta-8 Flower Collection, including popular strains like Girl Scout Cookies and Blue Dream.

Table of Contents
What is Delta 8 THC Flower?
How is Delta 8 THC Flower Made
Benefits of Smoking Delta 8 THC Flower
Delta 8 THC Flower vs Delta 9 THC Flower
Is Delta 8 THC Flower Legal
Where to Buy Delta 8 THC Flower
Resources

Key Takeaways

  • Delta-8-THC flower is a popular dosing method that provides fast acting effects and a customizable user experience.
  • Unlike other cannabis flower products, there are no naturally occurring Delta-8 strains.
  • Manufacturers have found a way to produce Delta-8 flower from hemp flower, but different manufacturing procedures yield widely different results.
  • Delta-8 flower legality is more complicated than general Delta-8 laws. Some jurisdictions that allow the sale of Delta-8 products still prohibit raw products like hemp flower.

What is Delta-8-THC Flower?

A blooming hemp plant just a few days before it's ready to be harvested and made into Delta-8-THC flower.

Cannabis breeders are responsible for the myriad of new high-THC strains popping up all over, and breeders and cannabis geneticists are working together to crossbreed strains that weren’t otherwise available, like high CBG strains.

You’d think that Delta-8-THC flower follows this trend—that there are specifically bred cannabis genetics that offer the Delta-8 buzz we seek. But unfortunately that’s not the case, and sourcing Delta-8-THC flower isn’t so simple.

Delta-8-THC Flower Implications

Delta-8-THC is naturally occurring in cannabis material, but only in very small quantities, usually less than 1%. That means that while Delta-8 can be sourced from natural cannabis material, the method is pretty ineffective and would make Delta-8 products far too expensive for the general public to afford.

Keep in mind that Delta-8-THC is a product of Delta-9 degradation. Hemp material (the kind of cannabis that is legal across the U.S.) can only legally contain up to 0.3% Delta-9-THC. Since Delta-9 degrades into other cannabinoids besides Delta-8 (like CBN, for instance) you can probably imagine that the naturally occurring quantities of Delta-8 found in hemp material are tiny.

Luckily, a renowned cannabis researcher unlocked a method for converting CBD, a naturally abundant cannabinoid, into Delta-8-THC in the early 2000’s. This method is now being widely used by cannabinoid extraction technicians, and Delta-8-THC material is no longer out of reach. Thanks to major advancements, you can now find legal Delta-8 material in the form of gummies, edibles, vaporizers, and—you guessed it—Delta-8-THC Flower.

But how is Delta-8-THC flower made if it isn’t a naturally occurring cannabis product?

Delta-8 Flower is Actually Hemp Flower

That’s right. Since Delta-8 doesn’t naturally occur in large quantities in any cannabis strains, manufacturers went another route. Delta-8-THC flower is actually just hemp flower (which is often marketed as CBD flower) that has Delta-8 added to it. The end result is the same—a cannabis flower that can be smoked to experience the benefits of Delta-8. But how does a non-psychoactive hemp flower get to that point?

How is Delta 8 THC Flower Made?

Manufacturers create Delta-8-THC from CBD through a process called “isomerization.” This simply means that CBD and Delta-8 are isomers, or compounds that have all of the same components, just arranged in a different order.

Isomerization is simply the process of rearranging the components of one compound to convert it into another. Nothing is added, hence why Delta-8-THC is not a true “synthetic” cannabinoid. To learn more about this CBD conversion process, read “Here’s How Delta-8-THC is Made.”

After the Delta-8 material is made from CBD, it is refined into a material called “Delta-8-THC Distillate,” or a product that has been distilled until only Delta-8-THC remains.

This pure Delta-8-THC material is then added to quality hemp flower to create a legal smoking material that carries the benefits of Delta-8. Of course, different manufacturers have different methods for creating Delta-8 flower, and they all produce widely different results.

A bottle of Delta-8-THC concentrate and hemp flower, both of the components necessary to create Delta 8 flower

Adding Delta-8-THC Concentrate to Hemp Flower

Some manufacturers use a method that requires the raw flower material to be dipped in D8 liquid. However, distillate is an oily material that doesn’t ever dry completely, which can result in a soggy flower product that isn’t easy to smoke or produces a heavy smoke. This soggy Delta-8 material may be potent, but it’s often too harsh for new hemp users.

Others have designed a method that involves lightly spraying D8 distillate onto the flower material. This Delta-8 flower won’t be as potent, but the overall smoking experience may be lighter and more enjoyable, and the flower is generally less soggy and more appealing to consumers.

One innovative method involves creating a solid Delta-8-THC distillate material that is “dusted” onto the flower. This method allows Delta-8 to be added in larger quantities, resulting in a potent D8 flower that isn’t harsh or soggy.

A combination of these methods can also be used. The method used to add Delta-8 to the raw flower material totally changes the end result, so you may need to try different products before you find one that works for you.

Benefits of Smoking Delta-8-THC Flower

As we mentioned, Delta-8-THC flower is actually hemp flower that’s had a pure Delta-8 extract added. This unique product offers the benefits of the whole-plant hemp formulation, which is something you may not get with other Delta-8 products.

Hemp flower usually contains moderate to high levels of CBD and an arrangement of other cannabinoids that may work together to provide the benefits of the entourage effect. Unlike pure Delta-8 products, D8 flower also offers the benefits of different hemp strains, which may contain different therapeutic terpenes.

We won’t go into the specific benefits of different types of hemp strains or different cannabinoid-terpene combinations because it’s far beyond the scope of this article. If you’re curious about the benefits of Delta-8 in general, you may want to read “Delta-8-THC Health Benefits.”

There are some benefits to smoking hemp flower compared to other dosing types, like the following:

  • Delta-8-THC flower is fast-acting, and you can reap the psychoactive benefits in only a few minutes.
  • Thanks to fast-acting benefits, Delta-8 flower can be easily “stacked” in small doses until you better understand your limits.
  • Although some may consider it a drawback, the effects from D8 flower may wear off more quickly than edibles, which offers more control over the user experience. Delta-8-THC flower’s effects can last anywhere from 2-4 hours.
  • Many suggest that the added CBD in the hemp flower offers a more “balanced” psychoactive experience as well as boosted therapeutic benefits.
  • Delta-8-THC flower is a good replacement for Delta-9 flower in some cases. It may offer a similar aromatic experience without many of the drawbacks, like legality or accessibility issues.
A person relaxing outdoors while smoking hand rolled Delta-8-THC flower.

Delta-8-THC Flower vs Delta-9-THC Flower

Other than the obvious differences in the ways that Delta-8 flower and Delta-9 flower are produced (since there are loads of naturally occurring high-Delta-9-THC strains), many people often ask “What’s the difference in Delta-8 flower and Delta-9 flower?”

Primarily, it’s that Delta-8-THC is less potent than Delta-9. While this may sound like a drawback, it’s actually one of the primary benefits of Delta-8. The decreased potency may make it more appropriate for beginners, and it may even make it more useful for certain medical applications.

For instance, one study looked at the benefits of Delta-8-THC for pediatric cancer patients who were undergoing traditional cancer treatments that caused nausea. Compared to Delta-9, the study found Delta-8 to be about half as potent. They found, however, that they could use Delta-8 in doses that were far larger (and more effective) without the same drawbacks associated with Delta-9.

Many anecdotal reports suggest a similar outcome—Delta-8-THC may be far less likely to incite some of the negative side effects associated with THC products, like anxiety and paranoia.

The effects are slightly different, too. In general, Delta-8’s effects are less heady and involve more body euphoria, where Delta-9 is known for having stronger cerebral effects. To learn more about the difference between the Delta-8 and Delta-9 experience, read “Delta-8-THC Effects.”

Is Delta-8 Flower Legal?

Delta-8 legality is tricky in general, and Delta-8 flower legality is even more so. Technically, Delta-8-THC is legal by federal standards. It’s covered by the “isomer” portion of the definition used to legalize hemp in the 2018 Farm Bill.

Of course, every state governs hemp differently, and some states still have legislation in place that prohibits the sale of tetrahydrocannabinols, even those derived from hemp.

For most Delta-8-THC products, you can simply check the Delta-8-THC laws in your state. However, the hemp flower used to create Delta-8 flower muddies the legal waters.

In rare cases, CBD products are still prohibited by local legislation. Some states permit the sale and use of CBD, but still restrict raw, unprocessed materials, like flower. Even if you find that Delta-8 is legal in your state, you should check your state’s CBD laws to ensure that hemp flower is also legal.

Where to Buy Delta-8-THC Flower

Delta-8-THC flower has one very significant advantage compared to Delta-9 flower—it’s much more accessible. In areas where Delta-8-THC is legal, you can buy Delta-8 flower online. While it may be easy to find a slew of Delta-8 distributors in a quick web search, there are a few steps you should take to help weed out the low-quality formulas.

A gram of Delta-8-THC flower, the smallest unit of flower generally available for purchase.
  • Look for a transparent distributor that is transparent about their manufacturing process, which means they should divulge details about how their Delta-8 is made and where they source their hemp material (U.S. grown hemp is often best).
  • A high-quality distributor will provide third-party lab tests before you buy. These tests should prove label accuracy and help you know what’s actually in a product before you buy.
  • Check out other ingredients to ensure they meet your needs. Some brands may use artificial ingredients or other potentially harmful additives.

Want premium quality Delta-8-THC flower that ships directly to your door? We recommend checking out our Delta-8-THC flower collection.

Alternatives to Delta-8-THC Flower

If you find that Delta-8 flower is not legal in your area, or you simply think you may benefit from a different D8 dosing method, there is an alternative that may provide a similar dosing experience and therapeutic profile.

Delta-8-THC vaporizers are another inhalation method made from Delta-8-THC distillate. These products often have terpenes added to offer the unique benefits of different Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid strains. Unlike flower, there’s no raw flower material, so other cannabinoids (like CBD) can also be avoided if necessary.

Still, like smoking D8 flower, Delta-8 vaporizers are fast-acting doses that can easily be stacked as needed. The effects have a similar duration (2-4 hours) and provide very similar benefits.

If you’re looking for a Delta-8 vaporizer or another Delta-8 product to fit into your daily routine, check out our full Delta-8-THC collection. We use premium, U.S. grown hemp material and industry-leading extraction techniques to make a variety of different D8 products. You’ll always find lab-tests that you can view before you buy, and all of our products are 100% Farm Bill compliant.

Resources

  1. “USDA Farm Bill (2018)” https://www.usda.gov/farmbill
  2. “An efficient new cannabinoid antiemetic in pediatric oncology” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7776837/
  3. “Isomer” https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/earth-and-planetary-sciences/isomer

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