Does Delta-8 Flower Need to Be Decarbed?

by Kat Austin November 19, 2021 6 min read

Does Delta-8 Flower Need to Be Decarbed? - Vida Optima™

Delta-8-THC flower is a lot like traditional cannabis flower—you can smoke it, vape it, and you can even make homemade edibles with it. The question is, does Delta-8-THC flower need to be decarbed like traditional cannabis flower?

Thankfully, no, Delta-8-THC flower doesn’t need to be decarbed. The Delta-8 found in D8 flower already exists in an active form. That means that you can easily use it to infuse oils to create homemade baked goods or other DIY Delta-8 edible recipes, but there still may be some benefits to just using a Delta-8 concentrate for this purpose.

Let's touch on why Delta-8-THC doesn't need to be decarbed and why it's still may not be the best option for making edibles:

Table of Contents
Why Doesn’t Delta-8-THC Need to Be Decarbed?
Can You Make Edibles from Delta-8-THC Flower?
Does Delta-8 Burn Away When You Smoke It?
What’s the Best Method for Consuming Delta-8 Flower?
Where to Get Delta-8-THC Flower

Key Takeaways

  • Delta-8-THC flower is already in its active form, so no decarbing is needed.
  • Although this essentially means you can skip the decarbing step while making edibles, there may be better Delta-8 products to use in homemade recipes.
  • A Delta-8 concentrate, like a tincture, is a perfect option for making potent, precisely dosed edibles.
  • You can buy Delta-8 flower and concentrates online from any state where Delta-8 is legal.

Why Doesn't Delta-8-THC Need to Be Decarbed?

The process for making Delta-8 flower is much different than the process for making Delta-9 flower. With Delta-9, or traditional cannabis flower, the flower is grown and harvested at a point where it is rich in THCa. This tetrahydrocannabinolic acid is not yet active, so it needs to be exposed to heat, or decarbed, before it produces any psychoactive effects.

A flowering hemp plant just before harvested for Delta-8 production

In other words, exposing cannabis to heat is what transforms THCa into THC. If you've ever made edibles at home with traditional cannabis flower, you know that decarbing your bud is a crucial first step to making potent edibles.

Alternatively, Delta-8-THC flower doesn't contain THCa. Instead, it's made by spraying Delta-8 distillate onto CBD-rich hemp flower.

Delta-8-THC distillate is a potent form of Delta-8 concentrate that is already fully activated and ready to go. It's actually the form of Delta-8-THC that's used to make most, if not all, Delta-8 products on the market.

So, why is Delta-8 flower different from Delta-9 flower in this regard? Because Delta-8-THC is hard to source in natural, unprocessed hemp material. Delta-8 is a natural cannabinoid, but because it's a byproduct of Delta-9-THC degradation, it's more easily sourced from high-THC cannabis material.

In order to make it legal according to federal hemp laws, manufacturers use hemp-derived CBD material and a special manufacturing process (called isomerization) to make Delta-8-THC concentrate. Thus, the Delta-8 material that is sprayed onto low-THC hemp flower is activated and will incite psychoactive effects without being heated.

Can You Make Edibles From Delta-8-THC Flower?

Since Delta-8 flower is fully decarbed, the next obvious question is "Can you still use it to make Delta-8 edibles?"

The answer is yes, you can use Delta-8-THC flower to make edibles, and you could just skip the first step of decarbing the bud. In fact, you could actually just eat Delta-8-THC flowers straight and you would still get high, although we obviously don't recommend that route when there are perfectly good edibles available.

It's important to understand that Delta-8 is a product that's addedto the hemp flower and is not partof the hemp flower. That means that while making edibles, like a Delta-8 infused oil that you could make brownies with, you're essentially just leaching the Delta-8 distillate out of the flower.

Of course, you'll also be able to extract some of the hemp's natural cannabinoid profile, like it's CBD and terpene content, which may be a benefit.

But if you're just after the Delta-8-THC, you may be better off using a concentrated form of Delta-8 oil, like a Delta-8 tincture, to make edibles. Not only does this avoid the redundancy of removing what's just been added to the hemp flower, but it allows you to more accurately control the dosage of your homemade Delta-8 edibles, and is likely the more cost-effective option.

Can You Eat Delta 8 Flower?

Since Delta-8 doesn't need to be decarbed, you technically can consume raw Delta-8 flower. However, this isn't a recommended consumption method, and it may produce weaker psychoactive effects than if you made edibles or smoked the Delta-8 flower instead. 

Does Delta-8 Burn Away When You Smoke It?

With traditional cannabis flower, the THCa is decarbed as you smoke it. That leads many people to wonder if Delta-8-THC is degraded as it is smoked since it already exists in its active form.

The answer is no, Delta-8-THC does not degrade when it is burned, at least not anymore than you can expect with any cannabis flower. In other words, combustion, or the act of burning cannabinoid material, will always result in some potency loss, but you shouldn't worry about any significant lack of potency. In fact, smoking Delta-8-THC flower is one of the quickest ways to reap its psychoactive effects, and smoking enough Delta 8 flour can produce some seriously potent effects.

What's the Best Method for Consuming Delta-8 Flower?

As we mentioned earlier, you could essentially eat raw Delta-8-THC flower to experience its effects because the Delta-8-THC on the flower is fully activated. Of course, this is far from the best way to consume Delta-8 flower, unless you're a huge fan of munching down on gritty hemp material. No? Didn't think so.

The best method for consuming Delta-8-THC flower probably isn't surprising. Most people prefer to just smoke it in a bowl or a joint. Both of these methods allow you to enjoy the fragrant, earthy bud in its most natural form.

Three hand rolled Delta-8-THC joints, a common way of consuming Delta-8 flower

In fact, smoking Delta-8 is incredibly similar to smoking traditional cannabis flower in terms of smell and taste. Of course, you can also put it in a dry herb vaporizer, which is a consumption method that is said to have fewer harmful effects because you aren't actually inhaling smoke.

Both methods will work just fine for reaping Delta-8 benefits, and the way you should consume Delta-8 flower is really just based on your preference.

Again, if you're hoping to use your Delta-8 flower to create homemade Delta-8-THC edibles we suggest you grab a Delta-8 tincture instead. That way, you can precisely control the potency of your homemade edibles without losing any control over the recipe itself.

Where to Get Delta-8-THC Flower?

Because Delta-8 is federally legal, you can buy it online and in stores in any state where Delta-8 THC is legal. For more information on the Delta-8 laws in your state, you may want to read “Where is Delta 8 THC Legal? A State by State Guide to Delta-8 Laws.”

You can find a selection of different Delta-8-THC flower strains, including popular strains like Pineapple Express and Gorilla Glue, in our Elev8 Collection. Or, opt for one of our delicious edibles, like our sublingual style Delta-8 Chews, which offer the benefit of fast acting effects.

Either way, rest assured that you're getting top-quality, safe Delta-8-THC products. All Vida Optima products are 100% Farm Bill compliant and third-party tested.

Vida Optima Elev8 Collection

You may also want to read:


FAQ on Hemp Flower and Delta 8

Do you have to decarb hemp flower?

Yes, you need to decarboxylate (decarb) hemp flower to activate the cannabinoids, like CBD or THC. Decarboxylation involves heating the flower to convert the cannabinoid acids (e.g., CBDA and THCA) into their active forms (CBD and THC).

How to consume delta 8 flower?

Delta 8 flower can be consumed in various ways:

  • Smoking: Use a pipe, bong, or roll it into a joint.
  • Vaporizing: Use a dry herb vaporizer to heat the flower without combustion.
  • Infusion: Add it to oils or butter for making edibles.

Can you make edibles with Delta 8 buds?

Yes, you can make edibles with Delta 8 buds. Start by decarbing the buds to activate the Delta 8 THC, then infuse it into a fat-based medium like butter or oil. This infusion can then be used in your edible recipes.

How is Delta 8 infused into flower?

Delta 8 THC is typically infused into flower by spraying or coating the hemp flower with Delta 8 distillate. This process ensures the Delta 8 is evenly distributed throughout the flower, enhancing its potency.

Why is delta 8 flower not getting me high?

If Delta 8 flower isn't getting you high, it could be due to several reasons:

  • Tolerance: Regular cannabis users may have a higher tolerance to THC.
  • Dosage: The amount of Delta 8 in the flower may be too low.
  • Quality: The product may not contain the advertised amount of Delta 8.
  • Individual Differences: People metabolize cannabinoids differently, and some may be less sensitive to Delta 8.

What happens when you smoke delta 8 flower?

When you smoke Delta 8 flower, you may experience mild psychoactive effects, including relaxation, euphoria, and stress relief. These effects are typically less intense than those from Delta 9 THC, making Delta 8 a preferred option for those seeking a milder high. Some users also report clearer-headed and less anxious experiences compared to Delta 9.

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