Even the most experienced hemp consumers can get a little confused as they navigate the budding Delta-8 market. For those with less experience buying hemp concentrates and THC products, the technical terminology can definitely complicate the process.
You may have noticed that most products are made with something called "Delta-8-THC distillate," but what is Delta-8 distillate? And what exactly does it mean for you, the consumer?
Luckily, it's not really all that complicated. Distillate simply refers to the purification method used during manufacturing, and Delta-8-THC distillate is a clean, potent form of D8 concentrate that's used to make almost every high-quality Delta-8 product on the market. The most complicated part is understanding how to separate a high-quality distillate from a poorly made one in order to maximize your Delta-8 experience. Here's what you need to know:Table of Contents
Delta-8-THC distillate is a highly-concentrated form of Delta-8-THC created after the Delta-8 hemp extract is distilled to remove all of its impurities. This D8 concentrate can be marketed on its own, but is also used to make a variety of different Delta 8 products. In other words, the quality of the Delta-8-THC distillate used during manufacturing heavily impacts the quality of the final product. This is true whether you're buying Delta-8 flower, edibles, or oils.
Let's start at the beginning: Delta-8-THC is made from hemp-derived CBD through a process called isomerization. Delta-8 and CBD are isomers, meaning both compounds contain all of the same components, just arranged in a different order.
During the isomerization process, CBD is exposed to an acid, usually acetic acid, which rearranges its molecular structure into Delta-8. Nothing else is added or removed, the CBD molecule is simply rearranged, which is why Delta-8-THC is distinctly different from a synthetic cannabinoid.
After the isomerization process, the majority of the resulting extract is composed of Delta-8, but the process can also leave other cannabinoids, terpenes, unwanted plant materials, and solvents behind. The distillation process is a refinement method used to remove all of these other compounds to create a Delta-8 extract that is highly potent and pure.
Distillation involves the selective heating and cooling of a substance that forces compounds apart, allowing unwanted compounds to be removed. (For comparison, distillation is a common method used to purify drinking water.)
Because of the high temperatures used during distillation, the resulting Delta-8 distillate is fully activated and ready to consume. Then, the potent D8 extract can be used to make a variety of different Delta-8 products.
As we mentioned, Delta-8-THC distillate can be used on its own just like other hemp concentrates. This can provide incredibly potent doses, and gives consumers the ability to create their own unique Delta-8 products.
However, this is not the most common way that Delta-8 is sold. Instead, Delta-8-THC distillate is used to make a variety of different products, like edibles and oils. Delta-8 distillate is also sprayed on to hemp flower to create Delta-8-THC flower. There's really no limit to the way that the Delta-8-THC concentrate can be used to create products with different potencies, flavors, and dosing techniques.
Still, not all Delta-8-THC distillate is made equal, so it's important to understand how to identify high-quality distillate and well made products when you get ready to buy.
Delta-8 distillate varies from brand-to-brand and sometimes even from batch to batch, but there are four things to consider when deciding whether or not a product is well made and safe to consume. Before you buy Delta-8 distillate, check the following:
It may go without saying, but a brand’s reputation is important, especially in the widely unregulated hemp industry. Do a little "background check" on the brand by reading the reviews, checking out their hemp source (U.S. grown, pesticide-free hemp is best) and their manufacturing standards (like using a cGMP compliant facility).
The purity of your Delta-8 distillate matters. Ensure that the products you choose are free of contaminants like mold, pesticides, or solvents. At Vida Optima, our hemp is tested prior to manufacturing to make sure that none of these contaminants make their way to the final product.
Always check the third-party lab reports to verify the potency of a product. Potency can vary from batch to batch, but distillate is typically composed of 90% Delta-8-THC or higher, with the rest of the formula reserved for terpenes. Make sure that the test results verify the information on the product’s label so that you know exactly how much Delta-8-THC you're buying, and exactly how much of the product to consume.
The appearance of a pure Delta-8-THC distillate can tell you a lot about its quality. For instance, Delta-8-THC distillate should be mostly clear, typically with a golden or rose colored hue. Dark brown or muddy-looking distillate should be avoided. The distillate should also be free of cloudiness, which could indicate a misstep during the manufacturing process.
If you are not buying pure Delta-8-THC distillate, but a product made with Delta-8 distillate, you still need to be wary of poor-quality formulations. Of course, you won't be able to check the distillate for clarity or color when it is used as an ingredient in a more complex product like a tincture or vape oil. Still, the quality checking process is mostly the same.
Check the brand's reputation, manufacturing techniques, and quality standards. Then, confirm that they use a third-party lab testing process to verify label accuracy. To learn more about how to buy Delta-8, read our Ultimate Delta-8-THC Guide.
Or check out one of our our Delta-8 Buyer’s Guides to learn more about checking the quality of different products:
Our premium Delta-8-THC products are made with potent Delta-8 distillate that's free of pesticides and contaminants. Whether you're looking for Delta-8 edibles, sublingual tinctures, vape carts, or flower, we guarantee that our entire collection is made according to the industry's highest standards.
All Vida Optima products are 100% Farm Bill compliant and third party tested. Check out our Elev8 Collection to snag some of the most unique flavors and dosing styles on the market.
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