Delta-8 has become quite the buzzword lately, but many people are still unsure exactly what it is and if it’s a synthetic THC cannabinoid or not. Today, we’re diving deep into the nature of Delta-8 THC and answering your most pressing questions about its origins such as, how do we get extracts from the hemp plant, and how does it work?
Now, for starters, Delta-8 THC is a minor cannabinoid derived from hemp. Because it contains less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC, it’s legal under the 2018 Farm Bill. Although it’s federally legal, there are no official federal regulations in place on the manufacturing of Delta-8 THC — and that’s usually the sticking point.
Because it’s not officially regulated, Delta-8 has generated some negative media attention lately, and some states have looked to prohibit the sale of Delta-8 products. Here’s what you need to know.
What Is Delta-8?
So, what is Delta-8 THC? Well, it’s a minor cannabinoid naturally occurring in hemp plants. The Delta-8 that you buy in a store is derived from CBD that has been extracted from hemp plants. Many retailers and manufacturers even refer to the substance as Delta-8 CBD. Confusing? That’s okay — let us explain further.
Is Delta-8 THC Synthetic?
First, is Delta-8 THC synthetic, or natural? Delta-8 exists in all cannabis plants, which means it is natural. However, it only occurs in tiny amounts. So in order for us to extract enough of it to use in our products, we must help nature along with science. By using isomerization, a process where molecules are isolated with the help of heat and acid, our facilities are able to produce larger quantities of it. In this way, Delta-8 THC is both natural and synthetic.
How Do We Extract Our Delta-8 From Hemp?
As we’ve mentioned, our Delta-8 products are federally legal. We do this by extracting CBD from American-grown hemp plants. Then, using acetic acid, the CBD is catalyzed and then neutralized by a solvent to remove the rest of the acid. We then purify the final product, effectively removing all contaminants from the distillate before manufacturing the finished product.
Delta-8 extracts can then be put into any number of products. Our Gummies, Syringes, and Cartridges all use potent and pure Delta-8 extracts to ensure their utmost quality. Our Delta-8 Pre-Rolls use premium hemp flower mixed with the extract to create a smokeable Delta-8 experience that’s very similar to smoking a regular Delta-9 THC joint. The fact that Delta-8 THC is synthetic actually helps reduce some of the negative side effects that some people suffer from when using Delta-9 products.
Is Synthetic Delta-8 THC Safe?
What some users may ask before they try our Delta-8 products is, what about the lab results? When expertly extracting Delta-8 from CBD, we must have a process afterward to check our work, right? Indeed we do. All of our facilities are GMP and ISO 9001 certified. This means every step of the extraction process is closely monitored to ensure that the highest safety standards are met.
Then, we have every batch double-checked by an unbiased third-party lab. Our products are double-tested to verify that our lab results match up right. These lab tests quantify how much Delta-8 and other cannabinoids are present within the Delta-8 extracts. Likewise, they test for decontaminants, fertilizers, and any other pollutants that could be in the product.
The Healthy Use Of Plant Extracts
Keep in mind, humans have used plant extracts to enhance the taste, color, and healthfulness of food and medicine for thousands of years. Most vitamins and health supplements are made through the same isomerization process that we use to create Delta-8. Sugar substitutes are another popular example. Many people prefer to eat foods that have been colored using natural dyes from items such as beets and turmeric, all of which are made using this extraction process.
All of this is to say that calling Delta-8 THC synthetic is simply pointing out that it’s mass-produced using the same process as vitamins, sugar, and food coloring.
So Why Are States Concerned About It?
The problem is that Delta-8 THC products are still fairly new and have not had the chance to be tested and studied as much as CBD. This makes some state legislators nervous. Add to that the fact that so many companies online are selling uncertified or untested Delta-8 products, and Delta-8 as a whole has suffered a hit to its reputation.
Unfortunately, many lawmakers would rather be overly cautious and quick to judge rather than fund lengthy and costly studies that would prove that synthetic Delta-8 THC is harmless. Especially when it is made from hemp plants that are grown in the US, and are GMO and pesticide free like ours, there’s no evidence that Delta-8 is unsafe for consumption.
If every Delta-8 company was regulated and forced to third-party lab test and certify all of their products, then the states wouldn’t need to worry, and neither would you. This is why it’s so important to only buy Delta-8 or other hemp-derived products from brands that have a policy of total transparency and that you trust.
As of 2023, a total of 21 states have placed regulations on the sale of Delta-8 or outright banned it. (If you’re unsure whether synthetic Delta-8 THC is legal in your state or not, see our interactive map.
Tips for Consumers & Retailers
Okay, some of this news might have been scarier than you were expecting. They’re cracking down on Delta-8 regulations? What happens if I live in one of these states? Whether you are a retailer or a Delta-8 consumer, this affects you at some level. Fortunately, there are some best practices you can exercise when it comes to Delta-8 products as well as a few tips for the companies selling these hemp-derived products.
If you’re in a legal state for adult-use cannabis, you can purchase Delta-8 from a licensed cannabis retailer or directly on our website. This is good because state-licensed dispensaries only offer reputable products. This also helps to ensure that your synthetic Delta-8 THC product is lab-tested for potency and purity. If you’re in a dispensary, you should be able to browse through the lab results; and if you’re on our platform, we’ve got them ready for your viewing pleasure whenever necessary.
In fact, we provide a QR code on each of our products to match the third-party Certificate of Analysis it was tested through. This makes it easy for you to see for yourself exactly what you’re getting. Overall, the lab results should show you if the product is free of pesticides and other chemicals, doesn’t contain any unknown compounds, and contains the cannabinoids it claims to at the quantities it claims.
On the retailer side, we have quite a few more tips and tricks.
First, you’ll want to maintain adequate insurance coverage on your products. Even further, request that your vendors and suppliers also take advantage of this coverage. This helps you withstand the weather of liability, as many other companies will have to struggle through various Delta-8 changes and regulations.
Structures in Place
To make sure you’re ready for any adverse events or customer complaints, have Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in place already. For example, your staff should know exactly what to do when a customer calls about a request that your company cannot accommodate. You want your customers to feel heard, especially when it comes to a substance that isn’t even legal in every state.
Compliant with Relevant Laws
Next, make sure your products are compliant with any and all state laws that are applicable. This includes any relevant laws that have to do with advertising, labeling, ingredients, or manufacturing.
Don’t Advertise the Wrong Things
Another important tip: Don’t spout that the product will get your customers high. Focus on its other benefits and talk about the facts. Also, while you’re at it, make sure you’re limiting the concentration of Delta-8 THC per recommended serving size. One of the things states are worried about is the amount of synthetic Delta-8 THC that companies are putting into their products.
Restrict Through Age Verification
Purchases should be limited to adults 21 years of age or older. Even though you’re an adult at 18, there are plenty of laws that require someone to be over the age of 21 to purchase certain products.
The manufacturing facility you choose should comply with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) regulations. If you’re contracted with a solid company like that, you should be good to go.
Derive from Lawful Sources
Ensure the hemp you’re deriving your Delta-8 extract from comes from lawful sources. Eighty Six, for example, follows all legal channels possible when sourcing our distillate, manufacturers, and much more. All our products are under the strictest of industry regulations so that we make absolutely sure that we get it right every time.
Finally, make sure you’re complying with all federal and state food and drug laws. This can be done fairly easily by just complying with GRAS, or Generally Recognized As Safe, procedures.
Whether you consider Delta-8 THC to be natural or synthetic the important thing to know is that it’s perfectly safe and fun to use. Delta-8 is a natural plant extract that can benefit a lot of people who don’t enjoy the strong side effects of Delta-9 THC. As long as you buy from brands you trust and use the recommended dosage, you’ll be in for a relaxing good time. Browse our collection and elevate your vibe today!