Prefilled delta 8 THC cartridges are among the most desired forms of this cannabinoid.
They’re easy to use (even if you haven’t vaped before), incorporate into your existing device, and best of all — they are legal in the USA.
At least theoretically.
Today, we’ll explore delta 8 THC cartridges top to bottom, including the top 3 brands to check out if you’re looking for high-grade delta 8 THC vapes, and information on the legality and safety of these products where you live.
Top 3 Delta 8 THC Cartridges for 2021
- Area52 Delta 8 Vape Cartridges
- Finest Labs Delta 8 Vape Cartridges
- Delta Effex Cartridges
Area52 has recently entered the delta 8 THC space making big headlines due to the quality of their ingredients and the purity of their delta 8 THC vape cartridges. The company features a premium selection of products extracted from organic hemp and tested by an independent laboratory for potency and safety.
Area52 admits that the products they offer are on the higher price end, but the transparency and integrity of their testing make it worth spending a few bucks more on a craft-quality product. The certificates of analysis cover everything from the delta 8 THC content to the entire cannabinoid profile to terpenes and potential contaminants.
The brand currently has one vape in its line up. It’s a Delta 8 THC distillate infused with cannabis-derived terpenes from the Pineapple Express strain. The cart carries 900 mg of delta 8 THC in 1 mL, making it an efficient option for those who vape D8 throughout the day. This vape feels very energizing and provides positive vibes without the overwhelming effects associated with D9 — great for daytime use. It’s also one of the best tasting delta 8 products we’ve tested so far.
2. Finest Labs
This company is one of our top-rated vendors for delta 8 THC vape carts — especially if you’re just getting started with this cannabinoid. Finest Labs offers a lower potency range than Area52, but with the same high standards when it comes to the quality of ingredients.
You can choose only one strain so far — Blueberry — which contains 500 mg of delta 8 THC combined with strain-specific terpenes. This vape works on the other spectrum of delta 8 properties, inducing a calmer state of mind, noticeable physical relaxation, and a jolt of creativity.
The cartridge fits the 510 threading that’s considered the standard for the vaping industry.
3. Delta Effex
Delta Effex is a California-based brand owned by popular vape manufacturer Savage Enterprises. They have quickly become an industry leader since its launch in 2013 due to their high standard and savvy marketing.
The brand offers three interesting fruit flavors that are influenced by popular cannabis strains — including Cali Orange Kush, Grand Daddy Purp, and Strawberry Cough.
Grand Daddy Purp is a grape-flavored liquid; Cali Orange has a refreshing orange taste (our favorite one); Strawberry Cough is a Sativa-dominant liquid that tastes exactly what it sounds like but without the cough.
Delta Effex is the best Delta 8 company if you’re looking for vape carts suited for different times of the day. The company also has very reasonable prices and offers free statewide shipping.
What Are Delta 8 Cartridges?
A cart is short for cartridge — which is a prefilled container with vape liquid. A delta 8 THC cartridge contains active delta 8 THC; it can be combined with other cannabinoids and terpenes, but it usually features a d8 distillate and a strain-specific terpene blend. They’re designed to attach to a vape pen battery tank. They’re also considered more affordable than disposable vape pens because they allow you to reuse the battery components.
There are plenty of different companies offering delta 8 THC carts, but most use the same standard 510 threading that works with the vast majority (90%) of electronic vape devices on the market today. Some units may not use the standard 510 threading, so double-check your pen before making a purchase.
Cartridges are disposable, so you can get rid of them once they’re emptied. There’s no need to play around with refilling e-juices or the sticky distillate. You just grab one cartridge, throw it away, take another one, and attach it to your battery.
Simplicity at its finest.
What Does Delta 8 THC Feel Like?
Delta 8 THC induces similar effects to its delta 8 THC version — but it’s about half as potent.
These products are mildly intoxicating, so you can get slightly high, just as if you vaped marijuana. However, you’ll need to use about twice as much delta 8 THC as you would with delta 9 THC to experience exactly the same effects.
The main difference between delta 8 and delta 9 THC is in their side effects.
Delta 9 THC can feel overwhelming at a certain dosage, especially if you have sensitive CB1 receptors. The side effects such as anxiety and paranoia are the common reasons why some people choose to avoid traditional marijuana products.
Delta 8 THC is known to produce fewer side effects overall, helping the user avoid the above issues.
Why Are Delta 8 Vapes So Popular?
Delta 8 THC comes in many different forms, including D8 tinctures, D8 gummies, D8 concentrates, D8 capsules, and even D8-rich cannabis flowers (buds covered in a delta 8 THC solution).
So, why are people choosing delta 8 vapes as their go-to way to take D8 with so many options out there?
The benefits of delta 8 THC vape cartridges include:
- High cost-efficiency
- Ease of use
- Consistent doses of delta 8 THC
- Several years of shelf life
How to Store Delta 8 THC Vape Cartridges
Delta 8 THC is a very durable component — it has a much longer shelf life than the standard delta 9 THC products. As long as you keep your vape cartridges out of direct sunlight or too high temperatures, they should remain usable for several years.
The best way to store D8 carts is in a dark container, a cabinet, or drawer away from any heat source.
Delta 8 THC Dosage: How Many Hits Do I Need to Feel the Effects?
Dosing cannabinoids is challenging, and so is the truth for delta 8 THC. The amount you inhale from your cartridge could vary depending on the device, the force with which you inhale, and the temperature when you take the draw.
The best way to assess the right dose is to start with just one or two deep inhales and then wait up to 30 minutes for the effects to take hold. Then repeat every 30 minutes until you feel the desired effects.
It’s better to take less at the beginning and slowly increase your dose to avoid going too far. You can always take another hit, but when you take one-too-many, it may take some time until the effects fade off, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
For most people, the optimal dosage seems to be around 5–6 puffs. This gives them relatively strong effects but without anxiety or any kind of mental distress.
Can You Build Tolerance to Delta 8 THC?
Tolerance refers to a reduction in the effects of a substance with regular use. The idea is that you need more of the substance to achieve the same effect over time.
Your body will build a tolerance to just about every compound. Unfortunately, delta 8 THC is known for having a particularly high rate of tolerance. If you take it regularly for about 4 weeks, you may need to increase the dose to get the same type of high.
The best way to prevent building tolerance is to keep your delta 8 THC use in moderation. You can use it every other day or take a clearing period once every two weeks if you notice that you’re less responsive to the effects.
One positive aspect is that the tolerance to delta 8 THC is reversed as quickly as it forms. You only need to take a break for about one week for the tolerance to decrease.
Is Delta 8 THC Legal?
The 2018 Farm Bill made a clear distinction between high-THC cannabis plants and hemp. Hemp plants are now an agricultural commodity; they can be grown for any purpose, including health supplements and recreational products like delta 8 THC.
Why is delta 8 THC legal despite the federal government’s rough stance on delta 9 THC?
That’s because the new regulations don’t mention the delta 8 THC form. They do, however, mention, that all hemp-derived products are legal federally as long as they contain 0.3% of THC or less.
Companies selling delta 8 THC use a process that converts CBD — the non-intoxicating cannabinoid — into the delta 8 form of THC. This method is also legal on the federal level.
Other extraction methods include sourcing the cannabinoid straight from marijuana plants (which is legal only in states that have legalized marijuana) or through the conversion from delta 9 THC to delta 8 THC, which is also federally illegal.
That being said, a few states have introduced their own laws that prohibit the sale of delta 8 THC. The list includes Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, and Utah.
Is Delta 8 THC Safe?
Most evidence on the effects of THC comes from anecdotal reports; there isn’t much research available on the specific traits of delta 8 THC. However, the studies we do have have never indicated any correlation between delta 8 THC use and severe or life-threatening side effects.
In fact, there are many reports from delta 8 THC users that claim the cannabinoid entails a lower risk of anxious side effects compared to its delta 9 counterpart. People report lower chances of anxiety or paranoia after taking delta 8 THC — this is the main reason why it has become so popular among recreational cannabis users.
However, there are a few side effects that you should be aware of when using delta 8 THC:
- Dry mouth
- Dry eyes
- Difficulty concentrating
- Anxiety (extremely rarely)
Potential Risks of Using Delta 8 THC Carts
Although Delta 8 THC has a good safety profile — the chemicals some companies are using in their carts may be dangerous for your health.
Delta 8 THC is legal only when extracted from hemp — which the government deem “any Cannabis sativa plant that produces less than 0.3% THC in total.”
Hemp contains negligible amounts of delta 8 THC naturally, so it needs to be synthesized from CBD. While this is possible thanks to recent technological advancements, it requires the use of toxic chemicals, which can be harmful to our health.
High-quality Delta 8 THC cartridges have been purified from these compounds — and can prove it with Certificates of Analysis from a third-party laboratory.
If a company doesn’t provide the lab reports for potency and purity, it is the product that can make delta 8 THC dangerous — not the cannabinoid itself.
What to Look for when Searching for Delta 8 THC Cartridges
When choosing from different delta 8 THC brands and their carts, some research is required before you hand out your hard-earned money. This is a dynamically evolving market, and there are a lot of good companies making some really amazing products — but there’s an equal number of low-quality manufacturers churning out contaminated extracts and mislabeled delta 8 carts.
Here’s what you should check out when shopping for delta 8 THC carts online
1. Make Sure the Product is Third-Party Tested
Third-party testing means that a company sends a small sample of its products to an independent laboratory for content analysis.
This step is considered the golden standard and contributes to the company’s transparency. It’s paramount for delta 8 THC products to be tested considering the unregulated nature of this market. When you look at how delta 8 THC is made, you’ll understand the need for third-party testing.
The harsh chemicals used during the aforementioned conversion process are difficult to purge and require expensive equipment as well as highly qualified lab workers. Third-party testing is the only way to ensure that the purification process was done correctly.
All certificates from a third-party laboratory should include:
- Delta 8 concentration
- Cannabinoid profile
- Terpene profile
- Heavy metal testing
- Pesticide testing
- Residual solvent testing
If the company you’re looking at doesn’t offer third-party testing on their products, there may be something they’re trying to hide. There are actually three reasons why companies would refrain from publishing their lab reports — all three are warning signs:
- The product didn’t pass the test — this could be caused by failing to deliver the promised potency or by the presence of contaminants that make the product dangerous.
- The company didn’t send samples for testing — if the company doesn’t care about sending their products for laboratory testing, why would they care for your health?
- The company doesn’t want to send samples for testing — there are a lot of brands in the space owned by people who simply don’t know their business and the standards they should abide by. Avoid these brands.
2. Check the Ingredients List
Many companies were adding harsh chemicals to their vape pens in the past, including vitamin E acetate, which can cause serious lung damage. Only companies that don’t know how to make vape products (or don’t care about quality) continue to add suspicious ingredients to their vape pens. It’s not difficult to find vendors that still offer vape carts with such ingredients.
The only ingredients you should see on the list aside from delta 8 THC distillate are other cannabinoids, terpenes, vegetable glycerine, propylene glycol, or flavoring agents.
3. Check How the Product is Made
Delta 8 THC is the same compound regardless of the source. But the source can affect its legal status.
The only federally approved products (aside from states where marijuana is legal) are made from hemp. This means that marijuana-derived delta 8 THC carts may be illegal where you live.
Always confirm that your delta 8 THC product comes from hemp plants.
If you live in a state that has legalized marijuana for recreational use, you don’t have to bother yourself with this. In fact, it’s actually better to buy a marijuana-derived product from a legal market because it requires less chemicals to produce the distillate from marijuana than it does from hemp.
Companies to Avoid when Shopping for Delta 8 THC Cartridges
As a booming market, the delta 8 THC space is home to many great suppliers, but it’s also a place where a lot of unethical and low-quality vendors are trying to make a quick buck. As a matter of fact, most brands offering delta 8 products at the moment aren’t using ethical extraction methods and don’t test their products for safety.
The problem of purity derives from how the delta 8 is extracted.
Unlike delta 9 THC, delta 8 isn’t synthesized by cannabis plants naturally. Instead, it results from the degradation of delta 9 THC.
THC is first produced from another cannabinoid called CBG (cannabigerol). Enzymes in the plant either convert CBG into CBD, CBC, or Delta 9 THC.
When exposed to heat, oxygen, and UV light, D9 THC degrades into either D8 THC or CBN (cannabinol).
The delta 8 THC content in cannabis is very low. It only contributes to less than 1% of marijuana’s cannabinoid profile and is nearly nonexistent in hemp plants.
The traditional way of making cannabinoid products is to simply extract the active compounds from the plant using CO2 or ethanol. Since the delta 8 content is so poor, manufacturers can’t directly extract it in amounts substantial enough to make such products cost-effectively.
Instead, delta 8 THC is made by a naturally occurring process that turns CBD into delta 8.
This is a multifaceted process that requires high-tech equipment and well-trained staff.
Reputable brands will take time to invest in proper extraction methods, avoiding the use of hazardous solvents or chemicals throughout the production process. This can make the end product more expensive, but on the other hand, it will maintain a higher level of purity than cheaper products.
This is where most companies in the delta 8 THC space are failing to deliver the right standards. They’re using dangerous chemicals (various heavy metals and acids) to convert CBD into delta 8 THC. Then they usually incorporate bleaches to get rid of the red or blue color it takes from these chemicals. The final product is toxic as a result.
The only way to prove these products are free of bleaches, acids, heavy metals, solvents, is through third-party testing — which most delta 8 companies avoid.
Third-party testing requires investing in lab assistants and intelligent chemists who will be able to conduct regular in-house and third-party testing, along with certificates of analysis.
The main brands to avoid are CannaAid, Cake, Truelive, Skyhio, CannaClear, Honey Creek Labs, and Terp Flex.
How Else Can You Use Delta 8 THC?
Vape cartridges are the most popular form of delta 8 THC right now, but they are by no means the only one. You can also find delta 8 THC in more conventional formats like tinctures, capsules, edibles, concentrates, or delta-8 THC-infused cannabis flowers.
Summarizing the Best Delta 8 THC Carts in 2021
Delta 8 THC is a popular alternative to delta 9 used by people who find the conventional THC too intense. If THC makes you anxious or paranoid, delta 8 may have the answer to your problem. Although psychoactive, Delta 8 is half as potent as delta 9, and the risk of getting anxious is extremely low. People use d8 products to improve sleep, appetite, stress response, manage chronic pain, and more.
The most popular way to use delta 8 is through a vape cartridge — which is designed to fit with standard 510 batteries. They’re the preferred option for their low cost, high bioavailability, and ease of use.
Not all delta 8 carts are made equal. There are a lot of companies selling vapes that contain high levels of delta 9 THC (illegal) or various contaminants like heavy metals, pesticides, or residual solvents. There are also plenty of brands whose products contain significantly less delta 8 than advertised.
If you’re looking for the best delta 8 THC carts online, we recommend you check out the products offered by Area52, Finest Labs, and Delta Effects. All three companies provide up-to-date third-party lab reports and are transparent enough to be trusted.
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