In the ever-expanding world of herbal supplements, one thing is certain: Delta-8 is here to stay, and the market for it is only growing. The popular hemp-based supplement is widely used both for relaxation and for recreational purposes, and more products based on Delta-8 are coming out seemingly every day.
That’s great news for the cannabinoid’s many existing fans, but it can lead to a bit of confusion if you’re never tried Delta-8 before and want to experience it for yourself. With such a wide variety of different products available – and each one seemingly claiming to be the most potent on the market – how can you possibly decide which product to try first?
In this article, we’re going to help you get started by walking you through the different types of Delta-8 products that are on the market today. Although there’s quite a lot of variety, you’ll find that most of the products fall into a few fairly narrow categories based on how you use them.
Once you understand the pros and cons of the different types of Delta-8 products, it’ll be much easier for you to decide what to buy first.
Let’s dive in.
1. Info for Beginners: What Is Delta-8?
In case you’re completely new to Delta-8, we’ll get you started with a brief overview explaining what this supplement is. Delta-8 is a cannabinoid, which means that it is one of the active ingredients found in the cannabis plant. It is more properly known as Delta-8 THC, which means that it’s chemically related to the better-known cannabinoid Delta-9 THC. Delta-9 is the primary cannabinoid that makes you feel euphoric when you smoke marijuana.
Unlike Delta-9, though, Delta-8 isn’t produced from marijuana and isn’t a federally controlled substance. Instead, it’s produced from a type of cannabis known as industrial hemp that’s very low in Delta-9 THC and is federally legal since 2018. Delta-8 does have euphoric properties, but it’s about half as potent as Delta-9. The fact that Delta-8 is legal makes it especially popular in states that don’t allow any medical or recreational access to cannabis.
The other important thing to know about Delta-8 is that it’s available as a single-cannabinoid distillate. Because it’s available in such a pure and highly refined form, it’s easy to add Delta-8 to a wide variety of different products. CBD has the same feature – in fact, Delta-8 is obtained from CBD in a process of molecular conversion called isomerization.
With that basic information out of the way, what are the different types of Delta-8 products that you can buy today? Here’s an overview of the products and their pros and cons.
2. Vaped Delta-8 Products
Without a doubt, vaping is definitely one of the most popular ways to consume Delta-8. That’s partially because, with many types of Delta-8 vaping products available, it’s easy to find something that meets your requirements for convenience, portability and potency. Delta-8 vaping products are also popular because they’re extremely fast acting. When you inhale an active compound, it enters your bloodstream almost instantly – you’ll begin to feel the effects right away.
The downside of vaping is that it’s not very discreet if you’re looking for a type of Delta-8 that you can use in public. Since you’ll exhale a visible cloud, people will know what you’re doing – and that means you’ll be subject to public smoking bans and won’t be allowed to vape in places where you can’t smoke.
These are the four most common types of Delta-8 products for vaping.
- Disposable Vapes: A Delta-8 disposable vape is fully charged and filled with Delta-8 vape oil, so it’s ready to use as soon as you remove it from the package. It’ll usually last through several long vaping sessions before the battery dies – and at that point, you’ll throw it away.
- Pre-Filled Vape Cartridges: You use a pre-filled Delta-8 cartridge by connecting it to a vape pen. Delta-8 vape carts are almost as convenient as disposable vapes, but they cost less because you provide your own rechargeable device.
- Delta-8 Vape Oils: When you use a Delta-8 vape oil, you dispense it yourself into a cartridge. Vape oils are very thick and usually work best with cartridges that have ceramic wicks.
- Delta-8 E-Liquids: Delta-8 e-liquid is diluted with vegetable glycerin and/or propylene glycol, so it’s significantly thinner than Delta-8 vape oil. As a result, Delta-8 e-liquid can work with any vape tank or pod.
3. Edible Delta-8 Products
The two most common edible Delta-8 products are gummies – which you eat – and capsules, which you swallow. Edible Delta-8 products are much more discreet than vaped products because they look the same as any other gummy or capsule-based supplement. They’re also not subject to restrictions like public smoking bans, so you can use them anywhere. Another benefit of Delta-8 capsules and gummies is that they’re pre-measured, so you get exactly the same dose every time.
As convenient and discreet as edible Delta-8 products are, they also have a significant drawback in that their absorption speed is much slower than that of vaped products. Because all of the absorption takes place in your digestive system, the Delta-8 has to reach your intestines before it can begin to enter your bloodstream. After you use a Delta-8 gummy or capsule, it might be an hour or longer before you begin to feel the effects.
4. Sublingual Delta-8 Products
Sublingual Delta-8 products – also known as tinctures – occupy a sort of middle ground in the range of absorption speeds. You use a tincture by placing the oil under your tongue for up to a minute or so. You’ll then swallow the oil. While you hold the tincture under your tongue, the Delta-8 absorbs through your sublingual artery. That’s a fairly quick process compared to using an edible product. With a Delta-8 tincture, you’ll begin to feel the effects within a few minutes. That’s much faster than waiting an hour or more for an edible product to start working.
Delta-8 tinctures do, however, have two small drawbacks. The first is that some people may not like the “hempy” flavor of a Delta-8 tincture. Gummies are heavily sweetened, so they’re obviously tastier. Another drawback of using a tincture is that you measure it with a dropper, which isn’t quite as precise as using a product in which the dosage is measured for you.