With delta-8-THC growing in popularity these days, users aren’t only wondering where to get it but also which form to opt for. Gummies, tinctures, or vapes — which D8 product works the best? As always, it all depends on our preferences, but vaping does stand out as the fastest way to enjoy D8, no matter where we are. Which brands make the best delta-8-THC vape cartridges, though, and how do you pick just one? Today, we review for you the top three producers right now and explain which requirements need to be met to even consider investing in a particular brand’s products.
The Best Delta-8-THC Vape Cartridges in 2021
1. Area 52
If any company in the D8 universe is dedicated to creating quality products, it’s Area 52. The brand has become popular not because it has a huge offering — we can only get D8 gummies, vape carts, and tinctures. However, its products are all thoroughly tested and made using quality organic hemp. That certainly does give the company an advantage in such an unevolved market, earning them positive mentions across multiple publishers such as Observer, Seattle Weekly, Peninsula Daily News, Herald Net, and many others.
Area 52’s carts are available in three flavors: Grandaddy Purple, Berry Gelato, and Pineapple Express. The first variety is more indica-heavy, whereas Pineapple Express leans more toward sativa. Those who want the best of both worlds would then opt for Berry Gelato, which is a delicious hybrid.
All three vape carts have exotic tropical flavors, and you do get some hints on how they taste by just looking at the names. The formulas, however, are pretty simple, as Area 52 tries to keep its products as clean as possible. All the vapes consist of a broad-spectrum hemp extract and a natural terpene blend. Each comes in a glass CCELL cart with a ceramic core that can fit any 510 battery. You also get a mouthpiece for easier use and performance.
As for the delta-8 content itself, the vape carts have less than 0.3% delta-9, in accordance with the law. The delta-8 content can be verified through lab test results and should be 900 mg.
2. Finest Labs
Much like Area 52, Finest Labs also offers a vape cart that comes with 900 mg of active delta-8. This time, however, the terpene blend added into the mix is berry-flavored — Finest Labs has only one variety (Strawberry Cough) available right now. More flavors are planned in the following months, which isn’t a surprise since the company specializes in terpenes.
This vape cart also uses CCELL technology, which allows the element to heat up and cool rapidly. And just like Area 52’s vapes, this one is compatible with a 510-thread battery.
Furthermore, the production process is up to standard with what we expect from D8 brands. Finest Labs opts for premium industrial hemp plants and makes sure it follows the law to a T by removing as much of D9 from the extracts as possible. To verify the quality, it opts for third-party lab testing and sends batch samples to independent labs for analysis.
3Chi has one of the widest selections of delta 8 THC products on the market, owing in part to the fact that they’ve been around for years.
They have countless different options, but unlike other companies, they deliver a specific strain in each. You can choose from popular options like Jack Herer, Blue Dream, Granddaddy Purple, and Gelato rather than selecting a specific fruit flavor or combination of strain flavors.
Their vape carts each contain 1mL of concentrate that includes around 900mg of delta 8 THC.
As with all of 3Chi’s delta 8 products, recent lab testing is available for all of their vape cartridges. You can verify the delta 8 THC concentration as well as other terpenes and cannabinoids for any vape cart on their website.
Despite their high-quality vape cartridges, they are among the most affordable on the market.
4. Charmed Hemp
Finally, there’s Charmed Hemp, a local hemp shop in Baltimore, MD and is dedicated to creating various D8 and D9 formulas.
The formulas are simple — all vapes have the D8 distillate in them and a natural terpene blend. They, of course, contain less than 0.3% D9 in order not to break the law and come in high-quality glass containers that are compatible with the standard 510-thread battery.
One thing that concerns us, though, is the lack of information about the production process and the hemp plants that the brand uses. It seems like the other two brands are more transparent in regard to that, or at least eager to educate their customers as much as possible.
5. Diamond CBD Chill Delta 8 Vape Cart
Diamond CBD delta 8 THC vape cartridges come in a very impressive number of flavors. Their offerings include some that will be familiar to avid users — like Pineapple Express and Sour Diesel — and some intriguing and unique combinations — like Mango Kush and Strawberry Lemonade. The carts also contain terpenes that deliver a desirable complexity.
Their cartridges are relatively inexpensive and contain approximately 900mg of delta 8 THC each. For avid users, that’s around 36 doses.
Diamond CBD posts lab tests for their products, but there have been some inconsistencies noted. Most of their claims are supported by the testing, but it’s recommended that you check the lab results before purchasing to be sure of what you’re buying.
6. Delta Effex
Delta Effex offers both disposable vape pens and threaded vape cartridges for use with rechargeable vapes. Their cartridges come in six delicious flavors, and their disposable vapes come in three flavor options. The flavors are intense and very enjoyable.
All of their vape carts and disposable vape pods contain 1mL of concentrate each. They’re very affordable, regardless of which option you choose.
Delta Effex jumps through hoops to ensure that all of its products are rigorously tested by third parties. You can access their up-to-date test results on their website to ensure that the products you choose have an acceptable potency and purity.
7. Exhale Wellness
Exhale Wellness offers 10 different flavor profiles in their vape carts, including some based on specific strains, like Jack Herer and OG Kush.
Each cartridge contains approximately 900mg of delta 8 THC. Their lab testing reveals that around 10% of the ingredients are unaccounted for, so it’s unclear what is added to them. They do maintain that all carts contain natural ingredients and no additives or preservatives.
Their vape cartridges are relatively expensive, but they do provide third-party testing for their products. Their lab tests back up their claim of their carts being 90% pure delta 8 THC, but you should always check before purchasing just to be safe.
Budpop is a relatively new company, so they have a limited assortment of flavors when it comes to their vape cartridges. They only offer Grape Runtz and Strawberry Gelato.
Each cartridge contains 800mg of delta 8 THC, which is less than the standard 900mg per cart. Despite having less delta 8, they are more expensive than most other options on the market.
The company prides itself on delivering all-natural vape carts without any filler materials like vegetable glycerin or MCT oil. While this might not be important to some, it does lead to a cleaner and less harsh draw. Despite marketing the products as containing no fillers, about 15% of the liquid is unaccounted for in lab results.
Budpop offers third-party testing results on their website, so you can review the Certificate of Analysis for your desired product before purchasing.
What Is Delta-8-THC?
Delta-8 may be the latest craze that has taken the cannabis industry by storm, and there are a few good reasons for that. As a close cousin of delta-9, D8 has similar effects, but its high isn’t so overwhelming.
D9 is twice as intense as D8, so it can hit the user pretty hard, not to mention that it can generate serious mental discomfort if we overdo it. That’s where D8 holds a huge advantage; side effects like anxiety, rapid heart rate, and paranoia aren’t likely to occur with it, not even when used in higher doses.
The similarity of D8 and D9 stems from their molecular structure, which is almost identical. That’s no surprise as D9 converts into D8 due to exposure to oxidation.
However, a double bond structural variation on their respective chains of carbon atoms does make them different in terms of the benefits we can expect. That bond is found on the eighth chain in D8, while D9 has it on the ninth chain.
Because of this, smaller doses of D8 will take us to the edge of intoxication, though we could mimic some of D9’s effects by taking a double dose. Still, there haven’t been any reports about severe toxicity or fatal overdoses regarding this cannabinoid. Provided the products are made well, they should be safe to use.
How D8 Affects the Human Body
Much like D9, D8 also makes you high, and it can be easily determined if you’ve used it recently through a standard drug test. That high, however, is more clear-headed and smooth, though still euphoric and energetic.
Some of the benefits of D8 include appetite stimulation and reduced anxiety. It may help with vomiting in users who struggle with frequent nausea. Plus, it has been said that it has certain analgesic properties and can even act as a neuroprotectant.
However, there are a few common side effects we can observe when using D8. Yes, it’s not likely to make us paranoid or anxious, but it can still cause dry eyes and mouth and some grogginess and dizziness. It’s a bad idea to drive or use heavy machinery when high on D8, too, as it can impair motor function. Other than that, it doesn’t help much for our concentration in higher doses.
Keep in mind, however, that D8 research is still ongoing. Most of the effects we know about are based on anecdotal evidence. Thus, you may experience some other ones depending on your tolerance and factors such as sex, weight, etc.
Dosages and Your Tolerance to D8
Unfortunately, it’s fairly easy to build a tolerance to D8, so we do recommend minding how much you take daily. If you rely on your vape too much and take more puffs than you actually need, you may build the tolerance fast and require even more D8 with every single use.
The D8 high you get when vaping depends on the temperature settings and the force you use to draw those precious puffs. In general, taking five to six puffs seems to be enough for most people. If you’re a total beginner, though, that may be too much for you.
As always, slow and steady wins the race. It’s best to start with the lowest amount and the lowest dose to determine if you’re maybe more sensitive to D8 than you first thought. If that’s not enough for you, you can keep increasing the dosage slowly until you reach the desired results.
Using Delta-8 Vape Carts
Delta-8 vape carts may be a more convenient option for frequent users that need their D8 hits on the go. In a nutshell, these are pre-filled containers of vape juice that we can get rid of when they’re empty.
Vape carts usually contain only the D8 distillate and a natural terpene blend. Unlike tinctures, for example, they shouldn’t contain any MCT oil. Carrier oil is a good option for increasing bioavailability when using tinctures sublingually. However, if we were to inhale it, we could develop lipid pneumonia.
Some of the major benefits of using D8 vape carts include everyone’s favorite ease of use and portability. We can also get a consistent dose of the cannabinoid with each puff, and the shelf life of D8 vape carts is longer than some other forms.
Granted, this will depend on how we store our carts. Though D8 is a stable molecule, it can lose its potency and break down if we leave the carts in direct sunlight, air, and high temperatures. Hence, it’s best to keep them somewhere dark, like in a cabinet or drawer, and away from light and heat. That way, they ought to be good to use for a few years (so you can even buy them in bulk!).
Still, the most significant selling point is how fast the effects kick in. With tinctures, for instance, there is an hour to an hour and a half delay. In contrast, the onset time for D8 vapes is about 15 minutes, depending on our tolerance and how frequently we use it. Chronic cannabis use may require us to wait a bit longer than that.
How Legal Is Delta-8?
The legality of D8 is a source of confusion for many users, and since some states have even banned the compound, it’s a bit worrisome. In general, D8 vape cartridges should be federally legal as the extracts can come from hemp and contain 0.3% of delta-9 or less. This is all thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, which removed hemp from the list of controlled substances.
However, some states have deemed it unsafe for consumption, including Montana, Arkansas, New York, Idaho, and the likes. Some other states, such as Oklahoma, North Dakota, Illinois, Michigan, Alabama, and Oregon, are also considering restricting its use.
Why the uproar, you may ask? It’s mainly due to the idea that D8 products are derived synthetically. Brands aren’t using synthetic extraction methods (CO2 isn’t a synthetic solvent, after all), though the cannabinoid is still created in a lab. There isn’t enough of it available naturally, so this is essential to enable production in the first place.
Still, the DEA sees isomerization (the process of converting CBD to D8) as a chemical process that results in a synthetic chemical. That would make D8 a controlled substance, after all, as it doesn’t come directly from the plant.
We can now only wait to see what the future holds. It seems the government is determined to win the war against D8, completely disregarding its beneficial properties in comparison to D9.
Best Delta-8-THC Vape Cartridges Buying Guides
Right now, it is still possible to get our hands on some exquisite vape carts in certain states from the comforts of your home. However, even if D8 were completely legal, we’d still have to face the current lack of quality standards.
Brands are always looking to cut their costs, so they resort to shady methods to make their products appear high-quality. This, of course, puts users at risk, especially since we still don’t know much about the cannabinoid itself.
Some of the brands we’ve researched don’t fulfill all of our requirements, so we suggest avoiding them altogether. These are:
- Honey Creek Labs
- Terp Flex.
To stay on the safe side, there are a few factors we can look into when choosing D8 vape carts. These include:
Quality Ingredients and Hemp Source
The best D8 vape carts should have a simple formula consisting of the D8 distillate and a natural terpene blend. In some cases, brands can improve it by adding vegetable glycol and glycerin and some flavorings — but that’s about it!
Of course, the formula shouldn’t contain any dangerous compounds, such as vitamin E acetate and the already mentioned MCT oil. Though this carrier oil isn’t a hazard per se, it can become one when vaped. Vitamin E acetate, on the other hand, can cause damage to the lungs.
The hemp source is also a valuable consideration, as poor-quality hemp could tarnish the quality of the end product. Hemp draws the nutrients from the soil around it, and it will draw contaminants as well. This makes organic, non-GMO plants the safest bet.
Naturally, the source of D8 matters here, too; we should only opt for hemp-based products as they are the only ones that could be seen as legal on a federal level (provided they contain 0.3% of D9 or less). D8 marijuana vape carts are an option only in states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal and recreational use.
The extraction method a company uses to obtain its extracts directly influences the quality of the product. But more importantly, it’s the conversion of CBD into D9 and D8 that has most people worried.
Brands that aren’t so concerned with the safety of their products will not even bother finding production methods that don’t require the use of dangerous chemicals. Those that don’t know how to create D8 products properly will rely on bleaches, later on, to make their vapes and tinctures appear cleaner.
But even if it’s necessary to include toxic chemicals in the process, the best brands invest in top-notch equipment and expert staff to purge them thoroughly. However, the process is not simple and does require lots of money and effort to pull it off successfully.
Inevitably, this drives the prices up, making D8 somewhat unattainable to certain consumers. Still, it surely gives some peace of mind to potential users — and you cannot put a price on that!
Third-Party Lab Testing
A clear dealbreaker in the D8 market is a lack of third-party lab testing. Since quality standards aren’t really set, it’s necessary to verify the purity and potency of D8 vape juice through independent lab analysis.
Some brands may avoid doing so to cut their costs or simply because they don’t feel like it’s important. Even worse, some may not want to publish the results because they know their products have failed the tests!
Sadly, all of this could eventually make them go out of business. Customers need quality reassurance, especially since this is a THC variety that still hasn’t been researched enough.
The lab test results should, of course, show:
- how much D8 we get in each vape cart
- if the D9 level is at or below the legal threshold of 0.3%.
They should detail the cannabinoid profile and show the level of terpenes present in the formula. On top of that, the analysis should indicate if there are any contaminants in the carts, as well as various hazardous chemicals, like bleaches, heavy metals, pesticides, and residual solvents.
A Few Parting Words
If there was only one thing to say about the D8 market, it’s that we do expect to see its expansion in the coming years. However, right now, there are only a handful of brands that have understood the assignment and are ready to invest in proper equipment and knowledgeable staff to produce solid D8 products.
By default, it’s likely that you will come across some shady brands along the way that may try to dazzle you with their bargains and huge promises. Fortunately, we’ve explained which factors matter most for your purchasing decision. Now, you can do your own research as well.
Still, if you’re eager to start using D8 right now, the three brands we’ve reviewed are said to offer the best delta-8-THC vape cartridges, with Area 52 and Finest Labs standing out as the most transparent of all. They all test their products in third-party labs, so even if something’s amiss, you can verify the quality of the vapes beforehand. Better still, you can avoid side effects that rarely have anything to do with D8 but are purely the fault of poor production and lack of care for the consumers.