We’ve seen the craze surrounding CBD in recent years, but now it’s time to move on to some other potentially beneficial cannabinoids. One minor one that’s been in the spotlight recently is delta-8-THC. It promises similar (but still milder) effects than delta-9-THC and a lesser chance of experiencing paranoia and anxiety. Our search for the best delta-8-THC tinctures, however, proved that brands still aren’t sure how to bottle the cannabinoid properly and make it perfectly safe for consumption. The following three passed our testing and stand out as the leaders in this newly emerging market.
2021’s Best Delta-8-THC Tinctures: Top 3 Brands to Consider
Quality standards and proper labeling are a problem in the cannabis industry, but this is an even worse issue when dealing with somewhat obscure minor cannabinoids. Thus, while researching and testing the products made by some top delta-8 brands, we focused on checking:
- If they test their products in third-party labs
- What their reviews and testimonials say about them and their products
- Whether there are some red flags regarding the companies that users should be aware of.
Area 52, Finest Labs, and Delta 8 Pro have proven to be worthy contenders. Let’s dive right in and see what their tinctures are all about.
1. Area 52
Apart from some delicious gummies and flavorful vapes, Area 52 also specializes in manufacturing a potent delta-8 tincture. Offering a total of 1200 mg of delta-8 (40 mg per milliliter), the product should be a good alternative for delta-9 users — provided they know how to determine their dosage properly.
Now, Area 52 is a serious company committed to creating quality products and using the best resources. Thus, it’s no surprise its tincture earned them the best Delta 8 THC tincture award by many publishers such as Seattle Weekly, Observer, Juneau Empire, Daily CBD, and more.
Furthermore, its products are independently tested to prevent result manipulation, and the company even offers the test results upon request.
As for the tincture’s formula, it includes only a few but mighty ingredients. Apart from the delta-8 distillate, the company adds a blend of hemp-derived terpenes and MCT oil to improve bioavailability. Since, on its own, the tincture doesn’t taste like much, Area 52 also improves the flavor with some vanilla extract, or cherry extract and stevia (no sugar here!).
The result is a rather potent mixture (it offers almost 1.5 mg of delta-8 per drop) that can either alter our perception and boost consciousness or mellow us out after a hard day’s work. It all depends on how much we take and what we’re into at that moment.
2. Finest Labs
Superb potency may not be the ideal option for total beginners, especially for those who don’t know how to measure out the dosages well. In that case, we’d recommend another brand called Finest Labs, which, just like Area 52, offers delta-8 gummies, vapes, and tinctures.
The main difference here is the amount of delta-8 we get per bottle. Finest Labs caters more to novices, so it offers 500 mg of delta-8 (0.5 mg per drop). Another reason to maybe opt for Finest Labs is the flavor; while Area 52 prefers vanilla and cherry, this tincture comes in a delicious berry flavor. In fact, the brand combines strawberry extracts and stevia to get a better-tasting tincture.
In terms of production, however, Finest Labs puts in just as much effort as the first brand. Its production facility is both ISO- and GMP-certified, for instance. The company also uses state-of-the-art extraction techniques to obtain the cannabinoid from industrial-grade hemp.
Of course, to prevent any legal problems, the tincture contains less than 0.3% of delta-9. The formula also includes some MCT oil to improve absorption, and the company tests its products in third-party labs to prove their quality.
Related: Read our full Best Delta 8 THC Gummies Review
3. Delta 8 Pro
Serving cannabinoids since 2008, Delta 8 Pro has truly become an expert in 13 years and can offer a vast selection of products. Its tincture, however, isn’t so similar to the previous two as it’s a combination of three different cannabinoids.
Each bottle of this tincture gives us 4200 mg of cannabinoids, but only 3000 mg are delta-8. The remainder is divided equally between CBG and CBN (600 mg each). These come with some awesome properties, such as pain, nausea, and inflammation relief, as well as sedation.
But don’t be fooled by the numbers, as this tincture comes in a bigger 60 ml bottle. Essentially, its potency is similar to Area 52 and Finest Labs’ tinctures, though the addition of other cannabinoids may give it an advantage among some users.
One thing to note, however, is that it might be a bit of an overkill. It may induce too powerful of sedation instead of just mellowing you out on the couch.
Plus, even though the company does third-party lab-testing, there isn’t much information about its production process (apart from it not using harsh solvents or chemicals) and resources online. Customers can request to know more by contacting the company directly.
Picking the Best Delta-8-THC Tinctures
As said, the market is still in its early days, so caution is necessary when choosing delta-8 tinctures. Here are some pointers to use when determining whether a brand can be trusted or not:
Reliable Extraction Method and Hemp Source
The best option is to choose a brand that uses US-grown organic hemp cultivated with natural practices in mind. As for the extraction method, there’s hardly anything better than using CO2 to obtain pure and potent extracts. The process is fairly expensive, though, and requires sophisticated equipment. Expect that to be reflected in the price.
No Unnecessary Ingredients
The shorter the ingredient list, the better, as that means there’s less chance of ingesting something dangerous (or an ingredient you don’t even know anything about). The best delta-8-THC tinctures often only contain the distillate, a carrier oil (MCT oil is a good choice), and a natural flavoring. As you could see, some brands may improve the flavor further by adding stevia, but that’s nothing to worry about.
Independently Tested Products
If a brand were to test its products on its own, it could easily manipulate the results. To avoid that, always go for brands that use third-party labs to verify the purity and quality of their tinctures. Apart from detecting dangerous compounds in the final product, such as bleaches, residual solvents, etc., test results should also show how much delta-9 is in the tincture — and whether it’s against the law to use the product.
Proper Filtration and Color
If the product isn’t filtered well, it may have a strange color — and that’s a grave red flag. Similarly, if the tincture is completely transparent, the producer may have used bleach to get a clearer liquid.
Pricing and Brand Reputation
You should consider the brand’s reputation, too, as well as what the reviews and testimonials say. Obviously, it’s not a good idea to rely on the official website only, as the company may easily remove any unflattering comments. Instead, read product reviews on third-party websites, various expert blogs, and niche forums. Those should give you a clearer picture of what you can expect both from the products and the brand itself.
Finally, keep in mind that quality doesn’t come cheap, especially in an unevolved market. Since we can only find natural delta-8 in trace amounts, it’s necessary to use a conversion process to obtain more of it — and that inevitably costs lots of money. Plus, brands don’t just pay for the equipment or quality hemp in that case; they also have to employ expert staff that knows what it’s doing and won’t accidentally endanger someone.
The only thing we can hope for is that more brands consider delta-8 as a viable investment in the future and want to ensure their products are quality-made. Prices should drop in that case, at least a little, as it will be more important to stay competitive and offer the best products possible.
How to Use Delta-8-THC Tinctures
Much like CBD tinctures, we use delta-8 sublingually. After measuring out the dosage, all we have to do is place it under the tongue and hold it there for a minute.
However, unlike CBD tinctures, delta-8 ones have a delayed effect. With CBD, we’d experience the first effects in about 15 to 20 minutes. In contrast, we may have to wait up to an hour and a half after taking some delta-8 tincture.
When using delta-8 tinctures, proper storage is a must. The bottles, which should come with droppers, must be stored away from heat, light, and humidity. Otherwise, the product may degrade, and the conditions may lead to bacteria and fungi growth.
Delta-8-THC: What It Is, the Perfect Dosage, and Potential Side Effects
If you’ve never heard of delta-8-THC before, you’re not alone. Since it is a minor cannabinoid, it’s not so often talked about as its close cousin, delta-9-THC, or even CBD.
But delta-8 could be a perfect solution for those looking to avoid some of the more dire effects of delta-9. Due to their similar structure, these two share similar effects as well. However, delta-8 is half as intense as its close cousin.
The most notable difference between the two is a slight change in the chain of carbon atoms both cannabinoids have. They each have a double bond on the chain but in different spots. In delta-9, it’s on the ninth, and in delta-8, it’s on the eighth chain.
Apart from that, we know that delta-8 is more stable than delta-9 in terms of its molecular structure, which makes it more desirable for medicinal use. Delta-9 oxidizes quickly and degrades into CBN. In contrast, delta-8 doesn’t do that at all — instead, it has a longer shelf life.
Sadly, delta-8 is available only in trace amounts naturally, so manufacturers have had to come up with a special process to convert CBD to delta-9 and then synthesize delta-8 from it. This means the whole production is more expensive than bottling up other cannabinoids. Of course, it also requires more expertise.
How Delta-8 Impacts the User
Delta-8 and delta-9 still share lots of similar psychoactive effects. However, some users will prefer delta-8 because it comes with fewer side effects and a smaller chance of inducing paranoia and anxiety.
For the most part, we can use delta-8 for the same purposes: broadening our consciousness and mellowing out. But to achieve the same effects as delta-9, we’d have to take double the amount.
In general, it’s been said that delta-8 produces a less overwhelming buzz. It ought to reduce stress and pain, as well as elevate our mood. But it shouldn’t make us suffer a rapid heart rate and too much mental discomfort (provided we don’t take too much).
Still, it may generate some common side effects that most users of delta-9 and even CBD are aware of:
- A bigger appetite
- Grogginess and dizziness
- Dry mouth and eyes
- Motor function impairment
- Inability to focus properly
Does This Mean Delta-8 Isn’t Safe?
Not at all — the side effects are few and far between if we are mindful of the dosages. For milder psychoactive effects, most people take about 10 mg, whereas those who need more can go up to 60 mg.
The perfect standard dosage doesn’t exist, though; it depends on various factors unique to every individual, such as sex, age, weight, and sensitivity to delta-8.
It’s vital to measure the dosages well and to avoid using too much too soon. We can build our tolerance to delta-8 faster than with delta-9, so the effects may fizzle out in only a month, thus prompting us to use more and more of it.
Boosting the dosage in smaller increments of 5 to 10 mg is the safest option. If we notice that the effects aren’t the same as at the beginning, we can always take a break for a few days. Alternatively, we can avoid building the tolerance too fast by taking delta-8 every other day.
As for toxicity and overdoses, there hasn’t been any evidence showing delta-8 has toxic side effects or may result in a fatal overdose. Caution is, however, recommended; we still don’t know as much about it as we do about some other cannabinoids.
So What’s the Real Issue Here?
Safety concerns aren’t really tied to dosages so much — they are a hot topic because manufacturers are trying to make a buck on low-quality products. Since the market is still new, shady brands can get away with selling poorly made products to those unaware of all the dangers. This means that someone may accidentally ingest all sorts of contaminants and synthetic additives, including bleaches, toxic chemicals, solvents, and more.
To lower their costs, brands may opt to use poorly cultivated hemp, low-quality solvents, and hazardous chemicals. Later on, they may fail to purge all the toxins from the final product. This could eventually put someone’s life in danger.
One popular method of tricking the buyers is using bleach to make the product seem quality-made. What many people don’t know is that delta-8 distillate has a pinkish hue to it, so the tincture shouldn’t be completely transparent at all.
Legality of Delta-8-THC
Because of the 2018 Farm Bill, we can use industrial hemp to produce all sorts of cannabinoid products. However, they cannot have more than 0.3% of delta-9-THC, as that would make them illegal on a federal level.
The problem here is that states have the right to impose their own laws. Therefore, even though delta-8 is technically legal, some parts of the country may still punish consumers for using it.
What’s more, the DEA believes that products such as delta-8 tinctures are derived synthetically. While that may not be true (the extraction methods aren’t synthetic at all), it certainly doesn’t help to remove the stigma.
Some things cannot be argued about, though, such as the fact that only those who are 21 or older can use delta-8 — unless your state says differently. Also, since it can get you high, you cannot use heavy machinery or drive a car while using delta-8.
Certain medications may not work well with this cannabinoid, so it’s a must to consult a doctor before you start using it. Lastly, know that despite the differences between them, delta-8 and delta-9 are still very similar. Therefore, any drug tests you may do will likely come back as positive, as these basically lump THC and its analogs into the same category.
A Few Parting Words
The side effects of delta-9 can be quite overwhelming for users, so delta-8 is more than a welcome alternative for most. In terms of the best delta-8-THC tinctures on the market, only three brands really stand out with their dedication to making quality products. Still, just like with any purchasing decision, research and focus on the pros and cons are a must, especially since there are lots of shady brands too. The good news is that you can eliminate those that don’t test their products in third-party labs right now — after all, without those results, there’s virtually no way of knowing what a tincture truly contains. As always, safety comes first and shouldn’t fade into the background due to mere hype!