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Delta 8 Distillate: What It Is & Best Ways to Consume It

Hayley Heidelbaugh
January 30, 2024

With the massive popularity of delta 8 THC products, there’s no longer a shortage of methods to consume this intoxicating cannabinoid. There’s even more than one kind of delta 8 vape cart.

Distillates—which aim to maximize the effect of one particular cannabinoid—aren’t exclusive to delta 9 THC or other, more traditional cannabis products. Delta 8 THC distillates are widely available. These highly concentrated extracts are known for their superior potency and smooth taste.

Before enjoying the benefits of delta 8 distillate, you need to know how to consume it. In this guide, we’ll cover the ins and outs of D8 distillates.

What is delta 8 distillate?

As the name implies, delta 8 distillates are produced by distilling the cannabinoid delta 8 tetrahydrocannabinol (delta 8 THC). This is a hemp-derived form of THC related to delta 9, the cannabinoid most abundant in marijuana and most commonly associated with getting high.

Distillates are one way to consume cannabis and THC products. More often than not, this is in the form of prefilled THC vape carts, or in some cases delta 8 disposable vapes. You can also use distillates to create delta 8 tinctures or use them in edibles.

During distillation, manufacturers strip away plant matter and isolate delta 8. Other cannabinoids and terpenes may also be removed. The result? Extracts with an unbeatable potency, often 85-99% delta 8 THC. Note that distillation isn’t a process that can be performed at home, especially without experience. It requires expensive equipment and sharp attention to detail—and it’s dangerous.

Weed distillates are thick and sticky, ranging in color from clear to deep amber. The exact shade of a delta 8 distillate depends on the type and amount of terpenes and plant matter present.

Terpenes, which improve the flavor and aroma of THC oils, may be removed during distillation. Reintroducing terpenes leads to a deeper hue—however, dull shades of brown or black point to contamination. Look for rich gold or honey-colored extracts.

Does delta 8 distillate get you high?

Rather than extracting the compound from marijuana (as is the case for delta 9 THC), delta 8 is converted from CBD, another well-known cannabinoid. Unlike CBD products, however, delta 8 is definitely psychoactive.

While it will get the user high, delta 8 produces a different kind of high to delta 9 THC. A delta 9 high can be heavy and lethargic; if you take a few puffs of a joint, you probably aren’t going to get much done.

A delta 8 high, on the other hand, is clear-headed. While you’ll receive the euphoric effects we expect from THC, they’re considerably milder and don’t come with the well-known “couchlock” heaviness of delta 9.

Just keep in mind that the potential adverse effects of THC also apply to delta 8. This substance can lead to anxiety or paranoia, for instance. If you have a history of THC-induced panic attacks, switching to low doses of delta 8 THC may reduce instances—but it isn’t guaranteed to fix the problem.

Types of delta 8 distillate

You’ll find two categories of delta 8 distillates: isolates and full spectrum distillates. Depending on which type you choose, the effects and flavor experience will be different.

Full spectrum delta 8 distillate

Full spectrum products isolate delta 8 while retaining other cannabinoids and terpenes, just in smaller than natural quantities.

This is the way to go if you’re seeking the benefits of CBD, CBG, or other non-psychoactive compounds. Full spectrum products are an ideal route to the entourage effect—a pleasant, well-rounded high produced when various terpenes and phytocannabinoids work together, enhancing their individual effects.

Delta 8 isolate

Isolates, also known as “terped” distillates, are produced by isolating just the delta 8 compound. During the creation process, other terpenes and cannabinoids—including CBD, CBG, and CBN—are removed from the extract.

Unless terpenes are reintroduced near the end of production, delta 8 isolate will be practically flavorless and scent-free. In terms of appearance, it’s translucent, or has a slightly pink tint.

“Terped” comes into play when terpenes are added back in. This is extremely common in isolate production.

Look for isolates utilizing cannabis terpenes native to the product’s strain. Some delta 8 isolates will include terpenes extracted from other strains or even from plants that aren’t cannabis. This leads to an inauthentic flavor and aroma, which can be off-putting to some users.

A huge perk of delta 8 isolates is their consistent impact. Unlike full spectrum products, you know exactly what’s contained in the extract and in what amounts. Medicinal cannabis users may especially benefit from this.

How to use delta 8 distillate

Vaping is the most common method of distillate ingestion, but it’s not the only one available. While you can pick up delta 8 distillate carts, you can also dab it, or consume it through edibles and tinctures.

What you can’t do is smoke delta 8 distillate. This kind of extract is too thick to be smoked; try dabbing it instead.

How to vape delta 8 distillate

When you purchase a delta 8 distillate cart, you can vape it just like you would any other prefilled cartridge. Most distillates come in 510 thread carts, meaning that they’re compatible with any 510 thread battery. Simply screw on or insert the distillate cart into your device, fire up the battery, and take a hit.

Delta 8 distillates tend to perform best at higher voltage settings. Begin vaping at around 3.5 volts and work your way up; 4.0 volts is often a good setting for distillate carts. Standard delta 8 oil isn’t as thick and is usually vaped at lower voltages.

To keep your distillate carts fresh for longer, store them somewhere cool and dry. This is especially crucial if you want to avoid losing potency, which can occur with heat or sunlight exposure. Also, keep your hits between one and three seconds. Anything longer can pull too much of the thick extract and cause clogging.

Can you dab delta 8 distillate?

Yes, it’s possible to dab delta 8 distillates. Use a syringe to add distillate into the chamber of your device; this could be a dab pen, old fashioned dab rig, or a portable concentrate vaporizer.

Dabbing is a method of delta 8 consumption recommended for experienced users. Remember, these extracts are already highly potent. Using a portable dab pen (or traditional rig) leads to an intense, fast-acting response. Avoid dabbing until you’re familiar with the effects of delta 8 distillate on your body.

There are two heating modes in weed vaporizers: convection and conduction. Convection heating works similarly to an oven; the distillate is placed in a chamber, where hot air is introduced to it. Due to the chamber’s separation from the heating element, convection devices are larger. This heating method is most common in desktop vaporizers.

Conduction heating is more reminiscent of a stovetop. The distillate comes into direct contact with a heated surface, vaporizing it via the atomizer.

Can you eat delta 8 distillate?

Yes, delta 8 distillate can be added to edibles or consumed sublingually using a tincture.  Distillates are considered a food-grade product.

Keep delta 8 distillate’s potency in mind when consuming it orally or sublingually. You can start with a single drop under the tongue. Then, wait ten to twenty minutes for the effects to hit.

You can find edibles—including gummies and candy—that use delta 8 distillate as an ingredient. Or, you can add a few drops into your own mixture. If you’re creating edibles from scratch, be sure to blend well. Otherwise, you could end up with an uneven mixture and hard-to-predict effects.

Delta 8 moon rocks

Instead of pure delta 8 distillate, weed vapers can use moon rocks. This refers to dry, delta 8-infused hemp bud that’s been rolled in pure kief. While it’s possible to create moon rocks using CBD distillate (to make CBD moon rocks) or other kinds of oils, delta 8 distillate is a potential ingredient. If you vape moon rocks, stick to something like a portable dry herb vaporizer, and avoid using a dab rig or anything designed for pure oil or concentrates. The plant material will make a hard-to-clean mess in those.

The legal status of delta 8 distillate is complex and varies across regions. In the United States, hemp-derived products, including delta 8 oils and edibles, became legal with the federal government’s passing of the 2018 Farm Bill.

Even so, the states have their own laws governing hemp-derived cannabinoids. Several have banned the sale of delta 8, including Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, and Washington.

Delta 8 distillate: a potent THC alternative

If you’re looking for a potent substitute for delta 9 THC, delta 8 distillates are a fantastic option. The distillation process isolates delta 8 (alongside other cannabinoids and terpenes, if desired) to develop a highly concentrated, psychoactive extract.

Gone are the days when delta 9 THC was the only method of getting high. Instead, consumers can purchase delta 8 distillates from reputable online retailers or dispensaries.

I'm a Pennsylvania-based cannabis enthusiast and writer. As a part of the Vaping360 team, I'm eager to help cannabis consumers explore vaping and get the most out of their experience. You can also find me @faeberrystudios on Instagram.
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