There are a lot of scammy or low-quality brands in the delta 8 THC space to watch out for.
Learn how to spot a scam & check out our list of the approved delta 8 THC vendors for 2021.
Not all delta 8 THC vendors are created equal — there’s a surprising number of low-quality or straight-up unethical brands in this space at the moment.
We encourage you to do your own research and due diligence when ordering cannabis extracts of any kind.
In this guide, we’ll highlight some of the issues we’ve spotted in the delta 8 space and outline the criteria we consider important when vetting a delta 8 brand.
Most of the same rules apply when shopping for delta 8 products as CBD brands — but with a few subtle differences.
Learn how to spot a quality manufacturer and what red flags to be on the lookout for to avoid getting scammed or suckered into buying low-grade or unsafe delta 8 products.
Related: 5 Types of CBD Scams to Watch Out For.
Testing is considered an industry-standard throughout the cannabis industry as a whole. It’s not exclusive to the delta 8 THC space.
However, this type of testing is especially important for delta 8 companies because of how these products are made.
There are basically three ways to make delta 8 THC (covered in more detail below). By far, the most common method is to synthesize it from CBD. The synthesization process requires solvents like heptane, hexane, or chloroform, and a strong acid like HCL. These chemicals can be removed once the process is complete, but it requires a lot of skill and high-tech equipment to do properly. Low-quality manufacturers don’t always remove 100% of these toxic chemicals from the final product.
A third-party test is done to take a snapshot of the contents of the final product. It’s the only way to prove these chemicals have been removed in their entirety. It’s also used to back up the company’s claims in terms of the delta 9 THC and delta 8 THC concentrations.
In order for a test to be considered “third-party,” it needs to be performed by an independent company that has no affiliation with the manufacturer. There are several of these labs in the US that provide unbiased analysis for a variety of cannabis products.
We recommend you avoid buying any products from companies that don’t provide up-to-date third-party tests for every batch.
It’s also a good idea to check out what other people are saying online. The delta 8 THC market is very new, but there’s a fairly active community of passionate and knowledgeable delta 8 users on forums like Reddit (/r/delta8/).
Do a quick search for the brand and check out what past customers are saying about the brand.
Some red flags to watch out for here include:
The method a vendor uses to make their products is very important to consider. The most common method is to synthesize the delta 8 from CBD. This is legal (mostly) but requires the use of chemicals to do it. Pretty much all the delta 8 you’ll find on the market are made from CBD.
There are ways to make delta 8 from marijuana plants too, and it’s likely we’ll start to see more of this as the D8 space continues to grow in popularity.
It’s important to know where the delta 8 is coming from. While it seems like semantics (because it is) it makes a difference legally. If you order delta 8 THC from a company that makes D8 from marijuana plants — you may be breaking the law by ordering from them.
The delta 8 THC space has only recently stepped out of the underground space into the public sphere. Prior to 2020, nobody knew this market even existed. It was largely underground, operating on the fringes of legality.
Like any underground market-turned mainstream — there’s a lot of junk that needs to get filtered out first. There are a lot of delta 8 companies that are highly unethical, black market, or straight-up scams.
The most common problem in this space is a lack of testing. Delta 8 THC is very safe — but only if it’s made properly and have been thoroughly tested to prove any harsh chemicals used to make it have been removed. Because of the need to use harsh chemicals, it’s critical for all delta 8 THC products to be tested by an independent lab. If a company doesn’t offer these tests, or they can’t be verified, you shouldn’t buy from them.
There’s a surprising number of low-grade, scammy, or negligent companies in the delta 8 THC space to watch out for.
Consider this our “do not buy” list — which we’ve broken down into three main categories:
These are the worst of the worst. Never buy from companies that have already been caught using scammy marketing methods or lied about test results in the past. A few of the companies on this list haven’t done this directly but are owned by companies that have.
** If you know of any other scams that should be added to this list, please email the details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not only does this company avoid answering any questions on their methods of manufacturing their delta 8, they’ve been caught falsifying their reports. One Reddit user sent a sample of this company’s products to a lab for independent testing. He compared the reports with the batch number the company listed, and they didn’t match — not even close.
The company claimed a delta 8 concentration over 95%, but the independent test showed the D8 was closer to 45%. Additionally, the sample contained nearly 15% delta 9 THC — which actually made the product this user ordered illegal in his state.
These products are resold by a variety of other delta 8 vendors, including Greene Rush Hemp, MYCBDhaven, delta710, and bulk density.
This company has no website, and we couldn’t find any trace of this company’s origins anywhere. They exist only on Alibaba for ultra-cheap delta 8 THC. It’s likely this company is either a scam or is selling impure or impotent delta 8 bulk powders to people who think they’ve managed to find a cheap source of delta 8. Never order from this company.
These companies don’t publish any third-party reports for their products or don’t keep their tests up to date. If the tests aren’t published I reach out to the company to get it since I’ve found some companies have them but don’t publish them (for reason’s I have yet to understand).
It’s not enough for a company to test one batch, publish the report, and then skip this step moving forward. Every single batch of product needs to be tested separately.
Additionally, some companies publish tests, but they were done in-house or by a third-party testing facility that’s been found to falsify reports. Tests done in-house or by these companies are considered insufficient. They’re essentially meaningless because we can’t trust the integrity of these reports.
These companies should be completely avoided because of the clear lack of testing:
If you disagree with this list, send evidence of testing to email@example.com and I’ll remove it. All tests are required, not just potency.
Here are five companies we’ve vetted so far that meet the criteria for reputable brands. I have no doubt there are others, but these are the brands I’ve tried and have been happy with so far.
This company is relatively new, but they’ve done a pretty good job at ticking the boxes in terms of what makes for a good delta 8 company.
I especially like the delta 8 tinctures from this brand.
The only issue I found was that they don’t offer their tests publicly. I had to reach out to them to get a copy of it, but didn’t see anything that stood out as being an issue.
3Chi is the biggest player in the delta 8 THC space at the moment.
This vendor produces a wide range of delta 8 THC products — covering all categories of products, from carts and gummies to tinctures and capsules.
The main reason we recommend this company over most other delta 8 vendors is their integrity for testing. You can find relevant and up-to-date lab reports for all products offered on the website. These tests check for potency, contaminants, solvents, heavy metals, and mycotoxins, or other microbial contaminants.
Mr. Hemp Flower is a premium supplier of raw hemp flower, CBD oils, and a variety of other cannabinoids.
Recently, this company has stepped into the delta 8 space with a selection of different product types.
You can order hemp flowers (raw flour and pre-rolls), gummies, carts, hash, brittle candies, lollipops, and honey-sticks — all infused with delta 8 THC.
This company offers the lab tests for each product on the website — however, they aren’t the full tests. We had to reach out to the customer service team to get the extensive tests that included the heavy metal, solvent, and full contamination panel.
We’re not sure why Mr. Hemp Flower doesn’t offer the full tests online as a default, but we’re satisfied with the results we received after reaching out.
Arete Hemp is one of the only companies we’ve seen in the delta 8 THC space that provides details on people behind the company. The founder, Todd Campanella, is reachable on Twitter and LinkedIn — which is more than can be said for virtually every other delta 8 or CBD company on the market today.
This vendor makes a few different cannabis products — including CBD oils, hemp flower, and CBG concentrations.
This company’s delta 8 range includes tinctures, distillates, and replaceable vape cartridges.
All Arete Hemp products are sent to a third-party lab for testing.
Our only caveat with the testing from this company is that their solvent and heavy metal tests are given a pass or fail score, but the thresholds for what constitutes a pass isn’t listed.
The best way to assess the cost of delta 8 THC products is to compare the cost per milligram of the active ingredient. This allows us to compare the cost of different types of delta 8 products together.
On average, the cost of delta 8 THC is around $0.06 – $0.10 for every milligram of delta 8.
Each product type comes with a different cost range:
All delta 8 THC products begin their life as a distillate. The distillate can be used as-is or added to cartridges, infused with gummy candies, diluted into oils or tinctures, or filled into capsules.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the most common forms of delta 8 THC on the market today.
Delta 8 THC cartridges are the most popular form of this cannabinoid at the moment. They’re the fastest-acting way to use the cannabinoid and are more efficient than any other form. You only need a few puffs from a vape pen to get a strong set of effects.
Virtually all the vendors in the delta 8 space sell cartridges (called carts). Some offer a variety of carts that contain different flavor additives or e-liquids to enhance the experience.
The standard delta 8 THC vape cartridge uses a distillate — which has no flavor and doesn’t produce any visible vapor.
Everybody has heard of CBD oils or tinctures by now — they’ve become one of the most popular health supplements in the world over the past couple of years.
Delta 8 THC is available in this form as well and offers all the same advantages. They’re easy to use, allow you to take precise doses, and are very cost-effective.
The potency of the tincture you’re using is important. You can find tinctures in all different potencies — ranging from 300 mg per bottle up to 3000 mg per bottle.
Always follow the directions on the label when using delta 8 THC tinctures to avoid taking too much by mistake.
Gummies are another popular method of using cannabis products. You can find gummies made with just about any cannabinoid you can think of — including CBD and conventional delta 9 THC products.
Delta 8 THC gummies use the same principle of filling a delicious fruity gummy with specific doses of the cannabinoid (usually 10 or 20 mg each).
A distillate is the concentrated form of delta 8 THC. Distillates consist of a very thick and syrupy preparation of pure delta 8 THC.
Delta 8 THC distillates are usually crystal clear but may also come with a cloudy or off-yellow color. They’re usually the cheapest form available.
To use a distillate, you can either eat it directly, add it to a vape, or smoke it in a dab rig.
Delta 8 THC has only recently risen to the public sphere. Prior to 2021, delta 8 was virtually unknown to most people. Users were confined to talking about the cannabinoid in online forums like Reddit.
Most people who use delta 8 THC can be divided into two camps:
If you’re reading this, you probably fall into one or both of these camps yourself.
If I were to summarize this entire article into one sentence — it would be this.
“Never buy from a delta 8 supplier that doesn’t test for both safety and potency.“
This is the most significant differentiator between a reputable supplier from scammy, unethical, or low-grade suppliers.
If you’re brand new to this space and want a recommendation, I’d check out the selection offered by brands like Area 52, Mr. Hemp Flower, or Arete Hemp, just to name a few.