Delta-8 hemp flower is an enticing new product that has recently emerged on the market. It’s a type of cannabis with high CBD content and low delta-9 content, which means it won't produce any intoxicating effects. The name “delta-8” comes from the delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in this strain of cannabis. Delta 8 flowers are typically used as a sleep aid or to reduce anxiety and stress levels.
Can you purchase delta-8 flower?
Delta-8 can be purchased at dispensaries across California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington State and Colorado where recreational cannabis use is legal. Though not yet available nationwide, delta-8 flowers have been gaining popularity since they were first introduced in 2016 due to their ability to provide relief without the psychoactive effects typically associated with cannabis.
Not all dispensary locations carry delta-8 flower, and those that do may not offer it consistently. Retailers must obtain a license to sell any variety of cannabis containing THC, which sometimes takes time depending on the state's laws. New strains are typically introduced as they become available for sale.
D8 flower can also be purchased online through delivery services across the US. Delivery services must also meet state regulations, including licensing and registration to sell or distribute THC products. Availability varies by location, but may be subject to additional fees if the service is not available in your area.
As delta-8 flowers are relatively new, there is little information about potential side effects or risks associated with their consumption. However, the delta-9 THC content in these flowers is usually less than one percent (1%), which means they won't produce a significant psychoactive effect.
A Crash Course on Delta-8 THC & D8 Flower
Delta-8 THC is the only non-psychoactive cannabinoid that has been found to act as an agonist of the CB receptors, giving it a role in the management of symptoms of common neurophysiological conditions. These include chronic anxiety, mood or sleep disorders.
Delta-8 is made using CBD extracted from high quality hemp flowers using solvents like butane, ethanol or propane. After the extraction step, CBD is refined or essentially “converted” to delta-8 THC by refluxing the CBD in an acid such as toluene or heptane. The resulting delta-8 THC is then processed further into a distillate, which is then frosted or sprayed onto CBD flower, which is then called delta-8 flower.
Can You Grow Delta-8 Flower?
If you have the room, definitely. There are personal home growers — more commonly known as “DIYers” — everywhere recreational cannabis is legal, from Oregon to Amsterdam. The general rule of thumb when growing your own D8 flower is to grow plenty of quality hemp flowers, and orient their growth and nutrition around the development of trichomes. Trichomes are the resinous outgrowths on female hemp flowers, where cannabinoids and terpenes are most heavily concentrated.
Are there challenges to growing it?
Creating good D8 flower can be challenging particularly for new DIYers. First, there are a number of established best practices to maximizing trichome production which can complicate the process, either due to inexperience or budgetary constraints. These include:
- The use of proper nutrients (soil over hydroponic or aquaponic setups)
- The constant micromanagement of light, temperature and humidity levels throughout the growth process, given different stages in cannabis’ growth cycle require specific levels of all three
- The training of growing cannabis plants (light pruning, tying or light deprivation) to direct energy and nutrients to their flowers
Once healthy hemp plants with heavy, resinous trichomes are fully grown, there are the added challenges of independently producing D8 flower. There is the solvent extraction of CBD from your hemp flowers, the use of an acid to convert it into a delta-8 distillate, and the frosting or spraying of the distillate onto other waiting hemp flowers.
While this might all sound daunting to new DIYers, experience and a suitable budget can serve to make it all significantly easier. With time and practice, high quality D8 flower is well within the reach of any independent grower.