One of the newest trends to hit the cannabis industry is vaping delta 8 THC. Delta 8 vape carts are becoming widely available in gas stations, grocery stores, online, and in vape shops, but are these trendy vape juices safe for you to use? And are they legal for you to use?
We’ll talk today about the new trend and whether or not you should hop on board the delta 8 THC vape train…or choose a safer alternative.
- What are delta 8 THC and delta 8 vape carts?
- Why vape delta 8 instead of smoke? We’ll take a look at why vaping delta 8 is appealing for smokers of marijuana or cigarettes.
- What are the legal and safety issues with vaping delta 8?
- And lastly, we’ll offer a few alternatives with far less controversy.
What Is Delta 8?
Delta 8 is the less-potent cousin to the more commonly known delta 9 THC, identified by the location of a double bond in the molecules. While delta 8 does occur naturally in cannabis plants, it isn’t without controversy. Here are a few of the issues delta 8 THC presents.
The 2018 Farm Bill Legal Loopholes
Delta 8 THC was decriminalized by the 2018 Farm Bill as long as it is derived from hemp, the less-THC potent form of the Cannabis sativa plant, therefore called hemp instead of marijuana plants. But lawmakers intended to decriminalize non-intoxicating hemp derivatives or reduce the legal amount to non-intoxicating levels. Because delta 8 is derived from hemp, it slips through a gap in the law.
Delta 8 Is a Psychoactive Compound
Because delta 8 is intoxicating – and the law permits it kind of accidentally – many companies are hopping on the bandwagon of producing and selling delta 8 THC products like the super popular delta 8 vaping cartridges now flying off the shelves. The cannabis industry is also carefully watching to see if the law changes to close up this legal loophole. They are also dealing with law enforcement and shipping issues, as the products are so difficult to differentiate from marijuana products without lab testing.
Regulation & Production
The level of delta 8 THC is regulated as any other form of THC, so you can expect that any legally compliant delta 8 product – including delta 8 vape carts – contain less than 0.3 percent delta 8.
But delta 8 doesn’t naturally occur in large enough quantities in hemp, so manufacturers synthetically manipulate CBD molecules via isomerization to “force” more delta 8 to form. This creates a controversy over “synthetic” vs. “naturally produced.”
What Are Delta 8 Vape Carts?
Perhaps we should explain exactly what delta 8 vape carts are and are not. First of all, there are a lot of vaping myths out there like “it’s just water vapor with ‘X’ in it,” and let’s curb that one right away. A person who vapes is getting a whole lot more into their system than “water vapor.”
Delta 8 THC vape cartridges are small pre-filled containers of vape juice that contain delta 8 THC and other chemicals. They are often called “delta 8 vape carts.” The vape cartridge is slipped or plugged into a small electronic vaping device which heats the vape juice and produces an inhalable version of the contents. The user takes small puffs off the device to inhale a vapor. Chemicals, cannabinoids, nicotine – whatever is in the particular vape cart you are using – are then absorbed through the lung tissues.
The result is a fast-acting compound that users can use recreationally or for health and wellness purposes like for calm or improved sleep.
What Is in Vape Carts?
By comparison, it is estimated that vape juices contain far fewer chemicals than cigarettes, but this does not mean they aren’t packed with chemicals that are potentially harmful. In fact, there aren’t enough studies right now on the safety of use, long term or short term.
Currently, no type of vaping liquid is FDA approved for therapeutic use.
When it comes to delta 8 vape carts, the delta 8 isn’t necessarily the problem. The problem comes with all the other chemicals you are ingesting. Some of the common ingredients in vape juice cartridges are:
- Propylene glycol (PG or PPG) – Often touted as the “safest” vaping ingredient and is generally preferred as a safe alternative to vegetable-glycerin-based vape juices. At this point, medical science isn’t really confirming or denying this.
- Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs)
- Vegetable glycerin (VEG)
- Vitamin E acetate – Though it sounds kind of healthy, vitamin E acetate isn’t necessarily a good thing in your vape carts.
- Polyethylene glycol (PEG) – Avoid this toxic ingredient. Many producers of vape liquids are switching to propylene glycol, a safer alternative.
- THC or other cannabinoids
- Synthetic or artificial additives
It’s important as a vape consumer that you know what is in your vape juice and, whenever possible, to switch to safer options if they are available to you. When possible, use companies that are transparent about their ingredients and offer Certificates of Analysis with complete information about what is in their products.
Are Delta 8 Vape Carts Legal Where You Live?
Delta 8 THC is federally legal as long as it comes from hemp and remains under 0.3 percent as regulated by law. However, each state’s lawmakers can choose to go along with the federal guidelines or create state guidelines of their own. Because of this, delta 8 THC is not legal in every state, and some states have vaping laws that come into play.
The only way to know is to research the state you live in and find out your state’s laws regarding use.
- Check to see if delta 8 is legal in your state.
- Check your state’s government websites to see if vaping is allowed in your state. Note: Some states have not banned vaping but regulate it similarly to cigarette smoking. Be aware of when and where you can use vaping devices of any kind, THC-based or otherwise.
- Check your employer or organizations to be sure you are allowed to consume or use any type of cannabis products. Vaping THC could cause you to fail a drug test for marijuana products.
Pay attention to the distinctions and small print on this, because it may say “marijuana vaping.” This isn’t the same thing as legally compliant THC vaping, which will have a lot less THC than marijuana smoking or marijuana vaping.
Are Delta 8 Vape Carts Safe?
Delta 8 vape carts are not meant to treat, cure, or prevent, any disease or medical condition. You may see on packaging of delta 8 products that they help with one thing or another, but you should also check to see if the packaging says “statements have not been evaluated” by the FDA or other government agencies. Many people stumble upon delta 8 vape carts or delta 8 THC products because they want to diagnose, treat, or cure some type of ailment, but these vaping cartridge products are not intended to be medical treatments.
There have been vaping-related illnesses (and deaths) reported. These were largely attributed to black market THC vaping cartridges and people who had tampered with vape cartridges to add more THC to them.
Known Medical Complications from Vaping:
VAPI: Vaping-associated pulmonary injury.
EVALI: E-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury.
Until medical science can cover all questions about the safety of delta 8 or any other type of THC vape cartridges and provide us with clear answers, use any of these products at your own risk. It’s best to consult with your doctor before you choose to vape any type of product – nicotine, cannabidiol, THC, or any combination. And – be very, very careful where you get these products. Bypass gas station varieties for a source that is more reputable, transparent, and legally compliant.
Also, consider why you are interested in delta 8 vape carts or other vaping measures for THC. Are you looking to curb a marijuana habit? Are you looking for an alternative to smoking? (Note here that vaping has not been approved or condoned by the FDA or CDC as a smoking cessation practice.) Or do you simply need some help feeling more calm and productive? If it’s calm or supported sleep you’re after, there are safer delta 8 THC options available for you to use.
Other THC Alternatives to Vaping
There are other ways to consume delta 8 THC or other versions of THC.
Use CBD Tinctures Instead
Full spectrum CBD tinctures, for example, have a selection of THC in their formulations, though at this time cbdMD’s tinctures are more delta 9-focused and do not contain delta 8 THC, specifically. In cbdMD’s full spectrum tinctures, as you can see by the “Click Here to Review Our Lab Results'' tab, have a wide spectrum of cannabinoids, including delta 9 THC:
And, while you won’t be able to blow big, puffy clouds or vape your CBD tinctures, you will get THC benefits in a safer way by orally ingesting THC oil or CBD oil tinctures. You also won’t find all those potentially harmful ingredients common in delta 8 vape carts.
NOTE: Do NOT attempt to put any type of oil into your vaping device other than a vape juice. CBD oil or THC oil that is meant for ingestion is NOT designed for vaping devices.
More Delta 9 Options
There’s also a variety of CBD gummies that have THC in them for a fun and tasty way to get in your daily cannabinoids. Look for “full spectrum” on the label to be sure they contain the THC you are after.
Another excellent option to vaping delta 8 carts would be to consider delta 9 products. Delta 9 is actually more calming than delta 8, and more natural since it’s more abundant in cannabis to begin with and doesn’t have to be synthesized.
- Try these Delta 9 Gummies in raspberry or cherry flavors for a tasty transition to feeling more calm. (Here’s a 20-count.)
- Try Delta 9 Microdosing Capsules which you can take in addition to your regular CBD regimen for added calm right when you need it!
Why vape delta 8 instead of smoke? Why consider delta 8 vape carts in the first place? Well, if you’re replacing a worse habit with one you feel more safe doing, then that is a very personal decision that should not be made lightly. You should speak to your doctor who knows your health profile and may have more information for you about the effects of using delta 8 vape carts, THC vape carts, or any other vaping products.