As marijuana legalization has spread throughout the U.S., obtaining weed has never felt more normal.
However, it’s not as normal as traditional goods and commodities. After all, marijuana is still illegal on a federal level and in many states.
On top of that, with the cannabis industry being so infantile, regulations have been notoriously confusing, subject to constant change, and overwhelming to the regular consumer.
This post will bring you some clarity on the best ways to purchase legal weed, why you should never choose the black market, and introduce you to a viable (and still legitimate) alternative for those who don’t have the legal marijuana option.
Your Options for Buying Weed
Even experienced consumers can run into legal troubles because of an overlooked technicality. Such mistakes are innocent but potentially costly.
States That Have Legalized Recreational Use
If you live in a state where adult use is legal, you can purchase weed from state-licensed dispensaries and online.
However, the latter comes with some stipulations, which you can learn about below.
States That Have Legalized Medicinal Use Only
If you live in a state that only allows weed for medicinal use, you need to obtain a medical marijuana card. That can be easier said than done, even for people who aren’t trying to cheat the system.
The difficulty of obtaining a medical marijuana card largely depends on how flexible a state’s definitions of qualifying medical conditions are. Many states define those conditions as “debilitating,” which can be open for interpretation. This is particularly true when it comes to mental health conditions, which are more ambiguous by nature.
For instance, insomnia and anxiety aren’t usually qualifying medical conditions, despite being two of the top reasons for marijuana use.
The Black Market vs. Dispensaries
Many people still prefer the black market over the legal one for one simple reason — money. Illegal weed is cheaper because the black market circumvents all the costs of running a legitimate marijuana operation, including quality and safety control and third-party testing. These standards are there to protect your health and are well worth paying extra for.
This is why illegal weed is very likely to be full of silent killers like pesticides, heavy metals, and all kinds of other contaminants.
Moreover, in the legal market, medical dispensaries, in particular, offer a much wider range of strains bred and groomed to produce specific effects. With the black market, not only are your options minimal, but you can’t even be sure of what you’re getting.
Buying Weed Online
Buying weed online is relatively simple, but it comes with important stipulations.
For Recreational Use
If you live in a state where recreational use is legal, you can buy weed online — but under one condition. Online purchases still need to be made from a business based in your state since transporting weed across state borders is illegal, even if it’s between two “legal” states.
Moreover, marijuana deliveries for recreational use are still far from the norm. You can order weed online in most states, but you need to pick it up in person at a set time.
For Medicinal Use
Purchasing medicinal marijuana online and having it delivered is quite common since many patients have debilitating conditions.
Nevertheless, the stipulation mentioned above still stands — the purchase has to come from within the state.
Delta 8 THC vs. Delta 9 THC
Delta 8 THC burst onto the cannabis scene seemingly out of nowhere, but it answers the need for a federally legal alternative to THC.
Before we get into the differences between these two cannabinoids, let’s explore the chemical idiosyncrasies that make delta 8 THC federally legal, at least for now.
Delta 8 THC is an isomer of THC, meaning the two have the same chemical formula but a different atomic structure. Both isomers share the same chemical double bond, but delta 8 THC has it on the 8th carbon chain, whereas THC, or delta 9 THC, has it on the 9th.
Delta 8 THC is a milder analog of THC, recreating its effects on a smaller and gentler scale.
This means that the chances of experiencing the classic side effects of THC like paranoia and anxiety are much slimmer.
However, this doesn’t mean delta 8 THC carries no risk of side effects, but it takes higher amounts to trigger them — roughly twice as much. Nevertheless, the need for moderation still stands.
Delta 8 THC is an excellent option for those who enjoy THC’s psychoactive effects but would still like to remain functional and clear-headed. Anecdotal evidence suggests delta 8 THC produces mild euphoria, focus, creativity, energy, and a mental buzz.
So why is delta 8 THC federally legal if it’s practically THC’s first cousin? Because of a legal gray zone that leaves many people confused.
Delta 8 THC is present in very low levels in cannabis, so low that extracting it becomes highly ineffective, and a particular process is required. Delta 8 THC extracted from hemp is federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill.
However, on August 20, 2020, the DEA introduced an Interim Final Rule, an amendment to the 2018 Farm Bill, deeming all synthetically-derived tetrahydrocannabinol a schedule I controlled substance. This category could include delta 8 THC, thus creating somewhat of a paradox.
Delta 8 THC manufacturers are going ahead at full throttle because delta 8 THC falls under the definition of a hemp-derived product.
Again, it’s a legal gray area.
Is Delta 8 THC Legal Everywhere?
No. Some states have placed bans or restrictions on its use. Laws can change quickly, so make sure you stay up-to-date.
Best Delta 8 THC Vendors
Unfortunately, the fact that delta 8 THC is federally legal doesn’t guarantee quality and safety. On the contrary — unlike legal marijuana with its strict regulations, hemp largely flies under the quality-control radar.
A large, third-party test by S.C. Labs unearthed all kinds of contaminants and glaring discrepancies between products’ advertised and actual CBD contents. The worst part was that some CBD products had THC levels well above the legal 0.3% limit while having virtually no CBD.
This means some producers are taking advantage of the lax regulations in the hemp niche by selling marijuana products labeled as hemp to circumvent strict quality control.
If such a blatant ploy could go unnoticed, virtually anything can happen in the hemp and delta 8 THC niche. Buying delta 8 THC from a random vendor is as reassuring as buying weed from the black market.
The following vendors have made the cut after a careful process of vetting the market.
1. Area 52
Area 52 talks emphatically about delta 8 THC is life-enhancing potential. But more importantly, it doesn’t just talk the talk; it walks the walk. The company has all of the standards in place to back its eloquent words up.
Area 52’s products, derived from organic hemp, are extracted without toxic solvents that can leave residues. Each product comes with a certificate of analysis (COA), which is the ultimate legitimacy stamp in this field.
Better yet, each product goes through several tests throughout the production cycle. Area 52 approaches the entire process of delta 8 THC extraction and production like the highest form of science that it is.
This is one of the reasons why Area 52 made the cut as one of the best delta 8 THC brands — often recommended by popular authorities in the healthcare and cannabis industries such as The Observer, CFAH, LA Weekly, Federal Way Mirror, and Herald Net.
2. Finest Labs
While Finest Lab’s primary specialty is terpenes, the company’s love for cannabinoid science and its healing powers doesn’t end there.
Finest Labs carried its dedication to top-grade, clean, third-party tested formulations into delta 8 THC products. But it’s the team’s knowledge of and access to terpenes that sets the company apart.
Finest Labs adds terpenes to its delta 8 THC products to unlock the unique cannabinoid synergy, known as the entourage effect, which is considered the X factor of cannabinoid “magic.”
The company’s delta 8 THC products are the perfect introduction for inexperienced users looking to test this alternative form of medicine or recreation.
3. Delta Effex
Delta Effex has experienced a surge in popularity, which might sound a little superficial, but it counts for something — quality and reliability in this line of work. Building on experience in the hemp and CBD niches, these dedicated professionals produce high-end, safe, third-party tested products made from all-natural ingredients.
3Chi is an award-winning company with products that span a wide range of cannabinoids. The company lives and breathes cannabis science instead of just passing by looking to make a quick profit.
The company’s products are lab-tested “at the extract and product level.”
5. 8 Delta 8
8Delta8 employs both internal and third-party testing, ensuring top quality and safety. Its products feature a QR-code, which takes you straight to the lab results on the company’s website. This way, customers can easily make sure that they’re not consuming any cutting agents or additives.
Delta 8 THC Near Me: Why Choose Online Vendors
Purchasing delta 8 THC online comes with several benefits.
The convenience of online purchases is particularly valid when it comes to delta 8 THC. You can check products’ exact contents by carefully examining third-party lab reports — without the pressure that live interactions sometimes entail.
Moreover, online selections are usually vast, and the comfort of your own home is a better environment for you to weigh your options carefully.
Last but not least, online purchases eliminate a lot of the operational costs of running a brick-and-mortar store. The cheaper it is for vendors, the cheaper it will be for you.
Even after widespread legalization, buying marijuana can be overwhelming, to the point of putting off potential consumers. All things considered, buying delta 8 THC online from one of the companies above is arguably the most solid and well-rounded option.