Delta 8 Distillate: A Comprehensive Guide

Delta 8 Distillate: A Comprehensive Guide

Posted by Christian on 26th Apr 2023

If you have ever sampled a delta-8 product, you will have consumed delta-8 distillate. The purified psychoactive hemp extract is the foundation of edibles, tincture oils, vape oils, and other products containing the insanely popular cannabinoid.

But the distillate itself remains a mystery, even for many weed connoisseurs – although most recognize it is different from your typical Cannabis sativa extract.

This comprehensive review will lift the lid on the crucial delta-8 ingredient. We have some complex chemistry to cover, but this easy-to-digest guide will have you feeling like an expert in no time! Let’s get stuck in.

What is Delta-8 Infused Distillate?

Delta-8 (or D8) distillate is a high-strength, lab-processed form of delta-8 and has a thick, syrupy consistency. Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8) is a THC isomer often found in cannabis plants in concentrations below 1%. 

Companies making delta-8 products need lab-synthesized distillate because cannabis plants only have tiny amounts of delta-8. Creating products with 100% natural delta-8 would be ridiculously expensive or impossible.

Effects-wise, delta-8 distillate is moderately psychoactive, albeit considerably milder than delta-9-THC (THC). Recreational users love delta-8’s euphoric effects, but the compound may have health benefits, from relieving stress to elevating mood.

Delta-8 distillate is the core ingredient in delta-8 vaping products, concentrates, edibles, flower, tincture oils, moon rocks, and more. Distillate purity varies, but premium distillate should have at least 90% delta-8.

Is delta 8 distillate legal?

Delta-8 distillate is federally legal but banned in 21 states (updated August 2022). The U.S. federal government effectively legalized hemp-derived delta-8 in 2018, but the cannabinoid’s rapid emergence has attracted controversy.

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp, meaning cannabis with less than 0.3% delta-9-THC. The bill legalized every natural hemp-derived cannabinoid, delta-8 included. But not everyone accepts that delta-8 distillate is a natural substance.

Detractors argue that the laboratory processing of delta-8 distillate makes it synthetic. However, this conveniently ignores that the distillate used in delta-8 products is converted from 100% natural, hemp-derived CBD extract!

Annoyingly, several states have taken umbrage with the delta-8 cannabinoid - and not just its origins. Many state lawmakers didn’t think legal THC-like substitutes were on the agenda when legalizing hemp.

Sadly, delta-8 is now banned in Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New York, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, South Carolina, Utah, and Vermont.

Please note that CBD Genesis cannot ship delta-8 products to any of these states.

How to Make Delta 8 Distillate

Firstly, do not try this at home! Creating delta-8 distillate is a complicated and potentially dangerous process best left to the professionals! So, how do those clever chemists concoct the delta-8 distillate we know and love?

Converting non-intoxicating CBD extract into psychoactive D8 distillate is surprisingly easy! The process involves blending CBD with a solvent, catalyzing the mix with an acid, waiting many hours, and then purifying it.

The transformation of CBD into delta-8 is known as isomerization. Chemists have utilized the process for several decades to synthesize obscure cannabinoids.

We can break the CBD to delta-8 conversion down into five steps.

  1. Mix the CBD extract with a non-polar organic solvent – preferably an alkane such as heptane.
  2. Add acid to the CBD solvent solution and stir on a stirrer hot-plate continuously for several hours at 100ºC (212ºF). Many chemists use hydrochloric acid or p-toluenesulfonic acid.
  3. Depending on your choice of solvent and acid, the conversion could take between one to 18 hours. Some mixtures leave behind more residual solvents and potentially toxic byproducts than others.
  4. Wash and neutralize the solution with sodium bicarbonate
  5. Separate the delta-8 distillate using high-performance liquid chromatography, testing regularly to ensure maximum purity. No CBD to delta-8 conversion is 100% successful - but aim for 95% purity and above.

Is delta-8 distillate safe?

Yes, if synthesized with due care and attention. In fact, delta-8 itself is safer than THC, with its weaker properties making side effects less likely. But not even the best delta-8 distillate is 100% pure, leaving the door open for dangers to creep in.

Frustratingly, not all hemp companies take product safety seriously, and there is a slew of low-grade, impure delta-8 distillate on the market. And because delta-8 products are new, we don’t fully understand the risks of poor-quality distillate.

However, an analysis of delta 8 THC distillate sold in the U.S. discovered that some products have a diabolically low 60% purity. Unconverted CBD may explain some of this, but dangerous impurities include:

  • p-Cresol
  • p-Cymene
  • Olivetol
  • Phthalates
  • Triethyl benzenes
  • Triethyl borate
  • Trimethyl benzenes

There is no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation or oversight of delta-8 products. Inevitably, the market’s Wild West nature increases the amount of fake and dangerous stuff available and emphasizes the importance of third-party lab testing.

Products proven to contain 90 to 95% delta-8 distillate are much safer than those that aren’t. Be skeptical of brands making too-good-to-be-true claims about their delta-8 products. I prefer to see honesty regarding low levels of impurities.

What is Delta 8 Distillate Used For?

Delta-8 distillate is not sold separately for commercial use. However, hemp businesses can purchase wholesale distillate to make delta-8 products.

We can divide delta-8 customers into two categories: recreational users and therapeutic users. Both buy delta-8 products because they cannot legally purchase products with high concentrations of THC where they live.

Recreational use

A classic delta-8 high consists of euphoric, energizing, and cerebral effects. The THC isomer is a brilliant federally legal substitute for marijuana, recreating an authentic – albeit milder – THC experience.

However, that doesn’t faze avid delta-8 lovers. Somebody who would typically take 10mg of THC could consume 15 to 20mg delta-8 to compensate for delta-8’s lower strength. But taking more delta-8 will increase the likelihood of side effects.

In addition to uplifting and energizing euphoria, the delta-8 high can also trigger a spike in appetite, altered time perception, and enhanced visuals. Possible side effects include anxiety, paranoia, insomnia, nausea, dry mouth, and red-eye.

General wellness

Delta-8 has no approved medicinal use, but that hasn’t stopped people from consuming products for therapeutic purposes. And since delta-8 is almost chemically identical to THC, it’s no wonder some hold the cannabinoid in such high regard.

Pain relief: Delta-8 is a partial CB1 receptor agonist, which suggests it could play a role in pain relief. Research shows that the endocannabinoid system regulates pain perception through this receptor and particularly neuropathic and inflammatory pain.

Stress relief: Stress is an underlying factor of many illnesses and has a detrimental effect on a person's quality of life. But delta-8’s pleasant euphoric properties can help with unwinding and destressing.

Indulging with delta-8 after a taxing day or on your day off is an excellent way of restoring the balance between work and play. Everyone needs some time out, and the chilled vibes from a delta-8 high could help you make the most of yours.

Mood-booster: Feeling down in the dumps and like you cannot catch a break? Mood-elevating delta-8 distillate can nudge you into a more positive frame of mind.

No evidence indicates that delta-8 relieves long-term mood problems and depression. But it can give you a much-needed pick-me-up on days when you feel mentally under the weather.

Creativity: Some of the world’s most creative people credit psychoactive drugs for providing memorable moments of inspiration. Mind-altering cannabinoids have that potential, unlocking your brain and encouraging the formation of new neural pathways.

Everybody’s mind needs an occasional reset, or our established neural pathways deepen, and we become set in our ways. Delta-8 can help you blast through any mental blocks and break free from creative slumps.

How to Use Delta 8 Distillate

Delta-8 is the most successful hemp-derived cannabinoid after CBD. The ever-expanding industry is full of different product types, each with upsides and downsides.

Delta 8 distillate boasts remarkable versatility and is the crucial ingredient in delta-8 products. Let's discuss how the industry utilizes D8 distillate with a rundown of all the different products on the market today.

Vape cartridges

Enjoy fast-acting, hassle-free, and flavorful highs with delta-8 vape cartridges. Ideal for vaping newcomers, you don’t need to buy an expensive vaporizer or separate e-liquids, just a 510-threaded battery that will attach to a corresponding cartridge.

Most delta-8 distillate cart products contain 1ml of vape juice, made up of delta-8 distillate and cannabis or botanically-derived (CDT or BDT) terpenes. You can purchase delta-8-infused vape cartridges in sativa, indica, and hybrid varieties.

Disposable pens

Make vaping even more convenient with disposable delta-8 pens. These are like vape cartridges with the added benefit of a pre-installed battery. Standard disposable vape tanks contain 1ml of e-liquid, but some super-size tanks hold up to 3ml!

Companies selling vape cartridges often manufacture disposable pens, too. Both vaping products have the same high-strength delta-8 distillate and natural terpene mix. Disposables cost more to account for the additional ease of use.


Enthusiastic vapers who don’t need ultra-convenience may prefer cheaper delta-8 e-liquids. These vape juices contain delta-8 distillate, flavorings (artificial or natural terpenes), and a carrier oil (propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, or both).

You need a refillable vaping device to use delta-8 e-liquids, although experienced vapers will almost certainly have such equipment. You can tweak the throat hit and vapor production with these devices and mix the D8 e-liquid with other vape juices.


Swap intense and immediate highs for slow and sustained delta-8 joy. Gummies make up most of the edible market, but you can also buy chocolate bars, rice squares, brownies, cookies, and candies.

In every edible, pure, clean, and potent delta 8 distillate plays a leading role. Some brands combine delta-8 with other psychoactive hemp cannabinoids (i.e., HHC and THC-O) for punchier highs or with minor cannabinoids like CBN for health benefits.

Don’t fret if your delta-8 edible does not make you promptly stoned! The cannabinoids take a meandering path to your bloodstream, moving initially through your first-pass metabolism. That can delay the onset of your high for up to an hour.


Wake and bake or settle in for an evening smoke with delta-8 flower. On appearance and aroma, delta-8 buds may seem identical to marijuana – but there are two vital differences. 

Delta-8 flower is a hemp product with less than 0.3% THC, and these nugs have a coating of delta-8 distillate. Most products have a CBD or CBG flower base, with the delta-8 then applied by soaking the bud – soaking is more consistent than spraying.

Unlike most forms of delta-8, the natural hemp flower gives these products the therapeutic bonus of minor cannabinoids and cannabis-derived terpenes. These are better than terpenes extracted from other natural but non-cannabis plants.

Grind up and smoke delta-8 flower in a joint or blunt. Can’t roll? We have pre-rolls available! You can also smoke in a pipe or bong or vape in a dry herb vaporizer.

Tincture oils

Avoid smoking and vaping health risks by taking delta-8 tincture oils instead! Perfect for sublingual administration and oral consumption, tincture oils offer a variety of delta-8 experiences. And there are some that blend delta-8 with CBD or CBN.

Consume under the tongue for a hard-hitting high or ingest with food or drink for a longer-lasting trip. Only tincture oils provide such versatile psychoactive effects – and with the accurate serving sizes, discretion, and convenience, what’s not to like?


If you find other delta-8 products intense, wait until you try delta-8 concentrates! These products are as close to plain delta-8 distillate as you can get, with dabs, crumble, and shatter all generating mind-boggling highs.

However, side effects are more common with high-octane delta-8 concentrates, because of the increased dosages. Experiment with delta-8 carts, pens, or edibles before sampling concentrates, which are mighty despite delta-8’s mildness.

Can you dab delta 8 distillate concentrate? Yes, with a suitable dabbing rig. You can also vape concentrates with compatible devices or ingest them as edibles.

Moon rocks

Get sky-high and space out with delta-8 moon rocks. These juiced-up hemp nugs pack a serious punch, with flower, delta-8 distillate, and powerful kief combining to deliver a long-lasting and intense trip.

Most brands use CBD-rich flower and CBD or CBG kief in delta-8 moon rocks. These non-intoxicating cannabinoids complement delta-8 with relaxing and therapeutic effects, dropping your body into a deep calm as the euphoria kicks in.

How to Make Edibles with Delta 8 Distillate

If you can acquire purified delta-8 distillate extract, you might be tempted to make edibles. Perhaps commercial products don’t take your fancy and you want to put a unique spin on the edible experience. Delta-8 nachos, anyone?

Delta-8 in distillate is pre-activated, unlike the THC in raw cannabis flower, which must be decarbed. You can add delta-8 distillate to recipes like any food ingredient to give them a psychoactive twist.

Ensure your recipe is well-flavored with other ingredients so the distillate doesn’t dominate your palate. It doesn’t matter when you mix in the delta-8 - the cannabinoid has a boiling point above 700ºF! 

While making edibles from scratch is possible, it is a time-consuming process. If making your own sounds like too much effort, check our collection of ready-made delta-8 edibles instead!

How to Store Delta 8 Distillate

Store delta-8 distillate in a dark and dry place at a cool and consistent temperature. Keep distillate away from direct sunlight to protect the delta-8 cannabinoids. Well-preserved distillate will stay fresh and fully effective for 12 months or more.

A big bottle of delta-8 distillate will contain an eye-popping amount of that extract. Therefore, I recommend storing it somewhere you do not need regular access to. Avoid unnecessary exposure to the elements that could damage your distillate.

Where Can I Buy Delta 8 Distillate Products?

CBD Genesis is the #1 online hemp store for federally legal, hemp-derived delta 8 distillate products. Choose from vape carts, disposable pens, e-liquids, flower, pre-rolled joints, edibles, concentrates, tincture oils, and more!

Quality, safety, and transparency are fundamental to the CBD Genesis philosophy. All our products are third-party tested and made with premium-grade delta 8 distillate. And we apply the same standards when picking other brands to stock.


Do you have an established hemp company, or are you just getting involved in the delta-8 scene? If either applies, our wholesale solutions may interest you!

We have an enormous range of affordable, dispensary-grade, third-party tested delta-8 products at CBD Genesis. And we offer fantastically low prices for our wholesale customers.To learn more about buying delta-8 wholesale from CBD Genesis, click here and create a wholesale account! We look forward to working with you and helping find the best delta-8 approach for your business.