5 Best Delta-8 Strains in 2021

Tim Rosenberger Tim Rosenberger

If you prefer an old-school experience, delta-8 strains are the obvious choice! With legal, psychoactive delta-8 flower, you can smoke fat joints, take big bong rips, make your own edibles, and do so much more. Start here with one of my top five delta-8 strains. 

Top 5 Begin Here

1. Best Delta 8 Flower

Cascade from CBD Genesis

Enjoy a well-balanced, mellow high with Cascade, a best-selling premium hybrid delta-8 flower from CBD Genesis. Loaded with an eye-popping 88% delta-8 THC, Cascade effectively brings out the euphoric and energizing psychoactive effects delta-8 is renowned for.

The hybrid effects mean you can smoke Cascade morning, noon, and night without fear. The high is never mentally taxing, and won’t leave you feeling sleepy and lethargic. This CBD Genesis delta-8 flower is third-party tested and contains less than 0.3% THC.

Available in four sizes: 1 gram, 3.5 grams (eighth), 7 grams (quarter), 14 grams (half)

2. Most Popular

Sour Diesel from ELYXR LA

Sour Diesel has a reputation for being extremely pungent, and this delta-8 flower strain from ELYXR LA lives up to its billing. A classic sativa strain, Sour Diesel teases out the naturally uplifting effects of delta-8.

As the name suggests, this strain has a skunky aroma, just like diesel. A popular mood-enhancer and stress-buster, ELYXR LA’s Sour Diesel has both therapeutic and recreational value.

Sold in four sizes: 1/8 oz (3.5 grams), 1/4 oz (7 grams), 1 oz (28.3 grams), 1 lb

3. Runner Up

Gorilla Glue from Delta 8 Factory

Also known as GG#4, Gorilla Glue is a popular hybrid marijuana strain that has crossed over to the world of delta-8. Famous for its potency, Gorilla Glue was an inspired pick for Delta 8 Factory and is the best of their delta-8 flower strains.

These award-winning buds have an earthy and sour aroma and deliver lots of relaxation and euphoria. If you want a delta-8 strain that chills you out and gets you super high, Gorilla Glue is ideal. Available at CBD Genesis in 3.5-gram packs.

4. Runner Up

Purple Punch from ELYXR LA

A cross between Granddaddy Purple and Larry OG, this ELYXR LA strain takes indica relaxation to a new level. Ready for a full-body delta-8 experience that leaves you glued to your sofa in a state of bliss? Then it’s time to try Purple Punch.

These buds have a gorgeous blueberry and grape candy flavor and may offer an array of therapeutic benefits. As well as making you high, Purple Punch could help with stress, nausea, and poor sleep quality.

Sold in four sizes: 1/8 oz (3.5 grams), 1/4 oz (7 grams), 1 oz (28.3 grams), 1 lb

5. Runner Up

Pineapple Express from Delta 8 Factory

Blast off with Delta 8 Factory’s Pineapple Express. A strain name most marijuana lovers will be familiar with, this invigorating sativa is now available in delta-8 form. And trust me, the effects are just as memorable.

No prizes for guessing, but Pineapple Express has a tropical and fruity aroma and flavor. It’s often taken to improve creativity, increase alertness, and banish fatigue. Pineapple Express contains a variety of sativa terpenes, including pinene and limonene. Available at CBD Genesis in 3.5-gram packs.

What are Delta-8 Strains?

Delta-8 flower strains are hemp strains infused with delta-8 distillate. While these strains look, smell, and taste like cannabis and induce similar psychoactive effects, delta-8 flower is legal in the United States! As delta-8 flower contains less than 0.3%, it falls under the legal definition of hemp, as set by the 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act (Farm Bill).

Delta-8 strains offer plenty of versatility. You can smoke them, vape them, or use them as the basis for homemade tinctures, edibles, and topicals. However, smoking is by far the most common way to consume these products. You can grind up flower and roll it into joints or blunts, or pack a bowl and smoke it in a bong, bubbler, or pipe.

Smoking delta-8 strains deliver an authentic, delicious, and fast-acting high. Smoking is not risk-free, but research suggests delta-8 flower is less harmful than tobacco. While delta-8 may have mildly addictive properties, hemp flower does not contain nicotine, the highly addictive substance in tobacco cigarettes.

Why are delta-8 strains legal?

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized all cannabinoids and tetrahydrocannabinols, except for delta-9-THC. Other tetrahydrocannabinols, such as delta-8, were not restricted.

There’s no doubt that this was an oversight, as delta-8 is also psychoactive, albeit less potent than THC. But there was no legal push to keep other tetrahydrocannabinols banned at the time, as hemp plants only produce them in small and irrelevant amounts.

However, legislators didn’t account for creative hemp companies pulling a chemical masterstroke. Remarkably, in the right conditions, non-intoxicating cannabidiol (CBD) naturally transforms into delta-8, via a process called isomerization.

Hemp companies realized that they could harness isomerization, and use it to generate delta-8 extract en masse. We currently have a situation where chemists are creating the ideal conditions for isomerization and turning CBD-isolate into delta-8 distillate in large quantities.

Sure, the Farm Bill was never passed with this intention, but the law is the law! Delta-8 companies are capitalizing on the legal loophole, to the delight of cannabis lovers across the US.

Whether delta-8 strains will stay legal is another matter. More than a dozen states have passed laws to ban delta-8, as of October 2021. However, attempts to make delta-8 illegal in other states have failed. It’s fair to say the future is uncertain.

What to Look For When Buying Delta-8 Strains

The beauty of hemp and marijuana flower is the massive variety and the never-ending emergence of new strains. The same applies to delta-8 nugs, which are essentially just non-intoxicating hemp flower mixed with psychoactive delta-8.

But with so many strains to choose from, how can you tell which one is for you? Let’s discuss, and explore other vital things to look for when purchasing delta-8 strains.

Terpenes

All delta-8 strains contain terpenes. These aroma compounds are naturally occurring in the hemp plant, have therapeutic properties, and influence the effects and flavor of a strain. Terpenes explain why some delta-8 buds are stimulating and others are more relaxing.

Delta-8 strains are split up into three categories: indicas, sativas, and hybrids. Broadly speaking, indicas are physically calming, and sativas are mentally invigorating. Hybrid strains are more nuanced, bringing together energizing and sedative effects.

Within each category, effects can differ further depending on the exact terpene profile of a strain. Some sativas enhance creativity, while others are better for boosting focus and concentration. Certain indicas are tailored for pain relief; others help more with alleviating anxiety.

Finding the perfect delta-8 strain often takes trial and error – indeed, you could end up with a few favorites. But that’s part of the fun, and the subtle variations in flavor and effects are a big part of what makes delta-8 strains so enjoyable.

Third-party approval

All the strains featured in my top five have passed third-party checks from independent laboratories. I strongly recommend only purchasing from delta-8 brands that comply with third-party testing.

Why is independent approval so important? Because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate delta-8 products, and the industry has no legally enforced standards on product quality and safety. Third-party testing helps weed out scammers and bad actors.

Unapproved delta-8 strains come with numerous risks. At best, they may be weaker than claimed, but at worst, they could have been sprayed with dangerous ingredients to increase potency. Unapproved products might also contain illegal levels of delta-9-THC.

Third-party testing brings necessary transparency, keeping consumers safe and helping the genuine-delta-8 businesses to thrive. Companies doing things the right way welcome scrutiny, whereas scammers get exposed. In a nutshell, third-party testing shows who you can trust in this rapidly changing and growing market.

Cultivation methods

This somewhat ties in with third-party testing, but the cultivation practices of a hemp company generally give a good idea of the quality of their products. For instance, some brands clarify that their delta-8 flower is organic; others only work with growers with several years of experience.

Look for delta-8 strains cultivated without the use of herbicides and pesticides. When considering a product, check the third-party lab report to ensure the flower is free from heavy metals and residual solvents.

How to Store Your Delta-8 Strains

Preserve your delta-8 strains for longer by stopping exposure to light, oxygen, and moisture. I recommend storing your buds in an airtight container that offers ultraviolet (UV) ray protection and keeping it in a cool, dry, and dark place.

Delta-8 strains left lying around in the open air will lose potency pretty quickly, due to oxidation and light degradation. Buds that become damp will turn moldy, wrecking your entire stash. Don’t neglect storage if you intend on using your flower over weeks or months.

Furthermore, an airtight container is ideal for discretion. Delta-8 flower has the same aroma as cannabis flower, which could be problematic if you live in a banned state or with anti-pot folks. While you know that you aren’t breaking the law, they might not understand.

How Long do Delta-8 Strains Last?

Smoked or vaporized delta-8 strains produce psychoactive effects for around three hours. Homemade tinctures and edibles may last for up to four and eight hours respectively.

An inhalation high (smoking or vaping) hits hard and fast. If you’re chasing an intense delta-8 experience and don’t want to wait, smoking or vaping delta-8 strains is your best bet. The psychoactive effects begin after a couple of minutes and typically reach their maximum after around half an hour. The high then steadily wears off.

Regular delta-8 smokers may find the effects drop off more quickly due to a higher tolerance. First-time users have extra sensitive cannabinoid receptors and could stay stoned for longer. Keep your circumstances in mind before diving in with a dose, and remember that delta-8 is less potent than regular THC.

Purchasing Delta-8 Online vs. Shops Near Me

Buying delta-8 online comes with many benefits. If you’re thinking of purchasing delta-8 from a local store, hear me out. I understand why you may want to shop in the local community, especially given the challenging economic situation, but that can be risky with delta-8 products.

It’s essential to purchase from a vendor that knows what they are talking about. Specialist online hemp businesses are much better equipped than headshops, gas stations, and other brick-and-mortar stores looking to make bank from delta-8.

We’ve touched upon how delta-8 products are unregulated and the importance of third-party testing. Established CBD and delta-8 sellers like CBD Genesis understand this much better than physical stores that aren’t experts in hemp.

Online hemp vendors cannot risk stocking products that might not meet the grade. When shopping at CBD Genesis, you’ll only ever find legit stuff – and if you have any doubts, they will be happy to provide the lab reports. You’ll be lucky to find such high standards at a physical store.

Shopping online is cheaper, too. All-online companies have fewer expenses than brick-and-mortar stores – the lower product prices reflect this. And finally, specialist online delta-8 shops have more choice than physical stores selling delta-8 as an extra.

Guarantee yourself a fantastic delta-8 experience by shopping for strains at CBD Genesis. Looking for something else? CBD Genesis has impressive collections of edibles, tinctures, concentrates, and vaping products, too!

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