More and more, Delta-8 THC products are filling the shelves at Texas smoke shops. Delta-8 is the legal, less potent psychoactive cannabinoid derived from hemp. Its stronger, illegal cousin, the stuff we all wish we could consume in the Lone Star State, is Delta-9 THC.
It will likely never be as good as the real stuff, but people say Delta-8 is about half as potent as Delta-9. According to that logic, the more Delta-8 you consume, the more it will feel like that sweet Delta-9. To help you get there faster, here are some of the best and most potent Delta-8 products you can get in North Texas.
Quick disclaimer: If you have never tried Delta-8 or Delta-9, it’s best to start with low doses and see how you feel. You can always take more later, but you can’t go back and take less.
Combustibles and Vapes:
Delta-8 is actually far less common in nature than Delta-9. Most illegal weed has a very small percentage of Delta-8. So, manufacturers are extracting the cannabinoid and making concentrates out of it. To make Delta-8 hemp flower, buds are taken and dipped or sprayed with the concentrate, called a distillate.
While some Delta-8 products may be labeled sativa or indica, the concentrate itself usually doesn’t belong to either of those strains. Instead, that is usually referring to the strain of the flower that was doused with the distillate. It could also conceivably refer to the hemp that the Delta-8 was derived from, but oftentimes, what you get is a sativa-indica hybrid.
Vapes are often the most abundant product among stores' Delta-8 selection. You can get the Delta-8 vape juice in individual cartridges to be connected to reusable batteries. You can also find disposable Delta-8 vapes, similar to Juuls. Vapes often contain several hundred milligrams of Delta-8. Popular brands include 3Chi and Effex, both of which can be found in North Texas smoke shops.
CBD Pros USA, which has locations in several states including Texas, is a good place to get your feet wet. It's kind of like the Walmart of CBD stores. They have vapes, flower, edibles, tinctures and other concentrates.
The store periodically gets new strains of flower which can be bought by the eighth of an ounce. While the Delta-8 content is not always labeled on the packaging, some of their most potent flower includes Bubba’s Truckstop, an indica with 8.5% Delta-8, and Diesel Fuel, a hybrid with about 6.5%.
The two smoke nice and hit you with relative ease. CBD Pros’ selection is pretty standard, and with third-party testing, the quality is pretty consistent too. There are CBD Pros locations throughout North Texas.
At the Denton smoke shop The Zebra’s Head, potency isn’t as clear, but that doesn’t take away from their incredible selection. As you walk up to the counter at the shop, you’ll notice the Delta-8 products front and center on full display. Ask about the potency of their flower and the clerks will likely say they’re not sure. And if a product is not third-party tested, there really isn’t a way to know if what’s on the label matches with what you’re consuming. Most third-party tested products will have a QR code on them that will direct you to the lab report for that product.
So, if it isn’t marked as third-party tested, take what’s on the label with a grain of salt.
While they can’t tell you the exact potency of some of their products, they can definitely tell you which ones customers say hit the best.
When we stopped by, the clerk recommended their strain Girl Scout Cookies, as well as some pre-rolled joints.
Describing how the Delta-8 flower is made, the clerk pulled out a big black tub of some seriously loud cannabis. He runs his hand through the loose buds. When he pulls his hand out, it’s slightly damp with Delta-8 distillate. The flower sells for $8 a gram, a pretty decent price considering many stores only sell by the eighth, which can cost as much as $40.
At The Zebra's Head, they hand you loose flower in a plastic zip bag with no label, which may look a little sketchy to a cop if you get pulled over on your way home, so be sure to grab a receipt just in case. Don’t be surprised if the smell leads the cops to search your car. Seriously, the stuff reeks.
The Girl Scout Cookies strand tastes great and seems to pack a bigger punch than the Bubba’s or Diesel from CBD Pros. This is solely based on feeling, not numbers.
The clerk also pointed out some pre-rolled Delta-8 joints. We went with Puro Cannagars’ Pineapple Express, you know, because of the movie.
It’s packed with about 1.5 grams of Delta-8 hemp flower. Rolled in kief, this joint is incredibly dusty and if what the label says is true, it blows CBD Pros’ most potent flower out of the water.
With about 25.20% Delta-8, according to the label, this joint could send you to the moon. All considered, it makes sense that the joint is part of a series called Lunarockets. If you like joints, you need to try one of these.
But Kirk Edmondson, owner of The Pharm Haus CBD in Richardson, said he was skeptical of the joint’s reported potency.
“If they’re saying 25% Delta-8, that is a far reach, bro,” Edmondson said.
He explains that if you were to go into a shop in California or Colorado and buy some Delta-9, “they probably max out at 30% potency.” Usually, real weed has anywhere between 16-25% Delta-9 THC.
There’s a threshold that you can’t pass with the flower, he said. Getting 20-25% Delta-8 seems mathematically impossible, Edmondson said.
Pharm Haus only has one Delta-8 hemp flower and they sell it per eighth of an ounce. It is testing at about 5.5%, “and that’s pretty strong,” Edmondson said. The flower is fresh, smells great and will definitely get you high, though, not as high as their edibles.
Edibles and Tinctures:
Let's back track a bit.
If you've had Delta-9 edibles, you know it's a totally different experience than smoking or vaping the substance. That's because when you digest Delta-9 it turns into what's called 11-Hydroxy-Delta 9 THC. It's a metabolite that is estimated to be between 1.5 and seven times more potent than its combustible or vaped precursor.
“This is why a lot of emergency department visits are associated with cannabis edibles, rather than inhaled consumption," Dr. Adie Rae, a neuroscientist, told Weedmaps.
A very similar reaction occurs when you digest Delta-8 through edibles or tinctures. Tinctures are concentrates of the plant extract, often oil or alcohol based. Delta-8 turns into the metabolite 11-Hydroxy-Delta 8 THC, which is longer lasting and up to 10 times as potent. Delta-8 edibles often hit you about an hour after consumption and can last up to four hours. Tinctures can take one to three hours to kick in, and they last up to eight hours.
In legal states, you can find some incredibly potent Delta-9 edibles and tinctures. A quick search online will turn up edibles with as much as 1,800 mg of Delta-9 THC. But it's harder to find similar potencies in Delta-8 products. Sometimes you might be able to find products like the 250 mg Delta-8 Nerd Ropes at Frisco's Smokin' Glassworks. In many Texas smoke shops, however, you're more likely to find edibles with 10-25 mg of Delta-8 per piece.
Edmondson said he has only recently started focusing on Delta-8. "We've got to make money," he said with a laugh in his Richardson store. But they focus more on edibles. On why higher potencies are harder to find, Edmondson said, "I think it's just because edibles are dangerous." Dangerous is a heavy word, but it's definitely easy to over do it with edibles. That's why they've stuck with lower doses.
They sell caramel squares with about 20 mg of Delta-8. “A normal person eats that, they should be stoned,” he said. You can buy them individually or in packs. They also have gummies and Nerd ropes that have 50 mg of Delta-8 and are working on another product with about 100 mg. Edmondson's customers love the edibles, he said, but they also often ask him when Pharm Haus will start carrying 3Chi products.
What we'd consider the gold standard of Delta-8 comes out of the Indiana-based company 3Chi. Oftentimes, clerks recommend 3Chi over some of their own store's products, especially when it comes to edibles and tinctures. Founded by a biochemist, 3Chi makes products that can be found throughout North Texas, products that consistently pack a mean punch.
Their strongest gummies have 25 mg of Delta-8 a piece and come in packs of eight or 16. 3Chi also makes chocolate chip cookies and fudge brownies which both have 50 mg of Delta-8 each. Their strongest tincture has a total of 1,200 mg of Delta-8, but a single serving, one milliliter, has 40 mg.
Most smoke shops in the area should carry 3Chi, but you can definitely find them at CBD Pros locations, Smokin' Glassworks in Frisco and at The Zebra's Head.
While we're on The Zebra's Head, they deserve an honorable mention for the most interesting selection of edibles. It includes cereals and chips, like their Doweedos (weed Doritos, get it?), which reportedly have 250 mg of Delta-8 per package. For the experienced cannabis consumer, the high may seem a little weak, but the prospect of eating munchies that give you the munchies makes up for it.
Delta-8 is plentiful and easy to find in the Lone Star State. If you're looking to dip your toes in the water, these products and stores are great places to start.
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