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    Being a Delta-8 Detective: How to Spot a Fake Delta-8 Product

    Did you know that delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8 THC) is more widely available than it ever has been before?  The market is booming as demand keeps growing for this psychoactive cannabinoid, which has taken the world by storm by providing users with a federally legal high.  Delta-8 products come in all forms, milligram strengths, flavors and strains, but another way in which they differ, sadly, is in their “quality”.  Disappointingly, it is not unheard of to encounter a fake delta-8 product that can, at best, fail to satisfy, and at worst, cause actual harm.

    Why Might it Be Possible to Run into Fake Delta-8 Products?

    We know that as a consumer, it can be concerning to know that fake delta-8 products exists on the market.  When purchasing a delta-8 product, we want to be sure that we’re getting real delta-8 THC, coupled with ingredients that are safe for our bodies.  Shady companies out there may try to capitalize off of the ever-growing demand for delta-8, knowing a lot of customers out there don’t have the knowledge to discern quality levels. 

    This is made more complicated by the fact that delta-8 THC is still new, so it’s largely unregulated.  Meaning, companies are not lawfully required to maintain certain manufacturing standards.  We do want to point out that overall, the hemp industry works very hard to regulate itself and hold onto high standards of quality and safety.  Hence, fake products are, thankfully, relatively uncommon.

    The Types of Fakes You May Encounter

    There are actually a few different ways in which a product may be classified as a fake.  Each one is important to be aware of, as it determines the different things that you should be looking for when shopping for delta-8 products.

    • Counterfeit Products: Some products are classified as counterfeit, meaning that they’re produced to replicate the appearance of another brand’s product on the outside, but what’s inside is not the same formula.
    • Products Lacking in Delta-8: Yes, some products that have “delta-8 THC” on the label may not actually contain any delta-8 THC. This is rarer to come by, thankfully, because strict federal laws about product labeling make it harder for companies engaging in these practices to get very far.
    • Products Made with Cheap or Harmful Ingredients: Some products may ultimately contain delta-8 THC, but the rest of the ingredients are extremely low in quality, or even harmful to the body. These aren’t technically “fakes”, but they go into the same category since they’re made with the same shady standards.

    How to Avoid Fakes When Shopping for Delta-8 Products

    Fortunately, there is a simple checklist that you can follow to make sure that you avoid buying fake delta-8 THC.  There are some clear signs to look for that make fakes of all kinds easy to spot, and completely avoid.  Because, we know that you want nothing more than the highest-quality, safest delta-8 products on the market.

    #1: Look Up a Brand’s Reputation

    Before buying from any brand, always read up on their reputation.  If a company is known to sell fakes, you’ll find out in no time by just reading through reviews, both on their website and elsewhere on the internet.  Besides looking up the brand, look up the retailer if it’s an online distributor or local business that carries a brand’s products.

    #2: Choose an Online Source

    It’s generally much better to get your delta-8 online rather than in-person.  Online stores have to work harder to appeal to customers since there’s a much higher demand, and more competition.  Companies are less likely then, to last very long if selling fakes online.

    #3: Examine the Label

    Read the label of a delta-8 product thoroughly, going over every word.  If a company spells certain key words wrong, uses poor grammar or fails to offer information about milligram strength, dosing instructions, etc., these are all red flags that indicate that the company does not hold themselves to the highest standards.

    #4: Check the Lab Reports

    Always read the lab reports that come with a particular delta-8 product.  These can be access through a company’s website, or by scanning a QR code on the product’s label.  Lab reports show that the company has had their delta-8 THC tested by a state-authorized laboratory, where it’s checked for legitimacy, purity, federal compliance and potency.  Make sure the lab reports look professional and don’t have any information whited out, which can mean that the reports were doctored in some way.  Additional information on how to read delta-8 THC lab reports can be found here.

    #5: Find a Way to Contact the Brand

    A company that fails to provide contact information is not a company that should be trusted.  Customer service is a crucial part of running any kind of business, and if a contact email or phone number isn’t provided, then the company could very well be hiding something.  This can mean that they know they’re selling fake products, and don’t want to be held accountable once they’re found out.

    #6: Read Those Ingredients Carefully

    When shopping for delta-8 products, always read each ingredient on the label.  While the delta-8 THC itself is very important, so is every other component of the formula.  This is where you will see whether or not the company puts care and effort into formulating their delta-8 products.  Avoid ingredients that are known to cause harm to the body, obviously, as well as products that are loaded with fillers completely diluting the delta-8 THC.

    Spotting a Fake According to Product Type

    Every product type/delivery method can offer its own clues that can give away whether or not it’s the real deal.  So, consider each formulation below and understand exactly what to look for to be a more discerning consumer.

    Product Type #1: Flower

    The only real way to fake raw hemp flower buds is to try to sell marijuana and claim that it’s hemp.  Now, this is a problem if you don’t live in a state that has legalized cannabis.  Look at the lab reports, which will give away a dishonest company.  If the THC level is way beyond the legal 0.3%, chances are you’re looking at marijuana, not hemp.

    Product Type #2: Vapes

    Always read the lab reports for a vaping product.  A high-quality vape oil will contain zero added ingredients – just cannabinoids and terpenes.  If the lab reports show that the delta-8 has a low concentration in the formula, it’s probably been heavily diluted.  Also, avoid any delta-8 vapes that don’t tell you the strain.

    Product Type Edibles

    Edibles provide an opportunity for companies to throw tons of useless ingredients in without enough delta-8 THC to have any real effect.  Read those ingredients very carefully, and if delta-8 is at the low end of the ingredients list, that means that the product likely offers barely enough to do much at all in terms of effects.

    Product Type #4: Tinctures

    A tincture should have a consistency similar to olive oil, and either a clear or light golden-amber hue.  If you do have a syrupy or watery tincture in your hands, that’s a bad sign, as is a tincture that has a strange color to it.  Also, if a tincture label doesn’t identify the number of milligrams inside, this is never a good sign.

    Don’t End Up with Fake Delta-8 Products on Your Hands

    Delta-8 product fakes do exist, particularly in various forms.  Without the proper knowledge, it can be easy to wind up with a fake product and not even realize it until after you’ve actually consumed it.  While fakes are certainly a problem, the good news is that with a little bit of knowledge, you can avoid fakes altogether.  Simply find a good source for your delta-8 products, to know that you can always trust the company that you’re buying from.

    Essentially, for delta-8 THC to be authentic, it must check certain boxes:

    • Must come from the hemp plant, not the marijuana plant.
    • Must hold a concentrated extract of the delta-8 THC compound, which has been extracted using a distillation or isomer-based method.
    • Distillation method uses steam distillation to purify delta-8 THC.
    • Isomer-based method involves rearranging the molecules of cannabidiol (CBD) to convert it into delta-8 THC.

    These are the only ways to truly end up with a pure delta-8 THC extract, so any other extraction method is questionable.

    Gas carries a variety of authentically high-quality and third-party lab tested delta-8 products that can meet your daily needs and goals for all the right reasons.