Best Delta 8 THC for Depression (June 2021)

Written by | last updated June 14, 2021

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While there isn’t much research evidence, some people who use delta-8 for depression report improved mood, increased motivation, and other benefits.

The only problem is that the delta-8 market is filled with shady companies looking to cash in on the rapid rise of delta-8. You have to be careful if you want to find a safe and effective product, whether it be a vape cart, gummies, tincture, or something else.

That’s why we researched and compared multiple brands to find the best delta 8 products for depression. 

Delta 8 Terminology

  • Delta-9 THC: The most common (and federally illegal) form of THC.
  • Delta-8 THC: A less potent form of THC that can be made from hemp-derived CBD, which makes it legal.
  • CBD: A non-intoxicating cannabinoid that’s been shown to have many potential benefits.
  • Hemp: A federally legal variety of cannabis with high CBD and low delta-9 THC levels (0.3% or less).
  • Terpenes: aromatic compounds with a wide variety of beneficial properties (1).
  • Full-spectrum: whole-plant hemp extract containing CBD, THC (both forms), and other beneficial hemp cannabinoids and terpenes. This form of CBD is up to 4 times more potent than pure CBD (2).
  • Isolate: The pure form of delta-8 or any other cannabinoid.

3Chi Delta 8 THC Vape Cartridge (Best Overall & Best Cart)

3Chi delta 8 thc vape cartridge

Pros: 

  • Two sizes
  • Wide variety of terpene strains
  • High potency
  • Great price
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • Most established delta 8 brand

Cons:

  • Unknown hemp source

Our top pick for depression goes to the delta 8 THC vape cartridge from 3Chi. This high-strength (95% delta-8) CCELL cartridge comes in two sizes, 0.5 ml with 475 mg of delta-8 and 1 ml with 950 mg. This gives it a very high potency of 950 mg/ml.

Each cart is also infused with a blend of terpenes based on popular cannabis strains for added flavor and specific effects. 

There are over 40 strains to choose from. Since you’re using delta-8 for depression, we recommend choosing strains with uplifting and happy effects, such as Granddaddy Purple or Jack Herer. 

Another helpful tip is to choose Sativa strains if you need a boost of energy, and Indica strains if you’re looking to relax or sleep.

3Chi’s cartridges cost $0.04-0.05 per mg of delta-8, which is cheaper than most competitors. They’re sourced from organic American hemp and come with third-party lab test results for potency, contaminants, and even terpenes.

3Chi was one of the first brands to offer delta-8 products. It started as a CBD company and began to offer delta 8 products in late 2019. 

In comparison, most other delta-8 brands were only created in 2020 in 2021 and have no previous experience or reputation in the hemp wellness product industry.

Moonwlkr Delta-8 THC Gummies (Best Gummies)

Moonwlkr delta 8 THC gummies

Pros: 

  • Six flavor options
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • Also contains plant-derived terpenes

Cons:

  • Unknown hemp source

Delta-8 edibles affect everyone differently and can have variable effects, so be sure to give them a try before committing to gummies as your main source of delta-8.

Still, if you’re looking to try gummies for depression, we’d go with the gummies from Moonwlkr. They contain 25 mg of pure delta-8 THC and plant-derived terpenes.

The gummies are available in five delicious flavors: sour strawberry, blue dream berry, pineapple express, mango kush, and watermelon zkittlez. There’s also a mixed “Asteroids” flavor.

There are 25 vegan-friendly gummies per bottle for a total of 500 mg of delta-8. They cost $0.08 per mg of delta-8, which is slightly cheaper than average.

Moonwlkr specializes in delta-8 products and sends all products for comprehensive third-party potency and contaminant testing.

Delta Effex Balance Delta 8 THC Tincture (Best Tincture)

Delta Effex Delta 8 THC Balance Tincture

Pros: 

  • Full-spectrum formula
  • Low price
  • Third-party tested

Cons:

  • Unknown hemp source
  • Lacks third-party contaminant tests

Delta-8 tinctures are a great choice when you’re looking for longer-lasting effects. Our top pick is the balance tincture from Delta Effex. 

What we like most about this tincture is that it’s full-spectrum, so you’re getting 1000 mg of delta-8 plus some CBD and other cannabinoids and terpenes.

As such, it may be more effective at improving your mood than a product containing pure delta-8 THC. This tincture has a potency of about 33 mg/ml and comes with a specific blend of terpenes: myrcene, caryophyllene, and terpineol. 

It costs $0.04 per mg of delta 8, which is quite cheap compared to other brands.

The tincture is also available in a Chill terpene formula, which is a better option if you’re also dealing with difficulty sleeping. 

Delta Effex is a relatively new brand specializing in delta-8 products. All of its products are third-party tested for potency.

3Chi Delta 8 THC Distillate Syringe (Best Distillate)

3Chi Delta 8 THC Distillate Syringe

Pros: 

  • 99% pure delta-8
  • Great price
  • Third-party tested
  • Most established delta 8 brand

Cons:

  • Unknown hemp source
  • Missing some contaminant tests 

If you prefer to use delta-8 in its pure form, we recommend the distillate syringe from 3Chi. This 1 ml syringe contains over 99% pure delta-8 THC, making it the perfect starting point for making your own vape juice, tinctures, gummies, and other products.

This distillate costs about $0.03 per mg of delta-8, which is an incredibly low price. It comes with third-party lab tests verifying its high delta-8 THC content and the lack of other cannabinoids. 

3Chi is the most established delta-8 vendor on the market and has been selling delta-8 products since late 2019.

Delta Effex Delta 8 THC Disposable (Best Disposable Vape)

Delta Effex Delta 8 THC Disposable Vape

Pros: 

  • Multiple flavors
  • Low price
  • Third-party tested

Cons:

  • Unknown hemp source
  • Lacks third-party contaminant tests

If you’re new to vaping or simply prefer the convenience of disposable pens, we recommend Delta Effex. Its 1 ml Delta 8 THC disposable vapes contain about 90-95% delta-8 THC, making them quite potent.

They’re available in three delicious flavors: watermelon candy kush, insane punch, and guava purp. Each flavor provides a specific blend of cannabis terpenes.

These vapes cost about $0.04 per mg of delta-8, which is an exceptionally low price for a disposable pen. They come with third-party tests verifying their potency.

Koi High Hopes Delta 8 THC Infused Hemp Flower (Best Flower)

Koi CBD High Hopes Delta 8 Hemp Flower

Pros: 

  • Four strain varieties and two sizes
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • Oregon hemp source
  • Free shipping over $35
  • Reputable CBD brand

Cons:

  • Delta-8 levels vary (2-6%)

Some people prefer to use hemp flower. Keep in mind that most flower products are regular hemp flower that’s been sprayed with delta-8 THC because hemp naturally contains low levels of delta-8 THC.

Our top pick goes to Koi CBD’s High Hopes delta 8 hemp flower. It comes in four strain varieties: OG Kush, Cookies, Granddaddy Purple, and Crunch Berries, and two sizes: 3.5 grams and 7 grams. 

According to the third-party tests, this flower contains approximately 2-6% delta-8 THC and 14-21% CBDa (which is decarboxylated into CBD when you burn it). It costs about $7.1-8.6 per gram, which is a reasonable price.

This delta-8 flower is sourced from Oregon hemp and goes through comprehensive third-party testing. 

Koi CBD is an established CBD company that recently began to offer delta-8 products. It’s been in business since 2015, making it one of the most reputable CBD and delta-8 vendors out there. 

Extract Labs Delta 8 THC Chocolate Bar (Best D8/CBD Product)

Extract Labs Delta 8 THC Chocolate Bar

Pros: 

  • 1:1 ratio of delta-8 to CBD
  • Organic Colorado hemp source
  • Third-party tested
  • Reputable CBD brand

Cons:

  • Lacks third-party contaminant tests

Most of the products on this list contain pure delta-8 with a bit of delta-9 THC. 

However, it’s a good idea to combine delta-8 with CBD for depression because it’s been shown to have antidepressant effects and can also counteract anxiety and other potential side effects of delta-8.

If you’re looking for a product with both delta-8 and CBD, we recommend the delta 8 dark chocolate bar from Extract Labs. It has a 1:1 ratio of delta-8 to CBD and contains a total of 52 mg CBD and 52 mg delta-8 with 10 chocolate squares per bar.

This delicious, vegan-free treat costs $0.15 per mg of cannabinoids, which is a reasonable price. It’s a great alternative to delta-8 gummies, especially if you’re new to delta-8 and concerned about anxiety and other potential side effects.

Extract Labs is a reputable CBD brand out of Colorado that uses local organic hemp and has all of its products tested by a third-party lab. It was founded by army veteran Craig Henderson.

How We Choose the Best Delta 8 Products

You have to consider several factors to find safe, effective delta 8 products. Delta 8’s rapid rise in popularity means that many shady manufacturers are offering low-quality products to make a quick buck.

Here are the criteria we use to find quality products:

  • Third-party test results (to verify the delta-8 content and lack of contaminants)
  • Product formula (to get the best effects)
  • Product potency (to make sure it’s strong enough to provide a benefit)
  • Company reputation (to verify that the company can be trusted)
  • Price (to get a good deal)

Read on for a detailed explanation of these criteria, especially if you want to choose delta-8 products on your own.

Look for Third-Party Tested Brands

Third-party tests are necessary to confirm the potency and safety of delta-8 products. They help protect consumers from products that contain less delta-8 than advertised, illegal delta-9 THC levels, or carry contaminants.

Performed by an independent lab, these tests check the levels of delta-8 THC, delta-9 THC, and other cannabinoids. They can also check for pesticides, heavy metals, mold, and other contaminants. 

Contaminant tests are especially important for delta-8 because it’s usually made from CBD through a special chemical process that uses solvents that must be removed afterward.

Any delta-8 company worth its salt sends its products for independent testing and posts the test results on its website. A lack of these test documents is a major red flag.

We check the test results for all of the products we review to make sure they contain the advertised levels of delta 8, legal delta-9 THC levels, and no contaminants.

Product Formula

Similar to CBD, delta-8 products can come with different formulas. Some products contain delta-8 isolate: pure delta-8 THC without any other active compound.

Many others carry delta-8 with a smaller amount of delta-9 THC because delta-9 is produced when you convert CBD into delta-8.

You can also have full-spectrum delta-8, which will carry delta-8 plus the full range hemp cannabinoids (CBD, delta-9 THC, and minor cannabinoids) and terpenes. 

Full-spectrum cannabis products are considered more effective than those containing only one cannabinoid thanks to the entourage effect: the synergy between cannabinoids and terpenes (1). 

In particular, we recommend using a product that contains significant amounts of CBD alongside delta-8, because early studies have shown that CBD has antidepressant properties (3).

Product Potency

Also known as strength, potency is the concentration of cannabinoids in a product. 

For example, if your delta-8 vape cart has a potency of 95%, that’s very high as it translates to 950 mg of delta-8 per gram/ml. Similarly, a tincture with 50 mg of delta-8 per ml is stronger than one with 25 mg.

We look for high-potency products to make sure they’re strong enough to give everyone the desired effects. They also allow you to use smaller doses (fewer puffs, gummies, tinctures, etc.) to get an effect.

Company Reputation

Brand reputation is another critical factor when shopping for delta 8.

This is even more true for delta-8 than CBD because delta-8 is in a legal gray area, which means there are many inexperienced and potentially shady companies looking to make a quick buck.

That’s why we thoroughly research delta-8 companies. 

We look for brands that have positive customer reviews, make it easy to check third-party lab test results to verify the safety and efficacy of their products, and provide other details to build trust with customers.

Ideally, we also prefer brands that clearly list their hemp source and the people behind the company. However, this isn’t always possible because of the controversial nature of delta-8 THC.

Price

Delta-8 products are not necessarily cheap. We try to find high-quality products that are reasonably priced. We also help you see if the prices you’re paying are low, average, or high by providing the price per milligram (mg) of delta 8. 

Generally speaking, the average prices for delta-8 products are:

  • Tinctures :$0.06-0.12
  • Gummies: $0.05-0.10
  • Cartridges: $0.08-0.15
  • Distillate: $0.03-0.07

Delta 8 for Depression: What Does The Research Say?

Delta-8 THC has seen little scientific research. Having said that, we do know that many cannabinoids have antidepressant properties. 

In particular, there’s evidence that delta-9 THC (what most of us know as “regular” THC) has antidepressant effects (4). Since delta-8 has a similar structure to delta-9, it’s likely that it shares this effect.

Aside from that, there are many anecdotal reports of delta-8 THC users who report that it improved their depression. 

In particular, delta-8 is reported to have euphoric and mood-lifting effects. Many people also find that delta-8 can reduce anxiety, which is a common co-occurring mental condition in people with depression. 

Using Delta 8 for Depression: Product Options

You can either take delta 8 regularly or as needed to manage your depression symptoms.

Similar to CBD, delta-8 can be used in three main ways:

  • Inhalation via smoking flower or vaping a cartridge
  • Orally, as capsules, gummies, or other edibles
  • Sublingually, as a tincture

If you’re looking for immediate depression relief, inhalation is the best method of taking delta-8. However, it will also last shorter than other methods, typically about 1-4 hours (5).

The most popular inhalation method is to vape a delta-8 cartridge, although you can also use hemp flower that’s been coated with delta-8.

If you want the longest-lasting effects (6+ hours), oral products such as gummies can be a good option. However, they can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to kick in depending on when and how much you ate.

Also, keep in mind that edibles affect everyone differently and have the most inconsistent effects of any administration method.

The third option is to use a sublingual (under-the-tongue) tincture, the same method used by CBD oil. This route will give you longer effects than inhalation and kick in faster than edibles — usually about 15-40 minutes (6). 

You can also buy delta-8 distillate, the purest form of delta-8 THC, and use it to make your own vape juice, tinctures, edibles, and more.

Delta 8 Dosage for Depression

The ideal dosage of delta-8 and any other cannabinoid varies from person to person. Many factors can influence it, such as your body weight, genetics, familiarity with cannabis, the severity of your depression, and the type of product you’re taking.

That’s why healthcare experts recommend starting with a low dose and slowly raising it (7). 

For example, you might start with one puff of a delta-8 vape cart or 10 mg of a gummy or tincture and see how you feel over the next two hours. You can then gradually raise your dosage over time until you get the desired effects.

Another helpful tip is to use your regular (delta-9) THC dosage as a starting point. As a general rule of thumb, we can assume that delta-8 is about 33-50% weaker than regular (delta-9) THC. 

For example, if you normally take 10 mg delta-9 THC gummies, you can take about 15-20 mg of delta-8 gummies.

Safety and Side Effects

There haven’t been many studies of delta-8 so we don’t know too much about its side effects. 

Having said that, one of the only studies on the effects of delta-8 THC reported that it caused similar but weaker side effects to delta-9 THC, including dizziness, dry mouth, red eyes, and impaired memory (8).

If you’re taking any prescription antidepressants, it’s best to consult your doctor before using delta-8 THC.

Buying Delta 8: Red Flags

We want to stress that delta-8 products are more likely to be unsafe, illegal, and inaccurate than their CBD counterparts. 

Delta 8 became popular almost overnight and is currently in a legal gray area because legislators never expected the cannabis industry to find a way to make intoxicating products from hemp. 

This means the delta-8 market has attracted plenty of shady individuals who want to make quick money without much regard for product quality.

If you’re going to shop for delta-8 on your own, either online or in smoke shops, watch out for these red flags:

  • Lack of third-party test results. This is the best and only way to confirm you’re getting a safe product with the advertised amount of delta-8.
  • Lack of a website. If you can’t even find a company’s website online, that’s a good indication they can’t be trusted. 
  • Wild health claims. Steer clear of brands that promise to cure symptoms and conditions with their delta-8 products. 
  • Products with illegal delta-9 THC levels. It’s always best to actually read over a product’s third-party test results to make sure they match not only the advertised delta-8 content but also contain less than 0.3% delta-9 THC, which is the legal limit for hemp products.

As a final note, always favor brands that do third-party testing for contaminants (heavy metals, pesticides, and more) over those that only test for potency.

Delta 8 FAQs

What is Delta 8?

Delta-8-THC is another form of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive component of cannabis. Delta-8 has similar effects to regular THC but is about 33% weaker (8).

Can Delta 8 Get You High?

Yes, delta-8 can get you high, causing euphoria, sedation, and other effects. However, it’s not as strong as regular (delta-9) THC and is less likely to cause anxiety and other common THC side effects.

Where Does Delta-8 Come From?

Delta-8 is naturally present in cannabis but in small amounts. However, delta-8 can also be made from CBD through a special chemical reaction. This is the most common method because it’s legal and makes it easy to produce large amounts.

Is Delta 8 Legal?

Delta-8 is federally legal because the 2018 Farm Bill made hemp and any hemp-derived products legal. This law was made because hemp contains too little regular THC to make you high. However, the legislators never expected the hemp industry to find a way to make psychoactive products from hemp. That’s why many individual states are now banning delta-8 THC, even if it remains federally legal.

What are the Benefits of Delta 8?

There’s very little research on delta-8 because it’s usually present in cannabis in small quantities. However, we can assume that it has similar properties to THC, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, sedating, appetite-stimulating, antidepressant, and other beneficial effects.

Does Delta 8 Show Up on Drug Tests?

Marijuana drug tests look for the metabolites of THC: the molecules that it breaks down into after it enters your body. Since any form of THC (delta-8, delta-9, and others) can produce metabolites, you can test positive when you use a delta-8 product.

References

  1. Russo, Ethan B. “Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid‐terpenoid entourage effects.” British journal of pharmacology 163.7 (2011): 1344-1364.
  2. Pamplona, Fabricio A., Lorenzo Rolim da Silva, and Ana Carolina Coan. “Potential clinical benefits of delta 8-rich cannabis extracts over purified delta 8 in treatment-resistant epilepsy: observational data meta-analysis.” Frontiers in neurology 9 (2018): 759.
  3. Oberbarnscheidt, Thersilla, and Norman S. Miller. “The Impact of Cannabidiol on Psychiatric and Medical Conditions.” Journal of clinical medicine research 12.7 (2020): 393.
  4. El-Alfy, Abir T., et al. “Antidepressant-like effect of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and other cannabinoids isolated from Cannabis sativa L.” Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 95.4 (2010): 434-442.
  5. Borodovsky, Jacob T., et al. “Smoking, vaping, eating: is legalization impacting the way people use cannabis?.” International Journal of Drug Policy 36 (2016): 141-147.
  6. Russo, Ethan B. “Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain.” Therapeutics and clinical risk management 4.1 (2008): 245.
  7. Lucas, Catherine J., Peter Galettis, and Jennifer Schneider. “The pharmacokinetics and the pharmacodynamics of cannabinoids.” British journal of clinical pharmacology 84.11 (2018): 2477-2482.
  8. Hollister, Leo E., and H. K. Gillespie. “Delta‐8‐and delta‐9‐tetrahydrocannabinol; Comparison in man by oral and intravenous administration.” Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics 14.3 (1973): 353-357.

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