Updated on September 30, 2021.
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
When I moved from Canada, I didn’t think to check what the legal status of cannabis was in the state that I moved to. Not that it would have been enough to deter me but moving to Texas meant that medical marijuana was not accessible. And I honestly didn’t think about Delta-8.
Texas has one of the worst medical marijuana programs in the country. There was a brief moment of excitement early in 2021 when it looked like several articles of cannabis legal reform were going to go through. They didn’t. By the time the Texas Senate was done, we had doubled our maximum THC potency from 0.50% to 1%. Patients like me were apparently supposed to get excited about that.
As a Type II diabetic with chronic pain (neuropathy), I have avoided taking opioids. For fears of addiction and because the side-effects of long-term use (for me) were horrible. In Canada, I learned to moderate my symptoms with cannabis tinctures. I didn’t have that as a legal option in Texas. And I’ve been trying to manage with over-the-counter medications, heat, ice, and compression therapies.
Then someone introduced me to Delta-8. I started reading about it and could not believe that (for now) Delta-8 remains legal in most states. Some states have started to ban it or put significant restrictions on it. But the hemp-derived cousin of the Delta-9 available at dispensaries is very similar.
About Sun State Hemp Products
There are many brands that manufacture Delta-8. I wasn’t sure where to start. But Sun State Hemp is based out of Davie, Florida. The company has built a reputation for manufacturing high-quality clinical-grade CBD and Delta-8 products.
When the marketing team at Delta-8 decided to advertise with MarijuanaDoctors.com, I saw an opportunity to try Delta-8 products for the first time. Sun State Hemp is an advertised brand on Marijuana Doctors, but they have not sponsored this post or editorial review of their products.
For a limited time, they are offering a sitewide discount of 20% on all products. The products came in sealed and padded packaging, and it was discreetly labeled. So, if your neighbor happens to glance over onto your porch or mailbox, they aren’t going to know what is inside.
If for nothing else, that could deter porch pirates. I’ve had CBD products sent to me for review, which I never received—labeled boldly so that it could go MIA in my mailroom. I guess that is a nod to how much people enjoy CBD products.
Trying Delta-8 For the First Time? Start With a Low Dose
I had read extensively about Delta-8 being “just as good’ as standard Delta-9 THC. Specifically, I was interested in finding something to help me with chronic pain. I thought that perhaps Delta-8 might be like taking a very strong clinical-grade CBD. I did not expect it to be as potent as medical marijuana. But for me, it was.
If you have a low tolerance (as I do) for THC, I will not recommend two gummies and a tincture. The gummies advise no more than two in a six-hour period. And the tincture states that one dose is a full dropper of the Delta-8. So, I took three doses.
I consulted with our Director of Marketing regarding my review. I wondered if I should share that the triple dose of Delta-8 landed me on the couch. Just like a potent Indica, I was couch-locked. My Boss thought it would be a good idea to let people know that Delta-8 can (and does) pack a punch.
I did take three doses. And I am not sure why I believed it would have a minimal impact on me. I was surprised. So much for getting my laundry done that day. I did watch a whole season of Star Trek, though.
How Did Delta-8 Make Me Feel?
Now you know that I was not expecting to feel like I had a regular THC tincture. Totally surprised me. And I probably should have done some more reading before I decided to take a triple dose on an empty stomach. It was an adventure.
I did not feel sleepy. The Delta-8 did not make me pass out or fall asleep. It was a Saturday afternoon, and I found myself lost in some Star Trek reruns. Whatever was on the TV when I took the doses ran for about four hours until I started to come out of the psychoactive effects of the Delta-8.
Delta-8 felt like Delta-9 THC to me. No difference. I would compare Delta-8 with a 15% to 19% THC cannabis edible or tincture. I probably would not have taken the second gummy if the onset of the effects of the Delta-8 had been faster.
I thought I was experienced. But I fell into the same scenario that many people do when trying an edible for the first time. Consume the edible. Wait thirty minutes. Determine that you are pretty sure it’s not working and consume another edible. Wait another thirty minutes. Wish you had only taken one edible instead.
1. Effective Pain Relief
The pain in my legs and feet was gone. It was a particularly bad day, and it felt like my right foot was getting stung by a thousand ants. Ask anyone with diabetic neuropathy in their feet, and they’ll tell you how awesome it is. It is not just numbness. Nerve pain in the feet, toes, and legs can really hurt.
Zero. Pain. Gone, like it never existed. Laying on the couch, I even took my socks off and touched my feet and toes to check. I was in disbelief, you know. But yep! No pain. And I kind of had that moment of relief where I thought, “Hey, this works. And it’s legal in our state. How great is this?”
I also had some lower back pain. I couldn’t feel anything. But it was a pleasant sensation because it didn’t feel like my body was numb. Not like a heavy Indica body high. Instead, my body felt normal, but with the absence of pain.
2. Anxiety Relief
There is a reason why I am a passionate patient advocate; I have health conditions too. And I know how it feels to suffer from a chronic disease and clinical anxiety. When I talk to patients on our community forum, Ask.MarijuanaDoctors.com, who have anxiety, I understand how they feel.
My anxiety was a little higher than normal that week. Welcome to the pandemic; we’ve all felt the symptoms. Imagine a collection of thoughts, words, ideas, and memories that are exceptionally loud in your head for someone who doesn’t have anxiety. And you can’t shut off that internal activity in your brain. It can be deafening.
So, if anxiety feels like a loud volume, Delta-8 turned it down. It was still there in the background but inaudible. I felt my shoulders relax and realized that I was breathing a little slower than I do when I am stressed. Calmer and more relaxed.
Nope. For example, if one of my friends had challenged me on Xbox, I would have lost miserably. Focus for me after taking three doses of Delta-8 was not going to happen. I didn’t feel (or want to feel) attentive about anything.
However, a few days later, I tried the Delta-8 gummy after work. One gummy still made me feel a little drowsy. I personally found with the Watermelon Slice gummies (750mg of Delta-8), half of a gummy was plenty to relieve pain and reduce anxiety. But at half a gummy, I was able to remain highly productive (without being high).
4. The Next Day
The first time I tried Sunstate Hemp Delta-8 (three doses), I did have some residual effects for the rest of the day. The psychoactive effects wore off after about 7 hours. But for the duration of the evening, I had what I would call a Delta-8 hangover—not surprising given no cannabis use and trying Delta-8 the first time by taking three doses.
You can tell I am still a little embarrassed about that. When I took a full draw of the Strawberry Shortcake 1200mg Delta-8 tincture before bed, I slept. I woke up the next day feeling like I had the kind of sleep I hadn’t experienced for a long time. I felt great. And there was no leftover drowsiness the morning after.
Vaping Sun State Delta-8
I was so impressed with the edible Delta-8 gummies and the tincture (the strawberry shortcake is so tasty!) that I decided to order two vapes. I ordered a Delta-8 920 mg Sativa Green Crack vape. The content of the vape was 92% Delta-8. And I also ordered a Watermelon Zkittles Indica vape. And I ordered the Sun State Hemp black rechargeable vape pen.
I checked out the packaging looking for some of the quality assurance checks that I usually do when trying any kind of hemp vape. Sun State Hemp uses the trademarked AtomosRx® cartridge. Each cartridge has an average of 100 puffs, depending on how heavily you draw your vape.
The Green Crack Delta-8 Sativa Vape
When I tried the Green Crack Sativa Delta-8 vape, I knew what to expect. I had tried Green Crack cannabis many times and was familiar with the strain. But I don’t think it skewed my experience of the Green Crack Delta-8 vape. Energizing was an understatement. I felt the psychoactive effects after about fifteen minutes. I felt happy, mood lifted and energetic, alert, and focused. But no pain. And no stress or anxiety.
What I loved about the Sun State Hemp Delta-8 vapes is the healthy additives inside. The vape is suspended in an oil formulation that contains MCT oil and Vitamin E. Get you some medium-chain triglycerides! They are good for you. Ask anyone who follows a keto diet.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that helps keep your cells healthy and remove free radicals. Free radicals cause cellular mutations that contribute to the development of chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other health conditions. I regularly use MCT and Vitamin E, and I liked that they were formulated into the Delta-8 vape oil. MCT also helps cannabinoids absorb rapidly into the bloodstream.
The Watermelon Zkittles Delta-8 Vape
Indica strains are not my favorite type of cannabis. That is because I find they are far too heavy for me. I don’t like the feeling of being sedated. I want to be alert and happy and doing stuff, not staring at a crack in my ceiling for an hour.
I took three quickdraws from the Delta-8 Watermelon Zkittles vape at about 10:00 p.m. I thought it would help me wind down after a busy day. It did. But I ended up walking my dogs at 2:30 a.m. instead of 11:00 p.m. I crashed unexpectedly on the couch.
To be objective, I wasn’t familiar with the Watermelon Zkittles strain; I didn’t read about it before puffing on the Delta-8 vape. I wanted to make sure reading the strain details wouldn’t skew my experience with it. The onset of the effects for me with the Indica vape took less than ten minutes.
The following day, I woke up at 8:00 a.m., and I could still feel it—something like a slight hangover the morning after partying like a rockstar. I was a little tired, but after a cup of coffee, I felt reset and shook off the aftereffects.
Later that week, I experimented with only one puff on the vape. I felt pleasantly relaxed but not tired. Two puffs of the Delta-8 Watermelon Zkittles ended up being the sweet spot to help me sleep through the night. And not wake up with leg or foot pain.
The Legality of Delta-8 THC Depends on Where You Live
Products derived from hemp are federally legalized. And Delta-8 THC is extracted from hemp. Therefore, according to federal law, Delta-8 is legal. And that means any person over the age of eighteen (18) can order it, possess it, and use Delta-8.
The popularity of Delta-8 took lawmakers by surprise. Because Delta-8 is still THC and can make you impaired, some states hastened to ban the product.
There is a small loophole in the 2018 Farm Act that allows Delta-8 THC to be unregulated. In the language of the farm bill, it said that hemp products with a 0.30% or less Delta-9 THC were federally legal. It did not define any other parts of the plant. There are 500 different cannabinoids in a cannabis plant. Many of them have medicinal and psychoactive properties.
States that banned or have restricted Delta-8 are:
Texas lawmakers looked like they were going to ban Delta-8 in 2021, with House Bill 2593. The proposed legislation died on May 30, 2021, keeping Delta-8 products legal to buy, use and possess in the Lone Star state. I have provided information about Sun State Hemp Delta-8 products to other people living in Texas who feel that our state 1% THC cap doesn’t help for pain relief.
Unless you live in one of the fourteen states with an effective ban, you can order Delta-8 products online and have them shipped right to your door. And many of the brands that produce Delta-8 have high-quality and clinical-grade CBD products you can trust as well.
Are You Buying the ‘Real Thing” with Full-Spectrum CBD?
If you want to get the wellness benefits of cannabis without the psychoactive properties, then CBD is the best route to take. Have you tried CBD before and felt like you didn’t notice any differences? It really comes down to the quality of CBD you purchase. And knowing how to avoid fake CBD supplements.
In 2018, The Farm Act made hemp legal. And almost any product derived from hemp was technically legal, according to the federal government. By that time, CBD products were already in every smoke shop and corner store. But the okay from the federal government caused the CBD market to surge.
That was a good thing until it wasn’t. Because that surge also helped disguise some bad products. Some brands of CBD that used toxic solvents in the extraction process. Other brands that boasted about huge amounts of CBD in each bottle; fluid volume-wise, it was impossible.
People began feeling like CBD was hit or miss. Some people spent more to get the ‘real stuff’ while others complained they did not get the results they wanted, probably because they were using an imposter product.
Often imported CBD has contents that do not match the label. But some American companies were also found by the FDA and FTC to be doing the same thing. There is an ongoing campaign to remove fraudster CBD products from shelves, called CBDeceit. A joint program with the FTC and FDA.
Sun State Hemp provides a potency report for each product. That is lab tested and verified. There is a batch number for every product as an extra precaution for consumer safety.