The people behind Delta Extrax have been on a wild ride getting to where they are now. They don’t plan on letting up on the gas any time soon, and for the moment, they’re full-steam ahead into Delta-8 and Delta-10 products. Delta-8 and Delta-10 are very similar. The two are separated in a way comparable to Sativa and Indica strains of marijuana; Delta-8 affects your body more directly like an Indica, whereas Delta-10 is more cerebral, like a Sativa.
Chris Wheeler is the CEO of Delta Extrax and Savage Enterprises. He’d been dabbling in other markets in the cannabis space for a few years. And then: “Something interesting happened around April or May of 2020,” said Wheeler. He saw one of the first Delta-8 brands and was immediately into it.
“Man, it was so cool,” said Wheeler. “... if you want to torture me, you take me to a desert, or a very isolated place, and you make me smoke massive amounts of weed. I get insanely paranoid, it is not a good time for me. So here’s a product that is way less potent, but people are able to use it throughout the day and feel good. That’s awesome.”
Matthew Muratet, the Digital Marketing Coordinator for Delta Extrax, says they started diving into Delta-8 products around the Summer of 2020, getting them into the market early. “This whole time, we’ve been building brands,” explained Muratet. “Our Savage Enterprises brand is kind of the mother to everybody; Savage CBD is its own brand; so then we started building the Delta Extrax brand, and quickly we saw a lot of success.”
Other companies selling Delta-8 are marketing it as a form of CBD. That makes sense if the companies are trying to keep the product under the radar, since CBD is legal in all 50 states. But that label goes against Delta Extrax's vow of transparency. They market theirs as Delta-8 THC and Delta-10 THC. “Look, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to vape a CBN product during the day. I’d pass out!” said Wheeler, only half-jokingly. “You can’t just put CBD on there.”
Transparency, Wheeler and Muratet feel, requires the education of your customer base. Customers should know exactly what they’re going to be feeling and why. “We understand the laws and at the end of the day, this is not hide the weenie or do something weird,” Wheeler said. For that reason, the company also makes a vow toward quality. They want to establish a product and brand people can resonate with and feel confident using, and they’re willing to do the leg work to get there.
What is Delta-8? What is Delta-10?
In 2012, the NCBI said there are about 400 different chemicals within the plant, more than 60 of which are cannabinoid compounds; nowadays, we know it’s more like 500 different chemicals and 100+ different cannabinoid compounds. THC, the active ingredient in cannabis that gets you “high” is one of them: it stands for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.
CBD, short for Cannabidiol, is another. Delta-8 and Delta-10 are simply different cannabinoid compounds found within the same plant. Chemically, the two compounds are different only in the most minute of details. In Delta-9 THC, there’s a double-bond found on the ninth carbon in a chain. In Delta-8, that bond is found on the eighth carbon. For Delta-10 (you guessed it!) it’s found on the tenth.
Those compounds, when isolated, have different effects on the human body and mind. That’s why people turn to THC looking for certain effects and take CBD with different goals in mind. Just as people might choose a cannabis Sativa strain or Indica strain depending on the feeling they’re after, isolating the compound can help people to more accurately achieve the effects they’re looking for. Scientists have found that humans have specific cannabinoid receptors within their lipid glands.
Those fall within the endocannabinoid system, which has a role in human health and disease. The difference in where the double-bond is located within the carbon chain of the cannabinoid affects how the chemical binds with receptors within the endocannabinoid system. That system comes into play for a massive variety of functions, from anxiety and mood disorders, to movement disorders, neuropathic pain, cancer, metabolic syndrome, osteoporosis, and much more. Scientists believe treating those conditions by using plant-derived cannabinoids to impact the endocannabinoid system could lead to revolutionary advancements in medicine.
“With the transparency, a lot of times we try to steer clear from over-generalizing. ‘This will help your arthritis, this will help your MS, all that kind of stuff.’ We don’t really say that, but we do encourage our customers to be active in our community and let us know about their experience,” said Muratet. “We do have people using it recreationally to enjoy their night a little more after a hard day of work, but we also have a large number of people who rely on it and use it medicinally to really better their lives.”
The legal status of Delta compounds
Right now, Delta-8 and Delta-10 are federally legal. The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp and derivatives of cannabis with low concentrations of THC from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. That means any product that comes from the cannabis plant that has less than 0.3% THC on a dry-weight basis is A-Okay in the federal government’s eyes.
That application applies only to Delta-9, and the other Delta variants are able to scoot by right now because they’re technically unregulated by the DEA. Recently though, several different states have blocked the sale of Delta-8, saying more research has to be done on the product. Delta Extrax is based in California and ships to the majority of the United States, except for those states that won’t allow it.
Delta Extrax products
Right now, Delta Extrax has a much wider variety of Delta-8 products than Delta-10. That’s simply because Delta-10 is a bit newer and so the company hasn’t had as much time to develop its product line for it. If you’re looking to buy Delta-8, you can get it from Delta Extrax in the form of cartridges, concentrates, disposable devices edibles, infused hemp flower, pods, and tinctures. Or, you can opt to buy a starter pack with a mix of those options; the company offers Delta-8 bundles aimed at energizing the consumer, and one meant to chill them out.
Right now, Delta Extrax offers cartridges, disposables, and tinctures in its Delta-10 line as part of its Euphorica Collection that just launched in early June.
It’s no surprise the folks behind Delta Extrax are so ahead of the game with their Delta-8 and Delta-10 products; they’ve been innovating throughout their careers. Their goal, they say, has always been to help the widest range of people possible. Way back when, Wheeler was working in the restaurant industry. He was an Assistant Manager for McDonald's and had the opportunity to move into international real estate. He took it but kept thinking back to a moment in late 2012 when he saw people vaping.
“Vaping wasn’t really big back then, but it was starting to get big,” explained Wheeler. There weren’t many places to buy vapes – they were only sold in specific shops, you couldn’t get them yet in smoke shops or convenience stores the way you can now. He says it was also a very tight-knit crowd of unnecessarily rude people. “We were joking about it, but the seriousness of it was, we wanted to open a vape shop that was nice to people, I guess you would say.
More education, not as tight-knit,” said Wheeler. “We wanted to make sure everyone was welcome, we wanted to be inclusive.” In late 2013, he actually made it happen. Wheeler partnered up with a friend named Matt Winters to open their own vape shop and create Savage Enterprises. In early 2015 a friend introduced Wheeler to CBD and by 2016, Savage Enterprises started delving into their own CBD products. CBD was still incredibly new back then. Wheeler and Winters would go to trade shows and find many people hadn’t heard of the product. “We had the same sort of mindset where this can really help people. It doesn’t get you high,” said Wheeler.
Learning to pivot and innovate
“Somewhere along the way, I realized there’s a whole bunch of products out there that can help people...” During the Trump presidency, there was a major crackdown on vape products. That’s lightened up a bit, but it's only incentivized Savage Enterprises to diversify and be transparent.
Through the pandemic, they pivoted to making hand sanitizer for a few months, as many companies did. Then, they found their new calling: launching into innovation with new cannabinoids. “We just want to keep continually bringing these products out, because it’s going to help so many people,” said Wheeler. “So why not? Why not, every couple of months, bring out a new cannabinoid that we’ve already near-perfected to bring out different effects – no pun intended.”
What's next for Delta Extrax?
At the end of 2020, the company bought a building in Palm Springs, California with upgraded electric and conditional use permits for cultivation, distribution, transportation, delivery, manufacturing, and dispensary. Now, they’re carrying it through the rest of the way and hope to have it open by the end of this year. Eventually, they’ll be fully vertical. They hope to open up the dispensary and manufacturing line before the clock strikes midnight in 2022. They’ve got some other things on the way too, but Wheeler wasn’t quite ready to divulge what they are. He has one guarantee, though: this stuff is going to revolutionize the market. “I’ve never been this excited before,” said Wheeler.
Coming Soon: THC-O
Delta Extrax has THC-O products coming out at the end of the month, under the product like Omega. That’s basically THC on steroids, the opposite end of the spectrum from the chilled out Delta-8 and Delta-10 product line. The Omega Collection will have a variety of cartridges, disposables, and tinctures. Under its first drop, Delta Extrax will be offering two disposable THC-O pens. You can also expect THC-P and THC-B products soon, both of which were just isolated for the first time in 2020 by Italian researchers. They’re are similar to THC but bind a bit better within your endocannabinoid system and thus are more potent. “There’s a couple others that I just got my hands on that I haven’t really promoted yet, so I can’t talk on it,” said Wheeler.
The company also just signed a legally binding letter of intent with a public company called Acquired Sales Corp. That company had already merged into another Delta-8 company, and now Delta Extrax is reverse-merging to go public. “From a consumer standpoint, we’re excited not only to continue innovating products and bringing them to market before a lot of other people, but allowing these consumers to partake in it, whether it’s recreationally or medicinally,” added Muratet. The idea from there is just to continue building. “Our plan is to be the biggest, most profitable business in the space,” Wheeler said. “The only way to do that is to be fully transparent, offer quality products, and be customer-driven.”
Savage CBD is also going to look a bit different soon. You can expect a new look and potentially a few new things within the next couple months.