If you follow along with what’s new in the cannabis industry, then you’re already well-aware of Delta-8 THC. One of the most talked-about of cannabinoids, Delta-8 is potent, stable, and it’s even federally legal thanks to a loophole in the 2018 Federal Farm Bill. However, legal in your state or not, you’re probably wondering: Will Delta-8 show up on a drug test? It’s a perfectly reasonable question to ask as a workplace drug test can spark the most anxiety, and heavy users definitely will want to read further.
First, let’s talk a little bit about what Delta-8 THC is, what sets it apart from its cousin, Delta-9 THC, and then we can talk about drug testing.
- Delta-8 THC, although less potent than Delta-9, is a popular choice for those looking to get the benefits of THC without the potential negative side effects.
- Since most testing can’t differentiate between the THCs, Delta-8 can show up on a drug test, although the drug test won’t be able to tell whether it’s Deltas 8 or 9.
- Hemp is legal throughout the county, meaning Delta-8 THC can be sold in most states. Some states do have their own laws regarding hemp, so always do your research before making any purchases.
- When it comes to a drug testing, whatever the testing method, it’s always best to wait for anywhere from 3-5 days to over a month depending on various factors
What Is Delta-8 THC?
The cannabinoid people are most familiar with is Delta-9 THC, as it’s typically just referred to as “THC” in casual conversation and on labels in cannabis dispensaries. Although Delta-9 is certainly the diva of the cannabis plant, it’s far from being the only one. In fact, there are over 100 other cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, including THC, CBD, CBG, and CBN.
Delta-8 THC is found in trace amounts in the hemp flower (less than 1%) and is hemp-derived, which is what makes it legal on a federal level. While we weren’t able to do so before, modern technology has allowed us to extract Delta-8 and make healing cannabis products.
Delta-8 THC vs Delta-9 THC: What’s The Difference?
Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC are structurally almost identical in their molecular structure, but Delta-8 offers fewer side effects while still delivering powerful calming and healing properties. The main difference between these two THCs is their location of a double bond in their carbon structures which is reflected in their names; Delta-8 has its double bond at the eighth carbon chain, and Delta-9 has its bond at the ninth carbon chain.
For many, Delta-9 THC can have intense psychoactive side effects; some users have reported feeling paranoid, anxious, or too drowsy and therefore have a difficult time consuming it during the day. Delta-8 THC, on the other hand, is about half as potent as Delta-9 and takes on a much more chilled-out profile. This is one of the main reasons Delta-8 THC products have become so popular in the last year or so; the other reasons revolve around Delta-8’s many potential therapeutic properties.
Although the two are structurally very similar, there are several other factors that set one hemp-derived cannabinoid apart from the other.
The main differences between Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC are:
- Delta-8 THC is federally legal, although some states do have their own laws.
- Delta-8 is roughly half as potent as Delta-9.
- The effects of Delta-8 are milder than that of Delta 9, and users have reported feeling more clear-headed and focused than with Delta-9.
- Users have also reported having more increased appetite with Delta-8.
- Delta-8’s has a longer shelf-life of up to two years.
- Delta 8 is far less likely to cause anxiety or paranoia due to its mild properties.
Generally, Delta-8 is a great option for cannabis users who are looking to benefit from its healing effects while still being able to either function or wind down and fall into a restful sleep. Although this THC does have psychoactive effects, they’re much less potent. With that said, if you’re looking for a stronger psychoactive effect, you can start by taking the dose as directed and increase from there until you’ve reached your desired effects.
Can Delta-8 Make You Fail A THC Drug Test?
Since Delta-8 THC is a hemp-derived cannabinoid, it is legal on a federal level as stated in the 2018 Federal Farm Bill. That said, some states have their own laws regarding Delta-8, and some companies have banned employees from partaking in any cannabis use. Whatever the case, a drug test can detect THC, regardless of what type of THC it is (yes, even hemp can make you fail a drug test, regardless of what you may have heard).
We’ll get into the reasons why below, but the bottom line is that most drug tests can’t differentiate between the deltas. So, even if Delta-8 THC is legal in your state, if Delta-9 is not, then you may have an issue if you have a fastly-approaching drug test. Drug tests look for THC metabolites, and these metabolites can be detected long after use because they’re stored in our fat cells.
As far as urine drug tests go, there are two primary methods when it comes to a drug screening:
- The Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS): uses gas chromatography and mass spectrometry for more accurate results.
- The Immunoassay (IA) Test: this biochemical test to check if there are any macromolecules in a tested sample; it often produces inaccurate results.
Delta-8 THC is most commonly detected during tests, and waiting for up to two weeks if you’re an occasional user should be fine. However, if you need to take a hair analysis drug test, you need to wait several weeks and up to three months for the THC molecule to be cleared. A failed drug test is never ideal, so if you know you have an upcoming drug test, play it safe and withhold from using any THC, even if it’s a hemp-derived product.
How Long Does Delta-8 THC Stay In Your System?
Will It Really Make You A Fail Drug Test?
Your metabolism, gender, age, sensitivity to THC, and weight are among the main factors that play into how long THC will stay in your system, which we’ll dive further into below. Another very important factor is the frequency of use; someone who consumes THC regularly and/or in high doses is more likely to test positive for Delta-8 THC.
There are two metabolic phases of THC: a rapid phase and a slow phase. A portion of THC is cleared from the body within just one minute, and this slows down the metabolic rate.
The half-life (the term used for how long it takes for THC to be metabolized and eliminated) is already in the slow phase after about 30 minutes, which leaves around 50% of the starting dose. This process continues until THC has been cleared from the bloodstream.
The THC metabolites are stored in body fat and are eliminated through urine and feces. So if you are worried if Delta 8 THC shows up on a test this is what causes people to fail drug tests if they haven’t waited long enough for the body to fully process the THC metabolites. The same goes with Delta 9 THC, since it’s the same compound you can expect Delta 9 to stay as long in your system as Delta 8 THC.
What Factors Effect This Process?
Various health conditions, supplements, and prescription medications can all contribute to how your body metabolizes THC (we always advise anyone with a medical condition to speak to their doctor before trying any THC products!).
Other factors include:
- Since Delta-8 THC is fat-soluble, it accumulates in fat stores in the body. Thus, the higher the fat cell content, the more THC can be absorbed.
- Dose and frequency of use: if you consume THC in high doses or on a regular basis, you will need to wait longer before taking urine tests or other tests. First-time users can expect THC to stay in their system for around 3 to 4 days. Those who consume high doses or consume frequently need potentially to wait for up to a month.
- Your metabolism and age can affect the speed at which your body metabolizes compounds. People with higher metabolisms generally excrete THC at a faster rate.
- Method of consumption: of the methods, inhaled forms of THC generally clear faster from the body.
Does Delta-8 Make Your Eyes Red? Will I Feel High?
As Delta-8 THC makes its way through your endocannabinoid system, it can have some unpleasant side effects. While it’s a lighter and milder high, it can be potent if taken in a larger dose. Many users have reported feeling a similar high to Delta-9 but without feeling anxious or paranoid or experiencing an increased heart rate. And yes, your eyes may get red. Delta-8 THC can also lead to dry mouth, dry eyes, and drowsiness.
For the most part, these negative side effects are manageable and can be avoided by consuming Delta-8 THC in smaller doses. When it comes to THC products, it’s always wise to start small and build until you’ve achieved your desired results.
How Long Does Delta-8 Take To Work?
Vaping effects generally hit the fastest, but it clears out of the system quickly; although the effects will fade within hours, the THC stays in your system longer. Edibles and tinctures can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to take effect, and you can expect to feel it for around three to eight hours.
What Kind Of Delta-8 THC Products Are For Sale?
The main method of consumption is currently Delta-8 THC gummies; they’re convenient, tasty, and relatively easy to dose. Other methods include various types of edibles, soft gel capsules, oil tinctures, vape cartridges, and smoking flower or hemp cigarettes.
With all that said and done, Delta 8 THC will test positive on a drug test. If you have a THC drug test coming up, steer clear of any products containing THC for the recommended amount of time. Delta-8 THC is a great little cannabinoid we’re still learning so much about with every new study. Regardless of its popularity and legality, Delta-8 is still considered illegal in some states or banned by some businesses.
If you’re worried you might fail (whether the drug test is a blood test, saliva test, or hair follicle drug test), there’s not much you can do as the body takes its time to process THC and everyone is different. So, if you’re looking to pass a drug test coming up, the only true suggestion we can give is to abstain.
The legalities surrounding THC are constantly changing. We continuously work hard to do our best to give you the most updated information. We recommend that you always check your current state hemp laws- or federal law before purchasing any hemp-derived products (CBD, THC). The data in this post is not intended as legal advice nor to diagnose, treat or give any medical advice. In any event, do your due diligence and always seek your doctor’s advice, especially do if you are in doubt or are currently taking any prescription medications. Safer than sorry is always a great idea when taking new products.