With everybody talking about Delta-8 THC, it’s hard not to want to try it. But because it’s a relatively new addition to the world of supplements, most consumers still have many questions about it. If you’re subject to regular drug testing, you’re probably especially curious about whether it will show up on a drug test.
This guide will cover everything you need to know about Delta-8, including what it is, how the body processes it, and whether a Delta-8 THC drug test exists. We’ll also cover myths and realities when it comes to getting it out of your system as quickly as possible, in case you’ve already sampled some and are now wondering whether it was a good idea.
Let’s get started with what Delta-8 is and its effects on the body.
What Is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 THC is a chemical compound found in the hemp plant. Delta-8 has a chemical structure similar to that of Delta-9 THC, which is the compound that most of us mean when we talk about THC.
As you might remember from chemistry class, chemical compounds consist of two or more elements that form a chemical bond. Even minor differences in chemical structures can lead to drastically different compounds.
For example, if you were to bind an oxygen molecule with a hydrogen molecule (OH), you’d get hydroxide. Add just one more oxygen molecule (H2O), and you have water. Three oxygen molecules together (O3) make up trioxygen, also known as ozone, which can cause serious health complications.
What does this mean when it comes to Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC? Because Delta-8 and Delta-9 are structurally so similar, they behave in similar ways. But the slight variation in their makeup means that users experience different effects depending on which form of Delta THC they’re consuming.
What Is the Difference Between Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC?
Both Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC come from hemp, although in different quantities. Delta-9 THC is abundant in cannabis plants, and even hemp plants that farmers grow for things like clothing and rope contain about 0.3% of Delta-9 THC.
Delta-8 is a Delta-9 byproduct, and you can only find it in trace amounts in hemp. Its rise in popularity is partly due to more effective extraction methods becoming available, giving users greater access to the compound.
Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC produce similar but different effects on the body. Both give users a euphoric or high feeling, although Delta-8’s effects are much less pronounced. Delta-8 offers users a mellower, more clear-headed high, making it a better choice for those who want the benefits of THC without sacrificing mental alertness.
Delta-8 has as many benefits as Delta-9 THC, including:
- Pain reduction
- Appetite stimulation
- Anti-nausea properties
Delta-8 also comes with fewer of the side effects usually associated with THC, like paranoia.
Will Delta-8 THC Cause Me to Fail a Drug Test?
Now, on to the question that likely brought you here: Will you pass a drug test if you’ve consumed Delta-8 THC products? As you might expect, the question isn’t quite as straightforward as people think.
First, it’s essential to understand exactly what a cannabis drug test is looking for. Contrary to what you might expect, urine tests and other drug tests aren’t looking for cannabinoids in your system. They’re looking for trace amounts of a marijuana metabolite called THC-COOH.
So, what are marijuana or THC metabolites? Essentially, when you consume THC products, you’re putting THC molecules into your body. Your body then breaks them down into THC metabolites called THC-COOH. The human body breaks down both Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC into these same metabolites, so neither urine tests nor other drug tests can tell which of the two cannabinoids has been in your system.
In short, you’re as likely to fail a drug test after taking a Delta-8 THC product as you are after smoking marijuana the old-fashioned way.
How Long Does Delta-8 THC Stay in the Body?
When people ask how long cannabinoids like Delta-8 THC stay in the body, what they’re usually really asking is how long they’ll be detectable on a drug test.
Maybe you’re on the hunt for a new job and need to be ready to drop a urine test. Or perhaps you have an upcoming drug test scheduled for another reason and need to be sure you’ll pass.
Either way, it’s essential to understand that passing a drug test isn’t an exact science (even if you’re clean, seeing as how non-drug substances like poppy seeds can cause a false positive on a urine test).
However, learning about different drug testing methods and the factors that might affect how long your body holds on to cannabinoids can help give you an idea of how likely you are to pass a test.
Drug Screening Timelines
When most people imagine a drug test, they immediately think of urine drug tests. However, urine testing is far from the only testing method available. Here we’ll discuss the four most common testing methods and how long after consuming a Delta-8 THC product they can detect the incriminating metabolites.
The most common type of drug test, urine tests can detect metabolites for up to six weeks after a regular cannabis user has stopped consuming hemp plant products. If you rarely, or only occasionally, ingest Delta-8 THC, the number of metabolites in your system may be undetectable in as little as a week.
Saliva tests that look for metabolites can detect cannabis compound metabolites for up to 29 days.
However, mouth swabs that look for the presence of THC itself can detect Delta-8 THC for the first 24 hours after ingesting it before your body has had time to process it. For this reason, they’re rising in popularity with police officers and others who might try to prove recent use.
A blood test isn’t a common type of Delta-8 detection, but you might expect it if you find yourself in a hospital situation. Blood tests can detect Delta-8 for up to six weeks in heavy users. An occasional user is more likely to fail a blood test within 25 days of using a Delta-8 product.
The effects of cannabis products containing Delta-8 show up in the user’s hair about 90 days after use. This is roughly how long it takes metabolites from cannabis plants to travel from the hair’s root through the scalp.
Factors That Affect Detox Timelines
Every person’s body and lifestyle are different, which means that everyone processes THC differently and will rid their system of it at different rates. The following are some of the primary factors that will determine how quickly after consuming Delta-8 you’ll be able to pass a drug test.
- Regularity of use: If you rarely or occasionally use THC products, your body won’t build up as many metabolites. That means they’ll be undetectable days or weeks before a regular user will reach undetectable levels.
- Body fat percentage: THC gets stored in body fat, so the leaner you are, the more quickly you’ll burn through the THC in your body and be able to pass a screening.
- Metabolism: High metabolisms burn through Delta-8 more quickly, helping you push all signs of it out of your system that much more rapidly.
As you can see, all these factors play a huge role in deciding whether or not you’ll pass a drug test, which is why it’s so difficult to accurately gauge exactly how many days it will take for all Delta metabolites to leave your system.
How Can I Get Delta-8 THC Out of My System Quickly?
Unfortunately, there’s no surefire way to rid your body of Delta-8 metabolites other than waiting it out. Plenty of products claim to speed up toxin removal, such as:
- Detox teas and drinks
- Cranberry juice
- Herbal supplements
However, no one has been able to prove that these methods work. In reality, the only things you can do are follow a healthy diet and exercise routine in the hopes of lowering your body fat percentage and improving your metabolism.
The Bottom Line
When it comes down to it, substituting your CBD routine for Delta-8 compound might not be worth the hassle.
First of all, the legality of Delta-8 THC is somewhat questionable, and even if it’s technically legal in some states at the moment, lawmakers may choose to close loopholes in the law the allow it to be sold and consumed. Secondly, drug tests can’t tell the difference between the Delta-8 compound Delta-9, so if you consume Delta-8 products, you’re likely to fail a drug test.
On the other hand, CBD products are legal in every state except South Dakota, Iowa, and Idaho. CBD is also undetectable on drug tests, so as long as your CBD products are pure, you don’t have to worry about whether or not you’ll pass a drug test.
CBD products have many alleged health advantages and create absolutely no marijuana impairment, making them ideal for those who want to get the benefits of cannabis while remaining sharp-minded.
Are you thinking of getting into the hemp business? CBD Nationwide can help you get started quickly with a full line of private label CBD products. Contact us for a free quote, and we’ll help you get started.
Katie DeVoe is an in-demand educator, speaker, and thought leader in the hemp space. Over the last 12 years, she has started multiple, successful CBD businesses and been a guest speaker at numerous hemp and CBD conferences.