Delta-8 is the latest cannabis cannabinoid creating a buzz in the wellness market. It has intoxicating effects, similar to delta-9, but is much less potent. Many users describe delta-8 as producing a subtle, clear-headed, pleasant high.
Now, you may be wondering if delta-8 is legal to use. Currently, the cannabinoid falls into a legal gray area, with a lot of uncertainty surrounding its legal status. Nonetheless, many interpret the 2018 Farm Bill to mean that as long as delta-8 is hemp-derived and contains less than 0.3% delta-9 THC, it’s legal.
Another concern for many is the risk of detecting delta 8 on a drug test. This is largely linked to the matter of how long does delta 8 stay in your system, the dosage consumed, and the frequency of use. Read on to find out more.
How Do Drug Tests Work?
Drug screening tests look for the presence of THC metabolites – byproducts that form when the drug gets metabolized. The standard cannabis tests look for metabolites because THC quickly breaks down into metabolites.
Typically, drug tests look for the presence of THC-COOH, a metabolite produced by the body when the liver is done processing THC. THC-COOH can stay in your system for days or even works after consumption – and even longer if you’re a heavy user. THC dissolves in fats, so your body can’t discard it as easily as water-soluble compounds.
THC metabolites can appear in your urine, blood, saliva, and hair. Urine drug tests are the most popular since they’re quick, non-invasive, and easy to obtain.
Does Delta-8 Show Up on Drug Tests?
Most likely, yes, delta-8 will be detected on a drug test. Most drug screening tests look for THC metabolites rather than any specific cannabinoid.
Delta-8 and delta-9 are merely different forms of the same THC molecule. They have similar chemical structures and, therefore, have similar effects on the body. Moreover, the human body processes them in a similar way, and both can be detected on a drug test.
Basically, drug tests can’t distinguish between delta-8 and delta-9 THC and show the presence of THC as a whole rather than identifying individual cannabinoids.
It’s worth noting that the way cannabinoids break down in your body can be unique to each individual. Factors such as your metabolism and weight, body chemistry, frequency of delta-8 use, and how the substance is consumed (e.g., sublingually, smoking, or edibles) play an essential role.
How Long Does Delta-8 THC Stay in Your System?
Several factors can affect how long delta-8 and other cannabinoids stay in your system. Therefore, there is no definitive answer to this question.
For some, delta-8 is only detected in the body for a few days. For others, it stays in the system for weeks or even months. Frequency of use is a major factor, but since THC attaches to fat cells, your lifestyle and how active you are also affect the length of time for detecting delta 8 on a drug test.
But perhaps the most important consideration is what drug test is administered. Here is an overview of the different drug tests:
Saliva-Swab Test: For occasional users, THC may show up in the system for one to three days after the last consumption. More regular users should prepare for 30 days.
Urine Test: Urine drug screening is very much based on how often you use THC. It may be detected in occasional users for up to three days, moderate users for five to seven days, heavy users for ten to fifteen days, and chronic users for 30 days or more.
Blood Test: THC may be detected in regular users for up to two weeks. If you use just one or two doses, the cannabinoid leaves the bloodstream within two days.
Hair Tests: THC can be detected in the hair of regular users for up to three months. However, just a few doses aren’t enough to be detected in a standard hair analysis test.
It’s important to understand that the above is simply a guideline. As should be clear, many factors can affect how long delta 8 on a drug test is detectable. It varies greatly depending on how frequently you use THC and its potency, among other factors.
Final Thoughts on Detecting Delta 8 on a Drug Test
There is no getting around the detection of delta 8 on a drug test. Since the most common drug tests screen for the presence of THC metabolites and cannot distinguish between different cannabinoids, the results are the same whether you use delta-8 or delta-9 products.
Delta-8 users should consider how long the cannabinoid stays in their system if concerned about drug testing. While every person is unique, taking things like frequency of use and product potency into account can minimize your risks of failing a drug test.
Better still, if you expect a drug test is imminent, stop using THC products immediately until after the test.