Among the cannabinoids, delta-8 seems to be the newcomer. If you haven’t heard of this new substitute for regular THC, you’re not alone.
Maybe you’re not yet convinced whether to use delta-8 CBD as you don’t know if it’s different from other cannabis.
The effects of delta-8 THC are known to be similar to delta-9, although the experience upon consumption tends to be more subdued and controlled. Since the chances of Delta-8 THC showing up on your drug test is extremely high, learn why below. We recommend our comprehensive 12 panel Urine drug test.
Table of Contents
- Understanding THC and CBD
- What Is Delta-8 THC?
- Does Delta-8 THC Show up on a Drug Test?
- How Long Does Delta-8 Remain in the Body?
- How to Get Rid of Delta-8 THC Traces
- How to Pass a Drug Test despite Consuming Delta-8 THC
Understanding THC and CBD
Before we understand whether delta-8 THC shows up on a drug test or not, let us first address a few related terms. What are THC and CBD and what are their purposes?
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are natural compounds found in a cannabis plant.
THC is the ingredient found naturally in cannabis or marijuana that is responsible for producing the feeling of high.
Although the chemical make-up of both compounds is very similar, CBD fights the effect of THC. While THC causes drowsiness and gives that “high”, CBD increases energy.
CBD is a cannabidiol, but it lacks the exhilarated side effects of marijuana. It contains some THC but it is not enough to produce the effects that THC produces in a marijuana plant.
CBD is known to help with anxiety and depression while THC produces a sense of euphoria.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that THC affects a person’s thinking capacity, memory, movements, time perception among others. This is why driving or operating heavy machinery under the influence of THC is dangerous.
What Is Delta-8 THC?
To understand the true difference between delta-8-THC and other THC, you may have to go back to high-school chemistry classes. You’ll remember that it’s the minute changes that cause one compound to create a completely different compound.
As an example consider the air that surrounds us. Molecular oxygen contains two oxygen molecules that are bonded over a covalent bond. Adding another molecule of oxygen to it will result in creating O3 or the ozone. This new molecule is highly reactive and is a pollutant that causes health complications if you happen to breathe it in.
Likewise, Delta-8 belongs to the family of THC exhibiting similar properties. This is a study provided by the National Cancer Institute. Although it has many advantages of Delta-9 THC, Delta-8 has a lesser psychoactive strength.
In simple words, it helps to soothe and stop anxiety, pain as well as vomiting and doesn’t create the same kind of high. Beware that you’ll feel heady after using the product though. Let’s get to that later.
Delta-8 can produce these benefits all thanks to its capacity to bind with similar cannabinoid receptors that THC does in the brain. Users say that they experience a calmer and composed high as compared to what they feel after having other typical marijuana.
But yet, Delta-8 THC is extracted from hemp. But because it’s not yet heavily researched, many are not aware of this.
After the Hemp Farm Bill that was passed in 2018 Delta-8 has slowly started emerging in the general market and is all set to become a household name.
The extensive accessibility of delta-8 THC and a dearth of delta-9 molecules has made people wonder if consuming delta-8 affects the outcome of a drug test.
Does Delta-8 THC Show up on a Drug Test?
Delta-8 THC may show up on a drug test, as it is a psychoactive compound found in cannabis. However, drug tests typically screen for the more commonly known delta-9 THC, and some tests may not specifically target delta-8 THC. It's important to note that delta-8 THC is still a federally controlled substance and its legality may vary by state.
To understand whether one might fail or pass a drug test for THC, it is first vital to know how a drug test detects THC in a person’s body. Contrary to popular belief, drug tests are not instruments that are finely-tuned.
Just as enzymes within the cannabis plant get transformed, our bodies too breakdown the THC into other chemical compounds. After a person’s metabolism, smaller molecules called THC metabolites are formed.
These THC metabolites will remain stuck in your fat cells many days after consumption. These are lipid-soluble compounds and so they won’t be flushed out of the body like water-soluble compounds.
Although the metabolites may do different things, they show the same chemical signs that drug tests try to find. That is the same chemical marker is displayed which shows that THC was found in a person’s body. Hence, irrespective of the form of THC present, it all appears the same on a drug test.
Regardless of the initial THC formation, the molecules ultimately will break down into THC metabolites. Thus in a drug test, all THC will look the same because the tests only look for what comes out and not what went in. Hence in a drug test, the actual amount of delta-8 THC compound consumed will not be established
Even without these reasons, there are high chances of a person failing a drug test. Because just like any other CBD product, Delta-8 may contain at least 0.3% THC. Although this may seem like a small amount, it’s enough to trigger a drug test. If a person is a regular consumer of delta-8 or CBD substance there are all the more chances of a test detecting the presence of THC.
We need to remember that drug test instruments are not finely-tuned. They don’t provide results based on the amount of THC present, but just by the presence of it. Hence this is reason enough to prove that there are high chances of CBD products causing a person to fail a drug test.
So yes, there are high chances of delta-8 THC showing up on a drug test, even if you’re a first time user consuming small amounts.
How Long Does Delta-8 Remain in the Body?
Some experts say that it could remain for 30-60 days on an average, for a person consuming it for a long time. But then again, it can vary from person to person.
Some variables which affect the duration of time for which the drug remains detectable in urine or other samples are:
- The half-life of a drug
- The hydration level of the user
- Body’s fluid balance
- The regularity of drug use
- The method of delivery. For example, THC intake by vaping doesn’t remain for as long as consumed THC.
- The standard of drug testing lab for drug detection
Hence these metabolites remain in the body even after their effects are gone. Even if Delta-8 THC is less psychotropic as compared to delta-9 THC, it will remain in the body for a certain duration. Although sometimes it depends on the type of test one is undergoing.
In most cases, a urine test is used to affirm if you’re consuming any illegal drug or not, and in some cases, hair follicles may also be tested. After you consume any drug these residual metabolites make their way to your hair, urine, sweat, and saliva.
Usually, the blood or urine test registers the presence up to 2-3days while the urine test can detect the drug intake for up to 7 days even after a single-use.
And for prolonged use, THC can be detectable in the urine for even up to 1 or 2 months after consumption. And sometimes even longer.
So even after all the usual effects diminish, the right equipment can still detect their presence after many days.
How to Get Rid of Delta-8 THC Traces
You can get rid of delta-8 traces from your body within a few days, provided you’re a first-time user. If you’re a regular user, however, you will have to wait longer for it to be completely eliminated from your body.
With a blood and saliva test, you can usually receive a clean chit after 2-3 days of consumption. However, a hair follicle test can put you in a fix as it can detect substance even after one or two months after consumption.
Water helps to dilute the concentration of THC in the body. Hence consuming large quantities of water regularly can help flush out delta-8 traces through urine.
How to Pass a Drug Test Despite Consuming Delta-8 THC
One of the best and the most obvious ways to pass any drug test if you’ve been consuming delta-8 is of course to stop consuming. At least for enough duration of time to let your body process it out.
An effective time bracket would be 3-4 weeks. However, this duration varies from person to person. And is also dependent on the consumption habit and metabolism speed.
Another way would be by undergoing a gas chromatography test. This could be your savior and spare you of the disgrace and risk of losing your job. The reason is, this test only recognizes the delta-9 metabolites and leaves out the other result combination that shows up for the delta-8 user.
Although this test is more accurate, it’s not widely used in many cases because it is tedious and time-consuming. So, the best thing to do is to make sure that you don’t consume delta-8 before a drug test or preferably days before that.
After considering all the aspects, the short answer to the question, ‘Does delta-8 show up on a drug test?’ is yes. The chances are extremely high.
Although there are several factors which affect the final outcome of the test; it’s highly likely that consuming even a small amount can cause a positive result in the test.
There are also no foolproof methods to completely remove the substance from the body as and when required. You may have to wait for months for it to be completely flushed out.
Hence the best option would be to completely avoid consuming delta-8 THC before an important event in your life.