Delta 8 has gained tremendous popularity in recent years as an alternative to traditional delta 9 THC. Users love the gentler high, and for those in certain states, delta 8 is legal while cannabis is not. The cannabinoid almost seems too good to be true. This leaves the essential question: does delta 8 show up on a drug test? Keep reading to learn about different kinds of drug tests, and how to be prepared if you have one coming up.
The short answer is that yes, unfortunately delta 8 does show up on a drug test. This is due to a couple of reasons. Firstly, most drug tests search for THC metabolites, which stay in your system much longer than the THC itself. After you consume THC, it breaks down into 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC, aka THC-COOH. Since delta 8 is a form of THC, it breaks down into this same metabolite. For this reason, drug tests can’t necessarily distinguish between delta 8 and delta 9 THC. There is also nothing to suggest that delta 8 will leave your system any faster than delta 9.
The second reason that delta 8 could trigger a positive result is due to the fact that the market is unregulated. Absolutely no one is ensuring that delta 8 products contain their promised delta 8 content or even that there aren’t detectable amounts of delta 9 THC in the products. Individual states are imposing their own regulations. That being said, plenty of retailers are still cutting corners. Always be sure to shop smart and source your delta 8 from reputable companies (like DVNT!) who share their lab test results.
When you consume THC (whether it be delta 8 or 9), your body breaks it down into hydroxy-THC. This then becomes THC-COOH. While THC only lingers in your system for a few hours, THC-COOH is stored in fat cells and can stay there for weeks. Unfortunately, the more you smoke, the longer this will stay in your system. Someone who uses delta 8 once will have a better chance at passing a drug test than someone who uses regularly. That being said, the only way to know for sure if the THC-COOH has left your system is to buy a test and check things out for yourself.
Factors to consider
The most important factor to consider if you want to pass is which type of test you’ll be taking. Different tests can detect THC metabolites for various amounts of time after use, so knowledge is definitely power (more on this below). Aside from the type of test, your unique metabolism may pass these metabolites more slowly or quickly than average. On top of all this, there’s evidence to suggest that the metabolites that result from edible consumption may hang around for an even longer time!
As you probably know by now if you’re reading this, the most popular method of drug testing is the urine test. According to this study regarding the clinical interpretation of urine drug tests, THC-COOH can be detected for three days after a single use of THC. Someone who smokes a few times a week can expect to test positive for up to a week afterwards. Daily users will of course take even longer to pass the metabolites from their system, and can test positive for as long as fifteen days. If you’re someone who smokes a lot every day, the time increases to a month or more.
For less frequent users who are subjected to a blood test, delta 8 may only be detected for about twelve hours after the last use. Contrarily, those who indulge more often can expect that delta 8 will show up on a blood drug test for as long as thirty days.
Once again, sporadic delta 8 users luck out when it comes to saliva drug testing. Chronic users can expect to test positive in their saliva for as long as 72 hours after use. Those who use less frequently only need to stress for 1/3 of that time.
If you have a hair follicle test coming up, you better have known about it wayyy in advance. No matter how frequently you use delta 8, it can be detected in this kind of test for up to three months after use. This test works differently than the others because the delta 8 is transported to the hair follicles through the blood vessels after use.
The bottom line
Delta 8 does show up on a drug test. If you have one coming up, the best thing you can do is to abstain from delta 8. Since there’s no way to distinguish delta 8 from delta 9 on a drug test, whoever is conducting the test is unlikely to care which form of THC you consumed. (I also can’t imagine that delta 8 use would be permissible if delta 9 is not). Knowing which type of test you’ll be subjected to can at least give you a general idea of when you need to cut yourself off. That being said, your method of consumption and metabolism also play a role. If you need to pass, definitely err on the side of caution and abstain for a little longer than you think you need to.