Will Delta 8 Show Up On A Drug Test?


Delta 8 has been lauded as an alternative to traditional delta 9 THC.  For people who live in states without legal cannabis, or for others who find “regular weed” to be anxiety-inducing, delta 8 has been a welcome change to the routine.  Since delta 8 seems to solve a lot of roadblocks for certain stoners, many are wondering: does delta 8 show up on a drug test?  The short answer is that unfortunately, delta 8 is extremely likely to show up on a drug test.  Keep reading to learn why that is, and how soon before your test you should begin abstaining.

In the meantime, if you don’t have an upcoming drug test to stress about, shop our selection of delta 8 blunts, prerolls, and edibles.

What is delta 8?

Delta 8 THC is a naturally occurring cannabinoid that makes up an extremely small percentage of the hemp or cannabis plant’s cannabinoid content.  In other words, it is only naturally produced in trace amounts.  However, it can be derived from other cannabinoids through the process of isomerization.  Through this process, delta 8 can be made from hemp-derived CBD.

Why now?

This process of isomerization makes delta 8 extra relevant right now.  This is because the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp on a federal level.  Legally, hemp is defined as cannabis containing .3% or less delta 9 THC by weight.  According to the farm bill, delta 8 is legal on a federal level as long as it comes from hemp.  However, since the passing of this bill, individual states have cracked down with their own legislation.  Some have banned delta 8 and similar cannabinoids altogether, while others have imposed regulations.  Whether you have an upcoming drug test or not, definitely be aware with the situation in your state before indulging.

Delta 8 vs THC

So, if delta 8 is legal federally, it shouldn’t matter whether it shows up on a drug test or not, right?  Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.  Delta 8’s chemical structure is extremely similar to that of traditional THC.  As a matter of fact, delta 8 is a form of THC itself.  Traditional THC is actually delta 9 THC.  The difference between deltas 8 and 9 is due to the placement of a double bond.  Delta 8 has a double bond on the eighth carbon in its chain, while delta 9 contains a double bond on the ninth carbon in its chain.  This subtle difference is responsible for the difference in potency between the two cannabinoids; delta 8 attaches to the CB1 receptors with less affinity than delta 9, so it is less potent.

Delta 8 and drug tests

Because delta 8 is so chemically similar to delta 9, it is likely to show up as THC on a drug test.  This is because drug tests aren’t specifically looking for THC; they’re looking for its metabolites.  Since delta 8 is a form of THC, it actually breaks down into the same metabolites as traditional THC.  So, most drug tests won’t be able to tell the difference between the two.

Additionally, the hemp-derived cannabinoid market is not subject to federal regulations.  This means, that unfortunately, many delta 8 products on the market contain THC, and other cannabinoids.  This impurity can also cause you to fail a drug test.  Here at DVNT, we proudly share our lab test results so you can rest assured that you know what you are (and aren’t) putting into your body.

How long do you have?

If you’re reading this, you probably have a drug test coming up in your future.  It may already be too late for you to pass with clean results; however, that depends entirely on the type of test you’ll be subjected to.

The most common type of drug test is a urine test.  For this test, it’s recommended to abstain from all forms of THC for thirty days leading up to the test.  That being said, it depends on your level of consumption.  Daily users will take much longer to clear THC from their system than someone who smoked delta 8 one time in their life.  An isolated incident of THC usage may be undetectable as soon as four days after the fact.  Conversely, someone who uses THC multiple times a day can take even longer than thirty days to clear its metabolites completely from their system.

Less common tests

Blood tests typically only detect THC within the past 2-12 hours; however, heavy users can fail this test for up to thirty days since their last consumption.

Saliva tests can pick up on THC for a day after use.  Once again, that detection time changes if you’re a frequent user.  Frequent THC users can still test positive over three days after the last use.

If you have a hair test coming up, let’s hope you’ve been given plenty of notice.  This is the most indiscriminate of all forms of testing.  Light or heavy THC usage can be detected for up to ninety days after your last use.

The bottom line

If you have a drug test coming up, do not consider delta 8 as your easy way out of testing positive.  Delta 8 and THC both break down into the same metabolites in the body, which is what these tests look for.  Tests are unlikely to be able to tell the difference between delta 8 and delta 9 THC.  Additionally, many delta 8 products actually contain delta 9 THC, which would, of course, also trigger a positive test result.  Definitely err on the side of caution if you have a test coming up.