Does Delta 8 THC Show Up on a Drug Test?

delta 8 THC on a drug test

The chemical compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana is known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The type of THC found in marijuana is delta 9 THC. While marijuana and most substances that contain THC are illegal on a federal level, a new kind of THC has been marketed as a safe and legal alternative. 

While delta 8 is currently legal to use, many people are wondering if it will show up on a drug test. Traditional forms of THC like delta 9 are known to stay in your system for up to 3 months. So what about delta 8? Can this substance cause you to fail a drug test?

What is Delta 8 THC?

In the cannabis plant, there are over 100 different types of cannabinoids.[1] The most common types of cannabinoids you might be familiar with are known as THC and CBD. 

To explain even further, there are different forms of THC. The type of THC that everyone is familiar with is known as delta 9 THC. This is the main psychoactive ingredient in the marijuana plant that people smoke in hopes of experiencing a euphoric and calming high. 

Another type of THC that you may have heard of is known as delta 8. This substance is a minor cannabinoid, meaning it causes less potent effects than the THC you are used to hearing about. While delta 8 is a minor cannabinoid, it is the most potent minor cannabinoid we know of today. 

In other words, delta 8 is very similar to delta 9, the traditional form of THC. However, it is less potent and currently legal to obtain and use.

The Effects of Delta 8 THC

Delta 8 THC causes similar effects to delta 9 but it is much less potent. While Delta 9 THC can cause intense rushes of euphoria, high levels of relaxation, and pain relief, its first cousin, delta 8, causes these effects on a much smaller level. 

The effects of delta 8 THC may include:

  • Slight euphoria
  • Feelings of relaxation
  • Potential pain relief 
  • Red eyes 
  • Dry mouth 
  • Rapid heart rate 
  • Coordination issues
  • Slowed reaction time 
  • Anxiety
  • Memory loss

It is important to note that delta 8 is created synthetically and has yet to be studied by major health organizations like the FDA. As a result, the exact list of effects is unknown.[2] The specifics of delta 8 may also vary depending on who created the substance or what lab it was made in. 

How Long Does Delta 8 Stay in Your System?

Substances can remain in your body for several weeks, depending on how they are metabolized. 

Delta 8 THC has two types of metabolic phases that include a rapid and slow phase. The rapid phase begins just one minute after you consume delta 8, as your body clears a small portion of the substance from your system. After this occurs, the slow phase begins and the metabolic rate is slowed substantially.

The half-life of delta 8 THC is about 30 minutes. This means that in about 4 hours, a 60mg dosage of delta 8 will be out of your system. Smaller doses of this substance will take less time to leave your body. 

However, the metabolites that delta 8 THC leaves behind can remain in your system for a bit longer. Those metabolites could be detectable in your body anywhere from 2 days to 3 months depending on how often you use the substance and how much you use it at one time.

What Substances Do Drug Tests Look For?

There are multiple types of drug tests. Some tests look for specific substances, while others have a full panel that can detect any drug known to man. 

The most common type of drug test looks for the following drugs:

  • Alcohol
  • Amphetamines
  • Benzodiazepines 
  • Barbiturates 
  • Marijuana (Delta 9 THC)
  • Opioids 
  • Cocaine 

Will Delta 8 Make You Fail a Drug Test?

Yes, delta 8 can make you fail a drug test. While drug tests look for delta 9 THC, they are actually testing for the metabolites that delta 9 leaves behind in the body. These metabolites are known as THC-COOH.[3]

Delta 8 THC is metabolized through the same exact process as delta 9. As the liver breaks down delta 8, THC-COOH metabolites are left behind in your urine, saliva, hair, blood, lungs, and sweat. Drug tests find these metabolites in the urine, hair, blood, or saliva depending on the type of drug test being used.

How long delta 8 will be detectable by a drug test depends on a variety of factors including:

  • Frequency of use
  • Age 
  • Metabolism rate  
  • Method of use 
  • Liver health and overall health 
  • Dosage used 
  • Any medications or supplements you take

Additionally, the window of time that delta 8 THC will make you fail a drug test depends on the type of test. Hair tests can detect any substance in your system for up to 90 days, while urine tests only detect this substance for 4 to 8 days after your last dosage. Additionally, blood tests can detect delta 8 for as little as 2 days for up to 30 days depending on how often you use it.

In other words, delta 8 can make you fail a drug test for up to 30 days if you are a heavy user and as little as 2 days for light or one-time users of the substance. 

Finding Help for THC Abuse and Addiction

While many people believe that THC products are harmless, it is possible to become addicted to marijuana. Some people who struggle with marijuana use disorders have a hard time functioning in their daily lives. If you or a loved one suffer from a marijuana addiction, a drug rehab program can help. 

Contact Moving Mountains Recovery Center today to get started.

References:

  1. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/cannabis-marijuana-and-cannabinoids-what-you-need-to-know
  2. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/5-things-know-about-delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol-delta-8-thc
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6113937/

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