While Delta-8 THC may be federally legal, it can still potentially show up as regular old THC on a drug test, which means that even if you haven’t smoked actual cannabis even once in your life, you can still come up dirty for it.
This possibility is obviously going to be an issue for anyone anticipating a drug test in the near future, particularly if they’ve been using Delta-8 products for a prolonged period of time, which begs the question: How long does Delta-8 stay in your system?
The answer to that question is somewhat complicated, and it’s dependent on a variety of factors. We’ve compiled this comprehensive guide to help you figure out exactly when you can anticipate a strong chance of coming up clean on a drug test.
What Is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 THC, or delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, is a cannabinoid present in trace amounts in the hemp and cannabis plants. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds known to interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system to provide a variety of effects.
Delta-8 is closely related to Delta-9 THC, which is the compound in cannabis that’s responsible for getting you high. Delta-8 offers a similar high to Delta-9, only it’s slightly less potent, and it is not known to produce the feelings of anxiety and paranoia that cannabis is sometimes associated with.
Will Delta-8 Make You Fail a Drug Test?
Because Delta-8 THC isn’t exactly the same compound as Delta-9, it’s reasonable to wonder if the cannabinoid might show up on the drug tests that are trying to determine whether you’re using cannabis or not.
But while they are different compounds, drug tests are not actually sensitive enough to differentiate between the two, which means that you can, in fact, fail a test because you used Delta-8.
This happens because drug tests don’t actually look for Delta-9 itself, but THC-COOH, which is the metabolite your body creates when you ingest Delta-9. Unfortunately, THC-COOH is also the metabolite your body creates when you ingest Delta-8, and this is why the cannabinoid is likely to make you fail a drug test.
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Factors that Affect the Duration of Delta-8 THC
Now that you know Delta-8 can make you fail a drug test, you’re probably eager to learn how long the cannabinoid is detectable in the body. There are a variety of factors that can determine the answer to that question, including:
The older you are, the slower your metabolism becomes. This means that older people are more likely to retain Delta-8 THC in their system for longer periods of time. That is yet another advantage of youth!
Some people have naturally fast metabolisms, regardless of their age, while others have naturally slow ones. This can result in the Delta-8 metabolites remaining in your body for either a shorter or longer than the average amount of time.
Your Method of Consumption
Your body metabolizes Delta-8 at different rates depending on how you consume it. Vaping or smoking it will result in the metabolites leaving your body more quickly than if you consumed it via edibles.
Your Serving Size
This one should be sort of obvious, but if you consume more Delta-8, it’s going to be detectable in your body for a longer time.
How Often You Use It
One or two-time users of Delta-8 are likely to have the metabolites completely out of their system within about 48 hours, while frequent users will have to go up to 30 days without any Delta-8 before they can pass a drug test.
Taking Certain Supplements or Medications
If you’re introducing other compounds into your body, they can have an effect on the rate at which the Delta-8 is processed and eliminated from your system.
How Long Before I Can Pass a Drug Test?
The length of time you will have to wait before you can pass a drug test after using Delta-8 is not only dependent on the above factors; it’s also dependent on the type of drug test itself.
The type of test will determine its sensitivity. Certain tests are capable of detecting tiny traces of a substance in your system, so be especially mindful with your Delta-8 use if you must take these types of tests.
We’ve listed the most common tests below, along with some basic estimates for how long they’re able to detect Delta-8.
Keep in mind that the factors listed in the previous section can alter these estimates somewhat, so you’ll want to give yourself a larger window depending on how many of them apply to you.
Urine tests are the most commonly used drug tests, and they’re more than likely what you can anticipate taking. Their ability to detect THC metabolites is heavily dependent on the frequency of use.
One or two-time users should be able to pass a urine test within about two days after their last use, while anyone using Delta-8 a few times a week should take closer to 5-7 days. If you’re a daily Delta-8 user, you can expect to come up dirty for at least 2-4 weeks after your last use.
A saliva test has various applications, but it is commonly used by law enforcement to detect THC in the system of someone who is suspected of driving under the influence — which is something you should never do with Delta-8 or any other psychoactive substance.
If you’re an infrequent user of Delta-8, you should pass a saliva test about three days after your last use. If you’re using Delta-8 frequently or chronically, it can take up to 30 days to exit your system.
Substances metabolized in your body can be found in trace amounts in your hair follicles. Your hair can significantly extend the time in which Delta-8 is detectable in your system. It can take up to three months for your hair to stop containing Delta-8 metabolites.
How Long Does Delta-8 THC Stay In Your System? Final Thoughts:
The answer to this question is dependent on a variety of factors, including your age, the speed of your metabolism, the type of Delta-8 you’ve consumed, the amount you’ve consumed, and your frequency of use.
In short, you can expect your body to retain Delta-8 for around two days if you’ve only used it once or twice and from 2-4 weeks if you’re a chronic user.
However, due to the somewhat unpredictable variability from person to person, if you’re anticipating a drug test in the near future, your best bet is to avoid any Delta-8 use at all until after you’ve come up clean.