One of the biggest questions we get here at Bay Smokes is whether or not Delta-8 THC will show up on a drug test. (The other big question we get is “will delta-8 get me high”—you guys have your priorities in order!) Read on to find out what causes a positive drug test, whether or not D8 will cause a positive test, and if there are any other cannabinoids you can indulge in without worrying about drug testing.
What’s a Drug Test?
Okay, okay—we’re sure you know what a drug test is. There are multiple different kinds, though, so we need to clarify before we move forward.
In this article, we will be talking about tests that require a urine sample (you might have heard to them referred to as “piss tests” or “urinalysis”). This is by far the most common type of drug test, and is a middle ground of sorts in terms of sensitivity. They can typically detect cannabis use up to a couple weeks ago, depending on how regularly you use cannabis products and your own personal body chemistry.
There are also tests that look at your hair follicle. These can detect drug use all the way back to several months ago in regular cannabis users. Saliva tests are the least sensitive, as they can usually only detect cannabis use up to a couple days ago, even in regular users.
What is Delta-8, and how is it Different from THC?
This is sort of a trick question! D8 is actually Delta-8 THC, and what we usually think of as THC is actually Delta-9 THC. For the chemistry fans out there, this means that D8 has a double bond on the 8th carbon and Delta-9 THC has a double bond on the 9th carbon. For those of us who didn’t pay as much attention in chemistry class, that basically just means that D8 and D9 are pretty similar, but not identical, on a molecular level. That explains why D8 and D9 have similar, but not identical, effects.
If you’re still curious about the difference between Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC, you can read all about it on our blog!
What Makes a Drug Test Positive?
A positive drug test is caused by the presence of certain metabolites in your urine. These metabolites are 11-hydroxy-THC and 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC. Typically, you will “fail” a drug test if your urine contains more than 50 nanograms per milliliter of either of these metabolites.
Will Delta-8 Show up on a Drug Test?
The body metabolizes Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC into the same chemicals. This essentially means that your body breaks down D8 and “regular” THC the same way.
How Long Will Delta8 Show up on a Drug Test?
This varies a lot based on a ton of different factors. Because your body treats it just like D9 THC, D8 THC will stay in your system just about the same amount of time. It’s hard to give an exact answer, but we’ll try to tell you what we can.
The biggest variable is obviously how often you use cannabis products. For a first-time or very occasional user of cannabis (think a couple times a year), the chemicals typically stay in your system for up to a few days. If you’re an occasional cannabis user (a couple times a month), it will probably stay in your system up to a week or two. If you’re a heavy cannabis user (multiple times a week), it can take over a month before you’ll be able to pass a drug test.
Like we said, this is affected by a ton of different variables. If you have a fast metabolism, you will probably be clean faster. Living a really active lifestyle might also help you to pass a drug test faster. Finally, THC is stored in fat, so having a low body fat percentage might also mean you’ll be able to pass a drug test a little bit faster.
And before you ask—most of the tips and tricks you’ve heard to help you pass a drug test haven’t been proven to work. Those cleanse kits you’ve seen online are expensive and can have more negative side effects than positive ones, and even though drinking lots of water and working up a sweat is good for you, it won’t necessarily help you pass a drug test any faster.
Ultimately, the amount of time that Delta-8 will stay in your system and cause a positive drug test is very individualized. The only way to know for sure is to actually get tested.
(That being said, you can buy relatively inexpensive at-home drug tests. If you’re worried, doing some experimenting and testing yourself is not a bad idea!)
Are There any Cannabinoids that Won’t Show up on a Drug Test?
While there aren’t any cannabinoids that have been definitively proven to never show up on drug tests, there is anecdotal evidence to suggest a few options.
CBD will very rarely cause a positive drug test. The only way it will trigger a false positive is if the trace amounts of THC present in full-spectrum CBD products build up in your system for a while. Even though it’s rare, it has happened. Luckily, because CBD is legal on the federal level and in all 50 states, it’s usually possible to contest a false positive that’s been caused by CBD.
THCp, THCh/THCjd, THCo, and THCv are all likely to make you fail a drug test. They all contain some form of THC, so they’re all broken down in a similar way to D8 THC and D9 THC.
HHC might not trigger a positive drug test. This is because it’s not technically a THC product, so it might not be broken down in the same way. However, the only evidence we have here is anecdotal. Like we mentioned, it’s better to be safe and either avoid cannabis products entirely or test yourself at home if you’re worried about having to take a drug test any time soon.
So there you go! Probably not the answer you wanted (we feel you), but it’s always better to be informed. Here’s to indulging responsibly!