Will Delta 8 Show Up on A Drug Test?
While the intoxicating effects of marijuana may only last for a few hours, the THC will remain detectable in your body for several weeks. And, despite the growing legalization movement, many employers continue their internal bans of marijuana consumption and continue testing their employees for its recreational use. For this reason, many professionals have forgone the consumption of the drug altogether while others have simply found means around it. But what about other cannabinoids. For example, does Delta 8 show up on a drug test? To answer this question, we first need to understand what Delta 8 is and what drug tests are looking for.
What Is Delta 8?
There are over 100 cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant, but everybody only seems to remember two of them; CBD and THC. THC, also known as Delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol, is the primary chemical that gives the cannabis plant its intoxicating properties. It is also the chemical in marijuana that dictates the federal legality of the plant and is what employers test for in their drug tests.
However, Delta-8- tetrahydrocannabinol is an entirely different cannabinoid. Yes, it has the same intoxicating effects as the more popular strain of THC, but its effects are notably less potent. Additionally, Delta 8 is not technically illegal as there have been no bills or laws that have been passed concerning this strain of cannabinoid. This legal loophole has given Delta 8 its recent popularity, but that doesn't necessarily mean it won't appear on a drug test.
How do drug tests work?
When you consume a substance, whether recreational or medical, it is then metabolized by your body. During this metabolization is when the effects of the substance occur. And, once the process is complete the effects disappear, but the residual metabolites remain in your urine, blood, sweat, saliva, hair, and lungs. Drug tests are designed to look for metabolites of illegal substances within these locations of the human body. Because of this, there are several ways employers can test for illicit substances, including:
- Hair drug tests
- Oral drug tests
- Urine drug tests
When it comes to marijuana, drug tests aren't looking for an indication of the substance itself. It's not even looking for traces of THC. Instead, they are testing for the metabolites THC produces within your body, primarily the chemical compound THC-COOH. Unlike THC, which disappears after the metabolizing process, these metabolites can stay in your body for weeks after the initial consumption.
But what does this mean for drug testing for Delta 8? Drug tests are not designed to find THC within your system but rather proof that you had consumed the drug at some point in the recent past. They do this by looking for the metabolites that are typically the remnants of Delta 9-THC. But does Delta 8 produce these same indicators?
Does Delta 8 Show Up on A Drug Test?
Does Delta 8 fail drug tests? The simple answer; yes, it does. With the consumption of Delta 8, the positive drug test will indicate a person's marijuana usage to their employee, and it comes down to the composition of the chemical itself.
Delta 8 and Delta 9-THC have the same chemical formula. The only difference between these two compounds is the arrangement of atoms in the molecule. Delta 8 is the by-product of Delta 9's degradation over some time. This is what gives Delta 8 its more stable properties and less potent intoxicating effects. But, when this comes to drug tests, it also means it produces the same detectable by-products. Their identical chemical formula means that Delta 8 reacts in the human body the same way as Delta 9-THC, and as a result, produces the same metabolites that drug tests are designed to detect. So, despite the legal loophole of Delta 8, the drug test will produce results identical to if you had consumed THC.
How Long Do Delta 8-THC Metabolites Stay in Your System?
Typically, THC traces should be removed from your body within 3 to 4 weeks. However, several factors could either shorten or extend this cleansing process. For starters, consumption habits play an essential role in how efficiently your body cleanses itself of these metabolites. Evidence of consumption can be detected within urine samples of heavy Delta 8 users for up to two months after their last dosage. Additionally, the duration of the body's storage of these metabolites can also be affected by weight, age, level of hydration, and metabolism. Therefore, depending on all of these factors and the quality of the drug test, Delta 8-THC metabolites can be detected anywhere from two weeks to two months after the last consumption of the product.
How To Pass a Drug Test as A Delta 8 User?
The surest way to pass a drug test as a Delta 8 user is to abstain from consuming products with the cannabinoid for at least a month before an upcoming test. But employers don't always give you that much of a warning.
If you need to speed up your metabolism for an upcoming test, be sure to drink lots of water and stay hydrated. While this should help the process of removing Delta 8-THC metabolites from your body, the actual duration will come down to the factors listed above. In addition, at-home drug tests are available and will indicate whether THC-COOH is still present in your system.
In the case that your at-work urine drug test does come back positive, be sure to request a new immunoassay test be done. While immunoassay tests do take more time, they look explicitly for the metabolites produced by Delta 9-THC, and Delta 8 users will produce negative results.
Delta 8 does appear on drug tests because most of these tests cannot differentiate Delta 8 metabolites from the more common Delta 9-THC strain. Nevertheless, with your new understanding of Delta 8-THC, you will be well prepared for any upcoming drug tests without having to give up your recreational practices. We hope this article helped.
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