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Does Delta-8 THC Show Up on a Drug Test?

Does Delta-8 THC Show Up on a Drug Test?

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The results of a drug test can have severe consequences for some of the most critical aspects of life. These checks are often used during pre-employment screening, probation and parole assessments, random testing for certain professions, and even child custody battles. The detection of any given metabolite could mean losing out on what matters most- even if you didn't consume a prohibited substance. 

If you're considering trying Delta-8 THC, you're likely aware that this cannabinoid is federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill, but are uncertain whether consuming it will show up on a drug test. The answer is fairly complicated, so read on. 

What is Delta-8 THC?

DELTA-8 THC tinctures

THC, the ECS, and The Effects of Delta-8

THC, short for tetrahydrocannabinol, is a psychoactive compound found in the two most well-known forms of cannabis: marijuana and hempMost of the time, the term “THC” is used in reference to Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or simply “Delta-9” However, there are several types of THC. We're going to focus specifically on Delta-8

Delta-8 is an isomer of Delta-9, meaning that the two cannabinoids have the same chemical formula but a different arrangement. Delta-8 has a chemical bond on its eighth carbon chain, while Delta-9 has a bond on its ninth carbon chain. This seemingly trivial detail brings about the distinct effects of each compound.

In general, THC works by binding to the CB1 and CB2 receptors located throughout the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). This intricate network maintains homeostasis (stable conditions) by regulating various biological functions, including metabolism, reproduction, growth and development, and pain perception. 

The body’s natural endogenous cannabinoids, or endocannabinoids, bind to the ECS receptors and affect the transmission of vital hormones (for example, dopamine and serotonin). THC is a phytocannabinoid (meaning it comes from a plant, namely cannabis) that is structured similarly enough to anandamide (an endocannabinoid). This allows it to also bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors and induce various effects. Delta-8 is said to bring about less intense effects than Delta-9, providing a calm, euphoric experience. However, each individual's ECS is unique, so the way one reacts to this form of THC will vary.

Delta-8 occurs naturally only in very small amounts, but its effects can still be experienced to a certain extent in full-spectrum products. So, someone who has smoked marijuana buds has essentially smoked Delta-8, but it's only one of the at least 113 cannabinoids present in the plant. To isolate the effects of this cannabinoid for use in products like Delta-8 gummies or Delta-8 capsules, it is usually synthesized from other natural cannabis compounds.

Due to the 2018 Farm Bill, Delta-8 is federally legal when derived from hemp, which brings us at last to the question- does that mean it won’t be detected in a drug test?

Does Delta 8 THC show up on a drug test?

scientist holding lab results for a drug test

Does Delta-8 show up in a urine test?

Your body metabolizes (processes) different compounds in different ways. A metabolite is a chemical formed by your body to carry out the process of metabolism.  Drug tests are designed to detect specific metabolites produced by your body after consuming THC from marijuana and other prohibited substances.

Urine tests are the most common type of drug tests, as they can detect specific types of metabolites most quickly. However, they are also known as the least accurate, tending to result in the highest rate of false positives.

Estimates for how long the THC metabolite is detectable in urine samples range from 3 days to 30 days. It is important to note that this data was based on marijuana use rather than hemp. 

Although hemp-derived Delta-8 is legal on a federal level, if a drug test does detect THC, it will not show whether metabolites were used to break down Delta-8 THC from hemp or Delta-8 THC from marijuana. Research has shown that even over-the-counter medications like Ibuprofen can produce metabolites that get flagged in this type of test.

Therefore, it is best to avoid consuming any products containing hemp-derived cannabinoids if there's a drug test in the near future.

Does Delta-8 Show Up on Oral Drug Tests?

Saliva or mouth swab testing is becoming an increasingly customary practice in medicine. If you've ever gotten tested for strep, you're familiar with the way it works: a cotton swab gets brushed against the insides of your mouth, and the sample is then sent to a lab for analysis. This can reveal anything from your genetic makeup to foreign compounds in the saliva.

Some evidence suggests that THC could be detectable in saliva for up to 24 hours after consumption, but this estimate varies based on individual factors like frequency of use, metabolism, and method of consumption. For example, a 2020 study published in the Journal of Clinical Chemistry showed that metabolites of THC were detectable for an average of 72 hours after consumption in frequent cannabis smokers.

Because the consensus on time frame differs, it is best to abstain from Delta-8 or any cannabis products if you anticipate taking an oral drug test soon.

Does Delta-8 show up in a hair follicle test? 

Hair follicle tests are another type of drug test with a wide range of purposes and applications. This routine entails collecting between 100 to 120 hairs from your scalp. To avoid ruining your hair, the tester will generally take these strands from different parts of your head (whew).

The sample is placed in an envelope and then sent to the lab for testing, with results determined within one to two days. A clinical study showed that in 77% of frequent cannabis smokers, THC was detectable in their hair follicle samples for as long as 3 months. This could be because smoking, as aforementioned, allows you to ingest the full spectrum of cannabinoids at unknown concentrations, leading to a higher overall consumption of THC, or because the type of cannabis that the participants smoked was marijuana. It is unclear, also, whether the participants continued to smoke during those 90 days. 

There is little research stating whether this detectability would be similar in regards to individuals who smoke or consume legally compliant Delta-8 from hemp. Therefore, is best to refrain from consuming any cannabis products if you have a hair follicle test soon.

Is There a Delta-8 THC Drug Test?

As of this writing, there is currently no drug test that looks explicitly for Delta-8. As previously stated, drug tests are simply designed to detect metabolites produced when consuming prohibited substances. The consumption of hemp-derived Delta-8 THC, although legal, may produce metabolites that are similar enough to those produced when consuming marijuana, and can result in a positive. 

So... Does Delta-8 THC Show Up On a Drug Test?

It is likely that metabolites of Delta-8 THC will show up on a drug test due to its chemical similarities to Delta-9 THC. However, this is not known for sure. When it comes to drug tests, there's a lot at stake.

Our recommendation for enjoying Delta-8 when there's a drug test on the horizon? Just don't.

Does CBD Show Up On a Drug Test?

CBD has been on the market for several years across many states.

Now, there isn't much out there about Delta-8 drug testing. However, there are some key takeaways we can gather from CBD and its relation to drug tests. To clarify, CBD is not THC. It doesn't bind to cannabinoid receptors the same way as THC.

But first- let's get into the legal definition of hemp. Hemp is cannabis that may contain up to 0.3% Delta-9 THC. Some CBD products may also contain up to this amount of Delta-9.

It's a small concentration, but not something that you'd want to risk, given the possible ramifications of a drug test. There are CBD products that contain 0% D9, which are known as broad-spectrum or isolate effects. The safest option would be to steer clear of cannabinoid products in general when you have a drug test coming up.

So again, do not consume CBD or any cannabinoid products if there is a drug test coming up.

Ordering Delta-8 Online

Don't have a drug test coming up? Curious to try out Delta-8?

We're more than glad to get you started! One of the main benefits of hemp-derived Delta-8 THC is that it's legal on a federal level (due to the 2018 Farm Bill). Of course, individual states may set their own regulations, so be sure to check first.

If you live in one of the states where Delta-8 is legal, you can have Delta-8 products delivered in your mail!

At Hometown Hero, we have a wide variety of Delta-8 goods, ranging from edibles, tinctures, vapes, joints, blunts, and blunts. Check out our online store to find products that can be shipped to you!


Does Delta-8 THC show up on a drug test? There is no definitive answer, as this will vary based on the type of test, an individual's rate of metabolism, frequency of use, and other unknown factors. 

As of now, the best course of action is to play it safe. However, the future for using Delta-8 without worries is promising, given new methods of distinguishing between specific types of THC in testing.

Fortunately, our Delta-8 products will still be here after your test.

To go over our main points:
  • THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol; it has several forms, such as Delta-8 and Delta-9. 
  • These cannabinoids can be found in hemp and marijuana.
  • Hemp-derived Delta-8 is federally legal, and hemp-derived Delta-9 is federally legal when at a 0.3% concentration or lower
  • Individual states may still set their own regulations on these cannabinoids
  • Drug tests vary in their accuracy and type
  • It is unclear if and how long metabolites of hemp-derived Delta-8 will be detectable by a drug test
  • Currently, there is no Delta-8-specific drug test 
  • There is a lot of research to be done about hemp-derived Delta-8's visibility on drug tests, but the best route is to abstain from it if there is a drug test in your future 
  • Even taking certain CBD products and over-the-counter medications can cause a failed drug test
  • We may sound repetitive, but please do not take Delta-8 if you have a drug test coming up.

FDA Disclaimer: The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.

This Legal Disclaimer is incorporated by reference and subject to our Terms of Service, which you agree to by using this website.

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