Over the past year or two, delta-8 THC has grown exponentially because it’s seen as a federally legal alternative to delta-9 THC able to cause a gentler euphoric high.
With the mass influx of users turning their attention to delta-8, the question on everybody’s lips is “will it show up on a drug test?” The answer isn’t as straight-forward as you think.
Delta-8 THC and its metabolites will show up on a drug test the same way as delta-9.
Drug tests are not advanced enough to differentiate between each type of THC — they simply detect all THCs and their metabolites.
Several factors affect delta-8 detection in your system e.g. type of test, frequency of use, etc.
Cannabis detox methods do not work — nothing can flush or did delta-8 out of your system apart from time and patience.
Will delta-8 THC make you fail a drug test?
Yes. Delta-8 THC can show up on a drug test the same way as delta-9 THC because delta-8 and delta-9 are almost identical on a molecular level and drug tests aren’t quite as sophisticated as you may think.
The blanket detection of THC and its metabolites
When you consume any form of THC (delta-8 or delta-9), your digestive system metabolizes them via a special group of liver enzymes known as the P450 system.
During the metabolization process, THC and its variants get broken down into unique metabolites. These metabolites are what drug tests search for.
Unfortunately, drug tests often fail to differentiate between each THC metabolite. If you consume either a delta-8 or delta-9 product, a drug test won’t recognize which one you’ve actually taken.
How long does delta 8 stay in your system?
Delta-8 is detectable in your system for longer than you think.
There’s a common misconception that delta-8 and other THC variants leave your body within a week or two. This isn’t true. They actually stick around for a lot longer than you’d expect. Why? It’s all to do with how your body stores and expels all cannabis compounds.
Your body excretes roughly 50-80% of delta-8 and all other cannabinoids through feces and urine within the first week, specifically around the 4-5 day mark. The rest builds up in your fatty tissue and hair follicles for up to 90 days, though this is simply an estimate.
As a general rule of thumb, you should expect delta-8 to stay in your system for the following lengths of time:
Length of Time Delta-8 is Detectable*
Up to 90 days
Up to one week
Up to one week
24 hours to one week
*The length of time provided for each test type is approximated and may vary slightly depending on the amount of delta 8 you have been consuming.
Factors affecting the length of time delta-8 THC is detectable in your system
There are a number of factors determining how long delta-8 THC is detectable in your system, including:
Frequency of delta-8 use
Delivery method (edibles, vaping)
Type of drug test
Body fat percentage
Food intake before consumption
Water intake after consumption
All these factors combined make it almost impossible to predict the length of time delta-8 and its metabolites remain detectable in your system. It’s really a “how long is a piece of string” situation.
First time delta-8 users vs. chronic delta-8 users
If you’re a first-time delta-8 user, the likelihood of failing a drug test is low. Your body will most-likely eliminate or expel delta-8 before it has a chance to soak into your system. Expect delta-8 to be detectable in your body for up to a week.
If you’re a chronic user, expect to fail a drug test for 90 days after your last dose of delta-8; however, there are some chronic users with high delta-8 tolerance who can pass a drug test in a much shorter time.
In a desperate attempt to pass a drug test, cannabis users rely heavily on several detox methods. These methods are often marketed as quick-fix solutions to help rid or cleanse your body of cannabis compounds, namely THC and its family of variants.
Common cannabis detox methods include:
Unfortunately, none of these methods can “detox” or cleanse cannabis out of your system, no matter how much you want them to. Some can be hazardous and even dangerous to your health.
Why cannabis detoxing isn’t a real thing
Cannabis detoxing is a nice idea in theory but borderline useless in practice.
Delta-8, delta-9, and all other cannabinoids are fat-soluble. They store themselves securely in your fatty tissue. No detox remedy can flush, rinse, rid, or excavate these cannabinoids out of the fatty tissue.
Short of physically removing the fat cells out of your body, the only viable “detox” solution is a combination of time, patience, and staying healthy through a good diet and regular exercise.
Delta-8 is an amazing cannabinoid but don’t use it before a drug test