Does Delta 8 Show Up on a Drug Test?

Delta 8 is considered the largest growing segment of the hemp and cannabis industries. Delta 8 THC is a minor cannabinoid, occurring in small amounts within cannabis plants. The 2018 Farm Bill allowed for products such as Delta 8 Vape Cartridges to exist, as they are considered hemp products, so long as they fall under the strict 0.3% Delta-9 THC limit. Any product showing up “hot” or over this limit is considered a controlled substance under federal law, and is illegal. One of the biggest questions asked is: Does Delta 8 show up on a drug test? As well as asking: How long does Delta 8 stay in my system?

Delta 8 Cartridge

Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC are considered “brother and sister” in terms of their chemical compound similarity. Delta 8 has a different location of one of its double carbon bonds, which is why Delta 8 THC is less potent than Delta 9. They both act within the endocannabinoid system, and certainly create a “high”, with many preferring the less paranoid Delta 8 high as opposed to Delta 9.


Delta 8 THC helps many with anxiety, stomach issues, as well as a number of other ailments. The problem is, THC molecules are THC molecules. One of the major questions people ask when starting to use Delta 8 is the following: Does Delta 8 show up on a drug test? The answer is much more complicated than you’d think.


How Long Does Delta 8 Stay in Your System?


While Delta 8 is a less potent form of THC, because of the similarities of the compounds, Delta 8 has the propensity to stay in one’s system for some time, like Delta 9. THC metabolites with consistent usage are stored within fat cells.



Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC


 Due to this factor, it can take up to 3 months for heavy users to test negative. However, some employers, especially in states that have an established Delta 8 market, are treating it as a different issue than that of “the real thing”.


Luckily, many employers have moved away from testing hair follicles, instead opting for saliva tests, which are considered the “easiest” type of drug test to pass. Saliva tests are only so sophisticated that they can only detect 24-48 hours of last use.


 If you were to stop smoking a couple of days prior to a scheduled drug test, as well as maintaining excellent oral hygiene, one should be able to pass a drug test.  It is easier to fail a drug test than pass one, a false positive is even possible always with prior use. THC showing in one’s system is always tricky, as every single person’s metabolic profile is completely unique to the individual.

How is Delta 8 Different?

Delta-8 THC is certainly an intoxicant, similar to that of Delta 9, but being derived from hemp, it should be grouped in with CBD, and other hemp products. As someone who uses Delta 8 frequently to manage symptoms of an anxiety disorder, I do not believe that Delta 8 and 9 should even be in conversation with one another. 


Other than the fact that they are both THC, there are too many pronounced and noticeable differences between the two compounds that to group them together would be a misnomer. Delta 8, while exhibiting some of the positives of Delta 9, has a lower potential to make one paranoid due to the lesser psychotropic effects of the Delta 8 molecule. 


This means that people that generally can be susceptible to anxious feelings and worry(like myself) can feel a sense of relief from Delta 8, which might not have been possible with Delta 9.  The fact that employers are still testing for marijuana, doesn’t really make much sense. Many, if not most people that use cannabis now-a-days are perfectly functional, normal citizens within society. 


The “reefer madness” propaganda has finally been seen through by the current generation, unfortunately, those in power are so blinded by the War on Drugs that they cannot see the humanity of the situation. No one should go to jail, or be denied employment based on a marijuana habit. It’s that simple, yet again those in power have a different world view.


So… Does Delta 8 Show Up on a Drug Test?


The answer with Delta 8 is not as clear as Delta 9. It is currently unknown if Delta 8 will show up on a drug test. Due to Delta-8 being so new on the market, and many long term studies being blocked due to illegality, much is unknown about how the drug stays in your system. However, it has been theorized that due to the nature of the compounds, it would have a similar half life(to break down) to that of Delta 9.


However, the type of test also matters. It is much easier for one to pass a pre-employment saliva test, in comparison to a urinalysis or hair follicle test. Our official recommendation is that yes, it can make you fail a drug test, but drug tests are not always accurate either.

Pre-Employment Drug Test

At the same time, many employers such as Home Depot and Lowes have been drug screening their employees forever, and even then they are becoming much more lax with their policies regarding marijuana and hemp. 


Marijuana is not heroin, meth, or any other harmful drug like that, it has even shown to be safer than alcohol in high doses. Hopefully one day soon this era of prohibition will end, and people will be able to use marijuana in their free time, off the clock.

One thought on “Does Delta 8 Show Up on a Drug Test?

  1. Rosendo Felipe says:

    The thought expressed comes across loud and clear-very well composed. Are there any citations to share along with this article?

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