Will Delta-8 THC Show Up on a Drug Test? - GoodRx (2024)

Key takeaways:

  • Delta-8 THC is a chemical found in cannabis with similar effects to traditional (delta-9) THC.

  • Because delta-8 THC is similar to delta-9 THC, it can make you feel high and is likely to show up on a drug test.

  • Delta-8 THC is federally legal, but it isn’t regulated. So delta-8 THC products can contain residual chemicals and other contaminants. Individual states have started passing laws against delta-8 THC because of this risk.

Table of contents

What is delta-8?

Drug testing

How long it lasts

Legality

Delta-8 vs delta-10

Bottom line

References

Will Delta-8 THC Show Up on a Drug Test? - GoodRx (1)

The newest cannabis compound to hit the market, delta-8 THC, is creating quite a buzz. It’s being sold as an over-the-counter (OTC) version of delta-9 THC, one of the main compounds in cannabis that can cause feelings of euphoria — or being “high.” But what exactly is delta-8 THC, and will it show up on a drug test if you take it?

Here, we’ll answer five common questions you might have about delta-8 THC.

1. What is delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, or delta-8 THC, is a chemical made by the cannabis plant. These chemicals are called cannabinoids. But unlike cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9 THC, the more well-known cannabinoids, cannabis plants only produce delta-8 THC in very small amounts.

Most delta-8 THC used in products is actually man-made. It’s produced by applying chemicals to hemp CBD. These chemicals change the structure of CBD into delta-8 THC.

But this process is currently unregulated in the U.S., meaning no agency is testing to see if these products are safe. So it’s important to know that chemicals used to turn CBD into delta-8 THC may remain in the final product. And other contaminants, like pesticides, heavy metals, and mold, could also be present.

In fact, a 2021 study of delta-8 vape pens showed that of the 27 products studied, none were labeled accurately and 11 had unlabeled contaminants.

You may see delta-8 THC referred to as, “diet weed,” delta-8 CBD, or “weed light.” This is because it works in a similar way as delta-9 THC, but doesn’t seem to be quite as potent when it comes to the “high” you feel when you take it.

2. Does delta-8 show up on drug tests?

Probably, and new tests are already being developed to test for it directly.

There are several different types of drug tests. Some screen for the presence of cannabinoids of any kind. These types of drug tests would definitely detect delta-8 THC, because it’s a cannabinoid.

Other drug tests are more specific for THC. But even though they’re designed to look for delta-9 THC, it’s likely that having delta-8 THC in your system will also cause you to test positive. That’s because the chemical structure of delta-9 THC and delta-8 THC are almost identical. Plus, your body breaks them down into the same compounds, which drug tests also try to identify.

As mentioned, due to the widespread availability of delta-8 THC products sold OTC, new drug tests are being developed to screen for it. This is to help prevent the use of delta-8 THC by people looking for ways to work around court-mandated drug testing.

If you’re concerned about failing a drug test, it’s best to avoid delta-8 products.

3. How long does delta-8 stay in your system?

Anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks or more. It all depends on how you take it and how long you’ve been using it for.

Cannabinoids are stored in the fat cells in your body after they’re taken and then slowly released. So they can accumulate over time with regular use. Because their structures are similar, delta-8 is expected to stay in the body for the same amount of time as delta-9 THC.

For occasional users, this could be as little as 2 to 5 days. For regular users, it could be up to 15 days. And if you have a high amount of body fat, it could stay in your system for as long as 30 days.

Keep in mind that these are estimates. Your individual metabolism, as well as how much and how often you consume delta-8, will contribute to how long it’s detectable in your system.

4. Is delta-8 legal?

The short answer is: It’s complicated. Due to the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (also referred to as the 2018 Farm Bill), hemp can be grown and used in products across the U.S. Hemp is a variety of cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC.

Since most, if not all, delta-8 products are made from hemp CBD, they’re technically legal. But this question of legality has come up again and again over the years, with various government agencies and courts trying to come to a conclusion.

In 2020, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) released a document called the Interim Final Rule. It stated that all synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols — are Schedule I controlled substances. Schedule I substances include illegal drugs (like heroin and ecstasy) that have high abuse potential and don’t have accepted medical use in the U.S. In other words, it seemed that delta-8 THC would be considered illegal under this guideline.

However, in a letter to the Alabama Board of Pharmacy in September 2021, the DEA clarified that cannabinoids in hemp are excluded from the guidelines, and are not considered illegal. This was upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in May 2022. They ruled that because the source of the delta-8 THC in question was hemp, it’s legal as defined by current federal law. But the court acknowledged that this seemed to be a “loophole” that Congress was responsible for fixing.

In the absence of clear federal laws surrounding delta-8 THC, many states have decided to take action on their own. Currently, over 15 states have banned or regulated the sale of delta-8 THC products. A few states have allowed for delta-8 THC products, but only if they’re sold in licensed dispensaries and go through regulated testing processes to make sure they are labeled accurately and don’t contain contaminants.

New state laws are being proposed across the country, so it’s best to check your individual state regulations to know if delta-8 is legal where you live.

5. What’s the difference between delta-8 and delta-10?

Delta-10 THC is another cannabinoid that’s made by applying chemicals to CBD. The main difference between delta-8 THC and delta-10 THC is that while delta-8 THC is found naturally in the cannabis plant, delta-10 THC is not. This means delta-10 THC is a synthetic cannabinoid — it’s man made, and not a naturally occurring chemical.

There’s also no human research on delta-10 THC, so we don’t really know how it affects the body and what risks or benefits it may have. But we do know that it’s produced in a similar way to delta-8 THC, so the same risks for contamination and residual chemicals exists for delta-10 products.

The bottom line

Delta-8 THC is a chemical naturally found in small amounts in cannabis. It has similar effects to delta-9 THC. Most delta-8 THC products are man-made by applying chemicals to hemp CBD. It’s sold OTC as delta-8 hemp or “weed light;” but make no mistake — it’s still likely to make you feel high. And it will probably show up on drug tests, too.

Although delta-8 THC products are currently federally legal, they’re not regulated. This means they may contain residual chemicals and other contaminants. Individual states have started passing laws against delta-8 THC due to these concerns. If you’re concerned about safety, legality, or passing a drug test, it’s probably best to avoid delta-8 THC altogether.

References

American Association of Clinical Chemistry. (2022). Existing drug tests can detect delta-8-THC- The latest cannabis craze.

Boos, T. L. (2021). DEA letter to Alabama Board of Pharmacy. U.S. Department of Justice.

View All References (8)

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Cary, P. L. (2021). Delta-8 THC and drug testing in treatment courts.

Herrington, A. J. (2022). Federal appeals court rules that delta-8 THC is legal. Forbes.

Meehan-Atrash, J., et al. (2022). Novel Δ8-tetrahydrocannabinol vaporizers contain unlabeled adulterants, unintended byproducts of chemical synthesis, and heavy metals. Chemical Research in Toxicology.

Turner, A. R., et al. (2022). Marijuana. StatPearls.

U.S. Department of Justice. (n.d.). Marijuana.

U.S. Department of Justice. (2020). Implementation of the agriculture improvement act of 2018.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2019). Hemp production and the 2018 farm bill.

Weil, M. (n.d.). What is delta-8-THC? Is it safe? The Cannigma.

GoodRx Health has strict sourcing policies and relies on primary sources such as medical organizations, governmental agencies, academic institutions, and peer-reviewed scientific journals. Learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate, thorough, and unbiased by reading our editorial guidelines.

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Will Delta-8 THC Show Up on a Drug Test? - GoodRx (2024)

FAQs

Will Delta-8 THC Show Up on a Drug Test? - GoodRx? ›

It's sold OTC as delta-8 hemp or “weed light;” but make no mistake — it's still likely to make you feel high. And it will probably show up on drug tests, too. Although delta-8 THC products are currently federally legal, they're not regulated.

Does delta-8 show up on a urine test? ›

Generally, delta 8 can be detected through different types of drug tests within specific timeframes: Urine Test: Delta 8 is usually detectable in urine for up to 48 hours after consumption. However, this period may vary based on individual metabolism and frequency of use.

Is delta-8 federally legal? ›

Since delta-8 THC is sourced from hemp, and not marijuana, it is legal and unregulated at the federal level. The 2018 farm bill legalized hemp, cracking open an industry with offshoots in textile manufacturing, medicine and (albeit accidentally) intoxicants.

How long will Delta-9 stay in your urine? ›

The length of time delta-9 remains in your urine will depend on how often you consume cannabis products. Occasional users may only have delta-9 detectable using a urine test for up to three days after consumption, while heavy or frequent users could have detectable levels of delta-9 in their system for 30 days or more.

How long does delta-8 stay in your system hair follicle? ›

Hair Drug Test

This test is by far the most effective because it has the longest detection window. A hair follicle test can discover Delta-8 THC up to 12 months after your last use.

Can I fail a drug test from delta-8? ›

Can Delta 8 Produce a Positive Drug Test Result? In short, the answer is yes. delta-8 will make you fail a drug test. However, because Keystone can differentiate between delta-8 and delta-9, often those who test for delta-8 come up positive for delta-9.

How do you flush delta-8 out of your system? ›

Stay hydrated – Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, can help flush your system and potentially speed up the elimination of Delta-8 and other cannabinoids. Exercise – Physical activity can increase metabolism and circulation, potentially aiding in the elimination of Delta-8 from the body.

How do you get Delta 8 out of your system in a week? ›

How to Flush Delta-8 Out of Your System
  1. Drink Some H20. Drinking plenty of water is the best way to flush delta 8 out of your system as quickly as possible. ...
  2. Eat High Fiber Foods. Foods high in fiber help you excrete waste more regularly, helping you flush out THC metabolites more quickly. ...
  3. Work Out. Sweat it out!
Dec 16, 2022

What states banned Delta 8? ›

Still, some people believe that Delta-8 is a controlled substance. Fifteen states have explicitly banned its use. These states are Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, and Vermont.

Can I fly with Delta 8 gummies? ›

Is it Legal to Fly with Delta-8-THC? Often, yes! It is legal to fly with Delta-8 when you are flying to and from areas where Delta-8 is legal, as long as the airline you choose doesn't specifically prohibit Delta-8 products.

How do you clean CBD out of your system? ›

Drinking plenty of water helps to flush out the body's systems, while exercising helps to increase the body's metabolic rate and helps to break down the CBD molecules more quickly. Taking a detoxification supplement can help to accelerate the process and can also help to reduce any potential side effects.

How do you get Delta-10 out of your system fast? ›

You can take several steps and measures to remove delta-10 THC from your body if you are nervous about having it there. At the very least, eat healthy foods, exercise frequently, and drink lots of water.

How do you get Delta 9 out of your urine? ›

That said, the safest way to help your system clear Delta 9 is water, water, water. Great hydration will help flush your system of THC and dilute your urine. Again, the only way to ensure you pass a drug test is to abstain, however.

Is delta-8 harmful to the body? ›

While some claim it is the more gentle and “legal” high that offers relaxation and pain relief, recent warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) say delta-8 is a potentially dangerous drug that has resulted in thousands of accidental poisonings.

Does delta-8 help you lose weight? ›

The short answer to this question is yes. Delta 8 may help you lose weight. Studies reveal that this cannabinoid can support weight loss efforts, while potentially having an effect on your appetite.

How long does 25mg of delta-8 last? ›

In general, Delta-8 effects can last anywhere from 3 to 8 hours, but each product style offers a different onset and duration. Delta-8 effects may wear off quickly, but it can stick around in your system for much longer.

How long does Delta 10 stay in your system? ›

Delta-10 THC normally stays in your system for up to two days or even thirty days in peculiar cases. However, it may differ if we consider several factors that can affect how long delta-10 lasts in the body, like frequency of use, the body's metabolism, and previous consumption time.

How is delta-8 legal in Texas? ›

CBD from hemp can be processed to produce concentrated amount of delta-8 THC, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Because hemp is legal in Texas and delta-8 is derived from the plant, delta-8 is legal in the Lone Star State if its THC content doesn't exceed 0.3%.

Is delta-8 safe to smoke? ›

Despite its rise in popularity and reputation for being a “milder” version of delta-9 THC, delta-8 can still cause a high and produce potentially undesirable and even dangerous side effects including accidental poisoning. If any symptoms of poisoning occur, call a poison control hotline or 911 immediately.

What happens if you take too much delta-8? ›

Having too many delta-8 gummies can result in a dry mouth, which causes the salivary glands to reduce saliva production. The dry sensation in your mouth can lead you to think you are dehydrated, and you may feel the urge to drink water to replenish the feeling.

References

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