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Everything You Need to Know About Delta-8 Drug Tests

Jeff Yauck | December 19, 2022

For some employers, a drug test to ensure candidates are not under the influence of certain substances is a mandatory part of the hiring process. Other organizations test existing staff members for the same reason.

The increasing legality of marijuana and other intoxicating substances in different states means that many employees test positive for certain drugs. Indeed, according to Quest Diagnostic’s Drug Test Index, almost 5% of samples tested positive for marijuana use in 2021, the most in two decades. In many states, employees aren’t protected and could lose their jobs for testing positive in such a test, even if recreational cannabis or D8 are legal in their location.

Delta-8 is widely seen as an alternative to the delta-9 found in marijuana since it is about half as potent and offers a pleasant, less intense high. Some users believe that delta-8 won’t show up on a drug test, which would represent another big benefit of using it. However, is this claim true or false? This article finds out the truth.

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

Yes, delta-8 THC is likely to appear on a drug test, especially if you’re a regular user. As you can probably tell by the names, delta-8 and delta-9 are very similar. Although D8 is less potent, it interacts with the same brain receptors as D9 and provides an intoxicating high.

Their difference relates to the location of the double bond between two carbons. The similarity carries on into their major urinary metabolites. They, too, have only a tiny difference. Not only do the two metabolites have similar chemical properties, but they also have the same molecular weight.

It is essential to note that drug tests aren’t looking for marijuana; they uncover evidence of its use through THC metabolites. Metabolites are small molecules your body produces when it breaks down a substance. These molecules remain in your body long after the THC does.

Moreover, drug screenings aren’t advanced enough to tell the difference between delta-8 THC metabolites and their delta-9 counterparts. Therefore, if you use delta-8 products and undergo a drug screening (most employers use urine testing), it could provide a positive test.

How to Pass a Drug Test After Consuming Delta-8 THC

Whether you test positive for delta-8 THC on a drug test depends on various factors, which we will outline later. If you have a drug screening coming up and regularly use D8 products, producing a negative result is more luck than judgment.

Ideally, you will abstain from all THC forms for at least two weeks before the test. However, by their very nature, drug screenings don’t give you much warning. A wide range of THC detox drinks claims to help you pass a drug test. In reality, they involve little more than drinking the product, consuming a lot of water, and hoping for the best!

It is also worth noting that aiming to pass THC metabolites through your urine isn’t your best course of action. According to research published by the CDC decades ago, just 20% of the delta-9 THC excreted from the body within the first five days leaves via your urine. Your feces accounts for 65%. This suggests that taking laxatives may aid your cause, although it could prove an unpleasant couple of days!

4 Factors That May Trigger a Positive Delta-8 THC Drug Test

There is no guarantee that your delta-8 usage will cause a failed drug test. Whether you pass or fail depends on several factors, and we outline just four below.

1 – When You Last Used Delta-8 THC

Abstinence is key when passing any drug screening. When you last used delta-8 has a huge bearing on the test result. No available research suggests delta-8 is traceable for a longer or shorter period than delta-9.

From what we know about marijuana consumption and drug testing, THC metabolites are detectable in urine for up to three days if you only use delta-9 once. If you use marijuana several times a week, you’ll need to abstain for at least a week. Amongst chronic daily users, their systems can take anywhere from 10 to 77 days to remove all traces of THC metabolites!

Therefore, if you use delta-8 within 72 hours of a drug screening, you greatly increase the risk of testing positive, even if you’ve never used it before.

2 – How Much Delta-8 You Use

It should also be obvious that the dosage of delta-8 you use plays a major role in whether THC metabolites are detectable in your urine. A higher dose takes longer to leave your system than a lower dose.

3 – Metabolism

Your metabolism dictates how quickly your body breaks down THC and other substances. If you have a naturally “fast” metabolism, your body will excrete the metabolites faster than someone with a “slow” metabolism.

Our metabolism slows down naturally as we age. However, you can boost it by exercising regularly, adding resistance training to your fitness regime, and getting ample sleep. Also, consume foods such as fish, lean meats, lentils, and oatmeal to give your metabolism a jolt.

4 – The Strength of the Delta-8 Product You Used

There are different delta-8 concentrations in certain products, particularly in oil. For instance, 1000mg of D8 in 10ml of oil offers a higher concentration of the cannabinoid than if it is in 30ml of liquid.

Apart from the strength of the delta-8 product, the method of consumption is also important. Evidence of edible and tincture use stays in your system longer than vaped D8.

Delta-8 Drug Test: Caution Is Advised

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that delta-8 THC won’t show up on a drug test. Depending on how often you use it and the strength of the product, there’s a chance that a drug screening will find it. D8 is structurally similar to D9, and drug tests aren’t complex enough to tell the difference.

Therefore, if you’re planning to use delta-8 THC regularly, try to discover your employer’s stance on drug testing. It is also important to determine whether there are any employee protections in your state. Even though delta-8 is a federally legal substance, companies can fire staff members for using it on their days off, let alone in the workplace!


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