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Can Delta 8 THC Make You Fail A Drug Test?

Delta 8 THC is becoming more and more popular across the globe because of its legal status. But, will it show up on a drug test? Let’s find out.

Article By
Daily CBD , last updated on September 2, 2021

Most drug tests can’t distinguish delta 8 from delta 9 THC, so a drug test may show positive for marijuana after using delta 8.

However, it’s not quite that clear-cut and simple.

There are many types of drug tests, and some are more likely to provide a positive result than others. There are also steps you can take before a test to increase your chances of a negative result.

In this article, we’ll look at how delta 8 THC interacts with different drug tests and how you can prepare for one if you’re currently using delta 8 THC.

  • Table of Contents

Does Delta 8 THC Show Up On Drug Tests?

Yes, delta 8 THC will show up on most drug tests.

The most common screening methods can’t distinguish between delta 8 and delta 9 THC. The results will show the presence of THC as a whole rather than dividing the legal cannabinoids from the illegal ones.

This is certainly a flaw in the system, and it’s not entirely fair because people who aren’t committing a crime can get the same repercussions as someone who is.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about it, but there are ways you can inform and prepare yourself before a drug test. First, you should know the differences between the types of drug tests and how delta 8 interacts with them.

Will Delta 8 THC Show Up On a Swab Sample?

Delta 8 THC will show up as “THC” on swab tests.

Swab tests screen saliva for banned substances. A saliva sample is gathered then placed in a machine or combined with a chemical indicator, revealing whether or not it detects certain substances.

Because delta 8 THC is extremely similar to delta 9 THC, a positive indicator usually results from such tests.

Swab tests are now the most common drug screening forms used by the police, employers, and athletic boards. They are simpler, faster, and more convenient than urine, blood, and hair samples. However, swab tests can’t indicate certain substances if usage is stopped several days or weeks before the test.

For marijuana, delta 9, and delta 8 THC, a positive result can occur if the testee has consumed any form of THC in the last 30 days. This can vary greatly depending on how frequent, how much, or how potent the THC was.

For a user that dabbles with delta 8 or delta 9 THC occasionally, a test may show up negative after as little as 48 hours after the last consumption.

A test may still provide a positive result up to 30 days after the last use for a more regular user.

It’s wise to note that most roadside and employer swab tests screen for immediate or recent intoxication. They’re looking for high levels of THC that indicate use within the last few days. Usually, these tests show up negative if you haven’t consumed THC before that; however, you shouldn’t rely on it.

If you’re expecting a swab test soon, the best way to leverage a negative result is to stop consuming delta 8 THC as quickly as possible.

Will Delta 8 THC Show Up in a Urine Sample?

Delta 8 THC will show up as “THC” in a urine sample.

Delta 8 and delta 9 THC can stay present in your urine for up to 30 days.

As with the swab test, you can get a false positive from urine tests up to a month after the last use.

Urine tests are less common in the workplace as most places use the swab method. That said, some employers and mental health institutes may still use urine samples as a drug screening method.

Urine samples can vary greatly from person to person depending on body weight, the frequency of use, and food and water consumption.

If you’re expecting a urine test, your best bet is to stop using delta 8 THC as soon as possible and drink as much water as you can to clear the substance from your system.

Will Delta 8 THC Show Up In a Blood Sample?

Delta 8 THC will show up as “THC” in a blood sample.

Delta 8 may remain viable in the blood for up to 2 weeks after stopping use — but only in users who take delta 8 on a regular basis. If just one or two doses are used, delta 8 is eliminated from the bloodstream within two days.

Blood tests aren’t often used for drug detection — usually by athletic boards, sports teams, and the Olympics.

Marijuana, delta 8, and delta 9 THC stay in the bloodstream for up to 36 hours. After this time, a blood sample will show up negative.

If you’re expecting a blood test, stop using delta 8 THC as soon as possible to cleanse your body.

Will Delta 8 THC Show Up In a Hair Sample?

Delta 8 THC will show up as “THC” in a hair sample.

Delta 8 will remain viable in the hair for up to 3 months — but only in users who take delta 8 THC regularly. A single dose or two isn’t enough to register in a standard hair analysis test.

The military often uses hair follicle samples to test whether potential or existing soldiers have been using drugs. Follicle samples are a reliable way to test for drug use because the user can’t simply flush the substance from their system or stop usage for the period leading up to the test.

If you’re expecting a hair follicle test to look for THC, you are almost guaranteed a false positive if you’ve used marijuana or delta 8 THC within the last three months. This goes for infrequent and heavy users alike.

HHC: A THC-Alternative That May Evade Drug Tests

There’s plenty of THC analogs on the market today — most of which offer similar effects as delta 8 and delta 9 THC.

HHC is one example that has so far proven to be a worthy alternative to people who are required to take frequent drug tests for work.

HHC stands for hydroxyhexahydrocannabinol. It’s a semi-synthetic hydrogenated version of THC that offers virtually identical benefits. When the body metabolizes this cannabinoid, it skips a specific metabolite called 11-hydroxy-THC — which is the main compound THC drug tests search for.

This ability to evade detection on drug tests is still up for debate. There has never been any scientific research on this effect, and there isn’t enough user data to confirm if this is true or not.

When are Drug Tests Used?

There are many reasons to test a person for drugs, but one of the most common is to see if a person uses substances that could impair or inhibit their ability to do a job.

Drug tests are commonly used by:

  • Law enforcement
  • Military
  • Customs & border enforcement
  • Employers
  • Licensing authorities (for machinery, driving, commercial sailing, etc.)
  • Rehabilitation & mental health services
  • Sports & athletics organizations

How Can You Prepare for a Drug Test?

There are several ways to prepare for a drug test if you currently use delta 8 THC. Your approach depends on the kind of test you’re going to take, but generally speaking, the steps you need to take to encourage a negative result are more or less the same.

You know roughly how long THC stays in urine, saliva, blood, and hair, so you also know how long your body needs to excrete the substance before the test. It’s not always possible to have enough time before your drug test, so how can you get around this?

As we’ve mentioned, if you’re about to take a hair follicle test and have recently used delta 8, it’s unlikely you’ll pass it.

It’s nearly impossible to pass a hair follicle drug test if you’ve consumed any form of THC in the last 90 days. The exception here is if you’ve just had one or two doses. If you’re using THC of any kind on a daily or near-daily basis, it’s going to show up in your hair.

However, it is possible to pass blood, urine, and saliva tests on short notice.

Detoxing With Home Remedies

Detoxing or “cleansing” your body helps your body remove traces of THC quicker than it does naturally.

There are several ways to detox your body before a drug test. Some home remedies can help flush THC from the body.

Here are some common at-home detox remedies:

  • Water with added lemon or mint
  • Cranberry juice
  • Apple cider vinegar (add small amounts to water — don’t drink large amounts of it)
  • Milk thistle extract
  • Globe artichoke extract
  • Frequent excercise

Detoxing With a Kit

You can buy detox kits on Amazon or other online shops. These kits usually consist of herbs, minerals, and other compounds that speed up or facilitate liver metabolism, urine production, and lipolysis (the breakdown of fat).

The fundamental concept of these kits is to speed up the release of stored THC in fat (by boosting lipolysis), increasing the conversion of THC to water-soluble metabolites (liver metabolism), and increased elimination through the kidneys (diuretics).

Most kits will also instruct you to exercise and drink plenty of water to optimize the detox further.

Some companies provide resources to people that need to detox fast. We highly recommend a cleansing kit if your job, legal situation, or livelihood depends on a drug test. This gives you the best chance of passing a blood, urine, or swab test.

Shave Your Head

This one is a little bit extreme for some people, but it’s certainly an effective way of getting through a hair analysis test.

If your job depends on a negative result, it could be worth getting a buzz in preparation for your test.

Use Fake Urine

There are all kinds of fake urine products available online. People have been trying to fool drug tests ever since they were invented.

You can order fake urine online, but we don’t recommend this. Most tests now assess for signs the urine itself is fake. If caught, you’ll have to take another test, and most likely, the tester will pay extra attention to your next sample.

The better option is to use a urine dispenser and get the help of another person to provide some urine for you. This only works if the lender hasn’t used THC or other drugs in the past month or two.

Urine bags come in all different forms, but most have a bag that is filled with urine and strapped to your leg. This feeds into a nozzle that is then used to dispense the urine. For men, make sure to get one with an “anatomically-inspired”  nozzle, so the wandering eyes of testers don’t see a plastic hose coming out of your pants during the sample.

Does Detoxing Really Work?

Don’t count on it working, whether you’re flushing your system to dilute it or trying to remove the THC altogether. Sometimes detoxing works; other times, it doesn’t. It all depends on your individual body, the amount and frequency of delta 8 THC use, and the type of test being used. There’s also some random luck thrown in there.

The only surefire way to pass a drug test is to completely stop using delta 8 THC at least 1 month before the test (saliva, blood, and urine) or 3 months for hair analysis testing.

Some of these methods can help cover or remove THC, and diluted urine can mess with a drug test, but these are usually obvious to testers. Often they’ll reject urine under a specific concentration, and interfering substances can disqualify you.

Basically, testers know the tricks and how to counteract them.

Is Delta 8 THC the Same as Delta 9 THC?

Delta 8 and delta 9 THC are very similar. In fact, third-party laboratories sometimes struggle to distinguish the two apart during testing.

However, their molecular structure is slightly different, changing the effects on your body and mind. Delta 8 THC is an isomer of delta 9 THC. The only difference molecularly is a double bond between two carbons.

Delta 9 THC is a major cannabinoid — it’s far more prominent than other cannabinoids in cannabis, except for CBD.

Delta 8 THC is a minor cannabinoid. Its percentages are far lower and require a particular isolation method to collect the cannabinoid in large enough quantities.

Hemp-extracted delta 8 THC is federally legal, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. It can be sold and used in any state that doesn’t restrict it. However, delta 8 THC can definitely get you high.

The effects of delta 8 THC are similar to delta 9 THC, but there are some differences.

How Does Delta 8 THC Affect You?

Delta 8 THC affects the same receptors in the brain as delta 9 THC, but delta 9 is considerably more potent than its federally legal cousin.

Delta 8 THC is psychoactive, but the effects are less prominent. That said, with a significant enough amount, you’ll notice the impact associated with delta 9.

Delta 8’s effects are more subtle than delta 9, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing — it also has less intense side effects. Delta 8 THC is less likely to cause adverse side effects such as anxiety, hyperstimulation, and paranoia.

This is great for people that want to relax without being out of it. Daily tasks can still get done with small amounts of delta 8, and judgment isn’t overly impaired. Of course, since delta 8 THC does get you high, you shouldn’t operate machinery, drive, or work on potentially dangerous tasks while under the influence.

Bottom Line: Does Delta 8 THC Show Up On Drug Tests?

To summarize, yes, delta 8 THC will show up on a drug test because most test kits can’t distinguish it from delta 9 THC. This is the same for all forms of THC, including delta 7 THC and delta 10 THC.

Although this is daunting if you’re facing an upcoming drug test, all hope isn’t lost.

There are plenty of methods that can help sway the test result in your favor. With some planning, preparation, and simple detoxing, you can boost your chances of getting a negative result.

If you expect a drug test is imminent at work or for legal reasons, stop using delta 8 THC immediately. The test you’re going to take (urine, saliva, or blood) will affect how long or intense the detox needs to be.

There are detox products that work for all types of tests and timeframes, so before giving up, get online and check out how you can cleanse your body starting today.

Further Reading

Further Reading