If you’ve tried delta 8, you may prefer it. Though it’s an analog of its potent psychoactive cousin delta 9, it has much milder effects. But does delta 8 show up on a drug test? Keep reading to find out. 

What Is Delta 8?

You’re probably already familiar with delta 9, which most people know as the mind-altering drug THC. But you may not know that there are over one hundred different cannabinoids. CBN, CBD, and CBG all fall under the cannabinoid category.

And so does delta 8. Delta 8 is a minor cannabinoid that produces effects similar to those of delta 9; however, they’re more manageable. People are turning to delta 8 more and more to enjoy a relaxing high that doesn’t leave them feeling incapacitated. Others use it to help them fall asleep, and its use even has some medical benefits too. 

Unlike delta 9, delta 8 is legal in plenty of states. Still, its consumers have some concerns — namely, whether using it will cause them to run afoul of drug tests. 

Delta 8 vs Delta 9

So just what is the difference between delta 9 and delta 8? 

In a single word: age. As delta 9 ages, it degrades. The byproduct of this aging is delta 8, and the resulting substance is quite distinct from traditional THC. Delta 9 causes users to feel intense highs, while delta 8 is more stable and less potent, producing a gentle high. 

But when it comes to the chemical structures of the two, they’re pretty similar. The only difference is the arrangement of the atomic bonds. Delta 9 has a double bond at the ninth chain, while delta 8 has one at the eighth chain, accounting for the difference in intensity. However, both substances cause similar effects in the endocannabinoid system in the body.  

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Does Delta 8 Show up on a Drug Test?

Does Delta 8 Show up on a Drug Test?

Using delta 8 can indeed cause you to test positive on a drug test, and we can thank its similarities to delta 9 for that. Most tests simply aren’t advanced enough to distinguish between cannabinoids that are legal (like delta 8) and those that aren’t in some places (like delta 9). 

Let’s take a look at the different types of tests and how they detect drug use. 

Different Types of Drug Tests

The first thing that could affect your results is the type of test you take. There are three main types of drug tests: hair, urine, and saliva. When it comes to sensitivity, these tests are not created equal. You may test positive with one and not another. 

How Drug Tests Detect Drug Use

The next thing you should understand is how drug tests detect drug use. A common misconception is that they detect traces of the drug in your system. In reality, drug tests look for signs that your body is processing a drug. 

In the case of cannabis, when we consume THC (whether delta 8 or delta 9), our body produces THC metabolites. These THC metabolites are what drug tests detect. They don’t check the number of THC metabolites in the body, which could differ based on how much we’ve consumed, only that they’re there at all.  

For this reason, delta 8 can cause a failed drug test, even if the amounts of THC are scarce. Simply put, no test is sophisticated enough to differentiate between the THC in delta 9 and the THC in delta 8.  

How Long Does Delta 8 Remain in the Body?

We know that THC lingers in the body. It may stick around for just a few days, but in some cases, it can stay in the system for weeks. 

Delta 8 takes longer to accumulate in the body, but we can still store it for a long time. If you’ve only used it a few times, it should leave your system within a few days. But with heavier, prolonged use, it could take several weeks. 

Other factors affect how long delta 8 is detectable on a drug test. These include things like: 

  • Your age
  • Your weight
  • Your metabolism
  • How much you’re using it
  • The half-life of the product 
  • How physically active you are

How to Pass a Drug Test After Using Delta 8

So what should you do if you’ve been enjoying delta 8 and have a drug test soon? 

The best course of action is to remain calm. There are plenty of things you can do to aid your body in getting rid of delta 8 naturally. But the first order of business is to take a home drug test and see what happens. If it detects THC, here are some things you can do to eliminate it from your body. 

  • Exercise. THC metabolites stick to fat cells, so working up a sweat can eliminate the fat the THC is stuck to. However, you should avoid exercising the day of your drug test, as you could release THC into your system. 
  • Hydrate. Make sure you’re drinking the recommended daily amount of water for your weight. 
  • Pay attention to your diet. Eating right and avoiding junk food plays a significant role in the detox process. 
  • Get enough sleep. Getting enough z’s every night supports the elimination process.

Essentially, leading a healthy lifestyle can help speed things along. 

The Bottom Line?

Consuming products that contain THC, even in small doses, can lead to a positive drug test. If the test is a one-time thing, you can abstain till the test day and pick right back up again afterward. 

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