Delta 8 THC has been rising in popularity over the last couple of years, offering a psychoactive experience while being a federally legal cannabinoid derived from the hemp plant. The fact that Delta 8 Hemp is intoxicating is the biggest part of its appeal, providing a legal alternative to marijuana. But, before a person starts incorporating Delta 8 THC into their lifestyle, there’s one very important thing that they need to consider, which is the cannabinoid’s influence on drug tests. Can Delta 8 THC result in a failed drug test, just like delta 9, or are the cannabinoids dissimilar enough to keep you in the clear?
The Simple Answer
Basically, Delta 8 THC can yield a positive drug test result. In other words, if you are someone who is anticipating being drug-tested in the near future, it’s advisable to abstain from using delta 8 – or any THC-based cannabinoid in the hemp plant, for that matter.
The most common drug tests that are administered are not actually searching for marijuana, or its active intoxicating cannabinoid, delta 9 THC. What they are searching for is THC-COOH, which is a metabolite that breaks down delta 9 in the body. Testing for THC-COOH is preferable, because it remains in the body for longer than the THC itself, thus offering a larger window of time during which a THC user can show evidence that they are using marijuana.
THC-COOH, as it turns out, doesn’t only metabolize delta 9 THC. It also metabolizes delta 8 THC. So, there is no recognizing the difference between the two cannabinoids. As long as THC-COOH is found in your body, a drug test will produce a positive result that can threaten your work or livelihood.
Testing for Cannabis Use
There are two primary types of tests administered to anyone who is being tested for cannabis use, as these tests seek to identify the presence of THC-COOH in a person’s system.
Test #1: Saliva
Saliva tests are usually administered by law enforcement, being the standard choice for roadside checks, when a police officer suspects that a person is driving under the influence of an intoxicating and/or illegal substance. Saliva tests can pick up use of THC as recently as 10 minutes before the test was taken, and up to 4 days later among those who are particularly heavy users.
Test: #2: Urine
Urine tests are the method of choice both among employers and probation officers. In other words, if you are tested for probation or tested as part of your employment, a urine test is what you can count on. A person can test positive for THC use anywhere from 1 day to a month or even more after their last dose.
Factors That Influence the Likelihood of a Positive Test
So, how likely are you to fail a drug test after taking delta 8 THC? That actually depends on a number of factors, ranging from when you last used Delta 8 Hemp to how much you generally consume when you do take the cannabinoid.
Factor #1: Delivery Method
The delivery method makes a difference, as some permit the Delta 8 THC to clear from the body more quickly than others. We know that vapes, for example, offer effects that wear off pretty quickly – within a couple of hours after use at most. This also means that the Delta 8 THC clears from the body at a faster rate than with other delivery methods. Edibles, meanwhile, are associated with the longest-lasting effects – 8 hours on average – and take much longer to fully metabolize.
Factor #2: Last Instance of Use
Of course, the last time you used Delta 8 THC matters. Urine tests tend to pick up evidence of Delta 8 THC use up to a month after it was last consumed, but if you were a particularly heavy user, THC-COOH can still be present in the body for even longer, so never assume that after 4 weeks have passed, you’re in the clear.
Factor #3: Frequency of Use
How frequently you did use Delta 8 THC makes a difference, because heavier users will have stronger concentrations of THC-COOH in the body that therefore require more time to be fully eliminated. Someone who uses Delta 8 THC once a week will have less THC-COOH in the body than someone who uses it several times a day.
Factor #4: Amount Used
The dosage amount and milligram strength of the Delta 8 THC product a person uses directly determines the concentration of THC-COOH in the body, because the more delta 8 is consumed, the more THC-COOH is needed to metabolize it. This is why heavy users may test positive for weeks after they last consumed the cannabinoid.
Factor #5: Natural Bodily Factors
The human body is complex, and we know that some individuals just metabolize delta 8 at a slower rate than others. This is why two people who had identical Delta 8 THC usage may have different drug test results.
Can You Clear THC-COOH from the Body Before a Drug Test?
If you have recently used delta 8 THC and have a drug test coming up, you may be wondering if there’s something that you can take that will lessen the chance of a positive result. Here are the most common methods used in an effort to prevent THC-COOH from showing up on a test.
Method #1: “Weed Detox” Products
These beverage products consist of a variety of vitamins and minerals that aim to increase the rate of metabolization to process THC-COOH through the urine at a faster rate.
Method #2: Cranberry Juice
Because cranberry juice directly interacts with the urinary tract and bladder, some hope that consuming it will increase frequency of urination to clear THC-COOH more quickly.
Method #3: Zinc
Some people take zinc before a drug test as some have claimed that it can interfere with a urine test, causing a false negative result.
Method #4: Water
Another method is simply consuming a lot of water to dilute the amount of THC-COOH in the urine in a way that would make it undetectable.
Note: The thing about all of the above methods is that none of them are proven to be effective. You are welcome to try them if you do have a drug test coming up, but the bottom line is that even if you try all of them together, there remains a good chance that you will end up with a positive drug test result if you have recently consumed delta 8 THC. Because there is no proven way to flush THC-COOH from the body before a drug test, the only true way to avoid testing positive is to simply abstain from delta 8 THC if you are someone who has a good chance of being tested in the near future.