As cannabis plant products gain popularity, the potentiality of other minor cannabinoids for therapeutic or recreational applications becomes a momentous topic of investigation. THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol has been infamous for years for the psychoactive effects it renders. The delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol is the latest addition to the list of beneficial cannabis products available in the market. However, with the stigma associated with the name THC, people get conscious of the effects it will have and their legality. The most searched for query is whether the consumption of Delta-8 THC can make them fail a drug test, how much THC would be considered safe to not show up on a drug test? Well, you need to understand the working of THC in your body to fully grasp the concept of drug testing. We are here to help you understand how drug testing works and how the drugs are detected.
What Is Delta-8 THC?
The Cannabis sativa plant contains over 100 cannabinoids, out of which are CBD (cannabidiol), delta-9 THC are present in abundance, and minor cannabinoids like delta-8 THC, cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV). Other than delta-9 THC, delta-8 THC is the only other cannabinoid that is known to have psychoactive effects, meaning, it would get you high. However, the effects are more subdued.
Is It Legal?
The Farm Bill passed in 2018 has made the products derived from hemp plants with less than 0.3% concentration of THC legal federally. Nonetheless, the state laws, and in some regions, municipalities have different regulations when it comes to the therapeutic and recreational utilization of cannabis products. In short, the legal status of delta-8 comes under a gray area.
The Difference Between Different Cannabinoids
All of the cannabinoids come from the same precursor molecule – cannabinoid acid CBGA. Enzymatic action transforms the CBGA molecule to THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) and CBDA (Cannabigerolic Acid) that are converted to the cannabinoids everyone is familiar with – THC and CBD. The major differences between the variety of cannabinoids are slight changes in the chemical structures.
Delta-8 & Delta-9 are more similar in structure than other cannabinoids. The word delta in the name suggests the location of the double bond in the chemical make-up. The small difference in the two results in less potency when it comes to the psychoactive effects, however, the other therapeutic benefits of the THC remain the same.
How Does THC Affect You?
Delta-8 is gaining popularity for the subtle high combined with many therapeutic benefits. There are different types of products available to utilize delta-8 THC, and the onset of effects is determined by how it enters your body.
- Delta-8 Edibles: By far the most popular choice because of the convenience of use, these provide a slow-release effect. The edibles have to undergo the gastrointestinal tract before they get metabolized and absorbed to feel THC working. For instance, you will feel the effects of our scrumptious assorted flavored Delta-8 Gummies 1000 mg within 1-2 hours of consumption.
- Delta-8 Tinctures: For quicker results, you can try delta-8 tinctures. When the drops of our Delta-8 Tincture with 1000mg concentrate are placed under the tongue, you will feel the impact within 30-60 minutes.
- Delta-8 Vape Oil: The most bio-effective way to consume delta-8 THC – you will feel the effects within 15-30 minutes as the vaped oil gets transferred to the bloodstream via the lungs.
Some people may feel the dryness of the mouth, increase in appetite, nausea, vomiting, increased heartbeat, redness of eyes, restlessness, decreased attention span, anxiety, confusion, and paranoia.
What Happens To THC After Consumption?
How soon THC will affect you and how long you can feel the effects depends majorly on the mode of administration, but once it is inside the bloodstream, THC is delivered to the liver and is metabolized there. The resulting metabolites – THC-COOH and 11-OH-THC are removed from the body via urine and feces, respectively. These metabolites are the same for both delta-8 and delta-9 THC.
However, some amount of THC gets temporarily stored in the body. How long THC stays in your system depends on many factors such as
- The body fat percentage: Tetrahydrocannabinol is lipophilic and binds to the fat molecules present in the body.
- Frequency and amount of consumption of drugs: People who consume cannabis products daily, tend to have it for a longer time in their body when compared to someone who consumes it once a week for instance.
- The metabolism of a person: Fast metabolic rate will remove the THC quickly.
In general, if you use THC occasionally, it will be flushed out of your system within 4-8 days, whereas for a regular consumer the complete removal will take 7-21 days. For heavy users, it might take up to 45-50 days.
How Do Drug Tests Work?
Tests do not pick up THC itself but look for the metabolites that they produce in your body after their breakdown, which are the same for the cannabinoids. The tests to detect cannabis in your system can be carried out by use of different body fluids – urine, blood, saliva, and hair, where it can stay for longer periods.
Does THC show up in Urine Tests?
The analysis of urine is the approved method for workplaces to detect drugs in the body. Urinalysis can detect if THC has been in your system for up to 60 days.
It will show up in urine for
- 3 to 7 days in case of occasional users
- 10-15 days in case of daily users
- Up to 45 days in cases of heavy users
Can THC show up in the Blood Test?
THC is usually detectable in blood for up to 72 hours after consumption, however, in some cases, the metabolites can be detected after 25 days as well.
Can THC be detected by Saliva Test?
THC can be found in saliva. A study found out that THC metabolites can be detected in saliva for up to 24-72 hours in case of occasional use and up to 8 days in case of chronic heavy users.
Can you pass the hair follicle test if you have consumed THC in the last 60 days?
Drug screening by use of hair follicles is an extremely rare technique to be used and detects cannabis use within the last 90 days. The outcome depends on the sensitivity of the test being used.
Don’t be concerned just yet. How THC reacts in your body, how long it stays, and how it gets removed, largely depends on the body’s unique physiology. Moreover, most of the delta drug screening tests are not highly sensitive and they might give false positives for THC. Testing positive for THC does not confirm drug abuse, it indicates exposure to THC.
THC Drug Test Results – Can You Pass It After Using Delta-8?
Do not worry if you have consumed delta-8, and have a drug test coming up. Fortunately, there are several methods to help you pass the test.
- First and foremost, if you are an occasional user, stop the consumption for the time until you have the test scheduled. Depending on the factors listed above, the THC metabolites will be flushed out of your body on their own.
- Increase your exercise and drink more water. When excess fat gets burned, the stored THC gets metabolized and excreted out from your system.
- Consume diuretics such as coffee to increase the frequency of urine which will eliminate the metabolites.
To answer the question, if delta-8 can give a positive drug test – yes, it can. But the standard drug tests are not 100% accurate, false positives are also observed in cases of passive inhalation of THC from smoke or any medication that you may be taking. There are many tests under development that would be sensitive to distinguish between the two THCs. The main thing to know is that delta-8 derived from hemp is a legal substance by federal laws. In case, delta-8 is part of your wellness regime, be sure to talk to your employer or supervisor if you have to undergo a screening test.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Does Delta-8 contain intoxicating THC?
- Delta-8 is an analog of delta-9 THC, which has the psychoactive active properties of delta-9 but in a subtle manner. It will get you high in a controlled and manageable way.
Q2. Can delta-8 edibles result in a positive drug test?
- Yes. Once the edibles are metabolized, they will result in the formation of by-products which are excreted through the body fluids thereby getting detected by the drug screening tests.
Q3. Consuming how much delta-8 will make me fail a drug test?
- No matter the amount of any THC, the metabolites will be detectable by the drug tests. But usually, the amounts of THC in hemp-derived products are low enough to be detected by standard tests in case you are an occasional user. The standard test for THC detection has been cut off at 50 ng/ml.
Q4. Does the THCA show up on a drug test?
- Yes. THCA can potentially give a positive drug test. However, THCA is a precursor molecule present in raw cannabis that leads to the formation of THC. For a drug test to be positive, you need to consume large quantities of raw cannabis.