How Would Delta 8 THC Impact Someone’s Drug Test?
As delta 8 THC is being used on a wider scale, it’s important to address one important topic pertaining to the compound, which is drug-testing. It is crucial to know how this cannabinoid can affect the results of a drug test, especially if your employment or some other form of livelihood requires that you’re tested regularly.
We will cover everything that you need to know pertaining to how delta 8 usage could affect the results of a drug test, so that you do not risk getting penalized for using what is, in fact, a legal plant compound in most of the country.
Does Delta 8 THC Yield a Failed Drug Test?
The big question, of course, is whether or not delta 8 THC will trigger a positive on a drug test, like delta 9 THC, from which delta 8 is derived. Before we get to the answer to that, we need to explain what delta 8 is and how it differs from delta 9, so that you can better understand its relationship to standard drug-testing performed throughout the United States.
Delta 8 THC is a minor cannabinoid that, for commercial use, is taken from the hemp plant rather than the marijuana plant in order to be compliant with federal law. Delta 8, like delta 9, is psychoactive, but ultimately it creates a milder high as it’s about 30% less intoxicating.
Delta 8 THC is, in fact, a derivative of delta 9 THC. When delta 9 ages in the chemical structure of cannabis, it is converted into delta-8 through natural processes. Therefore, it retains many of the same traits and properties of delta-9, while ultimately being molecularly different enough to behave differently in the body.
The reason why people have concerns pertaining to drug-testing is because delta 8 and delta 9 are similar enough molecularly that they may yield the same result. And, there’s good reason to believe that ultimately, delta 8 can yield a positive result. This is because both compounds behave similarly enough in the body that they likely cause the release of the same metabolite to appear in order to appropriately break down the compound so that it leaves the body.
When a drug test searches for marijuana use, what it’s actually looking for is a metabolite called THC-COOH. In other words, drug tests are not searching for the presence of THC, but rather the metabolite required to break it down. And it’s likely that delta 8 requires the same metabolite in order to metabolize. This is why delta 8 probably causes a person to fail a drug test.
Different Types of Drug Tests Administered for Identifying THC
Depending upon the employer or the type of work you will be doing, there are different drug tests they administer, sometimes before you begin or during the course of your employment with the company.
Urine Tests: 90% of companies rely on urine tests when testing employers. They’re highly accurate, cost-effective and easy to administer. With urine tests, THC-COOH can be present in a person’s urine for up to a couple of weeks after the last administration.
Saliva Tests: Rarely used by employers because they only detect very recent drug use. A saliva swab can only show THC levels based on the last 10 hours, which means that a person can simply skip using THC that day and pass a test.
Hair Tests: Quite uncommon because their accuracy level is poor compared to urine tests, because they’re expensive and because it can take weeks for the results to be returned to the employer. They are designed to show evidence of drug use for up to 90 days prior to the test, but they do not show usage of the last couple of days.
Blood Tests: Are not used by employers because they do a poor job of detecting THC levels in the body. They can only really detect THC usage if the person is high while being tested.
Perspiration Tests: Usually reserved for clinical testing because it’s an invasive test that is not practical in a work environment. It involves applying a patch to the skin which is left for two weeks. It collects perspiration during this period of time and can identify drug use based on the compounds present in a person’s sweat.
What May Affect Drug Test Results After Using Delta 8 THC
If you have used delta 8 THC recently and have a drug test coming up, it’s important to keep in mind that there are certain factors that play a big role in how likely you are to fail. Just because you tried a delta 8 product recently does not necessarily mean that you’re going to end up with a positive test that puts you at risk of losing your employment.
Factor #1: When You Last Took Delta 8
Yes, the last time you took delta 8 can make a difference. If you have not taken it in a couple of weeks, you’re likely in the clear. The more recently you’ve taken it, the more likely you are to fail your test.
Factor #2: How Much Delta 8 You Consume
If you use delta 8 once a week, you’re less likely to fail than if you use it every day, which can cause THC-COOH levels in the body to be higher.
Factor #3: Delivery Method You Use
Different delivery methods can yield unique results.
Inhaling delta 8 is known for being short-lived in terms of its effects, and this can also mean that the delta 8 gets metabolized at a quicker rate than other methods.
Edibles may stay in the system longer due to the more involved process of breaking down the compound, meaning that taking edibles routinely might require more time before you are in the clear prior to taking a test.
Factor #4: Your Body’s Process of Metabolizing Delta 8
Ultimately, our bodies metabolize delta 8 THC differently. Some people may clear out all trace levels of the compound more quickly than others, and there is no way to know how quickly your body metabolizes the compound.
Factor #5: The Strength of Your Delta 8 Product
Higher-milligram strength products are more likely to result in a failed test because there is a higher volume of delta 8 that must be metabolized by the body, and so an influx of THC-COOH is released to break it down.
It’s only natural that delta 8 enthusiasts need to know about the implications of using this compound if they’re regularly tested for THC use. While overall, delta 8 is likely to result in a failed drug test, the result ultimately depends on how frequently you use it, the last time you took delta 8 and other factors based on your particular routine with the compound. If you are someone who gets tested by their employer, it is important to be aware of this information prior to taking delta 8.