If medical or recreational cannabis isn’t legal in your state, but you still want to make the most of it, you might be considering using delta 8 THC. Delta 8 THC is a less-potent alternative to its illegal cousin, delta-9 – providing the ‘high’ associated with marijuana use without breaking the law (technically). But the story doesn’t end there.

Depending on your profession or circumstances, you may be required to undergo routine drug screening. Could cannabis consumption penalize you? More specifically, does delta 8 THC show up in urine?

Sorry, but I don’t bear good news. You are likely to fail a drug test if delta 8 THC is in your system. Here is why and how this may happen:

Two Sides of the Same Coin

Delta-8 is part of the CBD family commonly found in growing marijuana or hemp plants. The compounds in delta-8 THC result from delta-9’s degradation, producing subtle differences. Delta 8 and delta 9 have more or less the same formulation, with the only difference being in their properties. Let me not bore you with a scientific explanation as it would require going back to a chemistry class. 

Technically, the two variants look different, and the body responds differently to each. Besides, there’s no way to guarantee the purity of your delta-8. In short, you could be using delta-8 marijuana containing delta-9. Yep, that’s the reality on the ground. Unsurprisingly, evidence suggests that delta-8 products commonly sport delta-9 THC. But wait, there’s more.

If your seller isn’t the transparent type, they could add other unexpected stuff to your delta-8 or fail to disclose the results of third-party lab tests. That’s why it’s advisable to only buy from reputable sellers. But let’s not digress. 

Theoretically, delta-8 THC isn’t illegal as it contains more stable compounds, which lead to minor intoxication. That may also explain why many people have made the switch to it. Besides, there is less risk of paranoia or other adverse cognitive side effects of delta-8 use.

How Delta-8 Can Make You Fail a Drug Test

Once THC’s effects have died down in your body, its metabolites (remnants of the breakdown process) stay in your system. Drug tests check for these metabolites in most cases and can easily pick out delta 9 THC. Remember, we noted that delta 8 and 9 are birds of a feather- the metabolites don’t vary. That’s how you could end up flunking a drug test.

Some experts argue that THC metabolites could linger in your urine for 30 to 60 days. However, various factors could affect the range. THC is fat-soluble, making it harder for your body to get rid of it, unlike other water-soluble compounds. Some of the factors that could come into play and determine whether the test captures any metabolites in your body include:

  • Type of ingested delta 8 THC- tincture, vape, or edible
  • The potency of the delta-8 strain and the amount consumed
  • Your metabolism rate
  • Frequency of consumption
  • Gender
  • Level of hydration
  • Age

Types of Urine Tests

Technicians carry out drug tests in a variety of ways. The most common urine tests for illegal substances include:

  • The test’s gas chromatography or mass spectrometry (GS- MS) delivers more accurate results but takes more time.
  • Immunoassay (IA) test- a quicker alternative to test samples but provides less precise results.

Although a drug test’s top limit of THC is 50 ng/ml if your blood is tested, THC metabolites have a lower cut-off mark of 30ng/ml. As such, the IA test can easily detect THC in your system. But, you could request a repeat of the test using the GS or MS approach as it specifically checks for delta 9 metabolites. Doing so could let you off the hook if your job is on the line.

A more rigorous test could use your hair, in which case delta-8 THC could be found in your system 90 days after you last indulged! Generally, THC stays in your body for between two and 30 days. What’s the implication of such information? You will have to do away with delta-8 THC if you intend to pass a drug test. Otherwise, you would be on the losing end if you try to beat a test or skirt a failed test.

Ultimately, it would help if you made the hard choice. The truth is, you could quickly fail a drug test due to delta-8 use. Is the momentary ‘high’ worth the risk of losing a job or other potential implications? I hope you make the right choice as the ball is squarely in your court.