Does Delta 8 Show Up on a Drug Test?

An influx of people are introducing delta 8 THC into their daily routines, thanks to the cannabinoid’s role as a legal psychoactive derived from the hemp plant.  Maintaining about 70% of delta9’s psychoactive activity, delta 8 is milder than delta 9, and offers a buzz that many find to be soothing, bliss-inducing, and mellowing to the mood.  But, if you’re someone who is getting drug-tested in the near future, it is hard to imagine feeling relaxed about your delta 8 experience.

Delta 8 THC and Drug Tests: What You Need to Know

Basically, the answer is yes: delta 8 THC can cause a positive drug test result.  This is because all tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) compounds are all metabolized by the same enzyme, which is known as THC-COOH.  This enzyme will therefore be present in your urine regardless of the type of THC compound you took, and it’s extremely unlikely that the person administering the test will make an exception for you since you took delta 8 rather than delta 9 THC.

Note: Delta 8 THC is federally legal, however, this will likely not shield you, should a positive drug test result come about with repercussions.  Why?  Because these drug tests ultimately cannot identify the difference between delta 8, a legal cannabinoid, and delta 9, a federally illegal cannabinoid.

How Long Can You Test Positive for Delta 8 THC?

Now, here’s where things get complicated.  Yes, delta 8 usage can cause a failed drug test.  But, how long after delta 8 was last used can you still test positive?  The answer is generally anywhere from 2 days to 30 days, and rare circumstances can cause a person to test positive for even a couple of weeks after that.

  • Urine Tests: Urine tests are the most standard type of test administered by employers and probation officers, which identify THC-COOH in the urine.  THC-COOH can be present for 2 to 30+ days after delta 8 was consumed.
  • Hair Follicle Tests: Hair follicle tests are basically never administered for employment purposes and are more commonly associated with autopsies.  A hair follicle test can show delta 8 usage for up to 90 days.
  • Saliva Tests: Saliva tests are also quite unpopular because of how unreliable they can be in terms of accuracy, and because they only detect THC usage for up to 10 hours.

Factors That Influence the Levels of THC-COOH in the Body

Besides the type of test itself, there are several factors that play a role in how likely you are to fail a drug test due to the use of delta 8 THC.  Also, there is such a broad window of time during which you need to be careful if you’ve a drug test approaching.

Factor #1: How Often You Use Delta 8

How often you are taking delta 8 plays a role, as taking it very frequently can essentially cause the metabolic process to back up like a traffic jam.  Taking delta 8 once a day or more means that THC-COOH levels can remain in the body for a longer period of time than they would if you were only using it occasionally.

Factor #2: How You Metabolize Delta 8

Some people just metabolize delta 8 more quickly than others, for reasons that are not completely understood, and may be genetic in origin.  This means that even if you think that delta 8 THC is cleared from the body because of how long it’s been since you’ve last taken it, certain biochemical factors may in fact cause you to take longer to process the cannabinoid.

Factor #3: The Delta 8 Product You’re Using 

Generally, the type of product you use plays a role in how long the delta 8 metabolizes.  Products with the shortest-lasting effects, like vapes, clear more quickly from the body than products with the longest-lasting effects, like edibles.

#4: How Much Delta 8 You’re Taking

Naturally, dosage and milligram strength play a role, because the more delta 8 THC gets introduced into your body, the longer it takes for THC-COOH to metabolize the cannabinoid and allow it to leave your system.

#5: When You Last Took Delta 8

It goes without saying that another factor is when you last took it.  Obviously, if you only tried delta 8 one time months ago, you’re in the clear.  If you took delta 8 THC a couple of days before the drug test, you may be in trouble.

Can Certain Products Help You Pass a THC Drug Test?

A lot of people are hopeful that certain methods they’ve read about on the internet will help their body flush THC-COOH out from their system faster.  While no method has ever been proven to be effective, allow us to break down the most common ones that you may have heard about.

For better or worse, the only true method to prevent testing positive for THC is by abstaining from delta 8 completely.


  • Zinc Supplements: Some people have claimed that supplementing with zinc allows for a false negative due to the mineral’s interaction with THC-COOH in the body.


  • Cranberry Juice: Because cranberry juice is a diuretic, the hope is that it will cause a person to quickly flush THC-COOH out of the system by increasing the rate of urination.


  • Water: Some think that if they drink enough water, this will dilute the delta 8 THC in their urine to undetectable levels.  But, this is likely not possible.


  • Detox Products: Detox products advertised for drug tests promise to speed up the process of metabolization with specific nutrients.  But, these products don’t seem to influence THC-COOH levels in a substantial way.


The Bottom Line: Wait Until After Your Test to Take Delta 8 THC

If you have a drug test coming up, the only way to guarantee that you won’t fail is by simply abstaining from delta 8 THC altogether.  There is no proven method that will clear THC-COOH from your body faster, and it’s simply not worth the anxiety to take the risk.  After your test is completed, you can enjoy the cannabinoid as you so desire, assuming you won’t be tested again in the near future.


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