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How Long Does Delta 8 THC Stay in Your System?

Hayley Heidelbaugh
January 30, 2024

Everyone knows to steer clear of marijuana before a drug test. But what about cannabis-based products that don’t come from marijuana, such as delta 8 THC carts?

Unfortunately, hemp-derived THC isn’t a step up if you’re looking to pass a urine, blood, or saliva screening. It’s an even worse idea if you’re facing an ultra-sensitive hair test.

Screenings check for the presence of THC or its metabolites in your system. They don’t care how the THC got there, or whether it came from marijuana or hemp. After ingesting delta 8 products, the compound can last in your system for several weeks. The exact length of time depends on the frequency of use, metabolism, health conditions, and more.

What is delta 8 THC?

Delta 8 THC is a cousin to delta 9 THC, the cannabinoid in marijuana that causes euphoria; in other words, it’s what makes you high.

Unlike delta 9, only small quantities of delta 8 THC occur naturally in the cannabis plant. Because there is so little delta 8 present in the plants, manufacturers must chemically convert legal CBD  to produce enough of the cannabinoid to make delta 8 edibles, carts, D8 disposable pens, etc.

Because CBD is extracted from hemp, it’s legal under the 2018 Farm Bill. Delta 8 shares this legal status, but states have their own laws, and several have banned or restricted delta 8, including Colorado, Delaware, and Oregon.

Like delta 9 THC, ingesting delta 8 will cause someone to become high, although the effects are milder. This makes it an obvious substitute for marijuana products, and a great choice if you live in a state without legal marijuana.

Koi Delta 8 Gummies

Koi Delta 8 Gummies

Koi Delta 8 gummies contain 25 mg of hemp-derived D8, guaranteed to deliver a powerful, uplifting effect. The gummies come in 6, 20, and 60-packs and in five refreshing fruity flavor options. As always, Koi products are thoroughly tested by a third-party lab for potency and purity, ensuring high quality and consistency.

Do drug tests screen for delta 8 THC?

A drug test searching for THC will pick up on delta 8 use. All common testing methods, including urine, saliva, blood, and hair tests, can detect delta 8 THC or its metabolites.

Tests designed to find delta 9 THC detect delta 8 THC too. This is especially true for popular urine testing methods. Both cannabinoids have an extremely similar chemical structure, meaning that drug tests didn’t need reformulating to detect delta 8. Perhaps more importantly, delta 8 and delta 9 THC produce the same metabolites.

New tests are being created to specifically detect delta 8 in the body. However, this is mainly to fill the gap for confirmation of specific delta 8 THC use. If you’re only receiving a pre-employment screening, you’re unlikely to undergo rigorous confirmation testing.

Need another reason to avoid delta 8 if you have an upcoming screening? While delta 8 products are legally required to contain less than 0.3% THC, consistent use can cause these trace amounts to add up. This can even occur through the use of CBD products or other non-intoxicating cannabinoids.

Can I tell how long delta 8 will stay in my system?

How can we actually pinpoint delta 8’s stay in your system? It varies from individual to individual, and a number of factors need to be considered. What we can do is examine THC-related studies to create estimates.

Anything from metabolism to the method of consumption will probably alter how long delta 8 lasts in your system. Here are a few of those key variables:

  • Metabolic rate: Everyone’s body processes foreign substances at its own rate. Some people are naturally predisposed to metabolizing THC faster or slower.
  • Frequency of use: The more often you use THC—whether it’s vaping, edibles, or even delta 8 tinctures—the more it will build up in your system. Those who use delta 8 products infrequently may clear out metabolites within just a few days of consumption.
  • Health history: A history of liver or kidney problems, in particular, can incite slower delta 8 filtration. Prescription or over-the-counter medications can also interfere with how quickly delta 8 THC is processed.
  • Age: Our metabolisms slow with age, and so does our ability to efficiently process THC. If you’re an older adult, you may require additional time to clear your system.
  • Body mass index (BMI): THC and its metabolites are predominantly stored in fat cells and released over time. A higher percentage of body fat can mean more THC stores and slower metabolization.
  • Physical or emotional stress: Large amounts of stress, including mental stress or anxiety, can slow down our metabolisms.
  • Method of consumption: There’s evidence to suggest that consuming edibles causes THC to stay in the body longer than vaping or smoking. More specifically, this study focused on saliva tests. The difference appears to be slight.

How long delta 8 lasts in your body

When you consume a cannabinoid like delta 8, it’s stored in your body’s cells. Fat cells are the most common storage location, but traces of THC can be found in nail and hair cells, too.

With time, delta 8 THC is metabolized and released from your cells in the form of its metabolites. Most drug screenings search for these metabolites, including THC-COOH and 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC. Either of these compounds can be a byproduct of delta 8 detected in drug screens.

Individuals facing a pre-employment drug screening (or any scheduled test) should stay away from delta 8 for several weeks. This can even be extended to a month or longer, if you’re a long-term, chronic user.

How long does delta 8 stay in your urine?

Urine tests are reliable and simple to perform, making them the top choice for employment-related testing. Although it’s not the most sensitive THC testing method, urinalysis does a solid job at detecting long-term or recent use — usually within a month of last consumption.

After a single use, delta 8 can remain detectable in urine for around a week. Casual users (those who consume delta 8 up to three times per week) will need closer to two weeks for the cannabinoid to clear out.

Daily users, or individuals with a high percentage of body fat, should abstain for at least a month.

How long does delta 8 stay in saliva and blood?

Saliva and blood tests are mainly used to verify THC ingestion within the past several days.

Generally, saliva tests detect delta 8 THC for three days after consumption. Traces of delta 8 can last in saliva for up to a month with long-term, daily use. Blood tests have a similar detection window.

How long does delta 8 stay in hair?

Hair tests aren’t nearly as common, but they are more sensitive than other testing methods.  Longer hair samples are more likely to provide accurate results.

Even if you’ve only consumed delta 8 one time, traces can linger in hair cells for a maximum of three months. Longer-term use is more likely to trigger a positive result.

TRĒ House Live Resin Delta 8 Cartridge

TRĒ House Live Resin Delta 8 Cartridge

Thanks to a blast of natural terpenes, TRĒ House captures the taste and aroma of Gelato, a sweet and creamy cannabis strain. Each 510 thread cart is brimming with one gram of premium weed oil. At 900 mg of delta 8 THC per cart, it’s easy to get lifted. TRĒ House products are lab-tested and ready to savor.

How to clear delta 8 from your system

There’s only one way to guarantee delta 8 is out of your system: temporarily abstain from using cannabis products.

Of course, boosting your metabolic rate can theoretically help with delta 8 filtration, in the long term. This may not be effective if you have a drug test coming in the next week; instead, it’s all about building and maintaining healthy habits.

Regular exercise is beneficial to our overall health, including metabolism. Staying in shape, in general, is the best way to keep your metabolism (and organs like the kidney or liver) at peak condition. The same goes for eating a healthy, high-fiber diet.

According to some cannabis users, drinking large quantities of water before a test can help clear out THC faster. Be careful if you decide to try this method. While hydration is crucial to health and maximizing metabolism, too much water can overwhelm the kidneys.

Stay away from expensive products that promise to flush THC from your system. There’s no significant evidence that these products are effective in detoxing THC, whether we’re talking about delta 8 or delta 9. They could even contain unhealthy or hazardous ingredients.

The takeaway: avoid delta 8 THC before a drug test

It’s an unfortunate reality, but there’s no way around it. Like delta 9 THC before it, delta 8 will show up on drug tests. These cannabinoids are nearly identical when it comes to structure. Plus, they produce the same metabolites, like 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC and THC-COOH. Drug screenings don’t differentiate between marijuana-derived THC and its hemp-derived counterpart.

Before a drug test, stay away from detox gimmicks. There’s little evidence supporting these products, and they may do more harm than good — even if that harm is done to your wallet. Instead, take a few weeks away from delta 8 products to clear out your system. That’s really all there is to it.

I'm a Pennsylvania-based cannabis enthusiast and writer. As a part of the Vaping360 team, I'm eager to help cannabis consumers explore vaping and get the most out of their experience. You can also find me @faeberrystudios on Instagram.
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