Does Delta 8 Show Up on Drug Tests? A Concise Analysis

D8 Show Up On Drug Test
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Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-8 THC) has gained popularity as a legal alternative to Delta-9 THC, the primary psychoactive component of cannabis. Like its more well-known cousin, Delta-8 THC interacts with the body’s cannabinoid receptors and offers some of the same effects, such as relaxation and pain relief. However, its lower potency and legal status in many jurisdictions have made it an appealing option for individuals seeking the benefits of cannabinoids without breaking the law.

As Delta-8 THC use increases, questions arise about its detection in drug tests, which are typically designed to identify Delta-9 THC and its metabolites. Although Delta-8 THC shares similarities with Delta-9 THC, the differences between the two compounds raise concerns about the accuracy of drug tests in distinguishing them. This issue has significant implications for employees, athletes, and anyone subjected to drug testing.

Key Takeaways

  • Delta-8 THC is a legal alternative to Delta-9 THC with similar effects but reduced potency
  • Drug tests may struggle to accurately differentiate between Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC
  • The implications of Delta-8 THC detection in drug tests are important for various individuals subjected to testing

Delta 8 THC Overview

Delta 8 THC, also known as delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, is a minor cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It has gained popularity in recent years due to its similarities to the more well-known delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), which is the main psychoactive compound found in cannabis. Despite being chemically similar, delta 8 THC exhibits a lower psychoactive potency than delta-9 THC, offering users a milder and clearer-headed high.

Delta 8 THC is present in the cannabis plant in only very small quantities, but advancements in extraction and isolation techniques have made it possible to produce delta 8 THC products in higher concentrations. These products, such as tinctures, gummies, and vape cartridges, are now widely available on the market and are gaining attention for their potential therapeutic effects.

Some of the potential medical benefits associated with delta 8 THC include antiemetic (nausea relief), analgesic (pain relief), and anxiolytic (anxiety relief) properties. These benefits may make delta 8 THC an appealing option for medical cannabis patients who desire the therapeutic effects of cannabis without the intense psychoactive effects of delta-9 THC.

When it comes to drug testing, many standard tests are designed to detect the presence of delta-9 THC and its metabolites. However, delta 8 THC cannot be distinguished from delta-9 THC in some of these tests because the urine drug screening looks for similar chemical compounds. This can lead to potential issues for users of delta 8 THC, as they may inadvertently trigger a positive test result even if they have not consumed any delta-9 THC-containing products.

In summary, delta 8 THC is a lesser-known cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant that has gained popularity due to its milder psychoactive effects and potential therapeutic benefits. However, users should be aware of the risks associated with drug testing, as current methods may not be able to accurately differentiate between delta 8 THC and the more commonly tested delta-9 THC.

Delta 8 THC vs Delta 9 THC

Both Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC are naturally occurring compounds found in the cannabis plant. They share some similarities but also have distinct differences, which impact their effects and how they show up on drug tests.

Delta 8 THC (Δ8 THC) is a minor cannabinoid that is less common than its well-known counterpart, Delta 9 THC (Δ9 THC). While both are psychoactive compounds, they differ in terms of their potency and chemical structure. Δ9 THC is known for its strong intoxicating effects, whereas Δ8 THC is often described as offering a milder, more clear-headed high. Despite being less potent, Δ8 THC still has psychoactive properties and may have similar therapeutic effects as Δ9 THC.

On a molecular level, the primary difference between Δ8 THC and Δ9 THC lies in the position of a double bond in their chemical structures. This seemingly small difference impacts how the compounds interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. As a result, the overall effects of Δ8 THC can be less intense and have a lower risk of inducing anxiety or paranoia compared to Δ9 THC.

When it comes to drug testing, most standard urine tests are designed to detect Δ9 THC and its metabolites. However, a study has shown that Δ8 THC can also yield a positive result on an immunoassay urine drug test in some cases. This is due to the structural similarities between Δ8 THC and Δ9 THC, which can cause cross-reactivity in the tests.

It is important to understand that a positive result for Δ8 THC on a drug test may be less conclusive than a positive result for Δ9 THC, as the tests cannot definitively differentiate between the two compounds. For individuals who consume Δ8 THC products, it may be worth considering the potential implications for drug testing and exercising caution with usage, especially if they are subject to regular or random testing in their workplace or personal lives.

Drug Tests and Substances Detected

Drug tests are used to detect the presence of various substances in an individual’s system. They can be conducted using different types of samples, such as urine, blood, hair, or saliva. The choice of the sample type depends on the substance being tested and the desired detection time window.

Urine tests are the most common form of drug testing due to their ease of collection and ability to detect many substances. They can detect substances such as opioids, cocaine, marijuana, amphetamines, and more. Urine tests can typically detect substances within 2 to 5 hours after use and up to 7 days, depending on the substance and individual factors.
Blood tests are more invasive but can provide a more accurate representation of the amount of substance in the individual’s system at the time of the test. They can detect substances like opioids, cocaine, and marijuana. Blood tests have a shorter detection window compared to urine tests, with most substances being detectable within 24 hours of use.
Hair tests can detect drug use over a longer period, usually up to 90 days, as substances are incorporated into the hair as it grows. They are less commonly used due to their higher cost and longer processing time. Hair tests can detect substances such as opioids, cocaine, marijuana, and amphetamines.
Saliva tests are less invasive than blood tests and can detect substances like opioids, cocaine, and marijuana, with a detection window similar to blood tests. Saliva tests are often used for detecting recent use of substances, generally within 24 to 48 hours of consumption.

It is important to note that the detection of delta 8 THC in drug tests may vary depending on the test used. Delta 8 THC is chemically similar to delta 9 THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana. Some drug tests may not distinguish between the two compounds, leading to potential false-positive results for marijuana use. However, more specific tests that distinguish between delta 8 and delta 9 THC are available in certain cases.

Delta 8 THC Detection in Drug Tests

A lady conducting a drug test

Urine Tests and Delta 8 THC

Urine tests are the most common type of drug test, and they usually screen for the presence of delta-9 THC and its metabolites. Delta-8 THC has a similar chemical structure to delta-9 THC, which might lead to positive results on an immunoassay urine drug test. In a study involving pediatric patients, delta-8 THC showed up positive on urine tests, despite the absence of delta-9 THC and its metabolites. However, more research is needed to determine the frequency and reliability of detecting delta-8 THC in urine tests.

Blood Tests and Delta 8 THC

Blood tests for THC typically target delta-9 THC and its metabolites. However, there is limited information on the detection of delta-8 THC in blood tests. A study focused on driving under the influence of drugs found that 5% of delta-9 THC positive samples also contained delta-8 THC. While this is notable, more research is required to understand the sensitivity and accuracy of blood tests for detecting delta-8 THC.

Hair Tests and Delta 8 THC

Hair tests generally look for the presence of delta-9 THC and its metabolites in the hair shaft. Given the similar chemical structures of delta-8 and delta-9 THC, it’s possible that hair tests could detect delta-8 THC as well. However, conclusive evidence and research in this area are currently lacking.

Saliva Tests and Delta 8 THC

Saliva tests, like other drug tests, mostly focus on detecting delta-9 THC. There is scarce information on the presence or detection of delta-8 THC in saliva tests. More research is needed to determine if delta-8 THC can be identified through this testing method and what the implications are for those who have consumed delta-8 THC products.

In summary, while the primary focus of drug tests is usually the detection of delta-9 THC and its metabolites, delta-8 THC may still show up in some tests due to its similar chemical structure. Additional research is essential to fully understand the detection limits and accuracy of various drug testing methods for delta-8 THC.

Factors Influencing Delta 8 THC Detection

When it comes to detecting Delta 8 THC in drug tests, several factors can influence its presence and duration in the body. These factors include metabolism, weight, frequency of use, duration, and dosage.

Metabolism plays a significant role in the detection of Delta 8 THC, as individuals with faster metabolic rates are likely to eliminate the substance from their system more quickly than those with slower rates. Metabolism can be influenced by factors such as age, genetics, and overall health.
Weight is another factor because Delta 8 THC is stored in fat cells. People with higher body fat percentages may retain the compound for longer periods, while those with lower body fat may eliminate it more rapidly.
Frequency of use directly impacts the detection of Delta 8 THC. Regular users typically have higher concentrations of the substance in their system, resulting in a longer detection window. On the other hand, occasional users may have lower levels, leading to a shorter detection period.
The duration for which a person has been using Delta 8 THC can also impact detection. Prolonged use may result in the accumulation of the compound in fat cells, while short-term use may be less likely to produce detectable levels.
Finally, the dosage of Delta 8 THC consumed can influence its detection. Higher doses may lead to increased concentrations in the body and longer detection times, particularly for those who use the substance frequently.

It’s essential to keep in mind that individual factors can vary significantly, and the ability to detect Delta 8 THC in drug tests may not be consistent for everyone. Ultimately, a person’s unique circumstances will determine how Delta 8 THC is processed and eliminated from their body.

Legal Implications of Delta 8 THC Detection

Delta 8 THC is a cannabinoid found in hemp that has gained popularity due to its psychoactive effects. However, these effects are less potent than those of its cousin, Delta 9 THC found in marijuana. As a result, the legal status of Delta 8 THC remains in a gray area, which can lead to complications when it comes to drug testing.

Although the 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, making it a legal agricultural commodity, Delta 8 THC’s legality is still ambiguous under this law. Some interpretations argue that the legality of Delta 8 THC depends on its derivation from hemp, while others contend that it falls under Schedule I controlled substances due to its psychoactive effects.

Court Judge working on the law regarding delta 8 thc

The uncertain legal status of Delta 8 THC can create challenges for employers implementing drug testing policies. If a drug screening detects Delta 8 THC in an employee’s system, employers might face difficulties in determining whether the substance is legal based on federal and state regulations. Consequently, they may be unsure about the appropriate response, potentially causing conflicts between employers and employees.

Moreover, not all drug tests can differentiate between Delta 9 THC and Delta 8 THC, leading to potential false positives. It is essential for laboratory testing protocols to be updated in order to accurately identify Delta 8 THC consumption. In the meantime, employees who use Delta 8 THC products may face unintended consequences as their use could be mistaken for the consumption of a controlled substance.

In conclusion, the legal implications of Delta 8 THC detection in drug tests are complex and require further clarification. Employers, employees, and lawmakers need to address the challenges this substance poses in the context of drug testing policies. Ultimately, it is crucial for parties involved in drug testing to stay informed about the ever-changing landscape of cannabis regulations.

Delta 8 THC Products

Delta 8 THC is a cannabinoid found in hemp and is closely related to the more well-known Delta 9 THC. Delta 8 THC products have gained popularity due to their perceived milder psychoactive effects and legal status in some areas. These products are available in various forms, such as CBD, tinctures, vapes, edibles, gummies, and concentrates.

Delta 8 THC products all together

As a versatile compound, Delta 8 THC is infused into a wide range of products, providing users with numerous consumption options. Hemp-derived Delta 8 THC products are often advertised as a legal alternative to traditional Delta 9 THC products, containing 0.3% or less Delta 9 THC to comply with the legal requirements.

Tinctures are liquid extracts that typically come in a dropper bottle for easy dosing. They are made by dissolving Delta 8 THC in an alcohol or oil-based solution and can be taken sublingually or mixed into food and beverages. This method offers users a discreet and convenient way to consume Delta 8 THC.
Vapes and concentrates are another popular way of consuming Delta 8 THC. The Delta 8 THC is extracted as a concentrate and then vaporized using an electronic device known as a vape pen or dab rig. This method allows for a more potent and immediate effect but requires some additional equipment and expertise.
Edibles and gummies are often favored for their ease of use and long-lasting effects. Delta 8 THC is infused into various food products, such as gummies, chocolates, and cookies, offering a convenient and discreet way to enjoy the compound. Although the onset of effects may take longer than other methods, edibles tend to provide more extended and consistent relief.
Delta 8 gummies are a popular choice among users who want a hassle-free and tasty way to consume Delta 8 THC. Gummies come in various flavors and potencies, making them an appealing option for beginners and experienced users alike.

With a range of Delta 8 THC products available, consumers can select the most appropriate consumption method for their needs and preferences. However, it is essential to purchase products from reputable sources and stay informed about the unregulated distribution and sale of Delta 8 THC products.

Alternative and Complementary Options

Delta-8 THC is a cannabinoid that has gained attention for its potential benefits and similarities to delta-9 THC, the main psychoactive compound found in cannabis. However, many people who use delta-8 THC wonder if it will show up on drug tests. In this section, we’ll explore some alternative and complementary options in the world of cannabinoids that may not pose the same drug testing concerns.

Cannabidiol (CBD), another cannabinoid found in cannabis and hemp, is a popular alternative to delta-8 THC due to its potential therapeutic benefits without the psychoactive effects. Users seeking relief from pain, anxiety, and inflammation without the risk of causing a positive result on a drug test can consider using CBD products instead.
Delta-10 THC is a lesser-known cannabinoid that has recently started to gain interest. While research on delta-10 is limited, preliminary evidence suggests that it may have similar psychoactive effects as delta-8, but with less potency. This cannabinoid has not yet been widely studied in terms of drug testing, so it is crucial to approach it with caution.

When considering alternative cannabinoids, it’s essential to understand that drug testing methods can vary in their level of sensitivity and specificity. This means that, depending on the test used, some cannabinoids may trigger false positives or false negatives. For example, certain tests may not differentiate between delta-8, delta-9, or even CBD, potentially leading to an unintended positive result.

To deploy a safer approach, many users opt for complementary methods addressing their health concerns without relying solely on cannabinoids. Incorporating holistic wellness techniques, such as yoga, meditation, exercise, and a healthy diet, can provide natural, drug-free relief for various conditions. Similarly, consulting a healthcare professional about the use of herbal supplements or alternative therapies like acupuncture may offer additional options with minimal drug testing risk.

In conclusion, exploring the world of cannabinoids and complementary options can provide users with a wide range of potential benefits. However, it is critical to be aware of the potential implications on drug testing and take necessary precautions.

Health Effects and Safety of Delta 8 THC

Delta 8 THC is a psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant, which has been gaining popularity in recent years. While it shares some similarities with its more well-known counterpart, Delta 9 THC, Delta 8 THC has some distinct differences in terms of its effects and safety profile.

Delta 8 THC is known to produce a milder and more clear-headed high compared to Delta 9 THC, making it an appealing option for those looking for a less intense experience. Many users report that Delta 8 THC can help alleviate symptoms such as pain, stress, anxiety, and depression without causing the overwhelming psychoactive effects sometimes associated with Delta 9 THC use. However, there is still a potential for side effects, such as panic attacks and worsening depression, if Delta 8 THC is consumed in large quantities or by individuals with a predisposition to mental health issues.

The safety profile of Delta 8 THC is still not fully understood, mainly because of the limited research available on this compound. Some studies suggest that it might have a lower risk of adverse effects compared to Delta 9 THC1, but much more research is needed to establish its safety and long-term effects. In terms of acute side effects, users have reported mild symptoms, such as dizziness, dry mouth, and fatigue, but these side effects are generally considered to be relatively mild and short-lived.

A guy enjoying his delta 8 vape

It is essential to point out that the production and sale of Delta 8 THC products remain largely unregulated, which raises concerns about product safety and quality. This lack of regulation also means that some Delta 8 THC products might contain higher amounts of Delta 9 THC or other contaminants, which could pose additional health risks2.

As for the question of whether Delta 8 THC shows up on drug tests, current urine drug screenings cannot distinguish between Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC3. This means that using Delta 8 THC products might still result in a positive drug test for marijuana, even though the effects of the two compounds can be notably different.

In summary, Delta 8 THC does have some potential therapeutic benefits for managing symptoms like pain, stress, and anxiety. However, its safety profile still requires further investigation, and users must exercise caution when consuming Delta 8 THC products due to the potential for adverse effects and the lack of regulation in the industry.


Delta 8 THC can potentially show up on drug tests, as it has a similar chemical structure to Delta 9 THC, the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis. Research conducted on Delta 8 THC has shown that it can result in a positive test for cannabinoids and may cross-react as a false positive for carboxy-THC, the main metabolite tested in standard drug tests.

While Delta 8 THC is less potent than Delta 9 THC, its presence in drug tests is still a concern for those using Delta 8 products. The level of detection may vary depending on the sensitivity of the test and the specific product being used. Some Delta 8 THC products may cause a positive test result due to their concentrations of Delta 9 THC, even if they comply with the legal 0.3% threshold for overall THC content.

In conclusion, if you are using Delta 8 THC products, be aware of the potential for a positive drug test result. It is important to be cautious with the types of products you choose, as well as the concentrations of Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC present. It is always advisable to consult with a medical professional or employer if you have concerns about drug testing and your usage of Delta 8 THC or any other cannabinoid products.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Delta-8 show up on a standard drug test?

Yes, Delta-8 THC can show up on a standard drug test, much like its close relative Delta-9 THC. This is because most drug tests look for THC metabolites, and both Delta-8 and Delta-9 produce similar metabolites when processed by the human body. However, the concentration of Delta-8 THC in urine might be lower, depending on several factors such as the amount consumed and the method of consumption.

Is there a difference between Delta-8 and Delta-10 detection on drug tests?

There might be a slight difference in the levels of metabolites detected between Delta-8 and Delta-10 THC on a drug test. Since both compounds are similar but still have structural differences, the levels of metabolites produced and detected could vary. Keep in mind that both Delta-8 and Delta-10 are cannabinoids, and they might be detected on drug tests that look for THC metabolites.

For how long can Delta-8 be detected in urine samples?

The detection period for Delta-8 THC in urine samples can vary based on factors such as the frequency of use, dosage, metabolism, and individual body composition. In general, THC metabolites can be detected in urine for up to 3-30 days after the last use. However, heavy or prolonged use of Delta-8 THC may result in a longer detection period.

Are hair drug tests affected by Delta-8 use?

Yes, hair drug tests can potentially detect Delta-8 use. Hair drug tests look for THC metabolites embedded within the hair shaft, so if Delta-8 is consumed, it might be detected. However, the actual detection time will vary depending on factors such as the amount of Delta-8 used, hair growth rate, and the test’s sensitivity.

Is there a way to detox Delta-8 quickly from the body?

There is no foolproof way to detox Delta-8 rapidly from the body. However, certain measures can help accelerate the process. These include staying hydrated, eating a balanced diet, engaging in regular exercise, and getting adequate sleep. Keep in mind that these measures do not guarantee the removal of Delta-8 from your system before a drug test, and individual results may vary.

Can CBD consumption cause a false positive on drug tests?

While CBD itself should not cause a false positive on drug tests, consuming full-spectrum CBD products containing trace amounts of THC might. THC is the compound screened for in most drug tests, so if the full-spectrum CBD product contains even small amounts, it may result in a positive test. To minimize this risk, opt for broad-spectrum or CBD isolate products that contain no detectable levels of THC.


  1. Delta ‐ 8 tetrahydrocannabinol: a scoping review and commentary
  2. Delta – 8 – THC craze concerns chemists
  3. Delta – 8 – THC association with psychosis: A case report with literature review