Could Delta 8 THC Actually Result in a Failed Drug Test?

Could Delta 8 THC Actually Result in a Failed Drug Test

Could Delta 8 THC Actually Result in a Failed Drug Test?


Did you know interest in delta 8 THC is at an all-time high?  And, with so many new and exciting delta 8 products on the market, a lot of people are eager to get their hands on it.  This mildly psychoactive cannabinoid is federally legal, but in spite of that, you need to be careful about using it.  Why?  Because it does have the potential to affect your employment.  Basically, if you’re someone who is tested for your job, you can make sure that you avoid getting into trouble with your employer despite using a hemp-derived compound that’s legal under federal law.

So, is a Failed Drug Test Possible Due to Taking Delta 8 THC? 

About 90% of employers rely on urine tests when testing their employees.  When we take a urine test that’s meant to identify, among other things, marijuana use, what is that test really looking for?  Interestingly, it’s not actually the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) compound that a urine test can pick up, but a metabolite produced by the body called “tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid (THC-COOH)”.  This metabolite is only produced when consuming THC and can be detected in the urine for weeks after we last used the cannabinoid.

That being said, the delta 9 THC in marijuana and delta 8 THC cause the body to produce THC-COOH.  So, it’s highly likely that taking delta 8 will result in detectable THC-COOH levels in the body, which would yield a positive test for drugs.  Unfortunately, there is no possible way to differentiate between the two types of THC through testing, which means that if you fail your test, your employer probably won’t care when you try to explain to them that you have actually used a federally legal form of THC.

What are the Different Types of Drug Tests Used for Detecting THC?

Nobody wants to fail a drug test, even if they know that they’re using a legal compound.  

  • Urine Tests: Like we said, this test is the most common used for THC by far due to being cost-efficient, having a high accuracy level, and returning results quickly.
  • Saliva Tests: Only show whether or not a person has used THC in the last 10 hours, and so this type of test is rarely used in job settings.  This is because an employee can easily refrain from using drugs during the 10 hours leading up to the test.
  • Hair Tests: Identify traces of drugs in the strands of the hair.  Can show up to 90 days of prior drug use.  But, they are known for having a high inaccuracy rate, and take a long time before the results are given to the employer.
  • Blood Tests: Not a good choice for employees.  Why?  Because it only shows whether or not a person is actually high on THC at the time that the test is being administered.
  • Perspiration Tests: Really only used in clinical environments because of their invasive and time-consuming nature.  They involve applying an adhesive patch to the test subject, which collects trace amounts of perspiration over a period of two weeks.  Compounds present in the subject’s perspiration can indicate drug use.

What Factors Impact the Likelihood of Failing a Urine Test After Using Delta 8 THC?

So, let’s say that you do have a drug test scheduled in the near future, and you’ve recently used delta 8 THC.  Before you panic, keep in mind there are some elements that can affect how likely you are to fail your test.

#1: The Last Time You Used Delta 8

THC-COOH released by using delta 8 can disappear from the urine a couple of weeks to a month after the last time it was taken, so if it’s been a while since you last used delta 8, or thc-o you may have nothing to worry about.  

#2: How Often You Take Delta 8

The more often you use delta 8, the higher the THC-COOH concentrations will be in your blood.  This means that daily users are more likely to fail than those who have only taken it sporadically over the last couple of months.

#3: Type of Delta 8 Product You Use

We know that some delivery methods provide a longer-lasting high than others.  As it turns out, the more long-lasting the delivery method in terms of its effects, the longer it takes for its resulting THC-COOH levels to clear of the body.  For example, if your product type of choice is edibles, then you’ll have THC-COOH levels in the body for longer after your last dose, compared to, say, vapes, which clear from the system more quickly.

#4: How Quickly You Metabolize THC

Some of us just naturally metabolize THC more quickly than others, and while there’s no way to know this ahead of time, you may be one of the lucky ones whose body clears THC fast enough that THC-COOH levels will be gone before the time of your test.

#5: Delta 8 Product’s Strength

Essentially, the higher milligrams of delta 8 that are in your product of choice, the risk of failing a drug test increases.  This is because the more delta-8 you take, the more THC-COOH must be released to break it down properly.


Key Tip: If you do have a drug test coming up, the best way to avoid failing it is to simply abstain from using delta 8 THC altogether – ideally, about 6 weeks prior to the test.  This is the only real way to avoid the risk of your employment being threatened.

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