Delta-8 THC is a cannabinoid most often extracted from hemp. Ever since the passing of the Farm Bill in 2018, hemp crops have been popping up nationwide. With so many uses and benefits, hemp manufacturers are creating a multitude of products that contain hemp’s active cannabinoids. CBD is perhaps the most notable, but Delta-8 THC has been gaining popularity for its likeness to delta-9 THC as of late. How do these THC derivatives differ? If hemp is legal, what does it take to pass a delta-8 THC drug test?
Let’s take a look.
Intro to Delta-8 THC
Delta-8 THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid commonly extracted from hemp. Psychoactive is a term used to describe something that “affects the mind”. However, delta-8 THC does not produce the same high that is associated with marijuana. That effect is the result of consuming delta-9 THC, the predominant cannabinoid in marijuana. Delta-9 THC is legal in states with a recreational adult-use or medical marijuana program. Delta-8 THC is in a bit of a legal gray area since it comes from the hemp plant.
Although similar in structure and legality, delta-8 and delta-9 have some differences in both physical and mental effects. Some of which make delta-8 a more desirable alternative, especially for those living in areas that do not have a legalized cannabis program.
What Does Delta-8 Feel Like?
Cannabinoids work by attaching to receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Delta-8 THC binds to these receptors a little differently than delta-9 THC, which tends to produce milder effects. Users report feeling less “stoned”, although they still experience the classic influences of marijuana such as light sedation, mild euphoria, happiness, relaxation, and reduced physical pain or tension. Delta-8 is described as less potent than delta-9, but with many of the same benefits. It’s a great option for those that don’t have access to legal weed, but want to experience a cannabis product.
Many people prefer the lighter effects of delta-8, as delta-9 can often be too potent, especially for first-time users. Everyone reacts differently to cannabis, whether they are using marijuana or hemp. Factors like set and setting can also contribute to the overall experience, but perhaps the most significant determining factors in effects are dosage and method of consumption.
Cannabis products come in various form factors. Smoking weed (or hemp) is no longer the only way to enjoy cannabis, and for many people, it isn’t the preferred method. It’s important to know that the consumption method plays a role in how long it takes to feel effects and how strong those effects will be. When comparing delta-8 THC to delta-9 THC, the onset times will be the same, but remember that the physiological and psychological impact will be much more mellow.
A vaporizer is a device that uses a heating element to turn a cannabis extract into an inhalable vapor. Vape pens, or cartridges, are a popular way to consume both marijuana and hemp. These concentrated extracts are higher in the desired cannabinoid, such as delta-8 THC, and produce more robust effects than smoking the flower of the hemp plant. Vaping will produce initial results within minutes, but full effects may take 60-90 minutes. The entire duration is roughly four to five hours.
A tincture works by engaging the sublingual delivery system, bypassing the digestive system and entering the bloodstream through the mouth’s soft tissues. Tinctures are usually made with alcohol extraction or by steeping the cannabis in glycerin or fractionated coconut oil. This method is famous for its discretion and ease of use. To use a tincture, place the desired number of drops under your tongue and hold for 60-90 seconds before swallowing. Effects will begin within 10 minutes and last for approximately two to three hours.
Edibles take the longest to kick in but usually have the longest-lasting, strongest results. Effects will start to kick in within 30 minutes but might not peak until roughly 90-120 minutes after ingestion. Depending on the dosage and each person’s physical makeup, edibles can produce effects for anywhere from six to eight hours.
Passing a Delta 8 THC Drug Test
Despite delta-8 THC’s legality, it may show up on a standard drug test. Most drug panels are simply looking for THC, and all THC derivatives break down into similar metabolites that are easily detectable. Unfortunately, testing standards have not quite evolved to detect individual cannabinoids. Sometimes, even people who consume CBD may fail a THC drug test due to the residual THC found in trace amounts.
While it’s not likely you’ll ever come across a delta-8 THC drug test anytime soon, know that if you have recently consumed a purely delta-8 product, you could potentially fail a drug test. However, many factors affect detection time, but there are several tried and true options for a faster THC detox.
How Long Does Delta 8 Stay in Your System?
THC metabolites are usually excreted within five to 10 days after use for first-time or occasional users. Frequent users that regularly consume large amounts of delta-8 THC may have metabolites present in urine for up to 30 days. Urinalysis is the most common type of THC test, and aside from hair follicle testing, it has the longest window of detection. Blood and saliva tests will only THC for a day or two after last use, hence the reason why urinalysis is usually the top choice.
Several additional factors affect the body’s ability to detox, including age, metabolism, and body fat percentage. If you are concerned about failing a delta-8 THC drug test, there are several options for a safe and effective detox using a detox kit or detox drink.
Reliable Ways to Detox from Delta-8 THC
If you have a little forewarning before a drug test, there are several options to suit your needs. If you have more than a week’s notice, a full-body 10 day detox is an excellent choice for cleansing your entire system of toxins. With less than a week, a 5 day detox will produce the same results and help provide an extra layer of insurance in case you recently imbibed. Worst case scenario – you’ve just been notified of a next-day drug test. In this case, having a 24 hour detox kit is a lifesaver. Keeping one of these around at all times can provide peace of mind for any unexpected drug screen.
While it seems unreasonable that a perfectly legal hemp product might result in a failed drug test, the possibility is likely. Hopefully, with the continued legalization of cannabis nationwide, drug testing standards will evolve to match the current policy. Until then, rest assured that there are fail-proof options to ensure a passing drug test so you can continue to enjoy all of the benefits of delta-8 THC.