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January 11, 2023
Delta 8

How Long Does Delta-8 Stay in Your System

When you’re about to try delta-8 for the first time—or you’ve got a nice delta-8 gummy right there in hand, ready to eat—you might have one question in mind. How long does delta-8 stay in your system? And will an impending drug test detect delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol or delta-8 THC?

We get it. These days accessibility of delta-8 THC products has exploded; you can find them everywhere from gas stations to cannabis dispensaries.

But as tempting as it is, it’s not worth your job, or whatever else comes down on you if a drug test is at stake. Although the short answer is delta-8 THC stays in your system 2 to 30 days, we will get into a lot more detail here.

In this post we’ll cover:

  • What are the effects of delta-8 THC and how long do they last?
  • How long delta-8 THC stays in the body and what factors go into that; and
  • Can delta-8 THC make you fail a drug test?

No one should try anything without knowing what it is, what it does, and what to expect. And if drug tests are part of your life, you know to plan ahead.

What Are the Effects of Delta-8 THC and How Long Do They Last?

Delta-8 THC is a somewhat milder, hemp-derived isomer of the standard delta-9 THC. In other words, delta-8 is a cousin of the THC that lends marijuana its typical psychoactive effects, but it’s made from hemp plants, not cannabis plants. This is why delta-8 products are legal under the Farm Bill: they are not cannabis products, they are hemp products.

According to a 1973 study, delta-8 THC can produce classic cannabis-like “high” feelings of intoxication, including:

  • Euphoria
  • Slowed speech and thought
  • Relaxation
  • Visual distortions

A 2021 survey of delta-8 users found that about half had medical and wellness reasons for their delta-8 consumption, including:

  • Panic attacks
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Chronic pain
  • Depression
  • Stress

How long does it take for the effects of delta-8 to kick in?

This depends greatly on your method of consumption:

If you vape or smoke a delta-8 product, you should experience almost immediate effects

If you eat or ingest delta-8 tinctures or edibles (except for tinctures you take sublingually), it takes 30 minutes and 2 hours. This is because the cannabinoids have to go through the digestive system before hitting the bloodstream.

How long do the effects of delta-8 last?

Usually, the effects of delta-8 last a few hours.

How Long Will Delta-8 THC Stay in Your System?

It is possible to detect delta-8 in the urine or blood for as long as 30 days. There are many factors that can either lengthen or shorten the amount of time it takes for all trace amounts of delta-8 to clear the body completely.

Hair follicle tests can detect delta-8 THC for up to 90 days—the longest duration of time. However, these are rarely used in drug testing as they are costly and often produce inaccurate results.

The amount of time delta-8 stays in the body depends on several things.

Factors that affect the duration of delta-8 THC metabolites

Frequency of use. Any form of THC stays in the body longer with more frequent use. This is also the case with other cannabinoids, including CBD. Cannabinoids are fat-soluble, meaning they build-up in fat cells over time. This is why it takes a longer amount of time for regular users to test clear of cannabinoids.

Age. As we age, our metabolism tends to slow down overall.

Method of consumption. Compared to smoked and vaped THC, edibles like gummies, and other forms of delta-8 ingestion persist in the body for more time. One study revealed that the body cleared vaped, smoked, or inhaled CBD from the body almost twice as fast as ingested forms. Delta-8 THC tinctures also have a delayed onset, about 45 minutes compared to regular THC tinctures which tend to kick in within 15–30 minutes—although the tinctures also last longer, up to 10 hours. Typically, delta-8 vape cartridges produce effects within 10–15 minutes and last 1–5 hours.

Individual metabolic rate. Some people metabolize cannabinoids faster than others. Body weight is not as relevant as most people think.

Dose. High levels of THC clear the body more slowly. Ongoing, chronic cannabinoid use causes the compounds to persist in the body much longer.

Use of other medications or supplements. Some compounds slow the breakdown and elimination of delta-8.

What is the half-life of delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 THC has two metabolic phases. Its first metabolic phase is limited to the first 60 seconds or so of taking it, during which the body clears a portion of it from the body. After this occurs, the next phase starts and the metabolic rate is substantially reduced. The slow phase has its own half-life for delta-8 of about 32 minutes.

Can Delta-8 THC Make You Fail a Drug Test?

You probably found this post because of an upcoming drug test. The short answer is that yes, delta-8 THC can come back positive and lead to failure on a drug test. Delta-8 THC is not the way to be able to use cannabis and pass a drug test.

The National Drug Court Institute recommends avoiding delta-8 THC products if a drug test is in your future, because some impure delta-8 products also contain delta-9 THC.

How long is delta-8 detectable via drug testing?

There’s nothing in the scientific research to indicate that delta-8 THC is any different than delta-9 THC in terms of the length of time it is detectable.  However, depending on the frequency of delta-8 use, type of drug test used, and the user’s metabolism, delta-8 THC can be detected via drug testing for different periods of time.

Urine tests

Urine testing is the most common method of drug testing. It is usually able to detect cannabis use for up to 30 days after the last use. However, occasional users tend to have much different results than daily, heavier users, according to a 2017 review:

  • Single use: 3 days
  • Moderate use of 3 to 4 times per week: 5 to 7 days
  • Chronic daily use: 10 to 15 days
  • Chronic use multiple times per day: over 30 days

Blood test

Blood tests generally detect cannabis use only within the past 2 to 12 hours. However, as with urine tests, frequent, chronic cannabis use can cause more lasting results for up to 30 days after the most recent use.

Saliva tests

A saliva test can detect THC for up to 24 hours after use. However, a 2020 review among frequent users of cannabis found that THC was detectable in saliva 72 hours after use.

Hair test

Hair follicle tests can detect cannabinoids up to 90 days after use.

Do cannabis detox programs work?

Especially online, you’ll find lots of cannabis detox programs and products aimed at faster metabolization of delta-8 THC. But there’s no real proof that these tactics will help you pass a drug test for THC.

Detoxes that involve herbal supplements are not regulated for quality or purity by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and some can even be harmful. Some detoxes even involve laxatives, which can have side effects and can cause diarrhea and dehydration. Other detoxes involve drinking lots of water or cranberry juice—but again, there is no proof that these work.

Remember, there is no substitute for planning. Give yourself the window you need.

Final Thoughts on How Long Delta-8 Stays in Your System

Overall, you can’t go wrong with the mild, relaxing delta-8 high. But if you need to pass a drug test, be careful and plan ahead so you’re ready!