Drug and Alcohol

Delta 8 Drug Test: Does Delta 8 Show Up on Drug Tests?

Does Delta 8 show up on drug tests? Our blog examines this question, along with other aspects of delta 8, including its legality and side effects.

Delta 8 Drug Test: Should You Be Worried About Delta 8 & Drug Testing?

Table of contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

November 7, 2023

The Edge Treatment Center

Amidst the ever-evolving cannabis landscape, Delta 8 THC has emerged as a fascinating cannabinoid, sparking curiosity and debate. With the increasing interest in alternative cannabinoids, one pressing question stands at the forefront:

Does Delta 8 show up on drug tests?

Delta 8 Drug Test: What is Delta 8?

Delta 8 THC, often referred to simply as "Delta 8," is a naturally occurring compound found in cannabis plants. While it exists in smaller quantities compared to its well-known counterpart, Delta 9 THC, Delta 8 has gained popularity for its potential to offer a milder, less psychoactive experience.

You may be familiar with Delta 9 THC, which is what gives marijuana users their high. The absence of a thorough study on the long-term consequences of Delta 8 THC is one of the substance's worst flaws.

Delta 8 Drug Test: Is Delta 8 Safe?

Contrary to well-researched compounds like alcohol or cigarettes, Delta 8 is a comparatively recent substance, and research is currently catching up.

Therefore, we are unable to conclusively predict what utilizing Delta 8 over a lengthy period could do to your health. It's essentially a mystery, and for those who place a high priority on their long-term well-being, this lack of clarity may be quite concerning.

While some users of Delta 8 report milder highs as well as decreased anxiety, others have reported severe side effects, including anxiety, dizziness, and psychosis. For those who are sensitive to changes in their mental state or who already have issues with their mental health, these unpleasant side effects can be very upsetting.

A significant drawback of Delta 8 may be its unpredictability in terms of how it can affect you.

The possibility of addiction is another worrying factor. There is a chance that some people could find Delta 8 THC to be habit-forming because it can generate a high. The brain may begin to seek pleasant effects, which is a typical concern with substances that change brain chemistry. Addiction is a significant issue for users since it may have adverse effects on a person's life, health, and relationships.

Delta 8 THC's legality varies from one place to another. It's completely legal in some regions, yet it's considered a restricted substance in others. Depending on where users live or where they purchase Delta 8 items, this legal variation may cause confusion and put them in danger of unintentionally breaching the law. A legal problem like this one can be a significant source of stress for users.

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Delta 8 Drug Test: Does Delta 8 Show Up on a Drug Test?

Delta 8 THC is a cannabinoid present in cannabis plants that has a similar chemical structure to Delta 9 THC, the well-known psychoactive compound blamed for the "high" associated with marijuana usage. The primary purpose of many standard drug tests, such as urine testing, is to detect Delta 9 THC and its metabolites.

However, the main source of confusion with drug testing is their cross-reactivity. There is a chance that some drug tests won't be able to distinguish between distinct THC compounds, including Delta 8 THC. As a result, if you recently consumed Delta 8 THC, there is a chance that it might cause a positive result on a drug test intended to identify Delta 9 THC.

Several factors can influence whether Delta 8 THC will appear on a drug test:

Test Sensitivity

The sensitivity of the drug test matters. More sensitive tests are more likely to detect even trace amounts of THC compounds, including Delta 8.

Timing

The timing of the drug test relative to your Delta 8 THC consumption is crucial. THC compounds, including Delta 8, are typically metabolized and eliminated from the body over time. The longer the time between consumption and testing, the lower the likelihood of detection.

Specificity of the Test

Some drug tests are more specific and can distinguish between different THC compounds. In contrast, others may generate a positive result if any THC is detected, regardless of its specific form.

Local Regulations and Policies

The legal status of Delta 8 THC varies by region and country. In some areas, it is considered legal, while in others, it may be classified as a controlled substance. Employers and institutions may have their policies regarding the use of Delta 8 THC and drug testing.

Delta 8 THC's legal status is complex and varies by state in the United States. At the federal level, delta 8 THC is considered legal because it is sourced from hemp, not marijuana, due to a loophole in the 2018 farm bill. However, this legality has resulted in a patchwork of state regulations

As of April 2023, 24 states and Washington, DC, have unintentionally legalized intoxicants that are hemp-derived, including delta-8, because they updated the controlled substance laws to align with the farm bill's definition of hemp. In these states, delta-8 and delta-10 are legal technically.

Some states have opted to control the production and sale of delta-8, including Minnesota, Kentucky, Louisiana, Virginia, South Dakota, and Vermont. In states where marijuana was already legalized, delta-8 is controlled by existing cannabis agencies, such as Connecticut, Michigan, Maryland, Oregon, Nevada, and Utah.

On the other hand, certain states have banned delta-8 or implemented restrictions after the farm bill of 2018. These states include Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Delaware, Mississippi, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Montana, and Washington. California and New York cleared regulatory authority for the marijuana programs, which chose to restrict delta-8. Hawaii has also banned delta-8 but through an administrative law rather than a law.

Advocates anticipate that the farm bill of 2023 will present a chance to establish a federal legal structure for CBD and euphoric cannabinoids like delta-8. This would involve setting age limits, creating labeling and production standards, and defining hemp in a way that better accounts for its usage in the marketplace.

However, the outcome of such legislation is uncertain, as Congress tends to face challenges in passing controversial bills.

Delta 8 Drug Test: Are There Delta 8 Side Effects?

Delta 8 THC is a psychoactive compound found in cannabis. However, it is typically derived from hemp due to its legal status. Although delta-8 THC, the main psychoactive component in marijuana, is thought to be less effective than delta-9 THC, it can nonetheless have negative consequences when consumed in large quantities. Some people may be more susceptible to delta 8 THC's effects than others, and individual reactions to it can vary. The following are some potential side effects of delta-8 THC:

Mild Euphoria

Similar to delta-9 THC but often less potent, delta-8 THC can have a mild euphoric effect. While some users may find this to be enjoyable, others—especially those who are new to THC—may feel uneasy or anxious.

Sedation

Some people may have a relaxing and soothing effect from delta 8 THC, which might result in sleepiness or drowsiness. While this may be beneficial for people taking it to promote relaxation or sleep, it might not be appropriate in all circumstances.

Dry Eyes and Mouth

Like delta-9 THC, delta-8 THC can cause dry mouth (cottonmouth) and dry, bloodshot eyes. Keep yourself hydrated to help with these symptoms.

Increased Heart Rate

Particularly at larger dosages, delta-8 THC can cause palpitations or an accelerated heart rate. People with heart conditions should exercise caution.

Anxiety and Fear

Some people may experience anxiety, paranoia, or even panic attacks after using delta-8 THC, especially if they consume it in excess or if they are susceptible to anxiety problems.

Deficiency in Motor Skills

When using heavy machinery or while driving, delta-8 THC may impair one's coordination and motor abilities. Driving while under the influence of delta-8 THC is not advised.

Memory and Cognitive Effects

While under the influence of delta-8 THC, some users may struggle to concentrate and suffer from short-term memory loss.

Nausea and Vomiting

Delta-8 THC still has the potential to make users feel sick, but less frequently than delta-9 THC does, especially at large dosages.

Dependency and Tolerance

Like delta-9 THC, delta-8 THC can lead to tolerance and potential psychological dependence with regular use.

Legal Concerns

The legal status of delta 8 THC varies by state and can change over time. Using it in places where it is illegal can lead to legal issues.

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Delta 8 Drug Test: Delta 8 Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms associated with delta-8 THC, while generally milder than withdrawal symptoms of marijuana, can still occur, especially in individuals who use delta-8 THC regularly and in higher doses. These withdrawal symptoms typically emerge when a person reduces or discontinues their delta 8 THC consumption after consistent use. Typical delta 8 THC withdrawal symptoms may include:

Irritability

Individuals may become easily irritated or agitated when they stop using delta-8 THC.

Mood Swings

Mood swings, including feelings of anxiety, depression, or emotional instability, can occur during withdrawal.

Sleep Disturbances

Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep may be experienced, leading to disrupted sleep patterns.

Appetite Changes

Some people may notice changes in appetite, such as increased hunger or decreased interest in food.

Cravings

Cravings for delta 8 THC, or the desire to use it again to alleviate withdrawal symptoms, can be a part of the withdrawal experience.

Headaches

Mild headaches are possible during withdrawal.

Nausea

Nausea or gastrointestinal discomfort may occur but is less common.

Delta 8 Drug Test: Is Delta 8 Addictive?

Delta 8 THC, a psychoactive compound derived from hemp, carries the potential for psychological dependence, though it's generally considered less addictive. Regular use may lead to tolerance, where higher doses are needed for the same effects, and some users may experience mild withdrawal symptoms. 

Individual susceptibility varies, with factors like personal history and mental health playing a role. Responsible use, setting limits, and seeking support if addiction concerns arise are crucial. While delta 8 THC can be habit-forming, it's not inevitable, and early intervention can help address dependence issues.

Feel Like Delta 8 is Taking Your Life Over? Talk to The Edge Treatment Center

If you’re concerned about a delta 8 drug test, it might be time to reevaluate your relationship with delta I products

The Edge Treatment Center is a highly regarded addiction rehab center committed to supporting individuals and their loved ones on the journey to lasting drug and alcohol recovery. Specializing in evidence-based treatment, particularly for dual diagnosis cases, The Edge Treatment Center offers a holistic approach to healing.

Flexibility is a guiding principle at The Edge. Recognizing the complexities of clients' lives, The Edge Treatment Center offers personalized scheduling options, allowing individuals to balance their treatment with work, education, and other responsibilities.

Family involvement is a pivotal aspect of our philosophy. By promoting family-friendly visits and counseling sessions, we foster a supportive atmosphere that encourages healing and strengthens familial bonds.

Fully accredited and staffed with licensed clinicians available 24/7, The Edge Treatment Center ensures clients receive top-quality care rooted in evidence-based modalities throughout their recovery journey. If you’d like to have a conversation about Delta 8, reach out to The Edge Treatment Center today.

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