Delta-8, a mild psychoactive substance, is one of the compounds found in the cannabis sativa plant. There has been a lot of buzz surrounding Delta-8 recently, and most cannabis users have tried it at some point or another.
Whether you’ve tried it or not, there’s one question that many cannabis fans are asking… How long does Delta-8 stay in your system?
In this guide, we’ll provide all the answers to that question and many more.
What Is Delta-8?
Before understanding the timeframe of side effects and drug test detection, you first need to know what Delta-8 actually is.
Delta-8, short for Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, is one of the many cannabinoids found in cannabis sativa plants. THC cannabinoids, including Delta-8, are specifically responsible for creating the psychoactive effects that weed is well-known for.
Cannabis plants don’t produce Delta-8 in significant amounts, so many cannabis companies derive their D-8 from hemp-derived CBD instead. This type of Delta-8 isn’t as potent, but it still gets the job done.
Delta-8 vs. Delta-9: A Quick Comparison
Delta-8 is considered a psychoactive variant of the more famous Delta-9. Many people even refer to Delta-8 as the “more mellow cousin” of Delta-9 because it’s not nearly as potent when it comes to getting high.
The chemical structure of D-8 is similar to that of D-9. Just like the 9 variant, Delta-8 binds to the CB1 receptors in our body. However, the bond isn’t nearly as strong, which is why the effects are much more mild with Delta-8.
Potential Health Benefits of Delta-8
In addition to CB1 binding, D-8 also binds to our CB2 receptors. In this case, the bond is just as potent as the bond between CB2 receptors and Delta-9. This bond is more geared towards suppressing inflammation, making Delta-8 great for treating any inflammation-related conditions.
Because it’s not known to create much of a high, Delta-8 is the preferred option for anyone who strictly wants to experience the healthy aspects of cannabis. In addition to suppressing inflammation, here are a few potential health benefits:
- Relieves anxiety and stress
- Promotes better sleep
- Relieves chronic pain
- Boosts appetite and prevents nausea
- Promotes mental clarity and awareness
Legality Surrounding Delta-8
Before jumping on the Delta-8 train, it’s important to understand its legality. In other words, is this a legal drug? Well, it depends on where you’re purchasing the product.
Because it’s not as psychoactive as Delta-9, Delta-8 is indeed legal in most American states. Most products use D-8 that has been extracted from CBD found in hemp plants. Hemp is completely legal to farm all across the US, at least for now.
This is all thanks to the farm bill that was passed in 2018. According to this bill, any hemp plants with a THC content of 0.3% or less are completely legal to grow. In other words, hemp with low concentrations of THC isn’t considered marijuana.
However, some states do have bans in place that are specifically geared toward Delta-8 and similar products. Here’s what a 2023 report from NBC has to say about this topic:
“Since 2018, 15 states have enacted outright bans on products that contain delta-8 THC. A handful of other states, including Alabama, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota and South Dakota, are implementing restrictions from age limits to bans on delta-8 THC in certain products, such as those that appeal to kids.”
Of course, laws surrounding hemp and CBD are constantly changing. It’s very likely that Delta-8 will become federally legal in the near future, so keep an eye on this.
Is Delta-8 Safe to Use?
Most people can use Delta-8 safely with no adverse side effects. It’s still important to use it at your own risk, though, as there are always chances of negative effects with any drug, even legal ones.
While D-8 is often revered for the fact that it’s not as likely to get you high as D-9, some people still experience high effects. That’s why it’s best to start out slow with a very low dose to see how your body and brain will react.
The biggest risk involved with Delta-8 is that it’s not harshly regulated. Tons of cannabis product manufacturers claim to be the “best”, but unless the products are lab-tested, it’s difficult to know for sure.
To avoid impure products, just avoid companies that aren’t legit. These companies produce unregulated products, so safety, purity, and strength aren’t guaranteed.
How Long Does Delta-8 Stay in Your System?
Now that you know a bit more about Delta-8, let’s get back to the question we’re all dying to know the answer to.
Many studies show that Delta-8 stays in your system for an average of 8 days – that’s easy to remember! Of course, the exact timeframe depends on a few things, like the ingestion method, the potency, and how much Delta-8 is consumed.
If you’re drug tested on a regular basis, it’s probably best to stay away from Delta-8 altogether. Even though it’s legal in most states, D-8 is very similar in structure to D-9. This means that D-8 will show up as THC if it’s detected on a drug test, which is a red flag for employers, POs, schools, etc.
Factors Affecting the Timeframe for Drug Test Detection
The typical range for Delta-8 to stay in someone’s system is anywhere from 1 hour to 8 days. It can be detected as much as 30 days after consumption depending on a few things, like:
There are some major differences between smoking vs vaping vs eating Delta-8. The short-term effects are much quicker with smoking and vaping compared to eating and drinking.
When it comes to smoking or vaping Delta-8, the effects typically stick around anywhere from 1 to 3 hours. This type of Delta-8 fades from your system faster than edibles – edibles effects typically last up to 8 hours.
Edible weed is a completely different ball game. Because this form of cannabis goes through the digestive system, the effects last much longer. After eating an edible with a moderate percentage of THC, you’re likely to be high for about 8 hours.
Quantity & Frequency
If you tried Delta-8 once and decided it’s not for you, the chance of it showing up on a drug test is relatively low. The quantity matters, as does your frequency of use. If you use a lot of Delta-8 on a regular basis, your chances of passing a drug test are much lower.
Individual’s Body Weight & Metabolism
Every individual is different, especially when it comes to metabolism. Your age, weight, activity level, and genetic makeup all affect metabolic processes.
The main thing to remember is that Delta-8 is less likely to show up on the drug test of someone with a fast metabolism. A slow metabolism means you’ll have to wait a bit longer to pass.
Type of Drug Testing
There are several different mediums used to test for Delta-8 and other cannabinoids, including saliva, urine, blood, and hair.
A saliva drug test is commonly used because it’s quick, painless, and non-invasive. All that’s required is a mouth swab. This type of test can only detect Delta-8 within 24-72 hours from the time of use.
With a urine test, traces of Delta-8 can be detected up to 30 days from the time of use. A good percentage of Delta-8 is expelled from our bodies through urine, which is why D-8 traces can be detected for a while.
Blood drug tests aren’t super common because they’re invasive, plus they have a very small window for detection. If it’s been more than 3 or 4 hours from the time of use, a blood test is unlikely to detect any remnants of Delta-8 in your system.
Hair tests are the most effective for detecting Delta-8. A hair test is capable of detecting THC in your system anywhere from 30 to 90 days from the time of ingestion.
Fastest Way to Get Delta-8 Out of Your System
If you’re about to be drug tested and you want to ensure a clean slate, there are a few ways to get Delta-8 out of your system.
Drinking water is a great option. Water flushes and detoxifies our entire body, so drink up and you’re likely to pass an upcoming drug test. Pair this with eating foods that are high in antioxidants, and you’ll be fine.
Exercise is another great tool. Remnants of Delta-8 are stored in our fat cells, so focus on fat-burning workouts to reduce the risk of failing a drug test. Cardio is great for burning fat, and the same goes for weight training.
The best way to get Delta-8 out of your system, though, is to stop using it. If you know that you’ll be drug tested soon, simply stop using cannabis and hemp products. This is the only real way to ensure that you won’t test positive for THC.