Does Delta-8 show up on a drug test?

Does Delta-8 Show up on a Drug Test?

January 13, 2023

Norman Henderson

What is Delta-8 THC?

We have all heard of marijuana (aka Delta 9 THC) and hemp (aka CBD), however, due to the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (aka the 2018 Farm Bill), Delta 8 THC has become one of the fastest-growing recreational drugs on the market today and one of the biggest thorns in the side of Controlled Substance Act and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). And yet very little is known about Delta 8 THC.  Drug testing for Delta 8 THC is becoming available but there are still a lot of questions.  So where did Delta 8 THC come from?  What exactly is Delta 8 THC?  And, how does it affect drug testing?

According to the FDA, Delta 8 THC is one of more than 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. Delta 8 THC is typically manufactured, synthetically, as a byproduct of hemp (CBD) and in many cases, Delta 9 THC Marijuana. Hemp is defined, by law, as a derivative of cannabis with a Delta 9 THC concentration of less than 0.3%. The actual amount of Delta 8 THC in hemp is extremely trace, so additional chemicals are needed to transform the cannabinoids in hemp into Delta 8 THC (called synthetic conversion). Delta 8 THC often leads to a milder high than Delta 9 THC Marijuana but without the associated anxiety after-effect. The FDA issued a warning about health risks associated with Delta 8 THC which you can read here:

Unlike Delta 9 THC Marijuana and CBD, Delta 8 THC is neither regulated nor evaluated by any state or federal government body and does not go through product quality testing. The FDA is tasked with oversight for Delta 8 THC, but none has been made. Without federal and/or state guidelines, Delta 8 THC products may be labeled simply as “hemp products,” which may mislead consumers who associate “hemp” with “non-psychoactive.” According to the FDA, some manufacturers may use unsafe household chemicals to make Delta 8 THC during the chemical synthesis process causing Delta 8 THC to potentially contain harmful contaminants when consumed or inhaled. The manufacturing of Delta 8 THC products may occur in uncontrolled or unsanitary settings, which may lead to contaminants or other potentially harmful substances being inhaled or consumed. The FDA has received 104 reports concerning Delta 8 THC while the National Poison Control received 2,362 reports, as of February 28, 2022. If you think you are having serious side effects that are an immediate danger to your health, call 9-1-1 or go to your local emergency room.

Is Delta-8 legal?

Delta 8 THC came from, essentially, a loophole in federal law. In 2018, Congress passed the 2018 Farm Bill making it legal to grow hemp if the plants didn’t contain high levels of Delta 9 THC. Per Chris Lindsey of the US Cannabis Council, “If you’re a hemp plant, you’re not subjected to the Controlled Substance Act.” Within three years of the Farm Bill being signed, growers have cultivated strains of the cannabis plant that are engineered so they do not fall under the federal definition of an illegal drug.  As a result, Delta 8 THC is unrestricted by any federal law.  To date, twenty states (Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New York, Nevada, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Michigan, and North Dakota) have banned or placed restrictions on Delta 8 THC while four (Alabama, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Oregon) are currently reviewing Delta 8 THC’s legal status. On May 19, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled in a trademark case that vapes containing Delta 8 THC are “lawful” under the 2018 Farm Bill.

What’s the difference between Delta 8 THC, CBD, & Delta 9 THC?

Delta 8 THC is a psychoactive and intoxicating cannabinoid that is synthetically produced as a byproduct from CBD or Delta 9 THC. Consumption often leads to a milder “high” than Delta 9 THC with less accompanying anxiety.

Delta 9 THC is the most abundant, popular cannabinoid found in cannabis and is the main active compound that gets you “high.” It’s known to produce states of euphoria. Delta 9 THC is not federally legal, yet state laws vary for recreational and medicinal use.

CBD (or Cannabidiol) potentially shares some of the purported benefits of Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC without “the high.” Some potential benefits include relief from chronic pain, anxiety, and depression.

Can Delta-8 cause you to fail a drug test?

Unfortunately, there is not enough evidence to definitively state how using Delta 8 THC will affect the results of a marijuana drug test.  Due to the chemical similarities of Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC, researchers believe excessive use may lead to a positive drug test.  However, most current drug tests cannot distinguish between Delta 9 THC, CBD, and Delta 8 THC.  Because of this, a positive marijuana drug test will just show positive for THC even if a person was using the legal form.

Delta 8 has also been known to cause interference in some testing methods for THC, which can result in labs being unable to produce valid test results.  Cases like this leave little option other than to repeat the testing on a new sample.  At present, the best advice for anyone who has to submit to a drug test is to avoid using any form of cannabis or THC if possible.

Do I need a Delta 8 Drug Test?

While most standard drug tests cannot tell the difference between Delta 8 and Delta 9, there is a test available that looks for both forms of THC and provides differentiated results.  This test can be useful for someone who has tested positive for marijuana but has only used Delta 8.  This may help to prove if they were using only a legal form of THC.  

Despite the legality of Delta-8, the FDA has still expressed concerns about the negative effects associated with Delta 8 use, especially in young people.  Just as there is no federal ban on the sale of Delta 8, there is also no federal age limit on the purchase of Delta 8 products.  Some states where Delta 8 is legal have passed laws prohibiting sales to anyone under the age of 21.  In some parts of the country, there are no laws on the books and it comes down to the seller to enforce an age restriction.  Even with age restrictions in place, the ability to legally buy and sell Delta 8 makes it much more accessible to people under age than other forms of marijuana or THC.  Parents who are concerned their underage child may be using or consuming Delta 8 can order a urine test to screen for it along with Delta 9.

Delta 8 and Delta 9 testing can also be useful if someone is testing for personal reasons and wants to know their levels or check if Delta 8 is still in their system.

Where can I get a Delta-8 Drug Test near me?

Request A Test offers a convenient affordable option for anyone who needs testing for Delta 8 or other drugs.  Our Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC Urine Test looks for both forms of THC metabolites and provides differentiated results.  This test is one of the only available ways to screen for Delta 8 specifically.  We also have a full selection of other drug tests to meet any needs.  If you need testing for work, school, court, probation, or just personal reasons, we have multiple choices for urine, blood, and hair testing.  We also work with companies that need pre-employment, post-accident, or workplace drug testing.  With thousands of nationwide testing locations, finding a lab near you is no problem.  Drug testing doesn't have to be difficult.  You can order a test and go to the lab on the same day.  Your personal information and results are all private and confidential.  To get started, just visit us online at or call our team at 888-732-2348.

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