Delta 8 THC is the newest hemp compound to burst onto the scene, offering effects quite unique from the other hemp-derived cannabinoids that we are used to, including cannabidiol (CBD). Delta 8 THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid, although its intoxicating effects are about 30% milder than those of delta 9 THC, the dominant compound in marijuana.
Delta 8 is federally legal, in all but eleven states have allowed it to remain legal to adults. Because of this, the cannabinoid is quickly growing in popularity and is more sought out than ever before in its various delivery methods.
While it may be federally legal, and legal in most states, many understandably wonder what impact it would have on a standard urine drug test. After all, delta 8 and delta 9 are both forms of tetrahydrocannabinol and have very similar compound compositions. If you’re someone who is tested regularly for work, it is understandable that you may be concerned about taking Delta 8 THC. In this article, we will cover various topics in regards to drug tests and Delta 8 THC.
What’s the Difference Between Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC?
Delta 8 and delta 9 are both forms of THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. Delta-8 forms about 0.1% of the hemp plant, while delta-9 forms about 0.3%. Because the naturally occurring levels of these compounds are so low in the hemp plant, using CBD flower or a full spectrum hemp product won’t get you high, or result in a failed drug test.
But now, companies have isolated the delta 8 compound and concentrated it to give us its effects more potently. As a result, we can take a high dose of pure delta 8 whenever we want. So, how does delta-8 differ from delta-9?
Well, in short, delta 8 is just degraded delta 9. As the plant ages, the delta-9 compound naturally breaks down within the plant’s chemical composition, transforming into delta-8 and losing some potency along the way. Structurally, however, they are extremely similar.
Can Delta 8 THC Cause a Failed Drug Test?
Delta 8 THC is very new, and so we don’t have any studies out about its qualities that can affect a drug test. Ultimately, there is no delta 8 drug test, but there is one for delta 9. What we can say is that it’s likely that delta-8 can result in a failed drug test. This is because the THC compound is metabolized by an enzyme known as THC-COOH. Standard urine tests are not looking for the actual THC compound, but for the presence of this enzyme in the body. Hence, it is likely that THC-COOH breaks down both delta8 and delta9 and cannot distinguish between both.
What this means is that if you take delta 8, the chances are very high that THC-COOH would appear on a drug test result. Because delta-8 is milder than delta-9, it’s possible that the THC-COOH levels in the body would be lower, but ultimately, we don’t know for certain whether or not this is the case.