In the last few years, Delta-8 THC has been making waves in the wellness industry thanks to a myriad of potential benefits and positive anecdotal stories. However, while its popularity has been on the rise, there is still a lot of confusion surrounding the compound. Many people are interested in it and have many questions, especially about its legal status. If you’re interested in experiencing the benefits of delta-8 and have googled, “can delta-8 make you fail a drug test?” this article is for you.
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What is delta-8 THC?
By now, you probably know about cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but what exactly is delta-8 THC?
Discovered in 1965, Delta-8 THC can be seen as the middle ground between CBD and delta-9 THC. While it is intoxicating, the high you get from delta-8 is milder and more mellow than the one you would get from delta-9 THC. In addition, many users claim delta-8 THC has a host of benefits that help with stress, anxiety, pain and more. However, it is crucial to keep in mind that most of these claims are purely anecdotal and much more research on delta-8 THC and its effects are needed before we can verify such assertions.
At its most basic, delta-8 THC is a compound naturally derived from the cannabis plant. It is found in minimal amounts and usually transformed into CBD or delta-9 THC in a laboratory.
Delta-8 THC vs Delta-9 THC – what’s the difference?
While very similar to other forms of THC, the chemical structure of delta-8 is different, which makes it less potent and intoxicating. Users claim the high they experience from delta-8 THC is more relaxing and allows for creativity. They say they are able to think clearly and calmly while high, and don’t experience paranoia or anxiety like with other forms of THC.
Secondly, the effects of both compounds are induced at a different pace. The body absorbs delta-9 quickly, which is why the high is so potent and comes on so rapidly. Delta-8, on the other hand, takes longer to kick in, so the effects are not felt all at once. This is one of the main reasons many people choose to turn to delta-8 rather than delta-9 THC.
Can delta-8 make you fail a drug test?
Now that you know what delta-8 is and the difference that exists between it and delta-9 THC, let's answer the most popular question, “can delta-8 make you fail a drug test?”
Yes, just like delta-9, delta-8 THC can cause you to fail a drug test. However, it’s a bit more complicated than just a simple ‘yes’.
A number of factors play into it, such as:
- Frequency of use
Like other illegal substances, delta-8 takes a while to metabolise and be eliminated by the body.
Drug tests are designed to look for traces of metabolites instead of specific cannabinoids. If your body has not gotten rid of them completely, the delta-8 THC will be detectable, and you will fail the drug test.
Type of drug tests
A urine test is the most common drug test. There are two types of urine tests – a rapid Immunoassay (IA) test and a slower gas chromatography (GC) test. Both can detect delta-8 THC.
Other drug tests include hair follicle and saliva tests, which can also trace delta-8 metabolites. However, these are not as common.
You may think that just because the law does not expressly state that delta-8 is illegal, you can get away with failing a drug test because of it. But this is certainly not the case. The test does not detect THC but the metabolites, which are the same for both delta-8 and delta-9 THC. The test cannot tell which compound they are from, so you will still have to face the legal consequences no matter which form of THC you’ve used.
If you still decide to take the risk and use delta-8 THC, try to avoid taking any about 4-5 days before you are due to take a drug test. We recommend stopping at least one week before your test if you use it regularly. However, if you are a heavy user, it would be safest to wait at least a month before the test so that the body can flush out all traces of the metabolites.
Is delta-8 legal in the UK?
Furthermore, it is unclear whether delta-8 is actually legal in the UK, which presents even more problems. The UK’s Drug Licensing Factsheet on Cannabis, CBD and other cannabinoids does not mention delta-8 THC, so there is no definite answer whether it is legal to buy or use the compound here. In addition, as it is not categorised as a controlled substance or exempt product, delta-8 products could be unregulated in the UK. This means that unethical companies can sell delta-8 products that are not up to standard and which could be potentially harmful.
Keep in mind that just because a retailer is selling something, doesn’t necessarily mean it is legal. Many retailers in the cannabis industry sell delta-8 products without being sure of their legal status in the UK.
However, while the regulations surrounding delta-8 THC in the UK are a grey area, due to being so similar to delta-9 – which is on the controlled substance list – it is widely believed to be a prohibited substance.
Considering all the above, it may be best to avoid buying or using delta-8 THC products until its legality is more straightforward.
Is delta-8 harmful?
It is unclear whether delta-8 is harmful or not. There is little research regarding whether it is safe to consume, and many more studies need to be done before any factual claims can be made about its potential benefits or side effects. Currently, most of what we know about the compound comes from anecdotal evidence and animal studies. More research needs to be done on actual humans to know for sure how it affects us.
While many papers have been published about the compound, there is almost no mention of safety concerns.
A study in 1973 that researched the effects of delta-8 and delta-9 in men showed evidence that the subjects who took delta-8 experienced similar effects to those who consumed delta-9 – although they experienced milder effects. These effects included:
- Dry mouth
- Distorted vision
Another study, this time from 1995, claimed that 2 out of 8 children experienced side effects from delta-8 THC.
None of the research conducted can conclusively prove that delta-8 THC is not harmful.
Taking delta-8 THC may be a more enjoyable experience than taking delta-9 or CBD, but the risks are just not worth it at the end of the day. Until there is a clear law stating that delta-8 is legal in the UK, avoid taking it. It can show up in a drug test, and you will face legal repercussions if you fail. Furthermore, since it is unregulated, the delta-8 product you buy may be questionable and not entirely safe for consumption.
For now, rather enjoy legal CBD until we know more about delta-8. It’s always best to stay on the safe side when it comes to cannabinoids.
You may also like to read: Delta 8 THC UK – Is it legal? Where to Buy Delta 8 THC in the UK?