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Do Delta 8 Gummies Show Up on a Drug Test? What You Need to Know

As cannabis becomes legalized in more and more places around the world– and accepted into mainstream culture– the interest in cannabis products in various states and countries continues to grow.

Delta 8, a minor yet mighty cannabinoid found in the plant, has garnered popularity due to its mild, relaxing effects, especially in the form of delta 8 gummies

But with this spiked traction, questions about the compound arise. Many users wonder if delta 8 gummies show up on a drug test. While federally legal in the United States thanks to the Farm Bill, not all states allow the hemp-derived compound, and not all workplaces or people approve of its consumption. 

So, do delta 8 gummies show up on a drug test? Let’s find out. 

What is Delta 8?

Delta 8, also known as delta 8 THC or delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in small traces in cannabis and hemp plants. 

Unlike delta 9, the most abundant psychoactive cannabinoid, delta 8 is known for its slightly milder effects — reducing anxiety and stress without the intense high associated with delta 9.

Chemically, delta 8 is similar to Delta 9 THC, with the main difference being the placement of a double bond in their molecular chain; delta 8 has the double bond on the 8th carbon chain, while delta 9 has it on the 9th. 

This slight difference significantly influences how it interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Delta 8 binds to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the ECS, but it has a lesser binding affinity than delta 9, which results in a less intense psychoactive experience.

How Drug Tests Detect Cannabinoids

Drug tests for cannabis, specifically urine tests, are designed to detect the presence of THC metabolites. 

These metabolites are products of the body’s metabolism of THC, the main psychoactive component of cannabis. The most commonly detected metabolite in drug tests is THC-COOH, which is stored in body fat and slowly released into the bloodstream over time.

The mechanism behind the detection of cannabinoids by drug tests involves antibodies or receptors in the test kit that are sensitive to specific structures found within THC-COOH. 

When a urine sample contains THC-COOH above a certain threshold, it binds to these antibodies, indicating a positive test result.

Standard drug tests, including those used by employers and law enforcement, typically have a cutoff level that must be met or exceeded for a sample to be considered positive. This threshold is set to avoid false positives that might occur from small, incidental exposure to THC or similar substances.

Cannabinoid Metabolites: A Breakdown

Upon ingestion, cannabinoids like delta 8 THC are metabolized by the liver into several different chemicals, known as metabolites

These metabolites can be more or less similar to those of delta 9, depending on the structure of the original cannabinoid. For delta 8, the primary metabolite is also THC-COOH, although the efficiency and rate of its formation might differ from delta 9 due to its altered chemical structure.

These metabolites are crucial in understanding drug testing because they are the actual substances that drug tests seek to detect, not the original THC itself. The presence of THC-COOH in urine, for example, is a clear indicator of cannabis use, as this metabolite only forms as a result of the body breaking down THC.

Different factors can influence how quickly and how much THC-COOH is formed, including an individual’s metabolism, frequency of use, potency of the cannabis product, and body fat percentage. These factors can therefore affect the outcome of a drug test, making it sometimes unpredictable.

Types of Drug Tests

There are several types of drug tests that are commonly used to detect THC and its metabolites:

  • Urine Testing: The most common form, it tests for THC-COOH. It has a window of detection of several days to weeks after the last use, depending on usage habits.
  • Blood Testing: Less common for employment and more invasive, it can detect THC itself, showing recent use rather than long-term exposure.
  • Saliva Testing: Gaining in popularity due to its non-invasive nature, saliva tests can detect THC for a couple of days after use. They are particularly used by law enforcement for roadside testing.
  • Hair Follicle Testing: This can detect drug use over a longer period, up to 90 days,by looking for drug metabolites in the hair shaft.

Each type of test has its specific uses, advantages, and limitations, which can impact their effectiveness and the likelihood of detecting Delta 8 THC consumption.

So, Do Delta 8 Gummies Show Up on a Drug Test?

In short, yes. Delta 8 gummies will show up on a drug test. 

Given that delta 8 metabolizes into THC-COOH, the same primary metabolite as delta 9 THC, it is possible for users of delta 8 gummies to test positive on drug tests commonly used today. 

This outcome largely depends on various factors, including the amount and frequency of delta 8 consumption, the type of drug test used, and the individual’s metabolism.

If you use delta 8 products, you should be aware that despite the legal status of delta 8 under federal law, you can still be at risk for testing positive for THC, particularly if using high doses or using these products frequently. 

Employers and legal entities may not differentiate between delta 8 and delta 9 in drug tests, which can lead to legal and employment consequences.

Tips & Tricks for Drug Test Detection 

If you’re worried about testing positive for cannabis during an upcoming drug test, here are some tips and tricks that might be able to help you out: 

  • Tolerance Breaks: Taking a break from using delta 8 products can help clear the metabolites from your body over time. The length of time required can vary, but a general guideline is to abstain for at least a few weeks prior to a scheduled drug test.
  • Hydration: Increasing your water intake before a test can help dilute your urine temporarily, potentially lowering the concentration of THC-COOH to below the detectable threshold. However, care must be taken as excessively diluted urine can be flagged as suspicious by test administrators.

Delta 8 Gummies & Drug Testing: Final Thoughts

While mild and largely legal across the United States, delta 8 gummies will still trigger a positive drug test. If you know you have a drug test coming up, act accordingly: take a break for the weeks leading up to your test and drink lots of water to help flush out your system. 

Enjoy delta 8 gummies responsibly, and have fun!

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