Before people try a delta-8 THC product, often, they want to know... "How long does delta-8 stay in your system?"
Cannabinoids, including delta-8 and delta-9 THC, can stay in your system for a long time. We'll explain how the body metabolizes both types of THC and why it can remain in your system for up to three months.
If you're concerned about drug testing, this is not good news. Moreover, standard urine tests can not differentiate between delta-8 THC and delta-9. But you can time your use to avoid a positive test.
How Both Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC are Metabolized
The difference between delta-8 and delta-9 THC is very slight, and as a result, a drug test can mistake legal delta-8 THC for illegal delta-9. While the high might seem quite different, how the body reacts to both types of THC is not.
When you consume any type of THC, it's processed through the liver, and the function of the liver is to cleanse the blood. As the liver does this, it releases metabolites. These metabolites are what can show up on a drug test.
Metabolites are excreted through the skin as sweat and urination. They are also deposited in hair and fat cells. THC metabolites can also be detected in the blood. Each of these locations can hold these metabolites for various amounts of time.
While other drugs and alcohol can lead to liver damage, some studies indicate that THC does not. However, while cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory effects, which can benefit an inflamed liver, chronic use could lead to other liver issues. As with anything, using delta-8 THC should be done in moderation.
THC is Fat-Soluble
Since both types of THC are fat-soluble, they can stay in your system for a long time. How long depends on both the amount and frequency of use. For example, if you use delta-8 products daily, your body will only have time to eliminate some of the metabolites. The THC will simply keep building up in your system. On the other hand, light, occasional use gives your body time to cleanse itself of all traces of THC metabolites.
Also, keep in mind each individual will metabolize delta-8 THC differently. Some people naturally metabolize THC more efficiently. Furthermore, if you're concerned about drug testing, some tests are more sensitive than others. One test may not detect any THC after just a couple of weeks, while other tests might detect it for over a month after use.
How Long Does Delta 8 Stay in Your System? The Breakdown
These are merely estimates; as we've stated before, each person metabolizes THC differently. Also, each individual's use habits play a part. For example, there will be a difference between someone who ate half a delta-8 gummies a week ago and someone who's been vaping delta-8 all week long.
Typically, delta-8 and delta-9 THC are detectable in saliva for up to 24 hours after use.
Urine tests are the most common form of drug testing. Unfortunately, both types of THC are retained in the urine for a long time, up to a month or even longer.
THC is retained in the hair for a very long time, for up to 90 days or longer. But, hair testing is usually only conducted on heavy drug users. If you only use delta-8 occasionally, that window might be shorter.
Fortunately, both delta-8 and delta-9 THC clear the blood quickly, usually within 3-4 hours. However, if you need to submit to a blood test, avoid using delta-8 products for at least a day.
If you need to submit to drug testing to keep your job or to stay out of jail, think long and hard before you consume delta-8. While it might be legal where you live, it could still trigger a false positive drug test, costing you your job or your freedom.