How Long Does Delta 8 Stay in Your System?

by Jessica
Delta-8 flower and cartridge

Recently, delta-8 has skyrocketed in popularity, with many users wanting to add the cannabinoid to their lifestyle. You may wonder, “How long does delta-8 stay in your system?” especially if you have an upcoming drug test. 

Green Rush doesn’t sell any delta-8 because we sell legal THC, which have been tested, grown, and manufactured in regulated facilities.

But, if you are curious about delta-8, you’re in the right place.  

What Is Delta-8? 

Delta-8, also known as delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol or delta-8 THC, is a chemical analog or isomer of THC (or delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol). 

The Cannabis sativa plant has naturally low quantities of the cannabinoid. As such, manufacturers make delta-8 in concentrated amounts from hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) through an isomerization process.   

Like “traditional” THC, it is psychoactive, so if you dabble in delta-8 products, you’ll still feel high.  

What’s the Difference Between Delta-8 and THC? 

Delta-8 and THC (the delta-9 variety) are like fraternal twins. Kind of the same, but different. Both compounds share the THC name (scientifically, at least), induce highs, and can become addictive. 

The first difference is the chemical structure of delta-8 and THC. To the untrained eye, the molecular structure looks identical. On closer inspection, you’ll see that delta-8’s double bond in its carbon ring is located on the eighth carbon atom. Delta-9’s double bond is on the ninth carbon atom. 

This slight chemical distinction is why delta-8 is less potent. The high you get when using delta-8 products is milder — it’s a pleasant, euphoric high where you feel relaxed and more clear-headed than with a delta-9 THC high.     

According to a 2018 study, the reason for the less intense high is that delta-8 has a lower affinity for one of the receptors in our endocannabinoid system.

The other significant  difference is the legality of regular THC and delta-8. Currently, marijuana or delta-9 THC is legal for recreational use in 20 states. On a federal level, THC is a Schedule 1 drug. Chemically, delta-8 is THC, but producers pull it from hemp. Yes hemp is legal, and yes THC is legal in California, but it's complicated. 

According to the East Bay Express, in 2021 California "made it illegal to sell any [hemp consumer] product with a combined level of THC higher than 0.3% outside the regulated cannabis market."  Which means delta-8 products are technically legal or regulated in our state.

Does Delta-8 Show up on Drug Tests?  Blue gloved hadn holding urine sample, drug test

Delta-8 shows up on drug tests because its chemical structure and molecular weight are similar to that of THC. Additionally, drug tests can detect metabolites from any THC type. 

The challenge, however, is if delta-8 is legal in a state where delta-9 THC is illegal. If a person who has enjoyed delta-8-infused products takes a drug test, it’ll show up as a false positive for delta-9 THC.    

A 2021 study conducted in Sweden supports this. The study found an “unknown interfering peak” with the exact mass and similar structure to delta-9 THC during routine urine testing. 

Researchers identified the “peak” as delta-8 THC. They concluded that the isomer and others are causing analytical and medico-legal issues because it’s so easily confused with delta-9.   

Even though delta-8 does show up on drug tests, the type of test is an important factor. Urine tests detect delta-8 for up to 48 days, while saliva and blood tests detect the cannabinoid for up to 48 hours.

How Long Does Delta-8 Stay in Your System? 

A 2009 study found that within five days after consuming a THC-infused edible, tincture, or other product, 80 to 90 percent of the THC is excreted.  

Most experts agree that THC stays in your body for five to 10 days. However, how long delta-8 remains in your system depends on various factors: 

  • Body weight 
  • Metabolism 
  • Frequency of use 
  • Potency and dosage of the cannabinoid 
  • Method of consumption  
  • Medications and supplements

Research Your Rush

With a less potent high, it’s clear why people want to try delta-8. 

However, the choice is yours if you want to add delta-8-infused products to your marijuana use. We can only recommend that you ensure the quality is top notch.