Now that cannabis and hemp are more accepted in the USA, some companies are revising their stance on THC drug screenings. Most notably, Amazon announced it would ease its cannabis testing policies for some employees.
While more businesses rethink their official cannabis policies, that doesn’t mean drug testing is obsolete. Even if DC legalizes recreational cannabis, some employees may still have to submit routine THC tests.
A big question hemp customers have is whether delta-8 THC influences their drug screening results. Supposedly, cannabis drug tests only scan for delta-9 THC, but can current testing tools distinguish delta-8 from delta-9?
Will Delta-8 Cause A False Positive Drug Test?
From a chemical perspective, the only thing that separates delta-8 from delta-9 THC is the placement of a double-bond. Aside from that, these compounds are identical.
Understandably, most drug detection machines aren’t sophisticated enough to distinguish these THC compounds. These tests will often err on the side of caution and interpret delta-8 as delta-9.
Consumers should also remember that delta-8 breaks down into dozens of metabolites, each with a long half-life. Many THC screenings scan for these secondary compounds like THC–COOH. So, even if there’s no delta-8 in a person’s system, drug tests could have a positive reading if it detects a few THC-related metabolites.
How Does Delta-8 THC Absorption Work?
Our understanding of THC absorption is still in the early phases, especially for smaller cannabinoids like delta-8 THC. However, most researchers claim delta-9 THC has a long half-life. Even mild hemp users could have detectable traces of THC in their urine a few days after taking delta-8. The odds that THC or its metabolites will be in your bloodstream increases the more often you use a THC-containing drug.
Other factors like your age, metabolism, and weight could influence how much delta-8 stays in your body. Generally, the more you weigh and the older you are, the longer delta-8 will remain in your body’s fat cells. It’s not unheard of for delta-8 to stay in a person’s body for over a month, especially if they use this cannabinoid frequently.
How Long Should Employees Wait Before Taking Delta-8?
Since so many factors influence delta-8 absorption, there’s no “safe time” to take delta-8 before a screening. Ideally, light delta-8 users should refrain from this cannabinoid at least one week before a scheduled test. However, people who use delta-8 more often may need an entire month for this cannabinoid to clear their system.
At this point, the only safe way to avoid a positive drug screening is to stop taking full-spectrum hemp products and alternative THC cannabinoids. Instead, employees should focus on lab-verified broad-spectrum or isolate CBD products. These items always have zero delta-9 THC, which makes it impossible for THC to appear on a drug test.
Don’t Trust A Hemp Brand’s Label — Always Get Third-Party Lab Results!
If you are going to use zero-THC CBD oils while at work, please be sure you get high-quality third-party test results. Even if a brand advertises its hemp extract as “THC-free,” you need to verify the THC score on a Certificate of Analysis. There are plenty of CBD companies that sell THC-containing products without informing the public. Until there’s greater federal oversight on the hemp industry, you need to rely on these COAs to see what the THC levels are.
Please be sure to review Real Tested CBD’s unbiased reviews for more info on assessing a delta-8 or CBD company’s claims.