Is Delta-8 Legal and How Long Does It Stay in Your System?
After the explosive entrance of Delta-8 in the hemp market last year, a lot of wellness enthusiasts have been showering it with praises. It’s milder, smoother, and offers similar health benefits as the other more popular cannabinoids: Delta-9 THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).
However, some hesitate to give Delta-8 a try because of the gray areas in its legality. Those who need to undergo a drug test for various reasons don’t want to risk getting a positive, too.
So, to clear things up, let’s go over the current status of Delta-8 in the US, and how you can get the timing right by knowing how long it will stay in your body after ingestion.
Is Delta-8 Legal?
At the federal level, yes. The 2018 Farm Bill has removed hemp from the list of controlled substances. Since Delta-8 is derived from hemp—not marijuana—, and as long as it does not contain more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC, this cannabinoid is considered legal by the federal government. Furthermore, the said THC limit imposed by the bill technically applies to the Delta-9 variant only, so some brands have been making the most of this loophole while they still can.
The answer gets trickier when you go down to the state level though. Currently, Delta-8 is legal in several but not all US states. Some states, including Arizona, Delaware, Kentucky, and New York, have expressed their concerns about the lack of background research on this cannabinoid. As such, they have opted to ban the sale of Delta-8 for now.
Given these, we encourage everyone to check first the updated state laws on Delta-8 before proceeding with your purchase.
Will Delta-8 Get You “High”?
As we have mentioned earlier, Delta-8 has similar effects as Delta-9, except that the kind of euphoria that you may expect after taking Delta-8 is milder and more stable than the latter.
Why is this so?
Some refer to Delta-8 as the younger sibling of Delta-9 because of the strong resemblance between their molecular structures. They bear the same formula but the arrangements of the atoms have slight differences. As a result, only 50% to 80% of the typical psychoactive effects occur when Delta-8 interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Other variables may influence how “high” you’d feel after taking any THC product. For example:
According to a 2019 study, young people tend to have lower thresholds for getting “stoned” due to THC consumption.
Body Fat Percentage
People who have a higher body fat percentage experience stronger psychoactive effects from THC compared to those who are leaner. Apparently, our body fat may absorb this cannabinoid as we process it. Compared to the liver, fat tissues in our body will release THC slowly to our system, thereby increasing the THC concentration level due to its accumulation in the body.
Having regular meals throughout the day will lower the psychoactive impact of THC on your body. Another study shows that if you have eaten a meal rich in fats along with THC, you’d feel its effects faster and stronger than usual.
In addition to slight euphoria, the health benefits we can gain from taking Delta-8 are also similar to when we get a dose of Delta-9 THC. These include, but are not limited to:
- Pain relief
- Body and mind relaxation
- Higher energy level
- Healthier sleep cycles
- Stronger appetite
- Protection from certain neurodegenerative disorders
The side effects associated with THC may also be felt when you consume Delta-8. However, like the aforementioned health benefits, the chances of experiencing them are low. Nonetheless, we recommend checking in with a trusted healthcare provider first before trying any Delta-8 product.
How Long Does Delta-8 Stay in Your System?
For the past year, Delta-8 has gained a reputation among experts and users as “THC-lite” or “diet weed” because of its relatively muted psychoactive effects. Despite its mild impact, it may stay in your system for more than just a couple of days.
According to CFAH.org, this cannabinoid is detectable through blood or urine for 2 to 30 days after consumption, and up to 90 days if checked through a follicle test. Various factors may influence the duration, so your experience could be shorter or longer depending on the following:
Potency of Delta-8
Potency refers to the strength of the Delta-8 extract used for a given product. It is usually denoted in terms of milligrams per serving. Simply put, the higher the potency of the Delta-8 product you’ve consumed, the more time it will take your body to flush it out.
Means of Consumption
Based on anecdotal evidence, taking Delta-8 through smoking or vaping tend to kick in and eventually wear out faster compared to ingesting it as an oil, capsule, or edible. Not much is known yet about the duration if you have used other ways to consume Delta-8 though.
Frequency of Usage
Regular Delta-8 users report experiencing the effects of the cannabinoid longer than when they were just starting. On the other hand, those who use Delta-8 with large intervals in between observe that it leaves their system rather quickly.
As mentioned earlier, the speed of your metabolism will affect how fast or slow the body will process Delta-8. That means if you have a high metabolic rate, you will be cleared of this cannabinoid sooner than those with lower metabolic rates.
Delta-8 and Drug Tests
Given that Delta-8 may give you a buzz and it won’t leave your system for some time, it’s risky to take products made with this cannabinoid if you’re about to undergo a drug test. Unfortunately, while scientists, brands, and consumers have long recognized the difference between Delta-8 and Delta-9, the types of drug tests available these days do not.
For example, a Swedish study last year showed how a urine test may detect the presence of THC among those who have recently taken Delta-8. However, the test was not able to recognize that Delta-8 is an isomer of Delta-9 THC, so it yielded positive drug test results in the end. Therefore, unlike CBD, you will likely fail a drug test due to Delta-8 even if the product’s THC level is 0.3% or lower.
There’s a workaround for this issue though. If you can get the timing right, the Delta-8 in your system might be gone by the time of the sample collection for your drug test. Of enough time has lapsed, and depending on the sensitivity of the testing method, you might just be able to pass the drug test in the end.
According to Observer.com, you need more than a two-day interval between your Delta-8 consumption and drug test if the sample you’re asked to give is either blood or saliva. Urine drug tests, on the other hand, require at least 49 days, while hair follicle drug tests take the longest at no less than 91 days.
How to Flush Delta-8 Out of Your Body
So, let’s say that you have decided to start taking Delta-8 to enjoy a pleasant buzz and reap its health benefits. However, you need to pass a drug test for a new job. Is there any way to ensure that no trace of THC will be detected from your sample?
While there are no guaranteed means of doing so, you might be able to increase your chances by following these tips:
- Stop taking Delta-8 until you have passed the drug test.
Abstaining from Delta-8 for the recommended durations we have specified in the previous section. Don’t resume immediately after the sample has been collected, just in case you’d be asked to redo it for whatever reason. Wait until you receive a negative result, just to be sure.
- Drink more water.
Getting more fluids into your body will quicken the process of purging the cannabinoid and toxins in your body. We suggest taking small but frequent sips of water throughout the day rather than drinking a lot of water in one because it will put you at risk of hyponatremia.
- Eat meals that are high in fiber and protein.
Similar to increased water intake, eating regularly can quicken the process of eliminating the wastes in your body. Go for foods that are rich in fiber or protein since they will keep you from constipation.
- Do some physical exercises.
Since increasing your metabolic rate will shorten the stay of Delta-8 in your system, dedicate around 10 to 30 minutes of your day to workout routines or any other physical exercise that you prefer.
- Get enough sleep.
While we are at rest, the body can allocate more resources to clearing away the unnecessary stuff in our body. This will also further boost your metabolic rate, so it’s of the more effective ways to flush Delta-8 out of the body.
The hype surrounding Delta-8 will not die down any time soon. Unless the federal government bans it completely, brands aren’t going to stop offering new ways to consume it, and cannabis fans like us continue to celebrate the added variation to our natural wellness alternatives.
However, we should remain cautious and vigilant because more research needs to be done to better understand what this cannabinoid can truly offer us. Practicing self-control is also essential when it comes to Delta-8 usage since it could tank our drug test results.
Now that you’re more informed about Delta-8, think carefully if the benefits outweigh the risks in your case. Don’t forget to consider the opinion of your doctor, too. After all, the primary goal of taking these cannabinoids should be to improve our quality of life.
Still not sure about whether or not Delta-8 will satisfy your needs and preferences? Check out our other posts about this trend to learn more about your options. We encourage subscribing to our newsletter below so that you won’t miss an update from us.