Delta-8 Hemp THC is the legal version of delta-9. Because it’s a completely different compound with different effects, it’s often thought that since drug screens are looking for delta-9 THC, delta-8 hemp will remain unseen in the results. But this might not be the case.
Delta-8 hemp and delta-9 are, obviously, very similar in their makeup. The only reason that delta-8 hemp is federally legal is that it can be derived from hemp. The hemp plant is technically a cannabis plant as well, but the differentiating factor is that hemp plants have less THC—delta-9 THC, that is.
Even though delta-8 hemp can be extracted from hemp and not specifically the cannabis plant, it’s one chemical bond away from being delta-9 THC—the big indicator on a drug screen that you’ve recently used cannabis.
Some tests will be able to distinguish between the two compounds, but not all of them will. In fact, many drug screens only test for THC metabolites in the body, which both delta-8 hemp and delta-9 break down into when metabolized. This means the test has no way of checking what compound was consumed—and authorities won’t know whether the THC metabolites were from a legal or illegal substance.
Sometimes, testing labs employ Ultra High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), which can accurately differentiate between the different THC compounds. But, again, there’s no way of knowing what kind of technology a testing facility is using, so it’s best to assume the delta-8 hemp in your system will look just like delta-9.
The bottom line is that if a positive drug test could be detrimental to your livelihood or relationships, we strongly recommend avoiding delta-8 hemp THC… or start looking for a new gig!