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What happens if you test positive for delta-8?

Delta-8 THC is a popular cannabinoid derived from legal hemp. It produces psychoactive effects similar to marijuana, but is less potent. Delta-8 is legal under federal law, but some states have banned it. If you use delta-8 products and face a drug test, you may test positive for THC. Here’s what you need to know about testing positive for delta-8.

Will delta-8 make you fail a drug test?

Most standard workplace drug tests (including urine, saliva, and hair tests) cannot distinguish between delta-8 and delta-9 THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana. These tests simply look for the presence of THC metabolites. Therefore, if you use delta-8, you are likely to test positive for THC on a standard drug test.

Studies have found that delta-8 is detectable in urine for up to 3-7 days after last use. Traces can be detected in hair for up to 3 months. Delta-8 is cleared from saliva faster than urine, but may still cause a failed saliva drug test for 1-3 days after use.

Factors like how often you use delta-8, the amounts consumed, metabolism and body fat percentage can influence how quickly it leaves your system.

How long delta-8 stays in your system

Test Type Detection Window
Urine 3-7 days
Saliva 1-3 days
Hair Up to 3 months

Are there any delta-8 drug tests?

While standard drug tests cannot differentiate between delta-8 and delta-9, some cannabis drug testing labs have developed assays that specifically test for delta-8 metabolites. However, delta-8-specific drug tests are not common. Most employers and legal/criminal justice systems still use traditional THC tests.

A delta-8 urine test works similarly to a standard 5-panel drug test, but uses an immunoassay calibrated to detect delta-8 THC metabolites. This allows labs to determine if a positive THC result is specifically from delta-8 rather than delta-9.

Will delta-8 make you fail a probation drug test?

Probation drug tests usually screen for all cannabinoids including THC, which means delta-8 can make you fail. People on probation are often prohibited from using any mind-altering substances, including delta-8.

Failing a probation drug test can have serious consequences like revocation of probation, fines or even jail time. It’s crucial to avoid delta-8 if you are on probation and subject to court-ordered drug testing.

Could delta-8 cause a failed DOT drug test?

Delta-8 is likely to cause you to fail a DOT (Department of Transportation) drug test. The DOT testing program does not distinguishing between THC types. Any amount of THC metabolite above the cutoff level of 15ng/mL is reported as a positive.

Failing a pre-employment DOT drug test will make you ineligible to operate commercial vehicles like semi-trucks or buses. If you are a DOT employee and fail a random drug test, you may be fired or temporarily removed from safety-sensitive duties.

What happens if you fail a military drug test for delta-8?

All branches of the military test for and prohibit marijuana use. Military drug tests screen for THC, so delta-8 will cause a failed test.

A positive THC result on a military drug test can lead to serious disciplinary actions like:

  • Court martial
  • Disciplinary measures from your commanding officer
  • Loss of rank
  • Discharge from service (less than honorable, bad conduct, or dishonorable)

Repeated failed drug tests or being charged with possession/use of delta-8 could potentially end your military career and benefits.

Will delta-8 show up on a drug test for a new job?

Most pre-employment drug tests do not differentiate between THC types. Delta-8 is likely to cause you to fail a pre-employment drug screening.

If you fail a drug test for a job you have already been offered, the employer can rescind the job offer. Some companies may allow you to retest after a waiting period, or may permanently disqualify you.

It is not advisable to use delta-8 if you are job hunting or about to undergo screening for a new job. Stop using delta-8 at least one week before the test.

Could child custody be affected by delta-8 use?

In child custody disputes, a parent who fails a court-ordered drug test for any substance that is illegal or federally prohibited could be at a disadvantage. In many jurisdictions, delta-8 falls into a legal gray area.

A failed THC test, even for delta-8, may bring your parenting into question. It could tip the scales against you resulting in loss of custody or visitation rights. Lay off the delta-8 if you are embroiled in a child custody case.

Is delta-8 legal in my state?

While delta-8 derived from hemp is federally legal, several states including Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New York, Rhode Island, Utah and Vermont have banned delta-8 products.

In these states, testing positive for delta-8 may constitute a state violation. There may also be legal implications around drug testing policies in delta-8 banned states.

States where delta-8 is illegal

New York
Rhode Island

Is delta-8 legal federally?

Yes, delta-8 derived from legal hemp is currently legal at the federal level. The 2018 Farm Bill removed all hemp and hemp derivatives (including delta-8) from the Controlled Substances Act.

However, not all delta-8 products on the market are created equal. Unregulated or impure delta-8 products may contain illegal amounts of delta-9 THC. Using untested delta-8 products can put you at risk of failing a drug test or legal complications.

False positives on delta-8 drug tests

It is possible, but rare, to get a false positive for THC on a delta-8 drug test. False positives occur when something other than delta-8 causes the test to incorrectly detect THC.

Substances reported to cause false positives include:

  • CBD products
  • Hemp foods/seeds
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Decongestants
  • Antidepressants

However, modern THC tests are highly accurate when performed correctly by accredited labs. Always request a confirmation test like GC/MS if you get an unexpected positive.

How long to wait to pass a drug test after delta-8

It can take days to weeks for delta-8 to clear out of your system. The timeframe depends on factors like:

  • How much and how often you used delta-8
  • Your metabolism and activity levels
  • Body fat percentage
  • Hydration status

For infrequent delta-8 users, abstaining for 7-10 days is often sufficient to pass a drug test. Heavy users may need to wait 2 to 6 weeks to test negative.

Home detox remedies like drinking fluids, exercise, diuretics and vitamin B supplements may help slightly. But time is truly the only reliable way to ensure delta-8 is undetectable.

Approximate time to pass a delta-8 drug test

User Type Days Clean
Infrequent 7-10 days
Moderate 10-14 days
Daily/Heavy 14-42 days

Can you dispute a failed delta-8 drug test?

If you fail a delta-8 drug test, you may be able to dispute the results if you believe it was inaccurate. However, your options are limited once a failed test is on record.

You can request your sample undergo confirmation testing via GC/MS, which is more precise. This may overturn false positives from unexpected substances.

If your delta-8 use is allowed under state laws, you may be able to argue why you should not face penalties. But most employers, schools and legal systems still equate delta-8 with marijuana use.

Ultimately, it is very difficult to dispute failed THC drug tests from delta-8 use, even if it was unintentional. Abstaining is the only sure way to pass.

Should you disclose delta-8 use before a drug test?

Admitting delta-8 use before taking a drug test is generally not advisable. Since delta-8 is federally legal, such disclosure is not legally required.

Employment drug tests only report positive or negative results – not the source of the THC. Telling your employer you use delta-8 makes no difference. The end result is still a failed THC test.

Disclosing recreational delta-8 use beforehand may actually jeopardize your job candidacy or probation status. Pleading ignorance if you do fail allows more room for negotiation.

Can you get in trouble for delta-8 use?

While delta-8 is legal at the federal level, potential repercussions exist for use in certain contexts:

  • Employment: You can still fail workplace drug tests and face termination or loss of hiring offer.
  • Athletic associations: Delta-8 constitutes a banned substance that could result in suspensions or bans.
  • Military: Banned for all service members – violators face disciplinary action.
  • Probation programs: Usage may violate probation terms and lead to violations or revocation.
  • Child custody: Failed drug tests look poorly in family court proceedings.

Additionally, penalties exist in states that have specifically outlawed delta-8. Avoid use altogether if faced with drug testing requirements or legal prohibitions.

Should you use delta-8 before a drug test?

Using any form of THC shortly before a drug test is ill-advised. Delta-8 metabolites can remain detectable in urine for up to a week after use.

It takes even longer to clear delta-8 from hair. Hair tests can detect THC for months – so avoiding prolonged delta-8 use is critical to pass.

Presumably “beating” a test by cheating, substituting or flushing your system is risky and unethical. Your best option is to stop using delta-8 well in advance of any anticipated testing.

Can you pass a drug test using delta-8?

There is no reliable way to “pass” a drug test while actively using delta-8. Since it contains THC, it will lead to a failed result for THC metabolite.

Methods some people try to pass drug tests after using delta-8 include:

  • Drinking excessive water
  • Using diuretics
  • Substituting urine
  • Taking detox kits

However, these tactics are largely ineffective and easily detected. The only foolproof way to pass is to abstain from any THC intake for as long as possible beforehand.


Delta-8 can make you fail most standard drug tests that check for THC. Failing a drug test, even for legal delta-8, can negatively impact your job prospects, military service, custody rights, athletics eligibility and probation status.

The best way to avoid issues is to abstain from delta-8 use if you may be subject to drug testing. If you unexpectedly test positive, requesting a confirmatory test may help dispute potential false results.

Ultimately, delta-8 carries many of the same risks and consequences as marijuana when it comes to drug testing policies and legal penalties enforced by entities like employers, courts and athletic programs.