Does Delta 8 show up on a drug test?

By Dharma D8   |   May 25, 2021

Back in 2018, the hemp and cannabis industry began to take off. Suddenly, hemp was much more accessible to the average American. This meant that there were hemp products popping up all over the place, specifically, CBD hemp products.  After a little while, things started to quiet down. But recently, things have started up again as more and more hemp product manufacturers have started producing a new kind of product, delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta 8 or D8 THC). The question now is; what is Delta 8? More importantly, if you use it, will it show up on a drug test?

We at DharmaD8 want to make sure that you feel comfortable and confident in the products you buy from us. So, we are here to take you through everything and anything you need to know. Ready to get started?

What is Delta 8?

Let’s start by explaining what D8 THC is. This will help you understand what kind of effects it may have and why people are so worried about it showing up on a drug test.

Cannabis plants have special chemical compounds that are known as cannabinoids. These compounds are unique to cannabis plants, (e.g. hemp). Researchers are fascinated by them because they are able to interact with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is made up of receptors that have an impact on certain reactions and functions in the human body. For example, the ECS appears to have an effect on your ability to process pain and fear. In this way, cannabinoids are able to have different effects on people. Delta 8 is one of over 100 different cannabinoids. However, there’s another you’ve probably heard of before.

Arguably the most famous cannabinoid is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta 9 THC). You have likely heard of it just referred to as THC. This cannabinoid is so well-known because of its effects on people (which we’ll talk about in more detail later). These two, similar-sounding compounds, are very much alike. They are built slightly differently. This difference is just enough to consider them two different cannabinoids.

Now that you know what Delta 8 is, let’s talk about what effects it can have.

Will it get me high?

You likely thought about people getting high the second you saw the acronym “THC” or the word “cannabis.” This is probably because Delta 9 THC is the main cannabinoid that causes this oh-so-famous effect. But what about D8 THC? If it is as similar to Delta 9 THC as we mentioned, surely it must have the same effect? Well, it does, and it doesn’t.

To begin with, let’s take a look at the structure of Delta 9 THC and Delta 8. As you can see, there is a double bond that is in a slightly different position in these two cannabinoids. This is enough of a factor to consider these two cannabinoids separate compounds. It is also how they have slightly different effects.

Delta 9 THC is built in such a way that it is able to bind with the ECS receptors really tightly. This is what causes the feeling of euphoria that is so often associated with cannabis. Contrastingly, the way that D8 THC is built, binds to the ECS receptors, but not quite in the same way. Its hold isn’t nearly as strong as Delta 9 THC’s. Thus, its effect isn’t quite as intense. Delta 8 creates a high, but the high is often thought of as more bodily and relaxing.

Of course, cannabinoids like D8 THC affect everyone a little bit differently. It’s not uncommon to hear about two people who used the same Delta 9 THC product at the same time and one felt great while the other had a hard time. So, the way that a Delta 8 high may feel for you may be very different from how it feels for your friend.

Does Delta 8 show up on a drug test?

Now that we have covered all of that, let’s start talking about the big question. Is Delta 8 going to show up on a drug test?

To put it simply, yes, it will. That is, it will show up on a drug test, as long as that drug test is made to look for THC. As we talked about in the earlier sections, Delta 9 THC is considered “regular THC” and it is shaped almost exactly the same as D8 THC. Most tests aren’t sophisticated enough to tell the difference between these two compounds. They will pick up that there is THC in your system, and it will be enough for you to fail the drug test.

However, because these tests are mainly for finding Delta 9 THC and not Delta 8, it is possible to argue this fact. There are other tests you can get which will show that there is not Delta 9 THC in your system, even if there is D8 THC.

So, to recap, Delta 8 THC will show up on a drug test that is looking for THC. This doesn’t mean that you are sunk, but it might complicate things a bit.

Is it legal?

Nevertheless, if D8 THC does show up on a drug test, does it mean you are in trouble? Is it actually legal? Like with the compound’s ability to get you high, this question has a bit of a complicated answer. So, let’s talk about it.

We mentioned briefly that 2018 saw all kinds of excitement surrounding hemp. This is due to the 2018 Farm Bill. This law helps regulate what farmers can and cannot grow and sell in the United States. Every five or so years, it’s reviewed, revised, and renewed to keep it up to date. The 2018 version changed, now allowing farmers to start growing industrial hemp. When industrial hemp became federally legal, the cannabinoids found in the plant as well. As a result, Delta 8 was federally legalized.

While that sounds pretty cut and dry, there is a bit more to this. “Federally legal” sounds as if it is completely legal in all the states. In reality, it means that there is now a precedent for states to legalize it on their own. Generally, when something is made federally legal, the states follow suit and legalize it as well. 

Yet, when it comes to hemp, some states decided not to legalize it. A few legalized hemp, but the various forms of THC were illegal. This means that hemp might be legal in your state, but not the one next door. You need to be familiar with the hemp laws in your area. That way you’ll know whether or not you can use D8 THC. To save you some time, here at DharmaD8 we avoid shipping to places that have laws against hemp or Delta 8. These states are Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island, and Utah.

For this reason, the presence of Delta 8 could either be a problem or inconsequential, depending on where you live. However, that doesn’t mean that your employer won’t have an issue. So, just be aware of local laws and any rules that you need to follow for your job. 

What kinds of Delta 8 products are there?

Hopefully, this has answered a lot of your questions and led to some new ones. For example, what kinds of D8 THC products could I buy?

There are a lot, actually. So, to not overwhelm you, we’re going to focus on the main categories of products that you can pick from. 


Who doesn’t like a good snack? Edibles are a great way to get your Delta 8 through a little treat. You can find pre-made edibles through most dispensaries. These can come in the form of baked goods, salty snacks, candies, and even things like honey. You can also make your own edibles if you have some D8 THC oil that is specifically used for cooking. One downside of edibles is that their effects take the longest to kick in. The food that the Delta 8 is added in to needs time to digest before the cannabinoid can be released and start hitting your system. That being said, their effects do seem to last much longer than those of any other D8 THC products. So, you have a trade-off. One of the most popular forms is Delta 8 THC gummies!


The next category of products that we’re going to talk about includes anything you can smoke. These can be joints, vape pens, vape cartridges, and hemp flowers that you roll yourself. This is often the go-to product for a lot of people for a few different reasons. One is that it tends to be a bit cheaper than other Delta 8 products, as there is less to them. 

An additional reason is that the effects hit almost immediately. Due to the fact that you’re inhaling the D8 THC, there is no need to wait for the cannabinoid to make its way into your system, it’s directly introduced. However, like with edibles, there is a trade-off here. Yes, the effects hit almost right away, but they also wear off really quickly. This means that you have to keep taking hits. For some people, that’s not that big of a deal, and it might be a problem for others. So, it’s all about what you’re looking for in a product.


The final category of Delta 8 products we’re going to cover is oils. These are some of the most versatile kinds of products out there. There are several different ways in which you can take them. A more direct method is by placing some of the oil under your tongue; hold it there for a few seconds, then swallow. You have thin skin under your tongue that allows things like D8 THC to enter your bloodstream more easily. 

Further, you can use it in your cooking, making your own edible. We’ve already talked about edibles and how their effects work, so you know that it can take a while for it to start working. But once it starts it works for a while. Moreover, you can vape the oils. Of course, with this method, you have to be sure that you’ve bought vapable oil. Like with all smokables, these will start and stop working quickly.

There you have it, the main kinds of Delta 8 products you can find. From these overviews, you should be able to narrow down your search for the perfect D8 THC product. If you’re still not sure which category you’d like to try, why not try multiple? You can give a few a shot and see which one is right for you!

Wrapping up

To sum everything up, Delta 8 does show up on a drug test. This is due to the fact that it is a cannabinoid incredibly similar to Delta 9 THC. However, since D8 THC is legal in most states, it may not be an issue. There are a lot of different kinds of Delta 8 products for you to choose from and enjoy. The main problem is trying to find the right one. This could mean that you will need to try a few different products. No matter what, remember to start with a low dose and wait to see how it affects you. As mentioned, each product has its own time to start working, so be patient as it could take up to an hour to feel any effects.

If you’re struggling to find the right D8 THC product to try, then why not head over to DharmaD8’s shop page. We have all kinds of high-quality products chock-full of Delta 8. These products are carefully formulated and tested, so you know you’re getting the best D8 THC experience out there. If you have any comments, questions, or concerns, you can head over to our contact page. There you can get ahold of a member of the DharmaD8 staff, who will be happy to help! You can also email us at We’re looking forward to hearing from you!


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