What is Delta-8 THC: Understanding its Benefits and Risks

Delta-8 THC
Delta-8 THC

Delta-8 THC (Δ8THC) is a minor but potent psychoactive component of the Cannabis plant. It is similar to Delta-9 THC (the most abundant and well-known compound in marijuana), but with some notable differences that make Delta-8 THC a unique and potentially useful substance for medical and recreational purposes.

What is Delta-8 THC, and how is it different from Delta-9 THC?

Delta-8 THC is a molecule with a similar chemical structure to Delta-9 THC but with a few key differences. These differences result in somewhat different potency, metabolism, and effects than Delta-9 THC.

While Delta-9 THC is considered the “standard” form of THC, Delta-8 THC is a lesser-known and less abundant form that is gaining attention for its unique properties.

Benefits of Delta-8 THC

One of the main benefits of Delta-8 THC is that it is less psychoactive than Delta-9 THC, which means that it has a lower potential for anxiety and other adverse side effects. This makes it a good option for people who want to experience the benefits of THC without the intense “high” associated with Delta-9 THC.

Delta-8 THC has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, making it a potential treatment for conditions like arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and cancer-related pain.

Risks and side effects of Delta-8 THC

While Delta-8 THC has some potential benefits, it is crucial to be aware of its use’s risks and side effects. Some of the most common side effects of Delta-8 THC include dry mouth, red eyes, increased appetite, and drowsiness. Additionally, some people may experience anxiety or paranoia when using Delta-8 THC, mainly if they use large amounts.

Legal Status of Delta-8 THC

The legal status of Delta-8 THC is currently in flux, with some states and countries allowing it and others prohibiting it. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and hemp-derived products in the United States, including Delta-8 THC.

However, there is still some confusion and conflicting information about the legality of Delta-8 THC, so it is essential to check the laws in your specific state or country before using it.

How Drug Tests for Cannabis Work

Drug tests for cannabis, also known as marijuana or THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), typically screen for the presence of THC or its metabolite THC-COOH in a person’s bodily fluids such as urine, blood, saliva, or hair.
Urine testing is the most common form of drug testing for cannabis and works by detecting the presence of THC-COOH, a metabolic byproduct of THC that is stored in the body’s fat cells and slowly released over time.

The test measures the amount of THC-COOH in a urine sample, and if the level is above a certain threshold, the test is considered positive.

Blood tests are also used to detect the presence of THC in the bloodstream and can provide information on how much THC is in the body at the time of the test.

Blood tests are more invasive than urine tests and are typically used in accident investigations or other situations where the results are needed immediately.

Saliva tests are less invasive than urine or blood tests and are becoming increasingly popular for workplace drug testing. Saliva tests detect THC in a person’s saliva and are typically used to detect recent use of cannabis.

Hair tests are less common but can provide information on long-term cannabis use. Hair tests work by detecting the presence of THC-COOH in a person’s hair follicles, which can remain there for several months.

It’s important to note that the detection time for cannabis can vary depending on several factors such as the frequency and amount of use, body mass index (BMI), and the potency of the cannabis used.

Does CBD Oil Contain THC?

CBD oil can contain trace amounts of THC, but typically in concentrations below the legal limit of 0.3%. CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the many compounds found in the cannabis plant, and it does not produce the “high” commonly associated with marijuana use.
THC, on the other hand, is the psychoactive compound in marijuana that produces the “high.”Many CBD products are marketed as being “THC-free,” but it’s important to note that this can be misleading.
While these products may contain negligible amounts of THC, they can have trace amounts still.

Additionally, some products may contain higher levels of THC than stated on the label, so it’s always essential to purchase products from reputable sources and to carefully read the product label before use.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Delta-8 and Drug Testing:

1. Can you fail a drug test for delta-8?

A: Yes, it is possible to fail a drug test for delta-8 as it is a type of THC, and some drug tests specifically test for THC. However, it depends on the type of drug test and the cutoff level for THC detection.

2. How long does delta-8 stay in your system for a urine test?

A: The length of time delta-8 stays in the system can vary based on factors such as the amount and frequency of use, body mass index (BMI), and metabolism. On average, delta-8 can be detectable in urine for up to 72 hours after use.

3. Will delta-8 show up on a urine test?

A: Delta-8 may appear on a urine test, especially if the test is made explicitly for THC. It is important to note that the presence of delta-8 can be differentiated from delta-9 THC, the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana, by more specialized tests.

4. How long will delta-8 cause a positive drug test?

A: Delta-8 can cause a positive drug test for up to 72 hours after use. However, the length of time can vary based on individual factors such as the amount and frequency of use, body mass index (BMI), and metabolism.

5. Will taking delta-8 make you fail a drug test?

A: Yes, taking delta-8 can make you fail a drug test if the test specifically tests for THC. Delta-8 is a type of THC that can be detected in urine, blood, hair, or saliva tests. It is essential to be aware of the specific drug testing requirements for your workplace or other situations and always purchase products from reputable sources.


Delta-8 THC is a unique and potentially helpful compound with a lower psychoactivity than Delta-9 THC. While it has some potential benefits, it is also essential to be aware of the risks and side effects associated with its use.

If you are interested in using Delta-8 THC, it is crucial to research and talk to a doctor or healthcare provider to determine if it is safe and appropriate for you.