Drug tests are commonly used by employers, law enforcement agencies, and other organizations to detect the presence of certain illegal drugs in a person’s system. However, one substance that is often tested for is delta-9 (delta-9 THC), a psychoactive cannabinoid found in marijuana and hemp plants.
Many people refer to delta-9 as just THC, and it is responsible for the “high” that is caused by consuming cannabis. Nevertheless, cannabis and cannabis-derived delta-9 are federally illegal in the US, but hemp-derived delta-9 is legal nationwide as long as it contains no more than 0.3% delta-9 THC. However, many individuals are left with doubt regarding whether delta-9 derived from hemp will be detected in a drug test or not.
Unfortunately, a drug test can’t distinguish between hemp-derived and cannabis-derived delta-9 THC, so if a drug screening finds any kind of THC metabolite in your body, it will reveal it.
So if you are planning to use hemp-derived delta-9 products, it’s important that you understand how drug tests work, what types of drug tests can detect delta-9, and how to detox your system if you need to pass a drug test.
In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide to understanding delta-9 THC in drug tests. We’ll answer common questions such as “Will 0.3% delta-9 show up on a drug test?” and “How long does delta-9 stay in your body?” We’ll also provide tips for how to clear delta-9 from your system.
An overview of delta-9
Delta-9 also known as “delta-9 THC,” is one of the naturally occurring and psychoactive cannabinoids found in marijuana and hemp plants. It works by binding to the CB1 receptors in the brain and central nervous system, producing the psychoactive effects commonly known as “high,” which are associated with cannabis use.
Additionally, it also has many therapeutic qualities, like anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, sleep promotion, and appetite stimulation.
Furthermore, the concentration of delta-9 in any strain of cannabis can vary widely, ranging from less than 1% to over 30%. On the other hand, hemp-derived delta-9 contains a much lower concentration of the compound, typically no more than 0.3%, which is not enough to produce strong psychoactive effects like cannabis.
How do delta-9 drug tests work?
Drug tests are used to detect the presence of illegal drugs or their metabolites in your system by analyzing your current biological samples, such as urine, blood, saliva, or hair. However, the type of drug test that you encounter depends on the purpose of the test and the substances that you are being tested for.
Typically for cannabis or delta-9 THC, urine tests are the most commonly preferred type of drug test, and they are typically used for pre-employment screening, random testing, and post-accident testing because urine drug tests are non-invasive, easy to administer, and provide relatively accurate results when detecting THC metabolites in your body, especially the THC-COOH.
THC-COOH is the primary THC metabolite that is tested for in urine with the help of an immunoassay test, and if the initial screening results are positive, the test concludes that you have THC or cannabis in your system.
However, some places may require a confirmatory test, such as gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to verify the result of immunoassay testing.
Talking about the other drug testing methods, there is hair drug testing, saliva drug testing, and blood drug testing. However, these are not the most preferred screening method for detecting THC in the US, because they are not as accurate or reliable as urine drug tests.
Does delta-9 show up on a drug test?
Yes, any kind of delta-9 can show up in drug tests for a certain period of time (source).
Delta-9 is a key psychoactive component of the cannabis plant that can affect both the mind and body, which is why it’s commonly checked for in drug tests. But since it’s now possible to legally extract and use delta-9 from hemp plants too, there are questions about whether it will trigger a positive result on a cannabis detection drug test or not.
Unfortunately, the standard drug tests cannot distinguish between cannabis-derived and hemp-derived THC metabolites. For example, if you use a product that contains delta-9 THC, even in small amounts, it is possible that THC metabolites could show up on a drug test for a certain amount of time; this includes hemp-derived delta-9 products as well.
It’s important to note that a 0.3% concentration of hemp-derived delta-9 is legal nationwide in the US, but if used frequently, it will build up in your system, which can trigger a positive result in drug tests.
How long does delta-9 stay in your system?
The amount of time delta-9 stays in your system can vary depending on several factors. These factors include the frequency and amount of use, THC concentration, metabolism, body fat percentage, and the method of ingestion.
According to a study, if you use delta-9 only once, it can be found in your system for up to 1 to 3 days. However, if you are a moderate or frequent user, the delta-9 can be found in your urine for up to 30 days, in your saliva for up to 3 days, and in your blood for up to 2 days, while it can be found in your hair for up to 90 days after your last use.
It’s essential to remember that even small amounts of delta-9 can build up in your system over time, particularly if you use it frequently, which means that even infrequent use for a long time can result in detectable delta-9 levels in your system for several days to weeks.
Moreover, the method of administration can also influence how long delta-9 remains in your system. For example, inhalation methods like smoking or vaping have shorter detection windows than ingestion methods like delta-9 edibles or gummies, which can remain in your system for longer periods of time.
How do you clear delta-9 from your system?
Clearing delta-9 THC from your system can be a challenging task, especially for frequent users. While there are many detox products on the market that claim to help flush THC out of your system, there is little scientific evidence to support their effectiveness.
However, there are several things you can do to help clear delta-9 THC from your system, like:
Stop using delta-9 THC: The first step in clearing delta-9 from your system is to stop using it immediately. This allows your body to begin the process of metabolizing and eliminating the existing THC in your system.
Hydrate: Drinking plenty of water and other fluids can help flush THC metabolites out of your system more quickly. Aim to stay hydrated throughout the day and drink copious amounts of water, but don’t overhydrate.
Exercise: Regular exercise boosts your metabolism, which can further help speed up the elimination process of THC metabolites that are present in your body. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate to intense exercise per day. However, avoid doing any kind of exercise just before a drug test.
Eat a healthy diet: Eating a healthy, balanced diet that is high in fiber and low in fat can also help speed up the elimination of THC metabolites from your system.
Use detox products: There are certain THC detox products on the market that claim to help clear THC from your system more quickly. However, these products are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), nor are they backed by any scientific studies, so there is no guarantee about their safety and effectiveness.
Wait it out: Ultimately, the best way to clear delta-9 THC from your system is to simply wait it out. Depending on your usage and metabolism, it can take several days to several weeks for THC metabolites to be completely eliminated from your system.
It’s important to note that there’s no surefire method to get rid of delta-9 quickly. Everyone’s body is unique, and the amount of time it takes to eliminate THC depends on a variety of factors. It’s also worth noting that trying to cheat a drug test with detox products or other methods can be risky and is not recommended.
Delta-9 can be detected in your system over a duration of up to 3 to 30 days by several types of drug tests, including urine tests, blood tests, saliva tests, and hair tests. Although it’s worth noting that urine tests are the most commonly used drug testing method in the US, you will rarely encounter other drug tests for detecting THC alone.
While, it can be challenging to clear delta-9 from your system, especially for frequent users, stopping its use and allowing your body to metabolize the compound naturally is the most reliable method of removing it from your system
However, if drug testing is a regular cause of concern for you, then it is essential to be aware of the delta-9 content of any products you consume and to avoid using them in the days leading up to a drug test.
As a safer alternative, you can also try cannabinoids like CBD isolate or broad-spectrum CBD. They are non-psychoactive hemp extracts that offer all the therapeutic benefits without the risk of testing positive on a drug test.
Which types of drug tests can detect delta-9?
There are several types of drug tests that can detect delta-9 in your system, including urine tests, blood tests, saliva tests, and hair tests. Although urine drug testing is more commonly preferred when it comes to detecting THC metabolites.
Will 0.3% of delta-9 show up on a drug test?
Yes, 0.3% of delta-9 can show up on a drug test. While this concentration is not enough to produce strong psychoactive effects, it can still be detected in your system by drug tests.
Can you test positive for delta-9 from secondhand smoke exposure?
It is possible to test positive for delta-9 from secondhand smoke exposure, especially during the hair drug test, although it is less likely than from direct use.
How can I make sure I won't test positive for delta-9?
The most reliable way to ensure you won’t test positive for delta-9 is to avoid using marijuana or hemp products containing THC. If you must use such products, it’s important to be aware of the delta-9 content and to avoid using them in the days leading up to a drug test.
Can detox drinks or supplements help clear delta-9 from your system?
There is no scientific evidence to support the use of detox drinks or supplements for clearing delta-9 from your system. Some products may contain ingredients that could potentially dilute your urine, but this is not a safe or reliable method for passing a drug test.
The information in this article is intended for general use only and may not always be appropriate for everyone’s needs. Your health and wellness are unique to you, so before acting on anything we say, seek personalized advice from a medical professional.
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