Thanks to the latest hemp industry innovation, hemp-derived Delta-9 products are taking the spotlight. These THC-laced edibles contain the same delta-9-THC molecule you’ll find in traditional cannabis products, but they are federally legal thanks to their hemp source.
The question is, will these legal THC products interfere with work or legal restrictions concerning THC use. Will hemp Delta-9-THC show up on a drug test?
The answer is a straightforward yes–Delta-9 from hemp will show up on a drug test the same way that traditional THC products will, and it is impossible to tell the difference.
Aside from being exactly the same THC molecule that you’ll find in marijuana, it also metabolizes the same way. Drug tests don’t look for Delta-9, rather they look for a specific THC metabolite. That means that passing a drug test after using hemp Delta-9 has everything to do with timing and your personal metabolic rate.
To learn more about how hemp THC products affect drug tests, the legality of hemp THC products, and how long hemp-derived THC stays in your system, just keep reading.
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As we mentioned, Delta-9 from hemp is federally legal because it's made from hemp–a legal form of cannabis known to contain less than 0.3% Delta-9-THC. That may seem like a miniscule amount, but it actually adds up to sizable doses that make for useful, legal THC products.
For perspective, a five gram gummy can contain 0.3% Delta-9-THC by dry weight, meaning it can hold just under 15 milligrams of THC–more than enough to produce potent psychoactive effects for most people.
But, just because the THC from hemp is federally legal doesn’t mean that it will evade a drug test. That 15 milligrams will get you high, but it will also be converted by the body to 11-nor-delta-9-THC-COOH, a potent THC metabolite. This is the primary metabolite that drug tests pick up. Since many forms of THC are metabolized the same way, a drug test cannot always differentiate between THC sources.
In other words, the test will read a positive result but will not always be able to differentiate where the THC came from, and you aren’t likely to be able to prove that it came from a legal source. Not that it matters since, in most cases, employers can regulate the use of psychoactive substances for safety-related reasons.
So, if you're wondering if you’ll be able to evade drug tests while using hemp THC products, the answer is no. But if you’re here for a different reason, like, for instance, because you’ve already taken some THC edibles and want to know if you’ll be able to pass an upcoming drug test, there’s more to know:
Any kind of Delta-9 will show up on a drug test if you have not given adequate time for all trace amounts of THC byproducts to leave your body. Of course, the test results will differ depending on the type of test used.
Generally speaking, drug tests look for THC metabolites, or a byproduct of THC that is created by the body and stored in the body’s fat. These metabolites exist in our body for longer periods of time than the cannabinoids themselves, which makes the drug screen “more effective” at detecting previous substance use.
The amount of time Delta-9 is detectable in your system depends greatly on biological factors, like body fat and metabolism, as well as the type of drug test used to detect THC metabolites.
For instance, THC remains in your saliva for approximately 48 hours after ingestion, and in your blood for up to 36 hours. However, THC generally sticks around in your body for much longer, up to a month or more for some people.
The amount of time it takes your body to completely process and remove all trace amounts of THC (which can show up in your urine) differs for every person based on factors like body fat and metabolism.
Additionally, THC takes longer to be eliminated from the body if it’s used frequently. In other words, a person who does one time may have THC-free urine much sooner than someone who has ingested THC consistently for extended periods of time.
A person who uses hemp THC products between two and four times per week may have detectable THC in their urine for up to 3 weeks afterwards. Those who use THC daily may test positive for 1-2 months, sometimes even longer.
Before we get started, it’s important to understand that the best way to avoid a positive THC drug test result is to abstain from THC use entirely, and abstaining is always a good idea if you are subject to random or unexpected drug tests.
Many people fall for the marketing ploy surrounding different detox drinks and pills that promise to help you fool a drug test in only a few days or weeks. These aren’t foolproof ways to pass a drug test after using Delta-9-THC, rather some of them may help by speeding up the body’s metabolic process.
Because these detox kits are very hit or miss, you should not rely on them as a way out if you are subject to regular or random drug tests. However, you may be able to do some things to help remove THC from your system more quickly
If you have found yourself in the path of an unexpected drug test and have recently consumed hemp Delta-9-THC, here are the things you can try:
It seems obvious, but as soon as you find out about your drug test, you should abstain from use. Yes, hemp delta-9 is legal, but many employers and legal situations require you to be clear of any psychoactive substances, including legal ones like hemp-derived cannabinoids and kratom. The more time you have to clear your system before your test, the better your chances are.
Start drinking plenty of water to flush your system. Maintaining good hydration will improve your metabolism and help you to remove toxins and THC metabolites from your system much more quickly.
Be sure not to drink too much water the day of a urine test, or the test may read that your urine was diluted. In some cases, a diluted test will be counted as a positive/failed test. In other cases, they may just schedule a retest at a later date.
As we mentioned, you’ll want to support your body’s natural elimination process to help remove THC metabolites more quickly. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and avoiding processed foods may help. You may also want to temporarily cut down on meat or other hard to digest items that can slow down the metabolic process.
Take an at-home test so you know what to expect. Just keep in mind that at-home varieties are not always as thorough as the tests given by businesses or law enforcement.
Hemp Delta-9, although legal, will trigger a positive test result and can cause complications in certain work and legal situations. Drug tests will be able to pick up on the THC metabolites stored in body fat for a varying amount of time, ranging from 2 days to 2 months.
Typically, the amount of time it will take to clear your system depends on things like your weight, activity levels, diet, and how frequently you consume hemp-derived delta-9. The best way to avoid a positive drug test result is to avoid THC entirely.
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