How Long Does Delta 8 Stay in Your System?
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Don’t know much about the Agriculture and Nutrition Improvement Act of 2018? You should. Commonly called the 2018 Farm Bill, it opened the door to legal sales of hemp and the derivative products from it.
Here’s why that’s important.
What is Delta-8?
Before we answer that question, we need to understand what hemp is. Wikipedia defines hemp as “the non-psychoactive cousin of marijuana,” and indeed, the plant contains less than 0.3 percent of Delta-9 THC, the cannabinoid that brings on the wonderful, euphoric high we’ve all come to know and love when we ingest marijuana.
Researchers have long known of a number of different cannabinoids present in both hemp and marijuana plants. In fact, as far as the cannabinoid Delta-8 is concerned, they’ve been aware of its presence in small traces in both types of plants for decades.
Delta-8 is actually a degraded form of its more potent cousin, Delta-9 THC, and it produces a far milder high.
Now, because of the 2018 Farm Bill which removes hemp and hemp derivatives from the U.S. list of controlled substances, Delta-8 THC is now legal to buy and sell in most states.
Method of Consumption: How to Take Delta-8 THC
Maybe you’ve seen signs at your local convenience store, smoke shop, or gas station advertising that the stores offer Delta-8 gummies or Delta-8 vape products. Products containing Delta-8 are definitely on the rise, and they are available in a variety of forms.
Delta-8 can be obtained in the form of gummies, typically with a dose of 10mg or 25mg of Delta-8 THC each. A user could take half a gummy or a whole one.
The assumption of many producers is that Delta-8 is half the strength of Delta-9, so edible products should contain about twice the amount of Delta-8 compared to Delta-9 to get a similar high.
Delta-8 consumed in edible form will take longer to activate in your system, as much as two hours for some, and it also takes longer to break down and leave it.
Under The Tongue
Delta-8 is also available in tincture form where drops may be placed under the tongue or in food or drink. Both will provide similar results, but placing drops under the tongue will get the THC into your system much more quickly.
It takes generally 15 to 30 minutes for you to feel the effects.
When you purchase tinctures, you should find recommended dosages on the backs of the product. Some may suggest a .25ml dose for beginners, and double the amount (.50ml) for more experienced users.
Unlike edibles which must first be processed by the liver, inhaling takes Delta-8 into your lungs and very quickly into your bloodstream. The activation of Delta-8 is therefore faster than other forms of ingestion, but it also lasts the least amount of time.
How Much Delta-8 Should I Take?
A major concern about Delta-8 is that despite products containing the cannabinoid being readily available online and in brick-and-mortar stores, very little research has been done on its effects. As a result, there is generally very little quality control.
Users sometimes assume they can ingest much more than they should and may experience extremely uncomfortable psychological effects.
Users should practice the same level of caution they would when trying any THC product for the first time, especially when it comes to edibles that get converted in the liver. Product use guidelines are generally printed on the back of packaging, but the rule of thumb should always be to start with a very low dose until you have a better idea of what your mind and body can handle.
Things to Consider With Your Delta-8 Serving Size
What is an appropriate serving size of Delta-8 in a product for one person will be different for another, so it’s important to take a cautious approach.
Several factors should be taken into consideration. Your body chemistry and level of tolerance for THC will be a factor as will be the chemical profile of the cannabis you are trying out.
You should also consider the type of setting you are in when you are planning to use a product with Delta-8 and why you want to take it at that particular time.
Another important factor to consider is that Delta-8 THC generally takes longer to take effect than the more potent Delta-9 based also on the form in which you are ingesting it. Some people think they can’t get high from marijuana or that their body requires a lot more, and so when the effects don’t kick in right away, they may be fooled into ingesting much more.
This can be a bad calculation resulting in negative effects.
So … How Long Does Delta-8 Stay in Your System?
That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? And there really is no short answer. How long Delta-8 stays in your system depends on a variety of factors such as whether you are a regular user or if you use only occasionally.
For example, according to a 2017 Mayo Clinic Proceedings review, if you consume Delta-8 products only occasionally, its metabolites will generally show up in your urine for up to three days, but five to seven days for those who use it moderately. In addition, if you use on a daily basis, they may be present for 10 to 15 days and will stay in your body up to 30 days if you are a chronic user.
Other factors that affect the length of time Delta-8 stays in your system include your age and gender, the speed of your metabolism, and your tolerance to the cannabinoid.
If your concern is about Delta 8 being detected in your body in an upcoming drug test, you should know that it is possible to fail a drug test after taking it. Modern tests don’t differentiate between Delta-8 and the more potent Delta-9 THC, so it’s best to steer clear of Delta-8 products some weeks before your scheduled test.
Your behavior during this time should also extend to spending time with friends who are smoking products with Delta-8 THC even if you yourself are not. You’ll want to avoid any impacts from secondhand smoke.
What Are the Similarities and Differences Between Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC?
For starters, both Delta-8 and Delta-9 are a form of THC, and ingesting either of them will cause you to experience a certain amount of intoxicating effects.
These effects, the so-called high you feel, are caused by a double bond in their chemical structures. But whereas Delta-8 has that double bond on its eighth carbon, Delta-9 has it on the ninth.
The location of that double bond is also believed to be the reason why Delta-8 is less psychoactively potent than Delta-9. And now you know where they got the 8 and 9 in their names!
Beyond the lesser high you get from Delta-8 THC, it appears the side effects are similar to that of its more potent cousin. Negative side effects include dry mouth, red eyes, anxiety, confusion, drowsiness, and a faster heart rate.
Some users have also reported positive results such as increased appetite, reduced nausea (a plus for patients being treated for cancer), and that it eases pain. However, more research on the positive and negative effects on the mind and the body still need to be done.
One other thing: Delta-8 tends to have a longer shelf-life than Delta-9, which may make it more useful for the pharmaceutical industry.
Potential Methods To Clear Delta-8 Out Of Your System
So what happens if you’ve been using regularly and suddenly discover you need to pass a drug test that’s coming up way too soon? Short of making up an excuse about a broken down car or needing to rush a dear friend to the hospital, there are a few methods you can try to quickly flush your system.
Keep in mind there are no guarantees–but it certainly won’t hurt!
And lots of it! Water flushes the body of toxins and may help to move Delta-8 more quickly from it.
Weight training and cardio-rich exercise is a good way to get your metabolism moving and burn up fat cells that store metabolites–exactly the ones you want out of your body fast! If it doesn’t work, you may at least be able to fit into an old and favorite pair of jeans.
Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill and our friends in Congress, hemp and its many by-products such as Delta-8 THC are now legally available to many U.S. citizens. At the same time, this new freedom comes with its own warnings of caution.
Cannabinoids in both hemp and marijuana affect each of us in different ways, and it should be noted that products with Delta-8 THC have not been evaluated or approved for safe consumption by the FDA. Therefore, if you have your heart set on trying out Delta-8 products, any use of them, no matter what the form, should be started in small doses to see how they perform in your body. Good luck!