Does Delta-10 Show Up on a Drug Test?
Hemp-derived delta-10 THC appears to offer benefits in the form of heightened focus, energy, and a milder high than delta-9 THC, but does delta-10 show up on a drug test?
If you might be subjected to random drug tests or have to pass drug testing to qualify for a job, you'll need to know whether consuming delta-10 THC will lead to a failed drug test and what you can do to pass.
Yes, Delta-10 THC Will Show Up on a Drug Test
The short answer is that yes, delta-10 THC will show up on a drug test. Delta-10 THC—like delta-8 THC—produces the same THC metabolite in the body as Delta-9 THC: 11-Nor-9-carboxy-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC-COOH. THC-COOH is excreted by the body in urine, saliva, sweat, and hair follicles, which are the samples that are typically analyzed in drug tests.
Even though hemp-derived delta-10 THC is technically legal under federal law, drug tests can't distinguish between the analogs of THC and delta-9 THC itself. They also can’t distinguish between hemp-derived and marijuana-derived THC. If the concentration of THC-COOH in your urine, hair follicles, or saliva is over the limit, you'll fail the test.
Why Are Employers Testing for THC?
Under federal law, hemp products, including hemp-derived cannabinoids are legal since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. That means that delta-10 THC derived from any cannabis plant with less than 0.3% THC by dry weight can legally be bought, sold, possessed, and consumed without running into issues with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
However, under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), Delta-9 THC—from any source—is listed as being illegal, which is why federal employees and employees of "drug-free workplaces" may be drug tested for THC metabolites. Furthermore, analogs of delta-9 THC (including delta-8 THC and delta-10 THC) are illegal under many state laws.
How Long Does THC-COOH Stay in Your System?
The exact amount of time that THC-COOH will stay in your system depends on:
The route of administration. Delta-10 THC consumed in vapes metabolizes more quickly than delta-10 THC consumed via tinctures or edibles.
The strength of the product. The more milligrams of delta-10 THC in each serve, the higher the concentration in your body.
How frequently you ingest delta-10 THC. The more frequently you consume delta-10 THC, the longer it will stay in your system.
Individual factors. Weight, activity level, diet, and metabolism affect how long delta-10 THC will still be detectable in a drug test.
Aside from individual factors, different testing methods also detect THC metabolites for different amounts of time.
A blood test can detect THC metabolites for up to 12 hours.
A saliva test can detect THC metabolites after just a few minutes and up to 24 hours after consumption.
A urine test can detect THC metabolites up to around 30 days after consumption.
A hair follicle drug test can detect THC metabolites up to around 90 days after consumption.
Of the different drug tests available, urine and hair-follicle drug tests are the most frequently used because they give a prospective employer information about the substances you consumed during the last few weeks.
What Can You Do to Pass a Test?
If you have a test coming up, the best thing to do is to abstain from delta-10 THC products and other products containing THC for 30 days, drink lots of water, exercise, and eat lots of fruit and vegetables to flush out your system. By doing this, you could be clear of THC metabolites in your urine after a few days to a few weeks.
There are also detox kits available that are specifically designed for THC and may help you clear the metabolites faster. These kits will be just as effective for analogs of THC, including delta-10 and delta-8 THC. If you do go the detox route, make sure to follow all of the instructions and do some self-tests before the day.
There Are Some Protections for MMJ Patients
While THC is included in most drug tests, medical marijuana patients may be able to keep their jobs even if they fail a drug test. In Arizona, for example, patients with AZ qualifying conditions who hold a valid MMJ card are allowed to take their medicine at home without being excluded from working in a "drug-free workplace."
The exceptions to this rule are federal and federally-funded jobs and safety-sensitive jobs like driving a school bus or airplane. Individuals worried about marijuana and their job in AZ will either need to seek a doctor's advice about alternative treatments or choose a job that permits the consumption of medical marijuana outside of work.
What about Other Cannabinoids?
Obviously, the cannabis plant has many other cannabinoids aside from isomers of THC. And most of these cannabinoids don't have intoxicating effects. Cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), and cannabinol (CBN) are three examples of non-intoxicating cannabinoids that are marketed for their wellness-promoting properties and won’t show up on a standard drug test.
CBD may help with mood, anxiety, seizures, opioid addiction, and neuropathic pain.
CBG may help with appetite loss, bladder dysfunction, neurodegenerative conditions, and inflammation associated with irritable bowel syndrome.
CBN is known as the “sleepy cannabinoid” and may help with glaucoma, certain kinds of skin blistering, and chronic muscle pain.
As none of these cannabinoids are scheduled explicitly on the DEA's list, they are federally legal as long as they are derived from hemp. However, as some states still restrict hemp products to medical marijuana patients, it's best to check before you go ahead and consume these products—especially if you may be subjected to random drug testing.
Be Aware, Be Prepared
The explosion of new hemp-derived cannabinoids in the market provides some wonderful options for MMJ patients and adult-use cannabis consumers. However, federal guidelines and state laws can be conflicting and confusing as far as what is allowed.
If you have a health condition that could benefit from delta-10 THC or any other forms of cannabis, make sure that you find out your relevant state laws and schedule an in-person or MMJ telemedicine appointment (where available) to get an MMJ card and enjoy any patient protections offered by your state.