These days, cannabis is more common and less stigmatized than ever. However, many employers will still mandate a drug test either for their own policy or to comply with current federal laws and regulations. Even if you enjoy cannabis legally, that big job you’re after can feel out of reach due to these inconvenient and frustrating testing requirements. 

The situation has become even more complicated with the rise of delta-8, delta-10, HHC, and other recently popularized hemp cannabinoids. Many cannabis consumers enjoy these hemp-derived cannabinoids as an alternative when good ol’ fashioned THC isn’t available, preferring the more tailored experience available with innovative new cannabinoid combinations and the wider national product availability. 

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Unfortunately, it can be unclear which hemp-derived cannabinoids will flag a drug test, but never fear, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve previously partnered with the experts over at Pass Your Test to provide an ultimate guide on how to pass a drug test, and we’re back to help you parse all the nuances around novel cannabinoids, and make sure you’ll ace this exam with flying colors. 

Legal cannabinoids

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Let’s rewind a bit and first talk about the legal situation cannabinoids like delta-8, delta-10, and HHC find themselves in. When the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into law, it made hemp legal to grow and use for extraction in every state in the union, so long as the product contained less than 0.3% standard delta-9 THC by dry weight. This ruling kicked the door open for cannabinoid research, and before long, a whole slew of products featuring novel, hemp-derived cannabinoids burst onto the market. 

These cannabinoids, like delta-8, delta-10, and HHC, are all exciting new developments in the industry, offering a wide range of intoxicating and non-intoxicating effects. While still in its infancy, cannabinoid research shows shining potential to inform and change the way we interact with hemp products. 

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In such a new market, things can change quickly. Some regulations, like employer drug tests, haven’t quite caught up. Don’t let that stress you out, we’ve gone through some of the most popular legal cannabinoids and put together a quick guide on how to keep yourself in the clear. 

Will delta-8 THC make you fail a drug test?

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Yes, and here’s why. Many drug tests do not specifically test for the THC compound found in cannabis; instead, they test for the metabolites that your body produces in order to break it down and flush it from your system. A high enough concentration of these metabolites will flag drug tests. 

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Unfortunately, the trait that makes delta-8 THC so appealing—its close chemical relationship to standard THC— is the factor that guarantees it will similarly flag a drug test. Delta-8 THC is broken down by the same compounds that your body would create to break down regular THC, meaning that it just isn’t possible for a drug test to tell whether or not you were consuming federally legal delta-8 or standard delta-9 THC. 

That sounds like bad news, but there’s still hope you’ll land the job, delta-8 lovers. By the same token that these metabolites will cause you to fail a drug test, any cleanse or detox remedies that are effective for classic THC will also be effective for the delta-8 variants. 

Will delta-10 THC make you fail a drug test?

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Though delta-10 THC is described as a less potent, more gentle THC alternative, delta-10 THC will still flag drug tests. Even though hemp-derived THCs like delta-8 and delta-10 are chemically distinct enough to be regulated differently at the federal level, they are simply too closely related in order for an imperfect method like a drug test to adequately tell the difference. 

Just like delta-8, delta-10 is broken down by the same metabolites that will break down THC. These metabolites are exactly what the drug test is looking for, causing a failure and possible loss of employment opportunity. Don’t start remixing your resume just yet though if you’re a delta-10 fan, a detox regiment that is designed for standard THC will cleanse your system as well. 

Will HHC make you fail a drug test?

HHC is simply not yet well-researched enough to be on many drug-testing radars.

The jury is still out on this one, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Unlike delta-8 and delta-10, HHC is more chemically distinct from THC. This compound is produced by adding an extra hydrogen molecule to delta-9 THC, and as such, will be broken down by slightly different metabolites. 

The truth of the matter is that HHC is simply not yet well-researched enough to be on many drug-testing radars, and there isn’t yet a good test to screen for HHC. However, if you are a heavy HHC consumer, or use it in conjunction with other cannabinoids, it is possible that you will fail a drug test even though you have not consumed any THC. It won’t hurt to treat HHC like the other hemp-derived cannabinoids on this list and be prepared. 

How to pass with confidence

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The first step to passing a drug test is to be well-informed and adequately prepared by finding out what sort of drug test you’ll be facing and what kind of compounds the test is screening for. Most drug tests still use urine analysis, but hair follicle tests are becoming more common for jobs that require stricter adherence to federal guidelines. It’s important to know what type of test you’ll be taking, as THC metabolites can stay in hair follicles for far longer than they will stay in urine or blood. 

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The first step to passing a drug test is to be well-informed.

It’s also vital to keep in mind the size of your body and the frequency at which you consume your cannabinoid of choice. A daily cannabis consumer that weighs over 200 pounds will require a stronger detox method than a weekly consumer who weighs under that amount. Having an accurate picture of your situation is essential to developing a plan to pass.

The final step is selecting a detox kit in order to cleanse your system in preparation for your test. Detox kits, like those available from Pass Your Test, are essential resources in order to stay free, clear, and employed. If you know you’ll be facing a drug test soon, then we recommend a 5-10 day detox kit, depending on how frequently you consume cannabis and the size of your body. Higher-weight, more-frequent consumers should opt for the 10-day cleanse, while those who smoke less or are of a slighter frame may be better served by the 5-day program. If you’ve been surprised by a test and need a same-day solution, Pass Your Test also offers a Fail Safe detox kit that can temporarily cleanse your body in as little as an hour. 

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Final thoughts

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Image courtesy of Pass Your Test.

Although hemp-based cannabinoids are available nationwide, their unique legal status means that it is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to drug testing. With the information here, you’ll be well prepared to pass a drug test no matter what cannabinoid variants you enjoy.

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