According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Delta-8 “is a psychoactive substance found in the cannabis sativa plant.” In other words, using Delta-8 can produce an intoxicating effect similar to marijuana.

Although marijuana is currently illegal in Tennessee, Delta-8 is not. Delta-8 can be legally purchased online for home delivery and at many cannabidiol (CBD) stores, hemp stores, herbal retailers, and even convenience stores.

Can Delta-8 Make You Fail a Drug Test?


According to GoodRx Health, Delta-8 “is likely to show up on a drug test.” It’s important to note that because Delta-8 isn’t regulated by the FDA, it doesn’t always contain only Delta-8. It also may contain residual chemicals and other contaminants, which not only poses a risk to health, but can also make it more likely to show up on a drug test after use.

Delta-8 usage is most likely to be detected on a drug test that screens for the presence of cannabinoids. Because Delta-8 is a cannabinoid, it will always show up on these drug tests. It can also show up on drug tests that are designed to look for Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the primary intoxicant in marijuana. That’s because the chemical structures of Delta-8 and Delta-9 are almost identical.

How Long Does Delta-8 Stay in Your System?

THC can be detected via hair tests for up to 90 days after last usage, and anywhere from one day to one month or longer in urine depending on frequency of usage.

Delta-8 can be detected at similar timeframes. The more you use, and the more frequently you use, the longer it stays in your system and the more easily it can be detected via cannabinoid or THC tests.

What Happens if You Fail a Drug Test Because of Delta-8?

Although Delta-8 is legal in Tennessee, failing a drug test because of it typically has the same consequences as failing a drug test due to marijuana usage. That means if you’re issued a drug test where the presence of marijuana results in penalties or legal action against you, you’ll face those same consequences if you use Delta-8.

Failing a drug test because of Delta-8 can result in:

DCS custody problems
If you or your spouse are already under investigation by the Department of Children’s Services in Tennessee and you fail a drug test due to Delta-8 usage, you may lose custody of your children. And if your children are in foster care and you’re trying to regain custody of them, that process may be delayed if you test positive for Delta-8.

DUI arrest
If you get pulled over while driving and the police officer suspects you’re impaired by drugs, you may be administered a drug test. If you test positive for cannabinoids or THC, you may be charged with DUI, even if you were under the influence of Delta-8 instead of marijuana.  Though Delta 8 is legal in Tennessee, you cannot drive on it if you have taken a sufficient amount to be intoxicated just like with alcohol.

Assigned the majority of fault for a crash
When people are suspected of being at fault for car accidents, they may be required to take drug tests afterward. In addition to potentially being charged with DUI, you’re also much more likely to be ruled mostly at fault for the crash and liable for the other driver’s injuries—even if you true level of fault was much lower.

Termination from your job
Many jobs and careers require a drug-free workforce. If your job requires you to undergo drug testing and you use Delta-8, you may test positive for cannabinoids or THC. At some workplaces, this is grounds for immediate termination.

Loss of your professional license
Some jobs require licenses to practice. These include medicine, counseling, law, and more. People who test positive for drugs, including marijuana and Delta-8, run the risk of losing their licenses for even a single positive test.

Contact Us to Protect Your Rights

At Ralls & Wooten, we help people whose rights are being threatened due to many different scenarios and circumstances. Due to its legal status and wide availability, more and more Tennesseans are using Delta-8, but they aren’t aware of how serious the consequences of a positive test can be to their personal and professional lives, as well as their families.

Contact our Maryville lawyers anytime for a free consultation. We have nearly 40 years of experience representing people throughout East Tennessee, and we want to put our experience to work for you and your family.