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How Long Will Delta 8 THC Stay in My System?

It’s safe to say that delta-8 THC is one of our favorite cannabinoids here at Apollo

But we understand that not everybody will feel the same way. Maybe you’re too new to delta-8 to know much about it — or maybe you’re excited to take it, but just a little unsure about the unknowns. 

One of the potentially biggest unknowns? How long delta-8 will stay in your system.  

  • Delta- 8 THC: how does it work?
  • 7 factors that affect how long delta-8 stays in your system
  • What is delta-8 THC’s half-life?
  • How long will delta-8 stay in my system? Gummies vs. vapes
  • Will delta-8 THC show up on a drug test?
  • How to get delta-8 to stay in your system longer

Delta- 8 THC: how does it work?

First things first: what does delta-8 THC do exactly?

Like virtually every other cannabinoid, it activates your body’s endocannabinoid system! This internal system features two different types of receptors located throughout your body and mind. Delta-8 THC just so happens to activate both types of receptors, which means it can stay in your body for longer than you’d think. [1]

How much time are we talking here? The short answer is anywhere from 2 to 20-30 days. 

Admittedly this is a pretty broad range. That’s because a huge variety of factors affect how long delta-8 THC stays in your system. Delta-8’s buzziest benefits are almost predictable in how they’re experienced by any given person…but the duration of said effects can vary wildly. 

Let’s take a look at some of these factors next. As it turns out, it might be possible to steer the duration of delta-8’s effects in whatever direction you want! 

7 factors that affect how long delta-8 stays in your system

As we mentioned above, delta-8 THC’s effects can and do vary from one person to the next.

The cannabinoid can stay detectable through serum or urine tests for as long as 30 days…or as little as two. Hair analysis can pick up on delta-8 consumption for even longer, though it’s debatable whether or not this qualifies as being ‘in your system.’ (Thankfully, these hair analyses are rarely used for drug testing!)

All that said, here are seven top factors that commonly affect how long D8 stays in your system. 

  1. Age
  2. Health 
  3. Dosage 
  4. Frequency 
  5. Metabolism 
  6. Delivery method
  7. Compound +compound interaction
  1. Age

Older people tend to take longer to metabolize cannabinoids than younger people. If you’re currently 60 years old, delta-8 will probably stay in your system for longer than it did when you were 20. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing — your body’s heightened sensitivity to delta-8 allows you to feel great from smaller, more affordable doses! 

  1. Health 

While your sensitivity to delta-8 THC may very well go up with age, this shift can be easily outweighed by health problems. People who are older or who struggle with chronic health problems often need to take larger amounts of delta-8 than those who are perfectly healthy. They may also find that delta-8 stays in their system for longer amounts of time.  (A healthy person with a fast metabolism, on the other hand, can usually excrete delta-8 from their system quickly. But more on that later.)

  1. Dosage 

One’s delta-8 dosage goes a long way toward determining how long it’ll stay in their system. Larger doses stay in one’s system for longer; smaller doses get cleared out of one’s system quickly. Intuitive enough, right? 

A delta-8 megadose (think 50-100 milligrams, or 2-4 of our D8 Gummies) may very well stay in your system several times longer than a more normal dose. It’s not yet clear if this relationship is linear; a 50-milligram dose might stay in your system for twice as long as a 25-milligram dose, but nobody really knows yet.  

  1. Frequency 

Your dosage frequency also plays a big part in determining how long delta-8 will stay in your system. If it’s your first time taking delta-8, be prepared for it to stay in your system for quite awhile! If you’re a seasoned user, on the other hand, don’t be surprised if any given D8 dose wears off pretty fast. Some research suggests that your endocannabinoids system’s breakdown enzymes become more efficient at, well, breaking down cannabinoids over time. [2]

There’s one exception to this concept: microdosing. Those who microdose delta-8 may find that it builds up in their system over time — and consequently sticks around for a while. Consistent delta-8 dosing can also result in delta-8 building up within your adipocytes, or fat cells, and then being released at a later date. 

If you take just one or two doses of D8 per week, it’ll probably only stay in your system for a week. If you’re microdosing or taking large daily doses, however, expect it to stay in your system for several weeks. 

  1. Metabolism 

You know those people who can eat whatever’s in sight and still not gain any noticeable weight? Yeah…those same people might be able to clear delta-8 out of their system faster than others. That’s because there’s a good amount of overlap between most of the body’s metabolic processes, whether we’re talking about coffee metabolism or cannabinoid metabolism or calorie burn. if a person can burn off calories fast, they might also be able to quickly process and excrete delta-8 THC.

On a somewhat related note, some research hints that using cannabis and/or cannabinoids can speed up your metabolism in and of itself. [3] Just FYI, in case you needed yet another reason to try delta-8 THC… 

  1. Delivery method

The way in which you take delta-8 also matters. Products that kick in quickly, like vape pens, may also leave your system pretty quickly. Products that kick in slowly, however, will probably take much longer to leave your system. That’s not to say that one product is any better than the other — it’s up to you as the user to weigh any particular product’s pros and cons.  

  1. Compound + compound interaction

Delta-8 THC is processed by the same liver enzymes that process delta-9 THC, delta-10 THC, THCo, alcohol, and several pharmaceutical drugs. These enzymes can only process things so fast, which means that taking any of these substances in tandem can slow down the metabolism of all of them. 

Some pharmaceutical drugs (notably a few anti-epilepsy drugs) can affect cannabinoid metabolism enough to significantly alter delta-8’s effects. If you’ve been prescribed pharmaceuticals, be sure to talk to your doctor before trying delta-8 THC. 

What is delta-8 THC’s half-life?

Delta-8 gets processed by your body in two distinctive metabolic phases. The first phase occurs in the initial 30 minutes post-consumption. Within this time, roughly half of the delta-8 you took gets processed out of your body. The best research we have available puts delta-8’s half-life at 32 minutes. 

During the next 30 minutes, another quarter of your D8 dose gets processed out — leaving only one-quarter of your initial dose left by the hour-mark. [4]

Despite what you might be thinking, though, delta-8’s more tangible effects don’t necessarily stay parallel to this timeframe. It’s fairly common to feel delta-8 the most after several hours. While it’s true that most of the actual delta-8 has left your system by then, it’s also true that this is when any remaining delta-8 has been processed into its most active metabolites. 

How long will delta-8 stay in my system? Gummies vs. vapes

Delta-8 THC gummies likely stay in your system for several days. Like other edibles, gummies are cleared out of your system much more slowly than other delivery methods. One study involving related cannabinoids found that edibles lasted twice as long as inhalable products. If a hefty dose of delta-8 gummies stays in your system for two days, an equivalent dose via vape pen will probably only last for one. [5]

Will delta-8 THC show up on a drug test?

While hemp-derived delta-8 THC is fully legal, there’s a catch: drug tests don’t really view it that way. 

In other words, most drug tests used today can all-too-easily confuse legal, hemp-derived delta-8 for illegal, cannabis-derived delta-9. The metabolites your body produces from these cannabinoids are very similar — if not exactly the same — which means that drug tests can flag you for taking something you didn’t even take. 

Are you subject to frequent drug tests for work or other reasons? Until drug testing protocols come up to speed with delta-8’s legal status, it’s probably best to abstain. Consider getting yourself a premium CBD product instead. 

How to get delta-8 to stay in your system longer

Attention delta-8 enthusiasts: there are several viable ways to get your favorite cannabinoid to stay in your system for even longer. Here’s how it’s done. 

  • Take a larger dose
  • Get relaxed
  • Get active
  • Eat well

Take a larger dose

We’ll start with an easy one. If you want delta-8 to stay in your system awhile, just take a larger dose! Assuming you can handle the blissful aftereffects, upping your dose is the simplest way to get D8 to stick around for longer. 

Get relaxed

Keeping yourself peaceful and relaxed actually has profound effects on your body’s endocannabinoid system. Considering that both endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids (think delta-8 THC) are often ‘spent’ combating stress, keeping them in your system for longer is as simple as keeping stress to a minimum. Relieving stress through massage therapy or acupuncture may also provide your endocannabinoid system with such a boost that it keeps delta-8 around for longer. [6]

Get active

Staying active is another great way to keep your endocannabinoid system firing on all cylinders. If you’ve ever had runner’s high, what you actually experienced was an endocannabinoid-mediated mood shift. Putting two and two together, it’s likely that any physical activity that makes you feel better afterward also helps delta-8 stick around and do its best work. 

Eat well

Certain foods and herbs are known to boost the bioavailability of cannabinoids — and this concept likely extends to include delta-8 THC. Healthy fats like butter and coconut oil, herbs like turmeric, and spices like black pepper can all help the delta-8 you take get absorbed better. [7][8] Who knew healthy eating could improve your high?

Wrapping things up

Well, there you have it! Delta-8 THC will stay in your system for between 2 and 30 days post-consumption. Some factors can lengthen this timeframe, while others can shorten it. 

You can also prolong delta-8’s inner workings through a variety of simple, affordable lifestyle changes. Given how amazing its effects are…who wouldn’t get excited about that?