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Will Delta-10 THC Show Up on a Drug Test?

Delta-10 THC is yet another trace cannabinoid with big potential.

Similar to — but different from — delta-8 THC, delta-9 THC, THCo, and so many countless others, delta-10 is becoming known for its pure high and federally legal status.

Delta-10’s novel nature means you probably have questions about it. Will delta-10 show up on a drug test? Will it get me too high? How long will it stay active in my body? In this article we’ll be answering all these questions and more, so be sure to keep reading. 

  • Delta-10 101
  • Why is delta-10 so popular all of a sudden?
  • How long does delta-10 THC stay in your system?
  • Will delta-10 THC show up on my drug test?
  • Delta-10 THC vs. delta-8 THC, CBD, and more
  • The best ways to take delta-10 THC – tinctures, vapes, and more
  • What to do if you test positive for delta-10 THC (hint: don’t panic)

Delta-10 THC 101

Delta 10 THC is one of the many forms of THC. It’s an isomer of ‘regular’ delta-9 THC, which just means that it has the same chemical composition as delta-9 and a slightly different chemical structure. Delta-10 is what’s called a secondary cannabinoid, which just means that neither cannabis plants nor hemp plants produce very much of it.

True to its name, delta-10’s molecular structure features a carbon-carbon double bond at its 10th carbon change. (Delta-9’s carbon bond is on its 9th chain, while delta-8’s carbon bond is on its 8th chain.)

This seemingly-insignificant variation becomes quite significant when you take into account the complexity and sensitivity of the human body. It turns out that delta-10’s structure causes it to bind to endocannabinoid system receptors differently than delta-9 – typically more gently. [1] Delta-10 may also work differently when it comes to drug testing, but more on that later.

Like delta-9, delta-10 THC is psychoactive. It can uplift your body, energize your mind, and catalyze your creativity. The effects of delta-10 THC seem to strike a nice balance between powerful and welcoming. Most users find it a little gentler than delta-9 or delta-8, and some users liken it to a Sativa cannabis strain.

Why is delta-10 so popular all of a sudden?

Many of the cannabinoids we know and love today were discovered back in the 1960s. Not so with delta-10 THC tetrahydrocannabinol. This particular cannabinoid was discovered only a few decades ago — by accident.

It all began when a Californian cannabis company called Fusion Farms was in the process of converting outdoor-grown bud into cannabis distillate. At that time the area was experiencing rampant wildfires, and it turned out the crop Fusion Farms had purchased was accidentally contaminated with fire retardant.

After extracting and distilling the cannabinoids from this adulterated crop, Fusion’s extraction team noticed that unusual crystals had formed in the distillate. These crystals weren’t made of THCa or any other cannabinoid the team had observed forming crystals before. HPLC testing determined that they weren’t made of CBC, either.

It took nuclear magnetic resonance [NMR] to correctly identify delta-10 THC. “If you have a purified substance, NMR allows you to ‘see’ the structure of a molecule,” explains Ph.D. chemist Josh Jones, who helped Fusion Farms find the identity of their mystery cannabinoid. “It’s a wonderful tool.” [2]

How long does delta-10 THC stay in your system?

How long does delta-10 stay in your system for? The answer is surprisingly relevant to understanding the relationship between delta-10 and drug testing.

Most studies show that delta-10 THC stays in your system for roughly 30 days. It’s unlikely that the trace amount of delta-10 THC present in most cannabis strains would stick around for this long, though. A more standard dose of delta-10 is probably needed to reach the 30-day mark.

Delta-10’s strength may also give us a clearer indication of the way it’s metabolized by the human body. Delta-10 is approx. 70-80% as strong as delta-9 THC. Does that mean it stays in your system for 70-80% as long as delta-9 does? Possibly, though more research is needed to know for sure. What we can be fairly certain of is that delta-10 and delta-9 get ‘detoxed’ and flushed out of your body through a shared metabolic process.

It’s also clear that the delivery method you choose will affect how long delta-10 stays in your body. The faster any given delta-10 product kicks in, the faster it’s liable to leave your body (and leave no trace on drug tests). But even this rule may not be a certainty if you’re consistently taking huge doses of delta-10. An excess of delta-10 can get shunted into your body’s fat cells and released later regardless of what type of delta-10 THC product you’re taking.

Will delta-10 THC show up on my drug test?

The short answer is yes. Delta-10 will probably be detected and trigger a positive result on your next drug test.

In fact, most drug tests can’t actually identify between delta-10 THC and delta-9. That’s because delta-10 gets converted into the very same downstream metabolite as delta-9 post-ingestion. This metabolite, which goes by the catchy names of 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC and THC-COOH, is what triggers positive tests.

This conversion is a time-sensitive process. The moment delta-10 has reached your bloodstream, specialized enzymes go to work converting it to THC-COOH, then slowly releasing it through the urine over the next 20-30 days.

Delta-10’s detectability also depends on the type of drug test you’re dealing with. There are 5 main types of drug tests, and some are more common than others:

The most common type of drug test: urine tests

Urine tests are the most common type of drug test by far. At least 90% of employers and probation officers use urine tests to screen for drugs. Urine tests look for THC-COOH concentration in the urine, which can remain detectable for up to 30 days after your last delta-10 use. Urine tests are non-intrusive (well, relatively speaking), but unfortunately they’re not especially accurate.

Saliva tests

Saliva tests aren’t common in the workplace, but they’re heavily favored by law enforcement. Cops and other LEOs use saliva tests to detect illicit drug use on the go. A saliva test can detect THC use for up to 10 hours post-ingestion.

Blood tests

Blood tests aren’t as common as the above options – probably because they’re not as widely applicable. These types of tests can only detect THC metabolites like THC-COOH when they’re still in the bloodstream. Once delta-10 and THC-COOH have worn off and left the bloodstream, they’re impossible to detect.

Hair follicle drug test

Hair follicle tests are used for longer-term drug detection. They can pick up on THC metabolites for up to 90 days post-ingestion. These tests are more helpful when it comes to testing vitamin and mineral levels, however, which means this type of drug testing isn’t as common as the ones we’ve mentioned above.

For obvious reasons, nobody wants a failed drug test. But don’t think the delta-10-drug testing topic is all bad news, though. There are several ways you can speed up delta-10’s clearance from your body. Some of them are surprisingly basic: just eat healthy, keep your body moving, and drink lots of water. Worst case you can try a specialized delta-10 detox treatment.

Delta-10 THC vs. delta-8 THC, CBD, and more

Do you know what delta-10, delta-8 THC, and CBD all have in common? They can all be derived from the hemp plant…and they’re all legal per 2018’s federal farm bill!

Federally speaking, this landmark bill changed the legality of hemp-derived cannabinoids and hemp products nationwide. Today these products are among the most popular wellness supplements on the market.

All the cannabinoids listed above may come from hemp, but don’t think they’re all the same. Different cannabinoids have drastically different mental effects. CBD products don’t get you high at all, while delta-8 and HHC products can be extremely psychoactive. Delta-10 products fall in the middle somewhere.

The best ways to take delta-10 THC — tinctures, vapes, & more

Delta-10 THC products can be consumed in all sorts of ways. Three of the most popular delivery methods include vaping, sublingual use, and ingestible use.

Vape pens

Maybe we’re biased, but the delta-10 vape is probably our favorite delta-10 delivery method.

Delta-10 vape cartridges are fun, affordable, and easy to use. The fact that they kick in almost instantly means they’re great for microdosing and gentle upliftment. Vape pens may evade drug testing more aptly than any other type of D10 product. They come in all sorts of flavors, too! Our Delta-10 Vapes feature 4 delicious flavor options, each with its own 100% natural terpene blend.


Sublingual products include tinctures, oils, sprays, and dissolving tablets. These products don’t absorb quite as quickly as vape pens, but on the flipside they remain active for 4-8 hours post-use. In theory sublinguals may be slightly easier to detect on drug tests than vape pens…but once again, more research is needed.


Ingestible products are – you guessed it – products that you take via ingestion. This category includes delta-10 THC gummies, chocolates, baked goods, and about anything else you could think of. Ingestible products take far longer to kick in than the two product types we’ve mentioned above. They may also be more easily detected by drug tests since your liver begins converting them to THC metabolites from the moment you ingest them.

What to do if you test positive for delta-10 THC

Just like THCv, delta-8 THC, and other cannabinoids that begin with ‘T,’ delta-10 can trigger a positive drug test.

If this happens to you, though, don’t panic! Just ask your employer to do a confirmation test (they’ll probably do this already, but it doesn’t hurt to ask). Confirmation testing will use more advanced chromatographic analysis to determine you’ve been using delta-10 THC, not delta-9.

Given that delta-10 use is federally legal, you’ll be good to go! Just be sure to buy delta-10 from a source you trust, of course.