Drug tests are something that constantly plagues the cannabis community. Just because we smoke doesn’t mean that we’re awful employees. We just like to indulge in a green substance once in a while. But some jobs get really up in your business when it comes to smoking pot. If you happen to get an interview at one of these places, there are a few things that you should be aware of.
This refers to a substance introduced to the sample such as bleach or Visine. Substances like that will produce a false negative. Nitrates will also produce a false negative. Most drug testing clinics now screen for extra additives that aren’t supposed to be there.
Blood tests detect the presence of illicit drugs rather than inactive drug metabolites. THC only remains detectable in the blood for up to about 24 hours, which means that blood testing is only used in the instance of workplace incidents that require a drug test to determine workman’s comp.
As a normal byproduct of muscle metabolism, it is present in urine at specific levels. This substance is one of the “benchmarks”, along with pH, specific gravity, and color, that urinalysis examiners use to weed out the diluted samples. Those that try to thwart urine tests have tried several ways to replicate creatinine levels, including consuming Vitamin B, riboflavin, and creatine supplements.
Caffeine, cranberry juice, or herbal detox teas are all considered diuretics. These liquids make you have to go to the bathroom a LOT. These drinks dilute the concentration of drug metabolites in the sample, pushing it below the level of detection. A diuretic won’t completely flush your system of cannabis traces and your urine will return to normal after a short while.
EMIT stands for enzyme multiplied immunoassay technique. This is the cheapest and most common drug screening process that is used in workplace drug testing. This test is prone to incorrect results and typically, EMIT tests are used for preliminary screenings.
When a legal prescription drug or other substance (such as the notorious poppy seeds) causes a drug test to come up positive, it is called a FP. Although marijuana’s metabolite is pretty different then other drugs, Protonix will still throw a false positive for marijuana use. Over the counter cold remedies might even trigger a false positive for amphetamines. Employees that test positive on a test should insist that there be a follow up, especially if the person in question hasn’t been using drugs and has just been suffering from a cold.
An acronym for gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, this is basically the confirmation test. EMIT tests must be confirmed by the GCMS in order to prove that there actually is a positive. Since cannabis positives have such a low cut off (15ng/ml), those who smoke weed constantly can potentially fail this test for up to three weeks (or longer) after they’ve stopped smoking.
Hair Follicle Testing
At the base of a strand of hair, there’s a plethora of information. Although it is argued that this test is biased to race. Grey hair takes up fewer metabolites than non-grey hair and darker hair may throw a false positive because it takes more metabolites. Studies have also shown that marijuana metabolites don’t bind sufficiently to hair as compared with other drugs such as cocaine. High humidity will also break down the metabolites, causing a higher chance at a negative result.
Putting iodine in your urine won’t help you to pass a drug test on short notice. The chances that you’ll get a negative are slim but scientific studies have demonstrated that iodine can destroy certain drug metabolites like morphine but is less effective on marijuana.
The National Academy of Sciences states, “The preventative effects of drug testing have never been demonstrated. There is as of yet no conclusive scientific evidence from properly controlled studies that employment drug testing programs widely discourage drug use or encourage drug rehabilitation.” In short? Workplace drug testing may be a waste of time and money, not to mention keeping people out of work that are perfectly capable.
Klear was used for years as an adulterant and was extremely popular. The substance is made of potassium nitrate additives, which led urinalysis researchers to look for potassium additives in samples. Most drug testers treat a positive test result for nitrates the same as if someone tests positive for illicit drugs.
This is a prescription diuretic and can be harmful if taken for a long period of time. But for a long time, Lasix has been very common for those trying to pass a drug test on short notice.
These are compounds that are produced from chemical changes of a psychoactive substance in the body but aren’t technically psychoactive themselves. If drug metabolites are found in a sample, it is the primary indicator that the subject is using illicit substances.
Those who test for drugs measure blood, urine, and saliva test the samples in nanograms, which is one billionth of a gram.
The Journal of Forensic Toxicology reported that adding papain to urine reduces the percentage of marijuana metabolites and goes undetected in labs. Papain is an enzyme that is found in papaya fruits.
Quest is one of the largest drug testing companies in the world. They preform 8 million or more drug tests annually.
This man was the 40th president in the US and is responsible for Executive Order 12564 in 1986. This order mandated federal employees to be “drug free” on and off the job and was the cause for all employee drug testing today.
Saliva tests detect the presence of parent drugs, not the inactive metabolites. THC is extremely difficult to identify in oral fluids. A saliva test will only detect marijuana use within one or two hours of the drug being ingested, sometimes not at all.
The primary marijuana metabolite that is screened in the workplace is THC-COOH. It is fat soluble and exits the body very slowly. If you smoke regularly, THC-COOH is detectable for weeks after use.
There are 55 million drug tests preformed annually in the United States. 90% of them are urine tests. Urine tests do not detect the presence of illicit drugs, including cannabis, and only identify the presence of non-psychoactive drug metabolites. This only indicates that a substance was used at some point in the person’s past. There is no time frame for urinalysis and the results of a test can be skewered by constant, heavy use earlier in life.
Suspicion-less drug testing went to trial at the Supreme Court in 1989. The case was ruled 5-4 on the case, saying that testing employees without cause doesn’t violate the US Constitution’s Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment protects us against unreasonable searches, which many consider drug testing to be. Since then, the Supreme Court has also ruled that the random testing of student athletes is also okay, as well as students who are participating in bands or even chess club.
Large amounts of water before a drug test can sometimes help you to pass it. But it’s not that reliable and can sometimes mess up the color of your urine sample. However, since they do tell you to drink water so that you’ll have to pee, you can always just say that you drank too much.
Throwing a positive on a urine test doesn’t mean that your impaired, nor does it show when the substance was consumed. The US Department of Justice said that a positive drug test for metabolites “does not indicate recency, frequency, or amount of use.”
As said under “Water”, the color of your urine can throw you under the bus if you’re trying to pass a urine test. If you fear that you’ve drank too much water, Vitamin B can help to turn your urine back to a normal yellow color.
Zinc sulfate is believed to bond with THC metabolites, making them hard to pass through the kidneys. When trying to throw off a drug test, people hope that the larger metabolites will pass through the feces rather than the urine, getting them a negative. This is not a tried and true method and the results are mixed.