Hair follicles, taking of blood, saliva/oral fluids or a urine analysis are the main ways in which parents, employers, teachers, courts and probation officers perform drug testing for marijuana (aka pot, grass, weed). These drug tests determine the absence or presence of a chemical called THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and is located in the cannabis plant. Before learning how to be drug tested for marijuana, it’s probably wise to learn what it is exactly and how it affects your gray matter.
How marijuana works in the brain. Typically, marijuana users either smoke (inhale) or ingest (cooked in food and beverages) it. The THC found in marijuana binds itself to specific brain receptors, called cannabinoid receptors. In low doses, THC can reduce aggression and offer pain and nausea reduction. Higher doses may stimulate the appetite, produce an altered perception of space and time, and/or provide feelings of fatigue or happiness for the marijuana user. Below are four common methods to drug test for marijuana. Of course, detection times depend on the potency of the drug, fluid intake when testing for marijuana, frequency of exercise and use, your body’s tolerance and condition, as well as your metabolism.
Hair follicle drug testing for marijuana. Compounds generated from chemical changes in the body are called psychoactive substances. As the human body processes the drug, metabolites circulate and enter the blood stream and nourish hair strands. These metabolites can live in your hair for approximately three months. Hair follicle drug testing for marijuana is generally performed on hair that is close to the scalp as possible, about 1.5 inches is the rule of thumb. Gray or dyed hair are only two of the variables that can affect the marijuana test results.
Blood drug testing for marijuana. Employers often order a blood test during the hiring process or will randomly ask for one should they suspect someone is using on the job. Some contract workers have to submit yearly to blood drug testing for marijuana to secure their job, especially if they work in a dangerous plant or a place where they are privy to someone’ sensitive information or money. Pot only stays in the blood for 12 to 24+ hours, so it is a good test to run post –accident. For the person who rarely partakes, this is great news. Conversely, for the heavier, more chronic user, lower residual level detection is highly possible, particularly if sensitive technology is administered. Overall, most people have little to fear from this marijuana drug test.
Saliva drug testing for marijuana. Consumers of marijuana take heart! When drug testing for marijuana, note that it is highly difficult to trace THC in oral fluids; barely a tiny smidgen is emitted into saliva. In fact, most current saliva tests only can detect cannabis for one to two hours following marijuana injection, if at all.
Urine drug testing for marijuana. This particular way of testing for marijuana is the most common; unfortunately, it is the least expensive. Depending on how fast your body processes the drug, it can stay with you anywhere from three to 50 days. Infrequent marijuana users who have faster metabolisms enjoy a shorter drug detection period. Heavier users with slower metabolic rates have a longer detection time.
Numerous studies have shown that, when used appropriately, there are many components in marijuana that provide pain relief, but in the United States, the current war on drugs makes it slightly harder to obtain marijuana legally. A few states, such as California, allow doctors to prescribe it to certain individuals with illnesses. Although many marijuana advocacy groups campaign rigorously for people to have access to THC; however, given the negative public opinion, it remains to be seen whether they will recognize its benefits and legalize marijuana.