Marijuana is an extremely popular recreational drug all over the world in spite of its use and possession being illegal in most countries and territories. This is because of the addictive nature of this drug on account of the ‘intense high’ it provides to its users soon after its consumption. However, a number of side effects of marijuana exists which includes deterioration in the motor control (movement) skills while under the effect of this drug. This makes users unreliable and unsafe behind the wheels while being high with the use of pot. Thus, marijuana drug test becomes a necessity for the law enforcement agencies to ensure that people are not under the effect of weed while performing sensitive and risky activities such as driving or handling heavy machineries.
The drug tests used for finding traces of marijuana use in any suspected person aims to detect the presence of active chemicals of this drug. The most prominent is THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is primarily responsible for creating the various effects associated with smoking or chewing cannabis leaves, flowers, and seeds. However, law enforcement agencies are at an advantage so far as the detection of marijuana use is concerned because unlike most other recreational drugs, it refuses to leave its traces that easily. This is because the active chemical of weed, THC is a fat-soluble chemical and uses the fat tissues in the body of its users as its storage space. Therefore, even though the active chemical itself might not remain in the bloodstream for long, but its metabolized byproducts remain in various nooks and crevices of the body for a considerably long period. This makes beating any marijuana test that much more difficult for regular users.
Unlike alcohol detection which is easy and reasonably accurate using simple drug tests such as a breathalyzer and blood alcohol level, there is no accepted standard regarding the test of marijuana abuse. The most relied upon tests for detecting presence of marijuana in a suspected drug abuser consists of testing the blood, urine, and hair samples. However, these tests are not accurate enough in detecting the approximate level of impairment, unlike that in the case of alcohol that has highly well defined parameters for detecting an alcohol overdose. Even then, the marijuana drug test can come in handy in distinguishing active users from passive exposure, as well as, extent of use and the time elapsed since last exposure.
Marijuana Urine Test
The marijuana urine test is among the most preferred of the THC drug tests used for the detection of this drug in any suspected abuser because of the non-invasive nature of this test, and the ease of availing the test sample. This test consists of detecting the presence of THC or its metabolized byproducts in the urine sample of any suspect. The chances of finding the metabolic byproducts is a lot higher compared to the THC, especially if a few days have elapsed since the suspected time of exposure to this drug. However, since THC is a fat-soluble chemical, its traces remain in the bloodstream and the urine sample for considerably longer compared to other recreational drugs. However, the exact duration of their stay depends upon a number of diverse factors.
The metabolic rates of the marijuana users, as well as, the fat content of their bodies play a crucial role in determining the duration of the traces of marijuana abuse. In addition to that, the frequency with which any user consumes pot, as well as, the amount of drug during the last exposure determines for how long the active chemicals and their metabolized byproducts remain in detectable concentration in the test samples. The accepted threshold standard of the level of THC and its metabolized byproducts in the urine is usually 50 ng/ ml. the traces of THC can remain at this level for around 2 to 5 days in case of occasional and infrequent users. However, it remains for a much longer duration in case of heavy and chronic users. Thus, a heavy user will not be safe to appear for a marijuana drug test for at least a couple of weeks since the latest exposure, while chronic users will require at least a month before going for a marijuana urine test, to bring the THC level to acceptable standards.
Marijuana Blood Test
Another popular drug test for detecting the presence of THC in marijuana users is by analyzing their blood samples. The blood tests are popular because of the accuracy with which they can detect the exact level of THC and its metabolized byproducts in the blood samples of suspected marijuana users. Moreover, the traces of marijuana use remains in the bloodstream comparatively longer compared to urine. Thus, marijuana blood test is so very popular among the law enforcement agencies to find out about the dosage of marijuana usage, as well as, the time elapsed since the last usage.
The blood concentration level of THC can rise to a high of 100 ng/ ml, but it then rapidly falls once the effects of marijuana starts to wear off and stays at around 2 ng/ ml for up to 8 hours. However, the traces remain the bloodstream of occasional users for only around a week to 10 days max, while regular users have to wait considerably longer to get it out of their system. In fact, it can take up to 45 days for a regular user to come clean, while a heavy user will require at least 90 days getting it out of the bloodstream. Thus, marijuana blood test proves to be significantly more challenging to pass for chronic users of cannabis.
Marijuana Hair Test
The hair follicles are also a potent storage area for the metabolites of marijuana, and marijuana hair test is part of the routine procedure to detect its presence in suspected drug abusers. Traces might be present for a considerable period, and these traces will last so long as those hair follicles that were present during the latest usage of pot survive. Moreover, collecting hair samples is easy and the marijuana hair test is highly sensitive with the detection window being as low as 1 pg/ ml.