Drug tests have become the norm in many workplaces and sports associations.
While in some cases, the athletes or employees are informed about them beforehand, other organizations tend to do them spontaneously every once in a while.
Suppose it’s your first time experiencing something like this. In that case, you might be a little overwhelmed and have a lot of questions – not only about the test itself but also general things and myths of the drug testing, such as whether the drug test will detect CBD or how long weed stays in your system, and when is it safe to take the test.
Since we understand how nerve-wracking this could be, we have prepared this article to help you.
So, here is everything you need to know before you go for a drug test.
What Are the Types of Drug Tests?
There are several ways in which you can get tested for drugs, with the most popular being the urine one.
The accuracy of the test depends on many factors, including how much weed or other drugs the person has consumed, their body weight and type, whether they are taking any other prescribed drugs, how much time has passed since the consumption, as well as the overall health of the said individual.
Urine Drug Test
As we already mentioned, this is the most popular type of drug test, and there are several reasons for that. It is non-invasive and inexpensive but still very accurate.
They are often used by employers in the hiring process – if you are currently looking for a job, you might want to look into that as the potential employer has the right to perform a drug test on you unexpectedly.
They are also commonly used by probation officers – it ensures that the person currently on parole is clean.
So how do these drug tests work? Well, they analyze the metabolites in urine as they change depending on what the person has ingested.
Depending on how much and what the person has consumed, they can detect a drug that has been consumed several days prior.
Hair Drug Test
Hair drug tests are not used as frequently as urine tests – mainly because they are more expensive.
They can either be performed in a medical environment, such as the hospital or at home and sent by post to the laboratory.
A hair drug test is usually done on a single strand of hair.
Contrary to urine tests that show usage from a few days before, this type of test can detect drugs consumed as late as 90 days ago.
Saliva Drug Test
Another not so popular type of drug test. Despite being even less invasive than urine drug tests, there is some evidence suggesting that they are quite inaccurate, with a window of detection usually of only a few hours, and not more than two days.
Blood Drug Test
A blood drug test is the most invasive way of testing someone for the presence of drugs, which is why they are not used very often.
Due to the fact they detect an actual substance and not the chemicals that are left behind, the window of detection of this type of drug test is even shorter than the one of a saliva drug test – it is accurate only for a few hours after consumption, up to a day.
Can a Drug Test Show a False Positive?
Even though drug tests are usually accurate, there is a possibility of it being a false positive.
There are a few things that can be the cause of it, including:
- Secondhand marijuana smoke – if you don’t smoke but often hang out with someone who does, your urine might have traces of THC.
- Weed Handling – Trimmers and budtenders who are in direct contact with marijuana.
- Weight loss pills – phentermine (a prescription medicine used to restrain your appetite) has a similar chemical composition to amphetamines, used, for instance, to treat ADHD.
- Poppy seeds – while this might be surprising, poppy seeds naturally contain morphine and codeine, which means that you can test positive for those opioids by eating something as simple as a poppy seed bagel.
- Antibiotics – while usually, will not interfere with your drug tests, there are a few medications known to trigger inaccurate test results. An example of such an antibiotic is Rifampin.
The Bottom Line
Many workspaces, as well as sports associations, have made a habit of performing drug tests on their employees or athletes.
What’s more, some of them made it part of their policies, which means that they have the right to perform a drug test on you without telling you beforehand.
However, for quite a lot of people, this is still something new and quite intimidating – especially if you don’t really know what to expect.
We hope that our article has helped you at least a little bit, and the thought of having to go through a drug test is not as discouraging as it was before. Good luck!