THC and drug testing – Here’s what you need to know!
Okay, let’s not pussyfoot around the elephant in the room, and it’s a pretty big elephant.
In many countries, the smoking of cannabis is illegal, though the state of play seems to be changing and, in time, the laws may well change.
However, here we are talking about today.
Beyond legality, there is also the question of being fit and capable for work.
There are a good number of companies who require staff to take random drug tests.
What we want to do here is simply inform you on how long THC can linger in your system and how, for some, it can pass through more quickly than others.
We should also point out that THC can remain in your body for up to 30 days after you have ingested cannabis, especially if eaten as opposed to smoked.
Beyond this, and this is where forensic science comes in, your hair will contain traces of cannabis that will remain there for at least 90 days. If there is the possibility that a drug test will include hair follicles, our advice is to keep away from cannabis for a long Long time!
Thus, unexpectedly shaving your head just prior to a very critical and rigorous interview might just give the game away!
First thing to note is that because THC is lipid soluble, overweight individuals will retain THC in their system for longer than their thinner companions.
Worse still, if you smoke cannabis, don’t go in for heavy exercise just prior to any urine test as when fat is broken down, THC is released into your system and will come out in your urine.
However, before you think that going for a run might also get you stoned on that THC, the levels are detectible, but miniscule and will have no psychotropic effect.
The tests for THC are actually for the metabolite THC-COOH, or tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid, though that’s a bit of a mouthful!
You should also be aware that THC can build up in your system over time, so regular users are more likely to retain THC in their system for longer than ‘newbies’ who have a relatively pristine metabolism.
Light use would be up to three times a week, medium use would be up to five times a week, heavy use would be seven times a week and chronic heavy use would be frequently every day.
For a urine test and as a rule of thumb, light users should see any traces of THC disappear after three days, but heavy users will need up to 30 days plus.
If you have to undergo a saliva test, then allow three days if you are a light user, seven days for a medium user, 15 days for a heavy user but again up to 30 days or even more if you are a chronic heavy user.
For a blood test, the rule is up to two days for it to remain in the bloodstream, but THC has been found in blood tests 25 days after smoking cannabis, so unfortunately there really is no definitive answer.
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