If you’re worried about a pre-employment drug test in a weed-legal state, you’re not alone. Companies who eliminate prospective employees for cannabis use are missing out on some great people. Since cannabis is one of the substances that takes the longest to leave your system, drug tests actually favor users of opiates and illegal drugs like methamphetamine.
Cannabinoids, in the form of metabolites, are stored in the fat cells and slowly released over time. This is what accounts for the much longer detection period for cannabis than many other substances.
Urine tests are the most common form of drug testing in today’s employment market and the only test type endorsed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a branch of US Department of Health Services that sets standards for government employee drug testing. Urine tests measure the metabolite THC-COOH, a byproduct of THC.
This is good news for users of pure CBD products. They’re in little danger of testing positive.
Testing thresholds are variable by lab. The amount to be considered positive for a urine test can range anywhere from 50 ng/mL to as low as 20 ng/mL.
Sadly, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to how long you’ll need to abstain to pass a urine test. It’s highly variable based on body chemistry, amount/frequency of use and testing method.
However, there is some good news. However long you think it is, it’s probably shorter.
A 1984 study found cannabis was untraceable in chronic users after 40 days, but that’s not all. Forty days was the longest – the average time was a mere 10 days at the 50 ng/mL and 21 days at the 20 ng/mL level.
Drug Test Tips
DO drink a lot of water. Dehydration can elevate the metabolites in your urine. Keep hydrated and drink a lot of water on the day of your test.
DON’T exercise. Exercise can release metabolites from your fat cells and put them into circulation, temporarily elevating your levels and increase the chance of testing positive.
DO avoid second-hand smoke. Although the possibility is remote, it is possible to test positive from second-hand smoke. Avoid being in enclosed spaces with cannabis smoke.