False-Positive FAQ

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Do poppy seeds cause a false positive drug test?

Consuming any food item with poppy seeds before submitting a drug test can give a false-positive result. Poppy seeds come from the plant opium poppy. When the seeds are gathered, they may get coated with opium extract. 

Opium extract, incidentally, is used in making drugs like morphine and heroin. Poppy seeds generally go through cleaning before being used in food. However, the seeds still contain small amounts of opium extract, which can lead to false-positive results. 

It is best to avoid any products containing poppy at least three days before undergoing any urine drug testing.





What can cause a false positive for cocaine?

The following can lead to false-positive results for cocaine tests:

  • The use of cocaine in a medical context, such as in ENT procedures. Cocaine is still in use for its anesthetic properties.
  • The consumption of coca tea. Coca tea is made from the leaves of the coca plant, also the source of cocaine.
  • The subject works in a job that gives him or her exposure to cocaine, such as being a crime lab technician. The use of personal protective equipment can prevent this.
  • Being exposed to someone actively using cocaine or disposing of someone else’s cocaine.




Does passive smoke inhalation cause a false positive for marijuana?

It is possible to receive positive test results for marijuana due to passive smoke inhalation.  Consider a few scenarios: 

  • Residing in a small, poorly ventilated room or an enclosed vehicle with other active marijuana users.  
  • The marijuana being smoked has very high levels of THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) – one stays for at least an hour in proximity with the marijuana users – one is tested immediately or up to a few hours after.
  • It is important to remember that urine tests have cut off levels high enough to limit false-positive results. In other words, the cut off levels would have to be very low to test positive from secondhand marijuana smoke exposure.



https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/what-are-effects-secondhand-exposure-to-marijuana-smoke https://www.practicalpainmanagement.com/resources/diagnostic-tests/false-positive-screen-marijuana

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4342697/ https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/extreme_exposure_to_secondhand_cannabis_smoke_causes_mild_intoxication





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