The DEA defines marijuana as a Schedule I drug for its high potential for abuse. Other Schedule I drugs have no current accepted medical use, and despite many states legalizing medical marijuana, the DEA stands by its ruling.
Even in areas where recreational and medicinal marijuana use is legal, there are businesses that don’t allow drug use, including clinics, drug rehabs, and detox programs. This is where the marijuana urine test comes in handy.
Read on to learn more about this test and how it works.
How Long Does Marijuana Stay in the Urine?
Tetrahydrocannabinol is the chemical in marijuana that causes a high. This chemical can stay in the body for days or weeks at a time depending on different factors.
When compared to other drugs like alcohol, weed stays in the urine for much longer. Because THC is a lipid-soluble chemical, it binds to fat and increases how long it takes someone to eliminate it from their body.
The amount of time a marijuana urine test can detect THC in the body ranges.
However, if someone were to have only one marijuana cigarette, the THC urine test could detect it for up to three days. This remains true for those who try marijuana for the first time.
For someone who smokes marijuana multiple times during the week, the detection window for the THC drug test is longer, generally between five and seven days.
For someone who smokes every day or more than once a day, a 12-panel Now urine drug test for marijuana can detect the drug in their system for at least 30 days and sometimes longer.
Types of Testing
Drug test dip cards that test someone’s urine are the most common, but there are also saliva, hair, and blood tests.
Compared to saliva and blood tests, a urine marijuana drug test has the longest detection window. Some saliva tests can detect marijuana use for up to 72 hours, but it is smart to test for best results within 24 hours of use.
Meanwhile, a blood test can only detect marijuana for around 3 to 4 hours.
Although a hair test has the longest detection window, for up to 90 days, it can show a false positive for its sensitivity. This is because it involves testing the oil in the skin.
Positive Marijuana Drug Test
In general, drug tests can detect the smallest quantity of THC. It is difficult to determine how much a person has to smoke to receive a positive test because the amount of THC in marijuana cigarettes varies.
Someone who is a frequent user will test positive for a urine drug test 100% of the time while infrequent users might not test positive every time.
A test may or may not detect marijuana in someone’s system depending on certain influencers. The following are the most common factors:
The more sensitive the urine test is, the easier it is to detect low doses of THC. The same goes for other test types such as hair, saliva, or blood tests.
A marijuana rapid test will look for THC in the system and not the marijuana itself. This is why the THC dosage is a significant factor in whether or not a person tests positive.
THC effects are cumulative so someone who smokes more often will consume a higher dosage. The dose and the strength of each dose matters for testing as well.
There are four levels of THC for testing; THC/15, THC/50, THC/100, and THC/200.
The fat in the body stores marijuana so someone with higher body fat concentrations will metabolize THC slower than someone with little body fat.
Body mass index (BMI) is the best way to determine body fat. Yet, it is not a perfect measurement of body fat as BMI can increase with more muscle mass.
Women typically have more body fat than men. Because of this, a man will metabolize marijuana faster.
When someone is dehydrated, the THC concentration increases in the body. Staying hydrated from drinking enough water is not going to affect the results of the drug test, but dehydration could.
Someone who exercises might have a higher metabolism and can affect how to body gets rid of THC. However, this is rare as exercise won’t significantly change the metabolism rate in the body.
A negative drug test means that the body eliminated THC completely from the system, including the metabolic chemicals. Everyone has different metabolism rates which can affect how fast THC is eliminated.
How to Test for Marijuana
As mentioned above, there are multiple forms of marijuana testing. However, we will cover the urine test as it is the most common and very effective.
A drug test dip card can detect multiple drugs in the system, including THC. The 3 panel drug test dip cards are an instant test that can display results in a matter of minutes.
Learning how to test for marijuana with this method is easy. You’ll need the dip card itself and a urine sample. Once you remove the cap from the dip card, you’ll immerse the test strip into the urine sample for five seconds.
It is important to avoid the plastic device touching the urine as it could cause inconclusive results. Only the exposed absorbent strip should touch the urine sample.
After immersing the dip card in the sample, you’ll replace the cap and lay the card on a flat and clean surface. Once five minutes is up, you’ll be able to read the clear results of the test.
Reading the Marijuana Instant Test
Reading the marijuana instant test involves interpreting the different lines. A positive test means there are no lines in the Test Region while a negative test has a line in the Test Region.
Each testing panel will have a Control Region (C) at the top and a Test Region (T) at the bottom. The Control Region specifies that the test works properly and the Test Region indicates if the drug is present in the body of the tested.
Unless the test is invalid, there will always be a line in the Control Region. If the Control line doesn’t appear 10 minutes after absorbing the test into the sample, administer a new test and discard the first one.
If the Control line appears, make sure to read the results before 10 minutes are up. Test results might not be accurate after 10 minutes.
When colored lines appear on both the Control and Test Region, the result is negative. For a marijuana test, this means THC was not detected in the system. For a test that looks for more than one drug, it means no drugs were in the system.
In contrast, when there is no line in the Test Region, but there is one in the Control Region, the drug test result is positive indicating the drug or drugs were present in the body.
It is important to note that the color intensity does not affect the results. For instance, if one line is fainter than the other, it doesn’t mean there was a small amount of the drug metabolite.
The collection process for urine samples should be the same for every patient. Having tight control of this process can prevent adulteration and falsified drug tests.
To prevent falsified urine samples, you can ask patients to place personal items away from the testing area. Ensuring that the donor has nothing that can hold urine that isn’t their own is essential.
You can also try random drug screening so that donors will have little time to eliminate drugs from their system if they have been using them. If you can, avoid scheduled drug tests and announcements.
Even if you trust a donor, it is imperative to keep an eye on them during the testing process. You should monitor collection times because a delay in the bathroom could signal someone cheating on their drug test.
The bathroom used for urine sampling should be free of adulterants like cleaning powders and soaps. Avoid anything that could help a donor dilute their urine sample. Keep bathroom sinks/washing stations outside of the testing restroom.
Instead of allowing donors to do their testing off-site, create an on-site testing center if possible. This can be a controlled environment that reduces the possibility of falsified drug tests.
Testing the temperature of the urine is a sure way to figure out if the sample came from the donor during the testing window. Urine temperature for drug screening should be between 90-100°F.
Although fresh human urine is around 94-96°F, the temperature can change when exposed to a warm or cool environment.
Purchasing the Marijuana Urine Test Online
When you buy the marijuana urine test online, you have the option of buying bulk drug tests. The dip cards offered by online vendors can test more than marijuana at once. In fact, it can test between 3-16 drugs at a time.
Take what you learned from this guide to effectively test for marijuana and avoid falsified urine samples. Understanding how THC works in the body is key.