How Many Joints Will Make Me Fail A Drug Test?
Many occasional pot smokers live in fear of failing drug tests. Because there are many factors in play, drug tests can be hard to predict, especially if you might be exposed to marijuana.
But will smoking one joint show up in a drug test?
Marijuana testing is more complicated than most drug tests. There are many types of tests, and you might be unaware of which one you will be subjected to.
Also, unlike alcohol, where impairment can be tested reasonably using a breathalyzer and blood alcohol content, there is almost no way to measure intoxication levels in cannabis tests.
Although recreational marijuana is now legal, drug tests at workplaces are still a cause for anxiety among occasional users.
In this article, we look at different types of cannabis drug tests and try to answer some of the frequently asked questions about weed drug tests.
How Long Does Pot Stay In Your System?
There is no exact answer because of the many variables that come into play during testing.
That is why a test of two people who have been smoking the same amount may have two different results.
Here are some factors that determine if you will pass a test:
- Different tests with different sensitivities – for example, a hair test, although less common, may test positive for a joint you had a month ago, much further back than a urine test can.
- How often do you smoke – The more times you smoke, the more time it takes for THC metabolites to exit your body. This is because they accumulate in body fat faster than they can leave the body. For example, in a 2009 study of a pregnant woman who was a chronic cannabis user, THC-COOH could still be detectable in her urine 84 days after quitting smoking.
- Metabolism rate – People who exercise regularly are more likely to get cannabis out of their system faster than those who don’t. Exercise may help metabolize THC more quickly. By burning fat, you are also burning THC, which means that it exits the body faster.
However, it is not advisable for some people to exercise right before the drug test, as this may release the THC metabolites stored in fats, leading to a positive test.
- The amount of THC involved – THC may take some time to exit your system if you smoke more often, but the psychoactive cannabinoid concentration in marijuana also matters. Usually, the more potent a strain is, the longer the THC may stick around.
- Body fat percentage – This is an essential consideration if you are trying to get THC out of your system fast enough for a drug test. THC metabolites are fat-soluble and are therefore stored in body fats. People with high body fat and higher BMIs will metabolize THC slower; therefore, it might be detectable for longer than people with lower body fat levels.
- Hydration – If you are trying to get THC out of your body faster, drink a lot of water. And although you cannot expect it to completely clear out everything from your system, it will still help you pass THC out faster than if you stay dehydrated. Be careful when doing this before a urine test as your sample may appear diluted, forcing you to retake the test.
Types Of Marijuana Drug Tests
If you are asking will smoking one joint show up in a drug test, you need to know the different types of tests used.
There are two categories of tests: historical use and present intoxication. Historical use tests include the urine test and the hair follicle test. Present intoxication tests include blood serum and saliva tests.
The Urinalysis Drug Test
This is the most common drug test. It tests for THC metabolites (THC-COOH) in the urine. If the metabolites are above the national standard of 50ng/ml, then the sample is marked positive, and it undergoes a second confirmation test.
If your urine tests below 50ng/ml, you pass the test.
It may take up to 3 days for occasional smokers for metabolites to exit, up to 10 days for more regular smokers, and up to 15 days for daily smokers.
However, these are just estimates. There are cases in which people have tested positive 30 days later.
Hair Follicle Drug Test
This test is more accurate but uncommon because it is more expensive.
It can detect marijuana use more than a month after you quit smoking. There are cases of positive tests going as far back as 90 days.
Blood Serum Test
After a single use of cannabis, the blood can test positive for THC for 6-24 hours. For regular users, it can detect THC even after seven days.
In some cases, THC can be detectable in the blood as long as it remains in the urine. However, a blood serum test is considered easier to pass than a urine test, and it can’t go as far back.
This is usually used to investigate road and work accidents. It detects the presence of THC and can produce positive results within the first 24 hours after usage.
Will Second-hand Smoke Show Up On A Drug Test?
Can you fail a drug test just because you were in a room where a joint was smoked? A study published in 2014 found that it is very unlikely but not entirely impossible.
For you to test positive, the urine test has to be taken in the hours immediately post-exposure, and even then, it would be rare.
The study involved six experienced smokers and six non-smokers first in a non ventilated room and then in a ventilated space.
At the national cut-off of 50ng/ml, only one positive occurred in the non-ventilated test. After ventilation was employed, exposure levels were significantly reduced.
So it’s unlikely that you will fail a drug test even if you are exposed to second-hand smoke.
Will Smoking One Joint Show Up In A Drug Test?
This depends on the amount of THC the joint contains when the drug test is taken, whether you are a regular smoker, and the type of test.
If the test is more than three days away and you are not a regular user, there is a good chance that you will pass the test.
However, if you are a regular user, you may have to wait up to 10 days.
So will one hit of weed show up on a drug test? Probably not if you aren’t a regular smoker, and if the test is not taken immediately.
Will Smoking Weed Once A Week Show Up On A Drug Test?
It will depend on the type of test, your metabolism, and when the test is due. If you take the test immediately or before one week, you could test positive.
If You Smoke Weed One Time Will It Show Up On A Hair Follicle Test?
A hair follicle is very accurate compared to other tests.
However, if you only smoked weed once in the past, the levels may not be detectable or may not pass the threshold for a positive result.
Takeaway – Will Smoking One Joint Show Up In A Drug Test?
There are many variables that determine the outcome of a marijuana drug test. Therefore, there is no accurate answer to whether you can test positive because factors such as body fat percentage and metabolism are highly individualized.
If you want to pass a drug test, stop smoking well before the test is due, preferably weeks if not months depending on the type of test, drink a lot of water, exercise, or try detox.
If you have an upcoming drug test and want to enjoy the benefits of cannabinoids, try using CBD products with no THC such as Daily CBD Full-Spectrum Tincture or this Elite Elevation CBD Tincture available on the BC Bud Supply Website.