Marijuana, or cannabis, is one the most popular recreational drugs in the United States, and although there are ongoing changes in many states regarding its legality, testing for marijuana is still an important part of the drug screening process. If you need to test your patients, CLS Diagnostics offers a comprehensive service for doctors at its laboratory in Franklin, Massachusetts. Call the office or book an appointment online today to learn more.
The status of marijuana, or cannabis, is undergoing changes whereby some states are altering or relaxing laws on its medical and in some cases recreational use. However, federal law still requires testing for commercial drivers, and it’s a standard part of drug screening programs.
Marijuana is detected by testing for the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana. A standard urine test for THC is the most common screening method.
THC is detectable in long-term marijuana users for up to 12 weeks after the last ingestion, as it resides in the body’s fatty tissues, gradually passing into the blood and subsequently urine. THC does break down following infrequent use, leaving markers that are detectable for between three and five days following ingestion, before disappearing.
Tetrahydrocannabinol is the substance in marijuana responsible for the relaxed, dreamy state that users generally report. THC attaches to cannabinoid receptors in the brain linked to:
Although it’s not thought to be as damaging to health as drugs such as cocaine and heroin, THC still affects concentration and mood, and could cause decreased productivity and effectiveness in users.
The subject referred for marijuana screening comes to CLS Diagnostics, where they have strict protocols in place to ensure samples are not diluted or contaminated. The lab uses a fresh sample of urine for testing, measuring the level of THC in the sample and reporting on the quantity of THC found.
The lab returns a positive result if the reading is higher than 50 ng/ml, taking a second sample to confirm the result. CLS Diagnostics uses liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis to ensure the accuracy of their results.
Despite claims that it’s possible to cheat on the marijuana tests, it’s unlikely your patient would be successful. Actions such as watering down the urine raise a red flag for the lab, as it indicates that the subject is attempting to manipulate the result. Any attempt to cheat the test requires a further testing procedure.
To ensure the highest standards in marijuana screening tests for your patients, call CLS Diagnostics or book an appointment online today.