Despite cannabis legalization sweeping the nation, many organizations still require drug screening. So, how do vaping and a drug test mix? Does puffing on your favorite strain this way cause you to fail?
Whether you enjoy to vape on occasion or daily and have a test on its way, you need answers. Discover the testing types, how long THC stays in your system, and if you can vape before a drug screening.
When Do You Need a Drug Test?
You may get asked to pass a drug test for weed if you’re looking for a new job. Some employers run frequent checks to spot on-the-job use too. If there’s an accident where you work, they may test you to see if it was due to alcohol or drugs. Random screenings are also common with certain jobs.
Athletes also undergo rigorous drug screening, especially before major events. Many sports no longer penalize participants for THC and CBD in their system—some still do. While arguable whether cannabis is a “performance-enhancing drug,” sports organizations are typically focused on testosterone doping instead.
After motor accidents, drug tests are also standard. Screenings detect misuse of prescription drugs and monitor substance disorder treatments too.
Types of Drug Tests
Various tests exist that check for illicit drugs in your system.
The four most common drug tests are:
- Urine—the most often used and can detect THC for up to 90 days after consumption
- Hair—very effective and finds the presence of drugs for up to 90 days
- Blood—the least common technique as it only detects THC for 1–2 days
- Saliva—quick with on-the-spot results but can only pick up drugs used over the last 34 hours
Urine is the most popular drug test among organizations (also known as the “piss test”). The examination provides fast results and is more likely to detect substances than an instant drug test via saliva. Blood and hair screenings are often more detailed, but the process is complicated and drawn-out.
Urine drug testing facts show these exams are accurate and straightforward. This convenience is ideal, especially if an organization is screening a large group.
What Does a Drug Test Screen For?
A popular type of screening is a 10-panel drug test, which looks for the ten most common substances likely for a person to abuse. This list includes both prescription and street drugs.
10-panel drug tests can detect these drugs:
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
- Methaqualone (Quaaludes)
Can Vaping Make You Fail a Drug Test?
Are you asking yourself, “will I pass a drug test calculator after vaping?” The answer depends on a few variables. Despite the consumption method being different from smoking marijuana, you can still fail a screening.
The more you vape cannabis, the more likely it is to appear in a test. If you inhale weed once, it leaves your body quicker than if you puff every other day.
Maybe you haven’t vaped for days and hope to pass screening. If you exceed the probation drug test cutoff levels, you fail.
Some individuals have a faster metabolism than others. The slower yours works, the more time it takes to excrete THC from your system. It might sound counterintuitive, but exercising before a drug test may boost cannabinoid levels in your urine.
Also, when you vape concentrates, you’re consuming high levels of THC that will be absorbed into your system and stored in your fat cells.
You’re probably consuming considerably lower levels of THC if you’re vaping or smoking flower instead, but you’re also likely to consume it in larger quantities which can still cause you to fail.
CBD vs. THC
Not all cannabis has high THC levels. Many smokers vape weed consisting of mainly or only the cannabinoid CBD.
How do they differ? THC gets you high, whereas CBD produces no psychoactive effects.
So, will you fail if you inhale CBD vape oil and have a drug test? Most screenings look for illegal substances, like THC. Very few can detect CBD.
Many CBD products, sold in cannabis dispensaries, contain a ratio of CBD to THC such as a 4:1 product. This may contain enough THC to cause you to fail a test, so make sure to read the label. Other hemp-based CBD products will usually contain less than 0.3% THC which should leave you in the clear.
As a lower THC level means there’s less in your system, you might prefer to vape strains high in cannabidiol. This way, you’ll pass a drug test more easily. Be sure that you’re consuming high quality CBD by growing your own high-yield CBD strains. High CBD cannabis seeds are available from seed banks at varying strengths. Look for high CBD % with low to virtually zero THC %.
If you have a test coming up, though, it’s advisable to speak with whoever needs to see the results when you consume CBD. While uncommon, vaping CBD, may still be restricted for some government organizations.
How Long Does the THC Last in Your System?
The length of time THC stays in your system depends on metabolism, dosage, and usage.
As urine is the most common screening method for many organizations, here’s an example of how long cannabis can be detected in your system.
The lab drug test cutoff level for THC is 50 ng/mL (nanograms per milliliter or urine).
As a guideline, you can expect the exam to detect elevated amounts of THC in your system for:
- 3 days after a single use
- 5–7 days after moderate use (up to 4 times a week)
- 10–15 days after daily use
- 30+ days after heavy use (various times throughout a single day)
Of course, your metabolism also plays a factor, but these numbers work for most individuals. To be on the safe side, stick to these figures.
Do Detoxification Programs Work?
If you have a pre-employment drug screening coming up and recently vaped THC, you might be considering a detoxification program. A detox is an excellent way to flush the substance entirely from your system, whether you’re a frequent or occasional vaper.
Many products are available to help you get rid of all traces of THC, including drinks, pills, and homemade cleansers. Some consumers swear by apple cider vinegar and cranberry juice, whereas others prefer store bought products.
Most of these cleansers claim to reduce THC levels in a day or two drastically. Although anecdotal reports suggest they work, it’s better not to run the risk. For the best results, detox and abstain from consuming THC for a few days before your exam—depending on usage.
It’s important to note that detox products won’t work if you’re due for a hair follicle screening. In this case, you must avoid consuming three months before the exam to guarantee a pass.
Vape and Pass the Test
If you enjoy vaping and have a drug test on the way, there’s a chance you might fail. To improve your likelihood of passing, abstain from THC for a reasonable period beforehand, based on your usage. Consider a detox if you’re worried about the results to flush the substance from your system.
Growing your own cannabis and vaping are enjoyable pastimes—just take your precautions before a drug screening. Good luck!