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Cannabis Testing Today!

By David Dickerman  (photo/istock/pabloborca)

With federal marijuana laws colliding with local laws, it can often be confusing where and when individuals are allowed to be drug tested, particularly for work. Since rules vary according to state, it may be helpful to know the different types of tests available to employers. Different types of tests look for different substances in a person’s body. The drug in question will impact the test that is given. Habitual marijuana users sometimes have THC in their system for few months while cocaine users may only have the drug in their system for a few days. Even though urine tests are probably the most common, hair follicle drug tests are another popular choice of which smokers must be aware in this confusing legal area.
Why Hair?
A person’s body creates certain metabolites as it processes a drug after initial use. These metabolites then circulate in the blood and act as nourishment for the follicle as they are integrated into the strand. 
What Does it Do?
A hair follicle tests are popular because it can track marijuana use up to 90 days in the past. This is far greater than a urine test. The tests are most useful to identify chronic or regular usage over a long period of time. Usually approximately 1-2 inches are used for the test, and the longer the strand of hair, the further back it can identify use. Hair from any part of the body is viable.
Even in states where marijuana use is completely legal, there is still confusion around what employers can do.  For example Colorado is still reviewing a 2014 case about a man who was terminated for using medically prescribed marijuana. With more states considering full legalization or decriminalization, legal clarity may be provided soon.