New study indicates false positives possible for hair drug tests

new study from Scientific Reports may have an effect on what kind of drug tests employers choose to use when screening potential employees for marijuana. The study, entitled “Finding cannabinoids in hair does not prove cannabis consumption,” shows that three cannabinoids — tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC (THC-COOH) and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid A (THCA-A) — can be found in hair samples even if the samples came from a person who had never used the drug. “Our studies show that all three cannabinoids can be present in hair of non-consuming individuals because of transfer through cannabis consumers, via their hands, their sebum/sweat, or cannabis smoke,” wrote the authors in the abstract. In fact, according to the study, the THC-COOH cannabinoid (which is created in the body and can be transferred to other individuals via sweat/sebum on the hands or other parts of the body) can remain on hair follicles for up to 11 weeks after contamination, which could end up resulting in false-positive drug tests. THC itself can be found in marijuana smoke, which can lead to risk of “external contamination.” Because marijuana is still illegal on a federal level, despite it becoming legalized in some states, it is still legal for many employers to conduct drug tests for the drug, and even take adverse action against individuals who test positive. At this time, urine and blood tests are much less likely to turn up “false positives” for marijuana usage, and employers may consider utilizing these drug-testing methods when conducting pre-employment or on-the-job screening. Contact Mind Your Business to keep up to date on your rights as an employer when dealing with the murky waters of drug-testing laws.]]>

You May Also Like

Check out these additional posts from Mind Your Business.

Is the National Criminal Database Search Enough?

When conducting a background check, the first step is often searching the National Criminal Database. Also known as the Multi-State or the National Search, this search type pulls information from thousands of databases and jurisdictions. It is often the cheapest option and commonly mistaken as the “all-inclusive” background check. Many companies unknowingly rely on only…
Read More

FYI FRIDAYS: What is Live Scan Fingerprinting?

We were able to announce earlier this month that we would offer live scan digital fingerprinting to our clients. MYB has been conducting name-based background checks for over 24 years. This natural progression will allow us to service more industries and provide an all-inclusive background screening service.  It is important to dive further into the…
Read More

Mind Your Business, Inc. Announces Convenient Fingerprinting Program Solutions

Extensive nationwide live scan fingerprinting services provides streamlined solution for MYB customers  March 1, 2021 Hendersonville, N.C. — Mind Your Business, Inc. (MYB), a worldwide leader in background screening, drug testing, EEO investigations, and administrative services is excited to announce the introduction of extensive fingerprinting services to its repertoire of core capabilities. This new service offering will…
Read More

Quality and Precise Results, On Time!

Let us know about your screening needs to get a custom quote. We work with businesses big and small as well as the government. Which means we have a package of solutions for your organization as well.