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Can An Accidental Second-Hand Toke Make You Fail A Drug Test?

One second-hand toke could prove to be one too many.

Tim Kohut

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Can An Accidental Second-Hand Toke Make You Fail A Drug Test?

Typically, drug tests tend to jeopardize the careers of, well, people who do drugs.

In most instances, it’s people who smoke weed, as the THC component of cannabis remains in the user’s system for several months.

However, a recent study shows that even certain non-smokers aren’t completely safe from the wrath of a drug test.

The Implications Of A Second-Hand Toke

According to a new study at the University of Calgary, THC can be detected in the body after just 15 minutes of second-hand smoke exposure.

That’s right, just one second-hand toke can be the difference in you getting your dream job, as the report noted its findings could be especially problematic for companies with a zero-tolerance drug policy.

The study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal Open, concluded that people exposed to second-hand pot smoke in a poorly ventilated area, such as a basement, kitchen or bedroom, with the windows shut, could test positive for a drug test.

But the results didn’t just end there. The study also suggested second-hand smoke can lead to the subject actually feeling the psychoactive effects of cannabis. Or in simpler terms, getting second-hand stoned.

“Exposure to second-hand marijuana smoke leads to cannabinoid metabolites in bodily fluids, and people experience psychoactive effects after such exposure,” the study determined.

Perhaps the only difference between a second-hand toke and an actual one is the time it takes to get out of your system. Typically, one-time smokers require a five- to eight-hour time frame to ensure a negative drug test, but it was estimated that second-hand THC could stay in the body anywhere between 24 to 48 hours.

Regardless, having to wait any amount of time could prove troublesome for those finding themselves as a surprise guest at a good, old-fashioned hot-box.

Final Hit: Can An Accidental Second-Hand Toke Make You Fail A Drug Test?

The basis of the research study was to better understand the public health risks associated with cannabis, as Canada is set to legalize recreational marijuana in July 2018. The study suggests sanctions that closely mirror pre-existing tobacco regulations in Canada.

“Alignment of tobacco and marijuana smoking bylaws, with a coherent policy approach to exposure to smoke of any kind, may result in the most effective public policies,” the report suggested. “For example, bylaws forbidding smoking in indoor spaces such as bars and nightclubs and in shared outdoor spaces such as beaches or parks should be considered.”

This report contradicts previous studies that determined it is highly difficult to pass a drug test by simply being around people smoking. However, those findings don’t necessarily take into account the aforementioned areas of poor ventilation.

The latest study did admit, however, that more research was necessary to determine the long-term effects of second-hand smoke. But for those who may worry about potential short-term repercussions, make sure you check out the different ways to detox prior to a drug test.

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