Study: Breaking Up Nugs Can Make You Fail a Drug Test

A recently published study from the University of Freiburg in Germany has found that rolling a joint is enough to fail a drug test. Even indirect contact with cannabis can give you a false positive, with big implications for legal cases that revolve around a drug test as evidence.

Researchers chose 10 lucky participants to roll one joint on five consecutive days, and urine tested them to make sure they didn’t smoke before or during the study. By the fifth day, and the fifth joint, most of the participants had detectable levels of THC and THCA in their hair. Even four weeks after their first exposure hair tests still showed both THCA and decarboxylated THC.

Those who have had to submit to drug tests know all too well about THC’s habit of lingering in the body for long periods of time. This study proves you don’t even need to get high to show up positive; the act of breaking up bud exposes your skin to enough THC to show up on a drug test.

This finding isn’t all bad, it proves that “analytical findings may be wrongly interpreted as a proof of consumption” because THC can be transferred by close bodily contact. An employer may not have to listen to your excuses, but a court of law may now have a hard time proving someone smoked pot beyond a reasonable doubt solely based on a positive drug test. Since direct and even indirect contact with cannabis can lead to a false positive, lawyers may have an easier time getting toxicology findings thrown out as evidence.

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