Hair follicle testing has quickly become an important form of drug testing for employers. Since the bloodstream nourishes the hair, it serves as a snapshot of what is in the bloodstream. A single follicle can reflect what types of drugs a person has ingested over a period of time. Since hair testing cannot be altered like a urine test, it makes it a choice for professionals are turning to.
Most fair follicle testing covers cocaine, opiates, marijuana, phencyclidine, and amphetamines in the body. Advanced testing can cover prescription medications such as hydrocodone and oxycodone that also may be abused. The testing can cover 90 days of use, unlike urine testing and body hair may give results up to 12 months after the last time a person used a substance.
While this form of testing is approved, it is important to understand that it isn’t without any kind of controversy. In Freiburg, Germany the Institute of Forensic Medicine recently published a study that any cannabinoids that are found in the hair follicle don’t necessarily signify the person has used. There are other external sources a person can come in contact with the substance and still show actual results. With that, the same study showed that despite daily ingestion of THCA and THC for a month did not change the levels of the drug reflected in those who simply showed contact. Only a small level of THC ever ends up in the hair from the bloodstream, so that means that the 50 picograms required for a positive THC test in the body, would always reflect in the tests that are done. It can occur from simply shaking the hands of a person who recently smoked, or having second-hand smoke enter the lungs.
However, most hair follicle testing companies state that they can show a timeline of marijuana use and that remains the focus for giving a positive result on THC metabolites found in the hair follicle, over accidental contamination of the piece of hair. Furthermore, there is a claim that the single use of marijuana will not appear in the hair since it would leave the bloodstream within a 24-hour window. Some complain that hair follicle testing is also an irrelevant drug test. The reason is that the delay in marijuana is can appear, along with the inability to determine intoxication at any point in time. Instead, blood testing would have the ability to determine if THC is in the blood and the levels that it potentially reached. For those who are using the testing to simply determine use at some point, this is important to consider, compared to those who are interested in determining whether or not a subject is intoxicated.
It’s important for those who are regularly using cannabis to keep this in mind if they will be randomly tested using the hair follicle method for work. Since this is one approach that can make it difficult to pass for a window of up to 12 months, you’ll want to consider something of the other options available, such as shaving from head to toe or looking at possible detox solutions.
Even though marijuana hair testing is more expensive than common urinalysis, it is often seen by employers as less invasive, harder to cheat, and gives the employer a look-back further into the past to spot regular marijuana use.
Urine tests only screen for THC metabolites present within 2-30 days. (This is why a flush drink is used to temporarily flush the THC metabolites from the kidneys. Hair follicle testing is attractive for examination because the hair drug test has a look-back window of 30 to 90 days, with a broader spectrum of possible chronic use.
Drug testing labs claim that because synthetic urine, fake pee, and other cheating methods are so common, hair follicle drug testing is better because it results in up to five times the failure rates by applicants. If you have used other drugs such as cocaine or prescription pain killers, these will also show up whereby with a pee test, the harder drugs are typically flushed from your system naturally in 2-3 days for most users.
Since the average hair growth is about a half inch per month, a small hair lock can reveal a 90-day window of possible use. The lab technician or safety nurse will cut a sample close to your head. They are supposed to collect about 100 strands of hair for an adequate testing sample. The sample is then packaged and sent off express delivery to a lab where the actual testing takes place. If the testing subject is bald, the testing Staff might take other body hair samples, but this practice is usually limited to extreme cases or security clearance type jobs. if you shave your head on purpose, most employers have policies about this and will likely not hire you for obvious reasons.
hair follicle drug testing:
- The drug use detection look- back is 90 days.
- Hair drug testing catches 4-11 time more people for drug use than urine or saliva screening.
- It is hard to beat a follicle test, but it can be done with advance preparation. employers like to intimidate their workforce into NOT using based on intimidation
- It is common for workers compensation insurance carriers to require a hair testing program be in place in addition to other traditional methods.
- It is considered to be less “invasive” than pee testing. If the test subject is bald, leg or pubic hair may be used in some cases.