A new study published this week in the ‘Scientific Reports‘ journal has completely blown the lid off one of the most prevalent forms of drug testing the world has ever known: the hair test. The title of the study is just as conclusive as the finding: ‘Finding cannabinoids in hair does not prove cannabis consumption’.
It’s at this moment that I’m wondering about how may companies in America are shitting their pants for firing someone (or not hiring someone) due to a flawed drug test…Is it hundreds? Thousands? Hundreds of thousands? How many people didn’t get hired (or got fired) because of a failed drug test that has now been proven to be incredibly flawed?
I highly suggest reading the full study, but here’s the abstract which will provide you with the base-level information you need to know regarding this huge revelation in the world of drug testing:
Hair analysis for cannabinoids is extensively applied in workplace drug testing and in child protection cases, although valid data on incorporation of the main analytical targets, ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC (THC-COOH), into human hair is widely missing. Furthermore, ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid A (THCA-A), the biogenetic precursor of THC, is found in the hair of persons who solely handled cannabis material. In the light of the serious consequences of positive test results the mechanisms of drug incorporation into hair urgently need scientific evaluation. Here we show that neither THC nor THCA-A are incorporated into human hair in relevant amounts after systemic uptake. THC-COOH, which is considered an incontestable proof of THC uptake according to the current scientific doctrine, was found in hair, but was also present in older hair segments, which already grew before the oral THC intake and in sebum/sweat samples. 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. This is of concern for e.g. child-custody cases as cannabinoid findings in a child’s hair may be caused by close contact to cannabis consumers rather than by inhalation of side-stream smoke.
Let me go ahead and synthesize that for you: the ‘hair test’ procedure of testing for drugs does NOT work. The tests can find the presence of cannabinoids in someone who has been subjected to second hand smoke (a child who’s been in the presence of it). The hair test can find cannabinoids in someone who has handled weed but does not use drugs. This drug test does NOT work effectively, and it should be shut down now.
For people who will go on to claim that this study is not ‘good science’ because there weren’t enough participants and therefore the study is not considered ‘robust’, I think it’s important to consider that this study is likely just a stepping stone to whatever comes next. This likely started with someone recognizing a flaw in the ‘hair test’ and wanted to pursue testing but wasn’t able to secure enough $$$$$ for a large scale study. Already these findings are beginning to go viral, and that will lead to more money for testing of the flawed ‘hair test’.