Drug testing for marijuana
The Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™
(DTI) and other reputable research sources have long shown marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug. Marijuana is the product of the hemp plant, cannabis sativa
, containing the psychoactive chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other related compounds. Under federal law, it is classified as a Schedule I drug, a category for substances or chemicals with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.
Marijuana is typically smoked using cigarettes or pipes but can also be mixed into edibles and drinks or extracted for potent oils and waxes. Effects can include distorted senses, impaired judgment, lack of balance and coordination, increased appetite, elevated heart rate, and sometimes anxiety and panic. Today’s THC concentrations average close to 15% compared to approximately 4% in the 1980s.1
Drug use costs the United States economy billions of dollars annually. According to the 1997 report by the US Department of Labor, 73% of all current drug users aged 18 and older were employed. This calculates to 6.7 million full-time workers and 1.6 million part-time workers.2 Drug use among employees can lead to lower productivity, increased workplace accidents and injuries, increased absenteeism, and lower morale.
Companies can screen applicants and employees to deter drug use and keep their workplaces drug-free. Data shows that oral fluid testing using the Oral-Eze
is very effective in detecting recent drug use, particularly marijuana. Marijuana positivity increased nearly 75%, from 5.1% in 2013 to 8.9% in 2016 in the general U.S. workforce according to the DTI. Additionally, in Colorado and Washington, the first states in which recreational marijuana use was legalized, the overall urine positivity rate for marijuana outpaced the national average in 2016 for the first time since the statutes took effect.
1 National Institute on Drug Abuse: Marijuana. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana
2 "10 Facts about Marijuana." Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace. https://recoverymonth.gov/organizations-programs/institute-drug-free-workplace