Drug testing for marijuana
Data from the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index (DTI)™ has long shown marijuana to be 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 defined as dangerous with a potential for severe psychological or physical dependence.
Marijuana is typically ingested by smoking but can also be mixed into edibles. Effects can include altered mood, 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 percent compared to approximately 4 percent in the 1980s.1
Drug use costs the U.S. economy billions of dollars annually. According to the 1997 report by the Department of Labor, 73 percent 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.
Employers can screen applicants and employees to deter drug use and keep their workplaces drug-free. Recent DTI data shows that our oral fluid testing using the Oral-Eze oral fluid collection system is very effective in detecting marijuana.
Read our blog post called Can employers still screen for marijuana?
View our Marijuana Legislation by State infographic with the latest information.
View the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™ for positivity and trends in workplace drug testing.
Download our reference guide for Common Drugs of Abuse.
1 National Institute on Drug Abuse: Marijuana. www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse-marijuana
2 "10 Facts about Marijuana." Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace. http://www.drugfreeworkplace.org/10-facts-about-marijuana/