Check2Hire – FAQ’s
Drug Testing (16)
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of approximately 400 compounds found in cannabis, the same plant that produces the psychoactive compound, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). While CBD is a cannabinoid and shares some structural similarities with THC, it does not produce a “high.”
Research surrounding CBD is still in its early phases, but preliminary studies indicate that CBD may benefit medical and therapeutic issues such as seizures, neurological diseases, pain, cancer, inflammation, and mood disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Sara Jane Ward, an assistant professor of pharmacology at the Temple University Lewis Katz School of Medicine, tells U.S. News Health that the Drug Enforcement Administration considers CBD, like all cannabinoids, a Schedule I substance. She adds, “…hemp – a variety of the cannabis plant regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture – is legal , so long as its THC content is negligibly low. But because the agriculture department doesn’t test for CBD – only THC, more companies are getting away with selling products they say contain CBD.”[i]
In some medical marijuana states, CBD products are allowed to have residual levels of THC up to 5%, dependent on the state. Because of these low to non-existent levels of THC, more companies have started carrying CBD products, even in states where marijuana is not permitted for either medicinal or recreational use. However, it is worth noting that CBD is not legal[ii], at the state level, in all 50 states.
Unlike THC-rich products that do create a high, CBD is perceived as less harmful and comes in several different forms:
- Oil (most popular)
- Beauty and health products
- Infused edibles such as lattes, chocolates, and gummies
Despite the reputation CBD has of being less harmful than products containing THC, CBD may still cause adverse reactions in some people. Reported side effects from human and/or animal studies include:
- Changes in appetite
- Decreased blood pressure
- Possible endocrine disruption
- Altered immune function
- Psycho-motor slowing
Maybe. CBD itself would not report positive on a drug test for marijuana or marijuana metabolite. In some states, CBD may contain up to 5% THC. If the CBD product contains THC at a sufficiently high concentration, it is possible that the use of these products could cause a positive urine drug test result.
Will commonly used items such as vitamins, penicillin, aspirin, caffeine and acetaminophen (Tylenol) affect the results?
A licensed physician with a history of substance abuse diagnostic work. Per DOT regulations all DOT drug screens must be reviewed by an MRO. Many states also require an MRO review, and this service is available for non-DOT testing if desired. Services include the interpretation and evaluation of test results from confirmed positive, adulterated and substituted specimens in addition to the employee’s medical history or other relevant biomedical information necessary to determine if there is a legitimate explanation for a confirmed positive test.
A DOT drug screen tests a specimen for five drugs—opiates, PCP, amphetamines/methamphetamines, marijuana, and cocaine. A DOT-approved chain-of-custody form is used during the collection process, a split sample is collected and the specimens are forwarded to the laboratory for testing. Following the MRO’s review, results are reported to the designated reporting agency. Non-DOT drug testing can be expanded into a 10-panel drug screen by testing for the above five drugs and adding barbiturates, benzodiazepines, methadone, methaqualone, and propoxyphene.
Using a urine drug test cup or saliva drug test device is only the first step in the drug testing process. These drug tests screen for the presence of drugs; however, they do not provide laboratory-confirmed results unless required. In rare circumstances, it is possible to obtain false positive drug test results despite a donor’s proclaimed sobriety. Some over the counter medications, e.g. Ibuprofen, and even some foods, e.g. poppy seeds, may trigger specific drug test panels to yield positive findings. All preliminary positive drug test results can go through a certified Medical Review Officer (MRO) for analysis under a CLIA-Waived laboratory setting. The MRO will be able to provide an explanation for a person’s legitimate drug use or possible contraindicating food intake.
The detection period of any drug (illegal or prescribed) will vary from person to person based on individual factors including:
- Weight and Body Fat Percentage
- Underlying Health Problems
- Frequency of Drug Abuse
- Drug Potency
- Detection cutoff timeframes vary by drug and test type:
Can GC/MS testing tell the difference between prescription medication and illicit drugs like heroin?
Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) testing is used to confirm instant drug test findings. GC/MS can detect the presence of small quantities of a specific drug. Although GC/MS testing is more time-consuming, it provides the most accurate, sensitive, and reliable drug test results. Lab technicians with a high level of expertise are required to perform confirmation testing, so GC/MS is usually reserved for verification of positive immunoassays.
Since GC/MS tests identify drug metabolites and not the parent compound, it can be difficult to discern prescription medication from illicit drugs. This means heroin users will test positive for morphine. All drug testing methods are susceptible to human and environmental error, despite the high accuracy of GC/MS confirmation.
Methadone is a commonly prescribed for treating opiate addictions and relieving chronic pain symptoms. A methadone-specific test is required to detect the drug’s presence in an individual’s system. People who have been using Methadone for long periods of time will have an extended detection window of 5 days after methadone use when using urine drug testing, and 90 days after use when using hair follicle drug testing. Some prescription drugs like ibuprofen may yield false positive drug test results for methadone. Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry testing will confirm the presence of methadone metabolites in order to discern the drug from other cross-reactive substances.
Chemically, nothing. All three drugs are derived from the opium plant; however, they differ by way of form. Heroin, a Schedule I drug of abuse, can be found in many formats, including powder, pill and liquid. Codeine, which is present in some cold medicines, is converted by the body to morphine, which is usually aqueous. All of these variations of the opium plant are highly addictive and should not be administered without the approval of a medical professional.
Ketamine (KET), a chemical relative of phencyclidine (PCP), is a general anesthetic that undergoes intravenous or intramuscular administration. Ketamine street names include:
- Kit Kat
- Special K
When taken in large doses, ketamine causes hallucinations and symptoms of dissociation. Ketamine is an effective painkiller which should not be used outside of professional medical supervision.
Adulteration is the tampering of a urine specimen with the intention of altering drug test results. The use of adulterants can cause false negative results in drug tests by either interfering with the screening test and/or destroying the drug metabolites present in urine. Urine adulteration can be performed in many ways:
- Drinking excessive amounts of water before a urine drug test
- Taking creatine supplements to trigger false positives via creatinine metabolite
- Submitting “synthetic urine” from a foreign donor
- Dilution using sink or toilet bowl water
There are no true ways to pass a drug test apart from practicing sobriety. A modern-day urine drug screen provides drug test adulteration detection by measuring urinary properties:
- Specific Gravity
- Oxidants/Pyridinium Chlorochromate (PCC)
Many factors affect how long cocaine will stay in the body:
- Weight/Body Fat Percentage: high body fat percentage can result in a longer cocaine detection period due to slowed metabolism
- Age and Health: deteriorating health and older age may extend the cocaine detection window
- Frequency of Use: small, isolated doses are detectable at a lower concentration cutoff level, whereas long-term cocaine use requires a shorter detection window.
There are many types of cocaine, including cocaine powder, cocaine HCl and crack cocaine. The main difference between crack and cocaine is the addition of baking powder (sodium bicarbonate), which produces a lumpy or “rocky” substance in colors ranging from yellow to pink to white. Crack cocaine produces an intense, short-lived euphoric rush and a strong desire for more of the drug. Smoking crack cocaine creates vapors which reach the brain quicker than snorting cocaine powder. Since crack cocaine is not the same as pure cocaine, this drug is primarily abused throughout underprivileged communities in the United States. On the other hand, users who snort cocaine are generally more affluent and associate the drug with glamour. Crack cocaine delivers a strong cocaine experience in small, low-priced parcels. These cheap cocaine packets are illegally distributed under names like “nickels”, “dimes”, “twenties”, “solids” and “forties”.
Cocaine is one of the most potent naturally occurring stimulants. It is extracted from leaves of the coca plant (Erythroxylon coca), which is indigenous to the Andean highlands of South America. Street names for cocaine include:
- Snow White
Cocaine is a very addictive drug classified as a Schedule II Substance under the DEA’s illegal drugs list. However, cocaine hydrochloride, the cocaine mechanism of action, can be used for legitimate medical purposes as a numbing agent in surgical procedures. When used illicitly, the drug is usually processed down to a fine white powder for cocaine inhalation through the nose. The drug can also be mixed with liquids for cocaine injection via syringe.