So you’re in the interview process for a new job and you need to take a pre-employment drug test. Or you have a career in which drug and alcohol tests are required with frequency. What do you need to know before your drug test, and how can you prepare? Here are some tips and things to know about the drug testing process.
Which Drugs Are Tested For
Before you take your drug test, one of the first things you’ll want to check is which drugs will be tested for in your specific drug test. The most common type of drug test is a five-panel one, which tests for marijuana (THC), opiates, cocaine, amphetamines, and phencyclidine (PCP). The company or person requiring the test may choose to include additional drugs on the list, some of which may be legal with a prescription, so it’s important to check these requirements carefully.
The Difference Between THC and CBD
One important detail to note is the difference between THC and CBD. In recent years, most of the United States has legalized, or at least decriminalized, the possession and use of cannabis. Hemp is in more products these days and cannabis is often prescribed for medical use. And yet, the detection of cannabis in your system can often disqualify you from a job. Since products like hemp oil don’t normally contain THC, the substance tested for in a drug test, you’ll generally be fine if you’re using these products. However, even these products can contain traces of THC that can cause you to fail the test. Be mindful of the risk posed by using these products prior to a test, though they may technically be legal.
The Type of Sample Required
As there are a few different types of drug tests, it’s important to note which type of sample you’ll need to give for your drug test. Urine samples are by far the most common, but testers may sometimes require a hair, saliva, or another type of sample. Once you know the required sample, you’ll be able to determine how long a given substance is detectable in that sample—for example, in a urine sample, marijuana is detectable anywhere from 2-30 or more days, while in a hair sample, the substance is detectable for up to three months.
If you’ve never had a drug test before, it’s helpful to be aware of what you need to know before your drug test. To guarantee that you’ll pass your drug test, avoid any substances that could potentially make your test come back positive for at least 30 days before your scheduled testing time. Even though certain substances are now legalized, it’s not worth losing an opportunity if it’s avoidable.