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Can You Fail A Drug Test If You Just Grow Marijuana?

The marijuana industry is wide and vast and it ranges from marijuana consumers, budtenders, trimmers to growers. With the legalization of this herb by most states in the US, more legal marijuana gardens have immerged in a bid to meet consumer demands.

As you all know, marijuana has to be harvested and trimmed leaving us with the question of whether this is a risk for those people who may require to pass a drug test (as you‘ll have to touch and smell the plant).

Since legal marijuana business has turned into a multi-billion dollar industry in recent years, most people have turned into growing of marijuana without necessarily consuming it. On the other hand, a lot of people have gone ahead to get employment in this industry such as trimming jobs and bud tending jobs.

But, are these people really in danger? Can you fail a marijuana drug test by just growing (touching and smelling) marijuana without necessarily consuming it?

  1. Why is this important?
  2. Can someone fail a drug test after touching marijuana?
  3. Can you get high and fail urine drug test by inhaling unburnt marijuana?
  4. How to avoid failing a drug test if you work in the cannabis industry?

growing marijuana

Why is this important?

It’s important to mention that it takes quite a while of handling to fail a marijuana drug test. Although absorbing THC in your system due to excessive handling is not a big deal, it may become more of a bad news if there arises a sudden drug test due to court order, a surprise job outside of the industry or if the test is related to a rehab program.

Although there are many reasons why a person can’t have THC in the system, only a few realize that by handling marijuana, there are high chances of testing positive during a drug test.

Can someone fail a drug test after touching marijuana?

Most people are surprised to learn that you can fail a drug test simply by being a secondhand smoker. It’s even surprising to learn that you don’t have to consume marijuana to test positive. By just handling marijuana (when growing, trimming or budtending), a failed drug test result can be recorded.

Now, according to a recent study conducted in the University of Freiburg, Germany, ten participants were ordered to roll one joint of marijuana per day for several days. After the study, these test subjects were ordered to submit their hair samples for analysis.

The purpose of this study was to prove that by simply breaking up cannabis, the residue on your fingers is enough to produce a false positive drug test. During the study it was discovered that trace amounts of THC and THCA-A were detected in hair samples of all the participants with a concentration range of 15-1800 pg/mg for THCA-A and 10-93 pg/mg for THC.

Moreover, a month after the first exposure during a routine hair test, it was discovered that hair samples of 9 participants had trace amount of THCA-A with a concentration of 4-57 pg/mg. It was also discovered that substantial amounts of THC (with a concentration of 10-17 pg/mg) were still detectable in 5 participants.

From this study, it’s evident that you can fail a hair drug test for up to a month after routinely touching marijuana for a while.

The study above was more of an eye opener to people who work in the cannabis industry and think that they can’t fail a drug test since they don’t consume marijuana. It’s clear that indeed cannabis industry workers can absorb THC via their skin by simply handling too much marijuana.

Can you get high and fail urine drug test by inhaling unburnt marijuana?

THC resin is usually very sticky and its infiltration into the body is quite possible, especially when you touch it daily.

Also, like any other substance, marijuana does vaporize and the rate depends on fluctuations of the room temperature. Under usual conditions, the concentration of cannabis vapor is quite low, although we can smell the aroma and some regular marijuana users can even recognize different strains by their smell.

However, it is absolutely impossible to get high by just inhaling the aroma of marijuana and this is the reason why.

When marijuana is in its raw unburnt form, its THC exists in the acidic variation referred to as THCA, which does not cause any psychedelic effects. However, when heat applied, THCA transforms into Delta-9-THC that is responsible for the high.

In case you feel something after inhaling dry cannabis, it’s not the cannabinoids effect, but rather the other substances called terpenes. The most popular types of terpenes you may come across both in the cannabis and the food sectors include: Linalool found in lavender, Limonene found in lemons, thymol, anethole, and geraniol among others.

Inhaling the molecules of terpenes may only give you a relaxing feeling, but will never make you high. Although you may notice some minor reactions, especially if you’re a beginner, they will likely be very mild.

This leads us to the answer to main question: if inhaling unburnt marijuana cannot make you high, it cannot make you fail a urine drug test also, because urine drug test for THC looks only for psychoactive Delta-9-THC, which is one of the products of combustion of cannabis plant and does not appear in its unburnt form.

How to avoid failing a drug test if you work in the cannabis industry?

Just like we’ve seen in this post, handling marijuana can cause one to fail a hair drug test, so if you’re a worker in a marijuana business, it’s highly vital that you wear protective equipment such as hats, gloves, respirators, safety glasses and other garments to protect yourself from THC resin. For indoor farmers, a grow tent and good ventilation are some of the must-haves to prevent THC dust from spreading inside the room.

The protective measures are also required because of some health risks from the hazards that come as a result of growing marijuana both indoors and outdoors. Some of these hazards include: dangerous pesticides, mold spores, inhaling the marijuana dust into lungs, and exposing yourself to ultraviolet light from glow lights.