Ask Experts Questions for FREE Help !
Ask
    izzetcharming's Avatar
    izzetcharming Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #1

    Jul 21, 2014, 06:54 PM
    Passed a hair drug screen with head hair, but body hair was used the second time.
    Hello. I knew I was going to be taking a hair follicle test today through Quest Diagnostics, so exactly two weeks ago I had a personal HFT scheduled by Health Street at a Quest Diagnostics location. At the time of the test, I had not smoked marijuana for four weeks, but I had been a regular user for five months prior. Quest took a 1.5" hair sample, indicating approximately three months of use history (or 1 inch of "dirty" hair and .5 inches of "clean" hair). I had also been taking prescription Adderall for the 2-3 weeks leading up to the test.

    My results came back negative for all five of the panel drugs, including the Marijuana metabolite THC-COOH and amphetamines despite the fact that I had ingested both during the test's detection window. I was on a relatively low dose of Adderall, so I wasn't too surprised to test negative. I was very surprised, however, to test negative for THC-COOH despite heavy use in the test's detection window. So anyway, I knew that I could test negative for an HFT, and everything seemed fine.

    I prefer to have short hair, so after the first test but before my official one I cut it to right at Quest's minimum head hair length requirement of .5". I also trim my arm hair to about 1/4" every few weeks, but it was a little longer than that today. Long story short, I ended up giving them a testing sample of arm hair, although it did not meet the >.75" requirement for a body hair sample as required by my employer (a small portion of the hairs were around .5", but most were closer to .25"). As best as I can determine, this is roughly 3-4 weeks of arm hair growth, but with the caveat that body hair goes through wildly different anagen/telogen phases than head hair. The growth period for arm hair is 13 weeks, with only 20% of all arm hairs being in the growing phase at the same time.

    So I have two questions:

    1) What are the odds that the sample will be rejected by Quest's labs because of its length? I was able to verify through Quest's website that the minimum length of head hair that can be tested is .5", but I cannot find a minimum length for body hair of any kind. I emailed this question to Quest Diagnostics, but have not received an answer yet.

    2) If I passed the first HFT with hair that had grown, for the most part, while I was using heavily, do I have similarly good odds of passing with "recently grown" arm hair?
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,303, Reputation: 7691
    Expert
     
    #2

    Jul 21, 2014, 07:03 PM
    Most likely you passed, because you did not show any current use. It is pretty good odds that the prior use showed up.. I would estimate, and just my opinion, that the work standards were concerned about more current usage.

    But I also think, that they will reject test, due to length, unless as noted, they are more concerned with current use
    izzetcharming's Avatar
    izzetcharming Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #3

    Jul 21, 2014, 07:23 PM
    Quest does not do segmental analysis. They trim the hair specimen to 1.5" total length, cut hairs into smaller sections, washed, and then part of the sample is used to do a cut-off test for each of the panel's drugs. To put it another way, Quest only tested a part of my total hair specimen to see if it contained an amount equal to or greater than the screen cutoff amount. My hair didn't contain any of the chemicals they tested for over the cutoff amounts, so all the tests were deemed negative. There's no determination for recent or non-recent use, only a positive or negative result based on the ratio of drug metabolites mass to hair mass.

    My (hopefully) future employer is definitely interested in any provable amount of illicit drug usage above Quest's cutoff limits.

    Thanks very much for your reply.

    Oh, and I forgot to mention I was also asked to provide a urine specimen to cover any recent use.
    mydogfifi's Avatar
    mydogfifi Posts: 175, Reputation: 36
    Hair Drug Testing Specialist
     
    #4

    Jul 22, 2014, 11:50 AM
    In regards to body hair drug test the lab doesn't care about the length only that there is enough weight of hair to do the complete testing. Body hair doesn't give a 90 day time frame regardless of length. Body hair time frame is approximately 9- 12 months. In regards to the head hair collection Quest did, the shorter the hair the more cuttings need to be done to get the right amount, by weight, to do the complete screening and confirmation cutoff (if necessary). When I do a collection if the head hair is only .5 inch I take at least 3 cuttings from around the head.

    The main reason you tested negative on the head hair was probably that you didn't smoke enough to be over the cutoff level. I am assuming the screening level for THC was 1.0 pg/mg and the confirmation cutoff levels is probably .10 pg/mg. Do you know the cutoff levels for screening and confirmation.
    izzetcharming's Avatar
    izzetcharming Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #5

    Jul 22, 2014, 08:55 PM
    Yes, for TCH-OOCH the screen level is 1.0 pg/mg, and the confirmation level is .10 pg/mg.

    I'm skeptical of the claim that an HFT using body hair has a detection window of 9-12 months. As far as I can tell, arm hair has a 26-week growth cycle from the beginning of the anagen phase to the end of the telogen phase when the hair sheds. If the oldest hair on an arm is around six months old, how is it possible that any test using that hair has a detection window of 9-12 months?

    Anyway, the two months or so of usage covered by the first HFT was definitely the time I was using most frequently. I was an occasional smoker, at most, prior to that. Not sure if this is the correct way to think about it, but if I could pass an HFT with 2/3 of my hair containing a higher concentration of THC-OOCH, then shouldn't I be able to pass an HFT with hair that should contain, on average, less than that?

    Man, trying to look all this up is so confusing. I can only find one study or paper that mentions the growth rate of arm hair, and that study gives a number for head hair that is only 78% of the "hair grows .5" per month" fact I find on every result of a Google query. Every other place I can find that mentions the rate of hair growth is either lacking a source, or is the website of a company that does hair drug testing.

    Hair testing does not seem remotely reliable for determining anything but extremely heavy marijuana use.
    CravenMorhead's Avatar
    CravenMorhead Posts: 4,532, Reputation: 1065
    Adult Sexuality Expert
     
    #6

    Jul 23, 2014, 06:16 AM
    It's a test for habitual use. I am not sure what would define habitual use, but it would probably be a bowl a day or every couple days. They want to make sure that you're not likely to come to work stoned. If you do it is their asses on the line if you do something while stoned that cause damage, injury, or death.
    mydogfifi's Avatar
    mydogfifi Posts: 175, Reputation: 36
    Hair Drug Testing Specialist
     
    #7

    Jul 25, 2014, 06:00 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by izzetcharming View Post
    Yes, for TCH-OOCH the screen level is 1.0 pg/mg, and the confirmation level is .10 pg/mg.

    I'm skeptical of the claim that an HFT using body hair has a detection window of 9-12 months. As far as I can tell, arm hair has a 26-week growth cycle from the beginning of the anagen phase to the end of the telogen phase when the hair sheds. If the oldest hair on an arm is around six months old, how is it possible that any test using that hair has a detection window of 9-12 months?

    Anyway, the two months or so of usage covered by the first HFT was definitely the time I was using most frequently. I was an occasional smoker, at most, prior to that. Not sure if this is the correct way to think about it, but if I could pass an HFT with 2/3 of my hair containing a higher concentration of THC-OOCH, then shouldn't I be able to pass an HFT with hair that should contain, on average, less than that?

    Man, trying to look all this up is so confusing. I can only find one study or paper that mentions the growth rate of arm hair, and that study gives a number for head hair that is only 78% of the "hair grows .5" per month" fact I find on every result of a Google query. Every other place I can find that mentions the rate of hair growth is either lacking a source, or is the website of a company that does hair drug testing.

    Hair testing does not seem remotely reliable for determining anything but extremely heavy marijuana use.
    Those are the industry standard cutoff levels. One thing you need to keep in mind is that every person has a different metabolism and the rate the blood vessels feed the hair follicle can be different, therefore changing the rate the drug is deposited in the hair. Recently the lab I partner with, Omega Labs, came out with the following statement regarding the time frame for body hair.

    "Body hair is noted as "Body Hair” with no length associated. While body hair is generally acknowledged as representing a more distant time frame than head hair, the approximate time cannot be identified due to the high variability of growth rates and rates of incorporation of drugs. It should also be noted that the donor can impact this time frame through shaving and regrowth of body hair."

    The thing about Marijuana is that it is qualitative and amount does not correlate to usage.

Not your question? Ask your question View similar questions

 

Question Tools Search this Question
Search this Question:

Advanced Search


Check out some similar questions!

I had hair taken from my armpit for a drug screen [ 7 Answers ]

I had a hair folicle test today. They took my armpit hair. Will infrequent drug use show up?

Will I pass a hair drug test with dyed hair? [ 1 Answers ]

My work is going to start hair testing for a govt contract in a couple weeks. I smoked half a bowel every other weekend for about a year. I quit 20 days ago. I dye my hair which is half way done my back. Do you think I have a chance of passing? Or should I start looking for another job? Thanks

Hair drug screen [ 4 Answers ]

If u smoked a blunt of weed 2weeks ago and sweat a lot could I still past a hair drug test in the third week

Hair drug screen questions [ 1 Answers ]

I am a balding male age 56 and going to be subject to a hair folicle test for pre employment.my question is , I am a everyday recreational user of marijuana usually no more than 1/2 a joint if I abstain for 30 days or more and my hair and beard are no more than 1/2 to 1 inch at the longest should I...

Hair folical body hair vs hair on head [ 2 Answers ]

Hello I have had testing done for a while I tested positive from hair from my head although I did not use. I then tested from my body hair and came back negative. The head hair was 90 to 100 days back and the body test was back almost twelve months. I wish to find out which is the more definitive...


View more questions Search