There are a lot of variables in hair testing for marijuana that make it a very controversial way to decide whether or not a person is fit to have a job. As mentioned above, false positives are very possible. It’s still not entirely clear, for example, whether hair can incorporate marijuana-derived compounds after simply being in the same vicinity as marijuana smoke.
When you smoke, vape, or eat marijuana, all you’re really doing is facilitating the release of the drug’s active compounds into your bloodstream. Once they’re in your veins, these cannabinoids ride the blood highway to the cannabinoid receptors on the body’s cells, where they bind and exert their effects. Along the way, some of the cannabinoids — metabolites of psychoactive THC are what most tests look for — enter the blood vessels that feed the cells of the scalp. There, at the interface between the vessel and the follicle cells known as the hair papilla, THC jumps the gap, entering the matrix, where actual hair growth occurs. Over the next couple of weeks, the hair from the root sprouts upward, carrying THC past the scalp, where it becomes fair game for testing for the next three months.
You smoked with your friends last weekend, but in the cold harsh light of Monday, you might be having regrets — especially if your employer conducts drug hair tests. From the moment you get high, it takes about 90 days before you’re free and clear when it comes to the THC in your hair. But exactly how long does weed stay in your hair? Here’s what you need to know.
In the case of a positive test, another sample of the same hair is usually put through a secondary test that uses techniques called gas chromatography and/or mass spectrometry. These techniques, known as GC/MS and GC/MS/MS (tandem MS), are more accurate, more involved techniques that scan the sample for the “molecular signature” of the target compound.
How does hair testing detect THC?
Hair color — that is, hair melanin content — seems to alter the sensitivity of the test, with darker-colored hair being more sensitive to the test, according to a report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. There has also been some concern about gray hair frequently turning up false positives, though more research is needed to explain why this happens.
The most commonly cited number for the amount of time marijuana can be detected in your hair is 90 days. That time frame is calculated on the basis of how long it takes for hair at the root to grow past the scalp, and it takes into account the part of the hair that drug testers sample.
Once your hair is collected, it’s washed to remove any external contaminants, chopped up, and then digested in a solution meant to break it down into its components — largely the protein keratin, together with any other compounds that make their way into the hair shaft. Usually, that solution is put through an ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) screen, a laboratory procedure that uses specific antibodies to bind the target molecule of choice — in this case, THC. (More specifically, THCA, a direct metabolite of THC.)
How does weed get in my hair, Anyway?
The dreaded hair test is one of the most used tests for finding drug users. It’s less invasive and takes less time than urine and blood tests, but it’s also controversial and has been known to cause false positives — even coming in contact with smoke can be enough to mess up your results. But until this issue is sorted out, it’s worth knowing exactly how hair tests work, especially for one of the most common drugs around: weed.
The final concentration of the chemical in a sample of hair gives the final verdict. The “confirmatory level” of THCA that Quest Diagnostics uses is 0.1 picograms per milligram of hair. Anything above that pretty much confirms you’ve used marijuana in the past three months.
There is also some thought that regular marijuana use can trigger the pleasure-seeking portion of your brain. In turn, this could lead you to seek out delicious (but unhealthy) foods while you’re high.
Remedies for Hair Loss
Loss of hair can be caused by a variety of factors such as genetics, tight hairstyles, medications and more.
The Connection Between Marijuana and Hair Loss
It’s important to note that it took a lot of leaps to get to these hypotheses (and that’s what these are), and there is no conclusive evidence proving that marijuana smokers don’t get enough zinc or iron in their diet.
When your follicles don’t receive the blood they need for nourishment, the hair growth cycle is interrupted. This forces hair follicles to move prematurely into the Telogen or resting phase until the scalp becomes a better environment for healthy growth. And there are lots of natural ways to improve the health of your scalp, including Daily scalp massage Essential Oils and It Really Works Vitamins
This is a formulation that I developed myself and we were voted Best Hair Regrowth Product for Men by Shortlist Magazine:
Research shows that marijuana use decreases motivation, and this condition is called cannabis a motivational syndrome
A lot of research has been carried out on the effects of smoking and hair loss. Tobacco is extremely high in carcinogens. These slow down cell proliferation in the hair follicles. Let’s quickly look at how hair grows – to understand how smoking causes hair loss.
There are three main phases of hair growth:
Telogen – This phase begins with a resting period, where club hairs rest in the root while new hair begins to grow beneath it. This phase lasts for around 3 months. After this time, the resting club hairs will fall out to allow the new hair to come through the hair follicle.
Scientists at The University of Amsterdam studied men and woman aged between 18 and 60 who regularly smoked the drug.
Marijuana and lifestyle changes
They found that young men in particular were prone to some of the more negative effects of smoking this drug and hair loss was one of them.
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