Navigating Medical Marijuana Use and Employment

Despite the fact that weed is now legal in 29 states and counting, on a federal level, the plant remains an illegal substance. What does this mean for you as an employee, you ask? Well, it means that you must be prepared for a drug test when you enter the workplace! Employers maintain the right to test their workforce for drug use and that includes cannabis. If an employer does carry out random drug testing, chances are they will test an employee during the hiring process.

Ask yourself, would you pass that test? For a lot of people who rely on medical marijuana to relieve the symptoms of illness and disease, such as depression and osteoporosis, drug testing for cannabis is not exactly ideal. In fact, lawsuits have sprung up across the country as a result of marijuana drug testing, with some employees failing the test due to their green prescriptions.

If your condition isn’t entirely reliant on medical marijuana, it’s in your best interest to detox and refrain from smoking until you have an opportunity to talk to your current (or potential) employer. If that simply isn’t possible, make sure that you look into the policies of the companies you’re working for or applying to.

Why do some employers drug test?

The aim of a drug test is to determine whether or not a member of staff has been dabbling in drugs that may hinder his/her reactions and ability to conduct tasks safely. If substances are detected, the employer may face legal action for allowing that person to attend work in an unfit state. For this reason, it is crucial that you are aware of the drug testing for cannabis and how to sidestep problems, should you be dependent on medical marijuana.

Not all employers will drug test. It depends on the state in which you reside and the type of job being carried out inside the workplace. For example, if you work at an office in San Francisco, there is a good chance your employer will not carry out a drugs test, because the state has been given the green light for cannabis sales, consumption and possession. Plus, an office job doesn’t really pose much of a risk for the people who work there. On the other hand, the rules may be different for employees who work in a state in which cannabis has not been legalized.

What factors influence how long weed stays in the blood?

A number of factors will have an impact on how long marijuana is present in your system, including whether or not you are a heavy, frequent, moderate or one-time user. Keep in mind that certain consumption methods are slower-acting (such as edibles) and may remain in the system for longer. Weight and body fat are two other factors to consider ahead of undergoing drug testing for cannabis.

Here are some guidelines to think about:

  • A saliva test will test positive if you have consumed THC within 12 hours of taking the test.
  • A urine test will test positive if you have consumed THC-rich cannabis within 2-5 hours of taking the test.
  • A hair test will test positive if you have consumed THC-rich cannabis within one week of taking the test.

Important: Results may vary, depending on how potent the strain was and how it was consumed.

Effective Methods of Clearing the System of Cannabis

Rather than losing sleep over the thought of being tested positive for cannabis and getting fired from your job, take some precautionary measures to rid your system of cannabis. Here are some methods of detoxing the system of THC (Cannabis’ psychoactive mind-altering compound) that have proven effective in the past:

  • Drink Detox Liquids – Perhaps the most common choice for people who are preparing to undergo drug testing for cannabis is a product like Clear Choice Rescue Cleanse. When taken properly, the drink will eliminate toxin build-up by diluting the urine. Follow the instructions closely and start drinking the diuretic for a few days before a urine test is carried out.
  • Sweat It Out – You may consider opening the pores and expelling toxins from your body by sitting in a hot sauna. Alternatively, slip on your sneakers and set off on a run or bike ride. Since expelled sweat may contain traces of THC, it’s worth giving these options a go.
  • Hydration and Diet – Flush out your system by knocking back at least eight glasses of water per day. Remember to eat a balanced diet of fresh ingredients to encourage bowel movements, as this will push THC metabolites out of the body.

Telling Your Employer About Medical Marijuana Use

Don’t sneak around and hide from your employer. Tell them you are using cannabis for medical purposes and be sure to show him/her your doctor recommendation and a valid medical marijuana card to prove that you purchase cannabis legally from a San Francisco marijuana dispensary.

It may be worth pre-testing yourself at home to ease your mind ahead of a drug test for cannabis. How your employer wishes to proceed once you tell them you are a medical marijuana patient is up to them, but honesty really is the best policy.

Do you have any detox tips or routines that you would recommend? Leave us a comment in the section below.

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