Why is the THC in my hair follicles not reducing quickly?
July 31, 2013 2:00 PM   Subscribe

I've been submitting hair samples myself with the Hairconfirm test. I understand the hair test, confirms usage within a 90 day period. On day 72, I submitted samples, and tested positive with a .53 pg/mg for THC Metabolite. On day 92, I submitted samples, and tested positive with a .45 pg/mg for THC Metabolite. On day 108, I submitted samples, and STILL tested positive with a .42 pg/mg for THC Metabolite. Why is the rate of reduction of THC Metabolites in my hair not reducing faster?

I'm trying to get hired for a job for a large public company. However, they do hair drug tests. Up until April 10th, i was smoking pot. Not a huge amount... but for years. Sometimes daily, more commonly a few times a week. The quality was usually better than average. I'm 5'10", 185 lbs.

I stopped all together back on 4/10. My associate wants to hire me, but says if i take their drug test, and fail, i'll be black listed from ever working at that company... So, at his advice, i'm taking the hair test myself via Hairconfirm (a mail in hair drug test). I've meticulously following their instructions for submission of the hair samples.

After my 2nd positive result, i got my hair cut (more like a trim) and waited a week, then took the test again.... I was quite disappointed at my most recent result, seeing how it only dropped by .03 pg/mg.

Hairconfirm says, regarding the results... "A positive result indicates that the drug was identified at a level greater than its listed cutoff and was confirmed by GC/MS/MS." This cut off is .10 pg/mg.

At this rate it seems as if i won't get under .10 pg/mg for another 2 months or so.

Can anyone explain this to me?

I know all the shampoos & other things on the market are scams.... as I understood it, the THC metabolizes in the hair follicle... similar to rings on a tree.

Is there anything i can do to expedite this process? Should i get a (much) shorter haircut???
posted by foodybat to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Presumably you're not sending in your whole head, right?

How about, before going and getting a much shorter haircut, you take your hair samples and just cut them real short? Send those in, see how it goes for you.
posted by phunniemee at 2:03 PM on July 31, 2013

Are you sure that you will actually get drug-tested? I've worked for several Fortune 500 companies, which all have a drug-free policy and you consent to submitting to a drug test during the hiring process, but none has ever actually drug tested (and only does so if an issue presents itself later on). This has been the experience of numerous friends as well.
posted by melissasaurus at 2:42 PM on July 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: My friend is the guy hiring me.... he specifically told me they will be doing hair drug test as regular policy for the company.
posted by foodybat at 2:57 PM on July 31, 2013

Is shaving your head, waiting a couple weeks for it to grow back in an inch or so(probably a bit less) and then sending that in not an option?
posted by emptythought at 3:04 PM on July 31, 2013

Response by poster: @emptythought.... my understanding is that will not necessarily solve the problem.... if it did, then anytime someone needed to take a hair test, they'd just shave their head.

Actually, #1, i don't think that solves the problem (if someone out there knows otherwise, please let me know)... #2, if you don't have enough hair on your head for the test, then standard procedure is to take body hair, which grows at a much slower rate....
posted by foodybat at 3:08 PM on July 31, 2013

you can wash a lot of that out of your hair. repeated washing (like up to 6-8 times per day) can help reduce the detectable amounts of drugs in your hair.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 3:12 PM on July 31, 2013

My extremely limited understanding is that you really need to be submitting new hair. As in, hair that's only grown in after April 10. Because the detectable amounts that are already in your hair can stick around for a VERY long time.
posted by tinymegalo at 3:30 PM on July 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

Hair follicle tests suck, I've never had one but heard the horror stories of even casual users. I worked with a friend on researching how to pass his last year with 6 months to spare and it was a pain. However, like most drug tests, a large portion depends on your own body. The average is listed clean after 90 days but since you said you smoked for years, there is a high chance that you will test positive longer. Unfortunately, there isn't a definite timeframe for when you will be clean but the average is 90 days to 6 months, with extremely heavy smokers taking up to a year to get clean with longer hair.

From reading your question, it sounds like it's known you smoke and time is on your side? If so, I would recommend cutting your hair with a #2 blade and letting it grow out and then retesting; if it's your thing - feel free to go swimmers bald with a straight razor. "Scorch the Earth" so to speak, but trying to maintain a decent haircut isn't worth it in my opinion. Also, it's summer so you have a valid reason for trying out an extremely short haircut in case anyone asks. That's where I would start and let it grow out, retest in about a month. If you really can't wait, I've seen this method passed around on various boards/forums all using similar methods with varying levels of success. But honestly, I think buzzing your hair is going to be your best bet as a starting point.

Good luck.
posted by lpcxa0 at 4:24 PM on July 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

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