will second hand weed drug test

Cannabis Secondhand Smoke: Will It Show On A Drug Test?

A lot of people worry about how drug tests work concerning THC. Informing yourself about what you can or cannot do will be half the way to passing one successfully. Be sure you know how secondhand smoke from marijuana will affect your chances.

Cannabis has been associated with misconceptions and myths for a long time. Because of this, it’s no surprise that secondhand weed smoke would also be linked with dangerous consequences. Today, we’ll go through whether you can get high from secondhand smoke, and if this is enough to make you fail a drug test.


Whether in an intentional hotbox, an indoor sesh, or a cannabis coffeeshop environment, there will often be people present who don’t smoke. These are people that came for the friends and not for a few tokes of the dank. As such, these are also the people that worry researchers and government agencies; is secondhand smoke harming these individuals?

The inhalation of smoke will always be harmful. But if you’re worried about joining your friends on a smoke sesh every once in a while, don’t be. Especially if its cannabis smoke and not tobacco one. Secondhand smoke won’t kill you prematurely, nor will it create any health issues. Just don’t take your child to that environment. Although health consequences are a concern, you can’t really get high from a hotbox if you’re not smoking.

In order for your body to test positive for THC from a hotbox session, you’d have to be surrounded by smoke for hours. And furthermore, the reason hotbox highs are often more intense is mostly due to an abundance of CO₂ and slight oxygen deprivation. If you’re a past smoker or are on a tolerance break, it might also be your brain playing tricks on you. Your brain will link the weed smell to a feeling it remembers.


So, you were at a party having a conversation with a cool stoner. You inhaled a decent quantity of secondhand smoke and forgot you have that drug test in a couple of days. You obviously don’t want to lose your job. But before you dive into an insane detox to flush out the THC, we have good news for you. A 2004 paper concluded that “. the risk of positive oral fluid tests from passive cannabis smoke inhalation is limited to a period of approximately 30 min following exposure”. This seems fair enough. Just make sure you stay away from joints 30 minutes before your drug test.

A 2010 study also looked at cannabinoid concentrations in the blood and urine of people after being in a highly attended Amsterdam coffeeshop for 3 hours. The results showed that indeed the subject absorbed THC, but in miniscule quantities, not enough to get them high. In the blood, THC was only detectable for less than 6 hours. And this will probably be the closest to reality that a study can be on the subject.

This should be enough to relax you. But you should not take this to the extreme. It would still not be smart to hang around a lot of burning marijuana during the days, if not couple of weeks, leading up to a drug test. Research isn’t abundant on the subject, and there is still a lot for us to learn about cannabis. It will always depend on the THC contents of the weed your friends are smoking, how many are smoking, for how long, and where. All of this to say, you can and should be relaxed about this issue, but use your brain as well.

Find out if joining your friends for a smoke session will make you fail your next drug test, even if you're not partaking. The answer lies within!

Second-hand ’toke’ could make you fail a workplace drug test: U of C study

A woman smokes marijuanaon Parliament Hill on 4/20 in Ottawa, Ontario, April 20, 2017.

Article Sidebar

Share this Story: Second-hand ’toke’ could make you fail a workplace drug test: U of C study

Copy Link

  • Email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
  • Trending

    Article content

    It looks like Canadian Olympic gold medallist snowboarder Ross Rebagliati may have been right all along.

    Rebagliati, the first Olympic gold medallist in Men’s Snowboarding at the 1998 Winter Olympics, was initially disqualified after THC, the main ingredient in marijuana, was found in his system in a drug test.

    Second-hand ’toke’ could make you fail a workplace drug test: U of C study Back to video

    The decision was eventually overturned since cannabis wasn’t a banned substance, but Rebagliati maintained the positive drug test was the result of second-hand smoke.

    Now a study from the Cummings School of Medicine at the University of Calgary seems to support his claim.

    “This study points to the Ross Rebagliati hypothesis — there is a possibility that it is entirely possible to have THC levels within a non-smoker from just being exposed to smoke in a closed area,” Fiona Clement, the principal author of the study published online in the Canadian Medical Association Journal Open, said Thursday.


    Article content continued

    The study found THC is detectable in the body after as little as 15 minutes of exposure, even if the person is not actively smoking it. Findings suggest anyone exposed to second-hand smoke in a poorly ventilated room, including a kitchen, basement, or living room with the windows closed, will test positive.

    It can take between 24 and 48 hours for the THC to clear from the system and Clement said that could be particularly problematic for employees who work in jobs where there is a zero-tolerance drug policy.

    “Those who are not smoking can test positive in blood and urine tests for THC to levels that would lead to failing drug tests in certain areas depending on the limit that’s adopted,” Clement said.

    The research suggests the chemical composition of second-hand marijuana smoke is similar to that of tobacco, although differences in the concentrations of the components vary.

    Clement said mirroring public health legislation to protect workers and the general public from second-hand tobacco exposure would be appropriate for marijuana as well.

    “As we move toward legalization in July, there will be a need to develop bylaws or regulations about where people can smoke, and really this evidence feeds into the same kinds of regulations that we have for tobacco smoking, so no smoking in restaurants or public places,” she said.

    Clement points out that people who inhale second-hand marijuana smoke have reported getting high, and that could also mean they are legally impaired when behind the wheel.

    The federal government’s plan to legalize marijuana by next summer moved a step closer this week after the proposed legislation received final approval in the House of Commons.

    It now moves to the Senate, where Conservative senators are threatening to hold up passage of the bill, which could derail plans to have a legalized pot regime up and running by July.

    It looks like Canadian Olympic gold medallist snowboarder Ross Rebagliati may have been right all along.