This is Archived Content

This content is available for historical purposes only. It may not reflect the current state of science or language from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Find the latest information on substance use, health, and NIDA research at nida.nih.gov.

Cite this article

NIDA. (2013, November 21). New breath test may detect recent marijuana use. Retrieved from https://archives.drugabuse.gov/news-events/news-releases/2013/11/new-breath-test-may-detect-recent-marijuana-use

press ctrl+c to copy

Science Spotlight

November 21, 2013

Car crash

Marijuana causes serious impairment in motor skills, judgment, and perception, which are necessary for operating a vehicle safely. In the past, testing drivers for recent marijuana use has not been as simple as testing for alcohol, but preliminary research on the detection of THC – the main psychoactive chemical in marijuana - in the breath of marijuana smokers may change that. According to NIDA scientists who published their work in September, a new breath test they have developed can in most cases detect whether a person used marijuana within the previous ½ hour to 2.5 hours, depending on the frequency of use. This could be a valuable tool for workplace or roadside marijuana testing.

For a copy of the article (published online September 17), go to Issues Related to the Study of Cannabinoids in Exhaled Breath. For facts on drugged driving, go to www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/drugged-driving.

For more information, contact the NIDA press office at media@nida.nih.gov or 301-443-6245.

-->