A recent study conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has found that breath testing is not a reliable indicator of recent marijuana use. The study, which was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, aimed to determine whether breath testing could accurately detect recent marijuana use in individuals.
The study involved 18 participants who were asked to consume various forms of marijuana, including smoking, vaping, and edibles. The participants were then tested using a breathalyzer device that is commonly used by law enforcement to detect alcohol consumption. The results of the study showed that the breathalyzer device was not able to accurately detect recent marijuana use in the participants.
“A lot more research is needed to show that a cannabis breathalyzer can produce useful results,” said co-author Kavita Jeerage, a NIST materials research engineer. “A breathalyzer test can have a huge impact on a person’s life, so people should have confidence that the results are accurate.”
The researchers found that the device was only able to detect THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana, in the breath of the participants for a short period of time after consumption. The study’s author, Tara Lovestead, stated that “In many cases, we would not have been able to tell whether the person smoked within the last hour based on the concentration of THC in their breath.”
Lovestead also noted that the study’s findings highlight the need for more research into alternative methods of detecting recent marijuana use. The study’s findings have significant implications for law enforcement agencies that rely on breath testing to detect marijuana use in drivers. Currently, there is no reliable roadside test for marijuana use, and law enforcement officers must rely on field sobriety tests and blood tests to determine whether a driver is under the influence of marijuana.
The study’s authors suggest that more research is needed to develop a reliable test for recent marijuana use. They note that blood testing may be a more accurate method of detecting recent marijuana use, but that more research is needed to determine the optimal time frame for testing. In conclusion, the NIST study has found that breath testing is not a reliable indicator of recent marijuana use. The study’s findings highlight the need for more research into alternative methods of detecting recent marijuana use, particularly in the context of driving under the influence. While blood testing may be a more accurate method of detecting recent marijuana use, more research is needed to determine the optimal time frame for testing.