Australia has some of the harshest cannabis laws in the world. Currently, it all depends on which state or territory you are residing in. Check our previous article on Australia's Cannabis laws to narrow down on exactly what you can get away with in each state. On top of the federal regulations that govern scheduled substances like cannabis, we also need to navigate workplace policies regarding the use of marijuana.
Mining, truck driving, and using heavy machinery are all jobs where you don't want to be "high" while working. Still, Australia has many other industries that will test employees for drugs, including cannabis. Are you a medical patient that has been approved for a script via the SAS scheme? Or maybe, you are a casual weekend cannabis enthusiast that likes to socially consume, the truth is it doesn't matter how cannabis gets into your system as cannabis tests do happen in the workplace. We get a tonne of questions on this topic and have put together this article for everyone who is considering consuming cannabis.
Where Will I Get Tested for Cannabis?
Being tested for cannabis can happen in many different ways in Australia, the most common questions we get asked is around workplace drug testing. These tests can be random, or they can be a result of a workplace health and safety issue, i.e. you fall down the stairs, and your workplace has mandatory drug testing for any accidents. Most workplaces will give notice to employees before a drug test occurs but not always and for those that live on-site in mines, for example, these tests can be widespread and unannounced.
Roadside drug tests have become very commonplace these days throughout Australia, and each state or territory has a different rollout and implementation program. These roadside tests cost $6 per test. In Victoria, only highway patrol officers can give a drug test to a motorist. When you get stopped at a drug testing roadblock, for the most part, they are testing alcohol levels. Still, highway patrol officers will always be present to examine any specific cars for drugs which include other narcotics such as methamphetamine. As you can imagine, the cost of these tests means the government will not bulk test motorists regularly, but be careful while on the road if you have ingested any drug - it is vital for your safety and others. We spoke to three police officers recently about this topic, and they all echoed the same opinion - we only stop a motorist to give a drug test if there is an undeniable reason to do so. That means no hotboxing the car on the freeway!
How Long Does Cannabis Stay Inside Your System?
Cannabis will stay in your system for three days for people who consume cannabis on the odd occasion, consuming more than four times per week, and the detection of marijuana is possible for up to a week. If you are a heavy user, consuming cannabis daily, then cannabis is detectable in your system for up to 30 days or more. This study also shows that for the chronic cannabis consumers - think Snoop Dogg - marijuana could be detectable in your system for a lot longer. There are several variables such as the frequency of use, body and fat index and the timing of a test.
Saliva tests can detect cannabis for a minimum of 13 hours after consuming. Blood tests will identify cannabinoids like THC in just three hours. Reports have shown people testing positive for marijuana in a saliva roadside test eight days later and urine tests months after use. This is because of the way cannabis is handled by your body, cannabinoids are absorbed into the fat and stored then released slowly into the bloodstream. Because cannabis builds up in your system, the more cannabis you consume then, the longer it stays in your body and the higher chance it's still in your bloodstream or urine. This is something to be aware of, especially if your workplace conducts regular random drug tests.
- A one-time or very in-frequent cannabis user may positive for up to 6 days.
- A moderate user (consistently, one-two days a week) may show positive for 7-13 days.
- Frequent users can test positive for 15 days or more.
- Heavy cannabis users can show positive for up to approximately 30 days.
- In extreme cases, some heavy users have reported testing positive for 45-90 days after quitting.
What Are the Allowable Limits for Testing Cannabis in Australia?
Currently, the allowable limits for cannabis or the cannabinoid THC, (remember the police do not have tests for other cannabinoids like CBD) is 25 nanograms per milligram of THC. Workplace tests can vary, but the companies we spoke with had tests ranging from 50mg/ml and below.
What Are the Types of Drug Tests for Cannabis?
It's essential to understand the two different types of drug tests that are conducted by Police in Australia. Salvia tests and urine tests. A saliva test is a swab taken from the mouth of an individual, the swab then provides a reading for the active cannabinoid THC. There is no testing for CBD and other cannabinoids in Australia as they are not psychoactive like THC. THC is the only one authorities are worried about. Urine tests are used by workplaces mainly and are testing for THC only. This version of THC is different as it's been metabolised by your liver and passed through your urine. Unfortunately, it will still show a positive result unless you have allowed a period of time to pass for your body to detox the THC.
Roadside cannabis tests in Australia and workplace tests are limited to THC only if you are a medical patient like us and use CBD high products. The chance of you failing a drug test is minimal. All of our current product range is legal. It can be consumed without worrying about failing any tests, and as always stay safe while driving and if in doubt, catch an Uber!