A moderate dose of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive substance in cannabis, can impair your performance for up to 24 hours, and 86% of users won’t even suspect or realize that it has.

This is why many industries have adopted zero tolerance towards any use of cannabis.

1.  Educate all your workers to arrive at work “fit for duty”

They must be free of impairment from any substance (alcohol, drugs – both legal and illegal), in both safety sensitive and non-safety sensitive positions. State this in your policy in clear language, have them agree that they understand it in writing and give then 30 days notice of the change in policy.

2.  Educate your supervisors to recognize the signs of any impairment

Provide your supervisors with training so they are knowledgeable of the signs and symptoms of impairment. Look for personality changes, odd speech patterns, nervous behaviour, glassy eyes, etc. as these changes may indicate impairment and possible recent drug use.

The Drug & Alcohol Testing Association of Canada (DATAC) has a two hour online course that supervisors can take to be able to confidently recognize the signs of cannabis use.

Click here for more information about the DATAC Supervisor Awareness Training (SAT) online course.

3. Test for cannabis Use

Urine Tests     

Urine tests typically detect THC within 4-8 hours and up to a few weeks (normally, a maximum of 30 days). If your policy does not permit any cannabis use whatsoever, then use urine tests as they provide the widest drug detection window.

Oral Fluid Tests   

Oral fluid tests (also known as saliva or mouth-swab tests) have a window of detection of a few minutes to a few days, making oral fluid the preferred specimen to be tested when attempting to identify more recent cannabis use.

However, there is a lot of misinformation being touted as “facts” in regards to oral fluid testing for THC.

For example:

Cannabis use can only be detected for only a few hours using an oral fluid test = false


That oral fluid testing doesn’t work = false

Get the information you need to make the right decision by calling us anytime to get your questions answered by our team of experts.

On-site Testing vs. Laboratory Testing

Over the past 10 years, on-site testing (or point-of-care testing (POCT)) has become a staple of Canadian workplace and clinical drug testing. When a high quality In-vitro Diagnostic Device (IVDD) is used properly the results are now considered just as accurate as laboratory-based screening with the added benefit of immediate test results.

However, there is no substitute for laboratory-based confirmation testing of POCT results. If a non-negative result is detected, immediate testing by an accredited laboratory is necessary to confirm the specific drug that is present in the specimen as well as the amount.

Contact us with any questions at 1-866-446-2953. We’re happy to help.