Cannabinoid (THC), Screen and Confirmation, Urine (074435)

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Turnaround Time: 1 - 4 days
CPT Code:


Test Type: 20 mL Urine
Stability Time:



Room temperature

14 days


14 days


14 days


Detect and confirm the presence of cannabinoids.

A positive test for cannabinoids indicates the presence of cannabinoid metabolites; 11-nor-9-carboxy-δ-9-THC is the major metabolite (carboxy THC) in urine but is not related to source, time of exposure, amount, or impairment. Unless the test is confirmed by MS, a positive result is presumptive and an unconfirmed test should not be used in workplace drug testing programs. Urine may contain carboxy THC for a week or 10 days after light or moderate use and as long as a month to six weeks after heavy use. Rapid storage of THC metabolites in body fat occurs after use. These substances are then released from storage sites slowly over time.

A marijuana cigarette is made from the dried leaves of the plant, Cannabis sativa. The immediate effects of smoking marijuana include a faster heartbeat and pulse rate, bloodshot eyes, and a dry mouth and throat. The drug can impair or reduce short-term memory, alter sense of time, and reduce the ability to do things that require concentration, swift reactions and coördination, such as driving and operating machinery.

Driving experiments show that marijuana affects a wide range of skills needed for safe driving. Thinking and reflexes are slowed, making it hard for drivers to respond to sudden unexpected events. Furthermore, a driver's ability to “track” through curves, brake quickly, and maintain speed and proper distance between vehicles is affected. Research shows that these skills are impaired for at least four to six hours after smoking a single marijuana cigarette. If a driver drinks alcohol along with using marijuana, the risks of an accident greatly increase.

Chiang CN, Barnett G. Marijuana pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. In: Redda KK, Walker CA, Barnell G, eds. Cocaine, Marijuana, Designer Drugs: Chemistry, Pharmacology and Behavior. Boca Raton, Fla: CRC Press;1989:113-126. El-Sohly MA,

El-Sohly HN. Marijuana: Analysis and detection of use through urinalysis. In: Redda KK, Walker CA, Barnett G, eds.Cocaine, Marijuana, Designer Drugs: Chemistry, Pharmacology and Behavior. Boca Raton, Fla: CRC Press;1989:145-162.

Hawks RL, Chiang CN. Examples of specific drug assays: Marijuana/cannabinoids. Urine Testing for Drugs of Abuse. NIDA Research Monograph 73. Rockville, Md;1986:85-92. Hollister LE. Health aspects of cannabis. Pharmacol Rev. 1986; 38(1):1-20. PubMed 3520605

Mason AP, McBay AJ. Cannabis: Pharmacology and interpretation of effects. J Forensic Sci. 1985; 30(3):615-631. PubMed 2993473

Morland J, Bugge A, Skuterud B, et al. Cannabinoids in blood and urine after passive inhalation of Cannabis smoke. J Forensic Sci. 1985; 30(4):997-1002. PubMed 2999292

Schucket MA. Cannabinols. Drug and Alcohol Abuse. New York, NY: Plenum; 1989:143-157.

Wells DJ, Barnhill MT Jr. Comparative results with five cannabinoid immunoassay systems at the screening threshold of 100 micrograms/L. Clin Chem. 1989; 35(11):2241-2243. PubMed 2582623

Zuckerman B, Frank DA, Hingson R, et al. Effects of maternal marijuana and cocaine use on fetal growth. N Engl J Med. 1989; 320(12):762-768. PubMed 2784193

Collection Details:

Collection Instructions:

Chain-of-custody documentation is required for samples submitted for preëmployment, random employee testing, and forensic purposes. For other applications, use the standard request form. Please mark chain-of-custody test number on the request form.

Use plastic urine drug bottle and evidence tape or tamper-evident container for forensic specimen. Collection kits are available by request from the laboratory.

Urine temperature monitoring is recommended for samples to be tested for medicolegal purposes.

Maintain specimen at room temperature. If arrival at lab will extend beyond seven days, refrigerate.