Does Vaping Show on a Drug Test?

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Vaping became increasingly popular several years ago, and it has started to fade since then. Nevertheless, there are plenty of people who prefer vaping over smoking. Vaping is permitted in more interior spaces than smoking, and it offers some flexibility that you may not find with cigarettes or cannabis products.

This begs and important question though: does vaping show on a drug test? Read on to prepare yourself for future drug tests.

Different Vapes Have Different Effects

Before we discuss how vaping shows on a drug test, it’s important to understand the different types of vapes on the market. Each type will have a different effect. The most common categories of vaping devices include:

  • Nicotine vapes
  • Cannabis or THC vapes
  • CBD vapes
  • Flavored vapes with no nicotine or other substances present

Not only do these devices carry different substances, but they also carry different potency levels. For example, you can get nicotine vape juice with 0mg, 3mg, 6mg, 12mg, 18mg or even 36mg of nicotine in it. The same can be said for THC or CBD vape juice. The strength of the substance will determine how prominent it is in your urine, blood, or hair follicles, thus impacting the results of your drug test.

Will a THC Vape Show on a Drug Test?

If you’ve consumed any THC product, whether it’s a vape, an edible or anything else, there is a risk that THC will show on a drug test. Vaping cannabis is no different than smoking it. The only variation is the way the THC reaches your lungs (vape vs. smoke).

With this in mind, some drug tests have better detection than others. A saliva test will only detect THC for about 34 hours after consumption. A hair follicle or urine test can detect it for up to 90 days.

The more frequently you consume THC, the less likely you are to pass a drug test. Frequent users should consider this before pursuing a DOT-regulated job. DOT employees must complete pre-employment, random, post-accident, and reasonable suspicion drug tests, which could happen at any time.

Will I Fail a Drug Test If I Have a Medical Marijuana Card?

If you have a medical marijuana card and your workplace permits THC consumption, you should be able to use your card to override a positive drug test. Because the Department of Transportation is federally regulated and medical marijuana is not federally legal, DOT employees must pass drug tests, regardless of local laws. If you’re not a DOT-regulated employee, you’ll need to review your employer’s rules regarding drug testing.

Will I Lose My Job If I Fail a Drug Test for Vaping?

This is entirely up to your employer, even if you’re a DOT-regulated worker. The DOT does not determine if you keep or lose your job after a failed drug test, but they will require you to cease safety-sensitive work duties until you complete the Return-to-Duty process (outlined in the next section).

What to Do If You Fail a DOT Drug Test

After a failed DOT drug test, your employer will remove you from safety-sensitive job duties, such as driving or flying. They will provide you with a list of Substance Abuse Professionals in your area, or you could reach out to American Substance Abuse Professionals to meet with a SAP near you.

This is the start of the Return-to-Duty process. You’ll complete a set of tasks outlined by your SAP, and then you’ll submit an RTD drug test. If you pass that test, you can be cleared to resume work, either with your former employer or another workplace.

From there, you’ll have to complete several follow-up drug tests for the first year after RTD. Be prepared for that! Your employer may also request random drug testing, in accordance with DOT guidelines.