A new federally funded study illustrates the difficulty of developing a breathalyzer-like device for cannabis: Even when using carefully collected samples and laboratory analysis, researchers found THC levels were too inconsistent to tell whether someone had smoked marijuana recently.
The findings, from researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Colorado Boulder, “do not support the idea that detecting THC in breath as a single measurement could reliably indicate recent cannabis use,” authors said.
“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.”
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