Can You Fail a Drug Test From Secondhand Smoke?

can you fail a drug test from secondhand smoke

Because of the rising number of crimes related to drug abuse, many companies, and the government as well ordered, required drug tests to be undergone by applicants before getting hired. Even regular employees would have to go through this annually so employers will be sure that they have healthy and mentally stable employees.

A person who uses drugs obviously will fail a drug test, especially if they are regular users of the drug. However, you may be wondering if secondhand or passive smokers also get to fail a drug test. Can you fail a drug test from secondhand smoke? Well, find out more about it by continuing to read the information below.

What is a Drug Test?

A drug test is conducted to determine a person’s consumption of a specific substance and not only marijuana. It can also detect the number of opioids like heroin, codeine, morphine, hydrocodone, as well as cocaine, barbiturates, steroids, and phencyclidine (PCP). Such a test may be done through your urine, hairs, blood, or sweat that reflects the features of having tasted or used drugs even after a long while.

A person’s health is what a drug test is all about, specifically, to check you’re his/her body from the possibility of having certain illnesses like agitation, panic, nausea, delirium, paranoia, slowed speech, etc. those are obvious signs of drug abuse which may hinder someone from functioning well. Thus, a drug test will guarantee to the employers that they are hiring the right person for the job, too. 

Important Notes About a Secondhand Weed Smoke

This kind of smoke is not your usual smoke, which you inhale and exhale from your mouth and nose. Instead, it is a smoke that comes from marijuana, which is produced by someone else or something else.

  • It becomes secondhand if another person smokes weeds by burning it before you inhaled it. Secondhand marijuana smoke is still as complex and sedating as with what it does for firsthand smokers.
  • It has small, microscopic particles that can be inhaled and enter through the lungs, which are dangerous and may cause some problems with breathing.
  • Similar to a cigar, the smoke that secondhand weed smokers inhale contains carcinogens, and toxins like cyanide, benzene, chromium, hydrogen, lead, mercury, and ammonia arsenic.
  • Secondhand marijuana smoke still has that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content of weeds that causes the sedating high.

Can You Fail a Drug Test From Secondhand Smoke?

In this case, it may be safe to say that you can fail a drug test from secondhand smoke. This is accompanied by many other implications brought about by the some you inhaled from a nearby drug smoker. Besides, one study shows that after only 15 minutes of being exposed to secondhand smoke can lead you to get high and affected by it.

You might just fail in acquiring your dream job with just one secondhand toke that you had a connection with, so it may be necessary that you stay away from such people. Some worse results can also come from exposure to less ventilated areas like your kitchen, bedroom, or somewhere without much airflow. 

Aside from getting positive in your drug test, it is also likely for you to experience the same high feeling as the firsthand smoker. The more enclosed the area, the greater the effect it will have on you as a secondhand smoker. However, it may take a while for the sedating high to get into your system compared to firsthand smokers. Surprisingly, too, the effects of it can last in your system for as long as 24 to 48 hours. 

How to Get it Out of Your System Faster

Forty-eight hours may be quite a long time to wait for the drug’s effect on you to fade, particularly when you have a drug test scheduled for you to undergo. But it should not cause you any problem because there are known ways on how to get rid of it faster and more effectively.

  1. The first thing you must-do if you are stuck in a room where smokers do their thing is to leave and go somewhere else far from them. It’s better not to have any more of that secondhand smoke which you might have if you stay longer in that area.
  2. Drink as much water and fluid as you can. It will be a lot more helpful if you will drink those that have electrolyte-full drinks for faster flushing out of the drug in your system to fully end it.
  3. Vitamin B-2 or B-12 is the way to go if the others still don’t work for you. They are better than fluids or water, although they do not completely remove THC from your body. It only tries to mask or hide the drug from the test you are about to undergo. Just 50 to 100mg of it should be fine for you since you did not inhale marijuana. Vitamin B works fast that you can take it just a few hours before your actual drug test.

Health Risks that Secondhand Weed Smoke can Cause

Another concern that you may be having about accidentally inhaling some secondhand weed smoke is the possible risks it can have on your health. Some elements may come from it that will not be very good to your body. Some of those risks are on the list below.

  1. Your lungs become at risk because the smoke contains some particles that may hinder your breathing. It has chemicals that are toxic like ammonia and may contain hydrogen cyanide, which is hazardous elements.
  2. It is similar to a cigarette effect but more complicated and hard to deal with, including the clogging of the arteries from the heart to the brain, which can lead to stroke. Eventually, it occurred many times already; patients will experience a 90-minute impairment, which ends up with your body not being able to recover fully.


Therefore, when asked the question, can you fail a drug test from secondhand smoke, the answer is simple. It’s a yes because it is almost no different from firsthand smoking of marijuana. The only thing you can do to avoid this from happening is to stay away from stoners as far as possible so that there is no need for you to be a secondhand smoker in the first place. Your health is more than anything. Not even your dream career can equate to that, so you must avoid getting exposed to weed smoke. Go somewhere else you can breathe clean and fresh air.