Review: Oral Fluid Tests Not Sufficiently Accurate For Cannabis Detection

Ontario, Canada: Roadside oral fluid detection devices are ineffective at accurately identifying past cannabis exposure, according to a literature review published in the journal Public Health.

Canadian investigators performed a systematic review of published studies evaluating the performance of on-site oral fluid detection technologies. They reported that available devices do not meet acceptable standards of sensitivity and accuracy, that products lack standardization, and that there are no known "correlations between THC concentrations in OF (oral fluid) and the level of impairment."

Authors concluded, "[T]he methods for measuring OF at the roadside need to be improved."

In recent years, lawmakers in several states have suggested the idea of permitting police to administer roadside oral fluid tests as a potential means of determining prior cannabis exposure.

For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director. Full text of the study, "Are oral fluid testing devices effective for the roadside detection of recent cannabis use: A systemic review," appears in Public Health.