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Study – Excretion of 9 TetraHydroCannabinol in Sweat

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Summary of this paper

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Saito et al. reported a validated gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) method with a LOQ of 0.4 ng THC/patch and found concentrations of 0.9 to 3.1 ng THC/patch in several 24-hour sweat patches from one cannabis user [20]. The expected disposition of THC in sweat from chronic cannabis users has not been reported.Go To Passage 

Subjects And Study Design

Exact times of dosing were recorded, but target times each day were 0800, 1300 and 1730 h. After five consecutive dosing days, there was a 10-day washout period prior to the next dosing condition. Subjects had five dosing conditions involving placebo, low-dose liquid hemp oil (9 μg/g or a daily dose of 0.39 mg THC), low-dose hemp oil in capsules (92 μg/g or a daily dose of 0.47 mg THC), high-dose hemp oil (347 μg/g or a daily dose of 14.8 mg THC) and dronabinol (2.5 mg/capsule or a daily dose of 7.5 mg THC). Sweat patches were stored at −20°C until THC analysis.Go To Passage 

Gc/Ms Analysis

Percent recovery from patches was 44-46%, LOQ was 0.4 ng THC/patch and coefficients of variation were < 10%. All weekly patches were tested. Some daily patches were not tested if no THC was found in the corresponding weekly patch.Go To Passage 


During this washout phase, the first weekly sweat patch from two of seven subjects had THC above the assay LOQ. One weekly patch contained 0.93 ng THC/patch, with none of the seven daily sweat patches worn this week positive for THC. The other weekly sweat patch contained 0.82 ng THC/patch, with only the first daily patch positive for THC at 0.44 ng of THC/patch.Go To Passage 


The manufacturer recommends that the patches be worn for one week. In the present study, sweat patches worn by daily cannabis users the first week of monitored abstinence had THC concentrations averaging 3.85 ng/patch. There are no other published studies reporting sweat patch THC concentrations after cessation of use for comparison.Go To Passage 


Results of our clinical study indicate that daily cannabis users will excrete THC into sweat in concentrations above the SAMHSA cutoff of 1 ng/patch. During abstinence, negative patches are expected after one week, but some may have a longer washout period of four weeks or more. The sensitivity of sweat patches to detect new drug use following cannabis smoking is not known and requires an independent controlled smoked cannabis administration study.

Read the Full PDF Here

Marilyn A. Huestis1,*
, Karl B. Scheidweiler1, Takeshi Saito1,2, Neil Fortner3, Tsadik
Abraham1, Richard A. Gustafson4, and Michael L. Smith5
1 Chemistry and Drug Metabolism, Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Drug Abuse,
National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, MD, USA
2 Tokai University School of Medicine, Kanagawa, Japan
3 ChoicePoint, Inc., Alpharetta, GA
4 Lieutenant Commander, U S Navy, Navy Drug Screening Laboratory, Jacksonville, FL USA
5 Division of Forensic Toxicology, Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner, Armed Forces Institute of
Pathology, Rockville, MD, USA

Source: Academia

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