Saliva Testing

Saliva drug testing is slowly becoming the preferred choice for administering drug tests for potential or current employees.  This is likely because it’s a non-invasive way of determining whether or not the provider has smoked cannabis or used other drugs in the very near term.  Although they’re not used predominantly in the legal world, this new technology is being used for on-site testing for the workplace.

One of the primary perks to using this method is that it doesn’t require the person being tested to transit to a controlled lab in order to have a sample drawn.  Unlike hair, urine, and blood tests – a saliva test is done on the spot.

Detection Times

Significant amounts of research have not been done on saliva strips, but real world application has helped us come up with some practical explanations and determinations for the actual effectiveness.  Current expectations from manufacturers show that substance use within 10 and 24 hours will show up instantly on the test strips.


The results from a saliva test strip will show the tester immediately whether or not it’s a positive sample.  This is not to say they’re without mistake.  If a false positive is suspected, there’s a high probability of a follow on urine or hair test to confirm the results.

This testing method in particular is known for allowing routine substance users to “slip by” due to the narrow window for detection.  That might be a conscious choice by the employer, or a cost cutting measure by the company, but often works out in the favor of responsible users.  That being said, the ability to quickly and easily administer the test means that the subject is typically given no warning prior to receiving the test.