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Hound Labs Announces Positive Results Of Second Clinical Trial Of THC Breathalyzer

Hound Labs Announces Positive Results Of Second Clinical Trial Of THC Breathalyzer

Breath diagnostics company Hound Labs announced the results of the second clinical trial done in collaboration with the University of California, San Francisco that aims to identify the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) using a breathalyzer developed by Hound Labs.

The trial was successful, which has major implications not just for Hound Labs but for the entire cannabis industry and legalization.

The Results

Hound Labs were able to detect that THC is present in breath two to three hours after smoking cannabis, which represents the peak impairment according to government studies. This was the first time that THC was detected in breath.

The analysis required the capability to measure complex molecules in breath at very low levels (down to one trillionth of a gram per liter of breath). UCSF researchers used Hound Labs' proprietary alcohol and marijuana breathalyzer to collect breath samples.

Hound Labs intends to provide a commercial version of the breathalyzer for charter customers later this year. The company has already partnered with several manufacturers.

"The study has not yet been peer-reviewed or published. It asked 20 people — a small number for a clinical trial — to bring their own weed," wrote Mashable's Chris Taylor. "The UCSF doctor responsible for the study says "financial restrictions" prevented her from using more participants, or a control group, but that they were not necessary.

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Why This Is Important

Opponents of cannabis legalization often cite concerns that it's impossible to detect a driver who is under the influence of cannabis on the spot, which could potentially result in dangerous situations on the roads. If the Hound Labs' breathalyzer proves successful at detecting THC levels, it could improve the law enforcement's position towards cannabis.

Moreover, the breathalyzer is more accurate as it gives a positive result for THC only during the peak impairment period, whereas other methods of analysis, such as urine, blood or saliva will show a positive result for THC for days after consumption when the impairment is long gone. This will prove beneficial not just for law enforcement officers, but also for employers that are currently conducting testing for cannabis using hair, or other samples, such as J B Hunt Transport Services Inc (NASDAQ: JBHT).

While smoking remains the most popular way to consume marijuana, there are other methods as well, such as cannabis oil or edibles with high THC content. It's unclear whether Hound Labs' breathalyzer can detect THC consumed through other methods, although the company cited Dr. Kara Lynch, co-director of the Clinical Chemistry and Toxicology Laboratory at San Francisco General Hospital and Associated Professor of Laboratory Medicine at UCSF, who said they discovered that THC moves from blood into breath.

"Even if Hound Labs' tech is for real, even if it can show exactly how much THC entered your system in the last couple of hours, it's easy to see scenarios where cops might abuse it for an easy arrest of a non-impaired driver, or employers might use it to safely get rid of the long-haired guy they just don't like," the Mashable article concluded.

Related Links:

Infographic: Marijuana In The Workplace

UN's Commission On Narcotic Drug Delays Vote On Cannabis Recommendations

Posted-In: Cannabis Breathalyzer Cannabis Testing Dr. Kara Lynch Hound LabsCannabis News Markets Tech Best of Benzinga


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