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Heavy marijuana consumption leading to alopecia.

Resolved Question:

in a drug hair test for THC-cooh how long does it take for the hair to start to grow a clean sample assuming heavy consumption?

does your fat cells need to be clean of metabolites before hair can grow clean?

Category: Family Physician-GP

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Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases(STD)Specialist
Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian is online now

Expert:  Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian replied 4 Days.


Thank you for choosing DoctorSpring.

The usual detection period (usually for employment screening ) of THC is 90 days in hair. This is assuming that you keep a short hair no more than 1.5 - 2 inches length.
The THC component stays in hair for some time and it is not related to the fat cells in the body. To be sure I would actually recommend waiting 4-5 months after a period of heavy Marijuana use. Do you have the option to opt for any other form of test ?
Also may I know the reason for the test ?

Thank you

Patient replied :

thanks for the response.

this ultimately will be a pre employment test but right now the employer knows of the thc positive as I had a test performed voluntarily.

The employer wont perform any other test that hair. However they will wait for me to be clean for a hair test and I am trying to establish some kind of time line.

I was concerned with metabolites contaminating the hair as the were released from the fat cells and thus would have to wait until all metabolites have left the body BEFORE I can grow metabolite free hair.

There has been no ingestion since 1-1-14

look forward to your response thanks doc...

Expert:  Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian replied 3 Days.

In that case the longer you wait the better. Ask for 4- 5 months time line. (5 is possible, because there are reports of delayed positivity ). Cut you hair short now, and if possible maintain it short. And obviously do not smoke marijuana. You can eat a regular nutritious diet.

Hope this helps
Feel free to ask followups
Thank you

Patient replied :


Thanks for the response again.

However I have searched the Internet over and cant find the answer to the following and have become very curious about the answer....

do metabolites contaminate the hair as they are released from the fat cells causing you have to wait until all metabolites have left the body BEFORE metabolite free hair can grow?

also can you please expand on "delayed passivity"?

I do have short hair and have it cut now to 3/4 inch in back the testing lab will take inch hair for sample.


ps smoke is out.... lol

Expert:  Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian replied 2 Days.

THC is broken down into 100s of metabolites are are excreted through faces or urine in less than few days. No significant amount is stored in the fat cells. I am not aware of delayed passivity . Could you provide some reference for this ?Thank you

Patient replied :

one of thc metabolizes into thc -cooh correct?
this is stored in fat cells and therfore test a positive in a urine test for 60 days or more for a heavy user with no exercise.

this was your statement see above 'reports of delayed positivity' I put an a instead of an o in the word.

is there a way to live chat? this takes to long to ask questions

Expert:  Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian replied 1 Day.


Urine tests stays positive to a much lesser period than hair test. Urine test in a heavy daily user can stay positive upto 20 days in certain cases. Most of the time the levels will go below threshold within a week. The fat stored THC is not significant enough to keep the THC in hair cell high for 3 months or so. Whatever limit you have consumed it will wane off in few weeks. It is the THC metabolite levels near the hair shaft which result in a high level in the hair.

However as I said hair follicle tests can stay positive for months. So it is better to get a delayed repeat testing.

Sorry there is no live chat option
Hope this helps
Thank you

Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian
Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases(STD)Specialist
MD, Internal Medicine - Stanley Medical School
Medical School - MBBS - Govt. Medical College, Kottyaam

Diagnostic Prediction - Stanford School of Medicine
Received Specialty training in Critical Care, Cardiology, Neurology, Gastroenterology, Nephrology from Stanley Medical College and in Endocrinology, Rheumatology.

Hematology and Geriatrics from Madras Medical College.
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